RECENT POSTS
  • Credit Cards,  Travel Rewards

    Primer on Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Travel Credit

    The annual $300 Travel Credit is easily the most lucrative benefit of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Questions about what it covers and when it resets have been plentiful. It’s important to understand the benefit to know if and/or when you should apply. Fully monetizing the credit each year will effectively reduce the annual fee of the Sapphire Reserve from $550 to a net $250. You can receive this benefit twice in the first year of holding the card. Get the card now and use your initial $300 credit. And in a year you’ll have a fresh $300 credit to make use of before the due date of your second…

  • Cruise Ship view from beach
    Travel Rewards

    Booking Cruises with Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

    Chase Ultimate Rewards points are a versatile currency. Much has been written about transferring them to travel partners and redeeming them for flights and hotels. Another great choice is to redeem them for a cruise. I freely admit that cruises aren’t for everyone. If you’re still reading, I suspect you might enjoy them. For those that do, it’s a great way to redeem a stash of Ultimate Rewards points. Since cruise fares include meals and entertainment, and many packages include drinks, gratuities and credit to use on board, you’re effectively using points to pay for your entire all-inclusive vacation. The Value of Ultimate Rewards Points There are currently 7 available…

  • Travel Rewards

    American Airlines and Hyatt Benefit Partnership

    American Airlines and World of Hyatt have partnered up to offer some reciprocal benefits to their elite members. The relationship was announced last month but has now gone live. Elite members in both the American Airlines AAdvantage and World of Hyatt loyalty programs will earn both WoH points and AA miles on qualifying American flights and Hyatt hotel stays. New Ways to Earn Points AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, Executive Platinum and ConciergeKey members will be able to earn one AAdvantage bonus mile for every eligible dollar spent at qualifying Hyatt properties. In addition, AA’s ConciergeKey members will receive World of Hyatt Globalist status. World of Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist…

  • Travel Rewards

    TSA Adds 11 Airlines to Pre Check

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the expansion of TSA Pre✓ to 11 new airlines, bringing the total number of airlines participating in TSA Pre✓ to 30. Eligible passengers traveling on Aruba Airlines, Avianca, Boutique Airlines, Emirates, Key Lime Air, Miami Air International, Southern Airways Express, Spirit Airlines, Sunwing, Virgin Atlantic, and Xtra Airways will now have the opportunity to experience expedited screening. What is TSA Pre✓ TSA Pre✓ is an expedited security screening program for known and trusted travelers departing from airports within the United States. On dedicated TSA Pre✓ lines, there is no need to remove your shoes, belts, or light jackets. In addition, laptops and 3-1-1 liquids can remain packed…

  • Travel Rewards

    Double-Dipping the Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit

    NOTE: For applications after May 21, 2017, Chase has changed the date that the Reserve’s annual travel credit resets from each December to the first statement after your account anniversary. If you applied prior to May 21, 2017, the information in this post still applies. For those who applied more recently, please refer to the double-dipping information in this updated post. One of the most generous benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is its $300 annual travel credit. Even better, during the first year you have the card, you can receive the full travel credit twice–that’s $600–while paying only one annual fee of $450. You will have more…

  • Travel Rewards

    Southwest Delays Companion Pass Change

    On January 1 with no notice given, Southwest made qualifying for its Companion Pass a more difficult. After much negative feedback from customers, Southwest has temporarily delayed the change until March 31, 2017. As a reminder, the Companion Pass lets you choose one person to fly free with you every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight.  To qualify for the pass, you need to earn 110,000 Qualifying Points in a calendar year. You could do that by transferring points from a hotel loyalty program like Marriott Rewards. Southwest decided to immediately disqualify points from hotel transfers. This change with no notice angered Southwest’s most loyal customers. Many had…

  • Credit Cards,  Travel Rewards

    Amex Announces New Platinum Card Benefits

    After recent buzz about potential new benefits coming to the Platinum Card, today American Express announced the changes. Beginning October 6, consumers with a Platinum Card from American Express will receive 5X Membership Rewards points on airfare booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. Also, Business Platinum Card Members will now earn 50% points back (up from 30%) when using Membership Rewards Pay with Points through American Express Travel to book an economy flight with their selected airline or a first or business class ticket with any airline. In addition, Business Platinum Card Members can earn 1.5X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on any individual purchase of $5,000 or more. “Our new…

  • Credit Cards,  Travel Rewards

    Transfer Points and Status Match Between Marriott and Starwood

    Marriott has completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, giving the combined company 30 hotel brands and over 5700 properties worldwide. Effective immediately, you can now match your highest level status and transfer points in either direction between the programs. The 3:1 ratio for transferring points is fair: 3 Marriott/Ritz Carlton Rewards points = 1 Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) point. The only limitations are a minimum of 1000 points and a maximum of all the points in your account. If you have a Marriott or Ritz Carlton account and an SPG account, you can link them together here. If you are not already a member of one or both of the programs,…

  • Credit Cards,  Travel Rewards

    Which Credit Cards Pay For Global Entry or TSA PreCheck?

    Long security lines at U.S. airports is commonplace during the summer travel season and this year should be no different. TSA Pre✓ gives trusted travelers the benefit of shorter lines and expedited screening. There is an application fee, but I’ll show you how to sign up for free. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is encouraging travelers to sign up for TSA Pre✓ to help alleviate the delays: This is predicted to be one of the busiest air travel summers the airline industry has seen in a very long time and with more people flying, lines are expected to grow at TSA checkpoints. Travelers who are enrolled in TSA Pre✓or one…