Premium credit cards can be a great value, but they also carry a hefty annual fee. You can enjoy free airport lounges, travel credits, insurance, and other perks and privileges, but at some point, you might decide you don’t want to pay the annual fee anymore or you want to try a different card. Many of the benefits like lounge access, the Global Entry credit are offered by several cards. But if you close the card you lose the credit line attached to it and that may bring down your credit score. There are also other considerations like what to do with the points you’ve accrued. So what’s the best plan to keep your credit line and points? You downgrade the card.
Types of Frequent Flyer Redemptions Explained: Region, Distance and Revenue Models
Frequent flyer programs have come a long way since American Airlines introduced AAdvantage in 1981. The vast majority of world airlines have frequent flyer programs, and while they differ widely, each of their redemption schemes is based on one of the three underlying principles: region-based, distance-based or revenue-based.
9 Things To Do If You Have Points/Miles That Are Going To Expire
So now that you’ve put in time and effort to earn a bunch of frequent flyer miles, hotel and bank points, you definitely don’t want to let those miles expire. Each program has it’s own expiration policy so check with your program to find the exact rules. In this post we’ll share some strategies for keeping your miles from expiring when that deadline appears on the horizon.
The Complete Guide to Earning Delta SkyMiles
There are plenty of ways to earn miles with airline partners on the ground through shopping, dining, staying in hotels, renting cars and taking advantage of a variety of promotions.
But there is one method that allows travelers to get a huge amount of miles in a short period of time. Getting a sign-up bonus for a credit card can get you a nice head start on your next vacation using Delta SkyMiles. Then you can top off the balance by taking advantage of other type of offers.
The Ultimate Guide to Using Google Flights
Google Flights is one of the most powerful tools for finding the best airline deals and routing. It can save you a ton of time relative to searching around on the websites of individual airlines, and it works well for both domestic and foreign airlines. It even has features built in to help you find great airfares even if you don’t know exactly where you want to go. More on that below. But first, what it it is how it works.
How to Use American Express Membership Rewards or Citi ThankYou Points to Fly United
The only U.S. credit card rewards program that allows you to transfer points to the United MileagePlus program is Chase Ultimate Rewards. But what if you don’t have Ultimate Rewards points? Does it mean you can’t use points from other rewards program to book an award flight on United?
Change and Cancellation Fees: Is It Worth Speculating on Award Flights?
Is it worth booking an award flight as soon as it becomes available? You might get the cheapest redemption or a hard-to-find first class seat on a popular flight, but your reservation will be about a year out. A lot can change in that time. Knowing how much you’ll have to pay to change or cancel that flight can determine if it’s worth taking the chance.
Where to Search for Star Alliance Award Space
Knowing where and how to search for award space is one of the most important, and most complicated aspects to using your frequent flyer miles effectively.
Unfortunately, the airlines do not make this an easy task. Some airlines only show awards for some partners, other airlines won’t show you all of the valid connections you can make – just to name some of the challenges you are likely going to run into. Oftentimes, you won’t even know that these things are problems.
The Best Credit Cards for Someone New to Points and Miles
If you’re new to earning points and miles through credit cards, you have many options when it comes to what cards you can get and earn the bonus on.
This changes when someone has been signing up for cards for a while due to some rules that various credit card issues have. Deciding which cards to get first is pretty straightforward if you know what to look for.
Are Virgin Atlantic Miles Better Than You Think?
It’s easy to get Virgin Atlantic miles because the carrier has a long list of transfer partners, but Virgin’s Flying Club program isn’t known for its generous redemptions. However, there are some great deals hidden in the program’s award charts that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Which Miles or Points Should You Use When Making an Award Booking?
Travel hackers have more choices than ever when it comes to which points or miles currency to use when making an award booking. In many cases, the most obvious choice isn’t always the most economical.
For example, if you wanted to book a flight within the U.S., you first choice may be to use the miles of a domestic airline. However, it may be possible to pay a lower number of miles by booking that same flight via the award chart of an international partner. In all cases, you will want to compare the value of mileage redemption to the redemption rates available for fixed value currencies.
Making Sense of Airline Fuel Surcharges
Beware of fuel surcharges when booking a flight, whether you are using miles or cash. The practice of imposing fuel surcharges blossomed around 2004 when world oil prices spiked. But they can vary greatly from one carrier to the next, even on carriers flying the same route with the same aircraft.
The Rundown on Ultra Low-Cost Carrier Fees
It doesn’t always make sense to use miles or points for a domestic ticket. You have to compare the price of the ticket to the amount of miles you would have to use for the same route. But beware of the extras you would have to pay if you are comparing the price of a ticket on one of the legacy carriers to one of the ultra low-cost carriers (ULCCs).
Talking Travel Rewards Credit Cards with Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly
If you had a chance to meet two of the world’s most famous astronauts, what would you talk about? On the Thursday before the Super Bowl last month, I was invited to attend the NFL Player’s Association VIP party at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Among the hundreds of attendees were dozens of current and former players, who easily stood out because of their size.
How Delta One Compares to Other Premium Cabins
Among the major U.S. airlines, Delta has long had the best economy class product. In fact, their major competitors, United and American, really aren’t close at this point.
However, in the premium cabin market, things aren’t as clear cut, and competition has been heating up lately. One key item to note up front is that while the name Delta One sounds like a name for a first-class product, Delta One is actually a business class product. This applies to both the transcontinental and international versions. Therefore, when making comparisons to other premium cabin products, business class is the proper benchmark.
Which Credit Cards Help You Avoid Baggage Fees
It might be hard to believe, but there was a time when you could check a bag on any airline for free. These days it will cost you at least $25 per bag on nearly all domestic flights. Each airline has its own policies, and some will even charge you for carry-ons. We have some suggestions for getting around those fees.
What You Need to Know About Basic Economy Fares and How To Get Around Them
American started rolling out its basic economy fares this month, joining the other two major legacy airlines in their attempt to compete with ultra-low cost carriers. That means service aboard domestic flights has taken another hit, but there are ways to get around at least some of the drawbacks of flying.
The Hotel Concierge Can Offer Elite Perks for Loyal Travelers
We focus so much on securing the top elite statuses to take advantage of the prescribed benefits that we forget that hotel staff is often empowered to help us even when we don’t have status. Fancy extra bottled water or more toiletries? A simple phone call can be the answer. And even a few dollars as a tip can score some nice perks.
Can a Gate Agent Give You a Free Upgrade or Other Perks?
Ever wonder what those gate agents are doing at a busy gate as they type furiously into a computer? What powers do they have that can help you as a frequent traveler?
The Ultimate Guide to Airline Benefits for Military Families
Over the last eight years, my family and I have been the beneficiary of some incredibly generous military benefits given by U.S.-flagged air carriers. While these typically take the form of free baggage, there are other benefits the smart military family should try and utilize. Today, I’ll cover all the benefits given to service members from each of the major carriers in the U.S.