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 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

Daraius and Emily write the Million Mile Secrets blog to show 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.

Daraius and Emily 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.  Daraius and Emily present the information in a helpful way that anyone can understand.

Million Mile Secrets - Emily & Daraius at Carnival

Million Mile Secrets – Emily & Daraius at Carnival

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 Daraius and Emily only write about 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.

5,689 responses to “Contact

  1. Hi Daraius,
    My Southwest RR update email contained a link to this update page:

    There really isn’t much information there, other than reference to a change in April 2015. Are the details of the change(s) already known? Sorry if you’ve already covered this… I don’t recall seeing anything about this, so I was just wondering if you had any insight.

  2. Hi Daraius,

    First of all I want to thank you for all the time you’ve applied to this extremely helpful blog, I’ve been following your posts as me and my fiancée are planning for our honeymoon coming up in April. On that topic, I wanted to get some advice from you, I currently have a Gold Premier Rewards Amex card and I’m planning on acquiring a new credit card to avoid paying foreign transaction fees.

    We’ll be traveling to South-East Asia (Tokyo-Bali-Phuket-Krabi) for around 16 days, which credit cards you think I should apply for in order to obtain the most sign-up bonus points and the least cost for all purchases made while traveling?


  3. Susan Dellacorte

    Just tried to do some manufactured spending twitch a targeted bonus from MasterCard. I tried to purchase a $500 amex gift card at WinnDixie.
    declined!, the manager said they only accepted debit cards or cash. Guess we can cross off Winn Dixie

  4. Do I need to keep all of the paperwork that comes with new credit cards? I go through alternating patterns of carefully filing all of it, or chucking it all in the recycling. What do you do?

  5. Susan, Try Kroger if you have one. I buy Visa variable $5 to $500 debit cards to load Bluebird at Walmart and Kroger accepts my credit card (I have used various cards over the past year to make spend requirements).

  6. Alex | February 12, 2015 at 2:42 pm |

    Hi Daraius!

    I’m looking to get my first rewards credit card…hopefully to get lots a free miles to travel overseas. I have a lot of things to buy/expenses over the next few months, so putting a certain amount on the card isn’t going to be a problem. What is the best/deal card for me right now?


    Hi Alex:

    Daraius has a page on this site, with the best sign-up bonuses, but that should not be your main consideration.

    Have a specific trip in mind, before applying for a card, or select a travel provider. That way, you won’t end up with a bunch of miles/points you’ll never use. It’s annoying to go through the work of accumulation, just to watch your miles/points lose value, as they tend to do.

    Rewards programs are built on the assumption that most miles/points will go unused. Don’t give them that satisfaction.

    I use several considerations for choosing a card.

    For USA travel, Southwest has nearly been my exclusive airline for ten years. I use the Chase/SWA card constantly, and make regular purchases on the Rapid Rewards shopping portal, where I earn points on both the card and the portal.

    I’ve flown a couple of times with Virgin America, and they were great, but they don’t fly to most of my favorite destinations, so I’m not a cardholder.

    I’ve had bad experiences with Alaska Airlines, so I haven’t signed up for their card, though their miles can be used on other airlines. They’ve rubbed my fur the wrong way too many times, mainly with nasty flight attendants.

    If you don’t have a trip in mind, or have an airline preference, consider a rewards program from which points can be transferred to many travel providers, including airlines. Chase Ultimate rewards has this option. The UR program also has an on-line shopping portal to earn points.

    There are many cash back cards, like Bank of America Cash Rewards. It pays three percent for gasoline, two for groceries, one for everything else. With cash back, you can use the funds for any travel product; you’re not tied to a program.

    Do you have a bank or other financial institution you like doing business with? It’s better to be a card holder with a company you like. I’ve had good experiences with American Express, which also has an on-line bank, called Bluebird.

    If you have an established relationship with a financial institution, that often improves the chances that your card application will be approved.

    United has the best miles program for international flights, in my opinion.

    Happy travels,


  7. Michele | February 13, 2015 at 2:08 am |

    Do I need to keep all of the paperwork that comes with new credit cards? I go through alternating patterns of carefully filing all of it, or chucking it all in the recycling. What do you do?


    I prefer to keep all paperwork from credit card companies, as it serves as proof of the card terms, in case of disputes.

    If you choose to discard paperwork, be sure to shred it, because it contains information that’s useful to fraudsters.

    Happy travels,


  8. @nancy – I understand how hard it is to travel when you have allergies. Emily is extremely allergic to fish. Unfortunately I have no influence with StayFaster. I’m not affiliated with them nor a silent partner. But tell them how you feel!

    @Anthony – Stay tuned, part 12 of my British Airways series has examples of using British Airways Avios points in Europe. Here’s a link to the rest of the series –

    In the meantime, my post on British Airways taxes and fees (section How to Pay Fewer Taxes and Fees With British Airways Avios Points) should help –

    @Alex – Welcome to the game of miles and points! There are a lot of great offers right now which you can find on the Hot Deals page –

    You should read my Beginner’s guide for some pointers and tips before you get started because it helps to have a plan before you apply for miles and points cards –

    @Cynthia – I don’t have any insider information. But from the link it says that starting on April 17, 2015, the number of Southwest points needed for an award flight will no longer be fixed, but vary depending on where you’re traveling, time, day, etc. I’ll post when there’s more information!

    @Eugenio Casso – Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Thanks for the kind words, glad we could help. While there are a lot of great offers right now which you can find on the Hot Deals page –, you should get a card that has no foreign transaction fees such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Barclay Arrival Plus.

    @Susan Dellacorte – Thanks for the information.

    @Michele – I throw it away. I hate having to do the extra work of filing and maintaining records.

  9. Hi Daraius, i just want to say thank you so much for what you do.
    Today i just received my companion pass card from southwest in the mail and it is good til Dec ’16.

  10. I need a refresher re Marriott credit card and Fairmont credit card–can you only have one at a time?

  11. Hi Daraius,

    Just a few weeks back i realized that my AA miles would expired 1st week of February. So i paid for some itune apps on my AA credit card by end of January but credit card company posted the mileage earned after the expiration and I saw that they took my miles away.
    Should i be able to get my miles even though my credit card transaction was before my mileage expiration?

  12. Do you have any tips or tricks for applying for a first credit card? I have no history and need to start somewhere. Any suggestions?

  13. Hello Daraius,

    Could you further explain what “churnable cards” are? I am unclear what is meant by that. Thanks in advance

  14. Hi Daraius, based on your experience with past airline mergers, do you expect the first bag checked for free benefit of the US Airways credit card also to apply on American Airlines once the merger is completed?

  15. @ferry – Congratulations on earning your Southwest Companion Pass! Glad we could help.:)

    @Margita – You can have both the Marriott and Fairmont card. You can find links to the best offers here –

    @John – Sorry to hear you lost your American Airlines miles. Unfortunately, it can take 6 to 8 weeks for miles to post. So that it doesn’t happen again, here’s my post on how to keep your airline miles from expiring –

    @Zoe – Although you’re not in college, this post on college students with no credit history might help – And this post might help too:

    @Antonio – There are certain cards that you can get multiple times. My post on cards you can get the sign-up bonus a 2nd time will help –

    @Gerhard – Once the merger is complete the US Airways card will be replaced with the Aviator Red Card. Here’s my post on the Aviator Red card –

  16. Daraius, I just recommended your website to my friends daughter whereby she applied for and was approved for a Chase Freedom card through your link! As always, the best to you and Emily.

  17. I’ve been trying to think about the best way to put together our THIRD trip using miles/points for January 2016 and I’m getting a little stuck.
    My husband and I will be in Brazil for Christmas/ New Year 2015 (will probably buy a ticket) and from there we would like to take a real vacation to the Maldives.
    I figured we could use British avios from there to Europe because I know they won’t charge us subcharges since we’ll be departing Brazil and we can change our addresses on file easily. We won’t mind stopping in Europe (anywhere) a day or 2 either … We also have 100K/120K AA, and could also apply to other cards.
    What would be the best way for us to make this happen?
    Thank you!

  18. Hi Daraius.
    I’ve been trying to think about the best way to put together our THIRD trip using miles/points for January 2016 and I’m getting a little stuck.
    My husband and I will be in Brazil for Christmas/ New Year 2015 (will probably buy a ticket) and from there we would like to take a real vacation to the Maldives.
    I figured we could use British avios from there to Europe because I know they won’t charge us subcharges since we’ll be departing Brazil and we can change our addresses on file easily. We won’t mind stopping in Europe (anywhere) a day or 2 either … We also have 100K/120K AA, and could also apply to other cards.
    What would be the best way for us to make this happen?
    Thank you! you’re the best!

  19. Looking to book a number of cash flights coming up, and am I trying to figure out what the benefit is of booking tickets using their respective credit cards… For example, why should I purchase a United plane ticket using my United Credit card, when my CSP will earn 2.14 points per dollar, and I can then turn them into United if needed? The same could be asked of Southwest points, or American Airlines card… can you think of any benefits of purchasing these tickets on their co-branded credit cards?

  20. Hi Dariaus
    Club Carlson allows members to purchase 40,000 Gold Points every 12 months. 40×7=$280. I like CC Hotels lots of time. Do you think its worth it to keep buying 40,000GP every 12 minths cycle? Thanks.

  21. Darius,
    This is my first comment on your blog. My colleague first told me about your site and for the last 18 months I have been a big fan of your site and regularly read your daily email. Time and again, your newsletter has proved to be immensely useful. Thanks a lot for writing this blog. Hats off to your meticulousness in how you describe the steps to follow !!! You even test drive your strategies. I and my wife each got Citi Executive cards for 200K AA miles. We also both got Ritz Carlton cards with 140K points each. We already converted it to 100K Southwest miles plus one week at Category Six Mariott in Kauai and in next one month, we should get our second companion pass in last 3 years. All thanks to you !!!!

    I have a couple of questions:
    Barclays US airways card: My wife has the Barclays US Airways Mastercard for about 14 months now. Can she apply for another card (same card) in order to get 35K/40K bonus? Should she cancel the card before reapplying? How many days does she need to wait after cancelling? This is the only Barclays card she has so far. I also have the same card for the last 14 months. But, I just applied for Hawaiian airlines card last month. Hence, my chance of approval is a little less.

    Hilton Surpass card: My wife has Hiton Amex card for > 2 years and she got the sign up bonus at that time. She still has the Hilton Amex card. Can she apply for Hilton Surpass and get the 80K bonus HHonors points? I was thinking of using the $50 Milepoint Premier membership in order to elevate status to gold. But for just $25 more, I could get extra 80K HHonors points. Hence, I like Surpass option better. I have already upgraded my Amex Hilton to Surpass once and then downgraded back. I already received the bonus once. So, I don’t think I can get the Surpass bonus again.

    Also, I wanted to pass one tidbit of information. I talked to Chase credit card representative and asked her a lot of questions about their credit card approval strategy. She said there is no hard and fast rule about a limit of 2 or 3 credit cards per person. They look at all the circumstances with total credit line being a very important factor. I (and my wife) have routinely fluctuated between 2 and 3 chase cards. Any time, I was denied card #3, I have successfully lobbied to get the third card approved — offering to reduce credit limit on existing credit cards is time-tasted and best strategy in my experience. Although, I have never had 4 cards from Chase, based on my discussions, it appeared to me that four Chase cards is not out of question.

  22. Hi Dariaus,
    I was recently approved for the Southwest personal premiere card but denied for the business version same day. Reconsideration call didn’t change anything at all. They said the main reason was that the business didn’t qualify as a business for the card and that they were concerned about low revenues of the sole proprietorship business and had extended me the max credit they could. I asked about transferring some credit around but they said I’d first have to be approved as a qualified business so that wouldn’t work this time. My question is: how soon can I apply for the same southwest business card with/for a different business? I run a small non-profit and am the treasurer of my HOA both of which should be able to get the business card but will they deny it seeing my name and info attached to it?

  23. Dariaus,

    I was told by American Express that they have required the credit card account to be opened for at least 14 months to be eligible for credit line movement to another American Express card. Is there some other way or trick how to move the credit line from one American Express card to another American Express card without waiting 14+ months? I would like to keep the existing credit without paying an extra annual fee on one of my American Express credit cards. Please advise.


  24. @ted – Congratulations on your friend’s daughter getting a Chase Freedom card. Thanks for the kind words and using our affiliate links.

    @Debi: It costs 30,000 British Airways Avios points and ~$36 to fly British Airways from Rio de Janeiro to London, so that’s a good deal! But using American Airlines miles from Europe to the Maldives is trickier, because there aren’t many oneworld partner airlines that fly from there to the Maldives. You could use American Airlines miles to book a British Airways award ticket, but you’ll also pay big fuel surcharges. There are more options using American Airlines miles on partner airlines like Qatar or Etihad, but you’d have to make your way to the Middle East. For a complicated itinerary like this, I’d suggest using an award booking service: They can help you get the most from your miles and avoid fuel surcharges. Here’s a good article by One Mile at a Time on using American Airlines miles to the Maldives:

    @Michael K – Now that the airlines can track who has an airline credit card and you get priority boarding and a free checked bag, there isn’t a lot of benefit to booking airline tickets with an airline card. However it depends on the card’s policy! Please see: You may also find this post helpful:

    @Paul E – Yes, that’s the cheapest way to buy 40,000 Club Carlson points.

    @Sandeep Raje – Thanks for the kind words. Glad we could help.

    There are mixed reports on successes for getting 2 US Airways cards: and

    If she cancels her US Airways card, it might make her more eligible – But if she doesn’t get approved, she would not be able to get the Aviator card which will replace the US Airways card –

    Your wife could apply for the American Express Hilton Surpass card. But you would not be able to get the sign-up bonus on that card again because you’ve already had it. And American Express limits you to 1 sign-up bonus per personal card –

    And yes, Chase does their best to work with you to get you approved for their cards!

    @Andrew – Some folks has had success reapplying in 30 days – But I would wait 90 days.

  25. Hi Daraius and Emily!

    My little blog and I would love an interview. Thanks!

  26. Thank you for all of your information! I am new to this and just planning a big trip to Hawaii. My husband and I both got the free 2 nights with Hilton but I am waiting for the cards to arrive, month to close then receive the certificates. I called Hilton and they said that yes I can reserve the rooms with a credit card and then just present the voucher at the front desk when I arrive. I’m leery to trust this advice. Do you know if it is possible to reserve rooms to hold them and then exchange for the free night certificate when it comes (either by calling Hilton or presenting at the time of check in)? Thanks again for your help!!

  27. Hi Daraius – I read your special series about traveling/working/living overseas. In my case, I am live about 80% of the year abroad. It still allows me to apply for credit cards, but I find it very tough to find the right strategy to meet the spending limits of the credit cards when not living in the States. I read up on the 40+ ways of spending etc. but the issue I am having is not addressd. Would be great to hear should yuo have some sort of strategy. Thank you so much in advance for your help.

  28. @Peter – Sorry, I don’t know of any tricks to move a credit line from 1 American Express card to another without waiting the 14 months as AMEX requires. Although sometimes you can do so after 12 or 13 months. So perhaps try again?

    @Jaime – Thanks for letting me know about your blog! If it’s a good fit, we’ll contact you.

    @Jessie – You can’t swap out your free night certificates for your held reservations at the hotel because you have to call Hilton to use the free night certificates. But once you get them, you can call Hilton and book your rooms. I’m not sure if you can change an existing reservation to one using a free night certificate, but it would be an interesting experiment.

    This post on how to use the free night award certificates might help –

    @Ryan – The Living or Working Overseas series – – was written by the Wandering US Expat. You can leave a comment on the post and hopefully he’ll respond.

    One option if you’re pressed for time is to apply for all the cards a month before you’re due to come back to the US. Then when you’re back in the US, meet all your minimum spending during that month or 2 you’re home.

    You might also be interested in AMEX Serve because you can load funds online with a credit card:

  29. Evolve money just got us BAD with the fees for using visa prepaid cards! Now we pay fees to purchase the cards and fees to pay evolve money. Is there any way out of the fees?!?!

  30. If I have 50,000 BA Avios miles and 35,000 US airways Dividend miles, can i combine those two and make 85,000 AAdvantage miles?

  31. @Steven – You can still load your Bluebird ( and Serve ( with gift cards to pay bills.

    @Jeremy – Unfortunately, you can NOT combine British Airways Avios points with US Airways miles. But you can book 1-way tickets on American Airlines, British Airways, and US Airways with those points and miles.

    Here’s a link to my series on using British Airways Avios points – and my series on American Airlines miles –

  32. Hi Daraius,

    I’m curious if you have heard about Loyal3 and what your thoughts are on it. Have you done it or do you know anyone who has? Do you think it is a good tool for achieving card spend?

  33. martin gingell

    Darius I collect AA miles I have all 3 of their credit cards . What is the fastest way to receiving multiple sign up bonuses on the same card ? Once I have cancelled a card how long do I have to wait to sign up again to receive the sign up bonus miles? Also are there any other cards I can sign up for that have sign up miles that I can transfer to my AA account Thanks for sharing all your wisdom and this excellent site.

  34. @Paul M – In November 2014, Loyal3 stopped allowing you to use credit cards to purchase stocks. So unfortunately that won’t help you meet minimum spending.

    You can load your Bluebird ( and Serve ( with gift cards.

    Here’s my post on 40+ ways to meet minimum spending –

    @martin gingell – Each bank has different rules on when you can reapply for credit cards. Citi, which issues the American Airlines cards, has an 18 month rule. This post might help -

  35. Hi Darius, I’m starting to think ahead for a big trip from Ohio to Australia & New Zealand in about 3 years (we have Italy and Hawaii on miles/points in between). I don’t think Quantas is allied with Delta or American, so I’m wondering if you have suggestions about how to work such a flight with miles?

    More genericaly, how do you figure out routing and Airlines to check when you start to plan a trip? I can’t stand looking for award seats on one airline with all my connecting options, much less thinking about doing it on several airlines.

  36. We are traveling on American Airlines transferring to British Airways in London with our final destination Bologna Italy. I have lots of miles on AA so that’s why..we have our seats reserved on AA but not BA…do you have a suggestion on how we can secure seating prior to our departure? We don’t leave till October 2015. Thank you for your response.


  37. Hi

    Can you advise which AAdvantage partner airlines flying Australia to Europe with awards charge the least in fees.

    Thank you.

  38. Just tried adding a companion to an existing companion (i.e., a third passenger) on Southwest and I got an error message: “Oops! You cannot add a companion to this reservation.”

    I’m going to try waiting an hour or so, but I’m thinking it won’t make a difference and I won’t be able to daisy-chain a third passenger.

  39. Darius & Emily,

    I was wondering if you can feature our travel blog, in your interview series? Thanks!

  40. Darius,

    I hopped on one of the new flights to Costa Rica that Southwest is now flying to for free!!! I’m flying into San Jose but am looking to travel down to the South west coast (Manuel Antonio, Quepos). I’ve read many articles stating how treacherous the roads are and am slightly nervous about renting a vehicle (especially since i truly only need it for 5 hours to get down there). How do I best plan the use of a rental car without having to be charged an arm and a leg to drop it off in between uses. Or do you have a better knowledge that you can share of transportation in that area.

    John a.k.a devoted reader

  41. Hi Daraius and Emily,

    Sorry to post this again, but I never saw a response so thought it may have gone overlooked.

    I have been following your blog for probably 4 years and have flown all over the U.S., Europe, and Asia using miles thanks to your advise. Thank you for all the tips along the way!

    I need some advise on the best way to earn miles by paying off my student loans with a credit card. I have read some of your posts about this in the past, but everything has changed with Vanilla Reload and Bluebird so I feel like everything I can find is out of date. Not sure if there is a more recent article I need to look at.

    I have $21,000 in loans, and I have the money to pay them off completely. I would like to do so within the next month or so, but really want to find a way to earn miles while doing it if there is still a way to do so. Not sure if it helps at all but the loans are serviced by Nelnet. I have read an article recently about Serve, but I do not see any way to efficiently utilize it to pay off this amount while earning points.

    Any advise would be much appreciated! Thanks for all the help, and keep the tips coming so we can all continue exploring the world!

    Daniel W.

  42. Brad, I don’t see Capital One Venture or other Capital One cards on your site. Do you not recommend these cards as good ones to use for travel?

  43. @Katherine – Qantas is member of the oneworld alliance so you can use American Airlines miles on Qantas. Here’s a post that might help you –

    I like figuring out award tickets. But because you don’t like the hassle of looking for award seats, you may want to use an award booking service. Here’s my post on award booking services –

    @Valerie – You can choose your seats in advance if you pay a fee – The cost varies depending on your flight. Here’s a thread from Flyertalk with more information –
    If you have British Airways Gold status or American Airlines Executive Platinum status the fee is waived. You can choose your seat for free when check-in online.

    @Allan – There are a lot of European countries and many oneworld partners so it’s hard to specify an easy answer of which oneworld partner has the lowest award flights from Australia to Europe. There are many options depending which country you’re going to such as Cathay Pacific and British Airways. However, you can NOT use American Airlines miles to fly from Australia to Europe.

    You may want to use an award booking services to help you plan your trip –

    @Anon – Thanks for letting us know. Looks like that trick is no longer working.

    @Ramchand – Thanks for letting us know about your blog. If it’s a good fit, we’ll be in touch.

    @John – Unfortunately I don’t have any personal knowledge of driving in or traveling to Costa Rica. But you might get some ideas from my series: and

    @Joe – Hi Joe, who is Brad? Is that my name in autocorrect language? :D I’ve written about Capital One cards before – But I think other miles and points cards are better for most folks.

  44. If you have an active united mileage regular card, can you apply for the UNITEDbusiness card and get the current 50k promotion?

  45. Dararius, My husband and myself both got a letter from our car insurance company today stating that “consumers who frequently open new accounts have greater insurance loss risk than those who do not”. They say that our insurance premiums are not as low as they could be due to all our credit cards. Have you ever heard of this? The report came from TransUnion. We are going to fight this but just wondered if it had ever happened to you or any of my fellow readers.

  46. Daraius, Thank you for your response on Capital One cards. Please forgive me for calling you Brad instead of Daraius. I don’t know who Brad is either. Please chalk it up to a senior moment. Thanks also for all of the effort you put into helping others through your website and Tweeter, etc. Joe

  47. I fly out of a regional airport that connects with DEN. The number of direct flights to Europe with United Airline partners is limited, but Lufthansa has a direct flight to Frankfurt. However, since Lufthansa obviously does not show my home airport on their route map, how do I go about booking a Lufthansa flight with MileagePlus miles from my regional airport?

    Do you have any other suggestions for those of us who fly out of a regional airport?

  48. Hello Darius,
    Starting this month, I will be flying from US to Germany on BA (probably exclusively) on business (business class fare) every other month. My question is: on these flights, should I collect BA points or AA points? Is it easier to redeem AA points since my base is US, and therefore I should collect AA points? Would I be able to get to a higher “elite” status faster by collecting BA points? My current status is Gold for both programs.

  49. Actually, I believe that would be Twitter, not Tweeter. LOL!

  50. @Payal – Because 1 card is a personal card and the other card is a business card, you can apply for both cards –

    Here’s my post which includes a link for the 50,000 United Airlines mile offer on the business card –

    @Juli – I’ve never heard of that before, but because of your question did a Google search and find these posts: and Hope those help.

    @Joe – It’s OK, I get called a lot of things. :)

    @Chase – Because part of your flight will be on United Airlines, you’ll have to call to book. You may have to book 2 separate tickets: 1 round-trip from your regional airport to Denver and the other round-trip from Denver to Frankfurt. Here’s my post on how to book Lufthansa award tickets –

    @Peter – It really depends on where you think you’ll redeem the miles or points you’ll earn. You can use British Airways Avios points to fly on American Airlines and vice versa.

    British Airways uses a distance based award chart so you pay less for short flights. Whereas, American Airlines uses a regional chart so you pay a fixed mile price regardless of how short or long your flight is.

    When you fly internationally on British Airways you’ll pay high fuel surcharges, regardless of whether you’re using British Airways Avios points or American Airlines miles.

    Here are links to the American Airlines award chart –, the oneworld award chart –, and the British Airways Avios calculator (which is changing on April 28, 2015) –

    Here are links to my series on American Airlines award tickets – and British Airways award tickets –

    Also, if you have Gold status with British Airways you may want to credit your miles to British Airways. That’s because Gold is their top tier status and you’ll earn more 150% more British Airways Avios points flying Business Class. Whereas Gold status on American Airlines is the bottom tier status and you only earn 25% more American Airlines miles flying Business Class.

  51. Good Morning! I believe that the 4th Chase Southwest card (Biz Plus) has been eliminated! This was the only one I don’t have and I cannot find it anymore! Is this true?


  52. @DJ Cooper – Yes, the Southwest Business Plus card is no longer available.

  53. Hi there,
    For the Barclay US Airways MC with 50,000 mile bonus, the terms and conditions state that the offer is only for new card members. But I thought I had read somewhere that the Barclay USA card was a good one to churn. Any idea whether that bonus can be received twice?

  54. Dear Darius- I have about 60K in taxes that can be paid via credit card (I have the $, I just thought it might be an interesting way to accumulate miles)- I have a trip to Hawaii that I’d like to take in May. I’m thinking of the BA card, the Virgin card, or the Starwood Card. Which of the three (or all of the above) do you think would be best suited for my Hawaii goals? If you wonder why I haven’t asked about all the other hot deals (mileage plus biz, chase sapphire, freedom, ink, etc, it’s because I already have those cards and am not eligible). Or is there any other better use for the spend that you can think of? cheers.

  55. Darius,
    Thanks for all the great info you provide. I am wanting to take my wife somewhere in the Caribbean in 2016 for our 10 year anniversary. I have around 650K AA miles now and as well as around 250K Chase points and a nominal amount of Amex points. I don’t really have any hotel cards other than Marriott and am not married to it. I have yet to get an SPG card. Wanted to see what your recommendations are to get a great deal on a hotel or resort in the Caribbean. I am open to any island. I have a small business and can rack up points fast by paying bills with my cards so getting sign up bonuses is rather easy for me. I typically use my AA Executive until I hit the 40K spend to get the 10K EQM then after that I am open. I have an Amex Platinum, 2 Southwest cards (got the Companion Pass!), Chase Marriott Card.

    Thanks for your help.


  56. Hey Daraius,
    My in-laws need to downgrade some cards and are deciding between keeping either one Chase Ink or Sapphire Preferred card. They each have both cards and don’t want to pay the $95 fee on all four. I advise they keep one open to allow them the opportunity to transfer to travel partners down the road and want to see what you think is better to keep: 5x bonus (cell phone/TV/internet) with Chase INK or 2x bonus (dining/travel) with the Sapphire Preferred.

    Thanks for your help and the affiliate links, I’ve used yours the past couple years as a thank you for all the help along the way!


  57. Quick question….I have 15 hours in Abu Dabi what places would you recommend for quick sightseeing? Feel safe here?

  58. Hello,
    Wow you have a ton of information but unfortunately my mind is overloaded and I just can’t get it all. So I was wondering if you can help me out?
    We have a family of 7 with the youngest being 1 year old…is that considered free on most flights if he sits in our lap?). we have accumulated close to 130K miles on American Airlines, both my husband and I have some delta miles (~25k for me and he may have a little more). I know I have 45K Marriott and 20K Hilton awards. We also received a dream vacation getaway through a time share we visited in Sedona that will expire Dec 15, 2015. This getaway is for 7 nights for 2 adults and 2 additional guests to a potential of over 3000 resorts within the US, Canada, Europe/Atlantic islands, Caribbean, etc.
    We are thinking we would like to travel to the Caribbean as a family and try to fly for free but we would get a house on the island with potentially my inlaws.
    I wanted to know if there is a way to work out flight in conjunction to take advantage the the 7 night accommodations for me and my husband?
    We are in NC next to RDU, charlotte is 2.5 hours away.
    Please let me know if you can help me make this a reality for my family….it has been a very rough and sad year :-(

    Thank you

  59. @Amy – Many folks have gotten the US Airways card twice – However, Barclays seems to be cracking down lately –

    @claire – Because you want to travel in May and it’s only 3 months away, you may want to use 1 of your existing cards versus applying for new credit cards. Here’s my post from a few years ago on the benefits you get from paying taxes with a credit card, I’ll be posting an updated version soon –

    It’s hard to make a blanket statement because you didn’t say if you wanted to earn miles for airfare or hotel accommodations. But here are a couple of suggestions: you can fly round-trip from the West Coast to Hawaii for 25,000 British Airways Avios points. You get a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer to airlines like American Airlines –

    Hope that helps!

    @Jason – Thanks for the kind words! I haven’t been to the Caribbean, although Emily has – Because you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer those to Hyatt and Marriott. Hyatt only has hotels in Aruba and Grand Cayman. You’ll have more choices with Marriott. Here’s a link to the Marriott hotels in the Caribbean – This free tool will also help you find award nights at hotels:

    @Drew – Thanks for using our affiliate links! Your in-laws should keep the card they use more. So if they have more cell phone, internet, and cable TV bills, they should keep the Chase Ink card. But if they travel more or go out to eat often then the Chase Sapphire Preferred card would be a better fit.

    @Rod – I haven’t been to Abu Dhabi so I can’t make any recommendations. You might find some recommendations in the Flyertalk Middle East thread –

  60. Hi Daraius, first off thank you for this awesome blog I have learned a lot here! I currently get all my rewards in Chase points (thanks to combo of Sapphire Preferred, Freedom bonus categories, and Ink Bold). I currently have about 140k points (thanks in part to the 60k ink bonus).

    I wanted to ask is it better to use this points to buy travel through the Chase portal or transfer to United? I have also used a BA credit card in the past to move 100k avios to american which was good enough for a round trip from IAD-LAX for two people, coach one way and first the other way.

    So I’m working what’s a better value? 150k avios (to be used on AA) or 140k United miles or 140k chase points to be used on UR portal for airfare.

    I also wanted to ask if I should get the US airways card now then cancel that once the merger is done and possible get an AA card in the future since it seems a really good deal to stack on both mileage programs now.

    Thank you!!


  61. @hanadi – You do not have to buy a ticket (paid or award) for a child under the age of 2. But you will need a lap child ticket. And if you’re flying internationally, you will pay taxes and fees and 10% of the cost of the ticket. So if you’re flying in Business Class, you’ll pay 10% of the paid ticket cost plus taxes and fees for your 1 year old.

    You may want to use the services of an award booking agency. You can find 1 in my post –

  62. Do you know: If I apply for 5 credit cards today (within 30 minutes of each other), does it show up on my credit report as 1 inquiry?

  63. Hello,
    Today I discovered your website, and WOW! I’m overwhelmed by all the info. However, I’m Canadian, so the credit card deals you speak of, are not available to me. Can you please explain to me how to get the IHG points for $60 for 10,000 points. Every time I visit the IHG website, it states a certain number of points plus you can buy 10,000 points for $70 USD. How do you get it for $60.00USD? Also, I tried to calculate the cost of a Holiday Inn in Paris (Latin Quarter), and if I bought points the way you described, it would cost me $210 (3 sets of 10,000 point purchases at $70 per set ), plus 5,000 points. The room only cost $228 USD or 204 euros, depending on which currency you chose. I f I bought enough points, it would end up costing me more than just paying for the room. Am I missing something?

  64. Hi Darius,

    I was wondering what time of year the biggest sign up bonuses usually are if any. I don’t want to rack up inquiries and get cards now only to have a lot of really juicy offers once spring rolls around.


  65. Hi,
    I am trying to find the lowest fare for the following Princess Cruise:
    10 Days Roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    Are there any discount cruise sites to book ahead to January, 2016?
    Thanks for your help,
    Frank J.

  66. Hi!

    Your blog is great and I have been reading through it for the past few weeks. I have a few questions for you though. My boyfriend lives in Australia at the moment and I am on the east coast of the US. I would like to visit him for 3 weeks in May and then I am looking to go out there again in September to live there for a year with the work and holiday visa. Flying out there twice can be a little pricy though. My first flight in May would be a roundtrip flight and my second flight in September would be a one way flight. No need to worry about hotels or any sort of accommodation (I have that covered), BUT if possible, I would like some advice for miles and/or points for airfare. Any suggestions on which credit card(s) to apply for?

    Thanks for your help,

  67. Hi!

    Do you have any additional recommendations for finding blocks of BA award inventory on Are Lingus from BOS DUB or BOS SNN in the later summer of 2015?

    My wife and I read your tips last year on using Avios to fly from BOS DUB and each signed up for the Chase BA card last year with the 100k bonus. Our plan has been to take her sister’s family on a family trip this summer.

    I’m now having trouble finding award availability and wonder if something has changed. When I used the Qantas site ~6 weeks ago, I could find 9 seats on Aer Lingus on most days. Now, I can find hardly any on Qantas. I am able to find blocks of 4 seats on, but when I call BA, they can see only 2.



  68. Hi – I am new to miles and points. I need to fly from Washington DC to Austin in April. I have the 40,000 miles from Barclay Arrival Plus card and 50,000 miles from US airways master card. I see that the price for the round trip in April is about $420. Should I use Barclays card to redeem that travel or should I use my 37,500 of the 50,000 US airways miles that I have to redeem the travel. How would you do the analysis? I know this is a basic question but how should I be looking to optimize.


  69. Good Morning, I read the blog last week where you and Emily mention that the reduced air mile rewards on American (with the credit card) can be used whether flying in or out of an airport listed – who knew???? Here’s my question, I am flying to Juneau in July – using miles (economy) of course. I can fly out of OKC or TUL (which usually are on the discounted plan during the summer). The list doesn’t usually come out until the month before. Is waiting that long to see if the airports hit the list a good one, or are award tickets quite limited and best to take them while there’s availability? My dates are fairly narrow so there is not a lot of room to play. Thanks in advance for the help! Kathryn

  70. Hey D,
    Let your readers know there’s a targeted 3X points offer from Carlsson for March. And for the card holder it’s a whammy: 3X (fron this offer) + 10X(for card) + promo + stay bonus. I received this email today.

  71. @Kyle – Thanks for the kind words!

    The “best” value depends on your travel goals:

    If you transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines, then you can only use them on United Airlines. But you may be able to book Business Class or First Class flights that may not want to pay for:

    Keeping your Chase Ultimate Rewards points in your account lets you book travel on any airline via the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall, including airlines that are NOT Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners like American Airlines.

    You can also use a combination of points and cash, if you don’t enough Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And sometimes you’ll earn frequent flyer miles on tickets purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall. You’ll save 20% on the price of paid tickets.

    Compare this to what you can get when transferring to British Airways:

    You should get the US Airways card now because after the merger, the card won’t be available –

    @steve – Each bank will run a credit inquiry. So if you apply for cards from 5 different banks, you’ll have 5 inquiries. However, there are good reasons to apply for cards from different banks – And here’s another post that might be helpful –

    @Carolyn – Glad you found us!

    Here’s a post on Canadian Miles and Points blogs –

    When you buy points through IHG, the more points you buy, the price per points is lower. However, you can buy IHG points for cheaper. This post will explain how to buy IHG points for .7 cents per point –

    But as you’ve found, sometimes it’s cheaper to pay cash than buy points for a hotel stay.

    @Lincoln – Unfortunately, there’s no specific time of year when big sign-up bonuses occur. Although, Chase tends to increase the sign-up bonus on the Ink cards around Small Business Week. Hope that helps.

    @Frank J. – I’m working on a post about cruises but I can tell you there are many options. Often travel agents that specialize in cruising can be a help with getting discounts. Also, if you’re willing to be flexible, many cruise lines offer significant discounts when you book very close to the departure date. But you might not have your choice of cabin, if you can find an open 1 at all. You might also consider the Chase Travel Portal:

    @Michelle – Thanks for the compliment! Because you want to fly in May which is only 3 months away, it might be hard to earn the miles and points you’d need for that ticket. But you can start now for your September ticket.

    You can fly from the US to Australia round-trip in coach for 70,000 American Airlines miles. You can get 100,000 American Airlines miles by applying for the Citi AAdvantage card and the US Airways card – . US Airways miles will become American Airlines miles after the merger.

    @Michael – Other than looking for seats 1 at a time, I don’t have any recommendations to find blocks of award seats on Aer Lingus.

    It can be really hard to find multiple award seats on the same flight especially for the summer or holidays. You might want to use an award booking service –

    @Jay – Emily and I use our Southwest Companion Pass for domestic travel:

    If you redeem your Barclay Arrival miles you’ll still pay $20 because you only have 40,000 miles. Although you’ll get 10% of those miles refunded to give you another 4,000 miles to get another $40 off a different travel purchase.

    Whereas if you use your US Airways miles you’ll only pay ~$10 in taxes and still have the 40,000 Barclay miles.

    Because you’re new, I suggest checking out my Beginners Guide:

    @Kathryn – Because there’s no guarantee that those cities will be on the discounted award list and it might be hard to find award seats for your travel dates, you should book now. Here’s a post that may help –

  72. i was notified a few minutes ago about the new US Airways Aviator Red Advantage mastercard! i know you have written about the transition. should i cancel my 2 US Airways MC’s and try to apply for the new Aviator card to get the sign up bonus? Thanks

  73. Thought this deal might interest some of your readers. I am not going for it because I just did a run for the 60K Ink card. Copying the email below:

    US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard Unsubscribe
    1:05 PM (1 hour ago)

    to me
    Having problems viewing this email? Click here Re: Your account ending in 2388

    As part of the integration of US Airways and American Airlines, your current
    US Airways Dividend Miles® MasterCard® will be replaced with an AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard®.¹ Your new card will arrive between April 1 and July 15, 2015. Until your new AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard® arrives, please continue to use your current US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard.
    Visit to learn about the benefits and features that will come with your new card.
    Register now to earn 50% more miles on qualifying purchases²
    Join us in celebrating the upcoming integration of the Dividend Miles® program into the AAdvantage® loyalty program when you register to earn 50% more miles on every purchase you make with either your US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard or your new AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard® from March 1 through June 30, 2015, up to 10,000 bonus miles.
    See how you can earn bonus miles
    Monthly Purchases
    Example Amount
    Spent Normal Miles
    Earned Bonus Miles
    Earned* Total Miles
    Groceries $400 400 200 600
    Dining $150 150 75 225
    Utilities $300 300 150 450
    Roundtrip Flight on
    US Airways or
    American Airlines $500 1,000 500 1,500
    TOTAL MILES: 1,850 925 2,775 miles
    *Bonus miles will appear on your statement 6-8 weeks after the end of the promotion.
    It’s our way of saying thank you for being a loyal cardmember. Click below and log in to your account or call 866-419-0881 to register for this limited-time offer.
    Register Now

    ¹ Your account must be open, active, and in good standing in order to be eligible to receive the AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard®.

    ² Offer is valid for select cardmembers and is not transferable. Qualified cardmembers who register by June 30, 2015, will earn a 50% bonus on the miles they earned on purchases made with their card between March 1, 2015, and June 30, 2015 (the promotional period) up to a maximum of 10,000 miles. Bonus miles will not apply to miles earned from other promotions during this period. To be eligible for this offer, the cardmember’s account must be open, active and in good standing throughout the entire promotional period and they must have registered for this promotion by June 30, 2015. Purchases made during periods when you account is delinquent, or your account is otherwise not in good standing as defined in your Cardmember Agreement do not qualify for this offer. Your bonus miles will appear on your statement 6-8 weeks after the end of the promotion.

    American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage® program and its terms and conditions at any time without notice, and to end the AAdvantage® program with six months notice. Any such changes may affect your ability to use the awards or mileage credits that you have accumulated. Unless specified, AAdvantage® miles earned through this promotion/offer do not count toward elite-status qualification or AAdvantage® Million MilerSM status. American Airlines is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies. For complete details about the AAdvantage® program, visit

    American Airlines, AAdvantage, the Flight Symbol logo and AAdvantage Million Miler are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.

    The AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard® is issued by Barclaycard pursuant to a license by MasterCard International Incorporated. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated.

    Email intended for: Philip Shear and sent to: For card ending in: 2388

    Update My Preferences Privacy Policy Unsubscribe from Future Mailings

    Please Do Not Reply to this Email
    This is a notification-only email that cannot accept incoming replies. To send us an email, simply log in to and click contact us to send your message securely.

    The AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard® is issued by Barclays Bank Delaware (Barclaycard), P.O. Box 8801, Wilmington, DE 19801.

    © 2015 Barclays Bank Delaware (Barclaycard), Member FDIC


  74. Thanks for all the great tips on the website. I’m a newbie, but am learning a lot. In response to your question on recent great stays, we stayed at the Marriott Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert. It was lovely, and the staff was terrific: every employee waves when they drive by on the property. The room had a full kitchen and great sitting area. Highly recommend for a getaway. We do not have kids, and it was not overrun with kids. Having said that, i think it would be a great getaway with kids too, they had lots of things to do.

  75. @Prabs – Thanks for letting me know! I was planning on writing about this tomorrow!

    @woody – The US Airways Aviator cards will only be available to folks who are current US Airways card holders. So if you cancel your US Airways cards, you will NOT be able to apply for the US Airways Aviator card.

    You could try applying for an additional US Airways card for the sign-up bonus – But folks are having mixed success –

    @Philip – Thanks, Philip. I also received the email and posted about the offer –

  76. I have both a delta skymiles amex cc and mileage plus united explorer cc up for first annual renewal with fees of 95$ each. I signed up last year and recd both with points bonusses. I have not used either actively since around end of minimum spends. . i also have swa business/personal)chase cards (which I renewed) and UR Ink Plus also in their first years. I also just applied for second business UR Ink Plus(not sure will get approved for new small very low income business).
    Couple of questions: How bad is it to drop both of these?. What are some options? Can I let them just expire or do I have to call to cancel? With the United Mileage Plus can I request some sort of consolidation for my available credit line or something else? .Or do you have other suggestions on what to do. I want to try not to stain my credit record (which is great) and also look forward to soon applying for another business cc with aadvantage. points Thanks in advance for all your interesting hard work

  77. anyway to get points for The Container Store?I dont see it on UR shopping mall?

  78. Hi Daraius,
    I’m new to credit card points but I’m wanting to start big. I have just complete signup bonuses for my Chase Sapphire and Freedom cards and my wife and I want to go somewhere very nice. I saw several articles detailing how to get free nights at the overwater bungalows at the IHG resort in Bora Bora. Well it’s time to start opening new cards and I understand which ones I need but my question is realistically what are my chances of getting a room? I saw that you can only book a year in advance and basically they are always booked. I don’t want to go through the trouble of opening several cards only to find I can find a room to book. Thank you very much for your help. What you do is amazing and helps so many people

  79. Thank you Darius for your response to my question above! Super helpful!

  80. @Renee S – Thanks for the kind words! And thanks for sharing your experiences at the Marriott Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert.

    @jos – If you aren’t getting any benefit or use from your AMEX Delta Skymiles and UnitedPlus Explorer cards, you should cancel them.

    You have to call to cancel your credit cards otherwise you’ll be charged an annual fee on each card. But before you cancel those cards make sure you don’t have any miles that haven’t posted –

    For your United MileagePlus card, Chase won’t consolidate credit lines, but if you get denied, you can ask them to lower credit from 1 card so that they will approve you on a 2nd card.

    Here are a couple of posts that can help – and

    @jft – You can get 3 American Airlines miles per $1 spent at the Container Store through the American Airlines AAdvantage Shopping portal –|9150|1|1|search_box&gmid=1686

    @Brandon – Thanks for the kind words. Since you’re new you may want to read my Beginner’s Guide –

    Generally the earlier you book the better but sometimes you can find a couple of award nights last minute. However, you might not find a week’s worth.

    Here are a couple of posts that can help – and

    Hope that helps!

    @Claire – My pleasure. You’re welcome!





  82. hi Daraius,

    Is it worth it to pay the annual fee for Marriott Rewards Premier Visa credit card? The annual fee is $85.

    Above is the link where I got the information.

    Thank you so much!


  83. Hey Daraius!

    One year ago this past October I was finally able to dig myself out of three years of debt, delinquencies, and other mismanagements of my finances. Upon doing so, I swore to myself that I would, going forward, be the one in control and have my financial institutions benefiting me and not the other way around. At that point I applied for and was approved for my first miles earning credit card: a Capital One Venture. It turns out that miles and points are kind of like cocaine; once you’ve got the itch you just can’t stop scratching. That’s when I started Googling more information about miles and travel, and it’s when I came across your blog which had been a bit of a bible to me since that time. It was last summer when I really took notice of the Southwest Companion Pass you always mention. Well, come December I received my SW Premier card in the mail. Less than a month later, the Plus card. I know, somehow, despite all the warnings, I managed to be successfully approved for two personal cards. Which brings me to this point, March 5th, having just filled out my girlfriend’s information for my earned Companion Pass status. I wanted to say thank you to you and Emily for the inspiration and useful tools you provide that help people like me take control of their finances and enrich their lives.


  84. I am new to the mileage rewards game but am interested in maximizing it. I had a United Club Card but didn’t feel that I really utilized it to it’s capacity so I cancelled it back in August of 2014. I see offers of 30K miles for the United Explorer Card and I was wondering how long I would need to wait in order to sign back up and take advantage of that 30K bonus. To go along with that, can I have my wife sign up for her own card and also collect 30K in bonus miles? Thanks in advance!

  85. If you’ve been doing the credit card points thing for awhile, there have not been a lot of new opportunities coming down the pipe in the last 12-18 months. Seems to be roughly the same offers since forever. Do you think the industry is pulling up the ladder? Do you think we will still be using credit cards in 5 years?

  86. @ROBERT MINTON – You can sign-up again on our main page in the upper left corner under “GET FREE EMAIL UPDATES”

    @TB – Many folks keep the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa after the 1st year! You get a free night in a category 1 to 5 Marriott on your account anniversary which more than makes up for the annual fee. And the sign-up bonus is currently increased to 70,000 points plus a free night in a category 1 to 4 Marriott.

    @John – Thanks and congratulations on earning the Southwest Companion Pass – hope you and your girlfriend enjoy lots of great trips! Glad we were able to help!

    @Ivan – The Chase United Club and Chase United Explorer are considered 2 different card products – . So you could apply for the United Explorer card now! And yes, your wife can apply for her own card and also get the sign-up bonus.

    @Getaway – Our hobby is constantly changing! And there are always new opportunities to earn miles and points from credit cards. I don’t see credit cards (or great sign-up bonuses) going away.

  87. Hi Daraius,
    Thank you for all your insights as always. Thanks to you, I am on my way to achieving companion pass this year.
    You may have already seen this today, but Google recently purchased SoftCard and will be killing SoftCard by the end of March. They are asking customers to use Google Wallet instead. Obviously the biggest concern here is if this will impact the Serve accounts that were opened via SoftCard (to take advantage of the $1,500 CC deposits). Do you have any insights on that? Is there a different mechanism you recommend now that’s better than using Serve?
    Thank you!!

  88. Hi Daraius,

    I have the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard, which gives me 10% of the redeemed miles back (up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles) each year. I also have the Barclay’s US Airways Mastercard, which will soon become the Aviator Red Mastercard and the new card will also give 10% of my redeemed miles back (again up to 10,000 miles each year). So, I am wondering if I hold these two cards, can I actually get 10% back up to 20,000 miles each year? or maybe the limit is set for each AAdvantage account and thus still 10,000 miles?

    If the limit can indeed become 20,000 miles per year, I will keep holding these two cards. Otherwise, I will probably cancel one of the two cards.

    Thank you!!

  89. Hi Daraius,

    Thanks for your PROMPT response. I am a NEWBIE to this mile / point game with the credit card and I would like to make my fiance’s dream come true, which is a trip to Bora Bora / Moorea. What cards do we have to apply to earn enough points for two FREE (almost free) rount-trips and hotel stays?
    I read your Planning section to Bora Bora but don’t have all the details and I want to get this right.
    Thank you so much for your help.

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