Category Archives: Reader Requests

Should You Use the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Hyatt Card for Hyatt Stays?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Sudeep, tweeted:

Which card is better to use for an upcoming stay at a Hyatt hotel?  The Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Hyatt Visa?

Thanks for the question!  Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Hyatt Visa earn 3 points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels.

So it depends on what type of points you want to earn.  However, I’d recommend paying with the Chase Sapphire Reserve if you have both cards!

Chase Sapphire Reserve Or Chase Hyatt Card For Hyatt Stays

Should Sudeep Use His Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Hyatt Card to Pay for a Hyatt Stay, Like the Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa? Both Are Great Options If You Want to Earn Hyatt Points

I’ll explain why!

Continue reading

Don’t Let Your Hotel Card’s Free Anniversary Night Go to Waste!

Million Mile Secrets reader, W, commented:

Is there an expiration date for the free weekend anniversary night you get with the limited-time AMEX Hilton Honors Surpass offer?

The free weekend night you earn with the current Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express offer must be redeemed for stays within 12 months after the date it’s issued.

This expiration policy is similar for other hotel cards with a free anniversary night, like the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card and Chase Hyatt.

So to make the most of the free night benefit, it’s important to book a stay before it expires.  Otherwise, you’ll miss out on an opportunity to save money!

Hotel Card Free Night Expiration

You Have 12 Months to Redeem the AMEX Hilton Surpass Free Weekend Night for a Stay at Hotels Like the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

I’ll share some tips for using your card’s free anniversary night!

Continue reading

Does This Trick Reset the Expiration Date for Your Hotel Points?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Kris, commented:

My hotel points expire in April 2017.  If I use them to book an award stay for February 2018, can I cancel the stay in January 2018 and get the points back?

Points in most hotel loyalty programs expire after 12 to 24 months of no earning or redemption activity.  Although there are a few exceptions.

But reader Kris suggested a way to keep hotel points from expiring that works with some hotel chains.  But I’d caution folks to read the cancellation policy before using this trick.  Because you don’t want to risk losing your points!

Hotel Points Expiration

The Best Way to Keep Points From Expiring Is by Booking Award Stays at Hotels Like the Hyatt Centric Chicago!

I’ll explain which chains work to use the book and cancel trick.  And remind y’all some easy ways you can generate activity in your hotel loyalty account to keep points alive!

Continue reading

Keep Points Flexibility After Downgrading This Chase Travel Card

Million Mile Secrets reader, Harold, commented:

If I downgrade my Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Freedom Unlimited, can I still transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Freedom Unlimited to the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Absolutely!

On its own, the points you earn from the Freedom Unlimited can only be redeemed for 1 cent each toward travel or for cash back.

But when you pair it with another eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards card like the Sapphire Reserve, you’ll have the flexibility to combine points and transfer them to terrific airline and hotel partners.

With a downgrade, you’ll also avoid duplicate benefits and save on annual fees.  That’s why after getting the Sapphire Reserve, I downgraded the Sapphire Preferred to the no annual fee Freedom Unlimited.

Continue reading

Does the Chase Freedom Earn Cash Back or Points?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Gina, commented:

Is the Chase Freedom a cash back card or a points card?

With the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards, you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can later be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, or travel.

On their own, the points you earn from the Freedom or Freedom Unlimited can only be redeemed for 1 cent each for cash back or towards travel.

But your points are worth much more and give you flexibility when you also have certain Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Chase Freedom Rewards

Combine Points From the Chase Freedom With Another Eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards Card to Book Free Nights at Fantastic Hotels Like the Andaz Maui

I’ll explain how rewards work with the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards.

Continue reading

Is Using AMEX Pay With Points the Same as Paying Cash for Airfare?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Howard, emailed:

If I get the The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN and use Pay With Points to purchase Delta airfare, would Delta treat the flight as a cash purchase?

Using Pay With Points to book flights through the AMEX Membership Rewards portal is essentially the same as paying with cash.

Because you can book airfare without having to worry about blackout dates.  And you’ll earn frequent flyer miles for your flight.

This is especially useful for folks with the AMEX Business Platinum card.  Because your points are effectively worth 2 cents each for coach airfare on your selected airline through the AMEX travel portal.

AMEX Pay With Points For Airfare

Using AMEX Pay With Points Is Basically the Same as Paying Cash for Airfare

I’ll explain how using Pay With Points works.  And share the benefits of using points linked to your AMEX Business Platinum.

Continue reading

5 Travel Rewards Cards for College Students

Million Mile Secrets reader, Liz, commented:

After studying abroad last semester, I’ve been bitten by the travel bug.  Although I have a very good credit score, I’m a college student and don’t spend that much, which precludes me from going for cards with sign-up bonuses that require spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.

I would like to get a card to start earning rewards for my purchases and develop a credit history.  But in keeping with the number one rule of paying off my balance each month, there doesn’t seem to be a card out there for me.

Ideally, I’m looking for a travel rewards card that offers a sign-up bonus requiring $1,000 in the first 90 days and has a waived annual fee for the first year, or none at all!  Is there a card that you’d recommend for me?

Welcome to the miles & points hobby, Liz!

I’m so glad to hear Liz is interested in earning rewards for travel.  Miles and points are one of the the best ways to travel cheaply.  They’ve given Emily and I the opportunity to visit amazing destinations around the world!

As a college student, it seems Liz has done her homework about the importance of developing a credit history and not carrying credit card balances!

Credit Cards College Students

There Are Lots of Great Rewards Credit Cards for College Students Looking to Get Started in the Miles & Points Hobby!

The good news is most banks offer credit cards with sign-up bonuses that have relatively small minimum spending requirements.  And these cards tend to waive the annual fee or have none at all.  So they’re great for students on a tight budget!

I’ll share tips for beginners in the miles & points hobby.  And 5 great rewards cards for beginners which have low minimum spending requirements!

Continue reading

3 Things Everyone Should Know Before Purchasing Airfare Through an Online Travel Agency

Million Mile Secrets reader, Lynn, commented:

I purchased JetBlue airfare through Kayak’s Kiwi.com.  Will my checked baggage fees be the same as if I booked directly with the airline?

It doesn’t matter which site you use to purchase airfare.  Because the amount you’ll pay for things like checked baggage or cancellation charges is based on an airline’s published schedule of fees.

But there are other factors to consider when booking through an Online Travel Agency (OTA) like OrbitzExpedia, or Kiwi.com.

For example, depending on the airline, you might earn fewer miles on your flight if you don’t book directly.  Or you could accidentally book a “no-frills” Basic Economy fare without realizing.

Drawbacks Of Booking Airfare With An Online Travel Agency

Purchasing Airfare Through an Online Travel Agency Is Convenient. But There Are 3 Things You Should Know Before Booking This Way

I’ll explain what you should know before booking airfare through an online travel agency.

Continue reading

3 AMEX Transfer Partners to Consider for Travel Flexibility

Million Mile Secrets reader, Chris, commented:

I just received the sign-up bonus from The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.  I’m afraid AMEX might try to claw my points back.  Which airline transfer partner would you recommend transferring my points to?

As long as you follow the rules for meeting minimum spending requirements, you should NOT worry about losing sign-up bonus points.

And without travel plans, I like the flexibility of keeping points in my AMEX Membership Rewards account.  Because when you’re ready to book a trip, you’ll have the option to choose from multiple transfer partners.

The best partner depends on your travel goals.  Are you traveling within the US or internationally?  And do you want a coach or Business Class seat?

Transfer AMEX Membership Rewards Points

There Are Plenty of Ways to Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points for Flights! The Best Partner Depends on Your Travel Goals

I’ll share a few AMEX airline transfer partners that can get you flexibility for future travel.

Continue reading

5 Cards to Earn Miles for Etihad Award Flights

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Million Mile Secrets reader, Ebene, commented:

Can you transfer United Airlines miles to Etihad?  What are the best cards to earn miles to fly Etihad?

You can NOT transfer airline miles to another airline.

For Etihad award flights, you can transfer points directly to the airline from 3 flexible programs – American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest.  You can also use American Airlines miles or ANA miles to fly Etihad.

Etihad miles are also valuable for folks looking to book award seats on any of its 26 airline partners.  For example, using Etihad miles for a Brussels Airlines award flight is one of the cheapest ways to get to Europe!

Etihad Award Flights

Use Etihad Miles for Award Flights to Abu Dhabi Where You Can Visit the Magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

I’ll share 5 cards that can earn you miles for Etihad award flights.

Continue reading