Your end-of-year to-do list, why traveling to Hawaii is worth it and more

Dec 28, 2019

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Each Saturday, we round up the top miles, points and travel news that you might have missed on TPG this week. Here’s what you need to know:

Your 2019 end-of-year credit card to-do list

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)

As 2019 comes to an end, it’s important to utilize all of your credit card benefits that expire at the end of the year and plan for 2020. You’ll also want to avoid seven common end-of-year points and miles mistakes as well.

Why traveling to Hawaii is worth it

The Hilton Waikiloa. (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

TPG’s Summer Hull explains why it’s worth the time, cost and hassle to travel to Hawaii instead of other beach destinations.

Alaska Airlines exits 2 Los Angeles, Sacramento routes

An Alaska Airlines 737-800 at LAX airport in March 2019 with American Airlines and JetBlue airplanes in the background (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)
An Alaska Airlines 737-800 at LAX airport. (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

Alaska Airlines will end service on two California routes and downgrade another two to seasonal status next May, as it focuses on its core Pacific Northwest markets.

One of the world’s biggest cruise ships is heading to Texas

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Royal Caribbean’s massive 5,484-passenger Allure of the Seas will undergo a $165 million overhaul before it begins sailing out of Galveston, Texas. If you’re looking to take a cruise, you may be interested in how to book a cruise using points and miles.

Last chance: How to make sure you’ve used your Amex airline fee credit before the year ends

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

The airline fee credit that is provided as a benefit by multiple American Express cards is a valuable perk (enrollment required). Here’s how to make sure you’ve used your credit before the end of the year, as well as some ideas for using any remaining credit you may have.

How to track where your plane is before your flight

A United 737 MAX in storage at LAX (Photo by Alberto Riva/TPG)
(Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

Here’s how to track the location of a specific aircraft, which can give you more time in the lounge or at home during delays.

Antelope Canyon is canceling photo tours due to overcrowding

Antelope Canyon, sandstone formation, Arizona. (Photo by Csondy / Getty Images)
(Photo by Csondy/Getty Images)

Due to overcrowding, photo tours of Antelope Canyon are being canceled and tripods are being banned. But, you can still visit the popular tourist destination on a normal tour.

27 years in the biz: These are the 6 passenger types I hate getting stuck next to on a plane

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Here are some of the most annoying passenger behaviors on planes, according to TPG’s Benet Wilson.

6 versions of paradise: How to choose the right Hawaiian island for you

Kauai (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Kauai has so much natural beauty. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Let us help you choose the right Hawaii island. Or, if you can’t choose, consider island hopping to visit multiple islands during your trip.

10 years of the Dreamliner — why pilots love flying the 787

Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy
A Japan Airlines 787 aircraft at Tokyo Narita (NRT). (Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy)

It’s no secret that passengers love the 787 Dreamliner. But, here’s why pilots love flying the aircraft.

My Amex Platinum retention bonus: 20,000 Membership Rewards points

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

TPG’s JT Genter was recently offered a retention bonus on his The Platinum Card® from American Express. Here’s how and why he was offered the retention bonus even though he’s generally satisfied with the card and didn’t have any plans to close the card.

Why I swear by T-Mobile for my international phone and data plan

(Photo by @criene via Twenty20)
(Photo by @criene via Twenty20)

Although I swear by Google Fi for my international phone and data plan, TPG’s Alberto Riva defends his choice to use T-Mobile in this piece. Especially if you’re considering your options for international phone and data coverage, this piece is a must read.

Featured photo of the Grand Hyatt Kauai by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 100,000 Points Terms Apply.


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, up to $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber Cash annually (only for use in the U.S.)  (Enrollment required for select benefits)

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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