Start Here

Welcome to Frequent Miler, where you’ll learn how to earn miles without flying.  Want to use miles to fly First Class around the world?  Yes, it can be done! I know it sounds like one of those “too good to be true” things, but it really works.  My family and I have been traveling in First Class for free (less taxes and fees) for years using the tricks explained in this blog.

The catch (and yes, there’s always a catch) is that it takes knowledge and organization to pull it off.  That’s where this blog can help!

3-steps-header3Ironically, traveling is not the best way to earn miles & points (but it doesn’t hurt!).  Credit card signup bonuses are the biggest and best opportunity for earning free points and miles.  For many, it’s easy to earn hundreds of thousands of points each year through signup bonuses!  Here’s how:

Start Here Header Step 1 C
Credit card issuers want your business and they’re willing to pay you for it in the form of huge credit card signup bonuses.

As you’ll see on my best credit card offers page, there are dozens of great bonuses out there.  A common practice is to regularly sign up for new cards, primarily for the signup bonuses.  And, couples can double points earnings by each signing up for the same cards.

Note that not all offers are the same. We work hard to keep the best credit card offers page up to date with the best offers available.

A year after signing up for a card, consider avoiding the annual fee by downgrading to a no-fee card, or by cancelling altogether.

Start Here Header Step 2 C
Most credit card signup bonuses have minimum spend requirements.  For example, a 50,000 mile signup bonus will typically require $3,000 in spend within 3 months of signing up.

Techniques for meeting spend requirements include using the new credit card for all purchases; using the credit card to pay monthly bills wherever credit cards are accepted; using the credit card to pay your rent, mortgage or other loans (often for a fee).  Once you learn those basics, you can read my daily blog for additional ways to increase credit card spend without going broke.

See more here: Increase credit card spend (and get most of it back). What still works?

Start Here Header Step 3 C
Once you’ve earned points and miles, you’ll want to use them for free travel.  With some loyalty programs, that’s easy.  With hotels for example, it’s usually the case that anytime there’s a standard room available for sale it’s also available to book with points, or with a free night certificate. Airline miles are both more complicated and potentially more rewarding.  Many airlines drastically limit availability of their cheapest “saver” awards.  If you want to plan the ultimate international getaway and you haven’t yet learned the ins and outs of booking award flights, consider using an award booking service.  They’ll charge a fee, but in many cases it can be well worth the price.

TIP: If you’re new to this, consider using Travel Freely to guide you through the process step by step.  The Travel Freely service is absolutely free.

Caution

Caution!

There’s a reason that credit card companies are willing to give away points & miles.  They make a lot of money from interest and fees.  Interest and fee payments can quickly wipe out the benefits gained from signup bonuses.  The only way to come out ahead is to pay your credit card bills in full, every month.  If you can’t do that, then I highly recommend against signing up for new credit cards.

More Points & Miles
Signing up for new credit cards isn’t the only way to earn points & miles without flying.  A few options include:

  • Maximizing credit card category bonuses: Many credit cards offer extra points for certain categories of purchases (e.g. restaurants, travel, groceries, etc.).  It is often possible to shift spend towards those categories in order to earn far more points than you would otherwise.
  • Online shopping via portals: Online portals offer extra rewards for shopping that you would have done anyway.
  • Marketing promotions: Businesses often offer free bonus points or miles in order to attract your business.  Occasionally these offers are incredibly lucrative!

There are many other ways to earn points and miles without flying.  The best way to learn these techniques is to subscribe to this blog.  Please also see this post: Top things to do for MORE miles.

Getting Started

  1. Sign up for Travel Freely (it’s free!) to keep track of your credit cards and to walk you through the process.
  2. Sign up for Award Wallet (it’s free!) to keep track of your points & miles balances.
  3. Find the best credit card offers on my Best Credit Card Offers page.  If you get an offer in the mail, though, compare it to my Best Offers page.  Sometimes targeted offers are better than anything else publicly available.

Subscribe

Choose how often you want to receive Frequent Miler emails.  Please click here for details.

Questions?

Please comment below.

Last updated on November 5th, 2018

306
Leave a Reply

avatar
167 Comment threads
139 Thread replies
17 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
163 Comment authors
Nick ReyesRickGreg The Frequent MilerMichaelWilliam Zackey Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
Jim
Guest
Jim

I must have dreamt this….but want to be sure before dismissing the notion. Does Marriott give credit for each hotel night even if staying on reward points at no charge?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jim: Not to my knowledge. Hilton and Starwood give elite credit for award stays, but I don’t think that Marriott does.

Joyce
Guest
Joyce

Yes, you earn elite night even if you redeem points for the stay. Marriott annouanced the change few months ago.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Thanks. I must have been confused. I appreciate your taking the time to respond. And I like your FrequentMiler site – thanks for maintaining it.

Chery Tankson
Guest

hello i just found this website wich reward points wich you can exchange to a ipad or something

Bob DC
Guest
Bob DC

Wich is not a word. You should use spellchecker. You meant which, I think

Stella
Guest
Stella

Bob DC, “Wich” and “Which” should be in quotation marks. Also, you missed a period. You should get a grammar-checker.

Robert smith
Guest
Robert smith

If you cancel a credit card, how long before you can apply again and expect to get the points

FrequentMiler
Guest

Robert smith: In most cases, it depends on the bank and in some cases it depends on the particular card. With Chase, supposedly you will never get the sign-up bonus again for the same product. Luckily, they change cards occasionally so that they’re considered a new product even if they have the same name. With Amex, you need to wait 366 days after canceling the card. With Citi, it depends on the card. FlyerTalk has lengthy forums about each card that is “churnable” (meaning you can apply over and over and get points each time).

HAM
Guest
HAM

Just out of curiosity, I do not have a business but I am interested in obtaining the Chase Ink card just so that I may but reload AMEX cards from Home Depot. The 5x on office supply store sounds pretty amazing as long as I am able to purchase the gift cards. So my question is can i get that card without owning a business?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Ham: yes, it’s not hard to get a business card. See How to Sign Up for the Ink Bold for details of how to do it.

w s cook
Guest
w s cook

Problem with Bluebird card is lack of security
Balance can be cleaned out at any Walmart register or any other store by purchasing a candy bar and then seeing remaining balance on the receipt. Then make a purchase for the amount of the remaining balance and clean out the limits. No ID, pin or code required to make a purchase. Only recourse is to dispute the charge with the store. (good luck with that) Also one can not obtain cash back from Walmart. You can use Walmart ATM machine for the ATM charge of $2.95 to get some cash.

FrequentMiler
Guest

w s cook: Yes, prepaid cards are a bit riskier than credit cards, but I would trust Amex to make me whole if something happened (although it might take a while). If you find a moneypass ATM you can withdraw cash for free.

w s cook
Guest
w s cook

Do you have any authority for Amex making one whole after a loss. This contradicts the written agreement.
By phone they said to seek compenstion from the merchant that honored the card.

FrequentMiler
Guest

w s cook: No. I just expect Amex to do the right thing

w s cook
Guest
w s cook

Sleep well, if that is your solution

Kenau Mehl
Guest
Kenau Mehl

I registered on the incorrest BA page and would like to register to claim my miles on a trip I had last year with the reference no.ZZZ8JB. Could you please assist me. Thank You. Kenau Mehl

FrequentMiler
Guest

Kenau Mehl: You’ll have to contact BA. They should be able to help you

Jeri Dickinson
Guest
Jeri Dickinson

Is Mio being turned into MyVanilla?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jeri Dickinson: Not that I know of. The Mio still seems to be around. I still use it.

MasterCardOwner
Guest
MasterCardOwner

Hi! I am trying to liquidate the BF MC GCs I bought at the Walmart kiosk and it keeps getting denied. I tried to use a friendly cashier I know and he said it us going through as credit. Visa GCs work fine in either. Have you has this problem too ? How do I liquidate these. Thanks.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Some gift cards just don’t work they way they should with their PINs. In those cases, you probably need to use them as regular credit cards.

Vinh
Guest
Vinh

FM, I’m baaaack. Haha.

Anyway, just a quick update. Bought items on Kohls via UR portal using a 25% off coupon on 12/5 using 100% gift cards and full points posted on 12/9, so the new rules about “excludes orders using coupons not on site” doesn’t matter…yet.

I’m about to test buying physical gift cards next.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Welcome back, and thanks for the update!

Newbie
Guest
Newbie

Does upromise give credit for Target gc purchases ?

FrequentMiler
Guest

No, I don’t think so. (sorry for the late reply!)

ac
Guest
ac

Hi. Can i buy visa or MC gift carrds at staples/Sears with staples/Sears gift card??

FrequentMiler
Guest

Staples, in-store: only if cashier will allow it (most won’t)
Staples.com: yes
Sears, in store: yes, if cashier will allow it (most will)
Sears.com: no

Becca
Guest
Becca

What is the best way to track your purchases on your different credit cards so you know when you have fulfilled the required limit to get your points? Don’t want to recreate the wheel. Thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

Personally I just obsessively log into each card account each day to look at the totals. There is a tool for doing this, but I’ve never tried it: http://cardwatchdog.com/

FlowerDeal
Guest
FlowerDeal

How about a post to get the best deal on flowers for Valentines Day. You could distinguish between good, better, best for the flowers types.

Ruihan Yang
Guest
Ruihan Yang

I am expecting your information.

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

I would recommend folks go on their site and do a search from their zip code and the strategy will naturally flow from there………for me the possibilities are endless and now I need to game with my favorite restaurant hostess where I already have equity how we can both win on game day……….

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/

dean
Guest
dean

What do you think the likelihood of visa extending the 1% CB for Staples?

Texasyankee
Guest
Texasyankee

I seem to suddenly be receiving 6 copies of each of your tweets. Is it me or on your end or do you get paid by the number of tweets you generate? 🙂

RL
Guest
RL

Is anyone else having issues with registering Redbird. I just got my hand on one and every time I tried to register at target.com/prepaid I get this message “We might be having technical problems. Please try again later or check our help section”. My state is not one of the states that are currently selling the Redbird so I am not sure if they recognize my connection is from outside of a state that is currently selling a Redbird.

Pandu Chimata
Guest
Pandu Chimata

Thank you for the daily blogs. Can you please help write a blog how to combine travel miles earned from different credit cards, if that is possible?
I have capitalone venture card and I earn 2 miles (fake) per each dollar spent. When I say fake, it is not really true miles but I can redeem to for any travel expenses at $2 per 100 miles earned.

So I spend $100, I earn 200 miles which is equivalent to $2 if I am redeeming to travel expenses.

But If I take another credit card for example Chase, is there a way I can combine travel miles from chase to travel miles from Capital.
Can you please throw some light on this ?

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

Well crud…I snoozed on the 1800Flowers deal and missed out. Any other good Valentines deals looming?

Where's the LUV?
Guest

Hello,
I frequently read your blog, and I am also surprised by the upcoming changes (whatever they are) to the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program. I’ve created a Facebook page in an effort to put pressure on SWA to be more transparent, and perhaps even change their minds.

Would you consider sharing this page with your readers? Thank you for your consideration.
http://www.facebook.com/wherestheluv

Phil
Guest
Phil

Nice blog

Quick question: from which country you are from?

And how does the mileage-earning potential in your country compares to the potential available in other major countries; on a 10-scale?

W & J
Guest
W & J

Hi Greg,

My wife and I have been following your (and a few others’) blogs for a little while before finally trying to emulate all of you frequent flyers. Our goal is simple– just to be able to take our family of four on a nice vacation once a year. Anyway, two months ago we were able to obtain 2 Target RBs and an Ink Plus. Since then, we have been pretty diligent in loading our RB with the VGCs we purchased from OD/OM & and paying most of our bills through RBs. So far, we’ve only accumulated about 100k UR points, but we thought these points would be good enough to make our cross country flight for four from SFO to ATL/Charleston, SC this July. But when we tried booking on the United, the website says we need at least 200k points. What did we do wrong? We thought we just needed 25k/person points to fly anywhere in the country. Can you help us?

Also, can you shed some light on how we can MS more points? Our tolerance for risk is a bit low… 🙂

Best,
W & J

W & J
Guest
W & J

Do you have any suggestions on how we can look for the promo codes? Google search?

Elena
Guest
Elena

Hi Greg,

Thank you so much for the awesome posts. My husband and I found bussiness and first class award space available to fly directly from Chicago to Tokyo at the beginning of September, taking a nonstop flight. It costs 15k more to fly in first compared to business. Do you think it is worth it to pay the extra 15k per person one way to fly first? Neither of us have flown first or business before. There’s no award space for business or first on the way back, so we’ll fly economy. Thanks for any advice you may have!
~Elena

Howard
Guest
Howard

Greg, thank you for your blog. You have a different take from the other bloggers and I appreciate your point of view.

You created Delta Elite Status for both yourself and your wife now for a couple of years.

My question (2 parts): Part A: If you have been spending over a quarter of million dollars on your Delta cards for a couple of years, have you ever been invited by AMEX for the Centurion card?

Part B: If not contacted by Amex, have you ever contacted them, at least to see if the offer was available?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/insights you may have.

John
Guest
John

Thanks for the great blog.

Diane
Guest
Diane

HI! I signed up for the AMEX Skymiles card in mid-November, and the offer was for 50,000 miles if I spent $1000 in 3 months, which I did. Now when I’m trying to redeem, they tell me that I had to spend $2000. I found an article by Shawn Coomer dated Sept 3, 2015, frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2015/09/03/delta-skymiles-50k-sep-2015/ and it highlighted the Skymiles 50,000 bonus if you spend $1000 in the first 3 months. AMEX says I need to come up with literature showing the offer, or I’m out of luck. Do you have any of these advertising flyers that show this offer? Thanks for any help!

Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor
Member

Hi Diane. I don’t have a screenshot from that offer, but here is a link to a site that has a screenshot of the same offer. I’m not sure if it will work, but take a look.

http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2016/02/10/100000-point-signup-bonus-back-on-american-express-platinum-card-for-some-plus-50k-premier-rewards-gold-and-more/?_ga=1.117252674.516917109.1452782197

Diane
Guest
Diane

Thanks, Shawn, I’ll give that a try. Also, I had AMEX pull up a previous conversation I had with a rep, in which she told me the date my miles would be credited to my account; I’m hopeful that will get positive results!

Darlene
Guest
Darlene

Hi,
I have a friend who just made the Latin PGA golf tour, of course he has to pay for everything. I was hoping you could point me in the right direction – I wanted to see if I could gather some airline lounge passes. What would be the easiest way to go about this? I have a few I am giving him, but just trying to help…..

Thanks,Darlene

Tim
Guest
Tim

Greg,

Do you know if the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign up bonus has a lower minimum spend requirement if you sign up in a branch? I signed up for it two years ago and I was planning on doing it again this spring, but it required $1k less spend in-branch vs online at that time. I looked around on your website and on Chase’s website, but I could not find anything.

Thanks,
Tim

David R
Guest

I noticed that Nordstrom no longer appears on any of the major shopping portals . I contacted Cartera who runs the sites. They said it was a business decision of Nordstrom. Do you know if this is just temporary or possibly a worrisome trend that other stores may follow

FlyerDad
Guest
FlyerDad

HI Greg: I am also traveling to South Africa with my son. We are flying Qatar biz there and CX biz/first class on the return to SFO.

Here’s my question–do you think it’s worth spending 140,000 Alaska miles to fly biz/first on the way out or 150 AA miles for Qatar? I’m thinking with AA miles devalued, it’s better to burn those first, plus we’d get to go through Doha (and maybe get the free tour on the layover). On the other hand–it’s CX first class (at least half the way). And AS miles are probably worth less today than they were yesterday (literally). I was hoping that last minute Emirates would open up for the AS miles, but obviously that plan is now shot . . . Would really appreciate your thinking. And love your blog.

Freeman Grover
Guest
Freeman Grover

Can you tell me if it is possible to transfer points from the Starwood rewards program to the Hilton hotel rewards program; maybe by first transferring the Starwood points to an airline rewards program, and then transferring those airline miles into the Hilton hotel rewards program? Thanks for your comments,
Freeman

Peter Xu
Guest

Hey Greg; love FrequentMiler; as a consultant, it really helped me starting out a year and a half ago, and just next week I’ll be taking a trip to Japan largely funded with miles.

I just made BookWithMatrix, at https://bookwithmatrix.com, a web tool to make booking flights found on ITA Matrix a piece of cake. As expert flyers, we’d love your feedback on how can we make it better and see if you could possibly either feature it or link to it as a part of your article coauthored with Julian (https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2015/02/27/bet-you-didnt-know-using-hipmunk-to-book-ita-matrix-flights/). Let me know!

Corey
Guest
Corey

Hey Greg, I need a way to contact you privately about a PPPM you may be interested in learning about. Please let me know the best way. Thanks.

Freeman
Guest
Freeman

Morning Greg – you mentioned using a spread sheet to keep track of the information related to your many credit/charge accounts. Do you have a recommendation on a spread sheet we can use?

Zach
Guest
Zach

I’ve been away from the MS spend game for a while and was never a heavy hitter. I still have a BlueBird account open with no issues. Everyone said it was dead and I just never looked back. From reading through your MS articles it appears BB is still an option but other places I’ve read suggest that any big MS will likely lead to shut down. Any thoughts on monthly limits to fly under the radar? Or would even $1k/mo from the same source/destination look fishy enough to get you shut down these days? Thanks.

Scott
Guest
Scott

Hi Greg,
My wife’s Platinum Select AAdvantage World Mastercard bonus points didn’t post to her account when she earned them so we sent a secure message to Citibank asking why. They said it’s because her Citibusiness AAdvantage World Mastercard account was closed last October (less than 24 months ago). I took a quick look at Flyertalk but didn’t find anything there that that says closing an AAdvantage business card account like this will reset the 24 month clock for an AAdvantage consumer card. It’s been over 24 months since we closed her last AAdvantage consumer card. Is the CSR correct? Thanks

Stan
Guest
Stan

I applied for an AMEX Everyday card but their website was not working properly. I applied again but somehow was approved for the AMEX Everday Preferred card which I did not want. I called AMEX and was told initially to apply for the Everyday card and when the Preferred card would come I should just cancel it. I immediately applied for the Everyday card as I was told to do and I was rejected. I called AMEX and was then told that two applications in the same family on the same day would be rejected. I was told to wait for the Preferred card and then cancel it and after that to call a reference number that the rep provided and the application for the Everyday card would be reviewed. I am concerned how all of this will effect my credit. Do you have any suggestions?
Also if I decide to keep the Preferred card for one year can I apply for the regular Everday card while I still have the Preferre

Kai Huang
Guest
Dave
Guest
Dave

I logged onto my United shopping portal for a Saks purchase a few minutes before midnight EST when the portal still showed 15 miles/dollar. I clicked the link and the website opened at 11:56 PM, but by the time I completed the purchase, it was 12:02. After the transaction was complete, I checked the portal and it was back down to 3x. In these instances, does the portal honor the 15x or 3x (ie, when the link was clicked vs when the purchase is complete)?

aaron
Guest
aaron

Hello Greg,
I have found very interesting your blog, but there are some nodes that I am trying to explain myself. I would like to follow some of your tendencies.

I will appreciate if you help me answering 3 questions about this, all of them are related to each other.

Do you keep a particular credit card without care about annual fees?
How frequently do you cancel credit cards in order to avoid annual fees?
is there a limit that you have put to the quantity of credit cards that you keep ?

thanks in advance

J.B
Guest
J.B

Hi Greg, great site!

I’m new to accumulating rewards and, based on inital research, am interested in Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards, and SPG points. ( I am *not * a business traveller and so do not accumulate points that way). I do very little domestic travel at the moment but take 3-6 international trips a year from NY (Asia & Europe on Swiss, BA, Lufthasa, Jet and Singapore Airlines usually although I only just signed up for their mileage programmes). I used Amex Gold, and now Amex PRG (close to 100,000 MR soon with my signup bonus and spending) but would like a Chase Preferred/Reserve card as AMEX is not always accepted internationally. I hope to redeem earned points for premium international travel and hotel stays.

Given that information and the fact that my annual credit card spend is currently between 20-30K a year would you recommend committing to *just* one programme to maximise rewards (MR, UR, SPG) or is it better to diversify among 2 or all 3?

If it helps, both credit card spend and international travel will increase in 2018, and the cards I’m considering (apart from my current PRG) are AMEX Everyday Preferred/ Personal Platinum/ SPG, and Chase Reserve/Freedom/Unlimited. I am willing to cancel the PRG if necessary.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Any

Jeannie M.
Guest
Jeannie M.

Fantastic site! So, I have a Hyatt Free Night expiring on 11/30/2016 [yes, that’s tomorrow] and they are telling me since I check out on December 1st that I cannot use the free night. It’s a Chase night. I cannot find anything that states these expire the day before — since I would have to check in on the 29th for a certificate expiring on the 30th? Any ideas on next steps. Nothing to lose as they are telling me I cannot use this certificate at all now. Thanks!

Madison
Guest
Madison

Hi Greg, is the Ebates Cash Back Visa credit card worth getting/profitable for GC/VGC at Office Depot?

Thanks

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

I love this blog! I learn so much and it makes me feel so righteous! But I feel like an idiot and am so ashamed! This week I went in to Office Depot and bought a $300 Starbucks gift card to cash in Ink 5X Later I was looking at my account and realized I put it on my Sapphire. This idiotic moment means I urinated away 1200 free miles. I will ask for forgiveness this Sunday at services but I also ask this community to pray for me that I might rise out of stupidity next week! I haven’t felt this bad since I bought the wrong Vanilla Reload card and never would have learned if it wasn’t posted as a pic by Greg.

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

The Manufactured Spend Wall of Shame My wife would love to see me on it!

Terri
Guest
Terri

Thanks for this info! Also, hotels will do a tier-status match. For example, if you’re diamond status at Hilton and desire a high comparable level at Marriott, the Marriott will honor your your tier status match request, with proof, of course. Then you’ll enjoy the benefits of both chains. Hyatt, will, as well!

Steven Casey
Guest
Steven Casey

Greg,

I’m a little new at all of this, but from past travels and recent CSR program, have a bit of points scattered here and there (probably 500k various places). Now that my wife and I are retired we plan to travel more.

Is there a safe, reliable resource available that I can send them ALL of my points and cards info and they can advise me on what to keep, what to cancel, what to apply for and how to maybe consolidate points?

Thanks. Lots of great info on this site, spending the day reading.

Steven Casey
Guest
Steven Casey

I actually just tallied, 2,002,000 points across multiple programs…

Sue Commesso
Guest

Hey Greg,

I just got approved for a Chase Sapphire Reserve (applied 12/29) and a Southwest Personal Premier (applied 12/31). I also applied for a Southwest Business card and was declined for “Too many requests for credit or opened accounts with us”. When I called the reconsideration line, the representative came back and forth 4 times to ask questions and verify information. I sat on that call 30+ minutes, thinking that they surely would approve me with everything they asked of me. He came back and told me that because the two accounts that they had given me were so new they could not grant me the business card at this time and kind of alluded to them wanting to see my account management and payment behavior first. I asked him if we could spread out the amount of credit they had granted me on the two cards to three to see if that would help. He said because it was a business product and the other two were personal, that was not an option. I asked him how long I should wait before I apply again, which he would not answer but told me to call Transunion for advice.

How long do you think I should wait before I try again for the Southwest business card?

Etai Zilberman
Guest
Etai Zilberman

Any credit cards for whoever don’t have US bank account?

Freeman Grover
Guest
Freeman Grover

Hi Greg,

I’m having some difficulty in getting some additional miles on my American Advantage account so that I can complete the arrangements for 4 family tickets – flying back from Maui to LAX. I only need about 7,000 miles but can’t find a quick way to do it. I have a number of other accounts with miles for flights, but don’t know how to get those miles into my American account. With this little bit of information, can you provide an possible solutions for transferring miles. I have SPG and Marriott points, Hilton pts, United miles, Alaska Air miles, Amer Exp Delta miles and a few others but can’y find a “good” way to do it.

Bruce
Guest
Bruce

I know that with Marriott if I don’t have enough points in my account, I can combine at the time of booking Marriott points from my wife’s account. I also know that Starwood allows you to transfer points between husband and wife anytime. Can a work around to transferring her Marriott points to me without a booking be to first transfer my wife’s Marriott points to Starwood, then transfer her Starwood points to me. I have Platinum status and she is Gold.

Mark T
Guest
Mark T

Hey Greg, was going through some old posts of yours about Million mile madness (MMM). Questions about your reselling strategy, did you already have an existing amazon seller account before you started MMM or did you create it specifically for MMM. Was your amazon account a professional or individual account? What research tools did you use to see if an item would sell or not? Amazon requires approval for quite a few categories, how soon were you able to get approvals when required?

BigMac
Guest
BigMac

I m planning a trip from LAX to Bangkok next thanksgiving. With United I can get a one way business award for 80,000 points. However when I tried to do it through CSR Ultimate Points for the exact same date/class the lowest that came up was over 140,000 (Turkish airlines) all the way up to 389,000 points (United). Any idea why this is happening. I thought with CSR there was a 25% bonus when using points.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Your old style credit card links were the best. Bring back the old style. Probably applied for 30 cards through your old links. Your new links are terrible to navigate. I used million miles now as that blogger has links similar to your old style. Why did you change? New style not good for experienced mile and pointers. Just a comment in case you have seen numbers drop

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

Totally new at this. I have 140,638 UR points. I want to take advantage of IAD to Dublin in late May on Aer Lingus using Avios their new “miles chart” coming in at 26000 points for round trip. So I have never transferred miles before. Do I just create a British Airways account and move the points that way? I live in Maryland so I don’t have an UK address. Then I find the flight I want –
Departing Fri, May 26 10:25 pm Washington, DC, US (IAD – Dulles)
Arriving Sat, May 27 10:25 am Dublin, IE (DUB)
– How do I absolutely confirm this is an award flight? Once confirmed do I then just call BA to book?
Thanks in advance for any help!! Super excited about this trip!

mjm
Guest
mjm

May have missed out on use of our Ultimate Rewards, but checking with more experienced travelers. Apologies if this isn’t appropriate to ask about here, but this is the situation: husband bought United ticket 11/13 to fly out of country through Expedia. Forgot to check our accumulated Ultimate Reward points which were there to cover cost of this trip on United. Flight was 1/9 to 1/13. Is there a statement credit option after the fact that he should inquire about with Expedia or United, or has this plane already left the hanger? Is using Expedia for purchase the obstacle? Any advice is most welcome.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I have over 75,000 miles with United. How do I use these miles towards flights with their partner airlines to get a better class. Every time I select use points the partner airlines disappear. Is there a way to do this?

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I forgot to mention, I noticed other sites are the same. Am I missing something here?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Does hotel chain status obtained through having credit card count as the starting point towards reaching the NEXT level of elite status?

For example, I am SPG Gold by virtue of having the Amex Platinum card. SPG Gold requires 10 stays, while Platinum requires 25 stays. Does this mean I need only 15 more stays to reach Platinum? I assume not, since if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

David
Guest
David

Hi Greg – Can I use paypal for MS? Can I set my cash advance limit to zero and paypal my wife with a credit card?

carrip
Guest
carrip

I don’t understand. How can you avoid the annual fee when they make you pay it on the first bill you receive? My ink+ put the $95 AF on my first months bill and told me all of their cards are done the same way.

DrRyan_L
Guest
DrRyan_L

Hi, ive been following you for a while and have put together some good trips to disney and hawaii using a combination of points and cash…thanks for all the advice. My wife and I are thinking about starting cruising, but i cant find any info from the couple of bloggers i follow. As far as rewards, status, and awards for cruises go, do you have any advice on where to begin?

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I am wondering if you could share some ideas or experience about IRS Tax Report for miles earning, and buy and sell game. I think many milers have the same question or some didn’t even realize this could be a problem.

BigMac
Guest
BigMac

I am Marriott Gold Elite – now linked to SPG Gold. With Marriott I can usually get a room upgrade and access to the executive lounge (if they have one). When I looked at SPG Gold they talk about a room upgrade but no executive lounge access unless your Platinum. Seems like they are downgrading the benefit and wonder what they will do when they have their full merger. Has anyone tried to get SPG lounge access as a Marriott Gold?

Nick Reyes
Editor

They aren’t downgrading the benefit — SPG is just a separate program that has never had lounge access for Gold members. Ritz-Carlton does not have lounge access for any elite members — not even Platinum members (everyone needs to pay for access).

At the moment, status is reciprocal — meaning that you can match your Marriott Gold status to both Ritz-Carlton Gold and SPG Gold — but the programs are still separate (meaning that you are only entitled to the benefits of the program in which the hotel participates). You can’t use the benefits of one program in another program — you can only match status levels.

In other words, if you are Marriott Platinum, you can match that to Starwood Platinum and you would have lounge access in the hotels within both brands. You could also match to Ritz-Carlton Platinum, but you will not get lounge access at a Ritz-Carlton as their program doesn’t offer it.

We don’t yet know what the program will look like when Marriott combines all three. If I were purely guessing, I would think that the lounge access benefit will be limited to certain brands. But we just don’t know.

Note: One of the benefits of the Amex SPG business card is lounge access at Sheratons. We don’t know what will happen with that post-merger, but it’s a way to get lounge access at Sheraton hotels in the short term (even without any status at all).

Ari
Guest
Ari

Hi Greg,
I have been following your blog for the last few months and have learned a lot and enjoy reading your posts. I wanted to ask advise on couple different things if it is possible.
I have the chase sapphire reserve card, sapphire preferred, freedom and the ink business and the capital one venture and I have around 320k UR points. I use the reserve and ink card for my day to day purchase and of course for the bonus categories like travel and food and use the freedom for the bonus in rotating category. I put around 4K a month on my credit cards. Can you please tell me what other cards might be good for my portfolio? I was thinking of downgrading the preferred and also closing the venture account and re-applying for the venture card? It will be two years in October that I had applied the preferred card, so can I re-apply for that card again?
Lastly I want to go to Hawaii from the east coast. I live in Philly. I was trying to take advantage of the 25k Korean air points. However I think from Philly it might be tough so I am searching from New York JFK.
Someone told me that I can directly search on the Korean air website but whenever I do that I am not successful. The person that told me to use Korean air site said that he was successful doing it. Can you please advise me how I can look for this? Perhaps look in Alaska air website for delta awards. I really appreciate if you can help me with this.
Thank you,
Ari

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Greg,
A question about using Chase points…
If I book an SPG property (or any other property for that matter) using my Chase points, will I be able to get the loyalty points the same way as if I had booked and paid for the property myself using “real” money?
Thanks
Patrick

Tom
Guest
Tom

Dont know if its been mentioned, but I was in Stop and Shop earlier today and noticed a sign saying they now accept credit cards towards amex, visa and mc gift card purchases.

Nick Reyes
Editor
Dave
Guest
Dave

I have been trying to apply for the Hilton Honors card for the last week and it keeps saying the application site is down. Is this a common AMEX thing?

Darlene
Guest
Darlene

I am going to be renewing my IHG Ambassador status. For revenue options, they have $150 &
10,000 points or $200 & 15,000 points plus a 10% rebate on reward nights. I don’t think I’ll be using many reward nights as I only have 115,000 points on my account before the bonus and my husband has only 48,000 points. We both have a free night each from our IHG credit card so we probably would stay on points for 2- 3 nights as well as use the free BOGO Ambassador night. Which do you think is the best renewal option or do you use points to renew?

Matt
Guest
Matt

Hello! I have a general question. I am starting a new career where I will be flying every week and staying at hotels on my own credit cards and rewards, compensated Bi-monthly for expenses. I am curious how you think I could maximize these rewards. I was thinking of using the Amex Platinum and booking with delta for the 5X flights, and booking my hotels though hilton with a hilton card. Others in my position have used delta platinum. Any thoughts would be great! Thank you!

Vik
Guest
Vik

Greg, First thanks for all the amazing post you guys deliver.
On to the question, i had Amex platinum 2 years ago with an 100k bonus and later downgraded to gold last year(AF waived!). I received an email about upgrading my Gold card to Platinum with a 60k offer(got a POID code). I wasn’t sure if they would give me the 60k points as i had platinum card before. Called Amex and they confirmed that they don’t see anything in terms and conditions which prevents me from getting the 60k after 5k spend.
Have you heard from anyone if this is actually true? 60k for an upgrade is too good to pass on.

Vik

Suzzanne
Guest
Suzzanne

You recommend AwardWallet.

Is there anyplace that compares the different points tracking websites so someone can find the one that best suits their accounts?

I’ve avoided these websites because of security. Am I being overly cautious?

laura roden
Guest
laura roden

(Apologies if this has already been answered – I can’t find it addressed:)
To get my new Amex card bonus, I need to spend $20k on “qualifying purchases… excluding gift cards.”
Question: what if I buy gift cards from secondary sellers on eBay, Raise.com etc…?
Will Amex disqualify those purchases?
Thanks so much!

Aaron Biner
Guest
Aaron Biner

What is the quickest way to earn Silver status on Virgin Atlantic? I need that in order to book Necker Island. Thank You!

Shawn
Guest

Greg:

Thanks for all the great info you provide here!

For years I have been using an American Express Plum Card for business purposes. I take advantage of the early pay discount (since I tent to pay bills as soon as they come in anyhow) which gets me 2% cash back each month. Not too bad since our company bill tends to run about 30K a month on average. In addition I have enough going on a business and personal SWA Visa to get a companion pass, which we get plenty of use out of.

Since reading Frequent Miler we now have our telcom expense and such going to an Ink Business Plus for 5X, and I have the AmEx Platinum for business travel benefits. (The 50% point rebate for first class has been awesome! Thank you!)

My question is this. I never hear you mention the Amex Plum. Since I have the lions share of cc charges going to this card for the company, and I missing a downside to it?

Safe Travels,
Shawn

kenneth kercher
Guest
kenneth kercher

I recently took your advice in purchasing the VISIO from Dell through the portal. Have not yet seen the price match refund nor the 90 day discount certificate. What has to happen to realize both of these benefits?

Nick Reyes
Editor

I’m not sure which deal you bought or when, but here are my attempts to answer:

When you say “price match refund”, do you mean that you filed a credit card price protection claim? You would do that with Discover Price Protection or Citi Price Rewind or Chase Price Protection. You can call or possibly submit online depending on which card you used. Once you have submitted the claim, it depends on the issuer. In my experiences with Citi and Discover, I think my claims were approved within a week or two (Discover lets you check the status online and typically has the fastest turnaround in my experience). Have you submitted your claim for that yet?

As for the Dell Promotional gift card, that should be emailed to you 10-20 days after you order. Keep an eye on your email. If it has been between 10-20 days, search your email for “Dell Promotional” to be sure that it didn’t slip by you. If you don’t have it and it has been less than 20 days since your order, just be patient and keep an eye out for it. If it’s been more than 20 days and you can’t find the email, try contacting Dell support. In my experience, they’ve been pretty good and I usually get the email within the timeframe specified. It is then valid for 90 days from the day that they email it.

Let me know if you need additional help.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Hi Greg,

I’m a big fan of your blog, especially your coverage of Virgin Atlantic, Necker Island, etc!

Do you happen to know whether it’s still possible to be approved for a second BofA Virgin Atlantic Black card? Reports on the Alaska Visa Signature card seem to indicate it’s getting much harder to have two personal cards at the same time, but I couldn’t find any data points for the Virgin Atlantic card. Ideally, I’d like to get a second card to earn additional tier points beyond the current limit of 50 per month. As a rule of thumb, how long would you wait in between applying for the same BofA card?

Many, many thanks!

Angela Smith
Guest

The promotion that you listed to be 20% off by email on yesterday from staples for the Panera bread $50 gift cards and the GAP $25 Gift card is not working…please advise me what is going on

Nick Reyes
Editor

Hi Angela. As noted in that post, those deals often sell out early. It looks like the denominations that were on sale have sold out unfortunately. I’d check back throughout the week (and check comments on that post) as they sometimes get restocked.

Angela Smith
Guest

According to Staples they were not on sale

Nick Reyes
Editor

See the screenshots in the post. It was online only. You can also see the post from Doctor of Credit that I linked to. Based on comments there, it sounds like these denominations sold out last night. Again, these sometimes come back in stock. You can see in the screenshot of the GAP card that I posted yesterday that the deal is scheduled to end this weekend (I cut off the date on the screen shot of the Panera offer, but DoC has a shot with the date) so it may come back in stock. They were definitely on sale, it’s just a matter of whether or not they come back.

If you’re interested in deals like this, I recommend clicking “Subscribe” at the top of this page and subscribing to instant email updates as many limited-time offers like this don’t last. You’ll want to jump on this type of deal as soon as it’s posted.

Danny M
Guest
Danny M

Car Rental Primary Insurance– If I rent the car, she is not a signed driver, and we use her Chase Reserve Card, where I am not an authorized user, we will be covered in full for primary insurance?

I have Hertz Gold status and wanted to get the perks and points.

Nick Reyes
Editor

I don’t believe the rental company will allow you to pay with a credit card in someone else’s name. I believe they all require that the card presented for payment match the name of the driver.

Dan
Guest
Dan

So If I have Chase Ink, Chase Freedom, and Chase UAL which is the best to use? My guess is Chase UAL.

M Chin
Guest
M Chin

What is the best method to convert/transfer into Southwest Rapid Rewards – to maximize miles? I have over 1 million SPG (Platinum) and also 200K+ of Chase Sapphire Reserve. Thx.

George
Guest
George

Just in case it wasn’t known- I bot 500 dollar gift card at Ritz Carlton Westchester and received the 100 dollar credit on my Amex- great blog – yours and DOC my two favorite- will support you when I can for sure

Robert
Guest
Robert

Given the recent changes Chase made to its Sapphire family products, i.e., limiting total card number to 1 and expanding the 1 bonus per 24 month the entire family, do you think that sometime later this year Chase will do the same to the Southwest family to take away the companion pass options for 2018/2019? I have the choice of getting 2x60k bonus to qualify for companion pass for this year and next year, but if I could just wait for 60k bonus to show up early next year I could have companion pass for 2018/2019. What’s your thought on Chase’s direction?

Paul
Guest
Paul

What is the best way to capture the airline credit of the CNB Crystal VISA? I just got one of those with 3 AUs (a total of 4 cards) after a lot of planning (I live in Florida and CNB does not have offices here). Now I have 4x $250 to capture until the end of the year, but my favorite spending target, the UA Gift Registry, has taken an extended leave of absence (and may be dead for good). What is a good way of using the CNB airline credit in your experience? Thank you in advance for the advice!

BAL K ARORA
Guest

how to use “AA” miles which are near expiration?

deborah graham
Guest
deborah graham

Petco: Spend $25, get 500 Membership Rewards
why can’t I add this coupon to my card. there was a blue box to click on for both of these items

Petco: Spend $25, get $5 back

Why it’s a good deal: You know you’re not going to stop your SO from buying toys/treats/laser pointers. This offer came in both Membership Rewards and cash back flavors on different cards.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Try again? I’ve had a few offers lately that gave me an error the first time I clicked “add to card”. I just clicked “add to card” again (without leaving the page or refreshing or anything) and it worked.

James Stawski
Guest
James Stawski

Are you guys hiring additional bloggers for your site?

Ken Updike
Guest
Ken Updike

Are there FFD Codes available for Plastiq that are not referral?

A M
Guest
A M

Greg and Nick,

I stumbled upon this link and was wondering if any Visa Signature card holders could take advantage of this offer for LoungeKey? and also wondering if its safe to give your card number to them for verification?

https://www.loungekey.com/visasignaturemena

Many Thanks in Advance

Ben
Guest
Ben

Hi Greg! Avid reader, first time commenter. Wanted to reach out with a question:

I’m about to spend a lot of money on furniture (~25-30k). What’s the best way to take advantage of this to generate rewards? Are there any good cards you know of with 2x or more for furniture stores? (Most purchases will be in-store, though probably several thousand in online shopping). Or should I go for a high spend bonus on a single card? Or sign up for several new cards and try to hit minimum spend in exchange for sign-up bonuses? I haven’t gotten into Amex rewards at all, would this be a good opportunity to establish myself there?

Here are the cards currently in my wallet:

– Chase Sapphire Reserve
– Chase Ink Biz Preferred
– Chase Freedom
– Chase Mileage Plus Explorer
– Chase Amazon

Thanks for help!
Ben

Ben
Guest
Ben

Oh! Forgot to mention these purchase will almost all be made out of the country, so need cards with free international transactions…

Guy
Guest
Guy

Hi Greg! Been reading for a long time and consider myself quite knowledgeable thanks mostly to all your great posts. Here’s something I’m curious about though:

I’m currently full up on Amex cards. I recently got approved for my last available spot with an Amex EveryDay Preferred Card (going to be spending in supermarkets a lot and wanted to max out the 3x->4.5x value–also because I got the Amex Biz Platinum and still get 50% rebate until next May. So want to stock up on Amex points to take advantage of that before getting kicked back to 35%).

Here’s my question. I have an Amex EveryDay card that has been open for 18 years. I don’t want that now since I have the EveryDay Preferred. But… I’m afraid if I close that account, it will negatively affect my “average credit card age”, since that is currently roughly 6 years, and the Amex EveryDAy is my oldest card.

I’ve considered waiting a year and then closing the Amex EveryDay Preferred card (which would have been open for 1 year), and then upgrading my Amex EveryDay into an EveryDay Preferred. But I don’t want to wait that long. I want to apply for more Amex cards! Lol. Like the hilton one.

What’s the best way to get rid of cards I don’t want, while not losing their credit history so my “average age of credit” remains high and in good standing?

Rick Rector
Guest
Rick Rector

Hello Frequent Miler.
A quick question; for some reason Award Wallet didn’t notify me my United miles were expiring, which they did in June. I had about 279,000 miles. United will let me buy most of them back for $600. Good deal or no? I rarely fly United anymore, but was hoarding these for a vacation.
Thanks!

Nick Reyes
Editor

Ugh — that’s a bummer. Award Wallet can’t automatically track your United balance — you have to forward your statements to them….I’m not sure if that’s why it didn’t track your expiration.

As to whether or not it’s a good deal to buy back your miles — it depends on how you will use them. Personally, I’d probably pay $600 to get back 279K. That’ll get you round trip in business class to anywhere in the world with miles to spare or 2-4 people round trip in economy class just about anywhere (10+ if you can find domestic saver space), and you have access to tons of airlines in the Star Alliance (you only have to fly United if you’re flying domestically). I think that’s worth the trade.

But domestic saver availability is tough to come by — if you’re planning a vacation for exact date A to exact date B to popular destination X during peak travel period Y, it might not work out to be worthwhile. I guess you have to look at where you’re thinking of going…..and I’d Google it to see whether or not that price is negotiable (I don’t know whether or not it is).

Rick Rector
Guest
Rick Rector

That’s helpful. Many thanks, Nick.

james
Guest
james

If I apply for 2 different credit cards from separate companies such as Am Ex & Chase, does that count as 2 separate credit inquiry?

Or, if these 2 companies pull my credit from the same credit bureau, would it only count as one?

Does that matter at all?

Thanks

Kathy Saalfeld
Guest
Kathy Saalfeld

I read about the accounts being dropped on e-rewards. I’ve not had that problem however I have enough points to get quite a few thousand emiles points. Every time I try it says the emiles are out of stock. This has been at least 6 months.

ARI
Guest
ARI

PICK ME!!

Toni St John
Guest
Toni St John

Peace on Earth! Pick me!