An Unforgivable Points Mistake, Plane Changes at JetBlue & Virgin, AMEX Playing Hardball With Points, & More!

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

Continue reading “An Unforgivable Points Mistake, Plane Changes at JetBlue & Virgin, AMEX Playing Hardball With Points, & More!”

When You Should(n’t) Use Airline Co-Brand Credit Cards To Pay For Airfare

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”

How We Went On A $25,000 Trip Halfway Around The World For Less Than $1000

I’ve written plenty about how I earn credit card points and airline miles, but gathering all those points and miles is meaningless unless you do something with them. We saved points for several years and managed to take a once in a lifetime trip. We could have taken this trip by flying in coach on the cheapest tickets available but why would you want an amazing trip to be ordinary?

….and no, I didn’t actually pay $25,000 for the trip.

Here are the details of the best trip I ever planned (with some help). Prices in miles are from when we took the trip. Many of these flights now cost more miles than before.

Continue reading “How We Went On A $25,000 Trip Halfway Around The World For Less Than $1000”

United Scam, Mistake Fare, Wyndham Rewards Changes, Disney Imagineers Design Airport Restaurant, & More!

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

Continue reading “United Scam, Mistake Fare, Wyndham Rewards Changes, Disney Imagineers Design Airport Restaurant, & More!”

A Beginner’s Guide To Airline Alliances

The understanding what airline alliances are and which airlines are in each alliance is a key that unlocks the door to the next level of miles and points earning and usage. The basics of airline alliances isn’t all that difficult to understand and that knowledge will allow you to use your miles in ways you never thought were possible.

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