3 Steps Towards Traveling for Free...

Want to use miles to fly First Class around the world? Yes, it can be done! Sure, it sounds like one of those ‘too good to be true’ things, but it really works. We at Frequent Miler have been traveling in First Class for free (less taxes and fees) for years using the tricks explained in this blog. The catch (and yes, there’s always a catch) is that it takes knowledge and organization to pull it off. That’s where this blog can help!

Ironically, traveling is not the best way to earn miles & points (but it doesn’t hurt!). Credit card signup bonuses are the biggest and best opportunity for earning free points and miles. For many, it’s easy to earn hundreds of thousands of points each year through signup bonuses! Here’s how:

1. Sign Up for the Best Offers

Credit card issuers want your business and they’re willing to pay you for it in the form of huge credit card signup bonuses.

As you’ll see on our best credit card offers page, there are dozens of great bonuses out there. A common practice is to regularly sign up for new cards, primarily for the signup bonuses. And, couples can double points earnings by each signing up for the same cards.

There are so many great credit card offers available that it can be tough to know which are best for you.  One solution is to check out Greg’s Top Picks where I list my favorite card offers along with info about who I think would benefit from the card.  

A year after signing up for a card, consider avoiding the annual fee by downgrading to a no-fee card, or by cancelling altogether.

TIP: If you’re new to this, consider using Travel Freely to guide you through the process step by step.  The Travel Freely service is absolutely free.

2. Meet Spend Requirements

Most credit card signup bonuses have minimum spend requirements. For example, a 50,000 mile signup bonus will typically require $3,000 in spend within 3 months of signing up.

Techniques for meeting spend requirements include using the new credit card for all purchases; using the credit card to pay monthly bills wherever credit cards are accepted; using the credit card to pay your rent, mortgage or other loans (often for a fee). Our daily blog posts can help you learn those basics as well as additional ways to increase credit card spend without going broke.

See more here: Increase credit card spend (and get most of it back). What still works?

3. Travel for Free!

Once you’ve earned points and miles, you’ll want to use them for free travel. With some loyalty programs, that’s easy. With hotels for example, it’s usually the case that any time there’s a standard room available for sale it’s also available to book with points, or with a free night certificate. Airline miles are both more complicated and potentially more rewarding. Many airlines drastically limit availability of their cheapest ‘saver’ awards. If you want to plan the ultimate international getaway and you haven’t yet learned the ins and outs of booking award flights, consider using an award search tool or an award booking service. You’ll have to pay for these services, but in many cases it can be well worth the price..


There’s a reason that credit card companies are willing to give away points & miles. They make a lot of money from interest and fees. Interest and fee payments can quickly wipe out the benefits gained from signup bonuses. The only way to come out ahead is to pay your credit card bills in full, every month. If you can’t do that, then I highly recommend against signing up for new credit cards.

More Points and Miles

Signing up for new credit cards isn’t the only way to earn points & miles without flying. A few options include:

  • Maximizing credit card category bonuses: Many credit cards offer extra points for certain categories of purchases (e.g. restaurants, travel, groceries, etc.). It is often possible to shift spend towards those categories in order to earn far more points than you would otherwise.
  • Online shopping via portals: Online portals offer extra rewards for shopping that you would have done anyway.
  • Marketing promotions: Businesses often offer free bonus points or miles in order to attract your business. Occasionally these offers are incredibly lucrative!

There are many other ways to earn points and miles without flying. Please see this post: Top things to do for MORE miles.

Getting Started

  1. Sign up for Travel Freely (it’s free!) to keep track of your credit cards and to walk you through the process.
  2. Sign up for Award Wallet (it’s free!) to keep track of your points & miles balances.
  3. Find the best credit card offers on our Best Credit Card Offers page or go with Greg’s favorites in our Greg’s Top Picks page. If you get an offer in the mail, though, compare it to our Best Offers page. Sometimes targeted offers are better than anything else publicly available.
  4. Read more:
    1. The games we play (a big picture overview of the points & miles ‘game’)
    2. The tools we use (a list of useful tools for earning and using points & miles)
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Last month at my company xmas party, I got 2 AA Business round trip tickets to anywhere in continental US, Canada and Mexico. My wife and I usually don’t travel without the Kids ( 2 kids – 9 and 11). I was given the option to get 4 economy class tickets instead. what would you guys do?


Wish we had same sort of opportunities in Turkey as well. Eventhough Turkish Airlines is a well known company, we don’t fly much here.
Still, I will check your tips. And try to make it work.
Thanks for all.

Jim F.

Good evening, Greg/Nick!

Some ideas for valuable posts given the announcement of AA’s “Loyalty Points” scheme:
1. Can you confirm an example (a formula would be even better!) for how to calculate Loyalty Points for partner flights starting 1/1/22? I’ve seen 2 differing suggestions in BoardingArea posts and, knowing the detailed analysis you do, I think BoardingArea readers would appreciate a definitive answer to this question.
2. Will there be any impact on earning/burning 500-mile upgrade certificates in AA wallets come 3/1/22?


Love the Huge CAUTION Sign !!!! Could be a rough span with interest rates going UP !!!!

Al K

The Frequent Miler himself at a grocery store in Ann Arbor. White car vs. red. 🙂

Eric Larson

I made a SW Airlines purchase on June 11th with my SW Performance Business card during their one day 50x promotion. When I received my statement I realized the purchase posted on the 12th and I only received 3x. I contacted Chase and provided the screen shot from the SW website to show the purchase was made on the 11th. They responded by saying they “were unable to add those additional points”. I’m curious whether anyone else received 3x for their SW purchases on the 11th.

Nick Reyes

I made purchases and receive 50x with both business and personal cards. What did you buy? What date does the transaction show on your statement?

Eric Larson

I purchased points from the Rapid Rewards Point Center. I know purchasing points is generally not a great idea, but my son’s points were on the verge of expiring so I thought this would be an inexpensive way to keep them active. The statement reflects a purchase date of June 12th. I’m on the West Coast and purchased them mid morning so it was well within the 50x time period. Other than sending the screenshot from SW which shows the June 11 purchase date, I unfortunately can’t “prove” the purchase date/time.


Amex is saying one of my (large) transactions doesn’t qualify as spend for the sign up bonus on the Platinum card. It was paid to a LTD company in the UK through PayPal. The PayPal receipt lists it as such, and lists the company’s website. The Amex rep said there is nothing they can do and that they must abide by how the transaction codes. Asked to speak to a supervisor, and she said she is a supervisor. Any thoughts on how I can dispute this? Thanks.

Mark canvasser

I have 129 mqm from Delta as if 12/31. I spent 230k last year. Although I Platinum this year, What does it take to maintain Platinum for next year ? Should I cancel my reserve card ( I have the Platinum card) and save the $550 fee?

Mark A Canvasser

129,000MQMs..sorry for the typo


I can buy a $95 ticket across the country one way or use 8.5K miles. Which is the better deal? Airline charges $35 per 1K miles when purchasing miles. Trip is west coast to east coast so, 3K miles.


Hi Liza. At that price, pay for the ticket. Plus you’ll earn miles. So you’d really be paying 11.5k miles (includes the 3k you’re foregoing). Not worth it.


Greg, I am wondering about booking for someone else using my points/miles.
I know hotels generally don’t allow this unless I am staying there too – I have had no trouble in the past booking two rooms, one for myself and the other for someone else at the same time.

Question: which hotel chains allow me to book for someone else entirely (though it would likely be one of my children)?

And which airlines allow this if I am not flying as well? I think all do allow it, but not sure.

This is all assuming I am paying with my points/miles, including taxes+fees.
Could you comment please?

Stephen Olvido

Hello guys, do tours and excursions purchases from tour companies qualify as “travel” for Capital One Venture Rewards card?


American just announced a bonus deal for purchasing miles. If you buy 150,000 miles, you get a 150,000 mile bonus, and used your AA Mastercard to get miles on the purchase price. It would be $4,795 to purchase 304,795 miles. Seems like a pretty good deal. Whatchathink?

Steve S

Greg and FM Team, I was thinking about writing this in comments section of the podcast post this week but thought I’d try it here too. I thought it would be nice since you guys completed 40K to far away to revisit some of the sweet spots you found for travel between different areas not to/from US. For instance, what’s the best mileage program to fly between Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia? I have extensively tried researched this and it’s not widely covered and searching for options in business I’ve jumped down a lot of rabbit holes researching programs from Thai to EVA and more. I’ve started diving pretty deep into this and honestly can’t really come up with anyone covering this except for maybe Spencer.

By the way, great job with the Podcast. It’s one of the most valuable things in the travel rewards blogosphere at the moment. You guys cover such a range of topics and the occasional debates and constant insight goes beyond what’s possible to write about and keep someone’s attention in a post. So kudos


Hi, I just received my first travel card and I am trying to find a company online that would allow me to use my card to pay bills and have the transaction post as a charge to receive travel points.


Thank you for this great write up. This will help a lot of travelers!


It’s a shame that you can’t use your site without tracking cookies … and a little deceptive that when you try to disable them they stay on anyway.


Do you know anyone who has used the travel credits on the CNB card for gift cards recently? Do you know what works if anything?


You can use the credits for the taxes and fees for award tickets? I had no idea. Thanks!

steve vallenari

Hello, I will not reach my 50 stays required to retain platinum status with Bonvoy. I see on several sites including this one that I can retain my status with $75K in spending for the year on my SPG Luxury Amex. When I called to confirm with Marriott I was told on three occasions that that was not the case. The only way to retain status is with 50 stays. Not getting much help from Marriott customer service.

steve vallenari

I have the SPG Luxury Card. I have been told by customer service that the only way to get platinum is to spend 50 nights. Your link clearly says that with $75k spend I can keep platinum. Is there a definitive Bonvoy document that shows this to be true.
Thank you for all the help!

Nick Reyes

This is a credit card benefit rather than a Marriott Bonvoy benefit, so I’m unfortunately not surprised that a Marriott customer service representative isn’t familiar with how the credit card benefit works. If you go to American Express and pull up the application page for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant (the new name for what was the SPG Luxury card), you’ll see listed right in the key features:

Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status with your Card.‡ Earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status after making $75,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.‡”

You can find a link to the application page (which has that above quote) on our page dedicated to that card:


That’s definitely a card benefit on that particular card. Again, I wouldn’t expect a general Marriott Bonvoy customer service rep to be super familiar with it since it is a benefit on select credit cards offered by Chase and American Express. If you called the number on the back of your credit card to talk to Amex or chatted with an Amex chat rep, I’m sure they would be able to confirm with you that $75K in purchases gets you Platinum status.

steve vallenari

Thank you Greg and Nick! I really appreciate your taking the time to answer my question.

Steve S

Hey, @Steve Vallenari – in the interest of saving your potential burden I wanted to point out that AMEX is odd about Simon reporting for points. If MS on AMEX is your plan to get to the threshold, tread carefully and look for other options.

Steve S

I’m not sure if that applies to meeting spend thresholds 100% but I would assume it does.

steve vallenari

Thanks Steve.


Hi Greg, I love the Saturday video you and Nick do a great jobI have two trips to Hawaii planned for next year. Seven nights at the Ritz ( cat 7 ) on Waikiki and seven nights in Residence Inn Wailea ( cat 6 ). So I need to earn a bunch of Marriott points. I have the Marriott Brilliance card and also got one for My Mother, so I will combine those points and the annual night certificate. Going forward I’m using my Gold Amex for grocery and dinning (4x)and my Business Blue (2x) for non bonuses spend. Is this a good plan? What would you do different? What’s your favorite Marriott in Hawaii? Thanks Jim


How do I post a question?

richard h brauchler

How do I go about booking a companion ticket ?


Can you compile some guidelines about how often one can open a new account and get those bonus miles? I’ve run into some problems and would love to know all the ways to master this art! Thanks so much.

Ed. C

The 2nd quarter 2019 5X categories for Chase Freedom are groceries and home improvement stores. While grocery stores seem to have a VISA Supplier Code as “Grocery Stores/Supermarkets/Bakerys” there does not seem to be a VISA Supplier Code for “Home Improvement Store”. How are we supposed to know if a merchant meets the “Home Improvement” category if there is no such category in the VISA Supplier Locator short of going and making test purchases at various stores?

Ed. C

Thanks Greg. The store I actually was wondering about has a 5713 code – Floor Covering Stores.. I had an exchange on Twitter with @ChaseSupport and they suggested pretty much the same thing when I asked how to determine a home improvement category store given there is no such category on the VISA Supplier Locator. I guess I still don’t know. I’ll just have to go make a small test purchase to confirm definitively.

I did go back to a previous Chase credit card statement where I had made purchases at this particular store and a Lowe’s also. They both say “Home” in the category on the statement. Do you think that is an indication that it is in the “Home Improvement” category?


Hi Greg, I have a big project challenge for you that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Similar to how you post “Best Category Credit Card”, could you list “Best way to purchase air ticket”? OK, my request is more complex than it sounds. Here is my argument:

Why it is important: Airfare are often the most expensive part of a travel. The saving on this part could be huge to your readers.

Why it is complex: Simply put, because it IS:
1. Customer has the options to pay with cash or redeem airline miles.

===IF you use cash=========
2. They need to decide using credit card(obviously you have the answer for that), Chase UR/Citi TYP, or Airline GC (many of them stock quite a few due to the credit card annual airline credit. AA GC for me).
3. Many airline has companion tickets
4. Some special here and there: e.g. Chase Ritz-Carlton has $100 domestic discount. This is just one example. There are tons of “special savings” as you know well better than me.

====If you use miles=========
5. Domestic short distance: AA, UA, AV(no fuel fee), BA, blabla.
6. Domestic long distance:
7. Continental to Hawaii:
9. US-Asia
10. Trans-atlantic
11. US-Australia
The above discussion need to consider the ticket is a coach or a business ticket, separately.
(No stopover, open jaw discussion please. Let it belong those travel zealot who think they are the smartest and luckiest ones. Let them keep thinking that way. Don’t correct them.)

=====Generic limit==========
12. It is peak season or off-peak (has children at school or flexible on the dates).
13. What’s your nearby hub
14. Are you single, couple, or a family with kids.
15. Small/cheap airline options

If the decision is hard to hand calculate, maybe you can develop an algorithm or use AI to solve the issue (this sounds like a business opportunity!).

My ultimate goal is we have a xx-step SIMPLE way to find the best way to purchase ticket. Getting those steps may be complex, but the results has to be user-friendly.

Now you see why I say it is complex :). Greg, will you do it?!


Haha, glad it called your attention. Just think about it but don’t take it too serious. This question may not have an optimal answer at all as the boundary conditions are dynamic (price is changing, route is changing). Also people criteria are different (I care total duration time, some care the cost, some care if it is a direct flight, some must keep it “free” by using miles). I think everyone will have their own answer. Probably the simple answer to my question is to just list two separate checklist including top 10 most common items for those using cash and those using miles, respectively. Understandably it would not be the best answer but should be a good enough one.

Back to my dreaming: if someone really takes on this job, I think the best candidate is Google Flight search team, who can reach out multiple airlines to do the search simultaneously and do multi-dimensional analysis. But they never play mile games. They shall hire you to be the consultant :).


One more thinking: assume there is an ideal way, if you expose it and catch everyone’s attention, it may not survive then. It is kind of likely MS. You can kill it by giving it out. If too many people do the same thing, for cash, it will bump up the airfare; for miles, you will see no availability. So Greg, I actually confuse myself and don’t know if there is an answer or even if it should be published. Maybe ITA Matrix+be flexible on dates is the best answer? For miles, it should be goal-driven: where do you want to go and which airline serve that route, then whether you have miles that can redeem that route. I answered myself but as if I didn’t say anything…


The MS link in step 2 does not display properly…


I remember a post that Greg wrote a few years ago indicating that it was great that Amazon sold so much stuff because he could buy Amazon gc elsewhere, load them to Amazon, and then buy stuff with the credit in his Amazon account. I’m not a reseller, and I don’t have lots of need to buy from Amazon, but I do have a large credit on my account there. Am I overlooking something I can buy from them that I can easily turn into cash-like stuff? I see they have $200 VGC, but the price seems high vs. Staples brick & mortar for $500 VGC. Suggestions appreciated. Thx.

Nick Reyes

Staples doesn’t sell $500 VGCs. You’re not really missing anything. Amazon sells just about every type of daily need imaginable, so I’d think you could buy food, household supplies, etc. You could also buy 3rd party GCs. There isn’t a better way to turn them into cash than VGCs or reselling products. While the fee on VGCs is higher than in some other places, if you really have no need to buy anything from Amazon, the fee is lower than your next best alternative (to leave the credit in your Amazon account collecting dust). That said, I haven’t tried buying VGCs w/ Amazon GCs.


We don’t understand what’s going on with the Southwest website. We travel from GSP, which has Southwest service to Atlanta. But when we try to price flights from GSP to other cities (say, Manchester NH (MHT)), for the great majority of dates we get a message that there are no such flights. That is nonsense, of course, as there are convenient one-connection flights GSP-ATL-MHT. Southwest won’t price such a ticket for most dates, and on the very few dates for which it will price such a ticket, the prices are ridiculous (say, $800 r/t compared to $250 for Delta and American). Please let us know what we are doing wrong!

William Zackey

Very poor information-Could not get answers of this site–Called and they could not help–talked to 4 different people


Both you and Nick Reyes wrote extensively about Marriott/SPG travel packages. I wonder if you or Nick could help me because I am still confused about how to proceed. I bought a Category 6 seven night package on 08/15 and am not sure about what I should do regarding asking for the 30k bonus refund or booking a stay. Example: I am interested in the Westin Cayman resort which right now is listed as a Category 6 hotel on the Marriott site. Will my package certificate change in designation and no longer be a “6”? If so, should I book now while the Westin and my certificate match? And if I ask for the 30k refund now, will that cause something which will prevent me form booking the Westin? I would like this to end with my receiving the 30k points refund and a booking at the Cayman resort. Thank you for any help you may offer.


Greg, today I attached an OLD category 1-5 certificate to a hotel that is a new category 5 but used to be a category 7 or 8. (I can’t remember which) Interesting!!!! I’m confirmed!!! The hotel is Renaissance Republique Paris. YMMV. If anything changes I’ll let u know. I just did it. Afternoon of September 4. I did notice that in the section for my awards on the Marriott site it still says my certificate is a category 1-5. Ie it hasn’t been updated to 1-4.

Paul Hutchins

Direct MS Question
Just got approved for SPG Luxury Card from AMEX. My question is this, with the minimum spend requirement of $5K I’m either going to have to get creative or MS to hit the min spend. Slightly worried about shutdown or clawbacks with MS on AMEX specifically with the purpose of hitting minimum spend.
What percentage if any of the $5K min on MS threshold with earning min spend on SPG cards? I should probably add AMEX is used to seeing the “usual suspects” on my other SPGs since I MSed pretty hard on them for the last couple years and really hit it hard in the lead up to Aug when the everyday spend return dropped


I need some advice. I’ve been in the miles/pts game for a little bit. See so I have the Chase Trifecta( Reserve, Freedom Unl, Freedom) and Amex Platinum and several others. I’ve found the Chase UR pts to be the best and easiest to use, so I’d like to get another Chase card, but I’ve been unsuccessful getting approved for the Chase business cards(prior to app, Chase rep said I was not in violation of 5/24 Chase rule, but denial letter said I had opened too many cards within last 24mos). Any suggestions on how to get approved for another UR Chase card? Or next best reward cards to apply for? I have good amount of spend coming up now and over course of year and I want to capitalize on as many bonus promos as I can. Would greatly appreciate some actionable advice. Thanks all!


Greg, Thanks for the advice. I may try this. Instead, I opened a Citi Premier card.

I actually spoke with Chase today about the denials and was informed by the lending department that I “have opened too many cards in the last 24mos, not only Chase cards.” I asked specifically how many is too many and I was told that they cannot give me that information. I asked repeatedly. No direct answer was given. I wonder if anyone else has had this experience.


Greg, not sure where to post this….so I hope you see this.

In all this marriott TP chitter chatter, one thing keeps nagging me: Why Why WHY are they still selling these?

They arbitrarily shut down the Ritz card in the dead of night. (Maybe it was Chase, but still….these things CAN be done.)

Why not just shut the TP program down as well? In the middle of the night. Then they can make their announcement as to what they are doing in preparationg for D-Day, August 18. It would lead to a smoother transition.

But they aren’t doing that. They are still selling them.

I can think of only two reasons:

1) They still haven’t figured out what to do. But even then, they could still just shut everything down and figure it out in the next week or so.

2) Or they WANT us to use points, so they get as many points off their books as possible. Points are of course a kind of liability on the balance sheet. They’ll take a charge for the Wall Street analysts for the merger anyway, and then they move on.

This way their balance sheet looks as clean as possible.

My guess is that they will do something generous, but whatever it is, I think they want those points off their books and as such, I doubt they’ll just redeposit the points. Who knows?

The point again tho is: why the heck are they still selling these things?

Ed. C

My wife received her first Chase personal card recently and after setting up online access for her, the first thing I did was go the Chase Credit Journey to check her report. I was shocked to see it says she has 5 opened accounts in the last 2 years, which I knew wasn’t true. I then went to Credit Karma and checked both her TransUnion report and her Equifax report, and then I went to Experian and checked her report there. All 3 showed the same information – that she has 3 opened accounts in the last 2 years with 2 of those being authorized user accounts. Even counting her Chase Ink Cash card and her new, unreported as of yet, Freedom card she would only be at 5 with the authorized user accounts.

Why would Chase Credit Journey show 5 accounts when TransUnion, where they get their information from, shows 3 accounts? I am hoping she can get the CSP in a couple of months and realize Chase bases their account decisions on Experian’s report, so is this anything to be concerned about?


Hi Greg – I recently applied for a Chase Business Card. Even though I am over the 5/24 limit, I thought that since it was a business card, I might get approved. I was denieged the card, but their reason for the denial was a little funny. They said, “Too many credit cards opened in the last two years associated with you”. I agree I have had to many cards under their 5/24 rule, but they implied they made the decision based on my Trans Union credit bureau information – an account that is locked and can not be accessed by creditors.

Thanks for your comment,


Thanks Greg – what do you think about their reason for not approving my application -I agree I have had to many cards under their 5/24 rule, but they implied they made the decision based on my Trans Union credit bureau information – an account that is locked and can not be accessed by creditors. Can the credit card company access my credit bureau for information even if it is “locked”?


Give me some points pleeeease!


Hi Greg,

I know that it has been asked and answered a dozen times , but I am still confused:

“ will fifty combined nights in calendar year 2018, at starwood as well as Marriott hotels result in qualifying for platinum in 2018, with platinum status lasting until approximately March 1 2020? “

If you can answer this for me I would appreciate it. The mid year transition has confused me.

Thank you


I have tons of miles(millions) in most US based airline programs( aa, united, sw, aeroplan, alaska) , and in spg, and MR.
Also have a ton of 7 night marriott certs that i got through marriott air+hotel packages.
I travel a lot on international premium class using points (and domestically using companion pass, Avios (when it is not down) and MR 35% off for last minute travel – alas the MR 50% days just went away).

What do you recommend i do with my spg points? Am skeptical of buying marriott air+hotel packages, but dont see any other option that is safe (remember that i continue to earn spg points in the meantime, which i will SWITCH to Chase spend after aug 1)

Am worried about Aug 1. I have read most blogs and realize what possible changes can happen.
Should i buy some MORE alaska/united packages? They offer the best charts/value currently of all air+hotel packages.

AA – i did many air+hotel packages when they had their huge transfer bonuses, so have enough AA miles.

In my estimate the transfer bonus AA, Aeroplan, United have offered in the past, easily outweigh the depreciation that miles would suffer, hence i went to town when those bonuses were announced, hence have plenty of those 3 airline points.



They are a rip off . Said I can redeem by end of month and am locked out



I will try to make this very quick as I know you have tons of emails. If I have an option to get AA platinum (50k) or delta silver (25k) before the end of 2019, which would you choose. The caveat is that I will be living in Atlanta starting in 2019. I don’t really care about having to have one connection to most places considering Atlanta isn’t an AA hub. What would you chose? One other thing, I can get AA platinum in the next 20 days via a status challenge.

Thanks so much for your opinion!


I would love to win!


Please help/guide to find the easiest way to check the availability of the turkish airlines award flights that we can book thru aeroplan later.



I think you mentioned that you were going to use your SPG Amex card a lot prior to August 1st when the Marriott deal kicks in.and you’ll only get 2 MR points for 1 SPG point. I saw that SPG is again offering the 35% discount on point purchases through May 31st. Is this more worthwhile than usual to purchase?


Hey guys. Your site is outta site. Question: I’m fairly new to the hotel CC thang. I’m evaluating whether it will be worth it to keep my and my wife’s SPG cards. Between personal and business, we have four SPG cards. Does that mean that upon anniversary, (under the new guidelines to be rolled out this fall…) we’d collectively have four Marriot annual stay certificates? WOuld we be able then theoretically be able to stay four nights at the same hotel (assuming availability) for free? I also have the Marriot Bness card. Might that get me a fifth night at the same hotel? I do understand that the category of hotel will be restrictive, but that said, would this work?


How do I sign up to get emails for when my check is deposited on the blue bird card


Hey Guys, does Gift of College gift cards incur the wrath of an AMEX signup bonus clawback?

Carl P

I was trying to post on article and got invalid Capta ocde foive times. Anything up?

Anthony Sara

Keep in mind that your Auto and HO insurer may put you in a less favorable underwriting category and increase your premium when you apply for and are given a new credit card as happened to me several years ago with Hartford (or 21st Century–I don’t remember).


I’m curious what Greg did with the BOA cards he applied for last year. I grabbed 6 myself after reading Greg’s post. Did you close all of them? What’s your BOA strategy going forward? After BOA’s 2/3/4 rule, I’m eligible for one card in March. Debating Virgin Atlantic, Alaska or the Premium Reward.


Hello, I got a CSP over two years ago. In November 2017, I product changed it to a Freedom. I was actually getting ready to apply for the CSR. Now that I am below 5/24, I’m having second thoughts about the CSR. I love my Prestige too much for the 4th night benefit, and I’m not sure if I want two $450 cards. Do you see any issues associated with getting approved for the CSP again and getting the bonus a second time?

Nick Reyes

The important date with Chase is when you received the signup bonus. It must have been at least 24 months since you last received a signup bonus on the CSP to get a signup bonus again. For example, let’s say you opened the card in December 2015 and you completed the spend on January 31st 2016 and your next statement cut on February 21st 2016. The signup bonus points would have posted on February 21st, 2016 with that statement. In that example, you would have gotten the CSP over two years ago, but earned the signup bonus LESS than 24 months ago and you would therefore not be eligible to receive the signup bonus again.

Moral of the story is that you need to check when you got the signup bonus. If you received the signup bonus more than 24 months ago, you’re good to go on getting approved for it again.


This four-month old post rear its head in my daily inbox today, as if to prove yet again that every coin has a tail and a head both. I landed in Medellin yesterday with two free checked bags on a multi-city United award redemption, fees and taxes paid by United card. One of my two checked bags is still missing, or I think it is since I’ve not received the promise email/telephone contact from Copa. So yes, I paid no baggage fees for two 50-lb. suitcases but no, I don’t have the 12 hour missing luggage insurance that was available to me by using CSP. Copa’s luggage service site indicates it’s initially willing to pay $25 in daily reimbursement for not more than three consecutive days. I hope not to find out more, except whether showers fall softly as predicted for late tonight and whether the weather will feel chilly as the temp falls from 81F to 64F. Good sleeping weather, as they say.

Doug Martin

Hi Guys…
Question… I don’t yet have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card that says you can use your Ultimate Rewards points for travel purchases thru them valued at 1.5 cents per.
If I get that card, will the 500k UR points I have already accumulated thru my Ink Plus card be valued and usable at the higher 1.5 rate or at the current 1.25 rate?
It would be a $1250 swing. Thanks in advance.
Keep up the good work, you guys are great.


Good news. You’ll be able to transfer your points to the CSR which will give you 1.5 for all of your points Once your CSR is available through Chase on mine, it’s pretty simple to combine your points.


Love the blog Greg and appreciated meeting up at the Chicago Seminars a few months ago.

A quick suggestion — I would put out a warning about The Plastic Merchant. I learned about them at the Chicago Seminars and they’ve been having issues with checks that bounce. The points chaser posted something (http://pointchaser.com/plastic-merchant-payment-issues/) and I’m hoping word gets around before people get burned big time.


I am trying to book an award flight using United miles to Europe this summer. While at the FTU Expo someone mentioned to not only check United’s website for availability, but partners as well. I tried to search using SwissAir and Singapore Airlines, but don’t have an account there. Is there a way to get around that. Any advice is appreciated.


“Happy Holidays!”

Valerie Deja

“CHOOSE ME” – would love to win the points to finally see Italy … Thank you for this chance …

David L Hendricks

Would LOVE to win

Hilde Hendricks

Happy Holidays.

Scot Weaver

Bring it 2018. Let’s go!


Pick Me…:)
Happy New Year


Thank you for this really informative blog! This year, I’ve stepped up my game from a casual pursuit of this “hobby” (which in the past allowed me to send loves ones on fabulous vacation trips) to an earnest quest to earn substantial points/miles to fund family visits to, and hotel stays for, a loved one who now must travel a huge amount to get cancer treatments. God willing, the points/miles I’m amassing – in no small part from reading this and similar blogs – will also fund a “remission victory trip” for our extended family, post-treatments. Meanwhile, treating loved ones and friends to gifts, meals, and smell-the-roses experiences has allowed us all to continue creating fond memories as well as earned additional points/miles.

Marc Reisberg

Happy Holidays!
(And please pick me – my family could use a nice vacation)

Michael McCormick

Happy holidays. Please pick the most worthy person and thank you for all the advice you give. Without taking advantage of points, perks and discounts, I would not be able to see and experience so much.

Elaine Farran

Please pick me! LOVE SPG! Enjoyed your e-mails and looking forward to another year of interesting writing from you.


Happy Holidays!

R. Dworkin

Happy Holidays! Great tips.


pick me!

Robert Vaughan

Pick me!

Nick Vla

Happy holidays to all!!

Angel Johnson

Merry Christmas, This girl loves a vacation!


Really could use those!

Alex Baskin

Thanks for the content, all the best.

Teri Ross

If you pick me, I will write a terrific blog post for you about the trip around the World I am just completing using many many travel hacks.

emory d williams

Thanks for your invaluable help in experiencing travel I would have missed without points

Sara sussman

Help me have a very merry year!

Sara sussman

Make my year good!


Happy holidays!

chris adam

thank you for all your tips they have really helped
Happy Holidays


If you pick me, I’ll be your best friend!


Great Xmas idea! Merry Xmas everyone! And yes, i do hope to be picked


Love your blog! By the way, Dec. 26 is my b’day & the SPG points would be a phenomenal b’day gift!! Happy holidays!

Gary Ray

Happy New Year! I could use a vacation.


Love the daily emails! Thanks for the info. Would love to be picked 🙂


What a gift to receive timely and practical tips from your blog. Happy 2018!

Steve Kraus

Happy holidays!!!

Mohammed Shareef

Love reading your blog, enjoy your holidays


I need the SPG points for my vacation 🙂

Jennifer Johnson

Pick me please!!!!!!

Thomas kim

Love your blogs. Happy holidays !

Cliff Hellard

Appreciate all the work you put into the blog and updates. Always topical.


Happy Holidays. Thanks for a great year of blogging

Amanda Beckler

Please pick me!!!

Amanda Beckler

Pick me please!

Sandy maroney

Happy Holidays! Thanks for all the valuable information

Toni St John

Peace on Earth! Pick me!



Kathy Saalfeld

I read about the accounts being dropped on e-rewards. I’ve not had that problem however I have enough points to get quite a few thousand emiles points. Every time I try it says the emiles are out of stock. This has been at least 6 months.


If I apply for 2 different credit cards from separate companies such as Am Ex & Chase, does that count as 2 separate credit inquiry?

Or, if these 2 companies pull my credit from the same credit bureau, would it only count as one?

Does that matter at all?


Rick Rector

Hello Frequent Miler.
A quick question; for some reason Award Wallet didn’t notify me my United miles were expiring, which they did in June. I had about 279,000 miles. United will let me buy most of them back for $600. Good deal or no? I rarely fly United anymore, but was hoarding these for a vacation.

Nick Reyes

Ugh — that’s a bummer. Award Wallet can’t automatically track your United balance — you have to forward your statements to them….I’m not sure if that’s why it didn’t track your expiration.

As to whether or not it’s a good deal to buy back your miles — it depends on how you will use them. Personally, I’d probably pay $600 to get back 279K. That’ll get you round trip in business class to anywhere in the world with miles to spare or 2-4 people round trip in economy class just about anywhere (10+ if you can find domestic saver space), and you have access to tons of airlines in the Star Alliance (you only have to fly United if you’re flying domestically). I think that’s worth the trade.

But domestic saver availability is tough to come by — if you’re planning a vacation for exact date A to exact date B to popular destination X during peak travel period Y, it might not work out to be worthwhile. I guess you have to look at where you’re thinking of going…..and I’d Google it to see whether or not that price is negotiable (I don’t know whether or not it is).

Rick Rector

That’s helpful. Many thanks, Nick.

Rick Rector

Thanks, Greg. There’s some good news. When I went to the United site, they offered me the miles back at a 20% discount, so I only paid $480. A good deal and a good deal more! Now all I need to do is make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Thanks to you and Nick for your help. I’m a big fan of your work.



Hi Greg! Been reading for a long time and consider myself quite knowledgeable thanks mostly to all your great posts. Here’s something I’m curious about though:

I’m currently full up on Amex cards. I recently got approved for my last available spot with an Amex EveryDay Preferred Card (going to be spending in supermarkets a lot and wanted to max out the 3x->4.5x value–also because I got the Amex Biz Platinum and still get 50% rebate until next May. So want to stock up on Amex points to take advantage of that before getting kicked back to 35%).

Here’s my question. I have an Amex EveryDay card that has been open for 18 years. I don’t want that now since I have the EveryDay Preferred. But… I’m afraid if I close that account, it will negatively affect my “average credit card age”, since that is currently roughly 6 years, and the Amex EveryDAy is my oldest card.

I’ve considered waiting a year and then closing the Amex EveryDay Preferred card (which would have been open for 1 year), and then upgrading my Amex EveryDay into an EveryDay Preferred. But I don’t want to wait that long. I want to apply for more Amex cards! Lol. Like the hilton one.

What’s the best way to get rid of cards I don’t want, while not losing their credit history so my “average age of credit” remains high and in good standing?


Hi Greg! Avid reader, first time commenter. Wanted to reach out with a question:

I’m about to spend a lot of money on furniture (~25-30k). What’s the best way to take advantage of this to generate rewards? Are there any good cards you know of with 2x or more for furniture stores? (Most purchases will be in-store, though probably several thousand in online shopping). Or should I go for a high spend bonus on a single card? Or sign up for several new cards and try to hit minimum spend in exchange for sign-up bonuses? I haven’t gotten into Amex rewards at all, would this be a good opportunity to establish myself there?

Here are the cards currently in my wallet:

– Chase Sapphire Reserve
– Chase Ink Biz Preferred
– Chase Freedom
– Chase Mileage Plus Explorer
– Chase Amazon

Thanks for help!


Oh! Forgot to mention these purchase will almost all be made out of the country, so need cards with free international transactions…


Thank you, Greg!


Greg and Nick,

I stumbled upon this link and was wondering if any Visa Signature card holders could take advantage of this offer for LoungeKey? and also wondering if its safe to give your card number to them for verification?


Many Thanks in Advance

Ken Updike

Are there FFD Codes available for Plastiq that are not referral?

James Stawski

Are you guys hiring additional bloggers for your site?

deborah graham

Petco: Spend $25, get 500 Membership Rewards
why can’t I add this coupon to my card. there was a blue box to click on for both of these items

Petco: Spend $25, get $5 back

Why it’s a good deal: You know you’re not going to stop your SO from buying toys/treats/laser pointers. This offer came in both Membership Rewards and cash back flavors on different cards.

Nick Reyes

Try again? I’ve had a few offers lately that gave me an error the first time I clicked “add to card”. I just clicked “add to card” again (without leaving the page or refreshing or anything) and it worked.


how to use “AA” miles which are near expiration?


What is the best way to capture the airline credit of the CNB Crystal VISA? I just got one of those with 3 AUs (a total of 4 cards) after a lot of planning (I live in Florida and CNB does not have offices here). Now I have 4x $250 to capture until the end of the year, but my favorite spending target, the UA Gift Registry, has taken an extended leave of absence (and may be dead for good). What is a good way of using the CNB airline credit in your experience? Thank you in advance for the advice!


Given the recent changes Chase made to its Sapphire family products, i.e., limiting total card number to 1 and expanding the 1 bonus per 24 month the entire family, do you think that sometime later this year Chase will do the same to the Southwest family to take away the companion pass options for 2018/2019? I have the choice of getting 2x60k bonus to qualify for companion pass for this year and next year, but if I could just wait for 60k bonus to show up early next year I could have companion pass for 2018/2019. What’s your thought on Chase’s direction?


Just in case it wasn’t known- I bot 500 dollar gift card at Ritz Carlton Westchester and received the 100 dollar credit on my Amex- great blog – yours and DOC my two favorite- will support you when I can for sure

M Chin

What is the best method to convert/transfer into Southwest Rapid Rewards – to maximize miles? I have over 1 million SPG (Platinum) and also 200K+ of Chase Sapphire Reserve. Thx.

Danny M

Car Rental Primary Insurance– If I rent the car, she is not a signed driver, and we use her Chase Reserve Card, where I am not an authorized user, we will be covered in full for primary insurance?

I have Hertz Gold status and wanted to get the perks and points.

Nick Reyes

I don’t believe the rental company will allow you to pay with a credit card in someone else’s name. I believe they all require that the card presented for payment match the name of the driver.


So If I have Chase Ink, Chase Freedom, and Chase UAL which is the best to use? My guess is Chase UAL.

Angela Smith

The promotion that you listed to be 20% off by email on yesterday from staples for the Panera bread $50 gift cards and the GAP $25 Gift card is not working…please advise me what is going on

Nick Reyes

Hi Angela. As noted in that post, those deals often sell out early. It looks like the denominations that were on sale have sold out unfortunately. I’d check back throughout the week (and check comments on that post) as they sometimes get restocked.

Angela Smith

According to Staples they were not on sale

Nick Reyes

See the screenshots in the post. It was online only. You can also see the post from Doctor of Credit that I linked to. Based on comments there, it sounds like these denominations sold out last night. Again, these sometimes come back in stock. You can see in the screenshot of the GAP card that I posted yesterday that the deal is scheduled to end this weekend (I cut off the date on the screen shot of the Panera offer, but DoC has a shot with the date) so it may come back in stock. They were definitely on sale, it’s just a matter of whether or not they come back.

If you’re interested in deals like this, I recommend clicking “Subscribe” at the top of this page and subscribing to instant email updates as many limited-time offers like this don’t last. You’ll want to jump on this type of deal as soon as it’s posted.


Hi Greg,

I’m a big fan of your blog, especially your coverage of Virgin Atlantic, Necker Island, etc!

Do you happen to know whether it’s still possible to be approved for a second BofA Virgin Atlantic Black card? Reports on the Alaska Visa Signature card seem to indicate it’s getting much harder to have two personal cards at the same time, but I couldn’t find any data points for the Virgin Atlantic card. Ideally, I’d like to get a second card to earn additional tier points beyond the current limit of 50 per month. As a rule of thumb, how long would you wait in between applying for the same BofA card?

Many, many thanks!

kenneth kercher

I recently took your advice in purchasing the VISIO from Dell through the portal. Have not yet seen the price match refund nor the 90 day discount certificate. What has to happen to realize both of these benefits?

Nick Reyes

I’m not sure which deal you bought or when, but here are my attempts to answer:

When you say “price match refund”, do you mean that you filed a credit card price protection claim? You would do that with Discover Price Protection or Citi Price Rewind or Chase Price Protection. You can call or possibly submit online depending on which card you used. Once you have submitted the claim, it depends on the issuer. In my experiences with Citi and Discover, I think my claims were approved within a week or two (Discover lets you check the status online and typically has the fastest turnaround in my experience). Have you submitted your claim for that yet?

As for the Dell Promotional gift card, that should be emailed to you 10-20 days after you order. Keep an eye on your email. If it has been between 10-20 days, search your email for “Dell Promotional” to be sure that it didn’t slip by you. If you don’t have it and it has been less than 20 days since your order, just be patient and keep an eye out for it. If it’s been more than 20 days and you can’t find the email, try contacting Dell support. In my experience, they’ve been pretty good and I usually get the email within the timeframe specified. It is then valid for 90 days from the day that they email it.

Let me know if you need additional help.



Thanks for all the great info you provide here!

For years I have been using an American Express Plum Card for business purposes. I take advantage of the early pay discount (since I tent to pay bills as soon as they come in anyhow) which gets me 2% cash back each month. Not too bad since our company bill tends to run about 30K a month on average. In addition I have enough going on a business and personal SWA Visa to get a companion pass, which we get plenty of use out of.

Since reading Frequent Miler we now have our telcom expense and such going to an Ink Business Plus for 5X, and I have the AmEx Platinum for business travel benefits. (The 50% point rebate for first class has been awesome! Thank you!)

My question is this. I never hear you mention the Amex Plum. Since I have the lions share of cc charges going to this card for the company, and I missing a downside to it?

Safe Travels,

Aaron Biner

What is the quickest way to earn Silver status on Virgin Atlantic? I need that in order to book Necker Island. Thank You!

laura roden

(Apologies if this has already been answered – I can’t find it addressed:)
To get my new Amex card bonus, I need to spend $20k on “qualifying purchases… excluding gift cards.”
Question: what if I buy gift cards from secondary sellers on eBay, Raise.com etc…?
Will Amex disqualify those purchases?
Thanks so much!


You recommend AwardWallet.

Is there anyplace that compares the different points tracking websites so someone can find the one that best suits their accounts?

I’ve avoided these websites because of security. Am I being overly cautious?


Greg, First thanks for all the amazing post you guys deliver.
On to the question, i had Amex platinum 2 years ago with an 100k bonus and later downgraded to gold last year(AF waived!). I received an email about upgrading my Gold card to Platinum with a 60k offer(got a POID code). I wasn’t sure if they would give me the 60k points as i had platinum card before. Called Amex and they confirmed that they don’t see anything in terms and conditions which prevents me from getting the 60k after 5k spend.
Have you heard from anyone if this is actually true? 60k for an upgrade is too good to pass on.



Hello! I have a general question. I am starting a new career where I will be flying every week and staying at hotels on my own credit cards and rewards, compensated Bi-monthly for expenses. I am curious how you think I could maximize these rewards. I was thinking of using the Amex Platinum and booking with delta for the 5X flights, and booking my hotels though hilton with a hilton card. Others in my position have used delta platinum. Any thoughts would be great! Thank you!


I am going to be renewing my IHG Ambassador status. For revenue options, they have $150 &
10,000 points or $200 & 15,000 points plus a 10% rebate on reward nights. I don’t think I’ll be using many reward nights as I only have 115,000 points on my account before the bonus and my husband has only 48,000 points. We both have a free night each from our IHG credit card so we probably would stay on points for 2- 3 nights as well as use the free BOGO Ambassador night. Which do you think is the best renewal option or do you use points to renew?


I have been trying to apply for the Hilton Honors card for the last week and it keeps saying the application site is down. Is this a common AMEX thing?


Dont know if its been mentioned, but I was in Stop and Shop earlier today and noticed a sign saying they now accept credit cards towards amex, visa and mc gift card purchases.

Nick Reyes

A question about using Chase points…
If I book an SPG property (or any other property for that matter) using my Chase points, will I be able to get the loyalty points the same way as if I had booked and paid for the property myself using “real” money?


Hi Greg,
I have been following your blog for the last few months and have learned a lot and enjoy reading your posts. I wanted to ask advise on couple different things if it is possible.
I have the chase sapphire reserve card, sapphire preferred, freedom and the ink business and the capital one venture and I have around 320k UR points. I use the reserve and ink card for my day to day purchase and of course for the bonus categories like travel and food and use the freedom for the bonus in rotating category. I put around 4K a month on my credit cards. Can you please tell me what other cards might be good for my portfolio? I was thinking of downgrading the preferred and also closing the venture account and re-applying for the venture card? It will be two years in October that I had applied the preferred card, so can I re-apply for that card again?
Lastly I want to go to Hawaii from the east coast. I live in Philly. I was trying to take advantage of the 25k Korean air points. However I think from Philly it might be tough so I am searching from New York JFK.
Someone told me that I can directly search on the Korean air website but whenever I do that I am not successful. The person that told me to use Korean air site said that he was successful doing it. Can you please advise me how I can look for this? Perhaps look in Alaska air website for delta awards. I really appreciate if you can help me with this.
Thank you,


I am Marriott Gold Elite – now linked to SPG Gold. With Marriott I can usually get a room upgrade and access to the executive lounge (if they have one). When I looked at SPG Gold they talk about a room upgrade but no executive lounge access unless your Platinum. Seems like they are downgrading the benefit and wonder what they will do when they have their full merger. Has anyone tried to get SPG lounge access as a Marriott Gold?

Nick Reyes

They aren’t downgrading the benefit — SPG is just a separate program that has never had lounge access for Gold members. Ritz-Carlton does not have lounge access for any elite members — not even Platinum members (everyone needs to pay for access).

At the moment, status is reciprocal — meaning that you can match your Marriott Gold status to both Ritz-Carlton Gold and SPG Gold — but the programs are still separate (meaning that you are only entitled to the benefits of the program in which the hotel participates). You can’t use the benefits of one program in another program — you can only match status levels.

In other words, if you are Marriott Platinum, you can match that to Starwood Platinum and you would have lounge access in the hotels within both brands. You could also match to Ritz-Carlton Platinum, but you will not get lounge access at a Ritz-Carlton as their program doesn’t offer it.

We don’t yet know what the program will look like when Marriott combines all three. If I were purely guessing, I would think that the lounge access benefit will be limited to certain brands. But we just don’t know.

Note: One of the benefits of the Amex SPG business card is lounge access at Sheratons. We don’t know what will happen with that post-merger, but it’s a way to get lounge access at Sheraton hotels in the short term (even without any status at all).


I am wondering if you could share some ideas or experience about IRS Tax Report for miles earning, and buy and sell game. I think many milers have the same question or some didn’t even realize this could be a problem.


Thank you for your reply. I don’t know whether it is legal to sell miles. If legal, do we need to be taxed for this. Thank you.


Hi, ive been following you for a while and have put together some good trips to disney and hawaii using a combination of points and cash…thanks for all the advice. My wife and I are thinking about starting cruising, but i cant find any info from the couple of bloggers i follow. As far as rewards, status, and awards for cruises go, do you have any advice on where to begin?


Thanks for the reply, Greg! I have both of those cards (of course!), and I appreciate you reminding me of such benefits. This gives me a place to start.


I don’t understand. How can you avoid the annual fee when they make you pay it on the first bill you receive? My ink+ put the $95 AF on my first months bill and told me all of their cards are done the same way.


Hi Greg – Can I use paypal for MS? Can I set my cash advance limit to zero and paypal my wife with a credit card?




Does hotel chain status obtained through having credit card count as the starting point towards reaching the NEXT level of elite status?

For example, I am SPG Gold by virtue of having the Amex Platinum card. SPG Gold requires 10 stays, while Platinum requires 25 stays. Does this mean I need only 15 more stays to reach Platinum? I assume not, since if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Under that method, is temporary platinum status given during the challenge period, or only after?


I have over 75,000 miles with United. How do I use these miles towards flights with their partner airlines to get a better class. Every time I select use points the partner airlines disappear. Is there a way to do this?


I forgot to mention, I noticed other sites are the same. Am I missing something here?


Thanks Greg. Sorry it took so long for me to reply. I’ve been doing a lot of fact finding. I was sidetracked by all the information. Thanks for your timely response. I appreciate the that and the help! I went back as you said and figured it out. Thanks again.


May have missed out on use of our Ultimate Rewards, but checking with more experienced travelers. Apologies if this isn’t appropriate to ask about here, but this is the situation: husband bought United ticket 11/13 to fly out of country through Expedia. Forgot to check our accumulated Ultimate Reward points which were there to cover cost of this trip on United. Flight was 1/9 to 1/13. Is there a statement credit option after the fact that he should inquire about with Expedia or United, or has this plane already left the hanger? Is using Expedia for purchase the obstacle? Any advice is most welcome.


Totally new at this. I have 140,638 UR points. I want to take advantage of IAD to Dublin in late May on Aer Lingus using Avios their new “miles chart” coming in at 26000 points for round trip. So I have never transferred miles before. Do I just create a British Airways account and move the points that way? I live in Maryland so I don’t have an UK address. Then I find the flight I want –
Departing Fri, May 26 10:25 pm Washington, DC, US (IAD – Dulles)
Arriving Sat, May 27 10:25 am Dublin, IE (DUB)
– How do I absolutely confirm this is an award flight? Once confirmed do I then just call BA to book?
Thanks in advance for any help!! Super excited about this trip!


Your old style credit card links were the best. Bring back the old style. Probably applied for 30 cards through your old links. Your new links are terrible to navigate. I used million miles now as that blogger has links similar to your old style. Why did you change? New style not good for experienced mile and pointers. Just a comment in case you have seen numbers drop


I m planning a trip from LAX to Bangkok next thanksgiving. With United I can get a one way business award for 80,000 points. However when I tried to do it through CSR Ultimate Points for the exact same date/class the lowest that came up was over 140,000 (Turkish airlines) all the way up to 389,000 points (United). Any idea why this is happening. I thought with CSR there was a 25% bonus when using points.

Mark T

Hey Greg, was going through some old posts of yours about Million mile madness (MMM). Questions about your reselling strategy, did you already have an existing amazon seller account before you started MMM or did you create it specifically for MMM. Was your amazon account a professional or individual account? What research tools did you use to see if an item would sell or not? Amazon requires approval for quite a few categories, how soon were you able to get approvals when required?

James B.

Hi Greg,

Did you do any reselling on other sites like ebay?

If not, why not?

I understand that Amazon and ebay have similar sales commissions.


I know that with Marriott if I don’t have enough points in my account, I can combine at the time of booking Marriott points from my wife’s account. I also know that Starwood allows you to transfer points between husband and wife anytime. Can a work around to transferring her Marriott points to me without a booking be to first transfer my wife’s Marriott points to Starwood, then transfer her Starwood points to me. I have Platinum status and she is Gold.



Freeman Grover

Hi Greg,

I’m having some difficulty in getting some additional miles on my American Advantage account so that I can complete the arrangements for 4 family tickets – flying back from Maui to LAX. I only need about 7,000 miles but can’t find a quick way to do it. I have a number of other accounts with miles for flights, but don’t know how to get those miles into my American account. With this little bit of information, can you provide an possible solutions for transferring miles. I have SPG and Marriott points, Hilton pts, United miles, Alaska Air miles, Amer Exp Delta miles and a few others but can’y find a “good” way to do it.

Etai Zilberman

Any credit cards for whoever don’t have US bank account?

Sue Commesso

Hey Greg,

I just got approved for a Chase Sapphire Reserve (applied 12/29) and a Southwest Personal Premier (applied 12/31). I also applied for a Southwest Business card and was declined for “Too many requests for credit or opened accounts with us”. When I called the reconsideration line, the representative came back and forth 4 times to ask questions and verify information. I sat on that call 30+ minutes, thinking that they surely would approve me with everything they asked of me. He came back and told me that because the two accounts that they had given me were so new they could not grant me the business card at this time and kind of alluded to them wanting to see my account management and payment behavior first. I asked him if we could spread out the amount of credit they had granted me on the two cards to three to see if that would help. He said because it was a business product and the other two were personal, that was not an option. I asked him how long I should wait before I apply again, which he would not answer but told me to call Transunion for advice.

How long do you think I should wait before I try again for the Southwest business card?

Steven Casey


I’m a little new at all of this, but from past travels and recent CSR program, have a bit of points scattered here and there (probably 500k various places). Now that my wife and I are retired we plan to travel more.

Is there a safe, reliable resource available that I can send them ALL of my points and cards info and they can advise me on what to keep, what to cancel, what to apply for and how to maybe consolidate points?

Thanks. Lots of great info on this site, spending the day reading.

Steven Casey

I actually just tallied, 2,002,000 points across multiple programs…


Thanks for this info! Also, hotels will do a tier-status match. For example, if you’re diamond status at Hilton and desire a high comparable level at Marriott, the Marriott will honor your your tier status match request, with proof, of course. Then you’ll enjoy the benefits of both chains. Hyatt, will, as well!


The Manufactured Spend Wall of Shame My wife would love to see me on it!


I love this blog! I learn so much and it makes me feel so righteous! But I feel like an idiot and am so ashamed! This week I went in to Office Depot and bought a $300 Starbucks gift card to cash in Ink 5X Later I was looking at my account and realized I put it on my Sapphire. This idiotic moment means I urinated away 1200 free miles. I will ask for forgiveness this Sunday at services but I also ask this community to pray for me that I might rise out of stupidity next week! I haven’t felt this bad since I bought the wrong Vanilla Reload card and never would have learned if it wasn’t posted as a pic by Greg.


Hi Greg, is the Ebates Cash Back Visa credit card worth getting/profitable for GC/VGC at Office Depot?


Jeannie M.

Fantastic site! So, I have a Hyatt Free Night expiring on 11/30/2016 [yes, that’s tomorrow] and they are telling me since I check out on December 1st that I cannot use the free night. It’s a Chase night. I cannot find anything that states these expire the day before — since I would have to check in on the 29th for a certificate expiring on the 30th? Any ideas on next steps. Nothing to lose as they are telling me I cannot use this certificate at all now. Thanks!