How To Combine Points From Two Banks To Book An Award

Since we started writing Your Mileage May Vary, several of our friends have started collecting points and miles. I feel a level of satisfaction when they’re able to go on that first award trip, partially because of our help.┬áJust like any mentor, occasionally we’ll get a question about a topic where we don’t know the answer. While I could just say that I really don’t know about that, I like to use these situations to learn about things I hadn’t focused on before. Such was a question about how to combine points from two different bank programs.

While the answer may seem obvious if you’ve been collecting points and miles for a while, for someone just starting out this can be very confusing.

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One Thing Marriott Could Do Right Now To Improve Their Bonvoy Credit Cards

When Marriott revamped the Bonvoy line of credit cards issued by Amex and Chase, one big, positive change to the cards was the addition of a free night certificate at the card anniversary date. For most of the cards, this free night is capped at hotels redeemable for 35,000 points or less, except for the Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card which has a free night capped at hotels redeemable for 50,000 points.

This currently makes sense because a category 5 hotel costs 35,000 points and a category 6 hotel costs 50,000 points. However, Marriott has announced that sometime in 2019 they will introduce peak and off-peak pricing for hotel redemptions, which may wreak havoc on some cardholders’ plans on how to use their free night. Continue reading “One Thing Marriott Could Do Right Now To Improve Their Bonvoy Credit Cards”

Is It Possible To Have Too Many Free Hotel Nights?

I realize it’s a total #firstworldproblem to be complaining about having too many hotel free night certificates. But I just can’t ignore the fact that by the end of the year, Sharon and I will be getting seven free nights from the various hotel credit cards that we have. When we had one, two or even three of these certificates a year, it was easy to burn them on a quick weekend getaway, like when I used one during my visit New Jersey for my class reunion.

But seven?

So I’m starting to wonder if I need to pare back my hotel credit cards. I mean, if the only reason I’m keeping a card is for a free night and I can’t use the free night, the card isn’t worth it anymore. Not to mention that if I’m limiting myself to a specific hotel chain to use a free night certificate, I might be missing out on staying at a better location because I don’t want to waste a free night. That’s the reason I don’t care about loyalty – I don’t want to be hooked to a specific brand because of a credit card certificate.

Here’s a list of the cards I have that provide a yearly free night certificate as a benefit:

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You Don’t Know What You’re Missing Out On If You Don’t Use Contactless Payments

The use of contactless payments (or NFC Technology) in the United States is still in its infancy. Most people are familiar with this form of payment from using Apple Pay or Android Pay. We’re still at the point where people pull out their phone or use a watch to pay at the checkout and still have a look of amazement about this magical ability to pay with just a device.

What if I told you that it’s not necessary to fumble around with your phone or supinate your wrist to tap a watch to a reader in order to use contactless payments?


Banks are adding contactless technology to cards and many stores have contactless enabled card readers. So what are you waiting for? Continue reading “You Don’t Know What You’re Missing Out On If You Don’t Use Contactless Payments”