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, Citi, and US Bank 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 (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.

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.

6,990 responses to “Contact

  1. Spent hours on your blog and love it! Few questions:

    1) Have an unexpected trip to Scotland mid-end of February. I looked at signing up for an AA or other bonus offer card to offset some of the cost, but it appears points won’t be posted for 8-10 weeks. Do you know of a way to get that expedited so I could use the points for this trip? Or any other card that offers faster point posting?

    2) I have had my SW Chase Premier card for at least 2 years now. We spend a lot and use the points to go to Disney World a few times a year. I blew off the companion pass because what was the point of racking up that many points for one free ticket…..but the way I’m reading your blog, you get to use it over and over again until it expires?

    3) I have the SW Chase Premier in my name. My husband is an authorized user. I have the RR account in my name. If hubby signs up for SWCP and the business card:
    a: Can we tie the RR number I already have for his cards so that the 7k points I’ve already earned this year will go towards the CP versus creating a new RR account for him?
    b: Will it affect his approval in any way that he is a authorized user on my card?
    c: Would this be the proper sequence of events – Hubby gets premier and business now and we should have enough points next month to get CP. I wait for my card to distribute the anniversary points and then close it. In Jan. 2018 (assuming all things being equal) I open a new premier and business card, close his…rinse and repeat?

    Thank you so much!

  2. D: If I book 3 rooms at Millennium Hilton Bangkok under my name for myself and two other couples, would you expect the hotel to extend my Diamond benefits to them as well so we can all enjoy the Club Lounge?

  3. Hi Daraius,
    I booked an infant with my first class american airlines award ticket to asia. The fee was only $150! (The paid flight appeared to be $2,700, so I was expecting to pay at least $270 (10%) plus fees, but I didn’t say anything when they only said $150).

    AA will let me change my flight to Japan Airlines at no cost (which we would prefer). However, if I do that, will they refund the infant money and then will Japan airlines have to recalculate an infant fee? Or, will the infant fee simply transfer over without any additional cost?


  4. @Danny – The terms say you have to fly together. Here are more details on how the Delta Companion Certificate works:

    @Tria – You’re welcome! Happy to help!

    @kellybee – Welcome to Million Mile Secrets! Here are a few links that will help you get started:

    Make sure you read my Beginner’s Guide and then set your travel goals to make sure you earn points that will be useful for you!

    Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with!

    @Katie – Welcome! New credit cards come along and you can earn the sign-up bonus again on certain cards:

    If you haven’t already, be sure to read my Beginner’s Guide:

    @coolmuke – You have 60 days to redeem or transfer your Citi ThankYou points to travel partners after you cancel:

    @James Ferguson – Rooms at all-inclusive resorts are typically priced per person. So sharing likely wouldn’t save you money.

    But you should contact Secrets Wild Orchid to find out about their policy.

    Check out my post on how to get the best price at all-inclusive hotels:

    And how to stay at all-inclusive hotels for free:

    @Ajay – If you fly American Airlines frequently, it could be worth keeping the Barclaycard AAdvantage Red card. That’s because you get your 1st checked bag free and you get a 10% rebate on miles redeemed. Plus, this card is not available for new applications, so if you cancel, you won’t be able to get the card again.

    But you might be able to earn the sign-up bonus for the Citi Aadvantage Platinum card again:

    @Meagan – Be sure she reads my post on the risks of signing-up for credit cards:

    And the Beginner’s Guide:

    It’s important that she builds a solid credit history first. Here are good starter cards:

  5. Richard T Dillon

    Hi Darius,

    Next week I will be using chauffeur driven cars with Emeriates and Etihad. Can you give some guidelines on the gratuities I should be giving the drivers. I don’t now where to start and you have written using these chauffeur driven automobiles. Any suggestions and I know tipping is a very personal thing.

  6. Who sells policies for non-owners of vehicles who rent cars for transportation?


  7. Hi Darius,

    I noticed the SW card is now at 25k points for a sign up but I did a quick Google search and found a 50k offer still open. Should I apply to that one or are my odds low of getting the 50k since the 25k is being offered online through Chase?


  8. Hi Daraius, you wrote a post back in 2014 on the possibility of getting multiple Chase Ink business card bonuses for separate LLCs (this one: Do you have any updates as to whether Chase is permitting current Ink cardholders (I received the 50,000 pt bonus about 18 months ago) receive the current 60,000 point offer if applying for the card using a separate LLC?

    Thanks in advance.

  9. Jon Nagelvoort

    Hello, Daraius,
    Love your website.
    I have had several reward cards and have always asked for a second card for my wife. Now most credit cards will not give signup bonus if you have had the same card within 18 months. Can my wife apply for her own credit cards, under her name, to receive signup bonuses? Or will the fact that she had a secondary card on my cards disqualify her from any signup bonus rewards?
    Thanks for your time,

  10. If I book 3 rooms at Millennium Hilton Bangkok under my name for myself and two other couples, would you expect the hotel to extend my Diamond benefits to them as well so we can all enjoy the Club Lounge?

  11. Hello Darius,

    I am planning to stay in San Diego for 15 nights, which hotel brand you think would be the best to stay with current promotions promotions in mind
    Example : like stay two night get third free or which card i can apply and get most out of the benefit

  12. I have $250 Travel credit on my citi prestige card for this calendar year. Am I qualified for credit if I book for hotel on American Airlines web site and use the credit card??

  13. why are trips with miles to australia so tough to book with miles lately, especially via AA. any advice?

  14. Hi, just posted this in a post you did on the topic, only to realize it was two years ago! Don’t know if your answers will have changed since then. My husband & I are looking for a new credit card. We are interested in both the Sapphire & Freedom…my questions to you are as follows: does it still not matter if we get the freedom or sapphire first? If we’re wanting to capitalize on signing bonus points, do we add each other as authorized users first, or do we each get our own card first, and then add each other after the fact (for the bonus points for adding autorized users?)? Just don’t want to miss out on any of these points! Thanks for the help!


  16. Was wondering what your thoughts and or comments or write ups on JetBlue Rewards, Also any info on what Barclays will be offering point wise when they take over the credit card partnership with JetBlue from American Express in March,

  17. Greetings! I have a question for you- I have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® (and have had it for four years), and would like to know if I would be eligible for the signup bonus of 50,000 miles if I apply for the Executive ($450) card. I would likely only keep the Executive card if I did this. I am interested, but if I can get the miles bonused, I’m sold! Thank you-

  18. Mrs Katie fowler

    I would like to pay money into an American bank account using my American express – around $16,000 – could you tell me if there is an additional charge using my American express card, and would the exchange rate be based on the day of business

  19. Hi, Daraius!

    This morning I intended to refer my wife to the Starwood AmEx personal card to receive a referral bonus and upon reviewing the terms and conditions noticed some language that I haven’t seen before: “Additional Card Members on your account are not eligible for this offer.” My wife is currently an authorized user on my account, which appears to disqualify her from the bonus offer. Have you dealt with this restriction before?


  20. We have about 70,000 Hyatt points we will not be using. We understand we can’t book a room for a relative unless we show up at the hotel. Is there any other way to use these points

  21. Hi Daraius. I’m looking to spend a couple weeks in Fiji for a honeymoon in about 9 months. We live in San Francisco and currently have 1 Venture card and 1 Sapphire card. Looking for any advice on additional cards/ways to use existing cards to maximize miles for a trip of this nature as I’ve mostly used previous miles for domestic flights. Any advice is extremely helpful.


  22. Hi
    I’m looking to book a trip with my family this summer to Iceland & Barcelona (possibly)…leaving from an east coast city such as Boston. I was wondering what the best way would be to book this? Three separate one way trips (Boston to Iceland, Iceland to Barcelona, Barcelona to Boston)? Or one trip with a stopover? I’m not sure that I really understand what a stopover is…or an open jaw ticket?

  23. Have applied for and been approved on Hilton Reserve credit card. We have also applied for and been approved for the Hyatt with 2 free nights. My question is about timing. We want to go to the Maldives in February 2017. Once it’s awarded, the 2 free night certificates are good for 1 year. Are these certificates awarded when–a. I spend the $2500 Hilton/$1000 Hyatt, b. the statement close after I’ve spent $2500/$1000, or c. when the certificates are actually issued (“6-8 weeks processing”)?

    We want to book as far in advance as possible, and want to get the certs in hand by the end of February so we can book ’em. Just don’t want to have the certs arrive too early and see them as having an expiration date before we get there.

    I called Amex and Chase they were a bit vague. Any idea on this?

    2nd question. Does it make any sense to split time in the Maldives between properties?
    I’m thinking it would be kind of cool to see to islands, but unsure of the logistics.

    Ongoing thanks for your information

  24. Hi,

    I have 76,000 miles on my Miles and More account. My wife and I want to plan a trip between 2/26 – 03/06. What is the best deal I can get? Where do you recommend we go to get the most bang for the mileage? I do not mind having to pay out of pocket to cover part of the 2nd ticket. Thank you.

    FYI we live in Dallas.


  25. Joseph Johnston

    Hi, I have been following this website for well over a month, and have just started the Lufthansa Miles and More Program and the credit card is getting shippied in about a week. From previous premium economy tickets out of Tampa to Frankfurt “and beyond” with my dad plus the 35,000 mile bonus, plus this business trip we are taking to Australia on United (yes Star Alliance) in coach, it looks like my account is going to have about 70,000 miles for starters. So I am happy with this. I am a teenager who loves travelling and has been to more countries than most of the students in my school, and I am grateful for that. So I would like to surprise my dad with free business class +high fuel surchages:( on Lufthansa from Tampa to Seoul, South Korea, a place we have always wanted to go to, and I can practice my 2 years worth of Korean on. Anyways, to the point of why I am contacting you, I wanted to experiment with the award flight thing in Miles and knowing st there would be more availability there. Yes, there is. I am doing this mock flight from January 9 and coming back two weeks later, just to see how this whole process will play out next summer. I did the roundtrip option with the same dates Tampa to Seoul and back. It said there were no flights available. So I was like okay. Since it is the same amount of miles if I do it separately one way, I tried it. So going there it popped up with TPA-FRA, then the 10 hour layover in FRA then onwards to Seoul at night in the A380! The problem is is on the way back, nothing pops up. And I am assuming that this is because of the overnight issue than no availability. This is because the flight back to Frankfurt would not arrive until 7:30 P.M. And the next flight to Tampa would be the following day. I am assuming this is why, and I really want to make this a roundtrip thing since I also want to add stopovers. So to back up my statement of overnight even more, I looked up one way departing the same dates of Seoul to Frankfurt, and then Frankfurt to Tampa the following day. Two seats were available both flights, the exact same flights that would render when there was not “availability”. Does this mean I am screwed, or if I call a Lufthansa agent will they be able to help me with this issue. Thanks. -Joseph

  26. Hi,

    What airline awards are the best to go to Pakistan?


  27. Hi Dariaus, I have had this (ink plus) card for almost 2 yrs now. My business and address keep getting targeted. I want to apply for another card while still having the previous card. Do you think I will get approved for another one?


  28. Hi Dariaus,

    Am I able to stop over 3-5 nights outside of US, such as Australia or Europe, if I redeem AA mileage for a round trip ticket from US to China? If American Airlines doesn’t allow this kind of route, is there any other way I can try?


  29. Leslie Johnson

    Hi I was just wondering if there has been any word of a sign up bonus for the new barclays jet blue card coming in March?
    i currently have the amex version, fly on jet blue quite a bit. Would love to know if I should cancel the amex before the switchover in order to apply for the barclays. Thanks for all the info, I only started 2 1/2 years ago collecting but my husband and I have already been on 2 cruises, and have gone to las vegas, key west, aruba(twice) for free!

  30. Just to let everyone know that, as of Jan 14, 2016: you can now have multiple re-loadable cards with American Express – i.e. you can now have BOTH Bluebird and Red Target card, if you wish …
    (I haven’t been on this website for a while, so perhaps it was already mentioned)

  31. Just kinda got screwed by booking through ChaseUltimate Rewards for a paid ticket on American Airlines. Long story short – DO NOT CALL THE AIRLINE TO MODIFY A FLIGHT booked on Chase Ultimate rewards if you paid cash for it (or probably points). Especially don’t wait for 3 hours doing a snow emergency for American to answer only to tell you after a lot of asking around by them, that they cannot modify the ticket (it’s listed as having zero value) but that I must call the travel agent. (Chase who then referred me to the “exchange person”). However by the time I did that, American considered me a ‘no-show’ so all ticket value was lost.

    I did a lot of research before I started to use the chase ultimate to book flights (3X the normal miles) but I clearly missed this catch. Please emphasize this to your readers. The chase contact is 24/7 (member services is not. another mistake I made.) make sure to have the correct number on hand in case a work emergency messes with your pre-purchased flight. Buyer beware – you may end up with a handful of nothing – they wouldn’t even let me pay $200 to retain the rest of the value. :-(

  32. Hi. I’m trying to find a post on using hotel points for a 2 bedroom suite. For example, using IHG points for a Staybridge Suite hotel, the only option is to use points for a one bedroom. I am a family of 5, so I’d hate to book to hope for the best upon check in. Is there any way to confirm a suite? Do all hotel programs work the same on this? Thanks for your help!

  33. @Tiff –

    1. The sign-up bonus you earn with Citi American Airlines cards will post to your account once you complete the minimum spending and after your statement closes.

    2. That’s correct! The Southwest Companion Pass is 1 of the best deals in travel. That’s because every time you fly Southwest on paid or award flights, your companion can fly with you for free for up to 2 years.

    3. Unfortunately, there’s a fee to share Southwest points and they don’t count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.

    Being an authorized user shouldn’t impact his ability to get approved.

    The Southwest points should post to your husband’s account when he completes the minimum spending requirements and after his statement closes. Then he’ll need to earn 6,000 additional points to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.

    And theoretically, you’d be able to earn the Southwest Companion Pass again in a couple of years.

    @Rod – According to the terms the benefits (like lounge access) are for the member and 1 guest in the room. But some folks have received the perks for multiple rooms. So you might try contacting the hotel.

    @Shay – Check out Mommy Points’ post on this:

    @Richard T Dillon – I think ~$20 is a good standard. But take into account any cultural norms and do what you feel comfortable with!

    @Jeff – Check out this thread on Flyertalk:

    @Jose – You can currently earn 50,000 Southwest points on the Chase Southwest Premier personal and small business cards when you complete the minimum spending. You can find these offers on the Hot Deals page:

    It’s common for banks to have several different offers for the same card.

    @Michael – I haven’t heard that Chase has changed the rules regarding getting a 2nd small business card for a different LLC. But be aware, it’s rumored that Chase is changing the rules for small business card applications in March 2016:

    @Jon Nagelvoort – Typically, being an authorized users can still get approved and earn the sign-up bonus for the same card on their own.

    @Nik Sha – StayFaster and StayAtHand are great tools for comparing the price of paid hotel stays and your reservation will be made directly through the hotel. So you’ll still earn points for your stay. Plus, you could earn 10% back on your 1st booking through January 31, 2016.

    If you sign-up for the Citi Prestige you could get the 4th night free when you book 4 consecutive nights or more a participating hotels. While you can’t book back to back 4 night stays at the same hotel, you could split up your stay at different hotels and get the 4th night fee more than once!

    Also see my post on choosing the right hotel card for you:

    @Kate Shelton – I believe AA Vacations is coded differently from American Airlines main site. So I’m not sure if it would count.

    @Brooke – It’s true it can be very tough to find award flights to Australia. Being flexible with your travel dates and booking well in advance helps. Also, make sure you’re booking segment by segment:

    Check out my American Airlines award booking guide:

    @Elise – I suggest signing-up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred 1st to make sure you can get it. That’s because it gives you the ability to get the most out of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points by unlocking travel partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.

    It’s a good idea to add authorized users after you’re approved for both cards to be safe.

    You can find the links for these cards on the Hot Deals page:

    @SALLY – You can transfer Starwood points to Japan Airlines to book award flights on Bangkok Airways. This can be a terrific deal:

    As far as I know Air Asia flights can only be booked with Air Asia points:

    @Kevin – JetBlue points are worth ~1.5 cents per point. The cost of an award flight is based on the cost of a paid ticket.

    JetBlue can be a good deal for folks who like budget travel. But I prefer Southwest because you get 2 free checked bags and friendly cancellation policy.

    Plus, with the Southwest Companion Pass a friend or family member can fly with you for (almost) free for up to 2 years:

    There isn’t any news on the Barclaycard JetBlue card yet. I will update everyone as soon as I have more details!

    @Raleighgrl – The general rule is to wait ~18 months between approvals for Citi AAdvantage personal cards. So you should be able to get the new card.

    @Mrs Katie fowler – I suspect American Express will charge cash advance fees and interest from the date of the transaction. Your best bet is to call AMEX for guidance.

    @Bryan – The way I read the terms, if you refer an authorized user, you’re eligible for the referral bonus and they can receive the sign-up bonus if they complete the minimum spending requirements.

    But any additional cardholders on the new users account are not eligible to earn the sign-up bonus with their authorized user card.

    @Bill Fegley – According to the Hyatt Gold Passport terms, you can book an award night for a friend or family member :

    @Andrew – Start by checking out my award booking guides:

    And my posts on choose the right miles and hotel card for your trip:

    And you might considering paying an award booking service to help you out:

    @Suzanne – Check out my award booking guides for tips:

    And if you need more help, you might consider using an award booking service:

    @Paul Davis – According to the folks on Flyertalk, you should receive the Hyatt free night certificates 10 days after you meet the minimum spending requirements:

    And the Hilton weekend night certificates can take anywhere from ~7 days to 1 to 2 months after you meet the minimum spending and your statement closes:

    It’s better to stay at 1 hotel. Hopping between islands would likely be expensive and time consuming.

    @Jared Laake – Check out my Lufthansa award booking guide:

    @Joseph Johnston – Very nice of you to surprise your dad!

    Calling might help you get a better idea of the routing. And my Lufthansa award booking guide has tips:

    @Y – See my post on how to decide which miles are best to earn for your trip:

    @Paul E – You may be able to get approved for another Chase Ink Plus business card, if you have a 2nd business:

    But Chase has been getting more strict lately.

    However, the Chase Ink Cash is considered a different product. So another option is to apply for that card instead:

    @Milesrookie – Unfortunately, American Airlines no longer allows stop-overs.

    You could try booking separate 1-way tickets for your trip to create a stopover. But this will cost you more miles.

    Or you could earn miles with United Airlines which allows stopovers on international award tickets:

    @Leslie Johnson – Haven’t heard any news yet! Will let everyone know as soon as I have an update! Happy we’ve helped you earn Big Travel!

    @Rachel – Thanks for the heads-up!

    @CAS – I’m sorry to hear this happened! Thanks for sharing this information.

  34. Darius,
    I have heard that Barclays soon will be taking over the JetBlue American Express card. Do you have any information on the new Barclays Master Credir Card partnership with JetBlue. When will it roll out and If so, do you know as of yet any of the details associated with the card, such as introductory point sign up bonus based on what spending limits, will fees waived 1st year, along with any other sign up bonuses or information?
    Thank you so much

  35. Hi. Just a repost from above. It looks like I posted at the same time as your answers so I thought it might get overlooked. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer questions and I value your input. That is why every time I sign up for a card I do it through your links. I’m trying to find a post on using hotel points for a 2 bedroom suite. For example, using IHG points for a Staybridge Suite hotel, the only option is to use points for a one bedroom. I am a family of 5, so I’d hate to book to hope for the best upon check in, because 5 in one room is too many for us. Is there any way to confirm a suite? Do all hotel programs work the same on this? Thanks for your help!

  36. Do you have a view on whether purchase protection (and other similar benefits…car rental insurance, warranty extension, etc.) is significantly different on Amex versus the Chase Sapphire Preferred? I have a lot easier time using UR points than MR points and so I’m not really clear on why to use my Amex at all.

  37. American Airlines Status Challenge – a great tip – Go for Gold not platinum. Here’s why

    If you currently have no status on American, or if you aren’t 100% sure that you can get 12500 miles on American in 3 months or think it will be close – PICK GOLD CHALLENGE – If you make the miles for platinum, within that same 3 months, just call back and for $125 they will move you up to platinum!!!

    This has two HUGE advantages for going for gold rather than platinum. 1) The time that it takes you to get to platinum, you will have NO status on the Platinum challenge. If you do the gold challenge, you get gold status as soon as you hit 7000 and you don’t have to stress about making the other 5,500 miles but if do you get platinum for only $45 more dollars than it would have taken you if you went for platinum, challenge but for 5,500 miles you get not to sit in cattle class, middle seat. 2) If you do the platinum challenge and don’t make it, you can NOT get gold as a consolation price. You have to start all over and pay again.

    It’s a no brainer. Unless you are flying weekly to china from the US or already have gold status with American (NOT CREDIT CARD GOLD STATUS DOES NOT COUNT), IMHO, go for gold.

  38. @Sherry – Typically hotels only let you book standard rooms with points. Try contacting the hotel directly to see if they can help you out. For example, maybe you could book a standard room using points and pay to upgrade to the 2 bedroom.

    @Kevin – They haven’t released any information yet. I’ll let you know as soon as I have more details!

  39. Help! I’m a miles and points newbie and need some advice. I have a couple of small trips already planned and a couple of trips in the works. Should I try to maximize the points I can earn in my upcoming trips (get a Hilton cc with 6x or 12x points spent at Hilton to try to make the most out of an upcoming stay at a Hilton) or try to focus on earning the points I will need for future trips (I’m going to need lots of SPG points for a trip next year!). In a perfect world I guess the answer would be both, but there are only so many credit cards I can get at a time! : ) Any advice for a good strategy. Thanks!

  40. Tried to use your referral link for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard. It takes me to a webpage ( that says the offer is no longer available, but I know it still is…

  41. Hey Darius, here’s a datapoint for you. I got the SW Plus card in Oct and emailed Customer Service to ask what my last day was to meet the minimum spend. Well, I forgot about it like a moron and in mid-January it hit me…I checked my email and THAT DAY was the last day to meet the minimum spend! The problem – I was out of town and my card was at home! I called Chase to get an extension, no dice.

    So, I had a family member go to my home that day and send me a photo of my card. Then, I used the card to make 2 big airline purchases – one at Southwest and one at United.

    Here’s the kicker – BOTH purchases showed up as ‘pending’ that same day. After a couple of days, the Southwest purchase showed a purchase date of that day but of course a posting date a few days later. The United purchased showed a purchase date a DAY LATER (the day after I had to meet the minimum spend). Luckily, the Southwest purchase was enough to hit my 2k spend.

    I emailed customer service to make sure it showed up as meeting the spend in time (since technically it was posted too late, but purchased on time) and they said yes, I was fine. Today I checked my statement and my Southwest account and the bonus miles posted to Southwest!

    Whew! That was close! Lessons learned:

    1. Yes, you can meet minimum spend on the very last day, even if it posts a few days later.
    2. Beware though, because even if you make a purchase on one day, sometimes it doesn’t show up as ‘purchased’ until the next!
    3. Don’t be stupid and meet your spend early!

  42. …and another datapoint.

    Got the Premier and Business Plus cards in Oct 2013. Met spend in Jan 2014. Points posted, companion pass earned.

    Cancelled both in 2015.

    Got the Plus card but was DENIED the Business Premier in Oct 2015. New business card rules make it harder to get…my side business is small, maybe $5k/yr revenue, and they said it was too low for a card. Tried calling 3 times, no dice. Met spend for the Plus in Jan 2016 (see above).

    Approved for the Premier in Jan 2016. Awaiting card to work on meeting spend. Should have next companion pass by Feb!

    Thanks for all you do – and I used your links!!

  43. I want to take a trip to Europe this summer with my kids. I signed up for the Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards, and have completed the required minimum spending. It is more cost effective to use the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to book United Airlines, or to transfer the points 1:1 to the United Airlines awards program and ‘purchase’ the tickets directly from UA?

  44. I will be paying some all-inclusive fees at a resort in the DR. Do you know if this is coded as travel? I’m trying to decide which credit card to use for this.

  45. Hi Darius, I am United Silver status, and have been so for years, and other than having to wait until 24 hours before my flight to be able to book economy plus seats, I have been pretty happy with it. But United just offered to bump me to Gold status for 2016. The catch is, it will cost me $1400.

    Given that I only fly United between 5 and 10 times a year, and it is always the same flight, a rt from Brussels to NYC, in your opinion, do you think the extra perks (2 checkin bags, ability to book economy plus when making reservation, etc.) are worth $1400?


  46. Hello! Have a question regarding my next credit card application. I am currently on Marriott Platinum Elite benefit level, which allows me to have complimentary Premier Silver Status for United. Would there be any other benefit with applying for the United MileagePlus card besides the miles bonus? I currently have Chase Sapphire (which I use for travel) & I couldn’t find anything solid on this which may steer me to look at the Marriott CC

  47. Hello! I just applied for my first RR Visa Premier Business card in order to pursue the companion pass on Southwest. This is my first business card application of any kind.

    I received the email stating that they will let me know within 30 days. I called the reconsideration line and we had a good conversation and spoke in depth about business plans and the reason for the card. I thought the conversation went well.

    She put me on hold for 3-4 minutes and then came back and said that they need to look at it further due to the fact I already have credit (Freedom Card) open with them. She then told me that I will hear a response by mail in 1-2 weeks with the decision. She said that it in no way implied that I would be denied, just that they have to have the lender look at it closer.

    Have you seen this and any advice?


  48. Hi Darius

    I have a Lan Credit card with a lot of points that will expire end of 2016. Is there any way I can transfer or move these points and avoid expiration? I don’t see myself flying lan anywhere they go before then.
    Thank you!

  49. @John – There is not a huge difference between the two.

    The biggest difference is you’ll get 120 days of coverage with Chase Sapphire Preferred instead of 90 days with AMEX.

    @CAS – Great tip!

    @Katie – If you don’t have plans to stay at Hilton again anytime soon, I would focus on earning credit card sign-up bonuses for trips you have coming up.

    @Paul Feschuk – The link is working for me. You can find it on the Hot Deals page:

    Let me know if you’re still having trouble!

    @Justin – Excellent reminder! And thanks for sharing your experience. Glad it all worked out for you!

    @Liz – A round-trip coach ticket to Europe can cost ~$1,200. If you book through the Chase Travel portal, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point. So you’ll pay 96,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for 1 ticket.

    But if you transfer your points to United Airlines, that same flight will only cost you 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

    However, check to make sure seats are available before you transfer. Because once you transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can’t get them back.

    @Juli – If it’s charged by the hotel, it should count.

    @josh mackles – I’d rather save the money. But do what works best for you, some folks put a high value on that extra leg room!

  50. I currently have a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MC that I want to cancel and I want to subsequently apply for the Citi Premier.

    Can I call Citi and do all of this in 1 transaction (almost like moving the line of credit over)?

    Would trying to open the Citi Premier trigger a hard pull on my credit score, or could they use my AAdvantage Platinum select account as proof of credit worthiness?

  51. Searched through some related posts, but didn’t see this topic covered — I’m managing a few IHG accounts for myself and family and was reminded by AwardWallet that the new expiration date/rule occurs on May 1, 2016.

    As we no longer have an active IHG card, is there an easy way to accrue/spend some points to extend the expiry date?

    Glancing around the IHG Offers page, I didn’t see something similar to to AAdvantage eShopping Mall where I can place a small order (e.g. Apple iTunes) and have it credited towards my rewards points.

    Thanks for any tips or ideas!

  52. I am planning a group trip with some friends to go to Cancun on July 4th weekend. I already had everyone apply and meet the minimum spending for the Citi AA Platinum card.

    Business/First class flights are currently at 30k miles but will go down to 27.5k miles when the new chart comes out. Will we be able to get a credit for the difference if we booked now or should we wait until March 22 for the new charts? We do not want to run out of award flights. Thanks.

  53. Hi Daraius,

    Thank you so much for the wealth of info! I always use your links when signing up for cards :)

    I need your advice: My fiancé is new to the U.S. (not a citizen). I added her to 3 of my oldest cards (8+ yrs) as an authorized user and recently the first one showed up on her credit report and shot her credit up to 753. She wants to do an AOR to get Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, AAdvantage Platinum, and Delta Skymiles Amex. There are a total of two open cards on her Credit Report for $16,000 of credit line. My question: should she wait til the other two cards show up on her report to do the AOR or should she do it now? On the one hand, higher credit limit would be good, but on the other, (I think) she will have four cards counting against her Chase 5 card rule.

    Would greatly appreciate your advice. Thank you!

  54. Thanks for always responding to our individual questions, Darius! It’s very much appreciated!

  55. Daraius, I follow your blog and have introduced many others to it. I also use your links for CC apps whenever possible. I have ready over many pages of your post in hopes of finding the answer to my question but I do not see it has been addressed. I hope you will help me. I wanted to get the SW companion pass. I got the personal premier card last Sept. and made a bad mistake. I met my spend before the year was up. BUT, Chase never credited my account or sent the paperwork over to SW. I have only just in the past couple of weeks been able to get this cleared up and I have just been told the 50K bonus will post after Feb. statement date (20th) My question is, due to this mistake can I still earn the companion pass if I earn 110K points this year, or is it too late since I actually met my spend for the first 50K end of 2015. I am hoping their mistake in posting my points correctly could work out to my benefit. Thank you very much

  56. I just wanted to say thank you to you both for this website. My whole world has changed since finding this site. My husband and I are taking a trip to San Francisco/Napa Valley for all in $38 after airfare, hotel, and rental car this spring. We just amassed enough miles to fly to Greece and Italy next year with stopovers and an open jaw on United Airlines. We are now working on covering our hotel stays. Thank you, thank you.

  57. Hi Daraius, firstly thanks for the awesome blog. I check it every day like 3 times. I have a question please. I have a ton of Delta miles and would like to use them to get to Bombay, India in business class. I used to fly Virgin Atlantic JFK to LHR to BOM but Virgin pulled the LHR BOM flight and now code shares it with Jet Airways, when I check ITA matrix the Jet Air flight has a virgin flight number so I thought I could just call up Delta and and have them book it giving them that info but they said no dice, i hung up called again 5 times and tried a supervisor who couldn’t help. Do you have any advice? There is a flight via Paris, which i took last time, but AF horrid lie flat seats are def a no go and Korean Airways doesn’t haven’t have more than 1 business class seat per flight from ICN to BOM. Any advice would help Thank you.

  58. @Jake M – The bonus miles are the major additional benefit. There’s currently a targeted offer of 50,000 United Airlines miles after meeting minimum spending requirements:

    You’ll also get a free checked bag when you use your card to pay for a United Airlines ticket. But because you’re a United Airlines silver elite, you’ll already get a free checked bag:

    @Lance – It doesn’t hurt to call back and speak to someone else to get more details. Good luck!

    @Damon Graddy – You won’t lose your LAN miles when you close your card. And while you can’t transfer them to another airline, you can use them to book flights on oneworld partners like American Airlines and British Airways.

    @hurtswith2 – If you move your account from the Citi AAdvantage Platinum to the Citi Premier, you won’t get a hard pull but also won’t be eligible to earn the sign-up bonus.

    So it’s best to sign-up for the new card through the offer page. You can find the link here:

    @Nick – You can find a list of ways to keep your IHG points from expiring here:

    @AQ – I don’t think you will get refunded the difference. But I suggest calling American Airlines to verify.

    @Matt – Some folks have been told that their authorized user cards could towards the ~5 card rule. So to be on the safe side she might want to sign-up for Chase Sapphire Preferred first.

    However, there’s no guarantee she’ll be approved as banks look a several factors.

    See my post on how folks who are new to the US can build their credit history:

    @Katie – Happy to help!

    @Cindy W – It sounds like you should be able to earn the Companion Pass this year:

    When the points post you can verify by checking your Southwest Companion Pass progress for this year, in your online account.

  59. I have accumulated a million total FreqFlier miles and points that are convertible to miles via credit card subscription bonus offerings. I would like to avoid paying annual (typically 2nd year) fees on many cards I don’t need to use any more, but I know that too many cancellations can damage my ability to qualify for future bonus deals. Can you suggest what would be a good schedule for cancelling unused cards to avoid this problem.

    Many thanks for the terrific advise on your website!

  60. Daraius – I have been accumulating miles through sign up bonuses with a few different airlines (to date: 70k miles w/ United; 77k w/ American; 24k w/ Alaska Airlines; 52k w/ British Airways; $200 through my Capital One Card; and 147k AMEX points and $600 in Southwest Gift Cards) and am trying to plan a trip for me and my fiancee from the Washington, D.C. area to Belize and Honduras. I am wondering if you have any advice on the best way to fly from D.C. to Belize City with a side-trip to Roatan Island (Honduras).

    Thank you!

  61. Thanks Daraius! As an update – we did the AOR yesterday and she had great success. We were approved for all of them except the Chase Ink Plus. I was actually surprised that she was able to do all this with only one 5-month-old personal card on her report and one authorized user card.

    On the Chase Ink Plus, we got grilled with questions by a grumpy Chase CSR who ultimately said “further processing required” and left it at that. We called back but the next CSR said the application was “pending” in the system and couldn’t help further. Is this often the case where Chase Business card apps can’t give you an immediate answer on the recon line?


  62. Hey love reading your blog. I’ve been travel hacking for about 1 year now. I need to attempt my first British Airways avoid redemption. I’m trying to fly from St Louis to Buffalo, NY. There are no flights that show up on British Airways. American Airlines award flights don’t come up as mile saver flights (12.5k). So I checked Alaska Air and they have many economy coach award flights available at 12,500 points per ticket (yippie). So from what I understand, I can call British Airways and request to redeem avoid miles for these flights Alaskan air award flights. The thing I am not sure about is the award flights on Alaska’s website are operated by their partne, Delta airlines. They are Delta flights. So the question is can I book Delta airline flights with British avoid points, because they show up as award flights on the British airway partner site Alaska Airlines as award flights? Or do the award flights I see on Alaska’s site have to be actual Alaska flights in order to use my avois points to book award flights with Alaska Air? I really hope my question makes sense. If this is possible to use my avoid essentially on Delta flights that would be awesome. Thanks :)

  63. My husband and I both have the Southwest Cards. Have gotten them each a few times over the years when they have the 50,000 points. This has helped greatly in getting free flights. Would like to sign up again or get a different card that I can transfer points. But, my son is going to be starting college in Fall of 2017. We will need to take out some student loans and then daughter is in college in 2019. I don’t want to affect our credit score or affect us getting loans. Currently our scores are at 814 and 815. What do you recommend? Thanks.

  64. @Marina – You’re very welcome! Let me know if you’d be interested in participating in our reader success series:

    @Dennis Singh – You might consult an award booking service. While there is a fee, it might be worth it to find the best route:

    @Jerry – See my post on how canceling cards can affect your credit score:

    And when you should cancel credit cards:

    @Jonathan – United Airlines would be a good option because you want a stopover. Read my post on using United Airlines miles to get to Central America:

    @Matt – Wonderful!

    Unfortunately, Chase is becoming strict about business card applications. And sometimes they prefer not to tell you no over the phone, so they send you a letter in the mail.

  65. I have Diamond Status with Hilton. Is there a pecking order for upgrades for diamond members? For example: at the same hotel for the same number of nights, do diamond members paying for the stay get priority over stays on points? Or, does a diamond member paying with a different credit card get priority (Ex Hilton Signature vs. Hilton Surpass)? Also, any strategies to increase the odds of a hotel stay upgrade with Hiton Diamond? Love the website!

  66. AAs Zika virus policy only covers pregnant women yet they offer reassignment to their crew. Our newlywed daughter and son in law are ticketed to travel with my spouse and I to Bogota. I am immune compromised and the virus could be deadly for me. In addition my daughter is planning to get pregnant this fall. How might you navigate this with AA? I am frustrated with their policy and it is disappointing that in an effort to protect our health, we must cancel and eat the tickets.

  67. @Shannon – I don’t think you’ll be able to use British Airways Avios points for those flights, but you could call British Airways and see if they can find the flight in their booking system.

    @Lynn – If you’re taking out a major loan from a bank within the next 2 years, I usually recommend holding off on applying for lots of cards. Because paying a higher interest rate on a major loan over many years, could cost you more than the miles are worth.

    But if you’re applying for government student loans, as long as you don’t have an adverse credit history, you should be fine:

    That said, do what you feel comfortable with!

    @Trent – There are a lot of factors that come into play for upgrades. Sometimes the best trick to increase your chances is just be nice and ask politely.

    I’ve also had success with sending a letter to the General Manager prior to my arrival:

  68. Darius,
    Chase trick I wasn’t aware of; not sure if it’s new or old?
    Received United Chase Business card and 50k miles bonus. About a year later, applied and rec’d another United Bus. card for DIFFERENT business, made min. spend, then rec’d postcard from chase saying no bonus allowed. Talked to rep, said bonus is to the person and only once in 2 years, doesn’t matter how many different Businesses get cards!
    Any advice?

  69. @Churro – I would try contacting them on Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes this gets them to look more closely at the issue, instead of just reading back the policy.

    Good luck!

    @Cb – Interesting. You might try calling back and speaking to someone else. I was recently told by a representative that if you have a 2nd business you do qualify for the bonus again.

    And this has been the case in the past.

    Let me know what you find out!

  70. Thank you Darius.

  71. Hi. My husband sent me this site that he found. It almost sounds too good to be true! Do you know if this?

  72. Thank you for answering my question Darius! I know you are busy and have 100’sof people asking for your advice. I do pass the word about you and gave you blog info to a colleague at lunch just yesterday. That is the only way to return the favor to you.

  73. Followed up with another call to Chase. Another rep told me same thing – no bonus to same person for United business cards for Different businesses.
    I nicely suggested that Chase should make that clear when applying (since they gladly collect a %tage of everything you’re charging, then deny your bonus). Then I nicely cancelled my first Business card.
    My goal is to collect United miles, and Chase is becoming increasingly difficult. Are there any partner airlines of United that offer signup bonuses, then allow transfer of miles to United at a good rate?

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