Category Archives: Reader Requests

How to Establish a US Bank Relationship to Get Their New Travel Card

Million Mile Secrets reader, Mike, tweeted:

If I don’t currently have a relationship with US Bank, should I get the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card before applying for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card?

Excellent question, Mike!

Lots of folks are excited about the new US Bank Altitude Reserve card.  Because the card’s sign-up bonus is worth $750 in travel.  And you get $325 in travel credit per cardmember year.

As reader Mike implied, you must have an existing US Bank relationship prior to submitting an application for the card.

But I would NOT recommend applying for any other new US Bank cards if your goal is to get the US Bank Altitude Reserve.  Because the bank is known to have strict application rules.

Establish US Bank Relationship

Stop! Instead of Applying for New Credit Cards, I’ll Share a Better Strategy for Establishing a US Bank Relationship

I’ll remind y’all about the new US Bank card offer.  And share tips to establish a US Bank relationship.

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Do You Get Travel Insurance With the AMEX Platinum Card?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Dave, commented:

Does The Platinum Card® from American Express have travel insurance coverage?

Unlike some other travel cards, which have excellent travel protection benefits, the AMEX Platinum does NOT provide coverage for mishaps like trip delays or cancellations.

But you do get insurance for lost baggage and travel accidents when you pay for airfare with your AMEX Platinum card.  Keep in mind, this coverage does NOT apply to award tickets.

Some folks don’t mind giving up travel protection benefits to earn 5X points on airfare, especially if you have travel insurance with a third-party company.

Do You Get Travel Insurance With The AMEX Platinum

You Do NOT Have Any Coverage for Trip Delays or Cancellation When You Pay for Airfare With an AMEX Platinum Card

Air travel preferences can vary a lot from person to person.  So I’ll explain what you should consider when comparing credit card travel protection benefits!

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Does Pooling Hilton Points Keep Them From Expiring?

Million Mile Secrets readers, Robert and Brian, commented:

Does pooling Hilton points with friends and family reset the expiration date for your hotel points?

Excellent question!

Hilton points expire after 12 months of no earning or redemption activity.

Unfortunately, combining Hilton points with friends or loved ones does NOT extend the life of your points.  So be mindful of the expiration date or you risk losing your points!

That said, there are lots of ways to keep your Hilton points from expiring.  Even without staying in a hotel!

Keep Hilton Points From Expiring

Pooling Points Will NOT Extend the Life of Your Hilton Points. But There Are Lots of Other Ways to Reset the Expiration Date!

I’ll share how to keep Hilton points from expiring!

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Excited to Use Your 2 Free Night Certificates at ANY Hyatt Hotel?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Tskr, commented:

How soon do the 2 free night certificates post after meeting the spending requirements on the The Hyatt Credit Card?

The free night certificates typically post to your Hyatt loyalty account a few days after the statement close date in which you meet the spending requirement.  And you have 12 months from the date they’re issued to redeem them.

The Chase Hyatt card can be extremely valuable!  Because you can use the certificates at ANY Hyatt hotel in the world, including all-inclusive resorts like the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos.

Hyatt Free Night Certificates

You Can Use the Chase Hyatt Card Sign-Up Bonus for 2 Free Nights at the All-Inclusive Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos

I’ll remind y’all about the Chase Hyatt card offer.  And let you know when to expect the free night certificates!

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2 Types of Travel Insurance: Medical Coverage Vs. Trip Protection

Million Mile Secrets reader, Nancy, commented:

Do you have any advice for travel insurance carriers?

Travel insurance is broad and complex.  Because there are separate insurances that cover trip related incidents vs. medical issues.

For example, you’ll get coverage for mishaps like trip delays just by paying with credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige.

But if you’re looking for medical coverage while traveling outside the US, you might consider purchasing a supplemental travel medical insurance policy.

Travel Insurance Coverage

Are You Looking for Trip Protection Benefits, Travel Medical Insurance, or Both?

I’ll explain what you should consider when looking for travel insurance.

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Could a Pending Application Impact the Sign-Up Bonus You Receive?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Donna, commented:

I applied in-branch for the Chase Sapphire Reserve the day before the sign-up bonus was reduced.  My application was not immediately approved.  If I’m approved for the card after the expiration date of the higher sign-up bonus offer, what sign-up bonus will I receive?

Fantastic question, Donna!

If you’re approved for a card after your application was pending, you’ll receive the sign-up bonus that was available on the day you applied for the card.  

But to avoid any issues, I always recommend you take screenshots of credit card offers during the application process.  And if you apply in-branch, the banker should give you paperwork with the sign-up bonus details for your new card.

Could A Pending Application Impact The Sign Up Bonus You Receive

If You’re Approved for a Card After a Pending Application, You’ll Earn the Sign-Up Bonus Available on the Day You Applied

I’ll explain what you should know about earning a sign-up bonus with a pending credit card application.

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You Can Save a Friend or Family Member $100 With This Card Perk!

Million Mile Secrets reader, Bob, commented:

I have several credit cards that will reimburse me for the Global Entry application fee.  Can I pay for a friend’s application fee using my card and still get the credit?

Excellent question, Bob!  You certainly can!

When you pay the $100 Global Entry fee with cards like the AMEX Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll automatically get a credit for the charge once every 4 or 5 years (depending on the card).

This terrific perk is NOT linked to the cardholder.  So you can pay the fee for ANYONE and still get the credit.  This is great for folks who already have Global Entry.

If you have a Global Entry fee credit to spare, I’m sure your friends will appreciate you saving them time and money! 🙂

Global Entry Fee Credit

You Can Use Certain Credit Cards to Pay for Someone Else’s Global Entry Fee and Still Get a Credit!  Friends or Family Will Appreciate You Saving Them Money and Time at the Airport

I’ll remind y’all which cards come with the $100 Global Entry fee credit!  And how you can use it to pay the fee for a friend or family member.

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Avoid Rental Car Headaches With This Simple Trick

Million Mile Secrets reader, Elsa, commented:

When picking up a rental car, I always take a picture of the dashboard showing the mileage & gas level before I leave the lot, along with photos of the car’s pre-existing damage.

And reader David, commented:

I have always wondered how taking a photo would help.  Couldn’t a person just take the photo after they damaged the vehicle and say it was like that?

Taking a few quick photos before driving your rental car off the lot could save you time, money, and aggravation.

Because if the rental car company says you damaged vehicle or didn’t refuel to the right level, your photos can prove otherwise.

Rental Car Photos

Taking Photos of Your Rental Car Only Takes ~2 Minutes and Can Save You Time and Money If the Rental Car Company Sends You a Bill for Damages

I’ll share tips for taking photos of your rental car!

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What’s Next for the AMEX Starwood Card?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Julie, commented:

Do you think the AMEX Starwood sign-up bonus will increase again to 35,000 points before they discontinue the card?

Following the recent limited-time 35,000 point offer for the AMEX Starwood card, the sign-up bonus went back to 25,000 Starwood points.

For the last several summers, AMEX has increased the sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards for ~1 month.

I don’t have any inside information, but I have a feeling this year might be different.  Because of the Starwood – Marriott merger, there’s a good chance the AMEX Starwood sign-up bonus stays at 25,000 Starwood points.

Whats Next For The AMEX Starwood Card

Starwood Points Are Extremely Valuable! So I Understand Why Folks Are Looking to Earn the Highest Sign-Up Bonus Possible

I’ll explain why it’s unlikely you’ll see an increased sign-up bonus for the AMEX Starwood cards.

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What Are the Differences Between Using British Airways or Iberia Avios Points?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Gabriel, commented:

Is there a difference between using British Airways or Iberia Avios points?

And reader Lori asked:

Is there any other way to get activity in your Iberia account other than moving AMEX Membership Rewards points?

British Airways and Iberia are part of the same company.  The points you use for award flights on both airlines are called Avios.  But the airlines have different award charts and redemption rules.

Generally, Iberia Avios points can be more valuable than British Airways Avios points for short-haul partner award flights in the US.

For example, you can book a round-trip award flight less than 600 miles on American Airlines for 11,000 Iberia Avios points.  That’s 4,000 points cheaper than if you book with British Airways Avios points!

British Airways And Iberia Frequent Flyer Programs

You Can Save Thousands of Points by Booking an Award Flight Through Iberia Instead of British Airways

I’ll share some differences between the British Airways and Iberia frequent flyer programs.  And how you can earn points in both programs!

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