Category Archives: Reader Requests

Which Sign-Up Bonus Is Better: 35,000 Hotel Points or 60,000 Airline Miles?

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, Yvette, commented:

I’m trying to decide between the limited time 35,000-point offer with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and a targeted offer for 60,000 American Airlines miles with the Citi® / Advantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®.  I can only meet the minimum spending requirements for one card at this time.

Great question, Yvette.

The best sign-up bonus depends on how you plan to redeem the miles or points to meet your travel goals.

If you’re unsure of your travel plans, I’d recommend the AMEX Starwood card.  Because you’ll earn flexible Starwood points, which you can use later for free stays at Starwood AND Marriott hotels or transfer to airline partners.

But the targeted 60,000-mile sign-up bonus with the Citi American Airlines card can potentially be more valuable.  Because you can redeem the miles for a one-way Business Class flight from the US to Europe, which might save you thousands of dollars.

Apply For An Airline Or Hotel Credit Card

Is Paris in Your Travel Plans? You Can Get the Citi American Airlines Sign-Up Bonus for Award Flights or Choose the AMEX Starwood Sign-Up Bonus for Free Hotel Stays

I’ll explain what else to consider when deciding between the airline and hotel credit card.

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Will You Lose Free Nights If You Cancel a Hotel Card?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Carberrie, commented:

I have the Citi Hilton Reserve card, which comes with an annual free weekend night at certain Hilton hotels after spending $10,000 in a membership year.  I met the spending requirement and have 1 year to use the free night.  If I cancel the card to avoid paying the annual fee, will I lose my free night?

The good news is after you earn the free night, you will NOT lose it.  Even if you cancel the card.

This policy is similar for other hotel credit cards that come with a free annual night, including some that don’t have a spending requirement, like the Chase IHG card.

Hotel Cards With Free Annual Nights

Emily and I Used a Free Night From the Citi Hilton Reserve Card to Stay at the Hilton Molino Stucky in Venice, Where Rooms Can Cost $500+ per Night During Peak Months

I’ll remind you which cards come with a free hotel night each year.  And why it might be worth it to pay the annual fees to keep these cards open!

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Which Marriott Hotel to Book Using 7-Night Certificate From Southwest Flight Package?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Bonnie, commented:

I used hotel points to book a Marriott Hotel + Air package and get the Southwest Companion Pass.  Perhaps a post about getting the best value with the 7-night Marriott certificate would be helpful and give some ideas of where to book!

Great suggestion, Bonnie!

It sounds like Bonnie took advantage of a deal that won’t be around much longer!  Until March 31, 2017, you can use 270,000 Marriott points to book a Southwest Hotel + Air package.

This gets you a 7-night stay at a Category 1 to 5 Marriott hotel and 120,000 Southwest points, which is more than enough to earn the Companion Pass!

You have at least 12 months to redeem the 7-night hotel certificate.  So you’ll have time to decide if you want to witness beautiful views of the Andes with a stay at the Courtyard Santiago Las Condes.  Or leaf peep this autumn in beautiful Vermont with 7 nights at the Courtyard Middlebury.

Marriott Hotels To Book With 7 Night Certificate

Use Your Marriott 7-Night Certificate to Check Out the Wonderful Foliage in Vermont and Stay at the Courtyard Middlebury

I’ll share a few examples of Marriott hotels you can book with the 7-night certificate!

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Can Company Employees Apply for Their Own Small Business Cards?

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, Rachel, sent us this message on Facebook:

Can I get a small business credit card to use for expenses at my job?  I have some travel for work coming up and I think I could meet the minimum spending requirement for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.  I already have the personal version.

Great question, Rachel!

It’s unlikely you’ll qualify for your own small business card and earn a sign-up bonus as an employee of a company.  Unless you’re an independent contractor and receive a 1099 tax form.

Banks will only extend credit to you for a business card if you’re an owner of a for-profit company.  Employees can only become an authorized user on a business credit card account.

That said, it’s possible to get a small business card with just your Social Security Number if you’re an Airbnb host, Uber driver, sell on eBay, or with many other side activities!

Qualify For A Small Business Card

As a Traditional Employee, It’s Unlikely You’ll Qualify for a Small Business Card

I’ll explain who can qualify for a small business card!

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What Are the Best Current Credit Card Deals?

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, Bansi, emailed:

Which credit cards currently have the best deals?  We are making a few large purchases for our home.

There are several cards offering terrific sign-up bonuses, including a few best-ever offers that are only available for a limited time.

Top Travel Card Sign Up Bonuses

One of the Top Credit Card Deals Is the Best-Ever Offer for the AMEX Starwood Card!  But It’s Only Available for a Limited Time!

I’ll share top travel cards with excellent sign-up bonuses!

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3 Tips for Primary Insurance Coverage With Car Rentals Over 31 Days

Million Mile Secrets reader, Ana, commented:

What’s your recommendation for primary auto rental insurance if I pay using the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the rental period is longer than 31 days?

The Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards are great choices to pay for car rentals.  Because you get primary insurance coverage for collisions and damage.

But with these 2 cards, the coverage only applies to rentals of 31 consecutive days or less in the US and most foreign countries.

To get around the time limit, I’d recommend returning your car and renting another one.  This way, you’ll restart the clock for insurance coverage.

3 Tips For Primary Insurance Coverage With Car Rentals Over 31 Days

Having Primary Auto Rental Insurance With the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve Is a Great Perk.  But It Only Works on Rentals of 31 Days or Less

I’ll share tips for getting coverage on long car rentals!

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Can You Triple-Dip When You Book Your Next Hotel Stay?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Sue, commented:

If I book a Hyatt hotel through and pay with my Chase Sapphire Reserve, will I earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Hyatt points, and Southwest points?  Or can you only earn Hyatt points by booking directly?

You typically will NOT earn points with a hotel loyalty program when you book through or other 3rd-party sites.  That’s because you’re essentially choosing to earn Southwest points instead of hotel points.

But you will earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points paying with the Sapphire Reserve because purchases on the Southwest hotel site codes as travel.  And this means the Sapphire Reserve’s $300 annual travel credit can go toward your stay!

Deciding between booking directly with the hotel chain or through depends on which points you want more!

Earn Points Booking Hotel Stays

Do You Want to Earn Hotel Points or Airline Miles on Your Next Hotel Stay? I’ll Help You Decide!

I’ll explain what you should consider to earn the most points booking hotel stays!

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Will You Lose Flexible Points If You Cancel a Card?

 Million Mile Secrets reader, Fran, emailed:

I was told by an AMEX representative that I would lose my AMEX Membership Rewards points if I cancel my Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.  Is this true?

Generally speaking, if you cancel a card that earns flexible bank points, you will lose them.  This goes for cards that earn AMEX Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou points.

Certain banks give you a grace period to use points after cancelling a card.  But there are also a few ways to preserve them.

Preserve Flexible Reward Points

Flexible Points Are the Key to Big Travel!  So Don’t Let Those Hard-Earned Points Disappear by Cancelling a Credit Card!

I’ll explain how to avoid losing flexible rewards points.

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Do Any Credit Cards Cover You for Damage to Rental Equipment?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Gaspipe, tweeted:

Which credit cards would cover damage to equipment rentals like skis, golf clubs, etc.?

Great question!

Several cards provide great benefits like warranty protection when you purchase certain items.

But you will NOT get the same coverage when you rent equipment.

In most cases, you’ll be personally responsible for any damage to rental equipment like skis, scuba gear, golf clubs, etc.  So you’ll want to check the fine print in your rental waiver to look for potential liability.

Rental Equipment Liability

Credit Cards Do NOT Provide Protection When You’re Renting Equipment Like Scuba Gear. So Check the Fine Print of Your Rental Waiver to See What You Will Be Responsible For!

I’ll tell you what to look out for when you rent equipment on vacation.

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Can You Purchase Points to Use for a Marriott Hotel + Air Package?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Knicks02, commented:

When you purchase Marriott points, can these go toward a Hotel + Air package?

Absolutely!  You can buy up to 50,000 Marriott points per calendar year.  And these points are yours to use as you please.

For example, you can redeem points for free nights at Marriott or Ritz-Carlton hotels, convert Marriott points to Starwood points, or add purchased points to your existing balance to book a Hotel + Air Package.

Some folks might consider purchasing Marriott points for a Hotel + Air package if it’ll help them get the Southwest Companion Pass.  But you only have until March 31, 2017, to get it this way!

Purchase Hotel Points For Marriott Flight Package

Purchasing Marriott Points Can Top off Your Account, So You Can Book a Hotel + Air Package and Earn the Southwest Companion Pass!

I’ll explain why purchasing hotel points might make sense for some folks!

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