Are you someone who frequently flies on Delta airlines and is looking for the best credit cards to maximize your travel rewards? This analysis will tell you the best cards to get and explain some tricks for squeezing all the benefits out of them.
Best Amex Credit Card Combo: Amex Everyday Preferred and Amex Platinum
The Everyday Preferred card and the Platinum card is the best two-card combination in the Amex cards lineup. The combined benefits of these cards provide just about everything a travel hacker could want in their credit card portfolio – high points earning rates on everyday spend, a valuable transferable points currency, and a wide variety of luxury travel benefits and purchase protections.
Which Amex Membership Rewards Earning Cards Are Worth Holding Long-Term?
Amex Membership Rewards is unique among transferable points programs in that it is the only program that has a card with no annual fee which still allows transfers to partners. That card is the Amex Everyday card (not to be confused with the Everyday Preferred card, which we take a closer look at below). So if you ever find yourself going through a period in which paying the annual fee on any other Amex cards is not worth it to you, but still want to retain your stash of MRs and ability to transfer them, a product change to the Everyday card may be the best option.
Which Credit Cards Offer Flight Delay Coverage?
If you have seen people at the airport sleeping on the floor, shaving in the restrooms, and generally looking as if they have spenT hours and hours at the airport, they probably have. Some of these situations might be due to long layovers, but some of them are caused by flight cancellations and lengthy delays. The US DOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics states that so far in 2016, almost 458,000 flights have been delayed, almost 35,000 flights have been canceled, and almost 7,000 flights have been diverted, and that only includes the data for the U.S.
15 Mistakes to Avoid When Your Are New to Loyalty Programs
If you’re just getting into collecting miles and points for free flights, it can be a bit overwhelming. There’s a lot of information out there and it can be hard to sift through it all. To help out, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen tips for rookies. Hopefully you’ll avoid some of these mistakes now that you know about them.
Which Airline Programs Let You Pool Miles?
Most airlines allow you to purchase award flights for other people. While this is a great option to have, it’s not as powerful as the ability to pool or share miles. Combining miles with family or friends can help you purchase award flights that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.
Best Credit Card Combos: Chase Freedom Unlimited and Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is quite possibly the best credit card combination in the entire travel rewards industry. The combined benefits of this combo provide just about everything a travel hacker could want in their credit card portfolio – high points earning rates, a very valuable currency, a diversified array of travel benefits and purchase protections, and point transferability. In addition, the ability to get so much out of only 2 cards allows travelers to simplify their wallets and reduce the cost of the annual fees they pay relative to a traveler who carries many cards. The Freedom Unlimited card has no annual fee while the Sapphire Reserve card carries a $450 annual fee.
How Small Business Owners Can Maximize Rewards
Some of the best credit cards for points and miles collectors are small business credit cards. However, many people believe that since they do not have a business with employees, that they are not eligible to apply for one of these cards. In fact, for most small business cards, individuals are eligible to apply as a sole proprietorship even if you are just starting out.
Which Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards Are Worth Holding Long Term?
With so many good travel credit cards on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which ones to keep in your wallet long-term. If you keep too many, you will end up paying a significant amount of money in annual fees which may end up costing you more than the value you receive from these cards. On the other hand, if you cancel a card and later decide you would like to have it again, you may be prevented from getting that card again due to Chase’s much-maligned 5/24 rule.
Ranking the Three Major U.S. Airlines
There have been numerous changes implemented and announced by the three major U.S. airlines, United, American and Delta, in recent months with modifications to frequent flyer programs, credit cards, bank relationships, planes, routes and service.
The Ultimate Guide to Global Entry and Automated Passport Control
The longest line you’ll face when traveling may not be at check-in or even airport security. Instead, clearing customs and immigration can take hours at busy airports when several international flights arrive at once. Global Entry is one of the best programs available to travelers who hope to skip past these lines in the U.S. We also give you a few other options that may be cheaper.
The Ultimate Guide to Clearing Security with TSA PreCheck
When you apply for TSA PreCheck, you’re essentially requesting a Known Traveler Number. This basic form of registration identifies you as an unlikely threat to national security and enables you to speed through the airport checkpoint with less scrutiny.
Citi Credit Card Application Rules
While Citi’s credit card application rules aren’t as complicated or restrictive as some issuers, they can still be confusing. It’s important to know these rules or else you risk being denied for a new card or forfeiting a sign-up bonus. In this post we‘ll cover the basics for applying and some strategies for insuring that you get the bonus.
How Much Are Citi ThankYou Rewards Points Worth?
Citi ThankYou Rewards are not as well known as Ultimate Rewards (Chase) or Membership Rewards (American Express), but the program has been growing in recent years, significantly increasing its appeal. Many readers may also find themselves newly flush with ThankYou points after applying for a credit card such as the Citi Prestige, which offers benefits like airport lounge access, a $200 annual airline credit, and the fourth night free at participating hotels.
Quick Ways to Boost Your Miles
Not long ago, I was planning a trip to visit some friends in Colorado. I had some extra Delta miles, so I checked out the availability for a long weekend in October. Round-trip tickets cost 10,000 miles or $275 in cash.
How Much Are Amex Membership Rewards Points Worth?
American Express Membership Rewards points are worth an average of 1.8 cents each. That takes into account the wide variety of redemption options available to you, whether transferring them directly to airline and hotel partners or using them as a credit when booking through the Membership Rewards Travel portal.
Learning Airline Terms Can Pay Off With a Free Night in Paris
Many things in the airline industry are not always clear. Surely, you have overheard someone in an airport or on a plane lamenting that they have a layover of two hours in the airport. Or perhaps, you caught part of a conversation of someone having a stopover for a couple of hours. Technically they are not the same thing, and one can actually be a good thing as it can give you the chance to stop somewhere en route before going on to your final destination.
How to Recover Airline Miles After They Expire
Hopefully you’ll never find yourself in a situation where you’ve allowed some of your frequent flyer miles to expire. Whether it’s 100 or 100,000 they represent miles that could have been used for a free flight or other award redemption. Fortunately, many loyalty programs have rules that enable you to restore lost miles to your account.
The best programs have a flat fee or return the miles complimentary on request. Most, however, use a sliding scale that can make it very expensive to restore large balances. Think carefully about how much you value those miles and what you might use them for before spending several hundred dollars to get them back. Finally, a few programs don’t offer any opportunity to restore lost miles. This post at least describes a few ways that their life can be extended if you act before they expire in the first place.
When Do Airline Miles Expire?
|Air Canada||Aeroplan|| 12 months
|Alaska Airlines||Mileage Plan||24 months
|American Airlines||AAdvantage||18 months
|British Airways||Executive Club||36 months
|Cathay Pacific||Marco Polo Club||36 months
|Delta Air Lines||SkyMiles||Never
|Hawaiian Airlines||HawaiianMiles||18 months
|KLM/Air France||Flying Blue|| 20 months*
|Singapore Airlines||KrisFlyer||36 months
|Southwest Airlines ||Rapid Rewards||24 months
|United Airlines||MileagePlus||18 months
*after last qualifying flight
American Airlines (AAdvantage)
Miles earned with American AAdvantage will expire after 18 months without any account activity in your AAdvantage account. If they expired on or after December 2002 (which applies to most people reading this post), then they are eligible for reactivation. American Airlines charges between $200 and $600 depending on how many miles you’d like to restore.
- $200 to restore 1-50,000 miles
- $400 to restore 50,001-75,000 miles
- $600 to restore more than 75,000 miles
United Airlines (MileagePlus)
Unlike American Airlines, United places a time limit on how quickly you must act to recover any lost miles. They can only be restored within 18 months after they expire. Fees are also much higher than with American Airlines if you wish to reinstate a very small number or a very large number of miles. Most travelers will only find it worthwhile to restore 50,000 miles or more — otherwise, just pay for the ticket with cash.
- $50 to restore 1-5,000 miles
- $200 to restore 25,001-30,000 miles
- $400 to restore 50,001-75,000 miles
- $600 to restore 100,001-125,000 miles
- $1,200 to restore 200,001-250,000 miles
- $2,500 to restore more than 500,000 miles
There are other intermediate price points not listed above, but you can view all of them by reading the complete terms and conditions. If you decide to proceed, log into the United website through this dedicated page.
Alaska Airlines (Mileage Plan)
Alaska Airlines claims that miles do not expire, although it reserves the right to close and delete an account that is inactive for 24 months. (Is there a difference? Supposedly this means that there’s a chance no immediate action will be taken.) Miles can be re-instated up to one year after they are “deleted” for a flat fee of $75.
Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards)
Rapid Rewards points will expire after 24 months without account activity, and there is no policy for reinstating points after they have expired. Most people report no luck in their requests to have miles returned; they are likely lost for good.
Hawaiian Airlines (HawaiianMiles)
Any earning or redemption activity in your HawaiianMiles account in the past 18 months will prevent your miles from expiring. Once miles have expired, they can be re-instated for a fee. This is not disclosed online, but multiple reports suggest the cost is roughly $30 per 1,000 miles. This would place it among the most expensive fees of any program, and it is probably not worthwhile to most people. Just buy the ticket with cash.
Air Canada (Aeroplan)
Aeroplan has one of the most strict policies, letting miles expire after just 12 months of account inactivity. In addition, there is no cap to the fees you must pay to have them restored. Expect an administrative fee of CAD$30 plus CAD$0.01 per mile. For example, restoring 50,000 miles would cost CAD$530.
British Airways (Avios)
Avios expire after 36 months of inactivity. There is no policy for reinstating Avios after they have expired, so they may be lost for good, but some people report success if the miles were lost recently. Miles that are returned may come with an additional requirement, such as new activity within the next three months, or else they’ll expire again — and for good.
Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)
KrisFlyer miles don’t expire all at once. Instead, individual miles expire three years after the month in which they were earned. This means that more recently earned miles will remain available for use. Keep this in mind when looking at your account balance and saving up for a large redemption.
Although expired miles will not be returned, the expiration date can be extended an additional six months (for general members) or 12 months (for elite members) at a rate of $12 for every 10,000 miles. Alternatively, you can redeem 1,200 miles instead of paying $12. These fees are levied online and increase to $20 or 2,000 miles when requesting an extension in person or by phone.
Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)
Like with Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program, individual Asia Miles are valid for 36 months after they were earned. Miles earned more recently will not expire. However, you can extend the validity of miles that are about to expire.
All members pay the same fee of $40 per 2,000 miles to extend their validity by an additional 36 months. This fee only applies online; in-person or telephone requests will cost $100 per 2,000 miles. Although both fees are high, the extension is particularly long and might make this transaction worthwhile.
KLM/Air France (Flying Blue)
Miles will not expire in Flying Blue as long as you take a qualifying flight every 20 months. Be aware that this policy excludes other forms of account activity from delaying expiration. In addition, Flying Blue does not have a policy on restoring miles after they have expired, so they may be lost permanently.
A Guide to Getting Twice the Rewards: How to Double Dip
If you think you’ve mastered the world of maximizing points and miles, think again. Get ready for these great ways to double dip your earnings when you travel.
Eight Simple Ways to Prevent Your Miles from Expiring
Many airline loyalty programs today have one of two approaches toward keeping miles valid for redemption. Some say that miles have a fixed expiration date, no matter what you do. Others say the miles will remain active indefinitely as long as you have an “active” account.