Contact Me


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!

4,155 Responses to Contact Me

  1. Hi
    Ive got the American Airlines city bank credit card. I’ve just purchased an aa gift card. Does it give me double miles? One for the purchase and another one for using the credit card to get the ticket?

  2. American Express is denying me the 75,000 points I was supposed to earn with $10,000 spent in the first three months on a Gold Business Card. They say that the offer expired on May 17, 2013 and I had applied on May 30, 2013. I have a distinct recollection of making sure I had applied within the applicable time period. I asked American Express to send me documentation of the offer and my application, and was given a P.O. Box address. Has anyone else encountered this? Any advice for me? Thanks.

  3. Curiouser and curiouser . .. follow up on the the email below from me. I found two emails on my system in May 2013. One was on May 17, telling me that my application had been decided and click “here” to find out the status. I clicked “here,” entered the relevant info (ssn and zip code) and up came a screen saying my application had been approved (I printed and photographed it . . .). Then there’s another email on May 31, telling me that my application had been approved. American Express is now claiming that the only thing in their system indicating approval is the email from May 31, even though I have actual documentary proof that it was approved on May 17. Because the offer expired on May 17, they’re saying I’m out of luck – my card started May 31, and so, after hoarding all my expenditures for those months and ensuring they apply to that one card, I am denied my 75,000 bonus points/miles. Anyone else experience this?

  4. Darius and Emily,

    I went to my local CVS in March and spent $5,000 in Vanilla Reload cards to fulfill the promotional requirements of the Citi AA Executive card. Then, I went to another CVS store to stock up on some more, and the store told me that the Vanilla Reload cards must be paid for with cash only. There was some confusion and so I went back to the first store where I used the AA Executive card, and the manager told me I could use my credit card. However, they were all out of Vanilla Reload cards.

    Now, the store that I bought the Vanilla Reload cards in the first place has more cards. But, CVS changed their policy apparently to a nationwide requirement to use cash when buying “those types of cards.” Now, I am stuck with a $450 annual fee credit card, and I still need to spend several thousand dollars just to get the 100,000 AA miles. I can no longer use the card at CVS to get Vanilla Reload cards.

    What do I do? How can I spend the money within the next 30 days without incurring a ton of fees?

    Can I buy Vanilla One cards? Can I just go buy some nice jewelry or something from a high-end store, and then pay off the Citi card, get the 100,000 points, then do a return for the jewelry and then keep the points?

    I’m stuck. Please help. I’ve been an avid reader of your posts for years and I just want this to work out for everyone. You guys seem to know all the tips when it comes to Serve, Bluebird, Vanilla, prepaid cards, credit cards, and all kinds of savings tips. I just think that since I am already paying an annual fee, I deserve the promotion I was expecting to earn.

    Let me know your thoughts, please. I’d greatly appreciate it.

  5. Hi -
    First, I love the blog!

    I’m a medical student based in San Francisco and am relatively new to the miles game. I recently acquired both a Venture card and a Chase Preferred Sapphire, but have a few questions about my next card.

    I’m planning to travel for interviews later this year (4-5 domestic trips) and am looking into flying internationally for some work in early 2015 (either Africa or Asia). My question is, which airline credit card offer should I accept?

    1) Virgin America: I like flying VA (esp out of SF) and like the idea of their $200 companion ticket, but I realize their points are not the most friendly or transferable
    2) Delta: I have an offer for 50K miles with $1K in spending and a $50 statement credit
    3) United: I have an offer for 40K miles with $1K in spending.

    I have about 20K miles with both Delta and United and I don’t have a strong preference between either airline. Any suggestions about which way to move forward?


  6. @Dennis – They are different products, so you should be able to get the bonus points.

    @Karen – Award seats keep changing. Here’s a post on how to get United miles.

    @Stan – Not sure, but it should be possible.

    @Daniel – See this post.

    @Philippe – I don’t believe so, but double check with a test purchase.

    @Jane – Sorry to hear about that. AMEX is tightening up on the sign-up bonus for credit cards.

    @yuri – You could buy the OneVanilla or Vanilla Visa cards and go to Wal-Mart to load your Bluebird.

    @PA – Welcome! For domestic travel, I’d suggest the Southwest cards when the bonus is 50,000 points. For international travel I’d consider United miles to Africa and American or United miles for Asia. There is a better offer for 50K United miles (google the blog or go to a Chase branch to find it).

  7. Darius – My wife and I both took advantage of the offer to get a Southwest Plus and a SW Premier card in November last year. We should get the companion passes this month. Should we now cancel one of the cards to avoid getting the annual fee in November of this year?

  8. Daraius,
    I would like to try to get a few more United miles for a trip to Europe. My question: I had the United Mileage Plus Explorer Card and cancelled it in Feb 2013. Is this a card that I could get over again? It’s not as good of a sign on bonus as I had hoped but not sure it will get any better.

  9. I forgot to add, I have the Sapphire and Ink also. They are still active, if I close them out, would I be able to get the sign on again?

  10. Hi. I just found your website and signed up for you email updates yesterday, so I apologize in advance if you have answered this before. I currently have a Chase Freedom card. Am looking at having my husband sign up for a Chase Sapphire Preferred. One of your post states that I should be able to transfer my Chase Freedom points to my husband’s Chase Sapphire Preferred. (transfers between spouses or domestic partners are allowed.) My question is: can my husband transfer from his Chase Sapphire Preferred to my United MileagePlus frequent flyer account? Is there a cost for this if it is not his frequent flyer account? thanks.

  11. Since travel and writing are your form of employment, and signing up for credit cards, earning miles, and buying all types of reloadable and gift cards are part of your job, are you able to deduct the purchase of reloadable and gift cards (and some other spend) as a business expense on your taxes?

  12. Using United miles – I want to fly SFO – CPT (via singapore with singapore airlines) stopover in CPT then with SAA to LHR – stopover then return to SFO on United. In Business Class – how many miles will I require?

  13. I was at the Houston Airport and they have a SouthwestAir Chase Premier card available to sign up for and get 50,0000 pts and $99 annual fee. I know the offer ended on March 31, 2014 for this on the internet, so was surprised to see it.
    I have a SWA Business Card and a Chase General card (have had for 10 years and great credit). I signed up for a SWA credit card in Nov. 2012 and was approved but then in Jan. 2013 received the “Not Eligible for Pts” post card so I canceled. I have not had a SWA personal card for over a year (other than my SWA Business that I got about 2 months ago and have already qualified for my 50,000 bonus).
    I am of course trying for the companion pass. I would love your advice. Should I wait longer and hope SWA comes up with the 50,000 offer later in the year or do you think I am okay now. I love your site. WB

  14. @David – I usually wait at least 10 months before closing a card, but you could do that if you won’t be using it.

    @ Juli – Unlikely to get it again. You could try for the business card.

    @ Audrey – Your husband should be able to transfer his points to your United account. There is no fee for this transfer!

    @ Edward – It doesn’t matter what I do. Ask your tax advisor for information relevant to your particular situation.

    @ martin – See my posts on using United miles.

    @ wendell – I’m sure they will have the 50K offer later in the year as well.

  15. Thank you, Darius!

  16. Thank you for your quick response to my question earlier. But I am still wondering if you think if I will be okay if I do the application at the airport now for the 50,000 points. It has been a year and three months since I canceled on a SWA personal card. I would like to get started on my 50,000 personal points to go with my current business account that I already have 55,000 points in for this year. I have a flight on Thursday morning that I could apply then. Again thanks for your expertise in this area. WB

  17. Just got AA Executive Citi Card with the 100,000 mile deal. I asked them about the extra 25,000 miles which you referred to below, and they said it was not part of the offer – any ideas here??

    Your quote: So the 100,000 mile offer gets you an additional 25,000 miles, but you have to spend an extra $2,500 within 3 months. Spending $10,000 within 3 months is a lot of money, so do what you’re comfortable with.

    Thanks! Diane

  18. Marriott Marty

    Hi D, I have been in the game 2.5 years now since I found your site, thank you for good advise and travels! I recently received my free one weekend Hilton night prior to the annual fee posting to the account [and having 10K in MS within a year]. I have PS2 milepoint membership and the HH Reserve card thus Gold x2. I asked Hilton Honors if I cancelled my HH Reserve card, when would my Gold status expire. HHonors emailed saying HHonors conducts reviews each year on March 31 [2014] and that my status will remain gold until March 31, 2016 [which is cool]. My question is whether I may “lose” my free weekend night annual certificate if I cancel the HH Reserve card [there is nothing in the terms in the email that links the free weekend night certificate to continuing with HH Reserve credit card. Any advise? I am inclined to save the $95 on the annual fee if I can keep my free weekend night [or use it quick!] and get Gold another way in 2016…I thought the specific March 31 info would be useful to you and your readers [I can send you the email if you are interested...].

  19. I have signed up for many initial offers on credit cards over the years and once I have met the obligation I usually cancel the card. I have made the rounds on dozens of cards. How much time has to elapse before signing up again for the same or better initial offer? For example I was a Priority awards member with Holiday Inn and got the initial bonus. Used the card for about 6 months and cancelled it. Two years later I applied and got another initial offer and was approved and got the bonus. Is there a rule of thumb or do I need to check with the issuer first?

  20. I found a link that still allows you to get 50k Southwest… Check this out. There is nowhere it listed as expired or anything like that. Hope this would still come through.

  21. Hi Darius,

    Received a targeted offer for the Gold Delta Skymiles AMEX with a 50K miles bonus for a $1 K spend and a $200 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first 3 months? Do you know if I can purchase a $200 Delta gift card and have a statement credit for it? Is there a better offer for this card out there currently?


  22. Hi Darius & Emily,
    New to the miles and points thing and read your newsletters I get all the time. Great blog!! Anyway, I have $5000 cash that I plan on using to pay off a personal loan and I have a Discover Miles card that earns 1×1 (currently only card I have or can get) and wanted help figuring out how to pay the loan and somehow get miles for it. Do you have any suggestions for converting that cash to earn miles and pay the loan with small or no fees? With the limited knowledge I have in the miles and points game, I can’t think of one, so I turn to you The Professional  BTW, AA is currently the Airline I’m trying to build miles with to hopefully make a trip to Japan next year in Style. Thanks guys for listening.

  23. Has the FrontierAirlines 40k credit card been pulled? I can’t seem to find it on any blog now?

  24. Hey Daraius,

    Do you know anything about the TD Go Buxx Card? Can you do a post on it?

  25. Pingback: Nothing found for 2014 04 18 We-Paid-Off-Over-30000-In-Credit-Card-Debt

  26. Hi Darius, I love your blog, thanks for all the great information. I have just signed up for award wallet via the Iphone app, but I cannot figure out how to add another person to the account. Can you help?

  27. Hi Daraius,

    Love your blog! Would you be interested in sharing your story and some tips with our site (specifics in the domain of my email address)? Please reach out if so.

    Thanks so much –

  28. I’d love to be considered for the friday interview series!
    - Steve

  29. Randolph Roman

    I would like your advice on the best airline reward program to transfer points from my Chase Ultimate Rewards, other than United Mileage Plus. I have accumulated and used points on United for several years from my Chase MileagePlus Explorer cards, but now getting points on Ultimate Rewards from two new cards from your site. We prefer to use for international travel and would like a 2nd option if United/Star Alliance isnt available for where we may want to go. Between the other options-British Airways, Korean Air, or Virgin Atlantic, which may have a more wide-spread alliance similar to United?

  30. Hello Darius and Emily,

    I want to sign up for a MC from your site but not sure which is best for my situation.
    Got the SWA companion pass this month and good till next year.

    Need a MC to pay for a cruise due in Sept.
    Notice the signup bonus for US Airway and AA.
    Wonder which above or better one to sign up that allow points to be transfer to SWA that enable to utilize SWA companion fly free more.

    Also got about 700k Hhonors points but I got employee rate for Hilton. Not sure what is the next best thing to use it for.

    Great Site!

  31. Diane L.,
    “So the 100,000 mile offer gets you an additional 25,000 miles, but you have to spend an extra $2,500 within 3 months. Spending $10,000 within 3 months is a lot of money, so do what you’re comfortable with.”

    above addt’l 25k miles is referring to 25k miles more than previous offer of 75k miles.
    75k + 25k = 100k (current offer of 100k)
    Hope that help

  32. is the aa citibank offer of 75000 miles if spending 10000 in 3 months still active. thanks

  33. We are traveling with friends to Paris in August. Both couples have the free award night certificates from the Chase Hyatt sign up bonus. What is the best way to book, so we can be sure both couples get a room for the same nights? Do they limit the availability on these award certificates?

  34. @wendell – It could be worth applying for a different version i.e. a version which you haven’t had before. But I can’t say for sure!

    @Diane G. Leifer – I was comparing the Citi Executive offer for 75K miles with 100K miles. 100K miles is the best offer available.

    @ Marriott Marty – Thanks for the info! I believe the Hilton Free night certificate is linked to your Hilton hotel account and remains there even if you cancel the card. You can call Hilton and confirm when the certificate expires (and then close the card).

    @ Jim – It varies by issuer. AMEX is trying to make it harder to get the bonus and will soon limit folks to only 1 sign-up bonus per card.

    @Thomas Tran – Thanks! I’ll post on it.

    @ Barry – That’s a pretty good offer. I don’t have personal experience if buying a gift card will count, but sometimes the fine print specifies that you have to purchase a Delta flight only to get the statement credit.

    @ J.R. – You could get the Citi Americna Airlines card with either the 100K or 50K bonus. And then use Evolve Money or Bluebird to pay off the loan (you’d buy gift cards at CVS or stores and fund your Evolve or Bluebird accounts).

    @cmtrepp – It is still available on the Hot Deals and Airlines tab pages!

    @J – It is like the other Visa Buxx cards. I’ll play around with it and post.

    @ Tricia – You can log in on a computer and then add another user (I prefer the larger screen!)

    @Libby – Thanks for reaching out! I emailed you.

    @Steve | Live Smart Not Hard – I’ll email you!

    @Randolph Roman – It depends on your destination goals. I’d keep the points in your Ultimate Rewards account and wouldn’t transfer until you needed to. BA is good for flights to South American (no fuel surcharges) and Korean Air to Asia (but they have some complex rules to redeem miles for others).

    @TD – I’d get the Barclays Arrival card. You’ll get ~$440 which you can use towards Southwest flights or to pay for your cruise. If you use Barclays Arrival points for Southwest flights, you can also add a companion.

    @ bea – The 100K offer after spending $10K is still available.

    @ Rita – I’d book ASAP. You’ll get a room as long as the hotel is selling standard rooms. You could book at the same time on the phone (conference call) or check availability on the website (if you can find a base room, you can use points).

  35. Around a year ago, you recommend the Navy Federal Credit Union Flagship Rewards Card because it had a great sign-up bonus. My free year is almost ending and I am trying to decide whether it makes a good ‘keeper’ for general spending. Any thoughts on that?

  36. Love the blog. Today’s post raised another question for me. Are you aware of any BA “fifth freedom” flights originating from the US? Reason I ask is I understand that BA’s high surcharges generally pertain to flights to or through the UK. If there were any fifth freedom flights from the US toa country other than the UK, the “travel together” cert could be a lot more valuable! ( Assuming no fuel surcharged).

  37. So I moved 5,000 Chase UR points to Amtrak with the intent of moving miles to one of their transfer partners. I didn’t read the “fine print” and realized I needed to be an Elite member of Amtrak to do that. I have zero use for Amtrak miles, that are now stuck in limbo. I contacted Chase UR to attempt to undo the transfer but no luck. Any idea or suggestions on how to get these miles anywhere but Amtrak? Thanks.

  38. Please help!
    I paid 90,000 US airways dividend miles to book PHL-VCE-ICN-PHL on star alliance airlines back in March before devaluation. While looking at my travel plans yesterday, I found out that US airways no longer service PHL-VCE. I contacted US airways and they told me that they have to rebook my whole trip using one world alliance airlines. This is going to change my travel dates due to availability AND they are now going to charge me 110,000 dividend miles. I spoke to several agents and supervisors and no help. Is this ridiculous or what? please suggest what I should do.

  39. Hi Darius- thank you for this awesome blog! It does take a CPA to sift through the credit card info and marketing information to find out what the real rewards for credit card miles are! Thankfully you are on it. I am trying to purchase a flight with miles to go to France in June. I have never gotten a credit card for miles before. Could you direct me to the best card(s) to hopefully purchase my ticket with miles? Thank you!!

  40. Hi Darius,

    I have been reading your blog, great info, and thanks!
    I have a general info on hotel reward points. Many hotels have this 10x (or 5X) points for stay, then their related Visa card has 5x points. For example, Hyatt web says you earn 5X points for your stays, and their Visa card program says you earn 3X points for your stay at Hyatt properties.

    So does this mean, if I use hotel Visa card for my stay at Hyatt, I earn 5X from Hyatt and 3X from using the Hyatt Visa, therefore I earn 8X points total?

    Other hotels have similar thing, e.g. IHG hotel site says you earn 10X for InterCon and Holiday Inn hotels, but its Visa card program says you earn 10X for InterConn and 5X at Holiday Inn.

    What is your understanding on this two earning systems, both from hotel and from hotel’s credit card program?

    Many thanks,

  41. Hi Darius! I love to the site! I have a question that I haven’t seen much talk about on your website. In the 14 months I’ve applied (and was approved) for 6 credit cards, 4 of those being in the last 4 months. I’m monitoring my credit score and after my last application I saw a credit score drop from the 772 to the 739!!! I have no other negative marks on my credit score. Is it possible I’ve applied for too many credit cards in too short of a period of time. How many is too many for a period of time??? Should I hold off on any more applications?

  42. Hi,
    I would like to travel with my family (8 people) from LAX to TLV and on the way back stop in London for 2-3 days.
    The dates are March 2nd – March 15th 2015 dates are slightly flexible.

    Would Love to get your advice.

    thank you for all you do!!!

  43. The US Airways award chart ( includes “off-peak” awards which are an amazing value. However, I can’t figure out if those awards can be used with partners too, or only on USAir. Flying to South America first class for 60k points round-trip seems too good to be true…

  44. @Daniel – I don’t believe it is a good card for everyday spending. In general, you get the most reward from the sign-on bonus an then everyday spending. That said, I like the Sapphire Preferred and Barclays Arrival as general everyday cards.

    @Wes – I’m not aware of any from the US.

    @Jon – The Amtrak card lets you transfer miles, but may not be worth it just to rescue 5,000 miles.

    @Alex – I’d call back a few times to make sure this is a consistent response. Usually, they should be able to make a change without charging the higher rate since it was a schedule change.

    @ courtney – Unfortunately, it will be extremely hard to get a ticket using miles for peak summer travel. You could try the Barclays Arrival card which will get you ~$440 towards any ticket you buy.

    @ Charlie168 – If you use the hotel card, you get the extra points which is over and above what you earn by staying in the hotel.

    @ Andrew – Your score should improve in a few months, but monitor it closely for yourself because it varies from person to person. That said, I’d wait ~3 months before applying for cards.

    @ Shlomo – 8 people is going to be very tough to do. I’d consider asking an award booking service or using the Barclays Arrival card to get ~$400 off each ticket.

    @J Smith – It is only on US Air.

  45. Hey Darius, I was wondering, with the Citi Hilton Reserve card is it still possible to status match to Hyatt Diamond and get the 2 free Hyatt nights in a suite when you apply for that card? Thanks!

  46. One more question, if my friends and I all applied for the Chase Hyatt card to get the 2 free nights so that we’d have 6 hyatt free night certificates in total, would we be able to book 2 rooms for three nights using those 6 certificates under one reservation? I wanted it to be under my name since I’d have Diamond status with Hyatt. Thanks!

  47. Hi Daraius,

    Have 4K CLUB CARLSON PTS expiring in June, which I don’t want to lose.
    Can U suggest how to spend them at perhaps a shopping mall / or other , so as not to lose them entirely ?
    Was denied in my app for the. CLUB CARLSON card, so I’m stuck with a small amount of miles!!

    Any help appreciated – keep up your great blog.

  48. Hi Darius,

    I’m trying to figure out if it is better to keep my Southwest Airlines card or to cancel it and get a Hawaiian Airlines card. I live in California and go to Hawaii about once a year. I’m feeling a little lost on the best way to compare the two cards. Can you help me figure out what I need to be looking at to make this decision?

    Thanks in advance for the help!

  49. @Liz, correct me if Im wrong, but I dont think SW flies to Hawaii. If thats the case, what the use of SW!!

  50. @Ace Mason – Unfortunately, you don’t get the free nights in a suite if you’re a Hyatt diamond member. Your friends can book the room and add you as the 2nd guest. And call the hotel and ask them to combine the reservation.

    @Gee – See this post!

    @Liz – Southwest doesn’t fly to Hawaii (yet). Hawaiian Air or American Airlines miles are good for going from the West Coast to Hawaii.

  51. Hey Darius,

    My AF is coming up soon on my CSP. From reading it looks like chase doesn’t give retention bonuses or statement credit for that card. In your experience have you been successful in retention bonus with CSP? Any pointers to try and get one?

    Thanks for all your pointers, they’re awesome!


  52. If a card has a annual fee that is waived for the first year, do you recommend cancelling the card prior to 12 months fee – or will it impact my credit score?

  53. Follow up to my two emails on April 14 regarding American Express’ failure to grant me 75,000 miles after I had spent $10,000 on my new gold American Express card as required by their card offer. I sent my complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Very easy to write up the issue on their website, and attach relevant documentation. Just got confirmation today that they presented my complaint to American Express and the outcome is that American Express posted the 75,000 miles to my account. Thank you CFPB, American Express and Elizabeth Warren!

  54. I applied for this offer, but was denied. Read from comments that this is because I already have a Citicard. Called Citibank who said I cannot upgrade to get these benefits because I am not new to Citibank. Really want the card you offer with the 100,000 miles, etc. Help?

  55. I booked a flight on US Airways using Avios on the BA site (DCA-YYZ). When I printed my boarding pass, I did not get TSA pre-check like I usually do when I book US Airways via other sites. The BA website does not provide a place to enter my traveler #. Any idea how to get TSA pre-check when booking US Airways flights on the British Airways website? I have a bunch of Avios to use up and will mainly be booking US Airways flights. It would be a bummer if I couldn’t use my beloved TSA pre-check when flying US Airways!

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