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TPG Talks episode eight: Advanced redemption tactics

June 13, 2020
4 min read
Diamond Beach in Nusa Penida Bali.
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In some cases, redeeming points and miles can be simple, but in many instances, it's quite complex. How do you find availability for premium-class flights? What's the best program to use to book those awards? And what are some advanced strategies for maximizing your loyalty rewards?

We attempted to answer these questions (and more) on this week's TPG Talks webinar, when Loyalty and Engagement Editor Richard Kerr joined me to discuss advanced redemption tactics. We shared some of our favorite strategies for making the most of your points and miles, then did a rapid-fire overview of key transfer partners from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

If you're looking to learn more about maximizing your credit card rewards, check out the recording of this week's talk:

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Show notes

  • 2:00 - Fast Facts about What’s Going on in Points and Miles
  • 5:10 - The Power of Transfering Points
  • 8:01 - Stopovers and Open Jaws
  • 10:27 - Multiple Award Seats on the Same Flight
  • 12:30 - Singapore KrisFlyer
  • 16:00 - United MileagePlus
  • 21:18 - Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • 26:00 - Etihad Guest
  • 30:50 - Air Canada Aeroplan
  • 34:43 - Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • 39:06 - Iberia Avios
  • 42:00 - All Nippon Airways (ANA)
  • 46:42 - How Far in Advance Should You Search for Award Availability?
  • 47:17 - Clarity Around Transfering Miles
  • 48:11 - Turkish Miles and Smiles
  • 51:55 - Avianca LifeMiles
  • 55:09 - Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
  • 58:35 - What is the Process for Booking an Award?
  • 1:02:10 - Booking One Way vs. Roundtrip Flights
  • 1:04:46 - How to Research What Non-Stop Flights are Available?
  • 1:06:55 - Singapore KrisFlyer Fifth Freedom Routes
  • 1:08:10 - Websites for Finding Availability By Airline Alliance

Follow-on reading and important links

Bottom line

TPG Talks is a series of live webinars hosted by team members from The Points Guy, covering various aspects of the travel, credit card and loyalty industries. Join from anywhere in the world on any device to learn tips and tricks that’ll get you closer to your next dream vacation.

For a list of previous sessions, visit our TPG Talks hub page, or click on any of the links below for individual recaps:

And if you haven't already be sure to sign up for our daily newsletter where we have lots of tips on award booking.

Featured image by Getty Images

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases