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, Chase, and Citi are Million Mile Secrets advertising 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 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.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

6,499 responses to “Contact

  1. Hi Daraius,
    I just got this offer from United in my inbox. What do you think about it? Is it a good deal? How does it work?We can buy as many IHG points at 0.7c / point. Does that mean I can transfer these to UA, even with a 25% bonus?

    Limited-time offer: Convert hotel points into miles and get 25% more miles

  2. Jackson Chang

    Hi Daraius,

    I am relatively new to this but started since I see that I will probably be traveling a lot in the future. I normally fly within the US and probably Guangzhou, China (CAN) and Taipei Taiwan. I have been trying to do my research in finding which airlines would be best for me. From what I have, I narrowed it down to using Delta (since I just got the gold skymiles card) and Southwest (going for the companion pass early next year) for domestic and United for International travels. I’m in the San Jose area, I prefer SJC but SFO would work if its cheaper.
    What do you think about this?

    And for hotels, I recently got the Marriott card with the 80k bonus. I think I sort of feel its a mistake since all their hotels cost so much points! But oh wells. I’m thinking of using SPG and Hyatt as my main hotels. What do you think? Do you recommend any hotels over the others?

    My approach for getting more cards was to get a new one right after I hit the minimum spending limit on my existing cards. Do you think this is a good approach?

    Also, should i subscribe with the airlines/hotels with their promos?


  3. @Elena – It’s matter of personal preference. Would you rather have a bit more comfort and service or during your flight or save the miles for your next trip?

    Either way you’ll have an amazing time in Tokyo! Enjoy your trip!

    @Vlad – If you have hotel points you don’t plan on using for hotel stays, or you were planning on transferring them to United Airlines anyway, it’s nice to have the bonus.

    But otherwise, transferring hotel points to United Airlines typically isn’t a good deal, even with this bonus.

    @Jackson Chang – Welcome to the wonderful world of miles and points! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Beginner’s Guide:

    I recommend checking Google Flights to see which airlines offer the best options from your home airport to the destinations you have in mind:

    And use Hotel Hustle or Award Mapper to see which hotel brands have the best locations for your future travel plans:

    See my post on the 2 major application strategies:

  4. Herlinda D. Lombardi

    Hi there, just wanted your advice. My parents were planning on going on a cruise to the Greek Islands in June/July of 2016. But with the current economic situation (which I don’t fully understand) should they still plan to go? They were planning on booking the cruise this month. Should they still go? If so, how would they be affected? Thanks, Herlinda

  5. Hi Darius,
    Thank you for the wonderful information. I’m a newbie to this point/rewards system. I have couple of Q’s?
    I have one card (4k$ Limit) for the past 3 years. Have 750+ FICO score. Pay all my dues at the month end. My aim is use & utilize the future points ONLY on travel (airfare & if possible hotel) mainly to Asia & Europe.
    Is AmEx PRG a good card to start off with(assuming with my credit history shouldn’t be an issue). I don’t travel wrt to my work (hardly 3-4 times nationally )?
    Is it a good thing to apply for 3-4 cards at once including the Amex (charge card)?
    Thank You

  6. scott daniels

    Darius — I truly enjoy reading your musings, and hope you can help me here.

    I am planning an all-points vacation to Hawaii. Right now, I have the hotel (Courtyard King Kam on Kona), plus coach seats on Hawaiian Air from LAX to KOA, with a return from ITO to PDX (Portland).

    I recently read (somewhere) that if you are going to fly 1st Class, you should do it on your way home (to help you unwind from the stress of the vacation :). So I am now trying to figure out how to upgrade to 1C for the ITO-PDX leg.

    According to the HA Web site, an upgrade costs 25K mi pp ow, for flights to/from N. America. Trouble is, I used all my HA points (plus the last of my AMEX MR pts), to pay for the coach seats.

    I see that I can _buy_ an upgrade on day of travel for $349 pp. Not that I’d ever want to spend that much. Is there another way, using transfers between partners, to bring my HA account up by the 50K pts I need for 2 x 1C return seats?

    I have a ton of Chase UR pts, but don’t quite see how that might help. Alternatively, I suppose I could bite the bullet and pay $698 for the two cash u/g seats, then cash in 70K UR pts for a statement credit.

    As good as I imagine 1C is, I wonder if it’s worth so many UR pts for a 5-hr flight?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much

  7. Hi Daraius,

    I realize that Chase is tightening their approvals, but not necessarily for airline branded cards. I closed two chase cards a month ago, and I would like to get the southwest business card. I have a 740+ score. Do you have any advice given the recent changes at Chase?

  8. Hi Daraius,
    I am trying to get tickets to LAX from Peru in Dec of this year…I see consistent availability in First class on LAN on BA website fro last few days. But when I call AA to book and give them flight number , they say they have no availability. i called up twice but same answer. Any idea what could be the reason? They said that those tickets might have been released to BA by LAN but not to AA. ANy guidance? Thanks, Vikas

  9. Hey Darius,

    I had a question about the age old topic of applying for Business CC. I am an auditor and I work for a large CPA firm. I have a significant amount of work related travel. The best part is that I am able to put all the expenses on my (miles earning) credit cards, and get reimbursed by my employer. Keeping that in mind – Would I be able to use this information to apply for a business credit card? (Calculate average reimbursement over last couple of years and treat that as “revenue”). Would I still call myself a sole proprietor? It goes w/o saying I’ll use my own name as “business name” and my own SSN. Among all the other benefits, I could also gain from keeping work related expenses separate from my own.


  10. My wife and i went to Europe in 2013 and use the standard credit cards (swipe and sign). I have the new chip in my cards but no pin numbers and will be going to Europe for a few months next year. I understand that I can scan and sign when there is manual/human interface. My question is how to handle situations where it is an automated process like a kiosk. Do I have to go to a counter and work with someone or will the new CC work in an automated environment.

  11. I have been trying for months to book 2 American Airline frequent flyer tickets on separate accounts. The prices change all the time. On two occasions I have been able to hold one 20,000 mile ticket and then the itinerary has totally disappeared. Is there any trick to booking two cheap tickets? I don’t want to pay 65000 unless I have to so I am holding out until it looks like the flight is selling out. thanks

  12. I was seeing if you may be able to give me some advice on how to purchase Carnival Cruise line gift cards. They sell them on eBay for face value. I would like to be able to get them for about 90% of face value using shopping portals, certain web sites and certain credit cards. This is the starting point and just let me know if you know of a better way.
    1st I would love to find a website that sells them at a discount, but so far no luck.
    2nd I would like to find a portal to buy eBay gift cards from at a discount using either portals or certain credit cards.
    3rd once I have purchased the eBay gift cards I would also use another portal to be able to get cash back from purchasing the carnival gift cards using their portal.
    So far this is what I have.
    I’m buying a eBay gift card at Staples using one of my credit cards that pays me 5% back. It takes a few days for them to send me the eBay gift card. Then I’m looking for a site that will give me the most back from using their portal to purchase the carnival gift card from eBay.
    Also the grocery stores like Safeway and Kroger sell Carnival gift cards on their websites at face value.
    Any help and suggestions would be most appreciated.
    Panama Jim

  13. I have a friend who needs to to attend a ceremony in Times Square/Radio City next year (late May 2016) for a few days. She has never gotten into the miles/points games.

    What would your recommendation be for the best hotel cards for her to start accumulating points/sign-up offers with now with to be able to stay at the best hotels in Times Square for a few days (up to 5 or 6 days). She could move between different hotels (ex. 2 free days at a Hyatt, use points at a Marriott, 2 weekend days at a Hilton, etc…) during her stay, but always be in the Times Square area.

    I wanted to get your opinion on how she can best maximize for this particular trip…rather than start clicking links for her on your webpage.

    Thanks in advance.

  14. Hi Daraius,

    I asked you before if AMEX SERVE is still loadable from AMEX credit cards and if it counts towards the minimum spending. Your answer was “YES.” Let me know if it still is or the rule has changed. I have just been approved for a targeted AMEX Business Gold (sorry I didn’t use your link cuz it was targeted) and I am wondering if that $200/day, $1000/month will count towards the 5000 min spending. And if AMEX will possibly block/freeze my acct if i keep loading to SERVE.

    Thank you.

  15. @Herlinda D. Lombardi – What the future holds for Greece is anyone’s guess. So I really can’t tell you what things will be like there during your friend’s trip next year.

    Check out this article from Money magazine:

    @Sid – Welcome to Million Mile Secrets!

    Make sure you read the Beginner’s Guide before you get started:

    I recommend folks set their travel goals before they start signing-up for cards. That’s because you could end up with points spread across different accounts that you don’t have a use for.

    The 2 major strategies folks use for their applications is signing-up for 3 to 4 cards each quarter or waiting for the big bonuses to come along:

    @scott daniels – You can transfer Starwood points and AMEX Membership Rewards points to Hawaiian Airlines.

    However, First Class from the US to Hawaii typically isn’t that luxurious. So you may want to save your points or money for another trip!

    @Shay – Yes, for now it seems airline and hotel cards are not impacted, and possibly business cards, so you shouldn’t have any issues.

    If you haven’t already, check out my posts on the new Chase rules:

    @vikas – American Airlines sometimes doesn’t have all the same flights you’ll find on the British Airways site.

    So you may have to find another flight that works for you.

    @AmeriKop56 – You need to have a business or be starting a business to get approved for a business credit card.

    Check out my list of activities that qualify:

  16. @John – Check out my post about using Chip & Signature cards in Europe:

    @Jackie – There is no special trick. But I do recommend folks book award flights ~1 year in advance.

    The closer you get to your travel dates, the more likely it is that you’ll need to be flexible with your search criteria.

    If you find a flight you like, you should be able to call American Airlines and they will put the itinerary on hold for you for 24 hours.

    Good luck!

    @Jim – Check evreward for the best shopping portal deals. It looks like you can currently earn 3% cash back at eBay through Ebates:

    Or you could sign-up for the Discover it card. With this card you’ll earn a $50 credit after your 1st purchase and all cash back you earn will be doubled at the end of your 1st year:

    You can find the Discover it card here:

    You can currently earn 5% cash back at Carnival Cruise Lines through the ShopDiscover portal. And you’ll get another 5% cash back at the end of the year.

    You can also use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for your cruise through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal:

    @JS Komo – There are plenty of Hilton hotels around Times Square. And there are lots of ways to earn Hilton points:

    But check Award Mapper or Hotel Hustle to take a look at which locations might be the best fit with her travel plans:

    Also, see my post about how to choose the right hotel card:

    @Paul E – You can still load your AMEX Serve card at Walmart. Or online with an AMEX credit card:

    This should count towards your minimum spending, but you will NOT earn points on the transaction.

  17. christiano ronaldo

    Hello, I`m new to this and ive read alot but would like to know an answer to this, I frequently got a bunch of cards and used it to pay my car off and my student loans from great lakes directly using the credit cards. They all accepted my payments and everything went thru, I was just wondering if these transactions count towards the spending limit to get the big points? thank you

  18. @christiano ronaldo – Sorry to interject, but to answer your question – I think, yes. It will. I have a a student loan through great lakes too. How did you use your CC to pay it? Did they charge a fee?

  19. Hi there! I love your site and it’s helped me get started with collecting free miles and we’ve taken some great vacations already! One question that I can’t seem to find the answer to, is this: if I sign up for a new card for the bonus miles, after completing the minimum spending, can I then transfer the balance to one of my zero percent cards? Or will that cause me to lose my miles? Thanks for any advice :)

  20. Hi Daraius,

    I tried reloading the REDcard using the Vanilla Visa Debit gift card at Target AND online and I was NOT successful. Target says they do not reload instore anymore and I did it online after contacting REDcard using # on back of REDcard. I tried linking the debit (Vanilla) card to the REDcard but they say the debit card has to be from a bank account.

    Are you aware of this or anyone having this same problem? What are our options to reload the REDcard now?

    Thank you for responding.


  21. Hi Daraius!
    Need help in booking 2 award tickets, business using AA Miles either on Cathy or Jet airways.
    DEP-IAH-ORD,ORD-HKG on 19th Nov,
    How I should plan

  22. @christiano ronaldo – Welcome to Million Mile Secrets!

    If you’re using gift cards to pay your student loan, buying the gift cards with your credit card will count towards your minimum spending requirements. I’m not sure if paying with a credit card directly is considered a cash advance (which does NOT count toward minimum spending) – it depends on the bank.

    Also, read the Beginner’s Guide for everything you need to know about getting started with collecting miles and points!

    @Amber – Transferring the balance will not impact your miles. But many cards charge a fee for balance transfers. So make sure you read the fine print.

    But I don’t recommend earning the sign-up bonus and canceling your new card right away. Instead you should evaluate your card after ~10 months to determine if it’s worth the annual fee.

    @tb –

  23. After being away from needing to ‘manufacture spending’ for a year (while we used my S’west Companion pass) I find my self struggling a bit. The techniques seemed to have changed… and not favorably for me at least. Formerly I would buy Vanilla Reloads, then transfer funds to my Bluebird… doing it all online. From what I read the Vanilla Reloads are a thing of the past. I used the Bluebird to pay credit card bills and 2 car loans which helped generate the spending. But now it looks like I have no way to get the funds on to Bluebird. Posts I recently read were pretty clear Walmart cashiers & Kiosks are no longer an option as of early August. So should I abandon Bluebird? My own research found “Plastiq” as a possibly option? But they were pretty vague about weather the transactions would count as a ‘purchase’. Any experience with Plastiq? I am running out of simple options. Even looked into Western Union Speedpay but even though Eversource Utility claims you can use SpeedPay… Eversource does not come up as a biller option. Any suggestions on how to generate a 2-3 thousand in spending in the next month to 6 weeks? Thanks
    P.S. Sure did enjoy the Southwest Companion Pass!

  24. i am researching sites/companies that can help me with my rtw ticket with delta ff points.

    is your 2013 article .on companies that book FF tickets your most updated article?

    delta has done a terrible job finding me flights and i will pay the fee to redeposit my points if i can find someone to rebook my trip.

    if there is a more current article, can you please send me the link?

  25. Great site, I’ve learned a lot! I’m wondering if its possible to use my AAMiles to fly on Cathay Pacific from TPE>HKG>ORD? I used the website as you suggest to check availability and found open seats. All your examples are using AAMiles to fly Cathay from US to Asia, not the reverse. Is there any reason I can’t do this? Maybe because AA doesn’t normally fly from TPE? Thanks!

  26. D: My friend has had the chase Marriott for 5 years. He was told by a chase rep he could close his card and reapply in 30 days to get a new signup bonus because 1) he hasn’t received the bonus in 2 years and 2) because if he waited 30 days he’d be out of their system. This does not sound at all accurate to me. I thought he had to wait 2 years after closing card.

  27. Samsonite carryon was one of the first presents we gave to our daughter, when she started her first job. After 10 years, it is her most used and beloved piece of luggage. Samsonite has fixed it, replaced it and the customer support has been excellent. Love it!

  28. Hi Daraius,

    I dimly remember either a tab on your site or a specific article providing a chart and procedures for swapping points from one plan to another, e.g., from SPG to American. Trouble is, I can’t find what I’m looking for but hope to find. Please help. Thanks-a-Million!

  29. kareem benzema

    @AmeriKop56 there is no fee and all you have to do is call them and tell them you want to pay with a credit card, I used two different cards to pay it off and no fees where charged. I used the barclay because it offers doubles points and my marriotts to reach the bonus

  30. Dairius, we have a Chase Presidential Plus card (grandfathered from Continental). We use it to book our trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico each year where we spend the winter. Because we are there 3 months we each take 2 bags that are free with this card. We also use the club b/c we fly with a stop in Houston. I transfer Ultimate Rewards points to United that I earn on my CSP and Ink Bold cards. However b/c I don’t book through Ultimate Rewards I feel like I am losing Statement Credits I could otherwise get. Can I go in to my reservation later and
    pay for my Extended Leg Room seats on the CSP for example? Does it use up my points? Not sure if this is a better use of points or just saving them for next trip. Thanks for a great blog!

  31. I was about to book SPG Nights/Flights for 5 nights at Westin Cape Town June 2016 for free plus the 50K miles placed into my AA account. With the current 20% More SPG promotion I feel like trading in my 70K SPG for 100K AA miles may have a better value – hotel would then cost me $850 Cant seem to decide, what would you do in my shoes? Thanks!

  32. Hi, I have a question about mileage accrual. I have a friend who doesn’t travel much so his miles would never accrue to anything useful. He’s flying US Airway from NYC to Frankfurt round-trip, so I wondered… with the partner airlines… if he keyed in my Alaska Airline member number, would I be able to accrue the miles he will have flown? Do the partner airlines verify the person behind the number?

  33. Hi Darius,

    Is bluebird from Amex plans to start charging a monthly fee to accounts that keep a balance?

    Thank you,

  34. Adam Schendel

    Quick question re: Citi visa and a 75,000 mile promotion.
    I currently have a Citi Exec. visa and got 50,000 points for signing up, plus 1 year at the Admirals club, a year ago. It’s time for renewal, so I was considering applying for their current promotion of 75,000 miles and an Admirals Club membership. Citi said that you cannot get the miles if you’ve applied or held that card within 18months. Is there a workaround on that rule? Could I have my wife sign up for it and still use the Admirals Club with out her?

    Thank you –

  35. Tom Schneider

    I am 60K short of making American Airlines’ “Million Miler” status but hardly fly on business any more. Is there a way to gain “Million Miler” credits other than buying plane tickets?

  36. We are looking at possibly taking a trip to Buenos Aries in 2016. I was wondering what airline do you think is the least amount of points to get there? Thanks.

  37. We are planning a trip to Buenos Aires in 2016. Which airline would you recommend for the least amount of points and least amount of surcharges?

  38. Hello, how can one use up the 21000 barclays points and get cash for those ? Would it be good to buy american airlines gift cards and then sell those gift cards ? What is the way to get highest value for those points ?

  39. @Phil T – I recently wrote about Plastiq here:

    Also be sure to read about how to load Bluebird cards with PIN-enabled gift cards:

    Good luck getting the Southwest Companion Pass again!

    @lee laurino – Yes, that is the most recent. But all of them are still active. I’m sure any of them would love to help you book flights with your Delta miles!

    @Jeff – You should be able to find seats on Cathay Pacific to fly back to the US. Try searching on American Airlines’ website ( or on!

    @Rodney – What the Chase representative told you sounds accurate to me. Please see this article about the rules of getting sign-up bonuses again:

    @Krupa N – That’s fantastic! Congrats on your new luggage!

    @Stu – Maybe these are the pages you’re thinking of:

    Let me know if that helps!

    @Janie Blank – You can pay for flight add-ons like legroom with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card but NOT with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. I’d save them for your next trip. Thank you for reading!

    @Meagan – If I were you, I’d choose Nights and Flights, because it sounds like your points will be worth more that way!

    @Wei – The name on the ticket must match the name on the frequent flyer number, so this won’t work.

    @Frances – No, not at this time. Keep an eye here – I’ll always let you know if there’s an update!

    @Adam Schendel – You can not get the bonus again if you’ve received it in the past ~18 months. I don’t think there’s a workaround, or a way to share your Admirals Club membership with your wife if you aren’t traveling together.

    @Tom Schneider – No, the only way to earn Million Miler status with American Airlines is to fly on their planes! You’re very close to making it. Sounds like you might need to plan a trip! 😉

  40. Hey Darius. I thought you might be interested to know that the 30K SPG offer is back until mid-September. I’m looking to get the business version and knew that today, the changes went into effect. So, I checked my Amex account, and there it was. :-)

    Hope this is useful…

  41. I’ve been following you for several years and have just realize you often mention flights to Kansas City. Is that where you live? I’m a Kansas Citian.

    Have just been reviewing your posts about Bora Bora. We are heading there in less than two weeks. This will be our third trip to Tahiti and our second to the Hilton Bora Bora Nui. Of course we are doing the trip on miles and points… miles for Business Class on Air Tahiti Nui and points for a horizon view over water bungalow at the Hilton.

    I’ve included my email address above.


  42. Do you know what happened to the Bank of America cash rewards increased signup? I could not find that post from earlier this month & just wondering if it is not taking place any longer. Just waiting for that one to come up.

  43. Darius,

    I know the AMEX Business SPG card grants elite status with 30k spend, but does the Personal SPG card also have that feature? It’s really handy except for the fact Business AMEX bonus can be granted every 12 months where the Personal bonus is once per lifetime.


  44. @Juli – American Airlines has great off-peak award prices to South America, starting at 20,000 American Airlines miles each way:

    British Airways is useful for getting to and around South America:

    You can transfer from AMEX Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Avios points. But remember you’ll get fewer British Airways Avios points from AMEX Membership Rewards beginning October 1, 2015:

    Fuel surcharges typically aren’t very expensive to South America, so I wouldn’t worry too much about those. Enjoy your trip to Brazil!

    @sam – You’ll get the highest value from Barclays Arrival points when you redeem them for travel charges. Depending on when you got the card, you’ll have to redeem 2,500 Barclays Arrival points at a time or 10,000 Barclays Arrival points at a time:

    As for reselling American Airlines gift cards, I know of this site:

    Good luck!

    @Lion Tamer – Thanks for the heads up! I just wrote about the new offer: – I saw it earlier and was working on the post, but thank you!

    @Barry – Not any more! Kansas City is a great town! You are going to love Bora Bora and Tahiti. Congrats on your trip, and to getting a good deal with miles and points!

    @cody – Yes, I’ll post when it’s available!

  45. HI Daraius,
    Would you have any idea if I can load Reloadit pack on the greenServe card online via the reloadit website? If this is not possible, then it should be ok at CVS, right? Also, what is the maximum amount that I can pay per bill? My mortgage is large. Thank you!

  46. Hi. I’m new to this. So I have Miles from delta, American and United. Can I put them together when redeeming for travel to Asia?

  47. Love your website…
    Had been waiting for 30,000 sign up for Business SPG…. but just got Delta Gold Business July 20. Do I have a chance to get approved for another Business card with AMX by early Sept? Would you try?

  48. Daraius,

    I know the AMEX Business SPG card grants elite status with 30k spend, but does the Personal SPG card also have that feature? It’s really handy except for the fact Business AMEX bonus can be granted every 12 months where the Personal bonus is once per lifetime.


  49. Christopher P. Ore


    I’m asking you to jump in here and resolve this matter before a UCF fight breaks out…and my friend Preetha has a scheduled match with Rousey this don’t be misled by her 4’3″ 210 stature….The issue pertains to minimum spends using Citi Thank You. Though merely hearsay, Preetha appears to have found that PayPal can count toward the $3k minimum, to meet the bonus requirement.

    If you would briefly review the below, and then opine: is she right? (i.e., does PayPal count toward the $$$ requirement), or am I–though male–correct in this case (i.e., PayPal won’t do the trick)? Truly appreciate your insight, as always.



    Preetha Writeth:
    I just called Citi Thank You Card customer service and they said that making payments through paypal does count toward the minimum spend…..

    C. Ore Opineth:
    Nuh-uh. Call another rep and I bet you won’t get the same answer.

    Preetha Sayeth:
    Just got off the phone with another Citi Thank You customer rep, and he states payments made with PayPal does count toward “thank you points” as long as it is not a recurring payment but a one time payment!

  50. Hello,

    It’s still not clear to me: Will loading my AMEX serve account with a new AMEX card help meet the minimum spending on my new AMEX card?


  51. Hi D, I have two-United Club pass (exp 12.31.2015) and another four-United Club pass (exp 6.30.2016) that I cannot use. I want your readers to use them instead of letting them to expire. I can mail them to you or any of your readers. I always check your site for my travel education needs. Thanks for all your help. Later.


  52. josh mackles

    Hey Darius, Thanks for all the help you’ve offered to me in the past, and to all of us for that matter. I’m back again with two questions.
    1. I need to spend about $9000 in the next 3 months to meet 3 different card spending limits. (HR Block wrongly told me I’d be able to use the cards to pay my NY back taxes. Not True. I can pay my fed taxes using a card, but not NY state, so I am kind of screwed.) So I am looking for some big ticket ways to spend all that cash in a practical way. So to my first question. I was planning on buying my nephew an Apple computer for his high school graduation this coming June. Obviously I want to wait so that he gets the most up to date computer. So what do you think about socking away a big chunk of money on an Apple gift card? Will a $2500 gift card count towards my minimum spending req?
    2. I was recently approved for a starwood card with the 25k bonus points. Less than one week later Amex bumped the bonus to 30k points. I called Amex and requested the earlier offer, but was refused. I was able to get 1500 extra points but I’d sure like those remaining 3500 points I missed out on. Any ideas?

    Best regards,

  53. Hi Daraius!

    Another question:

    I do multiple applications every ~91 days. I did a set on Mar 12 which shows up on my credit report. I did another set on June 13. I assumed they would be on my credit report, but I do not believe they are on any of the three bureaus credit reports! (I checked Credit Karma for Transunion and Equifax, and I checked Credit sesame for Experian. My most recent pulls are from March).

    Do you think these websites are reliable? In theory, couldn’t I do another round of applications now as somehow the 3 bureaus didn’t pick up an inquiry for the June applications?


  54. Can you please clarify why you apply for multiple credit cards (i.e. On B of A Alaska credit card) from the same bank when most bank/credit cards limit the bonus to 1 bonus every 24 months?

  55. I thought there was a current offer on Citi AAdvanatge Business for 50K miles but can not seem to find it ? Am I wrong?

  56. Would you be able to provide strategies and insight into collecting miles at different income levels? Many cards are touted as great, but require spending og $20k,30k+ a year but for young people like myself who dont come anywhere near that, do you have any recommendations in cards, programs to stick with? Based on my yearly spending I feel like it would be best to stick to one program such as AMEX Membership or Chase Ultimate. Advice?

  57. Hi Darious, Am I better off paying for the Admirals Club membership ($500.00/annual the first year) and keeping an existing card like a Venture card? Or adding another card such as this. I am really looking for access to the Admirals Club. My second question is if I have the membership only not through the credit card are the rules the same., i.e., I can fly another airling and still access the Admirals Club? Any thoughts?

  58. I (and perhaps many other) would really appreciate if you could write about business cards qualifications.
    I do some infrequent consulting but the income from this is very minimal. What are my chances of getting a business cc? Should I even try? Which bank has more flexible rules? What do I put in the application not having any real business?

  59. I have a couple of large monthly bills that I would like to pay with my air-miles card. These two vendors will only take a payment from a standard checking account. What I want to do is transfer/deposit the value of a prepaid debit card (purchased with my air-miles card) to the checking account.

    I am told by my bank that the prepaid debit card I use must be one that “is redeemable for cash”. Your advise?

    I would like to do this with a reloadable, low fee, prepaid debit card.

  60. I have been a big fan of your site, but I’m just a little concerned with the misinformation as of late. I think you need to have an editor to go over what is being published or fix your articles quickly once commentators state an error. Also, you used to comment in the articles, but haven’t seen that in a long while. I miss that. Thanks.

    For example: 1) SPG $30k Fold status can be earned on Personal card; 2) Citi TY points would be better transferring to Virgin first, not directly to Hilton, due to 25% bonus; 3) Radisson Aruba transferred to a Hilton.

  61. Hi Daraius,

    Which credit card affiliate programs do you recommend? I read an article you wrote but flex offers got acquired by bank rate so was curious which ones you think are the best now.



  62. Hello. I was able to get the AMEX Platinum with the 100k offer a couple weeks ago. My brothers and dad have also gotten them and the four of us would like to use them to travel to Scotland for a golf trip next summer. We are in Florida and traveling out of Orlando is ideal but anywhere on the east coast is fine because we have a lot of Southwest points. We have looked at the VA flight from Orlando to Glasgow but the fees are stiff.

    My question: What is the best use of the 100k AMEX points for a flight to Scotland that minimizes fees while still getting at least a business class flight?

  63. Hello Daraius,

    I am interested in applying for the Amex SPG business card. I have had this card in the past but cancelled it more than a year ago. I recently cancelled my Amex HHonors Surpass card after being approved for the Citi Hilton HHonors reserve card. I cancelled the Amex card to get below the 4 card limit.

    How long should I wait before applying for The Amex SPG business card.

  64. Hey,
    when closing a credit card do you transfer the total credit limit to another credit card so your limit doesnt decrease or you just close it? and by transferring the credit limit would you get a hard inquiry?
    thank you

  65. Daraius,

    We miss you! Have you been traveling? We are looking forward to your responses!

  66. Hi Daraius,

    I will be traveling and want to accumulate Marriott points with their sign up bonuses. Is it better to apply for the Chase Marriott business credit card first and then the personal Chase Marriott card or vice versa?

    Many thanks

  67. Greetings.

    Do you have any articles/posts where you write about “round the world trips?”
    I am looking for inspiration and would just like to know how people plan these trips out?

    I am just now starting to explore traveling around. So please go easy on me. I just want to hit big cities or fantastic beaches. I would appreciate any advice.

    Thank you.

  68. I just had a quick question about the airline cards. If my husband and I both sign up for the same airline card can we share an airline points account? For example, if we both sign up for the AA or BA card, can we just link it to one AA or BA points account, so that all of the points are in one place and we both don’t have points in different accounts? It would be easier to have 100,000 points in one place instead of 50,000 points in one points account and another 50,000 points in another points account.

  69. Hi,

    I’m just starting to learn about maximizing travel awards etc… and am wondering what you think about the AAA Southern New England Signature Visa.

    It doesn’t have a meaningful sign up bonus but I already have the card (2500 pt bonus when I signed up with a $100 travel voucher) so I am wondering what your thoughts are on continuing to use it.

    It earns points in the following ways:
    3 points (3%) on travel & AAA purchases
    2 points (2%) on gas, groceries & drug stores (I recently noticed it is including Target)
    1 point (1%) on everything else

    Generally you can redeem the points at a 1% rate ($5000 = $50) but what a lot of people don’t notice is that you can redeem 50,000 points for a $700 AAA travel voucher which comes out to a 1.4% redemption rate. If my calculations are correct, this means you are effectively earning:

    4.2% on travel & AAA vouchers
    2.8 % on gas, groceries & drug stores (I recently noticed it is including Target)
    1.4% on everything else

    I have been unable to find any reviews of this card on any of the travel sites so I was just wondering what your opinion is on continuing to use it. Obviously most people aren’t going to sign up for it without a bonus but as I said I already have the card. I currently have 120,000 points on it. Another 30,000 points and I will be able to cash in for a total of $2100 in travel vouchers.

    I should also mention that I am long time holder of the Chase Freedom card as well which I try to max out the bonus categories each quarter.

    Thanks for your time!

  70. I just receive a Delta AMX business card July 17. Do I have a chance of being approved 2 months later (by Sept 15) for the AMX SPG business card with the increased sign up? Thanks

  71. @jeremy – You can earn Starwood Gold status for spending $30,000 in a year with the AMEX Starwood personal and small business card.

    However, I’d rather use that spending to earn sign-up bonuses on other cards.

    And there are easier ways to earn Starwood elite status. For example, you can get Starwood Gold when you sign-up for the AMEX Platinum card and enroll.

    You can find the link for the AMEX Platinum card here:

    Or you can sign-up for the AMEX Starwood personal AND AMEX Starwood small business card. With each card you’ll get 2 stay credits or 5 night credits. So you’ll only need to complete 6 stays or 15 nights to earn Starwood Gold status.

    You can find the link for the AMEX Starwood cards here:

    @Katie – It should work, but I haven’t tried it. You can pay a maximum of $15,000 in bills to registered payees ($5,000 to non-registered payees) each month.

    Keep in mind, there’s a ~$5 monthly fee with this card.

    @jemina – You can’t combine miles from a multiple airlines into 1 account. But, for example, you could use your Delta miles to book your outgoing flight and use your American Airlines miles to book your return flight:

    @Mco – I can’t say for sure whether you’d be approved or not. AMEX looks at many factors.

    But keep in mind, you may not be able to have more than 4 AMEX credit cards at 1 time:

    @Christopher P. Ore – It should work.

    @Shay – Yes, it will count towards your minimum spending.

    @H.Odra – That’s very generous of you! Thank you! I’ll be in-touch!

    @josh mackles – You’re welcome!

    1. Yes, buying an Apple gift card will count towards your minimum spending. Also read my list of 40+ ways to meet minimum spending requirements:

    2. You can try sending a secure message from your online account to get the remaining points. But usually once you accept their offer, they won’t give you anything more. Good luck!

  72. Hi Daraius,
    I’d like to double check whether 50,000 Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard offer through the link on your website is a valid, up to date offer. The reason I’m asking is that on AA website and on City Bank website they offer only for 30,000 miles.

  73. I am Gold on American. On my last trip to Spain, they changed my itinerary which resulted in a few hundred miles less mileage. At this time, I only have one more trip planned till the end of the year and I figure I will be 145 miles short of Gold again. Can I purchase qualifying miles or must I take another flight and is it even worth it for Gold with American?

    Thanks in advance.

  74. Darius,
    I have An Amex Hilton card(no fee) which I use often. Two years ago I signed up for the Citi Hilton Visa card so I could get the bonus. After not using the card for awhile, Citi cancelled the card on me. I would like to know if I could apply for the card again, and if so, how long do you think I need to wait before applying?
    Steve S

  75. Oh dear, I’m afraid I haven’t figured out how to get your answers to questions and may have missed this one (since I posted it previously and thought I didn’t get an answer). Please tell me where the answer is or (if I’ve posted it incorrectly and you never got it), what the answer is:

    I appreciate your postings on everything but especially the SW Companion Pass which allows me to get to see my grandson in Florida with my partner frequently. Mine will lapse in December and I am anxious to re-apply in fall. But I have a few questions:
    How and when do I cancel my current cards?
    Should I do them one at a time just in case they won’t re-issue them?
    Am I taking a chance of losing them
    Thanks…and thanks again for all your help!

  76. Ellen Surburg

    Best trip this summer contest 8-22-15
    My husband and I took 3 granddaughters, ages 14, 10 and 10, to Williamsburg, VA in July. We flew United on miles (1000,000 miles). We had a paid stay at Hilton earning double points as we initiated a new Citi Hilton Reserve card.

  77. christiano ronaldo

    Greetings, I am new to all the miles and credit card stuff, I have the sapphire and the barclays arrival plus cards. I have already received the bonus for each plus a few extra miles through purchases. I was wondering which is the better option to redeem my points for a round trip this December to France. Thank you so much for your answers and all the great info you post on here it really helps

  78. Which Starwood Card Is Best for You (Personal or Small Business)? plus 1 more posts (Sun 8/23/2015)

    The post incorrectly states “There is a $95 annual fee for both cards, not waived the 1st year.”

    The $95 fee is waived, for the first year, on both cards.

  79. Hi Daraius, perhaps you can help:

    I have just cancelled my SPG Business card, and would like to apply for a new SPG Business card for a different business I run. Is that OK without waiting (of course I would want the bonus as well)?

  80. Daraius, I can’t see my comment here so I’ll try again:

    I just cancelled my old SPG Business card this week.
    But I have a second business – can I apply right now for a different SPG Business card for that second business? Of course I mean apply AD get the 30K bonus.

  81. Hello Daraius!
    I am an absolute novice to the world of travel hacking. It looks like a great way to feed my travel addiction. As an active retiree, I have lots of time and still have the energy, but alas, the funds are not as much there. Damn stock market! Anyhow, I have this massive (3 month) trip planned for next February (2016) or so. It includes Northern and mid South America, over to Easter Island and then to Tahiti (most serviced by LAN/ TAM. Following that I plan to do a dream scuba trip through many of the small island nations in the South Pacific. The distances are vast and the airlines few.
    Any suggestions on how to build up points quickly to allow for keeping costs down. Vantage 3.o score 720.



  82. Hi, Daraius! We currently have the Barclay’s Arrival Plus MC and currently have 30,800 miles this month. We’re not interested in air travel points as much because we travel often by auto and stay at resorts and hotels. Could you tell me what the best credit card for travel points (not just air travel points) would be? Our current spending is between $8 and 10,000 a month. Thank you!

  83. Now that be frugal is no longer offering the 2.2% back on buying American Express cards I’m in a little bit of a bind. What I was doing was buying the American Express card with 2.25% back with my Barclay arrival card which gave me another 2%. This was giving me back a little over 4% that I was getting on every day spend when I would use the American Express. Do you know of a way that I can do something similar to this with little effort were as I can ultimately end up with a credit card or debit card in my hand that I can use on every day spend and get back 4% OR MORE?

  84. Hi, Daraius!

    Long time, very happy reader here. I’ve read your honeymoon posts for Paris and Tahiti and was hoping you may one or two great ideas for mine. I have 400,000 AA and 250,000 Delta miles, and even though that’s likely enough for two to have an amazing trip, do you have any great ideas you can send my way? We are traveling from Nashville, in August or September 2016. Ultra luxury in a great airline’s first class suite is highly desired, to a nice beach! I fear inventory for two may be the hard part. Thanks in advance.


  85. Hi Daraius,

    I wanted to alert you (if you don’t already know) about United’s MileagePlus X mobile application. It allows you to earn extra miles for shopping, dining, etc. at certain merchants located in the area you currently are shopping, dining, etc. You basically buy a gift card (with your United credit card) and then show the gift card to the merchant to pay for your purchase. You can earn miles on Amazon (1 mile) and stores such as Lowe’s, Staples and many others. This is in addition to the miles you earn on your credit card. Your readers might be interested in this new application.


  86. I’d like to sign my 6 month old up for credit cards to take advantage of sign up rewards and get his miles and points accounts in place so when he is older and can’t be a lap kid he can redeem his own miles for seats. He has a savings account and ff accounts. Would I need to set up a trust in his name to show income or would our household income be sufficient? Is this even possible?

  87. @Shay – In my experience there’s sometimes a delay in Credit Karma and Credit Sesame showing recent applications.

    Keep in mind, banks use more information then just your latest inquiries. I can’t say whether or not you’d be approved, but I’d suggest waiting a few months to apply for more cards.

    @Jill – Certain cards will give you the bonus more frequently then that. For example, when I signed-up for 5 Bank of America Alaska Airlines cards in 1 day, I was able to earn 5 sign-up bonuses!

    Bank of America has changed their rules since then. So you can NOT get approved for that many cards in 1 day anymore.

    @sfvalue – You can find the link here:

    @Garrick – Check out my list of 40+ ways to meet minimum spending requirements and earn sign-up bonuses for Big Travel:

    And I usually recommend transferable points for folks who are just starting out, because you’ll have the most flexibility:

    @David – You can access the Admirals Club lounge, even when you’re NOT flying on American Airlines or US Airways.

    I recommend signing up for the Citi American Airlines card because the sign-up bonus can more than make up for the annual fee and you’ll get lounge access!

    There is a hefty minimum spending requirement, but see this post for tips:

    @Kris – Banks do require you to have a small business. And many have become more strict about this in recent years. If you want to get approved you may need to answer questions over the phone about the nature of your business and net income.

    Thanks for the post idea!

    @Ken Attebery – You can deposit funds from AMEX prepaid cards directly into your checking account:

    And you can pay bills like utilities and rent through your online account. Bluebird allows you to write physical checks.

    @Janie – Thank you for your feedback! We do our best to stay on top of everything. But sometimes we make mistakes.

    We appreciate when our readers let us know when things go wrong. And we’re always working to improve!

    @Jose – It’s tougher to be approved for credit card affiliate programs than it was years ago. I don’t have a particular recommendation at the moment.

    @Andrew – Check out my post on using American Express Membership Rewards to get to the UK:

    And my award booking guides:

    If you need more help with booking your flights, you might consider using an award booking service:

    @John – If it’s been at least 12 months since you’ve had the AMEX Starwood Business card, you can apply again:

    You find the link for this card here:

    @Ed – Check out my credit score series for more information on this:

    @Shay – Thanks! I appreciate your patience while I’ve been out of the “office.”

    @Maureen – You can apply for both at once or spread them out. The order likely doesn’t matter. However, if you’ve never had any cards with Chase, you may want to apply for the personal card first.

    That’s because Chase can be a bit selective about approving folks for its small business cards.

    You can find the link for the Chase Marriott personal here:

    And the link for the Chase Marriott small business card here:

  88. Hey Darius. I have a client who spends $25,000 a month on Fuel. What business card is the best card for this. I think it said Ink has a $50,000 limit a year. So what would I tell him is the best card?



  89. Hey Daraius! Would love to hear your feedback on my travel app, Mercez, that arbitrages credit cards when traveling abroad for up to an additional 1% savings. I tweeted you a Medium article describing how it works! Do let me know if this is something that may be of interest to your viewers.

  90. Hi Daraius,

    I have received a targeted Amex offer on upgrading my Gold Delta card to Platinum card, do you think I should upgrade it?

    I do not fly Delta much, and I don’t like the revenue-based mileage earning. I have 80k Skymiles now and I wish to use it for an international flight in the next year. The bonus miles seems not to be MQM.

    Upgrade to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and enjoy the privileges of Card Membership.

    Apply today, you’re pre-approved.
    Get 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles®Credit Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms and limitations apply.(2)
    Annual Membership Fee is $195.

  91. Jessica Carr

    Hey Daraius! I want to apply for the personal starwood AMEX card with the 30,000 starwood point sign up bonus, but I want to make sure I qualify. You mention that AMEX only gives one sign up bonus for personal card, but is that just for the same card type. I have a personal AMEX premier rewards card and received a 25,000 amex membership rewards points for meeting my minimum spending requirements. Will I still get the 30,000 Starwood points on the personal AMEX Starwood card? I’m assuming since one earned membership rewards points, and the other earns starwood points, I should be ok, but I wanted to contact an expert to make sure! 😉 Thank you!

  92. Daraius-I tried to book the Hyatt in Buenos Aires with points and cash. Although the hotel is not sold out, they said it is not available with that method. I thought you had commented about this problem before, and was wondering if you had any suggestions. Have a great rest of Summer.

  93. josh mackles

    Hey Darius, Just wondering if you’ve ever written a piece on using orphan miles without spending a fortune doing so. (I’ve got about 30,000 miles I control in 3 different accounts I’ll never use again – 12k in AA, 11k in Miles & More, and 7k in Qmiles.)

    josh mackles

  94. Darius, I have my Southwest Card coming up for its annual fee after my free first year. They will give me 6,000 anniversary points for $99. Is that a fair trade, or something I can turn into a more valuable proposition?

  95. Darius, I’m curious as to why you took down the Amex PRG 50K/Platinum 100K post. If you were told or worried that this is sensitive information, I disagree. This method has been all over forums for quite some time and is well known. Just curious.

  96. @Kris

    RE: Delta Gold upgrade to Platinum.

    Don’t upgrade! It’s better to apply separately for a 50,000 Platinum bonus when it comes around, then cancel the Gold. 15k is a very small bonus. I’ve done this before so it shouldn’t be a problem. If it goes to pending, call reconsideration and suggest to close the Gold to get the Platinum because you want the better benefits (companion pass, etc.). You can always downgrade the card back to Gold if you don’t feel the annual fee has value.

  97. I have 1000 USD worth of Hyatt gift cards. What is the best value i can derive out of them? any thoughts!!!

  98. i was looking to book a flight to new zealand but the award search on united says none available? whats my next best option as i have mostly united points

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