United Explorer

Deal Alert: New York to Oslo from $407 Roundtrip and Other Scandinavia Cheap Flight Deals From Los Angeles

April 15, 2014

I’m a fan of travel disrupters (like Uber) and now Norwegian Air. The scrappy carrier is driving down fares with new cheap flights to locations throughout Europe to the US. It is shaking up the airline industry and has even prompted lawsuits from jealous competitors. Just this morning I saw a sidebar ad showcasing Ft. Lauderdale […]

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Paying Taxes With Credit Cards: 10 Scenarios That Might Make Sense

April 15, 2014

It’s Tax Day, and one of the questions I’m asked the most at this time of year is whether paying taxes with a credit card is a good way to rack up points and miles and if so, what credit card to use to maximize your taxes. It would seem like paying your taxes using […]

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Benefits and Costs of Adding Additional Cardholders on Credit Cards

April 9, 2014

Readers often ask me about the perks and downsides of adding cardholders to existing credit card accounts, and I’ve explored the answers in posts like:  What Are the Effects of Adding an Additional Cardholder? Should I Make My Fiance An Additional Cardholder on my Chase Sapphire Preferred? Are You Eligible For a Sign Up Bonus […]

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Maximizing Points and Miles on Healthcare Spending

April 7, 2014

With the Affordable Care Act going into effect, medical costs and spending are on everyone’s minds. As a major factor in everyone’s budget, healthcare costs can be both a big expense, but also a good opportunity to earn points and miles. TPG contributor Jason Steele fills us in on how and why. Healthcare costs are […]

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Tax Time Pointers: Earning Points on Taxes

March 17, 2014

It’s tax time again, and as we all prepare our annual statements (that is, if you don’t do it quarterly like many small businesses do), chances are you’re wondering if there are any opportunities to earn points on all those dollars you’re forced to fork over to Uncle Sam. One of the questions I get […]

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My Credit Card Spring Cleaning – Which Cards To Keep, Cancel or Convert

March 13, 2014

Spring is here, the sun is shining (well, it is in Miami!), and it’s time for another round of credit card applications to boost my points balances. With several new lucrative offers out there like the 100,000-mile Citi Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard, the newly launched 40,000 points offer on the Platinum Card from Amex, the […]

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Updated Strategies For Earning Points and Miles With Prepaid and Reloadable Cards

March 10, 2014

A lot has changed in the world of checking/debit alternatives like Bluebird, as well as prepaid/reloadable cards in the past year, so I asked TPG Contributor Jason Steele to write up some updated strategies on turning these products into points-earning powerhouses. Among travel rewards enthusiasts, prepaid cards and checking/debit alternatives have long been used to […]

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The Best Current Airline Credit Card Offers

March 4, 2014

One of the big questions that came up both days at the New York Times Travel Show, was how airline credit cards play into an overall points and miles strategy. While I personally spend more on credit cards that accrue transferable points like the Sapphire Preferred, or the Premier Rewards Gold, since transferable points give […]

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Top Travel Credit Cards That Waive Foreign Transaction Fees

February 10, 2014

One of the main benefits I always look for when considering a travel credit card is whether or not it waives foreign transaction fees (forex fees for short). Many issuers will charge their cardholders between 1-3% of the value of transactions processed outside the US – meaning for every $100 you spend in a foreign […]

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How To Get Free or Discounted Airline Lounge Access

January 13, 2014

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here. There has been a lot of news on the airport lounge front lately, what with Amex Platinum cardholders soon to lose access American and US Airways lounges and having their Delta SkyClub guest access restricted (as will […]

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The Top Credit Card Spending Bonuses for 2014

January 6, 2014

Now that we’re into the new year, it means it’s time to really plot out your credit card spending strategy for 2014, because there’s a lot more to maximizing credit card rewards than simply raking in the sign-up bonuses. While an easy boost  to your miles and point balances, a more sustainable approach is to […]

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Will Delta’s New Revenue Requirements Affect My Lifetime Status?

January 5, 2014

TPG Reader Marie is concerned that Delta’s new elite status spending requirements will affect her lifetime status with the airline: “I am confused about the elite status changes on Delta. My husband is a Lifetime Gold Medallion and I am Lifetime Silver Medallion. Do we retain this status with the new changes? Since we have […]

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United’s Newest Customer Unfriendly Campaign: Increase the Cost of Award Tickets

November 1, 2013

In a bold move to become the world’s most “flyer un-friendly” airline, United announced that starting February 1, 2014 they will require more miles (a ton more in some cases) for award travel – especially on partner airlines. While these drastic changes are no doubt consumer-unfriendly, we shouldn’t be too surprised since United has been […]

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Should A Tokyo-Based Expat Get An ANA or United Credit Card?

October 27, 2013

This reader question comes from Tim, an expat living in Japan: “I’m an avid follower and have a question that I wonder if you could answer.  I’m American and have lived in Tokyo long-term.  Because I’m a resident of Japan, I do most of my spending in Japanese Yen and have access to Japan-based ANA […]

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50% Bonus Miles With American Choice Essential Fares Now Through December 15

October 25, 2013

Since American introduced its new bundled Choice fares back in December, I have purchased them almost every time I’ve flown the airline domestically because. In short, I love them and think they provide a ton of potential value for flyers whose plans might change and who want the added bonuses of priority boarding, check in […]

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Top Current 50,000+ Point Credit Card Offers

September 19, 2013

Update: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card here. With the reappearance of the 50,000-point sign-up bonus for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Visa announced yesterday, I know many of you might be thinking about applying for it or some of the other credit cards out there offering […]

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United Honors Free Mistake Fares

September 13, 2013

Yesterday we reported on a glitch with United’s ticket booking engine that resulted in people being able to book flights around the US and to Hawaii for almost free – all they had to pay were the taxes. While I didn’t actually expect these fares to be honored based on United’s past behavior in similar […]

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Free 24-Hour NYC Citibike Pass for MasterCard Cardholders

September 10, 2013

Earlier this year New York City officially joined the ranks of cities with biking programs such as Paris, London and Barcelona with their Citi Bike NYC bikeshare program. The Citi Bike program, operated by New York Bike share is probably one of the most affordable modes of transportation NYC has to offer. And perhaps the […]

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Top 25 Travel Credit Cards With The Lowest Bonus Minimum Spending Requirements

September 3, 2013

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here. With so many great current credit card offers out there – including the 30,000-point sign-up bonus offers on the Starwood American Express personal and business cards which ends today (expired) – I know a lot of […]

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Applying For The Best Credit Cards – The Top Deals For Your Round Of Applications

August 29, 2013

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Business Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here. Credit card sign-up bonuses are the quickest and easiest way to rack up a lot of points. One method that’s widely accepted amongst those that maximize their miles and points – myself included – is to […]

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Top Current Credit Card Offers With First Year Annual Fee Waived

August 27, 2013

Update: The current bonus for the Starwood Amex business and personal cards is 25,000 points, 10,000 after first purchase and 15,000 after $5,000 spend in the first 6 months.  2013 has been a great year for credit card sign-up bonuses. Not only have we seen some of the same promotions return like the current Starwood Preferred Guest Amex and Chase […]

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Does Your Credit Card Give You Adequate Travel Insurance Coverage?

July 10, 2013

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here. The travel insurance study that I recently commissioned Princeton Survey Research Associates International to conduct has got me thinking about trip coverage a lot lately – especially as I have some exciting international adventures such as a […]

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What is the Best Current Credit Card For Home Improvement and Moving Expenses?

June 30, 2013

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here. TPG reader Mark has some big changes on the horizon – with some big expenses – and wants to know how to maximize his spending either with his current credit cards, or new ones. “We are […]

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Update On My Recent Delta Business Platinum and Ink Plus Applications

June 25, 2013

Last Thursday I decided to bite the bullet and apply for two of the most lucrative credit card offers I’ve seen this year: 1) American Express: Delta Business Platinum Card Update: The current offer is 5,000 MQMs and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on your new Card in your first 3 months. Earn […]

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