I’ve spent almost all of my points and miles life earning sign up bonuses for flexible currencies like Chase Ultimate Rewards or program specific points with Delta SkyMiles or Marriott Bonvoy. There came a time where I had to look at other options and I’ve had plenty of times where I ended up paying for a trip with cash instead of using miles. So why haven’t I signed up for a card which would help me pay for those charges?
When the Barclaycard Arrival+ card offered a 70,000 point sign up bonus, I decided it was finally time for me to sign up for a travel cash back card.
Continue reading “I Have 80,000 Barclaycard Arrival+ Points. How Do I Spend Them?”
Finding a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale is so frustrating for me. It only takes us about three hours to drive there so we’ll sometimes plan a quick getaway weekend. It’s just far enough away that driving there and back for the day is a pain (especially if we stay late for something), but it’s still close enough to home that we don’t want to spend a bunch of money for a hotel room for one night.
All of the hotels near downtown charge extraordinarily high rates and some of them even charge an additional resort fee as well as mandatory valet parking. I learned this when a free night at a Hilton ended up costing me over $65.
As this was going to be a truly quick trip, I had a few main requirements. The room would preferably be free and relatively close to Ft. Lauderdale. After looking with IHG, Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt there were no good options to redeem points. Even the base hotels were costing a tremendous amount of points in relation to the cash price. Since it looked like I was going to need to pay for the room, I focused on Hilton since Sharon needed a stay to keep her account active. I found a decently priced hotel and booked it for the night, and figured out a way to get it for free, while I was at it.
Continue reading “Hotel Review: Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale-Commercial Blvd – Tamarac, FL”
The reason we collect points and miles is to reach our travel goals. For many people, those goals are to travel to aspirational locations and/or getting to those places in luxurious style, be it castles, temples, ancient ruins or beaches with crystal clear water.
This credit card’s sign up bonus isn’t really for those people.
Increased Sign-Up Bonus
The JetBlue Plus card and its currently increased 50,000 points sign up bonus is great for those whose travel goal is going on a family vacation. Getting airfare for free would allow you to go on an extra trip or just splurge on some extras when you get to your locations, like a bigger hotel or some additional souvenirs.
If you want to read about the JetBlue Card in general, my review is located here:
Continue reading “Great Sign Up Bonus For Family Travel! JetBlue Plus Card Now Offering 50,000 Points”
On May 1st, 2019, Barclays is making changes to its American Airlines Aviator Red credit card. For those of us who have held this card for a while, it’s the card that used to be the US Airways credit card. While I pulled the plug on my card last year, Sharon’s kept her card active and will continue to do so, at least for another year.
The changes make a material change to the value proposition the card offers so it would make sense to see if you still want to keep the card or not.
Here’s a list of the changes, both positive and negative, depending on what benefits you find important from a credit card.
Continue reading “Why I’m Keeping My American Airlines Aviator Red Card, For Now”
All of the larger airlines in the U.S. offer co-brand credit cards. These cards, which provide extra benefits to cardholders, range from ones with no annual fee to premium cards costing up to $450 per year. While you’d think that using a co-branded card would be the best choice for earning points with your flight purchase, that’s usually not the case. For most airlines, you don’t earn any extra points for airfare purchases for having a more expensive card either.
In most cases, instead of using a co-brand card, it’s better to use a card that earns flexible points like Membership Rewards, Thank You Points or Ultimate Rewards. These cards provide the opportunity to earn more points as well as the flexibility to use points on multiple airlines. You’re able to transfer points from these programs into your airline mileage account when you need them.
Here are the earnings multiples on airfare for the main flexible points cards from each bank:
American Express (Membership Rewards)
- Platinum card ($550 annual fee) – 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
- Gold card ($250 annual fee) – 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
Chase (Ultimate Rewards)
- Sapphire Reserve ($450 annual fee) – 3x points on travel worldwide (including airfares purchased from airlines or travel agencies/websites)
- Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee) – 2x points on travel worldwide (including airfares purchased from airlines or travel agencies/websites)
Citi (Thank You Points)
- Citi Prestige ($495 annual fee) – 5x points on purchases at airlines and travel agencies
- Citi Premier ($95 annual fee) – 3x points on purchases at airlines and travel agencies
The AMEX Platinum and Citi Prestige both offer 5x on airfare but the AMEX card only counts purchases direct from the airline or their website. When I had both cards, I used the Citi Prestige because I valued the additional travel insurance coverage but I know people would rather earn Membership Rewards than Thank You points. Of the $95 cards, the Citi Premier earns the most points on airline purchases at 3x.
So how many miles will you earn by using an airline co-brand card to purchase airfare and when does it make sense to do so? I’ve indicated which airlines are partners of one (or all) of the flexible currency cards so you can compare earnings potential between cards.
Continue reading “When You Should(n’t) Use Airline Co-Brand Credit Cards To Pay For Airfare”