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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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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Marriott’s Platinum breakfast benefit better than I thought, but more confusing than ever

We were promised that Platinum Elites would get free breakfast when Marriott and SPG merge in August.  But, in my post “Marriott Platinum Elite Welcome Gift List Published,” I pointed out that you might not get free breakfast at a number of hotels when they don’t have a lounge, or when the lounge is closed.  Specifically, I wrote: …there are several hotel brands where breakfast is not a guaranteed option when there is no lounge or when…

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Estimating risk in Amex’s new rule

As Nick reported yesterday in the post “Amex launches a sneak attack in the war on gaming,” Amex has added new terms to their credit card offers.  Previously almost all Amex welcome offers included the terms: “Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card.”  We refer to this as their “lifetime” language.  As in, we can get the bonus on an Amex card once in a lifetime (except when a…

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Earn up to 15 Suite Night Awards with Marriott SPG this year only

The planned August program merger between Marriott and SPG has led to some short term opportunities (see this post for a list of opportunities).  One such opportunity is the ability to earn 15 Suite Night Awards in 2018. Today, if you earn 50 elite nights with SPG within a calendar year, you get to pick a Choice Benefit.  The most valuable option, in my opinion, is to select 10 Suite Night Awards. In the new…

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