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Capital One Venture

Southwest Adds Belize and Other International Destinations

December 19, 2014

I don’t fly Southwest often, partly because of their relatively limited route network. However, their list of destinations keeps growing, and today TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Jason Steele shares yet another addition, along with some tips for how to boost your Rapid Rewards balance. Southwest is undergoing a major expansion, but rather than just […]

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Credit Card Annual Fees: When Does Paying Make Sense?

December 11, 2014

Maximizing award travel means not only getting the most out of your points and miles, but also limiting your cash expenses. To earn big credit card sign-up bonuses, you often have to strike a balance between your rewards and the amount you pay in annual fees. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers his analysis of how to find that […]

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Strategies for Travel Without Airline Elite Status

November 3, 2014

I get a lot of value from both airline and hotel elite status, but I recognize that for many travelers, the benefits of elite status don’t justify the extra cost and effort required to earn it. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses how you can enjoy elite benefits when you fly, even without elite status. Despite how often I fly, I don’t hold […]

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Card Comparison: Fixed-Value Earning Points Cards

October 22, 2014

Today, TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen takes a look at four of the top fixed-value points programs and the credit cards that can help you maximize each of them. There are three types of travel rewards: transferable points like Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards; program specific rewards like airline miles or hotel points; and fixed-value points, where […]

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Maximizing Credit Card Bonus Categories to Earn More Points

October 17, 2014

Many of the best points-earning credit cards offer cardholders the opportunity to earn bonus points or miles in certain merchant categories, whether they be grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, or others. With the diversity of credit cards out there and the sheer variety of purchases the average person makes over the course of a year (or even a […]

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How to Avoid Fuel Surcharges on Award Travel

October 15, 2014

Call me crazy, but I tend to think that if you have to pay for something, it isn’t free. Yet many airlines charge frequent flyers for the privilege of redeeming miles by adding fuel surcharges to award travel. Today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele explains which airlines are the worst offenders, and offers some tips for how to avoid these […]

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Top Cards That Offer Credits for Airline Incidentals

October 13, 2014

An important step toward getting the most out of your travel is to not only maximize your points and miles, but also to minimize your expenses. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele explains how you can lower your cash outlay for both paid and award tickets by taking advantage of some very useful credit card benefits. Call it unbundling, […]

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Bank of America Launches New Preferred Rewards Program

October 8, 2014

The travel rewards credit card market is always evolving, with new opportunities popping up just as fast as others disappear. While this year will spell the end of some cards and benefits, we’ve also seen new ones arise, like primary rental insurance on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and the launch of the new Citi Double Cash card. This week it’s Bank of America’s […]

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Saving on Family Ski Trips – Flights, Hotels, Lifts & More

October 3, 2014

Maximizing travel is often as much about saving money as it is about earning points. Since winter is coming, I asked TPG Contributor (and avid skier) Jason Steele to share his strategies for keeping family ski vacations affordable. Ski trips make for great family vacations, but the total price can be stunningly high. It’s not uncommon […]

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Strategies For Minimizing Credit Card Annual Fees

October 1, 2014

Update: The 70,000 point Ink Plus offer is no longer available online but may still be available in a Chase branch. View the current online offer here. As a points and miles devotee, I’m always trying to get the best return I can on my rewards, and an important part of my strategy is knowing how to […]

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Which Credit Card Is Best for Miscellaneous Travel Expenses?

September 14, 2014

TPG reader Gisele emailed me to ask: “I’m organizing a trip to Italy in the spring and would like to know if there’s a good credit card for less obvious travel expenses, such as Eurorail passes, museum tickets, tour buses, etc. I also would like to use Airbnb instead of a hotel. Do you have […]

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Large Family & Group Travel Tips, Tricks, and Strategies

August 15, 2014

With a family of four, I sometimes envy the ease of travel enjoyed by singles and couples. One or two award seats aren’t too hard to find, you can fit into virtually any car or hotel room, and you can travel very light. On the other hand, I know other families that routinely travel as a […]

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My Four New Credit Cards and 205,000 Miles & Points

August 5, 2014

I currently have 23 active credit cards, and my credit score is consistently in the high 700s. Earlier this year I canceled and applied for 4 new cards for 230,000 miles/points, and recently I did another round of applications to bring my year-to-date sign-up bonus total to 435,000 miles/points. Some people’s eyes pop out of […]

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What Are Points and Miles Worth? June Monthly Valuations

June 20, 2014

You can view all posts in the Monthly Valuation Series here. One of the questions I’m asked most often is “how much is a point or mile worth?” That question varies per person and how well they can maximize a particular currency for their needs, but still there are some points worth more than others. To […]

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Capital One Venture Rewards Card Bonus Now 40,000 Miles

June 18, 2014

The Capital One Venture Rewards Card has doubled its sign up bonus from 20,000 miles to 40,000 after $3,000 in spend within the first 3 months and the $59 annual fee is waived the first year. While 20,000 miles was equal to $200 you can now get $400 in travel when redeeming those miles to cover […]

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What Is A Point or Mile Worth? My New Monthly Valuation Series

May 14, 2014

You can view all posts in the Monthly Valuation Series here. Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express has expired. View the current offers here – personal, business. One of the questions I’m asked the most is – how much is a point or mile worth? That question lies at the heart […]

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New Super First Class Cabins on Etihad and Emirates and How to Use Points to Book Them

May 6, 2014

This past weekend, Etihad Airways announced the December 2014 launch of their new A380 Residence Class suite - which appears to be absolutely stunning – and Emirates has just followed up with (remarkably non-specific) news that they’ll soon unveil plans for a similar product. These announcements are part of a luxurious airline trend that’s taking the onboard experience an exclusive […]

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Should I Downgrade My Capital One Venture To A No Annual Fee Or Get A New, Better Card?

May 4, 2014

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Capital One Venture Card has expired. View the current offer here.  TPG reader Dan emailed me with a credit card quandary this week: “I enjoy reading your blog and I had a quick question. I currently have a great credit score (780+) and have 2 credit cards. I have […]

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Delta American Express Cards Waive Foreign Transaction Fees Starting Today – What Other Cards Don’t Charge Forex Fees?

May 1, 2014

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Capital One Venture Card has expired. View the current offer here.  Back in February, American Express announced that the Delta co-branded cards, including the Delta Gold, Platinum and Reserve cards, would start waiving foreign transaction fees as of May 1, 2014, and that day has finally arrived. These fees […]

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Top Credit Cards With No First Year Annual Fee

April 28, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express has expired. View the current offers here – personal, business. The offer mentioned below for the Capital One Venture Card has expired. View the current offer here.  There are some great travel credit card offers out there at the moment, and to entice new customers, many […]

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Benefits and Costs of Adding Additional Cardholders on Credit Cards

April 9, 2014

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Capital One Venture Card has expired. View the current offer here.  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 […]

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Maximizing Points and Miles on Healthcare Spending

April 7, 2014

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Capital One Venture Card has expired. View the current offer here.  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 […]

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Destination Of The Week: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

April 4, 2014

A bustling metropolis combined with some of the most famous beaches in the world, this South American city is known for being an exotic mix of Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and Africa roots. With the World Cup just a few months away and the 2016 Summer Olympics set to take place, all eyes will be on this […]

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Reminder: Higher Bonus on the US Bank FlexPerks Visa With 28 US Winter Olympic Medals

February 24, 2014

Earlier this month US Bank announced a promotion in honor of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi new applicants  for the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa who apply between January 31, 2014 – March 7, 2014 and make eligible purchases ($3,500 in 4 months) will earn not only the 20,000 regular bonus points for signing up, […]

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