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Manaus: The Amazon Capital of Brazil

Manaus: The Amazon Capital of Brazil

Manaus, the gateway to the Amazon, was our last stop in Brazil after the beaches of Buzios and the World Cup matches in Rio.

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American Airlines AAdvantage Program Review

Who Is American Airlines AAdvantage Good For?

Long a favorite among frequent flyers, American Airlines AAdvantage has garnered the Freddie Awards (the top honor for frequent flyer programs) for the Program of the Year and the Best Elite Program for three years straight. But it’s in a really interesting position these days for two reasons: its merger with US Airways and the huge changes going on with the United and Delta programs.

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Maximizing Your Grocery Shopping for Miles

When it comes to earning miles for fabulous and nearly free vacations, don’t limit yourself in the ways in which you earn those precious miles. Sure, flying nets plenty of miles, as do credit-card sign-ups, but there are tons of everyday ways to build up your cache of miles or points. Something as simple as grocery shopping for your family can help you achieve your goal to fly somewhere for free or get a few free nights at a hotel.

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Buzios: Brazilian Beach Break

Buzios: Brazilian Beach Break

Buzios is a seaside resort town about three hours north of Rio de Janeiro. I go to Buzios every time I visit Rio, and my recent trip to Brazil for the World Cup was no exception. The town is picturesque and peaceful, even moreso after the hustle and bustle of the FIFA games.

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Starwood Preferred Guest Program Review

starwood preferred guest rewards

Who Is Starwood Preferred Guest Good For?

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) is much more than it seems. On the surface, it looks like a simple hotel program, not much different than the reward program run by other industry heavyweights like Hyatt, Hilton or Marriott. But Starwood’s currency, Starpoints, actually unlocks a world of travel far beyond hotels.

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Plane Spotting – American Airlines A321 and JetBlue A321: Transcontinental Style

There was a time when transcontinental travelers dreaded the flight from New York to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Aircraft comfort and amenities seemed to be going downhill. That’s changed.

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Fly to Vienna and Get a Taste of Eastern Europe

Fly to Vienna and Get a Taste of Eastern Europe

When you travel to Europe, consider visiting a few countries in one trip. Just pick a starting point anywhere on the continent. It is small enough that getting from one country to another can be as easy as getting from Manhattan to the Hamptons.

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Barclaycard Arrival Program Review

Who Is Barclaycard Arrival Good For?

The newest travel award program on the scene, Barclaycard Arrival, takes a very different approach than Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards. There are no transfer partners. No bonuses when you redeem for travel with airlines or hotels. Just use your miles to pay for travel directly.

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Crediting Airline Miles: A Primer

There has been a lot of talk lately about a shift in the industry to revenue-based frequent flyer programs, where travelers are awarded miles based on the cost of the ticket and not the number of miles flown.

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FIFA in Rio on a Saver Award Ticket

FIFA in Rio on a Saver Award Ticket

There is a belief among travelers that it is nearly impossible to book a peak-season award ticket, especially to a popular destination. I beg to differ. I flew to Brazil for the World Cup. And yes, I flew using two award tickets for only 60,000 miles each just three weeks before departure when American Airlines Saver Awards opened up.

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Delta SkyMiles Program Review

Who Is Delta SkyMiles Good For?

Delta has been taking flak from frequent flyers for years, for a variety of valid reasons: Their awards are much harder to come by than those of most major domestic airlines; you cant book one-way awards without a huge penalty; and its often a huge time suck to find the award you want to book on their website.

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Buying Airline Tickets: Which Credit Card Should You Use?

Rewards Cards

When it comes to buying airline tickets with a credit card and earning extra bonus miles or points while you’re at it you have a lot of choices. If your wallet is full of rewards cards, you may wonder which one will best leverage the money you spend on plane tickets each year.

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Beijing, China and Beyond

Beijing, China and Beyond

Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, is on the itinerary for most travelers flying to this ancient land. The best way to get there is with United Airlines and its Star Alliance partners. Together they offer an incredible number of possible connections and stopovers.

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British Airways Executive Club Review

Who Is British Airways Executive Club Good For?

If you take a lot of flights around America (North, Central or South), Avios may be the best program for you. Because of its close partnership with American Airlines, you can use Avios to book pretty much any American flight for a fraction of the miles, since the Executive Club uses distance-based awards rather than zone-based awards.

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You Ask, We Answer: Busting Reward Credit Card Myths

You Ask, We Answer: Busting Reward Credit Card Myths

What holds you back from getting travel reward credit cards? It’s something I ask almost everyone I meet these days.

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Asia and Europe for a Family of Four

Asia and Europe for a Family of Four

Next month my family and I are headed to Japan and France on the way back for a four-week vacation. This big trip has been my goal ever since I started collecting points and miles. At first, I wondered if it would be possible. I wasn’t sure if I could ever rack up enough miles to do it, especially because I wanted to book flights for four people in business class.

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Chase Ultimate Rewards Program Review

Who Is Chase Ultimate Rewards Good For?

Unlike many airline programs that have been around for decades, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is very new on the scene just five years old this month which may explain part of why it is such an attractive offering.

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Be Vigilant: Check Your Award Reservations

We don’t want to scare you, but things can go wrong after you book an award but before you take the flight. The problem can happen immediately upon making the reservation or weeks and even months later. Your job isn’t done once you reserve the award flights you want. Instead, be vigilant. Check your reservations on a regular basis. Well show you why.

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Four Fantastic Values for Flights to Hawaii

Four Fantastic Values for Flights to Hawaii

Hawaii is our own special gateway to the exotic world of Polynesia. Because it’s part of the United States, we don’t have to pack our passports or worry about communicating with locals in a foreign language. It’s a tropical paradise right in our own backyard, and every island in the archipelago is special. That’s why so many frequent flyers want to use their miles to fly to the islands. We’re going to let you in on four of the best values to get to Hawaii on the cheap.

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United Airlines MileagePlus Program Review

United Airlines has good domestic coverage, with several hubs in the middle of the U.S. for varied domestic and international routing options, and a very wide network of international air and hotel partners through Star Alliance and individual partnerships.

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