Frequent Flyer Tips for Experienced Travelers

How Do I Know if a Flight Redemption is Good Value?

How Do I Know if a Flight Redemption is Good Value?

When you collect points and miles you do it for the value, not for the mere pleasure of accumulating millions of them–although there is certainly some excitement when you see them piling up. I still remember how thrilled I was to accrue my first 30,000 miles. But I was even more excited to make my first redemption for a round-trip flight to South East Asia with the return flying Thai and Lufthansa first class. This was a ticket worth a few thousand dollars in value. The economy round trip-ticket would have easily run $1,200.

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How to Maximize SPG Points with Marriott Travel Packages

How to Maximize SPG Points with Marriott Travel Packages

When Mariott and SPG merged last year we wrote about the new opportunities the merger created. First Marriott quickly installed a policy allowing members of either program to convert their points back and forth at a ratio of one SPG point to three Marriott points.

SPG points are one of the most valuable currencies in the travel rewards game, with the ability to transfer to over 30 airline partners providing a great deal of flexibility. And if you transfer increments of 20K SPG points to airline partners, you receive a 5K mile bonus, effectively making SPG points worth 1.25 airline miles of your choice. But you can do even better than that. We will show how you can get more than 1.25 miles per point and get a free hotel stay.

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Could Chase Devalue Ultimate Rewards and How to Protect Your Points

Could Chase Devalue Ultimate Rewards and How to Protect Your Points

Chase recently sent out a survey to selected cardholders to gauge opinions on several potential negative changes that could be made to the Ultimate Rewards program and its associated credit cards. While no changes are imminent, this survey could give us some insight into what may occur in the future. Since program devaluations are a constant source of risk in the travel rewards game, it helps to consider which opportunities currently provide outsized value that may be ripe for devaluation.

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Top 9 Reasons Why I Love the Premium Citi Prestige Card

Top 9 Reasons Why I Love the Premium Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige credit card is one of my top cards. In fact, I always use it for booking flights, but it is also great for a few other reasons! Here’s why I love the Citi Prestige.

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Guide to the Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free Benefit

Guide to the Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free Benefit

One of the greatest –if not the greatest –credit card benefits is the 4th Night Free perk exclusively with the Citi Prestige® Card. Today we’ll do a deep dive into what it is and how to use it.

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Use the Fifth Freedom Right to See More Places

Use the Fifth Freedom Right to See More Places

World leaders tend to argue about everything, but they have worked out a lot of issues to make sure that most of our flights go smoothly. The International Civil Aviation Association (ICAO) recognizes five Freedoms of the Air that make modern commercial aviation possible. Since all countries are protective of their borders and revenues, international treaties had to be put in place to ensure that airlines can fly freely anywhere in the world

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American Express Authorized User and Spending Bonuses

American Express Authorized User and Spending Bonuses

Lately American Express has been offering some great authorized user and spending bonuses for several of their cards. Many of these bonuses are targeted, but it might be worth calling American Express to see if you can get the promotion applied to your account. Below I will go into detail about the authorized user and spending bonuses that have been popping up so you know what to be on the lookout for!

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Hard-to-Reach Islands You Can Get to With United’s Excursionist Perk

Hard-to-Reach Islands You Can Get to With United’s Excursionist Perk

If you’re looking to maximize your hard-earned airline miles by booking trips to multiple cities, or even countries, United MileagePlus is one of the best programs to do just that. The program allows for a longer stop in a city on the way to your destination, dubbed the Excursionist Perk, which lets passengers book a free one-way flight within a round-trip. Essentially, you can book three flights for the price of two if you do it correctly. A stop can be as short as 24 hours and as long as the calendar allows you to book.

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Do You Need New Visas When You Get A New Passport?

Do You Need New Visas When You Get A New Passport?

Say you’re planning a trip to a country for which you have a valid visa, but then you realize something: by the time you depart, your passport will have expired, but your visa will not have. What can you do?

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Mid-year Status Considerations for Airline Loyalty Programs

Mid-year Status Considerations for Airline Loyalty Programs

Now that the year is half over it’s a good time for savvy travelers to reflect on the awesome and free trips they’ve taken, on the miles they’ve flown, and on the status they’ve achieved or hope to.

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How Long Can You Live on Hotel Card Sign-Up Bonuses

How Long Can You Live on Hotel Card Sign-Up Bonuses

There are quite a few different hotel credit cards out there all offering lucrative sign-up bonuses. Some offer a number of free nights while others offer a certain number of points. It’s pretty clear how many nights you can stay for free with the first type of sign-up bonus, but the cards that offer points are a bit more tricky. Here are the main hotel credit cards currently available and the number of free nights you can get — plus the total number of nights you could live out of hotels if you got all of these cards at the same time (which I totally don’t recommend)!

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Earn More Miles with the MileagePlus X App

Earn More Miles with the MileagePlus X App

United Airlines is one of the biggest airlines in the world, and therefore it’s no surprise that their loyalty program, MileagePlus, is also one of the most popular airline loyalty programs. It allows you to earn miles by flying on United Airlines flights, and redeeming those miles for free flights on United. But did you know that you can also earn United miles from your everyday shopping, through the MileagePlus X app?

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Premium Credit Cards: Which Ones to Keep

Premium Credit Cards: Which Ones to Keep

In the last year several banks have come out with new premium cards, and there are more to come. With an onslaught of ultra-expensive credit cards tempting us with huge sign-up bonuses, deciding which card to keep becomes a real dilemma. As of now, there are seven premium credit cards that you might want to hold due to their bonuses and other perks:

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Chase 5/24 Rule – Exceptions, Application Tips and More

Chase 5/24 Rule – Exceptions, Application Tips and More

Chase makes great credit cards. The Sapphire Reserve and Preferred top just about everyone’s best travel credit card list, including mine. The Ultimate Rewards program is super-flexible, the points are uber-valuable and the cards have great earning potential. Unfortunately, Chase’s restrictive 5/24 rule can make it hard to get those great cards.

If you’re thinking about getting a Chase card, I’ve got you covered. Below is everything you need to know about the 5/24 rule. And if you’re looking for good alternatives to Chase cards, check out these suggestions.

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How to Travel to the Caribbean with Chase UR Points

How to Travel to the Caribbean with Chase UR Points

Although it’s probably hot enough for polar bears to wear sunscreen this summer, it’s never too early to start thinking about your winter vacation in a tropical climate.

The Caribbean and its beautiful islands, sandy beaches and festive umbrella cocktails are often the go-to destination for those looking to escape the snowy winter. Unfortunately, high demand also means high prices. So how do you avoid the hefty price tag when it comes to traveling to the Caribbean? Having a healthy balance of Ultimate Rewards can help. Let’s take a look at the possible redemptions with Chase’s transfer partners.

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The Alaska and Virgin America Merger Impact on Partner Airlines

The Alaska and Virgin America Merger Impact on Partner Airlines

The recent merger of Alaska and Virgin America has created America’s fifth largest airline. We know that Alaska is going to drop the Virgin America brand, but that was originally supposed to happen in 2019. It’s apparently been moved up. Virgin America’s Elevate program is now scheduled to end on January 1, 2018. Its airline partnerships will begin dissolving even earlier.

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Saving Miles with Asiana Award Bookings

Saving Miles with Asiana Award Bookings

Asiana Airlines, a Korean carrier, is a diamond in the rough in the points and miles game. It’s a lesser known program that is not often discussed in the travel blogosphere. However, Asiana has an excellent award chart that offers significantly lower award prices for Star Alliance partner flights than most airlines in this alliance. This is especially true relative to United Airlines, the Star Alliance member with whom US travelers have the most familiarity, in large part due to the transferability of Chase Ultimate Rewards to United. In this post, we will discuss how to earn Asiana miles, sweet spots in the award charts, and some tips for booking award tickets.

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Using Etihad Miles and Their Sweet Spots

Using Etihad Miles and Their Sweet Spots

Etihad Airways is a Abu-Dhabi-based airline that offers worldwide coverage, luxurious premium cabin seats, and a lucrative rewards program. Etihad Guest, the loyalty program for the airline, is a very valuable program, but one that many people in the US are not familiar with. While Etihad is not part of any formal airline alliance, the airline has many partners, including ANA, American Airlines, Air Berlin, Jet Airways and more.

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How to Use Delta Upgrade Certificates

How to Use Delta Upgrade Certificates

Delta upgrade certificates are one of the best benefits of elite status offered by any major US airline. There are two varieties – regional upgrade certificates (RUCs) and global upgrade certificates (GUCs). These instruments allow fliers to skip to the front of the pecking order for upgrades when booking paid flights.

For travelers seeking to fly in a premium cabin, upgrade certificates can save an enormous number of miles relative to booking an award ticket. In addition, upgrade availability is often in greater supply than low-level award availability, meaning you have a better chance of being able to work your way into a premium cabin in the first place.

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How the Annual Travel Credit on Premium Credit Cards Can Pay Off

How the Annual Travel Credit on Premium Credit Cards Can Pay Off

You might be taken aback by the $450-$550 price tag on a premium credit card, but you need to weigh the benefits to see if the fee is worth it. One of the biggest payoffs beyond the sign-up bonus the first year is the annual travel credit one gets with a premium card. When you put that together with lounge access and the other benefits these cards offer you might find the card not only pays for itself but gives you extra funds for travel.

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