Frequent Flyer Tips for Experienced Travelers

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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How Premium Credit Cards Can Help You Access Airport Lounges

How Premium Credit Cards Can Help You Access Airport Lounges

Now that there are a number of new premium cards in the market it’s time to revisit the benefit of airport lounge access. It is one of the most popular ones for frequent travelers.  The lounge is a sanctuary where you can unwind in a comfortable chair, work or play on your computer with free Wi-Fi, grab a complimentary latte or beer, watch some news and sometimes even take a shower.

Some lounges even provide more than basic comfort, with upscale décor, delicious light meals and inventive cocktails.  You might even want to arrive at the airport early just to enjoy the lounge. There are a number of ways you can get access to this valuable perk including having a premium credit card. Let’s run through the options.

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U.S. Bank Altitude Rewards and UBS Visa Infinite Cards Hit the Market

U.S. Bank Altitude Rewards and UBS Visa Infinite Cards Hit the Market

The premium travel credit card market has turned into a competitive battlefield where the largest banks are fighting for customers’ loyalty and attention. U.S. Bank and UBS are the two latest banks to offer new potentially lucrative cards to the market: the Altitude Reserve and Visa Infinite credit cards. Let’s take a closer look at them.

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The Kings of Stopovers: Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific Programs

The Kings of Stopovers: Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific Programs

Stopovers are an incredibly valuable tool that allows you to see more places for the same amount of miles. This is one of the most underutilized perks of award travel, and one that is not generally available to passengers who pay for their ticket.

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How to Fly in First: Upgrades and Credit Cards

How to Fly in First: Upgrades and Credit Cards

It’s gotten harder for elites to get upgraded to first, and non-status fliers never had a chance. Don’t despair, though, you don’t have to pay hard-earned cash for the privilege of flying in style. There are still strategies to get up front, whether you rely on a free upgrade or pay your way with miles.

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Where To Search For Award Space for Flights on Airlines in the Oneworld Alliance

Where To Search For Award Space for Flights on Airlines in the Oneworld Alliance

Knowing where and how to search for award space is one of the most complicated and important aspects of using your frequent flyer miles effectively. Unfortunately, the airlines do not always make this an easy task.

Some airlines only show awards for some partners and other airlines won’t show you all of the valid connections you can make. This article is going to look at where are the best places to search for award space for oneworld alliance members. There are currently 14 full members of the as well as a handful of member affiliates.

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Why Alaska Airlines Miles Are Awesome and Considerations For Redeeming

Why Alaska Airlines Miles Are Awesome and Considerations For Redeeming

Alaska Airlines miles are some of the most valuable airline miles out there. The Mileage Plan award program has some very unique and useful features but also some restrictions that can make their miles more difficult to use than other programs.

Here’s why I love Alaska Airlines miles even though they can be tough to use (and some considerations to make them less tough to use).

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Comparing Top-Tier Hyatt and Starwood Elite Status

Comparing Top-Tier Hyatt and Starwood Elite Status

With the launch of the new World of Hyatt Program, Hyatt is really upping their game when it comes to their new top-tier status, which will now be called Globalist Status. Previously, this was referred to as Hyatt Diamond status in the former Hyatt Gold Passport Program. With new benefits added, we’re going to see how Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum status compares.

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How to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi ThankYou Programs to fly Delta

How to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi ThankYou Programs to fly Delta

Transferring points from credit card rewards programs, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, or American Express Membership Rewards is a great way to fly on their partner airlines, but that’s just the beginning. Since so many airlines are members of airline alliances (and those that aren’t can partner with other airlines in ways you wouldn’t expect), it feels sometimes that you can use points to fly on almost every one of them.

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Comparing Premium Economy Products on the Domestic Legacy Carriers

Comparing Premium Economy Products on the Domestic Legacy Carriers

Over the past several years, airlines have taken steps to differentiate their classes of product segment in order to maximize revenue. Cabin configurations traditionally consisted of either two classes (economy and business class) or three classes (economy, business and first class).

Now planes are configured with four or even five cabins, with the more recent additions being premium economy. In many cases, premium economy has become the new “middle class” as airlines have done away with first class, and are flying with planes that have standard economy, premium economy and business class.

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The Credit Scores You Need for the Best Travel Credit Cards

The Credit Scores You Need for the Best Travel Credit Cards

Are you ready to apply for a new rewards credit card? But maybe you’re not sure which one you’ll qualify for? We’ve taken a look at the major travel cards on the market and figured out the credit scores you’ll need to get them.

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How to Use Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points and Chase Ultimate Rewards to Fly American Airlines

How to Use Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points and Chase Ultimate Rewards to Fly American Airlines

United is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Delta is a partner of American Express Membership Rewards, but you won’t find American Airlines in the transfer partners list of major credit card rewards programs. That, however, doesn’t mean you can’t fly American using the points from these programs and Citi’s ThankYou program.

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How to Get Elite Status at a Hotel Fast Through Matches, Challenges and Credit Cards

How to Get Elite Status at a Hotel Fast Through Matches, Challenges and Credit Cards

Do you want to enjoy all the benefits of elite status at your favorite hotel, including complimentary room upgrades, discounts, club access and more? There are a number of ways you can earn status quickly.

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