Brian Kelly Answers Your Points & Miles Questions on Talking Points

Jul 17, 2019

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Talking Points now now has its very own hotline: 1-877-TPG-TRVL. It is the place to be heard if you are a TPG subscriber, leave a message just to say hello or ask for advice on points and miles and travel. And when the phone line opened, we received an overwhelming response from TPG fans!

To kick off the inaugural listener question-and-answer episode, Brian Kelly — The Points Guy — chose a handful of voicemails for a special Talking Points release.

Three Key Takeaways from this Episode

  • How to earn elite status fast when you’re starting from nothing.
  • The routes and transfer partners with the best award availability.
  • How to choose between redeeming British Airways vs. Iberia Avios.
  • Watching out for phantom availability

Part One includes some favorite questions. A few of them: “When does it make sense to use a co-branded card over your premium travel rewards card?” and “What’s the quickest and easiest way to earn status when you’re starting from scratch?”

Brian brought in our travel analyst Zach Griff to help answer a few of these tough points and miles questions, such as one about pooling your Avios. You won’t want to miss his advice if you’re looking to maximize your points.

“There’s Iberia Avios, there’s British Airways Avios, and Aer Lingus Avios. The good news is, with some exceptions, all Avios can be combined if the accounts have been opened for longer than 30 days,” Zach says. “Let’s say you have some Avios in your British Airways account and some Avios in your Iberia account, as long as your accounts have been open and active for longer than 30 days, you’ll have no problem combining them. One thing to note is that the Iberia Avios accounts, they have to be active for at least 90 days but as long as they’re active, you’ll have no problem combining the points.”

In honor of Stonewall 50 and World Pride celebrations in June, part two of this episode answers listener voicemails around LGBTQ travel. You can join TPG in supporting the LGBTQ community by donating to our campaign for Rainbow Railroad on Prizeo, which is running through August.

You can play this episode above, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Full Transcript:

[Sound of phone ringing]

Seth: Hello, The Points Guy..
Meredith: Calling from Chicago.
Caller 1: Seattle.
Caller 3: From Washington, DC.
Sam: West Hollywood, California.
Daniel: Cleveland.
Harrison: Fort Lauderdale.
Caroline: Salt Lake City.
Nolan: From Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Brian Kelly: Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of Talking Points. It’s your host, Brian Kelly, The Points Guy. If you’ve been following along on social media lately — and frankly, if you’re not, what the hell are you thinking — follow us @thepointsguy and @briankelly — then you know we debuted our podcast Hotline Bling. Yes, that’s right, a number to call where you can ask all of your burning travel questions, 1-877-TPG-TRVL. You know what? We did this for you, our listeners. We wanted you to be able to pick up the phone and ask your questions 90’s style. Lots of you are longtime listeners, first-time callers. Well, actually, all of you are, because this is the first time we’re taking callers. You guys turned up, we loved hearing your beautiful voices and, you know, I’ll admit some of these were a little tough to answer. I had to call in some backup. So I’m excited to have Zach Griff on our points and miles team, Points Guy protégé, whatever you want to call him — Zach, thanks for helping out today.

Zach Griff: Thanks for having me, Brian.

Brian Kelly: And since we launched the hotline in June, when it was Pride, I’ll be answering some LGBTQ travel-related questions later on in the show, so stay tuned after the break for those.

Brian Kelly: So let’s get into it and hear what you had to tell us at the hotline 877-TPG-TRVL. First question up from Morristown, Tennessee:

Seth: I had a quick question for you, I’ve done quite a bit of research on credit cards and offers and things of that sort, and I wanted to know if you had any advice, tips or tricks on how to get approved for specific Amex cards if you don’t already have a relationship with American Express, and just kind of how to build that relationship. Thanks.

Brian Kelly: All right Seth, you’re in a good spot, because if you’ve never had an Amex card, there’s a good chance that Amex may target you with a richer offer than what they’ll give anyone else. The first thing you want to do is go to CardMatch, so, and it won’t pull on your credit, but you’ll put some simple information in, and then it will check the super-secret database with Amex and see if you are targeted for a special offer. So the thing with CardMatch is, you never know what you’re going to get, but we’ve seen up to 100,000 points for the Platinum Card which makes it an absolutely no-brainer. On the Gold Cards we’ve seen 60- to 70,000 points, depending, which is double what they’re offering publicly.

Brian Kelly: So, definitely check out CardMatch. But if you don’t want to get into a travel-specific card, starter-card wise, Amex EveryDay is probably a no-brainer place to start. You’re not going to get a massive sign-up bonus and there’s no annual fee but it’s a great way to start a relationship. The credit profile to get that is a little bit less than what you’d expect from a Platinum Card. So there’s no set rules in terms of credit score, but you should know your FICO before applying for any credit card. And let me be very clear, if you’re carrying balances, you don’t want to do that on a card like an American Express charge card that’s going to charge you crazy rates for interest. The point of the points game is to pay off your bills in full every month, reap the value of your points and avoid paying interest.

Brian Kelly: So now that we have that out of the way, you know, generally upper 600s can get you a lot of credit cards but you definitely want to be in that 700-plus, the higher the better. And frankly, once you’re over 730/40/50 you will have pretty much no issues as long as you don’t have any blemishes on your credit report. Even if you can’t pay your bill in full, always, always, always pay your bill on time because your payment history and your debt-to-credit ratio are the two biggest factors of your score.

Brian Kelly: Once you get an Amex EveryDay, you can always upgrade later on. Just note, when you upgrade cards you also don’t usually get the biggest sign-up bonus possible. It’s usually best to apply brand new for another card so you can get the sign-up bonus. But always check the application — a lot of times if you have existing cards with a credit card company, they may ban you from getting a sign-up bonus for a certain amount of time. It really varies by issuer, by card — but always look on the application to see if there’s any restrictions in getting that bonus.

Brian Kelly: All right, now we’re going to take a quick pause to hear from our sponsors.

[Commercial break]

[Ringing sound]

Brian Kelly: Welcome back. Our next question comes from Caroline over in Salt Lake City, Utah. I’m guessing this one’s going to be about Delta. She’s wondering the best way to build status on a carrier and which credit cards to do so when you’re starting from zero. Started from the bottom and now I’m on the top, but I do remember when I had nary an elite status. I think that was an incorrect use of nary. When I had no elite status, I remember those days. Let’s hear from Caroline:

Caroline: So I recently graduated from grad school. I have no status and no credit card, and now that I have a job making real money, I have the income and the time to dedicate a couple days to traveling to try and build up status on a carrier. So I’m curious: If you had $6,000 to $8,000 and four to seven days, how would you build up status on a carrier and which credit cards would you use to do it? Thanks.

Brian Kelly: All right, here’s the deal. If you have some status in an airline, some airlines will let you status match or challenge, where they’ll kind of give you a fast track to status, but that’s not the case with you. So you’re starting from zero. I would pick an airline, you know the more you split up airlines and alliances, the harder it’s going to be. So being in Salt Lake, I would say you’d probably want to pick Delta, they’ve got the most flights, the most destinations. That being said, the second thing you might want to do is look at an airline co-branded credit card. Usually the ones that get up elite status are not cheap and you’ve got to spend a lot to get the elite miles, but, for example, the Delta Reserve Card is going to give you 15,000 MQMs for each $30,000 spent, and then if you spend $60,000 or more you’ll earn another 15,000 MQMs. So if you do spend a lot of money or have a business, that can be a really great way to jump start your status. However, it doesn’t come cheap.

Brian Kelly: Another thing you’ll have to look at is, if you want status these days it’s not about how much you fly, it’s about how much you spend. So look at the medallion qualifying dollars needed for each status level and think to yourself, “Am I going to spend that much in flights on DL ticketed” — Delta is DL — “flights and their partners?” It can be really confusing. So before you get on the, I call it the elite status hamster wheel — because once you get on it, it’s really hard to get off once it gets going. Elite status is kind of like a drug — make sure that you can not only hit those amount of dollars spent but dig into what qualifies, because not all taxes and fees — your whole ticket price — is not going to be included in that amount, and it gets really tricky on partners, especially with Delta.

Brian Kelly: It might make sense to get status in a program like Alaska Airlines that partners with a bunch of different airlines. It just really depends on where you’re going. But being based out of Salt Lake City, Delta’s probably your best bet, and they do make it the easiest if you’re a big spender to get status through the credit card.

Brian Kelly: As a last-ditch option, I don’t know where you work, but some big companies do have a set number of elite statuses to give to their top fliers. And also Delta Diamonds can gift elite status to people. So if you know someone, beg them for elite status. My favorite tip is it never hurts to ask.

Brian Kelly: All right, on to our next question.

A few of you asked about when it makes sense to use a co-branded card over a travel rewards or general points card.

Speaker 1: Is it better to use the American Express Platinum Card to book a flight, or should I use the Delta Reserve Card to book a flight? Thanks a lot — keep up the great work. Really love your page.

Brian Kelly: All right, so here’s the thing, in general using airline co-branded cards, some of them make you use the card in order to get the perks like free checked bags. So if you’re checking a ton of bags with guests, that can be hundreds of dollars, in which case it would make sense to use the co-brand. Now when it comes to Delta versus Amex Platinum, Amex Platinum’s going to give you 5x points versus 2x on a Delta co-branded. Amex points are way more valuable as well. So on points it makes way more sense to use the Platinum.

Brian Kelly: However there is a third party marching into the scene here. The Chase Sapphire Reserve gives 3x and Chase Points are really valuable as well. You may be thinking, “Well, three is less than five, Brian. What the heck are you thinking?” But Chase comes in with up to $10,000 in trip protection, and while most of the time you won’t need to use this benefit, we had a lot of TPG readers stranded in Iceland when WOW Air went under out of the blue. Can you imagine waking up in an island in the middle of the Atlantic and being like, “Oh wait, I don’t have a flight home, and the only flights available are $2,000 for coach in a middle seat.” Well for me, the coach middle seat thing would be a non-starter and I think I’d apply for Icelandic residency, but for those who use their Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase covered up to $10,000 to rebook themselves. So they didn’t have to wait for the airline or have someone help them, they were able to book and then file a claim, and we heard a lot of TPG readers had no problem whatsoever.

Brian Kelly: I, in the past, had used Citi Prestige when I got stranded in Bali, they paid up to $5,000 a person. They have since rolled back a lot of those perks, so Citi: tsk-tsk, shame on you. But the Chase Sapphire Reserve at 3x on all travel and dining and those flight protections is a solid balance of points and perks, in my humble opinion. Zach, what do you think? Did I get that right?

Zach Griff: Yeah Brian, for sure. It almost always makes sense to put your travel airfare purchases on a transferrable points currency card such as, as you mentioned, the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Amex Platinum. But there’s one thing to note: If you’re really close to hitting an elite status threshold — let’s say you’re at Delta Gold and you want to get to Delta Platinum — and you have a little more travel coming up this year but not enough, one of the things to consider about a co-branded card is that a lot of them offer Medallion Qualification Miles, or MQMs, and that can be a really easy way to top off your Elite Qualifying Mile balance for the year. In the Delta Reserve’s case, for every $30,000 you spend on the card, you’ll earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles, and that’s only up to $60,000 of spend. So in total from holding the Delta Reserve Card, you can earn 30,000 MQMs — which in many cases is enough to get you bumped up to the next elite tier.

Brian Kelly: Great point.

Speaker 3: Which is a better card to use to get the most value for points? Should I use my Bonvoy Card at a Marriott or should I use my Chase Sapphire Reserve — I get 3 points at a Marriott. Thank you.

Brian Kelly: Now let’s flip to hotels. If you’re staying a Marriott, should you use your Sapphire Reserve for 3x or a Bonvoy Boundless which gives 6x per dollar spent at Marriott? So we value Marriott (points) around .8 cents apiece, that’s going to give you 4.8% back when you just look at the percent back in terms of points value, and that Sapphire Reserve gives 3x, but we value them at 2 cents, so that’s 6%. So on the high level, it would make sense to use a Sapphire Reserve, because you’re getting a more valuable points currency that gives you more flexibility down the line. However, Zach, is there ever a case where you would use a Marriott card over a Reserve?

Zach Griff: Yeah. If you’re really looking to top off your Marriott balance, you definitely want to put that spend onto the Marriott card because there are no transferrable points currencies that efficiently send points into Marriott. So in that case, if you’re looking to top off an award, for say an awesome trip in the Maldives, definitely maybe consider putting some of that spend on the Marriott cards.

Brian Kelly: You say Mal-dives, I say Mahl-dives. What do you guys think, who’s right here? We should do a poll.

Brian Kelly: All right, on to our next question.

Harrison: My question is, how do you book other flights on different web portals — so if I want to book a Delta flight using British Avios or something like that, I’m really confused about that. I’m trying to book a trip to Australia and Qantas wants a million plus points for lie-flat seat.

Brian Kelly: So, Zach Griff, travel guru at The Points Guy is going to answer for me. BRB.

Zach Griff: Hey guys, I’m Zach Griff, TPG’s travel analyst, answering your questions. Thanks, Harrison from Fort Lauderdale, for that question. Getting to Australia using miles is really hard, especially if you’re looking to fly in a premium cabin like business or first class. As you mentioned, Qantas rarely releases award seats in their premium cabins on the direct flights from the mainland US to, like, Sydney or Melbourne. So, the first tip is you really have to be open and flexible about connecting. There are so few flights that operate from the mainland US directly to Australia, and those that do are often sold out, at passengers willing to pay a premium in dollars and in miles to fly on those non-stop flights.

Zach Griff: If you’re open to connecting, you unlock a bunch more options that can help you get to Australia in comfort. One of my tips is look at flights that connect in the Middle East or in Asia. Since you’re based in South Florida, there are two Middle East carriers that fly directly from Miami and Fort Lauderdale over to the Middle East. Qatar flies from Miami to Doha and Emirates flies nonstop from Fort Lauderdale to Dubai. And from there, you can oftentimes find availability on flights from the Middle East over to different cities in Australia. Putting together an itinerary like that, if you were to find Saver Award space, can be much cheaper than the million miles that you were quoted with Qantas, and it can also be extremely comfortable. If you’re looking to redeem for seats on Qatar Airways, definitely check out American Airlines. They have a great partner award chart with Qatar. And if you are looking to redeem for flights on Emirates, you can check out booking directly through their program, which is a transfer partner of the American Express Rewards Program, or you can maybe take a look at using Alaska Miles.

Zach Griff: You did mention that you were thinking about using British Airways Avios, British Airways is a Oneworld member, so they wouldn’t partner with Delta, but one of the other things to consider is that they use a distance-based award chart, and since Australia’s extremely far from South Florida, their award costs are often astronomically high even for saver space in premium cabins from the East Coast of America to Australia. And while there aren’t any direct flights from South Florida to Asia, like Hong Kong or Beijing, you can definitely take a look at connecting from South Florida to another gateway like Dallas or Denver or some of the West Coast cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco. Maybe spending a day or two there, or just connecting there, then flying to, let’s say, Hong Kong or Beijing, and then from there piecing together a flight to Australia.

Zach Griff: As I said, getting to Australia is really hard. For more advice, definitely take a look at The Points Guy, we’ve got some great guides on getting to Australia using points and miles.

Zach Griff: Our next question comes from Daniel in Cleveland, Ohio, who is asking about the Avios program.

Daniel: My question is about the Avios programs, specifically about Iberia, British Airways and Aer Lingus. These are all airline programs that currently have large credit card sign-up opportunities. Would it make sense for me to get all three of these cards? And if so, could I then combine them into one airline program and have one large stockpile of points? Thanks Points Guy, love the show, love the site.

Zach Griff: It seems like Daniel’s a little bit confused, as I was back in the day, about what exactly is going on. There’s Iberia Avios, there’s British Airways Avios, Aer Lingus is factored into this equation. What is going on here? So the good news is, with some exceptions, all Avios can be combined if the accounts have been opened for longer than 30 days. So let’s say you have some Avios in your British Airways account and some Avios in your Iberia account, as long as your accounts have been open and active for longer than 30 days, you’ll have no problem combining them. One thing to note is that the Iberia Avios accounts, they have to be active for at least 90 days, but as long as they’re active so there’s some type of points transfer or something or points being earned, you’ll have no problem combining the points.

Zach Griff: Allowing you transfer points between your Iberia and British Airways accounts opens up a lot more flexibility for when you’re looking to redeem. In some cases it definitely makes sense to redeem Iberia Avios versus British Airways Avios and vice versa. So make sure that you take a look and compare between the two, especially as it relates to the fuel surcharges and the taxes, which can oftentimes be lower with Iberia Avios for tickets booked directly on Iberia. And one last thing to note, is many credit cards recently have had these huge transfer bonuses to British Airways Avios, and you can take advantage of that by transferring your points to BA with a bonus and then combining with your Iberia Avios. If you’re signing up for credit cards, Amex and Chase have recently had huge transfer bonuses to British Airways Avios, so that’s another thing to consider if you are looking to top off an Iberia Avios account: You can combine those points that you transferred with a bonus to BA, and then redeem from your Iberia account.

Zach Griff: Those two were great questions, and if you did not get featured on this episode, we will be having another round later this year. Don’t forget to call us on our hotline 1-877-TPG-TRVL and we may just use your voicemail in the next episode.

Brian Kelly: All right Zach, you are one smart cookie. If you want to follow Zach, make sure you do on Instagram @_ZachGriff. And I’m going to take it from here because I need to earn my keep today and prove that I’ve still got it as The Points Guy.


Brian Kelly: All right, before we go to the break, let’s do one more. This is from Meredith in Chicago.

Meredith: I was calling to see if you had an easy way to know if flights using awards or upgrades were truly available. I’ve had a few instances where I’ve transferred Chase or American Express points to United or another airline, and only after transferring it does it then tell me that that particular flight is not eligible for the upgrade or the award points that it previously stated, and then I lose my miles. Hope to hear from you soon, bye.

Brian Kelly: Great question Meredith. Here is what I think. So for the most part, Chase and Amex points transfer usually instantly to partners — however there are some exceptions, like Singapore Airlines. With Singapore, they will actually allow you to hold Singapore awards only, not Star Alliance Rewards. And United transfers instantly from Chase, but sometimes you’ll see what we call phantom award availability, where you’ll be on searching for awards and it’ll look like there’s something available so, you know, your heart starts pitter-pattering, “Ooh, I’m going to fly Lufthansa first class.” You go in, you transfer your points and you go in to book and, “I’m sorry there are no more seats available on this flight.” And you want to pull your hair out and scream and throw your monitor across the room. Been there, almost done that. American Airlines does allow for award holds but in general, most of the programs have switched away from allowing people to hold awards.

Brian Kelly: So, some of this game — especially with transferrable points — you really need to understand the transfer times. Sometimes things happen that are out of your control. For example, Lufthansa is having this legal situation where transferring Marriott points to Lufthansa is now held up in the courts for this wonky law they just passed or legislation that Lufthansa is translating interestingly about currencies, and whether frequent flier miles are actually a currency. But basically there is some risk to this game but there’s also a big reward.

Brian Kelly: So understanding the transfer times — TPG has posts on all the major transferrable points currencies and how long it takes. And as a backup before you transfer, if you want to call a phone agent and confirm that the space is there, usually you can transfer while you’re on the phone and book. Sometimes they will charge you a fee, but if you need that peace of mind, paying $25 might give you that kind of insurance policy. And once again, you can always say, “Hey, this wasn’t working online so can you waive that phone booking fee because I couldn’t do it online?” And a lot of times they will waive it. Just tell them The Points Guy said you could. Just kidding. I accept no legal responsibility for waived phone fees. Seriously.

Brian Kelly: Okay, this has been so much fun. I love hearing from you guys and we’re not done yet. Keep it locked because I’m going to respond to some of your LGBTQ travel questions. That’s all in honor of the Summer of International Pride and Stonewall 50 right after the break.

Brian Kelly: Did you know that TPG has official merch? That’s right, you know when you see me on Instagram in my “Jetlagged AF” shirt, we actually made those. It’s super, super high quality. You can get a bunch of TPG-approved stuff even for your dog or baby. and check it out. And last but never least:

Brian Kelly: We’re going to Israel.

Brian Kelly: Head over to to keep an eye on my vlog. We are currently knee-deep in my epic trip to Israel. Everything from United Polaris 787-10 review to coming in hot on a hot air balloon — we nearly flipped over. It was kind of scary but also really fun, and of course we got it all on camera. New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday.

Brian Kelly: Welcome back to Part 2 of our Talking Points listener question Hotline Bling episode. We got a number and you called. We are overwhelmed with the VM love over at 1-877-TPG-TRVL. Once again, call me and leave a question, or, you know, compliment, to 1-877-TPG-TRVL. Leave your social media handle so if and when we answer your question, we can make sure you hear it. As promised, the second half of this episode is going to cover your questions related to LGBTQ travel. First one up is from Sam and what a fantastic one it is:

Sam: Hey Brian, my boyfriend and I are planning a trip to the Maldives inspired by you. We booked with points at the Saint Regis, look like a great property. We’ve enjoyed watching your videos on the property. The one question/concern that I have is being a gay couple going to the Maldives and just the laws that exist, you know, knowing that homosexuality is a crime there, but we’ve also been encouraged to go, knowing that you’re an out gay male and that you enjoy the Maldives and that particular resort so much. So what advice do you have? What are the do’s and the don’ts? And even if I could be, you know, a little inappropriate — even in the bedroom, what’s on or off limits? Thank you so much, look forward to hearing from you and hope you’re enjoying your champagne and movies in first class. Bye.

Brian Kelly: All right, here’s the thing, there’s a lot of places in the world that have laws against being gay. You know, the Maldives is a Muslim country. So the Maldives is interesting. I’ve been five times and I’ve never once felt uncomfortable, and I’ve been with exes of mine and am planning to go back because there’s so many fabulous new hotels opening up like the JW and the Waldorf Astoria, which look amazing. And here’s the thing, on the main island of Male, I would probably be a little bit nervous to check in. You know, the airport hotel I’ve stayed at before with my boyfriend, and it was not an issue at all. But you know you’ve got to respect local culture, so the deeper you go into the island, I would probably be a little bit conservative.

Brian Kelly: But the thing about the Maldives is once you get to your resort, you’re basically in the country of Marriott, for example in the Saint Regis. You know the resorts are tiny little dots, atolls they call them, and when you’re there you’re really in this sort of utopia. Yes, there will be Maldivian people working at the resort and they’re almost always extremely friendly and I’ve never once had any sort of judgment. People who work at resorts are used to seeing gay people. You know the gays love to splurge, especially at a Saint Regis.

Brian Kelly: So going to the Saint Regis Maldives, you will not feel like you are being judged. The GM, when I was there, used to be the GM of The W Maldives, which is one of the gayest hotel chains in the world — and I say that with love — and I think he was British. So basically, when you’re in the Maldives, it is a country with some interesting laws against LGBT, but when you’re on the resort, it’s like you’re in that resort’s special place. And you should not feel guilty going to the Saint Regis Maldives, or worried. Have a blast. Check out my TPGV episodes on the Saint Regis Maldives. You can just google The Points Guy, Saint Regis Maldives review. I’m actually with my ex-boyfriend in those videos and we had a blast and had no issues whatsoever.

Brian Kelly: All right, the next question is one I think we all need to pay attention to. Nolan from Minneapolis called in and had this to say:

Nolan: My question for you is, when someone with a trans identity is traveling to, maybe Middle Eastern countries, or countries that have put in repressive laws, what are some considerations that maybe someone with a trans identity should consider when traveling to those places? Thank you.

Brian Kelly: All right here’s the deal, according to TSA rules require that you provide your name, gender and date of birth when making an airline reservation. The Secure Flight program, which they created after 9/11, it checks the reservation information against government watchlists. The gender information included in your reservation is used to eliminate false matches with the same or similar names, not to evaluate a person’s gender. So to avoid hassles, the name and date of birth included in your reservation should match your government-issued photo ID that you’re going to provide at the airport.

Brian Kelly: Now, when you’re going through the actual ID checkpoint, the TSA travel documents checkers will check, as you enter security, to make sure that your name on your ID matches your boarding pass. It does not matter whether your current gender presentation matches the gender marker on your ID or your presentation in your ID photo. And the TSA officer should not comment on this. I’ve talked to several trans travelers about this — in fact at our TSA Pride March, we had the gorgeous and charming Carmen Carrera, and I asked her about traveling, especially during her transition, and she said that things now are actually pretty good. But you still can have challenges.

Brian Kelly: So in the US specifically, I think the TSA has been trained to not give trans people a hard time if the genders don’t match what they think they see. But you know, of course, know your rights, know the rules, and when traveling abroad, especially in countries where LGBT rights are in question, you may have a harder time. And I’m not the best person to answer that, but that’s why I recommend going to and asking people who have experienced it firsthand.

Brian Kelly: Thanks Nolan for asking that great question.

Brian Kelly: Before we go, I want to remind you to listen to episode #27 with the executive director of Rainbow Railroad. Kimahli Powell is doing amazing things to help LGBT people around the world. So listen to that episode, and I encourage you to donate to our Prizeo campaign where we are going to be giving away a trip, using a million Chase points, planned by yours truly. All the proceeds from our campaign go to Rainbow Railroad and helping LGBT people escape persecution globally. Donations start at as little as $10. So go to, P-R-I-Z-E-O Once again, you can be entered to win an amazing trip planned by me, using a million Chase points., and you can help us in bringing people to safety.

Brian Kelly: That’s it for this Hotline Bling listener question episode of Talking Points. Thanks to all of our callers who were brave enough to leave us some great messages and questions. If I didn’t answer yours, don’t worry, we’re going to be doing more of these. And if you have a burning question, ring me up: 1-877-TPG-TRVL. No question is stupid, only people. Just kidding. Ask away. I’ve loved hearing from you, so keep ’em coming, and please recommend Talking Points to your friends — you know it is your favorite podcast, after all. We want to keep this going; I’m having a ton of fun doing it. And if you haven’t checked out my vlog, my Israel episodes are up, including my tell-all first class 747 flight review which was, let’s just say, an experience,

Brian Kelly: This episode was produced by Margaret Kelley and Caroline Schagrin. Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder and as always, special thanks to my wonderful assistant, Christie Matsui. I’m Brian Kelly, safe travels after the beep.

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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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