United Just Gave Another Reason Never To Pay Full Price For CLEAR

CLEAR is the independent security program that provides a way to more quickly clear the ID check portion of the TSA checkpoint at US airports. You have to do a one-time registration where they collect your ID information and biometric data (fingerprints and iris scan). After that, when going to a flight, you head to the CLEAR kiosks instead of going to a regular line. You scan your boarding pass and your fingerprints (I’ve never had my iris scan used for ID). The clear representative then takes you to the TSA agent for whichever line you qualify for (PreCheck or the regular line).

A combination of CLEAR with TSA PreCheck is the quickest way for you to get through the checkpoints.

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While some people swear by CLEAR and how it saves them so much time at the airport, we’ve just not seen the time savings because of our travel patterns. While it wasn’t hard for us to give it a try as we got a free trial through TripIt Pro, the decision to renew will be a bit tougher. Continue reading “United Just Gave Another Reason Never To Pay Full Price For CLEAR”

Our Vacation Is All Planned! And Now……We Wait

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who feels that the planning of a vacation is almost, or sometimes more exciting than going on the trip itself. There’s so much more that’s involved with setting up the perfect trip. Even more so if you’re planning a trip using points and miles.

I’ve been planning our trip to Germany for close to a year and I’ve hit a milestone. All of our major travel plans are set. The last one happened earlier this week when the message I’d been hoping for showed up in my email at 11:42 PM (while I was asleep)

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The last puzzle piece was finally in place.

Now what?

Continue reading “Our Vacation Is All Planned! And Now……We Wait”

The Credit Cards That Will Pay For Your Global Entry Or TSA PreCheck Application Fee (Updated July 2019)

Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer decision for any frequent traveler to sign up for this program. The $100 non-refundable application fee is a small price to pay in order to blow past the long immigration lines when returning to the United States. Your Global Entry status is then good for five years. So that’s $20 a year. Where else can you buy VIP treatment for twenty bucks?

What makes this an even better deal is when you’re approved for Global Entry, you also get a Known Traveler Number (KTN), giving you access to TSA Pre✓® lanes at domestic airports. This program charges an $85 membership fee if you apply for it separately, so it only costs an extra $15 to get expedited entry when entering the U.S. on international flights (as well as some cruise ports and land crossings). You could just apply for TSA Pre-Check instead of Global Entry but the process is similar and if you’re getting reimbursed, why not go for the better deal?

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Continue reading “The Credit Cards That Will Pay For Your Global Entry Or TSA PreCheck Application Fee (Updated July 2019)”

Where Can We Go With United Miles When We Won’t Fly On United?

We’ve made a choice to avoid flying on United Airlines. For our normal travels, it doesn’t cause much of a hardship as we don’t live at a United hub airport. We’ve been able to find flights to where we want without using them and they’ve never been the cheapest or best option anyway. The problem is that we still have a stash of United miles that we earned from the United MileagePlus Explorer card sign up bonus. We didn’t renew the card but those miles are still ours and I need to figure out a use for them.

Thank goodness for airline alliances. United Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, which means we should be able to use those miles for flights on Star Alliance member airlines. You may also hear this being called “using miles on partner airlines.” So where can we fly from our home airport, or nearby, using our United miles?

Continue reading “Where Can We Go With United Miles When We Won’t Fly On United?”

This New Way To Search For Awards Found Me A Ticket For 8,000 Miles

A fact you learn when you get started with miles and points is that the earning part is relatively easy. You don’t have to learn a lot to get going and jumpstart those balances. This can cause problems down the line if you get too enthusiastic so here’s a list I made of what you should do if you’re rather new to the game.

Redeeming your miles and points for rewards can be a bit more difficult. For starters, there’s the availability problem. Unless you’re in a fixed value program like Southwest or JetBlue, not all flights have award tickets available.

Even if you find an available flight, if you have transferrable points there are numerous programs you have access to, and each of them might charge a different amount of miles and fees for the same award ticket.

If you can keep track of every award in every program, good for you. I know I can’t. But that’s not as much of a problem as it used to be…

Continue reading “This New Way To Search For Awards Found Me A Ticket For 8,000 Miles”