About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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[FALSE ALARM] Is Chase taking away our Ink Cash 5X categories?

Are we about to lose our beloved Ink Cash 5X categories?  Via Twitter, a reader asked what’s up with Ink Cash: @FrequentMiler what’s up with Ink Cash 3x categories rather than the 5x/2x? https://t.co/shNlcMbbaJ — Jay P (@JayP76828046) June 24, 2018 He was referring to the fact that Chase’s cardholder information page for the card is now showing 3% cash back categories rather than 5% and 2%.  Unless this is an elaborate hack or error,…

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Should you invest in Starpoints now?

Starwood is once again offering 35% off on the purchase of SPG Starpoints through July 20th. This means that it’s possible to buy Starpoints for 2.275 cents each.  And, since Starpoints convert to Marriott Rewards points 1 to 3, that’s equivalent to buying Marriott Rewards points for 0.75 cents each.  Considering that Marriott sells points for 1.25 cents each, this is a relative bargain. But… The fact that Starpoints / Marriott Rewards points are available for purchase at…

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Potential huge win with Marriott Travel Packages before August

Marriott travel packages are awards in which you exchange Marriott Rewards points for airline miles plus a 7 night stay certificate (or a 5 night certificate for timeshare owners).  You do not have to book your actual stay right away.  You have a year to do so, and Marriott Rewards has been very generous about extending the validity of the certificate for another year when asked.  So, many of us will have 7 night certificates…

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100K Hilton Ascend offer despite past Hilton Surpass

When Amex announced that their Hilton Surpass card would be renamed to “Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express”, I speculated that it might be possible to get a new welcome bonus on the Ascend as long as you closed your Surpass card before the transition.  Amex representatives, though, unanimously rejected the idea.  The company line was that the Ascend was not a new product.  Therefore, current and past Surpass cardholders would not be eligible…

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15 shortcuts to Marriott Platinum Elite status

Marriott, SPG, and Ritz-Carlton’s rewards programs will merge into one program (but still with three different names) in August.  With regards to elite benefits, they’re mostly getting better for Marriott elites, but they’re getting a bit worse for SPG elites.  Meanwhile, elites will continue to get no meaningful recognition at Ritz properties (boo).  For details about the upcoming program merger, please see our guide: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide. The following chart shows how your current…

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Marriott Free Breakfast Simplified

We were promised that Marriott / SPG Platinum Elites would get free breakfast when Marriott and SPG merge in August.  But, as I reported previously, the rules describing who gets breakfast when and where are terribly confusing.  I’ve simplified it. Caution: The chart that follows has not yet been confirmed by Marriott.  I expect to make changes as I learn more, but I believe that I’ve got the basics correct.  For the latest version of…

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Earn 5X paying estimated taxes? (reminder: Q2 estimated taxes due 6/15)

This is just a quick reminder that second quarter estimated taxes are due in a couple of days.  And for those who haven’t yet maxed out their Chase Freedom 5X spend this quarter, it should be possible to pay your taxes with your Freedom card via Paypal in order to earn 5X rewards.  Specifically, PayUSATax.com advertises that they accept checkout via Paypal.  There is a 1.97% fee, but you gain much more than that in…

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Awesome Amex Offers and how to get them

Amex continues to roll out one great Amex Offer after another.  Many offers, like the Sam’s Club “Spend $30+, Get $15 back“, are for consumer cards only.  And they’re targeted.  That means that they are available to some people, but not others.  They are even targeted within individuals.  For example (for those with multiple Amex cards), you’ll frequently find an offer available on some of your Amex cards, but not all. In my case, my…

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Ultra Premium Hotel Cards: Hilton vs. SPG/Marriott

Hilton kicked off 2018 by introducing a new ultra-premium credit card: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.  And, in August, the newly combined Marriott / SPG (Starwood) program will offer their own ultra-premium card: Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card.  Since Marriott, Starwood, and Ritz will become one program in August, the Starwood card really represents all three brands despite its name. What about the Ritz-Carlton Card?  The Ritz card is another $450 premium card. …

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