Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

I love answering questions from my readers and want you to travel for less!

Please leave a comment below with any requests, travel anecdotes, or topics which you’d like me to cover on the blog.

Or tweet me @MilMileSecrets for a quicker response!

I’d be delighted to make your travel dreams a reality!

Daraius Dubash and Emily Jablon (formerly married) have earned and redeemed millions of airline miles and hotel points – most of which they acquired for free and without flying in airplanes or staying in hotels.

Daraius Dubash - Million Miles Secrets

At Restaurant Sant Pau Near Barcelona, Spain.  Daraius & Emily Used Miles to Travel for Free on Swiss Air to Europe

Million Mile Secrets shows time-starved folks how, they too, can acquire airline miles and hotel points, and travel very comfortably to see the world, for a fraction of what they would otherwise pay for such travels.

They believe everyone can use airline and hotel loyalty points to travel for free – whether it is a trip in First Class to Thailand or a family visit to grandma in Florida.

By reading Million Mile Secrets you will learn their secrets to fly for much less,  stay in wonderful hotels for much less, and rent cars for much less than retail price.

They have visited over 30 countries in 6 out of 7 continents, and have flown on International First Class (where tickets costs about $20,000 per ticket) to Europe, Asia, and the US, many times for virtually no money.  They use their expertise and specialized tools to help their blog readers and their families travel and experience the world like they never thought possible.

Emily in Lake Como, Italy

Emily Used her Miles to Visit Lake Como, Italy


As a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Daraius roamed the world, as an auditor for a Fortune 500 company, to ensure that rules, regulations, and policies were enforced.  He also prepared many tax returns as a volunteer with the AARP.

Daraius now uses his ability to interpret complicated airline rules and marketing promotions – honed from mastering complex accounting rules – to make the most of airline, hotel, and rental car promotions.

But Daraius believes using your miles and points to travel shouldn’t require a degree in Accounting!  That’s why they started Million Mile Secrets.  They present the information in a helpful way that anyone can understand.

Emily was a Project Manager for General Dynamics (a Fortune 100 Company) and completed her MBA in 2014. She has worked in the Operations divisions of 2 publicly traded companies.

Busy people don’t have time to study the constantly changing deals, strategies, and requirements.  That’s why Million Mile Secrets only has the best offers and most relevant news, including their easy-to-follow analysis that has earned the trust of over 16,000 loyal readers.

Daraius has worked in the Finance, Auditing & Global Marketing divisions of Fortune 500 companies.  He has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a Master’s in Engineering Management from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

News outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, and Business Insider call upon Daraius and Emily for their expertise at Big Travel with Small Money.

You Dont Have To Pay To Upgrade To An Overwater Bungalow In Bora Bora

Miles and Points Can Get you an Overwater Villa at the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora

In his spare time, Daraius loves to plan his future travels and plot how to increase their stash of miles and points (currently over 3 million).  He loves listening to classical music, reading non-fiction (history and biography), eating good ethnic food, and taking long walks.

Emily loves to Latin dance, listen to music, spend time with friends, and help plan future trips.

Million Mile Secrets is part of the BankRate family!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

7,086 responses to “Contact

  1. First, thank you so much for this awesome site. I have so many posts bookmarked for reference.

    I am hoping to plan an Alaska trip for this December. I found an itinerary on American Airlines using them and Alaska Air to cost 50,000 miles. I just signed up for my first card, the Chase Sapphire, and should meet the spending requirement in a couple of weeks.

    I thought I could easily take care of the trip with the 50,000 UR point bonus that I would send to British Airways to book the itinerary I saw on AA. However, when I search on BA, it only shows the AA portion of the trip and not the Alaska Air legs. I read somewhere you have to call, but now I am nervous that I won’t be able to get that itinerary. Should I:

    Try to book through BA with Avios from the UR? Have you heard anything about BA-Alaska flights not being searchable online? Or sign up for a card that gives AA miles and book the trip through AA? With that, it may be April when I meet the spend and the seats may be gone.

  2. @mimi – I don’t recommend this. It’s possible Chase could reverse the points. See this FlyerTalk thread:

    @Tam – Thanks for reading! You can search for available Alaska Airlines award flights using the American Airlines site. Then call British Airways to book your trip.

    This post shows how it works:

  3. Just a heads up for everyone – I am trying to use my $200 AmEx platinum airline reimbursement. I did a $50 gift cert purchase on Delta (which I have read has worked in the past) and it was NOT reimbursed – it’s showing up as “Travel” not “Misc” on my statement so it looks like it didn’t trigger a reimbursement. Boo. …just thought I would share

  4. HI I use amazon a lot now a days and was thinking about the amazon prime credit card. I like the 5% back on amazon purchases and i always pay off the whole card each month. is this the way to go or should i use a different card. I have a hyatt visa that i use for everything else.


  5. HI,
    Regarding Chase 24 month rule, I have a question. I applied MARRIOTT REWARDS® PREMIER CREDIT CARD March, 2013 and canceled January 2015. Am I qualified to get new sign up bonus for this newly posted 80K sign bonus?

    Seems this 24 month 5 cards rule can be exampted for those private bank clients. We were told by banker that you can get it from branch directly since their approval process is different than online.


  6. Can you downgrade a Citi Premier to a Double Cash and retain the TY points (no expiration) if you have other thank you accounts (Gold, Forward, etc), or do you have to downgrade to a another Thank You card to keep the Premier points (i.e. not trigger a 60 day expiration)?

  7. Do you think the 140,000 point offer for the Ritz Carlton has any chance of coming back around this year? I am trying to figure out the best way to earn the SW Companion Pass next year. It that offer came out and we both got it, it would be easy via a Marriott package but I am wondering if we should both apply for the Marriott with the 80,000 bonus. With the new rules at Chase, we probably can’t get more than one of their cards, each.

  8. Which would you keep, which would you cancel?: I am currently holding both the Barclay Aviator Red MC (formerly the US Airways MC) and the Citi AA Platinum Select World Elite MC. I got them both last March for the sign up bonus, but now with the annual fees coming due, it doesn’t seem efficient to keep both since the perks are so similar. So which would you keep? Would your recommendation change for a AAdvantage Lifetime Gold member that already gets the baggage and boarding perks? I am leaning towards keeping the Aviator Red since the fee is $6 less.

  9. Hi Darius,
    I am very interested in the Assistant Editor/Writer position you posted about. I am filling out the linked application, but I’m not sure how it gets to you. I didn’t want to lose all my work in filling out the app so I just put some brief gibberish on a sample one to see what would happen when I clicked the “Done” button at the bottom of the app. It just takes me to the “Survey Monkey” site with no information about what happened to the app I filled out and no option to go back to it. Does that just automatically get sent to you when you click the “Done” button or is there something else I need to do?
    Thanks for the help,

  10. Hi.

    Great site.

    I flew Iberia from Madrid to Buenos Aires and on the flight they advertised that this flight was WORTH 15,600 avios one way. If you check on the BA web site it is nothing like it? My ticket from London – Madrid – BA and direct back to London only gave 12,234!!!! And i am a silver card holder as well. Am i missing a trick or is my loyalty to BA not well served.

    Keep up the good work..Mike

  11. Airberlin is requiring a long haul flight from US to get access to a great promotion. Any suggestions on how to find a inexpensive (relatively) Airberlin flight long haul? I’m not sure how to do such a narrow (US to Europe, Airberlin) but broad (I’m flexible on dates and where I go) search. I’d like to miles to go to American. Hhhm, maybe this is a good use for chase sapphire points? But still how do I do such a narrow yet broad search?

  12. Hi.
    My question is with BarclayCard Arrival Plus, using your points to pay for a travel related purchase. I have read on many websites that you can using certain sites but I am unable to find anything dated recently. Do you happen to have any knowledge of this? And if so, can you make the charges before the bonus posts to your account?
    Thanks so much!

  13. Hello!
    My husband and I got our first credit card (Chase Freedom) last year to start earning miles/rewards, planning on paying off the balance each month. Life happened… And now our introductory 15 month 0% APR is about to expire on the Chase Freedom, with about $3,000 on it. I know Chase Slate has a 0% 15 month APR and $0 balance transfer fee. Would we be able to transfer our balance to the Chase Slate? If not, is there another card right now with no transfer fee?
    We would really appreciate your insight!

  14. Sorry, to clarify for the BarclayCard question above:
    Do you happen to know if you can purchase tickets for UNIVERSAL STUDIOS through a travel vendor to have them qualify for a statement travel credit?

  15. Sorry, to clarify :
    Do you happen to know if you can purchase tickets for UNIVERSAL STUDIOS through a travel vendor to have them qualify for a statement travel credit?

  16. I have a quick B of A Virgin Atlantic card question. With the new offer of spending $12k in 6 months and the bonus of the Mastercard, can I currently get it even though I already have the card? Technically the promotion says you can’t, but they sent it to me and I’ve seen things about B of A and getting bonuses again. Just want to confirm before spending all that money to get a bonus!

  17. Just wanted to give a heads up to folks. The Citi Prestige $250 air travel credit is based on your STATEMENT close date NOT calendar year. I found this out the very hard and painful way. I had exactly $219.80 left, so I purchased a Southwest gift card in that amount on December 15, 2015. I just received and email today which indicated that I had already used $219.80 of my 2016 credit!

    I figured this must be a mistake, so I called Citi. The supervisor I spoke with said there was nothing they could do. The credit is based on your statement close date. Sure enough, my statement closed on January 5. The credit was posted in 2016.

    I’m pretty upset by this. I missed out on nearly $220 of my statement credit for 2015, and I will have already used up my 2016 credit (once my February statement closes).

    What was most disappointing is that for a card with a $450 annual fee, they didn’t offer to try to resolve the matter with a one-time statement credit. I even have a Citigold checking account. Not a great way to retain customers. 🙁

  18. Hi and thank you for your site. It has been a great resource for us. I just read last week and followed your advice with the top 5 listed award services. I sent each a request and ALEX from PointPros gave very great service leading to a booking. 3 of the other services said thank you when I explained that we were going with one of the other services. The final service,, told me that it is unethical to ask more than one service to give us a quote and then told me I have to pay him anyway even though we were not going to use his service (his reward advice didn’t come close to the level of value and convenience that PointsPros did). I won’t say it was hidden in fine print on his site, but between the advice from your column and my reading through 5 service pages in a row, I did not catch the detail where he says “No fee is due if we cannot find flights that match your stated criteria, but our fee is not contingent upon booking.” near the middle to bottom of the page. I thought you might want to make it clear about this particular service as it might confuse other readers. Sadly since there are no RULES about this, your readers might be caught off-guard and have to deal with the angry person. And, apparently it is unethical to shop around?

  19. I’ve noticed you don’t mention Capitol 1 Venture Visa anywhere on the site. We use this card because we were living in Europe and there was no transaction fee. We are now back in the US. Do you not recommend the card?

  20. Regarding my previous post about AmEx Delta gift card travel reimbursement. I jumped the gun – it still works – just took awhile for the reimbursement to post! Sorry, everyone!

  21. What is the compensation range for the jobs you have available? I can do the job with excellence, but do not want to invest time if it does not fit my situation.

  22. We are about 25,000 AA miles short for 2 round trip first class tickets from BOS to LHR. So far the least expensive option that we can see is for the spouse to apply for AAdvantage Card which will give 50K AA miles then do the transfer. The transfer cost is about $300 vs buying the point which is about $700. Since we are using my Advantage Card as primary spending card, we may not be needing as much as 25,000 miles when we are ready to go for the trip.

    Any other least expensive option that we haven’t think of? We appreciate any feedback! Thanks.

  23. Hello,

    I am looking to earn a Southwest Companion Pass by accumulating Marriott Rewards Points and then redeeming them for one of the Hotel + Air Packages with Southwest as the airline partner. This would give me the required 110,000 Southwest points for the Companion Pass. I would like to earn the Companion Pass at the beginning of 2017. If I earn accumulate the required 270,000 Marriott points in 2016 but don’t redeem them for the Hotel + Air Package until 2017, would that still give me the Companion Pass? I know that in order to earn the Companion Pass, you need to accrue 110,000 Southwest Points in 1 calendar year – this is why I am uncertain if the method I just described would work. Earning 270,000 Marriott Points would take awhile so I will need to start now for this to work. By redeeming the Marriott Points in 2017 for the Companion Pass, would that give me the 110,000 Southwest Points in the calendar year of 2017 even though I accumulated the Marriott Points in 2016 (I hope that makes sense)?

    Thanks in advance,

  24. @Danny Have you considered Business class? The flight from BOS to LHR is reasonably short. We’ve flown it in business class, and by the time meal service is done, you don’t get much sleep. You could save miles by choosing business over first, but it depends on your preferences, the type of plane, etc.
    Do hope you are not choosing a BA flight due to the high surcharges.
    Good luck and enjoy London – one of our favorite cities.

  25. I had enough points to book two rt tix from Phila to Rome in coach on American. Is there any way to upgrade to business class. I’m out of miles?

  26. I have 2 businesses. Can I get any chase business card twice (1 for each business)? Some I’ve had for one business a few years ago but not the other business. Any experience like that?

  27. @Al – This could be a good option. However, this card limits you to earning cash back only at Amazon.

    So you might consider other cards like the Chase Freedom or Discover it that have rotating category bonuses which sometimes include Amazon (but also other popular categories like department stores and gas stations).

    Or the Citi AT&T Access More card to earn 3X Citi ThankYou points on online retail purchases:

    @Tom – You should be eligible under the 24 month rule:

    Thanks for sharing the information you received about private banking!

    @redlenses – Read my post on this here:

    @Angela – I haven’t heard anything about this offer returning.

    @Jack Ashore – I would keep the Barclaycard Aviator card because you can’t get it again. However, you may be able to earn sign-up bonus on you Citi AAdvantage Platinum card again:

    @Chris – Terrific! Yes, it’s sent to me when you click the done button.

    @Mike Harrison – You can use this calculator to find out how many points you should earn:

    It also depends on the type of fare you purchased.

    @CAS – I’d start with Google Flights:

    @Sherry – You can find which charges have counted as travel for other folks here:

    According to the Wiki, tickets to Universal Studios worked for someone when they called in. I haven’t tried this myself though.

    You can only redeem your points for charges that have posted to your account within the last 120 days.

    But you can make the charges before the points are in your account.

    @Megan – Unfortunately, Chase won’t let you directly transfer a balance from 1 of their own cards.

    See my post on other 0% interest cards:

    @MJ – This has worked for some folks. But there are no guarantees:

    @Khad Young – Sorry that you missed out on the credit. Thanks for reminding folks that the statement credit period resets after your last December statement.

    The Citi Prestige terms & conditions say: “This statement credit is an annual benefit available for purchases appearing on your billing statements from December through the following December. Pending transactions that do not post in your December billing cycle will count towards the next year’s Air Travel Credit.”

    I’d try calling back again to see if they can help you out. Good luck!

    @David Kumec – Thanks for sharing your great experience with Points Pros!

    Award booking services change their policies and pricing from time to time. So I recommend folks confirm for themselves. Sorry to hear you were charged! I’ve added a note here:

    @Shellickson – Thanks for the post idea!

    In the meantime, the Capital One Venture card is a good card for folks who like the ease of booking paid flights with no blackout dates.

    However, we don’t write about it much because you can earn more travel with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. For starters, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you complete the minimum spending (worth $625 in paid travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal).

    And you can transfer to partners like United Airlines and Hyatt which can make your Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth much more than the points you earn with the Capital One Venture card.

    @Katie – Great news! Thanks for following-up!

    @Carlton – It depends on your experience and many other factors.

    @Danny – Check my list of ways to earn American Airlines miles to see if there’s another option for earning your own miles and avoiding the transfer fee:

    You could also book 3 one-way flights with miles and use cash back or Citi ThankYou points (if you have the Citi Prestige) to cover the last 1-way flight.

    @Zach – That will work!

    @Marilyn B – Thanks for your suggestion!

    @Ron – You might ask if there’s an option at check-in to pay cash for an upgrade. But I don’t know of a way to do so before you fly.

    @Dan Miller – A Chase agent told me you could over the phone. But I haven’t tried it myself. And a reader recently reported they were denied the bonus on a 2nd card.

    So I can’t say for sure. If you try it, let me know what you find out!

  28. I wanted bloggers that it has been a wonderful promotion by IHG. But the execution of the program by HelloWorld the program administrator has been pretty bad. They have been processing entries as last in first out. Many people who sent entries still haven’t got entries. Now people who are emailing asking for status of their entries are either getting 1) no response 2) or HelloWorld claiming they never got the letters. So many people are upset as they are probably SOL because is is past the deadline, AND HelloWorld has processed other entries they sent at the same time. So many of your readers have been left in the lurch by HW and IHG. I want you to be aware of that so we can raise awareness of this ongoing issue with this program.

  29. Hi! 🙂 So glad I found your site. I want to take the family of 8 to Yosemite & Redwoods (from New Hampshire) next Spring and was looking for ways to earn miles …and I found you! I have already applied to the Discover It Miles – which gives 1.5 + doubles your miles after a year – and now with your lead, signed up for SW Rapid Rewards and BlueBird (through your link so you get the commission 😉 I’m super organized so I don’t see a problem with any of it except the Companion Pass says the 110K points need to be per “Calendar Year” – Since I won’t get my double miles until next year, I should wait until next year to transfer all my miles so I can qualify for the Pass…Correct?

  30. @robert – It sounds like they’ve received many more entries than they anticipated. I’m hoping they will get it all sorted out!

  31. Leon Paulos MD

    I’m in the dark as how to proceed.
    I received my Global Entry certification about 6 years ago and have only used it once at that time. Since then I obtained a CLEAR card but haven”t used it at all and have been using the TSA clearance lines instead.
    I had no idea that the Global Entry card would expire! To make matters worse, I’m not sure I even received the card. I have my application copy and the user ID number.

  32. Philip Londrico


    I’ve been a fan of your blog for many years. I just read your post about the American Express Hilton Credit Card with the 70,000 point bonus. I am happy to say that I applied and was accepted for the card.

    I have a question about gift cards that I didn’t see in your previous posts. I have bought gift cards many times at the grocery store to help meet minimum spending requirements. With my recent approval of the AMEX Hilton card, I looked on the Hilton website and noticed that I am able buy gift cards directly from them. The only charge is a $1.95 shipping fee. I was wondering, If I bought the gift cards from Hilton, In addition to meeting spending requirements, would I also get the 7x rewards points with my purchase? Please let me know if you have heard or tried this. Thanks!

    Also, in a recent post, you responded to a reader who asked about checking accounts/debit cards that still offer rewards. I am aware of other accounts that you did not mention

    Bank of Hawaii – Hawaiian Airlines Debit Card: $3.00/month fee, no bonus points, 1 mile for every $1 spent, but overall not a bad idea for someone who doesn’t want to use their credit for only $36/year.

    Citizen’s Bank – Giant Eagle fuelperks! Debit Card: No monthly or yearly fees, only need to have a checking account with the bank. Great for people who live in the Lake Erie area (especially OH and PA). it gives you an extra $0.03 off per gallon of gas with every $50.00 purchase at Giant Eagle (grocery store).

    Discover Bank – Cashback Checking: No fees, earns $0.10 per every debit card purchase, online bill pay or written check up to $10.00/mo or $120.00/year. Some people get a bonus $50.00 with sign up if already have a Discover credit card. (I did!)

    SunTrust Bank – Delta SkyMiles World Debit Card. Earns 5,000 bonus points after first PIN purchase. 1 mile for every $1 spent, 2 miles for every $1 with Delta, $75 annual fee applies and must have Signature Checking Account with SunTrust to get debit card.

    Capital Bank – Cashback Checking, $10 monthly fee (waived with daily balance of $1000 or 20 debit purchases/month), receive $0.10 back on purchases valued $1 – $74.99 and $0.25 back on purchases over $75.

    I will be looking forward to your response! Thanks! Philip

  33. Dear Emily,
    Thank you so much for the beautiful necklace and earrings from Jaipur. Also, thank you for the heart for my mom. Both she and I were very touched by your thoughtfulness.

  34. Is there a way to view online every card that I have held for either, Chase or Citi or AMEX. After a few years of this I have had quite a few and without keeping very detailed records of which cards and benefits I have had then I have no way of knowing if I have used a “once a lifetime” benefit for a potential new card like the 70,000 point AMEX Hilton card. Once I cancel an old card it drops off of my online account and I try to avoid calling any CC customer service as much as possible. Thanks for any help and all the advice along the way.

  35. Hey Darius,

    The 2016 quarterly 5% bonus categories are now published for DISCOVER card and, more-or-less, for CHASE FREEDOM.

    You should do an article on those.


  36. Just wanted to ask that you do a blog post addressing the fact that AA has released zero saaver space in either cabin for any domestic flights on its own metal in the year 2017. Speculation is AA may not release any such space until after the devAAluation kicks in, and/or to deny access to all BA avios awards. Speculation aside, this is something of great concern for all miles enthusiasts.

  37. @ Betty- I’m so glad you received the Indian necklace and heart. I’m happy that you and your mother enjoy them. It was my pleasure. Have a great weekend!

  38. @JoAnn – Welcome to Million Mile Secrets! If you haven’t already, check out my Beginner’s Guide:

    Unfortunately, the miles you earn with the Discover it miles card do NOT count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.

    See these posts on the Southwest Companion Pass for more on how it works:

    @Leon Paulos MD – Here’s information on renewing your Global Entry membership:

    @Philip Londrico – Congrats on the new card! Hilton gift cards aren’t sold directly by Hilton, so you won’t earn 7X points for the purchase, unfortunately.

    Thanks for the additional suggestions!

    @Ben Z – I recommend using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of this information. You could try sending a secured message through your online account.

    @Dan Weingart – Thanks! Stay tuned! 🙂

    @Wes – Interesting. I’ll look into it. Thanks for the post idea!

  39. Hi guys,

    I wanted to touch base with you and let you know I’ve never been contacted about the giveaway I won for StaySmarter hotel credits. Here’s the page where it was announced:

    Can you help?

    Thank so much!

  40. I accidentally clicked on the unsubscribe link in the email I received in reply to the comment I just left here. Tried to re-up but not sure it went through. Could you verify that I am re-subscribed. Thanks, and my apologies for the trouble.

  41. Hi, have you reviewed or heard about the Simply Cash Plus Business card from Amex? I received an offer in the mail with an RSVP code for $1,000 cash back after spending $10K in the first 3 months. Offer expires 3/25/2016

    It sounds like a good deal to me but I haven’t seen anything on the blogs about it. I’m also a bit concerned with how to meet the minimum spend requirement now that MS resources are drying up and since I’m planning to apply for the Chase Ink before the 5/24 rule goes into effect next month as well. Any thoughts? Tips for MS?

    Thanks so much! Love your blog!

  42. Hello Daraius, can I apply my yearly IHG free night certificates at Kimpton properties? Also, what is the process of using the free night certificate? Do you have to search for award availability to use it?

  43. Hi, I saw somewhere that you were going to be speaking in Las Vegas in April. I can’t find where I saw it..maybe a tweet of an article or something. I wanted to see about attending the event. Can you send me the link to sign up please? It was something like travel hack university? Hahaha..I may be way off on that!

    Thank you!

  44. Love your site! Not sure if you have covered this, but I just found out about ShopRunner, a benefit I get free with my Delta SkyMiles credit card. It is free two-day shipping at stores. I stumbled on it when ordering from Brooks Brothers – very convenient and has already saved me some money!


  45. Daraius, you are like a bespectacled He-Man with this site of yours. Great info but I am still confused about some aspects. I have used your blog to rack up 100K Amex membership points, but now I am confused as to how to get the most bang for the buck (more than 1c per pt). I am in Nashville (BNA) and looking for flights to Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) in India.
    Which airlines should I transfer to?

    Same question but from Nashville to Hawaii and southern Florida? Which airlines at the moment gets me cheap flights from Nashville domestically?

    Thank you for any help.

  46. @Rust – I’ll follow up with StaySmarter. Sorry about that!

    @Ben – I wrote about the AMEX SimplyCash Plus card here:

    The offer you received sounds very good! Here are some tips for meeting minimum spending requirements:

    @Antonio – You can’t use your IHG free night at Kimpton hotels (they’re not yet fully part of the IHG Rewards program).

    To redeem your free night, log-in to your IHG account and go to the “My Account” page. Then click on “Free Night Status” to search for and book available award nights.

    @Robert Sarno – LOL! Close! 🙂 It’s Frequent Traveler University, and all the details are here:

    @Alice Cane – ShopRunner is terrific! Glad to hear you’re getting good use from it!

    @Ted Boorstein – I’ve been called many things, but never a “Bespectacled He-Man!” Thanks! 🙂

    Check out my post on how to use American Express Membership Rewards points to get to India:

    And this post for best ways to use miles & points for domestic flights:

  47. Hello!

    My name is Zach and I saw that you are hiring an assistant staff writer. I have traveled around the world using credit card points and am very up to date with the newest ways for spending. Additionally, I graduated with my degree in journalism and have worked for various productions and mediums. I am returning to school next September and have been looking for a part time remote position (about 25 hours/week), in your opinion, would this position be a good fit for me? Or, are you looking for someone else?

    Thank you,


  48. @Rust – Check your email for a follow-up!

    @Zach – It’s a full-time position. But if you decide to apply, you can indicate on your application that you’re interested in contract writing. We may contact you if the need arises!

  49. Need help and willing to pay fee booking the following flights using my amex points
    LAX to San Paolo – around Aug 16 return Aug 24 – 2 business class tickets
    LAX to Zagreb Croatia – also can book the big flights LAX to any major Euro city then I can pay for flight to Zagreb
    July 22 return 30 flexible a little on dates – 1 business or first class
    LAX to Hong Kong or Taipai or Guangzhou – anytime in May or June – 2 business class tickets
    Really really flexible on dates – this is for my in-laws
    Also I go LAX to NY every three weeks, would love to use my miles for this.

  50. Teddy Boorstein

    Thank you Daraius once again! Many best wishes to you and your site.

  51. Hi daraius ,

    It it advantageous to open a CC or checking account in branch, would the likelihood of being approved increase by opening it in a branch with a banker.
    Do you know if bankers have any ability to “push” an account open, more leverage than one would have if opening it at home on the computer.

    I think other people might be wondering the same.

    Thank you.

  52. What credit card rewards program points can be transferred to Hilton Honors. What credit card reward program can transfer to Delta Airlines?

  53. Hello,

    This site provides an overwhelming wealth of information. I truly appreciate the time and effort that you put into it. My wife and I want to travel to the Maldives or Bali for our 10th anniversary. Luckly it’s a few years away so we have time to plan. We’d like to fly international first class on either one of the gulf carriers or Singapore Airlines. Which credit cards would you recommend getting to make sure we can fly in first class? We both have excellent credit, she’s 800+ and I’m in the 790s.

  54. Hi Daraius,

    Thanks for all the insight on how to get great travel deals. I was able to take my lovely girlfriend on a Hawaiian vacation last month, mainly on AA points, thanks to you.

    I’ve earned some United miles with the Explorer card, but when I look to book award travel, the mileage use fees are ridiculous. For instance, I looked into a trip for two to Jamaica next month. The cheapest it would be would be 70,000 miles plus $800 in fees. I could book nonstop tickets with no points on JetBlue for the same amount. Is it worth it to use United miles if their fees are so high? Is there any way around the fees? Is it better to transfer their miles to another airline to get around the fees?


    New York City

  55. Daraius, I wil be booking a trip to the Caymans in late April 2017 with thank you points on american. I will be billed for the yearly fee on my May statement for prestige and am going to call and request consolidating spending on my other citi card rather than the heafty fee. So the thank you points will expire 30 days from the time I call to cancel ? So can I call right before the statement due date ? It is tight because of the american seats becoming available.

  56. Thanks For the great blog.
    I have 400K chase ink miles. I got am offer from a local points and millage broker for 1.5¢ per point. Do you think i can get a better deal and if yes, where?

  57. I opened 3 Alaska Airlines credit cards almost a year ago. If I close today, how long before I can apply again for them? 30, 90, 120 days?

  58. Hi – great site, and super helpful for getting up to speed on how these award programs work. And how valuable they are!

    I’m trying to book award travel on Airberlin using either AAdvantage miles or Avios (they’re all oneworld).

    My trip isn’t for another 7 months (late september) and it doesn’t look like any of the award seats have opened up to partner airlines. I just spoke with a BA rep who said they typically don’t release them for another month or so. There are award seats available on the Airberlin site, however, so I know they haven’t all been claimed.

    For reference, I checked my flight for dates in April, and those have availability on Airberlin and partner AA / BA sites.

    Is there any reason I couldn’t book my award travel for those dates, then reschedule them for my desired flight dates in September once they’re made available to the partner airlines? I realize I’d have to pay a rebooking fee, but that seems relatively minor compared to the cash cost of a ticket. I also realize there’s some risk that the award seats on my dates are claimed, and never opened up to the partners. But wanted to see what you thought.

    Appreciate the help.

  59. Hello, big fan of the site, first question. I’m (really early) planning a trip to the Olympics in Tokyo for 2020. Is it reasonable to assume that I could save up frequent flier miles (I use Delta and AMEX) and hotel points (Marriott) and use them for this purpose? Or will there be so few available as to not be useful? Would there be any strategy to using these? thanks so much, looking forward to hearing

  60. Thanks to both of you for this wonderful site. I understand if you are not able to respond to my question, but I’m at a loss and hope someone will be able to help.

    I will be traveling in February 2017 to Germany via Munich (MUN) for my 6-month sabbatical at a local university. We are two adults, one 7 year-old child, and one 4 year-old child. We would prefer to fly from one of the DC-area airports (BWI, DCA, or IAD).

    We should (by then) have:
    1) 75,000 to 85,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (75,000 in hand now)
    2) 120,000 American Airlines AAdvantage Miles (25,000 in hand, plus 63,000 through Citi Platinum card almost complete, plus 33,000 SPG points through next Amex card). These totals include bonus points, points from initial spending minimums, and transfer bonus from SPG to AA.

    We would like to fly together, ideally, but would be okay with my wife traveling with the kids on one airline and me flying the same day on another airline. I thought I had it worked out through a UR points –> BA Avios –> American Airlines reward booking that would allow us to use three rewards tickets and purchase the fourth ticket in cash, but I just realized that AA doesn’t allow that on Europe flights.

    Now, I’m thinking that the only way to fly together is to get two AAdvantage tickets and cash out our UR points for most of the cost of a third ticket on the same flight, then pay the fourth in cash. Alternatively, the wife and kids go on two AA rewards tickets and one for cash, while I go separately on Air Berlin via BA Avios (via our UR points).

    What strategy do you suggest that would minimize our cost (our first priority, as we are a family of four living on one prof’s salary) and possibly let us travel together (our second priority)?

  61. Hi,

    I am travelling on Ethiad from Dallas to Mumbai. What US Airline program , I should deposit miles to ? How much miles will I earn ? Is it based on ticket price ?


  62. I am a new subscriber and have enjoyed your blog because you write in depth but make it understandable.

    I will be purchasing Out of Country Health and Evacuation Insurance. Have you covered this topic in your blog? If not, who are the best providers? Thanks

  63. Hi Daraius,
    I have a question that I have been researching but can’t seem to find a solid answer!
    I want to apply for the Marriott Rewards Premiere 80,000 pt deal. If I add my husband as an authorized user can he still apply for a card as well to get the extra bonus points? …and do authorized user accounts count towards the Chase 5/24 rule? (I think so?) Thanks!!

  64. Hi Daraius!

    I came across your site a few days ago and have been hooked. Also, I’m currently getting my wife’s and my personal finances up to speed and so many of my questions when googled refer to your site. Respect. One answer I couldn’t find was the one to Kristi’s question she left in the comments in 2013. You just said: I answered your email. My wife just added me to her Discover card as authorized user, so that I can build up credit quickly after immigrating to the US from Europe, so that we can get a mortgage together. Thanks for your Help!

    Kristi | May 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    I was recently added to my fathers Discover Card as an authorized user, March 28th to be exact. It still has not shown up on my credit reports. how long dos this usually take and should I send them a letter requesting it be reported? I was added ot help establish credit history… really hoping this helps!

  65. Hi Daraius,

    I would like to fly from Sacramento with a free stopover in New York and/or Honolulu to Tokyo and/or Hong Kong on American Airline. Do the routes make sense and can I fly either route ALL on AA or must I used partner airlines?

    Also, I read your AA guide / series, but there is no directions to booking an international flight with a US gateway. Did I overlook somewhere?

    Thank you for your help.


  66. Hi Daraius,

    I would like to fly from Sacramento to New York and/or Honolulu as a free stopover and from either place to Hong Kong / Tokyo as my destination.

    Does either routes make sense? Also, can I fly on ALL segments with AA or must I used partner airlines?

    I also read your AA booking series but am unable to find directions on booking international destinations from US city with a free stopover / US gateway. Please assist.

    Thank you for your help.

  67. Hello there- I’ve just signed up for the united mileage plus card . I need to convert the united mileage plus miles to Marriott points. However, I don’t have premier status. Can I do this a different way?

  68. Hi Daraius,

    What are other ways of earning Singapore Krisflyer miles besides through the 4 bank programs (Ultimate, Amex, SPG, Citi)?

    Thank you,


  69. Hello Daraius!

    Great website! Very informative and helpful! My question is regarding student loans. Is there any way to currently pay them while accruing credit card points? My loans are through FedLoan Servicing. I read your post about BlueBird being shut down for some, and haven’t tried that. Just wondering what my best options currently are…if there are any… Thank you!

  70. Barbara Roessler

    Hi, we have booked a set of award tickets through one of your links, it was easy and professional.
    I had sent my requests to several, as you had suggested, including We did not ultimately use When we were contacted with some of the companies with their initial responses we immediately responsed explaining we had gone in another direction. All the other companies responses were gracious expect for Matthew’s. Whose response was rude and frightening. He stated that his company was not a travel agency, he had done some research for is and we Now owned him his fee. He is now is hassling us for a payment of $250.00.
    I returned to your website where I now see that you have a warning that you ‘may’ be charged even if you do not book your ticket with
    Have you always had that warning? Or has it been added after you possibly heard from other surprised persons?
    The industry standard seems to be, no charge, unless tickets are booked.
    Why would anyone use when there are better and more professional services available?

  71. Glen Roebuck

    Just found this deal (I think it will work) so chase is offering 2pt/1$ bonus at Staples online. – If you have an ink bold/plus card you get 5x UR for every doller, so you should get 7X the points?? correct?

  72. @Barbara Roessler I’ve been considering using an award booking service for a possibly complex itinerary, so I remember another person complained to Daraius about this award booker. I searched and found the posts.

    See the post by David Kumec | February 13, 2016 at 5:18 pm | (scroll up the page). Daraius replied to him fairly quickly in his comments post on Million Mile Secrets | February 17, 2016 at 9:48 am | (again, scroll up to see it). It was very recent, so maybe you were in the middle of this process when the above comments were made on the blog?

  73. Hi Daraius,

    With the upcoming AA devaluation, I’m wondering what to do. I am planning to travel to in Fall 2016 or Winter 2017. If I book that ticket now, it looks like I can book at the current point levels, not the raised point levels.

    Also, AA usually allows changing the date of flights for free. However, if I change my dates in a few months (after the devaluation), will more points be required?


  74. What is the best way to use American Express points to zero out the account before the annual fee becomes due. I have 52000 points.

  75. Hi Daraius,

    I have Citi Thank you points and want to transfer the points to American Airline, but AA is NOT one of its partners on the site. Additionally, the Citi rep said that AA is not part of the Thank you program. Please confirm and/or advise. I would like to transfer the Thank you points to my AA account for miles to be used.

    Thank you,

  76. hi Daraius,

    I like to transfer Citi Thank you points to American Airline. But Citi’s portal does not have AA as a partner of the Thankyou points programme. Also, the Citi rep confirmed AA is not a partner of the Thankyou programme. Please confirm is we can transferred Thankyou points to AA account to be used as miles.

    Thank you.

  77. Hi Dariaus,

    I have been searching for answers via the google search box, but not able to find one.

    I have been approved for SW Personal about 2 weeks ago. I want to apply for SW biz card, do I have to wait for 35 days or 60 days after the first application? I would like to submit my application before the 5/24 rule.

    Thanks for taking time responding to my question.

  78. Molly walsh

    I had the Southwest companion pass 2 years ago. My partner has had it last year and this year. I really want to get it again when his expires but have read that Chase will limit credit cards if you have had 5 credit cards in the past two years, including having a second card on another person’s account. Is this right? What is the best way to position one of us to get the Companion pass again next year? I don’t have the best records but we have probably each gotten more than five cards in the last two years.

  79. @Laurent Hallier – Here’s my post on award booking services that can help:

    @Teddy Boorstein – Thanks!

    @alex – It depends on your relationship with the bank. I’ve heard of folks having an easier time when they have a good relationship with their banker, but there are no guarantees!

    @Agustin – Check out my post on all the ways to earn Hilton points:

    And you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points and Starwood points to Delta.

    @Ivan – Thank you! I hope you have a wonderful trip! This post is a good starting point:

    Singapore Airlines miles are very easy to earn because they’re a transfer partner of all 4 major points programs (AMEX Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest).

    @Warren Holt – That shouldn’t be the case. United Airlines doesn’t add fuel surcharges to its award tickets. A round-trip award ticket from the US to the Caribbean should be 35,000 United Airlines miles in coach plus taxes and fees. I did a quick search from New York to Montego Bay and the fees were ~$120 round-trip per person. It will be different depending on where you’re traveling from, but it shouldn’t be $800.

    @margy – This post will help. Good luck!

    @marc nathan – Thank you for reading! I do NOT recommend selling miles and points:

    Besides, you can get much better value from your Chase Ultimate Rewards points by transferring them to airline and hotel partners like United Airlines, Hyatt, and British Airways:

    @Rod – There doesn’t seem to be a hard and fast rule with Bank of America. It depends on the number of other cards you have and the amount of total credit they’re willing to extend you. That said, I would not apply again immediately after cancelling!

    @Charles – Thanks! There’s no advantage to booking award seats now and then switching if later dates become available (unless you truly intend to travel at the earlier date!). Good luck!

    @Chris Cannon – Thanks for reading! That sounds like a fun trip! Airlines typically open their schedules ~330 days prior to departure, so if you can book that far ahead you may have good luck. And booking your hotels well in advance will help too.

    Collecting transferable points (like AMEX, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Citi ThankYou) will give you the most flexibility:

    @Stephen – You could book award tickets on American Airlines 1-way to Europe. In February 2017, off-peak coach awards are 22,500 American Airlines miles 1-way. So you’d have enough for all 4 tickets.

    Then use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for the return trip. Either by transferring to airlines like United Airlines or British Airways, or using points for paid tickets through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

    An award booking service might be helpful:

    Good luck and enjoy your sabbatical!

    @Jack Smith – You can use American Airlines miles to fly on Etihad. Check out my series:

    @B. Hum – Thanks for reading! Check out this site to compare travel insurance providers:

    @Katie – Yes, your husband can get the bonus even if he’s an authorized user on your Chase Marriott card:

    Some readers have reported having an authorized user account has counted toward Chase’s 5 cards / 24 months rule. But there’s nothing in writing.

    @Daniel – Welcome! Most major banks report authorized user activity to credit bureaus. But not all banks collect the authorized user’s social security number:

    So unless they can match-up the user by some other means (same address, for example) the credit history may not show on the authorized user’s report. I hope that helps!

    @TB – American Airlines no longer allows free stopovers at US gateway cities.

    You can earn Singapore Airlines miles by flying Singapore Airlines, Star Alliance partner airlines, or JetBlue:

    And you can NOT transfer Citi ThankYou points to American Airlines. But you can use Citi ThankYou points earned from the Citi Prestige to book American Airlines paid flights at 1.6 cents per points through the Citi Travel Portal:

    @NP – Thank you! AMEX Bluebird and Serve are (were) good options for paying bills that can’t be paid with a credit card, like students loans, car loans, and utilities. If you’ve never had an account it might still be an option for you:

    Bill payment services like Plastiq are also an option, but you’ll pay fees (which usually aren’t worth it unless you’re meeting a minimum spending requirement for a big sign-up bonus):

    @Barbara Roessler – Thank you for letting me know and very sorry to hear this happened. I did add that to the post after another reader shared a similar experience. I’ve now removed that site from the post about award booking services.

    @Glen Roebuck – Yes, you should receive the bonus points in addition to the category bonus from your credit card.

    @Marilyn B – Thanks for helping! See my comment above regarding the award booking post.

    @John – The American Airlines award chart will change on March 22, 2016. So you have a few weeks left to book:

    One Mile at a Time has a post that may help:

    @Greg – You have a few options!

    @Paul – Folks have been approved for a Chase personal and business card on the same day (or very close together). However, Chase typically does not approve folks for more than 2 cards in 30 days.

    @Molly walsh – Yes, Chase has new rules. But they likely won’t apply to airline and hotel branded cards (like the Southwest cards) until April 2016:

    So you have ~1 month before the new policies take effect. Both the Southwest Premier personal and small business cards currently have 50,000 Southwest point sign-up bonuses after completing the minimum spending:

    Good luck!

  80. Hi Daraius,

    You mentioned booking AA flights via the Citi Travel Portal, is that the site?

    Thank you,

  81. Hello, i love reading your blog!! Maybe you can help me with my travel plan: i have 80k for united, 42k for etihad n 95k for qatar. I plan to go from IAD (wash dc) to CGK (jakarta indonesia). The dates are from aug 3 2016 to aug 12 2016. I plan to fly with singapore airlines business (not suite) and back with qatar/etihad since they have a direct route to DC (im trying to avoid immigration layover). Can you please help me on how to book it esp SG airlines with united miles. Thanks!!

  82. Debi chowdhury

    i was trying to find out when the registration will be available for the conference in Chicago? my first time and I’m real excited about coming. I have rooms registered already. thanks so much.
    enjoy your trip to S. Africa. I loved it and hope to go back again.

  83. My bluebird was just cancelled! Can i still get a serve account?

  84. I know bloggers are always needing material to keep the posts churning. I searched on your site and didn’t see a post regarding this so perhaps I can give you a freebie. I would like to see a post regarding the pros and cons of using rewards cards and Amex cards at merchants. Most people don’t realize that the retailer is getting charged higher fees for swiping rewards cards, and Amex charges the retailer the highest fees in the industry. In the end, the retailer is paying for all this nice stuff which in turn causes prices to be higher for everyone.

    Managing a consulting business that takes credit cards as well as implementing payment systems for our clients, I learned this first hand. I realize this might seem counter-intuitive to a travel blog specializing in rewards points, but I think it can be a balanced journalism piece. The other side of the argument is that most people pay with credit cards, and retailers feel like if they restrict the customer’s payment method they may lose the sale. Eventually they just chalk it up to the cost of doing business, and set their prices accordingly. Smart retailers try to negotiate the credit card fees as much as possible with their payment merchants.

    There’s a mom and pop pancake restaurant in my city that still refuses to take credit cards, period! They are locally famous for their stance. Ultimately every business owner has to decide how they will run their company.

    Article giving a brief overview of what I’m talking about:

  85. @TB – Yes.

    @Sonia – That’s a complicated one! Check out my series on how to use United Airlines miles:

    An award booking service can help:

    @Debi chowdhury – I don’t have information as yet.

    @AJ – Folks report you can’t get a Serve card if your Bluebird has been shut down, sorry!

    @Aaron – Interesting angle! Thanks for sharing!

  86. Hey folks, I’ll be traveling and doing a silent meditation so unfortunately I won’t be able to respond to comments right away. When I get back I’ll have more time to write y’all personal replies!