Contact Me

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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!

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5,152 Responses to Contact Me

  1. Hi Darius,

    I saw your comment long time ago regarding applying to biz credit cards when on a F1/H1B. Hoping you could shed some advice on the topic as I am debating whether or not to apply!

    Thank you!

  2. Hi Darius,

    Which airline requires the least amount of frequent flyer points (economy/business) from Rome to NY in July and how many points are needed?



  3. Hi Darius,

    *clarification *

    Which airline requires the least amount of frequent flyer points (economy/business) for roundtrip from NY to Rome and how many points are needed?



  4. Marc Lieberman

    Evidently the chase ink plus is no longer available. It states no longer available after 10/17 even though you site states 10/19. I procrastinated thinking I had another two days. Thoughts?

  5. Hi,
    Thanks for a great blog, which I read frequently.
    I am traveling by myself on January 15 or 16 (have to be there before the 18th), 2015 to Palau (ROR) from RSW. I’ll be gone until the 25th (can return after that).
    I’ve been advised to fly on Delta or United partners. I want to travel Business class. I don’t think I have enough miles on either to get the whole trip on rewards. Which would be better for an upgrade on rewards, and I would purchase economy.
    Thanks again.

  6. I have a mortgage with chase and would love to find out a way to pay it and somehow get points I normally pay it online but don’t get any points I would be willing to go to a branch or whatever I have to.
    Love your site
    Thanks Tom

  7. There’s no doubt we are all chomping at the bit for the new Target re-load card. I live in Sin City, so if I take a day trip to Tuscon to get the card, can it be used in Las Vegas to load? Can I get a card for my wife and 2 kids ( 4 total ) or do they have to be there to sign up themselves? Thanks……

  8. Hey Darius,

    I’ve opened 3 new accts with chase in the last 4 mos. They currently account for half my total aggregate credit limit. I have around 15 accounts, with 10 opened in last 6 months.

    Should I call and get my limits lowered on my cards, to become a lower risk? I’m just trying to make sure they don’t close my acct. My utilization is always less than 10%. But I do keep a balance on all my accts, and I think that is hurting my score, even though it is always less than 5 to 10%.

  9. Hi Darius! I’m trying to earn the SW Companion pass in early 2015. Is it possible to get the SW Premier Business & SW Premier cards at the same time with bonuses? Should I just apply for one now and wait for an offer on the Plus? Also, applying now (mid-Oct) means I have until mid-January to get the points, right?


  10. Michael WInnick

    I tried to get a Business Class ticket to LHR using AA miles. AA offered me a routing of DFW-JFK-LHR (even though AA flies direct to LHR from DFW). But, to add insult to injury they offered a BA flight from JFK-LHR. This made my cost 200k miles plus $2000+ because of the BA fuel surcharge. Is there anything I can do to get AA to just put me on an AA flight, either from JFK or DFW? It seems to me that unless AA gets a cut of that $2000 they should not care whose metal I fly on.

    I also tried to do an award to CDG and they did the same thing, routing me to JFK and then on BA to CDG.

  11. This maybe obvious, but you never mention it. You mention that people that cherry pick (me) and apply every 90 to 120 days. I can only assume that if you are applying for a new card you drop the old. Example; I applied for a Citi AAdvantage Executive card early 2014. I still have it. Should I drop it, and reapply to get a new and get 50,000 miles (I have a big expense coming up)?

  12. Hi – I really enjoy your blog. I have a number of overseas consultants who come to the US and typically don’t have their own credit cards (they are from a country currently in crisis). Therefore, I want to buy them prepaid cards that will only work with a PIN (in case they are stolen). I am not interested in reloading, just getting them cards for around $500 miles each that they can use while they are here instead of just fronting them cash. I would like to buy the cards with my credit card to earn the miles. Any ideas?

  13. Hi Darius ,

    I am going to Bali on vacation in Dec . I was able to book my flight using miles . I have abput 100k chase points . How do I best use it to stay at Hotels in Bali . Your suggestions would be very helpful to us . Thank you .

  14. Michael Winnick

    Well, I got my answer back from American. I was trying for a Business Class award using MileSaver. AA pointed out that if I just used Anytime miles I would be able to take whatever flight I wanted (sarcasm alert!). All that required was 440,000 or more depending on dates. It appears that if you use Milesaver not only must you take multiple flights to get to your destination but you are not allowed to fly the International leg on AA metal. So much for customer appreciation.

  15. Darius – great website, I have been reading for a year now. You may already know this but I noticed today on Chase Ultimate Rewards, US Airways is no longer a transfer partner.

  16. I’ve been seriously doing the “Travel Game” for a little over a year now and recently came across your website and really enjoy the content. I have an credit card through Chase that I used nearly exclusively before I began an organized approach to collecting miles and points. Because of this I ended up with a pretty big surplus. I use them to book flights as you get $400 toward any flight with 25,000 points. In planning for an upcoming trip I was planning on topping off and finishing out what was left of this surplus in November. However, about a week ago Chase released new rules for the program that makes it penny/point instead of the previous 25,000 for $400. I would still need to have a full billing cycle to get top off my points for redemption for flights for me and my wife and unfortunately these rule changes come into affect on November 15th just days before my billing cycle ends.
    My question is, with Chase changing their rules and implementing them so quickly, Is there anything I can do or say to Chase to allow me to use their old rules after their posted change date? I understand making the rule change, but it seems like they should give you more time than just a month before they were implemented. I also read about previous changes made in the same card rewards program that previous users were able to get there points transferred over to Ultimate Reward points, do you think that would be an option given there program change.

  17. Hi Daraius,

    Thanks for writing this awesome blog! Thanks to your advice, although I’m relatively new to the whole miles mining thing, I have already accumulated some good sign-up bonuses and purchase-earned miles.

    I now have around 45k on my Barclaycard Arrival+, 45k on my Amex Platinum, and 100k on my Chase Sapphire Preferred. And although I’d rather be a miles hoarder, I’ve decided I want to use part of these points/miles to purchase a round trip to Europe.

    My question is pretty basic: what’s the best way to use those miles towards buying a ticket? In other words, should I buy tickets through card portals or rather transfer miles to airlines?

    If the answer is transfer miles, are there any airlines that it’s more advantageous to transfer miles to? And do things change for each of those 3 cards?

    I guess I should know better at this point of my miles earning education, but it’s my first time buying tickets this way and I don’t want to make mistakes.

    Thank you so much for your help, and keep doing a great job!

  18. Andrea Petersen


    I read about your blog in a digital magazine. I live and work in the south of Japan and travel quite regularly (domestically and abroad). My next big trip will be returning home to South Africa in January and hopefully Nepal in April 2015. As well as that, I recently went to South Korea and last year to Indonesia. So I have a few questions, knowing almost nothing about air miles and such discount/ benefit schemes for travel:

    1. Where should I start on your blog as to understanding what is most worth my while? (which card? airline scheme/ benefit program should I consider and why?)

    2. Can one obtain air miles/ points etc from flights already made or only future flights/ travel?

    Thank you!

  19. Hey Darius, would be cool if you could do a write up on using Expedia points. There are two credit card offers, 15,000 and 25,000 points, thinking you could stagger the two, i.e. get the 15k first then later get the 25k. However, not sure what the value of 40k Expedia points would be. Their site seems way more focused on how you earn the points than how you actually use them. Would love to hear if you had any experience with this.

  20. Hi Darius-

    Noticed AA rebranded their Citi cards into a “Passport” style (on their website) – does that mean its a new product (with the potential to “resign up” or is it merely a change in credit card artwork?


  21. Hi Darius,

    I am currently a delta platinum medallion but I am still 21,000 miles short for platinum next year. I have a Delta reserve Amex and usually have about $18,000 spend each month. Is it worth it to get a business card with bonus mqm points now to hopefully make platinum for 2015 or should I wait for January? Thanks for all of your great info!

  22. Love the blog, but miss where you used to rank the credit cards in hot deals. I liked seeing which card you ranked the most valuable etc, since I usually only churn a couple cards at a time and want the best deal going.

  23. No idea where to start I am in Canada and I have a couple of options for Credit Cards which one would you recommend Amex, Visa, Mastercard(have one), I would like to start to do some travel and a discount would be great. Another question with the minimum spending where would I spend that much money eg: maybe paying rent on the card not sure how I would spend 5000 in 3 months to qualify any tips…

  24. I’m thinking about applying for the Citi Hilton Reserve car. Does anyone know how soon after you’re approved that the Gold status appears on your Hilton Honors account?

    I’ll probably apply on April 1st. I have a stay for April 22nd. Will I have gold status by then?

  25. HI Darius,
    LOVE your site! I was trying to use my United Miles to get Business/First Class under SAVER AWARD. Yes, I missed the boat and procrastinated back in early September when were thought about booking for August of 15. Problem, when I was searching, I inadvertently forgot to click on 2 travelers and saw all kinds of seats at the 57K/70K Business and even 80K with United First Class.
    However, I found your articles, and went back to United Awards. When I clicked on 2 travelers, pretty much everything disappeared and was only available for the 150-k or 170k miles, which we don’t want to do. Is this common when United shows seats in the SAVER to pull a bait and switch when you want to do 2 travelers? I can’t believe they only open 1 SEAT in SAVER category 11 months in advance and rest of year, you are shafted or have to go with higher mile redemption.
    Am I missing something or is that pretty much how this AWARD mileage game has to play out?
    We thought maybe waiting again for next year but my wife said what is the use if the United pulls the trick and shows all the SAVER awards available in Bus and First but it’s ONLY for 1 seat?

  26. I recall that one of the credit cards I have will rebate me for airline bag fees if I charge them to this card, but can’t remember which one! I have Mileage Plus Explorer, Chase Ink Business, Wells Fargo Propel World Amex. Do you happen to know which of these rebates up to an amount the baggage fees? I am traveling to Australia & New Zealand, & figure if I have an extra bag on the return from Auckland to Sydney on Quantas in coach, I will have to pay the bag fee. Thanks!!
    Suzie Provo.

  27. Michael Riddle

    Hi Darius,

    I was wondering if you had any plans to make a post highlighting all the current churnable cards. I’ve seen you mention a few cards(citi hilton visa signature) but they are all in older posts and I wasn’t sure if the info was still applicable.

  28. Hi, I posted a reply for an entry into $400 gift card contest. I fat fingered my email when I posted, so my email has a 24 when it should be 25. If you could delete that comment with the email address that has 24 as its incorrect. The one with 25 is correct. Thx

  29. Nikiya Spence

    I recently applied and was approved for the Delta Skymiles personal account with Amex under the assumption that I would qualify for their 30000 mile promo bonus as it had been about two years since I had had a personal credit card with them (closed down the original to save up time to qualify for future promos). I had a business Delta Skymiles open at the time of applying for this account that I had also earned promotion points on about a year ago. They are now telling me that I can’t get the points because I have had past promo earning accounts with them. Is there a way around this?


  30. Hi Darius,

    Any tips on travelling to Puerto Rico? I haven’t found much information on the same at your blog.

    I loved the blog about Key West and did most of the things you mentioned in November last year.

    Thanks for your help!


  31. Hi Darius,
    Thanks for all the tips which helped us earn many points towards free flights! We have linked to your site on our travel webpage; check it out!

  32. Darius,

    Your blog has helped me a lot. I have the Chase Ink Cash and Plus credits cards. On Thursday, I received an invitation from American Express to apply for the Business Gold Card.

    Now, this is why I am contacting you. The offer was “75,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months” I thought it was a joke so I re-read the mail and quickly jump online for a chat with an Amex agent. They confirmed it but still, that offer is too goo to be true. I came on your site for re-assurance and didn’t see anything. Do you know anything about this current promotion? Let me know. Thanks Darius.


  33. Hey Darius!
    I’m a big fan of your website and have learned a lot of valuable things from it. I recently got my first airline credit card, the US Airways Dividend Miles World Mastercard.
    Now for my question.
    I know that American Airlines is merging with US Airways in 2015 and I thought I should jump on the sign up bonus for an American Airlines card whilst it’s still available. Here are a few concerns I hope you can address for me.

    1- I applied for (and got approved for ) a credit card recently (US Airways), and I know that multiple approval checks lower your credit score. Anything to worried about?

    2- I don’t spend $3,000 dollars in 3 months (I am a student,) and would therefore have trouble reaching my spend limits, but I saw your post about Amazon Payments. Would you recommend this path for me?

    3- There is only about a month left until 2015, if I didn’t spend $3,000 in 2014 (You mention that I should only send $1,000 a month on Amazon Payments. $1,000 / $3,000 = 3 months.) would I still receive the bonus if I finished my minimum spend after they merged? Or would it be too late?

    4- You mention that the AA card has a 50,000 mile sign up bonus, but on their website they show a 30,000 miles sign up bonus. Opinion?

    If you could get back to me as soon as possible in order for me to utilize your information that would be fantastic!!

    Thank you so much Darius! Keep up the good work!

  34. Hello Darius,
    Thank you for your great work. I am trying to use my Skymiles (50K) and Miles and more (50K) to book a SDF or CVG or LEX to MIA flight but it looks like an impossible affordable mission. Could you help me with this? I was reading your articles about sky miles and Lufthansa but it seems like chart awards changed and it is not possible to book any decent flight.
    Thank you,

  35. Hi Darius I booked thru United Mileage plus a flight with my miles (ClassX) on Austrian airlines from Newark via Vienna to Tel Aviv.I could not get assigned seats on line.
    After calling Austrian airlines multiple times with superlong hold times, I never got thru(i see online many complaints about this)
    Anyway How can I get seats pre-assigned ?Any tips? I do not want to get stuck in middle seat and if I check in at airport this may be case
    Thank you

  36. @Ron Krinick – The SunTrust debit card is the best awards debit card I’m aware of for paying taxes: Go to –>

    @Mario – My post on AMEX Serve will help you:

    @Mark – I’m not very familiar with EntroPay except that you’ll pay 4.95% to load the card with a credit or debit card.

    @Meagan – You can list him as a 2nd guest and tell the hotel that you’ll be arriving after.

    @JM Kleber – I’m not sure it would be worth it for most folks go through Aegean Airlines for Gold status after these changes.

    @Pete Moss – Booking short flights on American Airlines with British Airways miles is a great way to go! See my post for details: Enjoy the concert!

    @Merrilee – Happy anniversary, Merrilee! You can’t transfer Capital One miles or Barclaycard Arrival miles into United Airlines. You can transfer miles from the Chase Sapphire Preferred to United miles and then book the flight through United. I’d suggest booking in coach or business class instead of First Class.

    @Sharon – Thanks for letting me know! In some stores, the cashiers are instructed not to accept gift cards. Some folks say it’s a debit card and use it that way. Or they go to a Walmart with a money machine because those seem to still accept Visa debit gift cards with a PIN.

    @Tina – That’s very unusual! You might want to contact Hyatt to request a refund. Or dispute it ASAP with your credit card company.

    @Garrick – The best way to get lots of miles is to get credit cards with big sign-up bonuses. Here is my list of favorite cards: You might be interested in my 40+ ways to meet minimum spending requirements, even if you usually only spend ~$1,000 per month on a credit card:

    @Abe @Lan – Check the Hot Deals tab – both the Premier biz and personal version have a 50K bonus.

    @ernie – Glad to hear it!

    @Nikhil Pandya – Thank goodness!

    @leila – Try to find a Walmart with a money machine. In my experience, they still accept debit gift cards with a PIN. Otherwise you might consider switching to AMEX Serve:

    @Anya Sanders – Please explain your problem in more detail.

    @Leslie J – That’s great! Thanks for sharing!

  37. Love the blog. I am meeting my wife after working in different countries for 3 months. Can you help me with your thoughts on the best way to get to Southeast Asia—either Singapore or Bali from NYC area. I am looking to leave around 23/24 Dec and return around 4th Jan. I have sizeable mileage balances (150K+ each) on UA, AA, and DL. However, I don’t want to blow it with spending 200K miles on a RT economy flight. Could you provide your suggestions? Thanks!!

  38. I am ready to do a Hilton points churn but am wondering if they ever do promotions that I should hold out for or just go for it now.

    Thanks! Simon

  39. @Mike-H – You could apply for the Chase Ink Plus (find it here: ). You could transfer those points to United Airlines. But because your trip is within the next few months, you might find this difficult to do. If you’re unable to do that, consider getting the Barclaycard Arrival Plus (the version with the annual fee that is waived for the 1st year) and you can get $400 off your flight on any airline at any time. That card is also here: For future trips to Egypt, this post could help you:

    @Kimberly Ann R. – I’ll email you!

    @Joe Parr – Yes, as far as I know. Although it seems some folks have difficultly when doing it with a cashier instead of the money machine. And not all cards work!

    @Ashwin Iyer – We don’t do sponsored posts!

    @Elliot Rosenberg – Thank you for your kind words (& for using our links!), Elliot! You might consider Award Wallet to help you stay organized: On your spreadsheet you could also include when the annual fee is due and set up a calendar reminder to alert you a few months before so you can decide if you’d like to keep the card. Thanks for your suggestion of sharing a Google Docs spreadsheet. Have a great time backpacking! This series might help you keep up with the miles & points hobby while you’re abroad:

    @john p – As far as I know you can’t extend the expiration date. Although it doesn’t hurt to call Hyatt to ask! However, they are valid at only category 1 to 4 Hyatt hotels, so it likely won’t work in the Maldives.

    @Wendy – Congratulations on your engagement, Wendy! See my favorite cards here:

    @Robert Boa – At that time (in March) that was the offer but now the annual fee is NOT waived.

    @Amber – You buy visa gift cards from Simon Malls Or through office supply stores such as Staples. Staples sells $200 Visa gift cards online. By the way, I enjoyed Kansas City but I’ve moved to Austin!

    @hayim hason – Yes, I wrote about that and what you can do now instead!

    @Chara – There are 4 different Chase Southwest cards. You can find them here: I’d wait until the cards you want have a 50,000 point offer. With Chase cards you have to wait 24 months before you can apply again for the exact same card.

    @Karen – And you can always find the latest offers here: The biz card has a 50K offer on the Hot Deals tab.

    @joe hammond – Thanks for your kind words! And for sharing your triumph! ;)

    @Christopher – Worth pondering on!

    @Marie – It depends how you’d like travel and which airline miles you have! This page might help you: You can go pretty much anywhere in the world you want to go!

    @already gone – I’ll have a post on this topic soon!

    @cbit – Is it better now?

    @ Lydia – Yes, if you feel like 15,000 United Airlines miles are worth the annual fee. To buy 15,000 United Airlines miles from United Airlines currently costs ~$564. The annual fee for that card is $95. That said, there are many ways to earn United Airlines miles: But as always, do what’s comfortable for you!

    @Dee – These posts will help you: and

    @Manny – You won’t lose the points if the airline or hotel miles are already in your account.

    @Gee – Thanks for the suggestion! You might consider purchasing $200 Visa gift cards from Staples.

    @RM – Thank you for your kind words! Unfortunately, you can not combine miles from different airline programs. US Airways miles will become American Airlines mile once their merger is complete, but that might not happen in time for you to book your summer trip.

    @John M – Some folks say you are allowed 2 Citi personal cards within 65 days. And that you should wait 8 days before applying for a 2nd Citi card. And 18 to 24 months to get the bonus again on the Citi AA cards.

    @Bert – The Companion Pass is valid for the year in which you earn it AND up to the end of the next year. Read this post for details:

    @bryce – It depends on the credit card issuer. For instance, Chase allows you to sign-up for the same card 24 months after you’ve closed it. But American Express only gives you 1 sign-up bonus per card per lifetime.

    @Juli – You can find the current Southwest credit card offers here:

    @Connie – The Southwest credit cards do NOT come with a Companion Pass. But the cards are the best way to earn the 110,000 Companion Pass points to get free travel! Please read my step-by-step guide:

    @James – Thanks James. I have that card listed here: I always have the latest offers on the Hot Deals page but thanks for letting me know just in case!

    @Bill – Usually you can only use the travel certificates for travel on United. For your 2nd question, once your miles are in an airline’s frequent flyer account, they should be safe. You can read more here:

    @Sam Foley – Chase allows you to sign-up for the same card 24 months after you closed it previously. For the Citi Exec cards, it could be possible every 2 or 3 months, but no more than 1 citi app every 8 days and no more than 2 every 65 days.

    @Conrad – It would depend on the fees to use the credit card. You might try to use AMEX Serve: Or you might consider ChargeSmart to help you meet minimum spending requirements: Just be sure to make all your payments on-time and not to pay interest on the loan or that wdould negate the miles & points you earn!

    @Mark – Some folks have been able to get the bonus more than once. But Barclays will sometimes only allow you 1 or 2 cards per year.

    @Zack – I’ll have a full post about this soon! Citi ThankYou Preferred has 0% APR on purchases for 12 months and currently has a sign-up bonus of 20,000 ThankYou points (worth $200 in gift cards). American Express EveryDay and American Express EveryDay Preferred have 0% APR on purchases for the 1st 15 months. Both cards have a sign-up bonus. If you like Chase Ultimate Rewards points, the Freedom card has 0% APR on purchases for the 1st 15 months and it has a sign-up bonus. You can find all these cards here: But you pay a transfer fee on these cards. So I’d get the Chase Slate card.

    @Shelley Dennis – Thanks for your kinds words, Shelley! Unfortunately you can’t combine other banks points or airline miles with Capital One points. However, if you collect points from certain Chase cards, AMEX cards, and Citi cards, those can be transferred to partner airlines and hotels. This post is a good place to begin learning about my favorite bank points (Chase):

    @Zack – The policies vary. For instance, Chase allows you to get the sign-up bonus again 24 months after you’ve closed the card. American Express only allows you 1 sign-up bonus per card per lifetime. (Business and personal cards are considered different cards though!)

    @Alex – Always do what’s best for you! So it depends on your travel goals. If you’d find it difficult to otherwise get American Airlines miles, it could make sense to convert your Hilton points to American Airlines miles. However 1M Hilton points can get you ~10 days at their top hotels, so really depends on your goals.

    @Bill – Unfortunately buying Southwest points doesn’t count toward the Companion Pass. But there are other ways to get the ~4,800 points for your Companion Pass! This post will help you:

    @Chris Grawburg – I’ll consider writing a post about it! For cards with an annual fee, at ~10 months I make my decision whether to pay the fee to keep it.

    @Preeti – This series will help you And in this post I talk about the Alaska Airlines Companion Ticket: Or you can contact an Award Booking service: I’d use the companion pass, but do what makes sense for you!

    @Bob – Yes, the points you transfer from Marriott count toward the Southwest Companion Pass. You can read more here:

    @William – According to the terms, “Each Free Night Award is valid for use within one year from issuance.” And you’re issued your free nights after you meet the minimum spending requirements. You can find that card here:

    @Thomas R – Sounds like you got a good deal! Thanks for letting me know!

    @Will – To transfer Citi ThankYou points you must have 1 of these 3 cards: Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi Prestige or Citi Chairman. You can read the details of Citi’s rules here: If you get one of these cards, you can then transfer points to another airlines!

    @Dave – There are currently 2 Southwest 50,000 point offers available. You can find them both here: And I’ll have a post about it soon! Here is how to time the Companion Pass: You can’t get one now and activate it later. The clock starts from when you are approved, not when you activate the card!

  40. Have you covered foreign exchange fees before by card? While a lot of cards are offering no FX conversion fees, I begin to wonder if they’ll indirectly charge it by giving a below-market rate on the actual conversion. So instead of being up front and saying there is a 2% fee, they might just convert it at a rate 2% lower than normal. Is that an actual concern or am I misunderstanding how this works?

  41. Daraius,

    Big fan of your website; I check it out daily.

    I signed up for the US Airways non-business cc 2 moths ago.

    Can I have more than one US Airways non-business cc? If how, how long should I wait until I apply for a new one?

    That 40k miles promo is a great one and it would be great to get another 40k miles before the US Airways/American merger.

    Thank you

  42. @Karen – Here is the exact post in that discussion:

    @Rodney – Yes, you can open a Chase Ink Plus card for your business using your social security number. Some folks can get Chase Ink Plus cards for each of their businesses. And the Chase card you opened in May was a personal card so that shouldn’t be a problem. Of course it’s up to the bank whether or not they approve you! You can find the 70,000 point offer here:

    @VivIan – I understand your frustration! Chase is usually very good with customers and I haven’t heard of anyone else having the same problem you’re having, so this is very strange! You might want to call Chase to cancel the card and tell them your reason is because you never got your $50 credit. You should mention that you’ve been their customer for 30 years!

    @Paul – Always use your points in the way YOU like! The deal you’ve mentioned will convert your Marriott points to airline miles. Look at the chart again and you’ll see you’re looking at United Airlines miles. The conversion rate to US Airways miles is different. In any case, it depends how you value those miles and points. Consider your travel goals and look at what you can get with each type of points. Here are the airline award charts: And here are the hotel award charts: For example 25,000 United Airlines miles can get you a round-trip flight anywhere within the continental US. While 50,000 Marriott points can get you 1 night at their top-tier Category 9 hotels or 2 nights at Category 5 hotel. For your 2nd question, no one knows for certain when the 2 programs will merge but if I had to guess, it would be in the later part of 2015.

    @Emily – That’s great! Thank you for sharing your experiences. I love hearing success stories! Now I’m plotting when I will visit all 50 states!

    @Jason – Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! This series of posts will help you: As for cash back cards with 0% APR, you might consider the AMEX SimplyCash Business card with 0% APR on purchases for 9 months and the Citi DoubleCash card with 0% APR on purchases for 15 months. Both those cards (along with links to my reviews) are here:

    @Paul – Congratulations on getting closer to renewing your Southwest Companion Pass. That’s great news!

    @Damon – Thanks for letting me know! That looks to be a targeted offer that not everyone will get!

    @Dan – Thanks, Dan! The AMEX card you’re describing is the Blue Cash card. I’m not seeing a Green Card with the benefits you’ve described. Maybe you have an older card that’s no longer available. In any case, it’s great that you have such a profitable cash back plan!

    @patrick – You will get 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel purchases such as rental vehicles with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card. My rental car series will help you: Have a great trip to Florida!

    @Dustin – And there is a new card called REDcard that I’ll be posting about soon. Here are 40+ ways to help you meet minimum spending requirements:

    @Justin – Some folks do get approved for both the Ink Plus and Ink Bold because they are different cards, even if it’s for the same business using the same social security number. Or you might have a 2nd business using your social security number. That said, Chase makes the final decision whether or not to approve you for the card!

    @Dewayne – With Chase cards, you typically have to wait 24 months to get the sign-up bonus again. Currently there are 2 Southwest cards with 50,000 point bonuses. You can find them here: And here is my guide to getting the Companion Pass if you’d like a refresher!

    @Steve Olvido – This post should help you understand the rules to getting stopovers and open jaw tickets: Or you might consider an Award Booking service

    @W NN – “Foreign Currency” refers to purchasing money(i.e. bills etc from money changers) from other countries. Spending money on hotel rooms abroad should count toward meeting the minimum spending requirement! This series will help you get the most points and travel awards from your $40,000: You might also consider using your large purchase to help you meet the minimum spending requirements on some of the best travel cards. I’ve listed my favorites here: Thank you for sharing how you’ll be using your points to get to Africa to help folks requiring medical attention! You can transfer points from the Ink card to United and use them for flights to Africa.

    @glo – You can use Hyatt points to book all-inclusive hotels such as these: The free nights you get with certain Hilton credit cards can NOT be used at all-inclusive hotels but you CAN use Hilton points. Here are ways to get lots of Hilton points:

    @Jennifer – I can’t speak specifically to your credit worthiness but in general, you can check your credit score. Try or or for free credit reports. You can also get an idea of your score (but not full report) for free when you have a credit card with Barclaycard, Capital One, Discover, and US Bank. If you’re satisfied with your credit score, you can find the Chase Freedom card here: In the long run if you pay your bills in full each month, your credit score should go up because you’ll have a lower credit utilization ratio because you’ve been extended a greater overall credit limit. A few cards shouldn’t matter, but don’t go overboard!

    @Ken J – I’d ask your attorney to be sure!

    @Jeff F – During peak season, you’ll pay 60,000 miles for round-trip flights on United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta. You might consider flying United Airlines to Rome from New York because it’s relatively easy to get United Airlines miles by transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points:

    Another option is to use British Airlines miles (you can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points into that program) to fly from New York to Berlin for 40,000 miles round-trip. But you’d have to find another flight to get to Rome from Berlin.

    Lastly, a simple way to save money on a flight is to get the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. The sign-up bonus will get you $400 off the price of your flight and you won’t have to worry about black-out dates or finding award flights during peak season. You can find that card here: The Chase Sapphire Preferred card sign-up bonus will get you $500 off your flight when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You can also find that card here:

    @Marc Lieberman – That’s odd because other folks were seeing the application page on October 19, 2014. You might try to apply in a Chase branch or call a Chase branch to apply over the phone.

    @Gina Razete – These posts will help you: and

    @Tom h – You can pay your mortgage with Bluebird or Serve and get points. See these posts for more details: and

    @John – Some folks say they have been able to get temporary REDcards for other people. You should be able to load REDcard in states where it isn’t yet officially available.

    @shawn – Lowering your limits would increase your utilization and could lower your credit score (but could be fine if you have lots of cards). Be sure to pay your bills on-time. You might want to take a break from applying for credit cards for a while so the banks can see that you are responsible with credit. See this post for more information:

    @Kristin P – Yes, you can get both the personal and business cards at the same time. You can find both cards here: Here’s my post about how to time your Companion Pass:

    @Michael WInnick – My series on American Airlines might help you: Or you might consider a Booking Award service:

    @Edward H – Some folks have been able to get that card multiple times without closing their previous cards (if they apply for the AA card after 18 to 24 months from being last approved). But I can’t promise you’d get the same results!

    @Basil – There are prepaid cards that have a PIN feature sold in drug stores (CVS), office supply stores (Staples etc), grocery stores and gas stations. It varies by location as to whether or not you’d be able to purchase them with a credit card. You might consider buying those cards from Staples and getting 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you use the Chase Ink Plus, Ink Bold, or Ink Cash cards. Or you can get 5% back at office supply stores with the AMEX SimplyCash card. You can find those credit cards (along with links to my reviews) here:

    @Aparnaa – You might consider using the IHG Cash & Points trick: Or you can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to transfer to Hyatt to stay in Bali:

    @Daniel – US Airways wasn’t a transfer partner! Here are my posts about Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer partners: and

    @John O – It doesn’t hurt to ask them (but I wouldn’t expect much)! Usually it helps if you can show you’re a good customer. So mention if you have a long history with them of paying your bills on-time, any bank accounts with them, etc.

    @Alex – You have enough Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a round-trip ticket to Europe on United Airlines (60K in coach or 100K in business). This series will help you book: You might also find this post helpful: Or you could use your Barclay Arrival miles to book a flight on any airline and at any time, then use your 45,000 Arrival Plus miles for a $450 statement credit. And you’ll get 10% of those miles (4,500) credited back to your account. You can also contact an Award Booking service for more help:

  43. I emailed you on Oct 27 with question regarding Ausrtrian airlines.Pehaps you missed it or was there some reason you did not respond? Thank you
    Hi Darius I booked thru United Mileage plus a flight with my miles (ClassX) on Austrian airlines from Newark via Vienna to Tel Aviv.I could not get assigned seats on line.
    After calling Austrian airlines multiple times with superlong hold times, I never got thru(i see online many complaints about this)
    Anyway How can I get seats pre-assigned ?Any tips? I do not want to get stuck in middle seat and if I check in at airport this may be case
    Thank you


    Hi Darius.

    First, thank you for your efforts! I’ve used your referral links many times to sign up for cards.

    I just signed up for a SW Premier personal card using your link. Wanted to get the business Premier one also (I already signed up for Plus cards a couple of years ago). Your link (I pasted at the top of this comment) leads to an old link that does not mention anything about the 50,000 bonus. Are you sure this offer is good for the bonus?

    Thanks again for your efforts!!

  45. Is it possible to buy $500.00 money orders with a credit card? Where?

  46. Hi Darius and Emily,
    I am gearing up for my first App O Rama (mini 4 cards) and wanted to ask what sort of system you use for tracking the minimum spends that will be required? I assume it’s some sort of spreadsheet or maybe even an App and I have been looking all over with no luck, if you wouldn’t mind sharing that secret, it would be much appreciated. My goal is to get to Japan or Prague next fall, hopefully in first class. Most of the miles I currently have are with AA. Thanks for having such a great blog.

  47. @Andrea Petersen – Welcome to our hobby, Andrea! A great place to start is with our Beginner’s Guide: For your 2nd question, it depends. Contact the airline or submit a “missing miles” request on their website to credit miles to your frequent flyer account for past flights. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

    @Joe – I’ll consider writing a post on it. But I think the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is a better deal because you get 2.2% back on every travel purchase. You’re not limited to making purchases through Expedia. And the Chase Sapphire Preferred is an even better card. You can find those cards here:

    @dan – Usually it’s only considered a new card product if there is a change such as the card going from MasterCard to Visa. However, some folks have been able to get the Citi American Airlines cards again 18 months after being last approved for the card.

    @Heather – The current offer for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card gives you 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your 1st 3 months. Or consider the Reserve card for a larger boost. I’m not certain if that offer will improve in January. You can find links to the Delta cards along with links to my reviews that might help you decide here:

    @Hi Daraius – I still rank the cards in order here: I now call them “My Favorite Deals.”

    @Simon Singh – These posts will give you ideas for meeting the minimum spending requirements: and If you’re a US citizen living in Canada, my series will help you get approved for US credit cards: But if you’re a Canadian citizen, this website will be more useful to you:

    @tom – You get Gold status when you’re approved of the Hilton Reserve card. I’d give it one statement cycle to be sure! You can find that card along with a link to my review here:

    @myron z – With award seats, you sometimes have to keep checking back to see when another seat becomes available. Or you can use a paid tool such as to automatically send you an alert when the seats you want become available (UA is not included). Another option is to use an award booking service: Also, you might find my series on United Airlines award flights helpful: It helps to be flexible with your travel dates. Also, it’s more difficult to find award seats during peak travel times to certain destinations.

    @Suzie Provo – The United MileagePlus Explorer card gives you the free checked bag. You can read more here: However it is only for United flights, so it won’t work on the Qantas flight. Enjoy your trip to Australia & New Zealand!

    @Michael Riddle – Thanks for the post suggestion! In general, Chase allows you to get a bonus 24 months after you’ve closed the card. Some folks report that Citi allows the same after 18 months from when you were last approved for the AA card. And American Express only allows you 1 sign-up bonus per card (for personal cards).

    @marty – I took care of it!

    @Nikiya Spence – Unfortunately this has been American Express policy since earlier in the year:

    @Nikhil J – I don’t have a trip report for Puerto Rico. If you live on the east coast, you might get a good deal flying with British Airways points on American Airlines. That’s because British Airways charges British Airways Avios points based on the distance you fly. For instance, a round-trip coach direct flight to Puerto Rico from New York City would be 20,00 British Airways Avios points. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Avios points. You can read more here:

    @adventuretravellovers – Thanks for linking!

    @Patti – You received a targeted offer that other folks don’t qualify for! Yes, it’s a great offer! If you’d like to be safe, take screenshots or if it’s physical mail, keep the offer invitation as proof. Other folks have received the same offer. This post might help you when filling out the application:

    @M Baka – 1 – In the short term your score will go down. In the long term it will go up if you pay all your bills on-time: 2 – Amazon Payments is no longer available for that use. These 2 posts will help you: and 3 – Unless you signed-up for a different offer, the US Airways card only requires you to make any purchase of any amount and to pay the $89 annual fee to get the bonus: Most other cards give you 90 days to make the minimum payment. Don’t worry about when they merge! You’ll get your bonus points! 4 – The American Airlines card with the 50,000 mile bonus is listed here:

    @daniel – Sometimes you have to keep checking back because available award seats change all the time. You can use a paid tool such as to help you. Or you might consider using an award booking service:

    @jos – Austrian might be able to help you book your seats. If not, you might consider hiring an inexpensive virtual assistant to call for you (or Skype into a call center in a another country). You can use a service such as Or there might be someone on who will do it.

    @SE_Asia – You may or may not be able to find award flights at this time for the peak travel dates you want around Christmas and New Year’s. You could try to fly on United Airlines to Singapore from the New York area. A round-trip Saver Award in Business Class is 140,000 United Airlines miles. My series on United Airlines might help you: If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points you might consider booking Business Class tickets on Singapore Airlines (although you’ll pay fees): Or you can contact an Award Booking service:

    @Simon – You can find Hilton cards along with links to my reviews here: This post might also help you:

    @AG – Yes, here is the post: In my experience, Chase has fair conversion rates. And cards from other banks may as well. But it’s always good to check just in case!

    @Marcus – Some folks say to wait ~6 months between applications for this card. However, Barclays tends to only approve folks for 1 to 2 cards per year.

  48. Loving your blog!! I would like to apply for the Southwest Airlines card with Chase (personal and business) so that I can work toward earning the 110,000 points required for the companion pass. As of now, I have three Chase credit card accounts (I just cancelled one a few days ago). I will probably cancel another one in a few days, however I need to figure out how to time everything. I know that I should apply for one at a time, however how long should I wait to apply for the other? How much time should I let pass after closing down an account? By the way, this will be the first time applying for the SW card. Oh, one more thing, how do you recommend getting the remaining 10,000 points?


  49. paula gulbicki

    Hola, What is the reputation of Sunshine Airlines? I’m looking into flights from Boston to Palm Springs and one airline site keeps sending me posts with a good rate on Sunshine. I’ve never heard of them.

  50. I have about 98k British Avios…..and i am trying to book some international travel for my family of 6…..yes, couple, a six year old and 1 year old triplets.

    Mostly i am using up my AAdvantage miles but i am short of about 50k miles so looking to use Avios….but the tax/fees is killing me. Even Iberia site seems to be not much better.

    Is there any way to convert Avios to Advantage miles….even if i loose 50%, i will still get what i need.



  51. I have UR points, but only from the Chase Freedom, so I can’t transfer points to other programs. My ultimate goal is to get either Southwest or AAdvantage points for free flights without paying the annual fees for their cards. Is it worth getting Hyatt or Marriott giftcards from the UR mall and then transferring thous points in to Southwest or is that a waste of time/effort? Do you have a better idea?

    Travel goal is Vegas next summer.

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