Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Chase, and Citi are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

I love answering questions from my readers and want you to travel for less!

Please leave a comment below with any requests, travel anecdotes, or topics which you’d like me to cover on the blog.

Or tweet me @MilMileSecrets for a quicker response!

I’d be delighted to make your travel dreams a reality!

Daraius Dubash and Emily Jablon have earned and redeemed millions of airline miles and hotel points – most of which they acquired for free and without flying in airplanes or staying in hotels.

Daraius Dubash - Million Miles Secrets

At Restaurant Sant Pau Near Barcelona, Spain.  Daraius & Emily Used Miles to Travel for Free on Swiss Air to Europe

Million Mile Secrets shows time-starved folks how, they too, can acquire airline miles and hotel points, and travel very comfortably to see the world, for a fraction of what they would otherwise pay for such travels.

They believe everyone can use airline and hotel loyalty points to travel for free – whether it is a trip in First Class to Thailand or a family visit to grandma in Florida.

By reading Million Mile Secrets you will learn their secrets to fly for much less,  stay in wonderful hotels for much less, and rent cars for much less than retail price.

They have visited over 30 countries in 6 out of 7 continents, and have flown on International First Class (where tickets costs about $20,000 per ticket) to Europe, Asia, and the US, many times for virtually no money.  They use their expertise and specialized tools to help their blog readers and their families travel and experience the world like they never thought possible.

Emily in Lake Como, Italy

Emily Used her Miles to Visit Lake Como, Italy


As a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Daraius roamed the world, as an auditor for a Fortune 500 company, to ensure that rules, regulations, and policies were enforced.  He also prepared many tax returns as a volunteer with the AARP.

Daraius now uses his ability to interpret complicated airline rules and marketing promotions – honed from mastering complex accounting rules – to make the most of airline, hotel, and rental car promotions.

But Daraius believes using your miles and points to travel shouldn’t require a degree in Accounting!  That’s why they started Million Mile Secrets.  They present the information in a helpful way that anyone can understand.

Emily was a Project Manager for General Dynamics (a Fortune 100 Company) and completed her MBA in 2014. She has worked in the Operations divisions of 2 publicly traded companies.

Busy people don’t have time to study the constantly changing deals, strategies, and requirements.  That’s why Million Mile Secrets only has the best offers and most relevant news, including their easy-to-follow analysis that has earned the trust of over 16,000 loyal readers.

Daraius has worked in the Finance, Auditing & Global Marketing divisions of Fortune 500 companies.  He has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a Master’s in Engineering Management from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

News outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, and Business Insider call upon Daraius and Emily for their expertise at Big Travel with Small Money.

You Dont Have To Pay To Upgrade To An Overwater Bungalow In Bora Bora

Miles and Points Can Get you an Overwater Villa at the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora

In his spare time, Daraius loves to plan his future travels and plot how to increase their stash of miles and points (currently over 3 million).  He loves listening to classical music, reading non-fiction (history and biography), eating good ethnic food, and taking long walks.

Emily loves to Latin dance, listen to music, spend time with friends, and help plan future trips.

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

6,590 responses to “Contact

  1. Hi Darius, Can I use my two nigh Hilton Certificate at Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria

  2. Hi, Darius,

    After reading Flyertalk forum how people get airline credit, $100, I purchased gift cards after AF was posted in my account. After the credit was posted in my account, I called and closed the account. The customer support promised to close account and waive or credit AF so there won’t be a balance carried over. However, After two months, no credit is posted and I keep being charged for late fee and interest charges.

    I was out of the U.S. for the past 7 months and just came back. I called today trying to figure out what happened. Then the customer service said I had transaction after AF was posted, which was the one for airline credit, $100, so he said I need to pay for AF since I used the card regardless if it is closed now or not.

    If I refuse to pay for it, does that mean I will be reported to the credit agency which will impact my credit score? Do you have any good suggestion how I can handle this by closing the account without paying AF/late fee/interest charge?

    Thanks for any feedback.

  3. I just received an offer from American Airlines for a faster way to reach award status. Gold only needs 6k miles, 12k for Platinum and 30k for Executive Platinum. It’s says Elite miles or points count towards the goal. Is it worth trying and if so, what’s the best way to achieve those miles/points?


  4. Hi Darius, I’ve been reading your blog and others on the internet, but with all the recent changes, I’m a bit confused. I’m trying to figure out how to make car and rent payments using my credit card. I never tried the Bluebird method, and it seems to be shut down now. Is there still a way to make those types of payments using CCs? Thank you! Natasha

  5. Sandeep Raje

    I tried using the link provided by Slickdeals:…ards-gold/ in an incognito window.
    However, that link is no more valid.

    Then in the incognito window I googled for “American Express Premier Rewards Gold”. From the search results, I clicked on the link that was from Amex. In first attempt itself, I saw the 50K offer. Applied for it and got approved. This was on 8/30 around 3:00 PM.

    I don’t know exactly what I will do with the 50K points — this is my first time ever collecting Amex reward points. One option is transferring to Hawaiian miles that will get take my Hawaiian miles to over 100K . Is 50K Hawaiian miles a better value than $500 in travel expenses? Can Hawaiian miles be useful in booking an India ticket? I live in Chicago by the way.

  6. Agrim Jindal

    Hi Daraius,
    I guess I have developed a love for your work and articles- spending an hour everyday religiously reading your website. Thanks for all the info!

    I had 2 questions; 1st-I recently read on your website that one can fly business class on United to India for 60,000 miles. Is that a typo?

    2nd- I am planning a trip to New Delhi, India. I have 50K amex reward points and 60K United miles. Whats the best way to use them on my trip to India?

  7. Hi Daraius,
    Does Starwood’s 5th night free benefit apply when booking award stays at Caesar’s Entertainment Group hotels like Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas?

  8. Hi Daraius,
    We’re spending a month in Costa Rica over the holidays and are looking at a hefty rental car bill. We’re going with a local company so we won’t be able to use UR or Amex points to cover it. I was thinking about applying for a couple travel reimbursement credit cards with decent bonuses like the Barclays Arrival (already have). Do you have any suggestions?

  9. Hi Daraius,

    I am traveling oversea very soon and during my research, I found out that many of the countries I am visiting do not take credit card, but take bank debit card. Since I can’t get points for my bank debit card, I would love to use Gift card with pin. However, most gift cards with pin either is not available for purchase internationally, or has 3% foreign transaction fee. Is there a gift card with pin that has no foreign transaction fee and is available to be used internationally?

    Thank you in advance! I am looking forward to your expert advice!

  10. Hi Daraius,

    I would love to be considered for your interview series. I write about frugality and travel at

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

  11. In your blog you indicate 136,000 points. I get the 30K plus 30K concept (personal and spouse) along with the 6K for the minimum spend in 3 months (Total 66K in points) but where does the 68K extra points come from? You do not explain how someone gets those miles without spending $68K in credit card charges.

    Please advise. Thanks

  12. Wow, I just wanted to thank you for providing so much invaluable information on your website. I stumbled onto your website about 6 months ago and have been hooked ever since. So, far between myself and my wife we have a total of 8 credit cards and have already accumulated over 400,000 points/miles and are just getting started. We will probably not travel any more because of this but will definitely travel for much less than what we do now.

  13. Darius,

    Truly love your website and the way that it’s laid out is very easy to navigate. Finding out about your website has changed my life and the way my wife and I travel. You’ve definitely opened my eyes to a cool new hobby and will save us thousands of dollars a year in the process.

  14. Hi Darius,
    Your site has helped me a lot understanding and keeping up with which cards to open. However, something I haven’t found much of – once you achieve the minimum spending and collect the bonus, do you continue to manufacture spending on the cards to continue to collect points? Or do you just put the card to the side and close it 6 to 9 months later?
    If you continue to manufacture spending on them, do you have an updated site on the latest ways to do so? seems like most of the convenient options have shut down?
    Thank you in advance for your help!
    Thanks to your trip and blog, I have been able to book Bora Bora using points. :)

  15. Hi Darius,
    We planning a trip to Europe departing 8/3/16 to LHR (London) and returning 8/19 from Rome (FCR) 8/19/2016. I planned ahead to book as soon as flights available. Now I find I can book departing flights to LHR but too soon to book returning flights. Don’t want to miss out on saver seats and have 5 passengers and have 350k+ miles on United. What do you suggest? Is there someone we can hire to assist us with the booking and travel plans in your firm or you can recommend. We know pretty much where we want to go.
    Thank you!

  16. Darius,

    How do I use my mileag plus miles to fly to India on Business for only 60,000 in January? Shalin

  17. @Judy – If you’ll only need ~145 miles to get Gold status, I say go for it!

    You can earn American Airlines elite qualifying miles for spending a LOT of money on certain cards. But you may be better off checking Google Flights for a short cheap flight:

    @Steve – Folks are typically able to earn the bonus again on Citi cards if it has been ~18 to ~24 months since they were last approved.

    See my post this for more details:

    @MSB – Glad you’re enjoying the Southwest Companion Pass! It’s a fantastic deal!

    You can cancel your cards and apply for the new cards when you’re ready. Only the Chase Southwest Premier (Business) card has a 50,000 point sign-up right now.

    You can find the link to that card here:

    There are currently 3 versions of the Chase Southwest card and they are all considered different products. So you should be able to sign-up for 2 you haven’t had before.

    But keep in mind there’s no guarantee you’ll be approved for the new cards. Chase has recently become more strict about its card approvals, so you should be prepared to answer questions about why you cancelled and apply for 2 new cards.

    For example, did you like the other card because it had a lower annual fee or because it had a better annual bonus?

    Good luck!

    @Ellen Surburg – That sounds like a really fun family trip!

    To win the giveaways you have to comment at the bottom of the giveaway post. We give away a new prize each Saturday.

    @christiano ronaldo – If you have enough points, you could transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines or British Airways for the flight to Paris:

    Then use the Barclay Arrival miles towards $100+ purchases on rental cars, hotels, train tickets, etc.

    But be sure you can find a flight that works for you BEFORE you transfer. Because there’s no way to get the points back into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account.

    Check out my award booking guides for tips on how to book your award flights:

    And be sure to read my Beginner’s Guide:

    @RJ – Thanks for letting me know! The post has been updated.

    @Frank – Check out my post on this:

    @Joe – You’ve come the right place! Miles and points can save you lots of money on travel!

    I suggest starting with my Beginner’s Guide for an overview and step-by-step guide to getting started:

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

    @Janice – The Hot Deals page has all my latest card recommendations. You might be interested in a card that earns bank points:

    Or a card that earns hotel points:

    Be sure to read my Beginner’s Guide for tips on getting started with miles and points:

    @Jim – You can buy Visa or MasterCard gift cards from office supply stores when they offer a rebate or instant savings to cover the ~$7 activation fee:

    And when you pay with certain cards, you can earn 5% cash back at office supply stores. Like this, now expired, deal:

    But off the top of my head, I can’t think of something you can do every day.

    @Jonathan – Thanks for reading! Happy we’ve helped you get Big Travel with Small Money!

    Maldives and Tahiti are wonderful honeymoon destinations and you can get there in First Class with your American Airlines miles.

    Etihad and Cathay Pacific both have an excellent First Class and are American Airlines partners. You’re getting started well in advance so you shouldn’t have trouble finding seats.

    See my American Airlines award booking guide for tips on how to use your miles:

    And if you feel like you could use more help, you may look into an award booking service:\

    Congratulations on your engagement! And I hope you find the perfect locations to getaway with your loved one!

    @Brian – Thanks for letting me know about this! I will look into it!

    @Couscous – Unfortunately, you have to be 18 years old to get approved for most major credit cards in the US.

    @Carla – The Chase Ink Plus earns 2X points at gas stations (combined with hotels) up to $50,000 per year. And the Chase Ink Cash earns 2X points (2% cash back) at gas stations (combined with restaurants) up to $25,000 per year.

    But they also earn 5X points at office supply stores (and cable, phone, & internet). This is on up to $50,000 per year on the Chase Ink Plus and up to $25,000 per year on Chase Ink Cash .

    Some office supply stores sell gas station gift cards.

    You can find the link to these cards and also check out the list of other Business cards I recommend on the Hot Deals page:

    @Shiv Patel – Thanks for sharing!

    @Kris – I wouldn’t upgrade because you can earn more points by completing a new application for the AMEX Delta Platinum card and earning the sign-up bonus.

    You can find the link the to the AMEX Delta Platinum card here:

    @Jessica Carr – You are limited to 1 sign-up bonus per person, per lifetime, for each AMEX personal card type.

    So as long as you haven’t had the AMEX Starwood personal card before, you qualify!

    You can find the link to this card here:

    @Ted – Hyatt stays paid with points are available as long as paid rooms are available.

    But with cash and points, how many rooms are available is up to each hotel. That said, I’ve had situations where there were no cash and points rooms available and then a few days later I was able to book.

    So keep checking!

    @josh mackles – Read this post:

    @Victor – Southwest has changed their award pricing and the cost of their award flights is now more unpredictable. So it’s hard to say how much value you could get out of those points.

    @Lea G – Thanks for chiming in!

    @Prabhat – You could use them in combination with Hyatt points for cash and points stays.

    Cash and points stays also count towards elite status.

    @tariq mehr – Check out my United Airlines award booking guide:

    And if you still want some help, you might try an award booking service:

  18. @John – I don’t have any current posts this topic, but thanks for the idea!

    In the meantime, check out this post by The Points Guy:

    @Kim – Unfortunately, no. You can’t link American Airlines and British Airways accounts together.

    However, you can use airline miles to book flights for friends and family. So if your husband wanted to take a Business Class trip to Europe, he could use his account to book a 1-way flight. And you could use your miles to book another 1-way flight for him:

    @Hugh – I don’t have experience with that card. So I can’t say whether or not it’s worthwhile. But thanks for the post idea! Check out the Hot Deals page for an updated list of all my favorite cards:

    @Mco – It depends on many factors. I can’t say for sure what the bank would decide.

    @Nata – Sometimes there are several different offers for the same card. That’s why we work to make sure we always tell you about the best deals!

    The link on the Hot Deals page for the Citi American Airlines Business card is up to date:

  19. @toran – Yes, you can! Check out this trip report with details on our stay there:

    And for future reference here’s a list of hotels that are excluded from the Hilton weekend night certificates:

    @Lydia – Sorry to hear this happened! The best thing to do is go ahead and pay the bill and continue trying to sort it out with the bank, because otherwise it will show up on your credit report.

    Try calling and asking to speak with a supervisor. Good luck!

    @Chris – It’s a great offer, if you already have a lot of paid American Airlines flights planned or can find some cheap flights.

    While I haven’t seen your specific offer, it’s likely the only way to earn status with this promotion is by flying American Airlines.

    Check out the benefits of American Airlines elite status to decide if it’s worth it:

    @Natasha – You should be able to use prepaid AMEX cards like Bluebird, Serve, and the Target Prepaid REDcard to pay your bills:

    @Sandeep Raje – Great! Unfortunately, Hawaiian Airlines miles are NOT a good option if you’re looking to take an award flight to India.

    Air Canada and SAS are 2 AMEX Membership Rewards airline partners that can get you to India.

    I hope to have a post on this topic at some point.

    Also, read my posts on all the ways to get to India:

    @Agrim Jindal – Thanks for reading! You can currently fly from the US to India in Business class for 70,000 United Airlines miles each way.

    See my post on all the ways to get to India with United Airlines miles:

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

    @Wayne – I don’t have experience booking these awards, but it doesn’t look like you’ll get the 5th night free.

    @Kim – See the Hot Deals page for all my latest card recommendations:

    Also check out my rental car series for tips on how to save:

    Enjoy your time in Costa Rica!

    @Sherri – I like to use my Charles Schwab debit card overseas, because there are no ATM fees. So I can get cash from any ATM when I need it:

    I wouldn’t recommend carrying around gift cards. Because if they are lost or stolen, it could be tough to get your money back. Plus, most of them do not work overseas.

    @Jen Ward – Great! Emily will be in touch!

    @Rob – You get that total by each signing-up for the AMEX Starwood personal AND small business cards and completing the minimum spending.

    @Scott Swinson – You’re welcome! If you haven’t already, be sure to read my Beginner’s Guide:

    And let me know if you have any questions!

  20. I have a flight booked with points on United in December. The annual fee for my United card has arrived. Should I keep my United card until after the trip? Or can I cancel it now in order to not have to pay the annual fee?

  21. Hi, I am new to earning miles and had a issue I am trying to resolve. It has been almost a year now since I have signed up for certain cards and have been attempting to earn miles. The year is now up and the credit card companies are sending me statements for annual fees. I have tried to cancel the cards but they are telling me that I will lose any points I have earned, so I asked to be downgraded to a different card without an annual fee so that I would not lose my points I have earned, and the reply was “we dont have any available for you right now”. So I tried to transfer some of the points earned (for wxample from chase sapphire to british airways) since they both use avios and the reply was “we cannot transfer points”. What do you suggest I do??

  22. the link to the 60,000 bonus Citi ThankYou Points does not work it comes up this page A system error has caused a delay in processing your application. Please try again later.

  23. Hello Darius,

    I currently have a Citi® Platinum Select® AAdvantage® World MasterCard® with the annual due, but do not intend to keep this card……… Which would be the best Citibank CC to replace it with, where my Citi® Platinum Select® AAdvantage® World MasterCard®’s credit line could get transferred to?


  24. My wife and I have round trip tickets from JFK to HNL, December 2015 which we booked in July, 2015. Recognizing one can no longer use AA miles to book HA flights, is it/will it be possible to book seat upgrades using AA miles on a HA flight?

  25. Question for you if you please.

    I am searching for flights from Omaha to Maui on Alaska Airs website and am finding AA flights that I want to get on, but those same flights don’t show up on the website.

    Can I call AA, pay the booking fee, and get these seats or are they for Alaska Air customers only?

    Thanks for all of the AMAZING info you provide!


  26. To whom it may concern:

    Hello Daraius! My name is Kristina Myasnyankina. My team and I have developed a new Award Search Engine that we would love to share with everyone on this blog.
    I understand you guys have the best stories on here, and I promise you this will be great!

    This is out website

    Please let me know if this is possible.
    Thank you in advance

  27. I recently achieved American Airlines Executive Platinum status (yay me!). Have you had any experience with getting another airline, like United or Southwest, to match your elite status? Thanks for the great content!

  28. Hello! I am actually very new to getting points! I am a huge fan of Chase, and would love to continue getting their big bonuses, however I do want other bonuses from other companies too. I am wondering with the new policy that Chase has set up–Chase will deny your application if you have received 5 new CC within the last 24 months–if you have found an alternative to continue grabbing bonuses from them.

    Since I am new and would love to travel, what other rewards should I keep open other than just Ultimate Rewards?


  29. Hi Darius- I found a trick that sometimes saves a lot of money/points on Southwest flights when Wanna Get Away flights are not available during peak travel days. This works when there are multiple flight segments. For example, Nov. 29th SJU to BDL is pricing put as over ~66K points. However, if I combine two one-ways see rarely using the routing that the connections give me it is much cheaper in points/money. For this flight, I priced out SJU-MCO, then MCO-BDL, and both flights priced out at only 35K points. Have you seen this quarkiness before?

  30. just had a strage thing happen” I was sending a comment for todaays blog giveaway and my 1st one did not post! Thinking I had done something wrong I wrote my comments again and tried to submit. Igot a screen from CloudFareRay-telling me I am BLOCKED from the site. Help!!! I have been on here for about 5 years.

  31. I have a flight booked with points on United in December. The annual fee for my United card has arrived. Should I keep my United card until after the trip? Or can I cancel it now in order to not have to pay the annual fee? Will cancelling it effect my flight in any way? I’ve read a couple posts about being asked to show your credit card at the airport. We will be getting free checked bags with my husbands card. So I don’t worry about that.

  32. Now that the Barclay US card is now American Airlines card which is better to keep the Barclay Red or Citi Bank AA card?

  33. Hi Darius,

    I have enough miles to redeem from American Airline for my Europe Trip. My last stop in Europe is Rome and I just realize American Airline charge an additional fee of around $250 pp when I redeem it because the connecting flight from Rome to London is operated by BA (and the flight from London to LAX is by AA). Is there any way to avoid that fee?


  34. Hi Daraius,

    If my husband put me on an authorized card user on when he apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, does that mean Chase will NOT approved me for the credit card (Chase Sapphire Preferred) when I apply for it?

    Thank you.


  35. Hi I’m traveling with a group to Israel in October and we are flying U.S. Airways(at least for our first flight). I’m wondering if getting a us airways credit card would be beneficial for free checked bags and priority boarding for international flights??


  36. Darius,

    About a year ago, my wife and I both got the Chase Sapphire Preferred cards and now it’s time to renew. I use mine often, she does not. Rather than pay both annual fee renewal, I was thinking of transferring her points to my account (which I have already done) and canceling her card. She does still have the Freedom card in her name and open. Will those points in my Ultimate Awards account be taken away when she cancels her Sapphire Preferred card? Or are we good? Thanks much.


  37. Darius,

    My wife and I both recently got the Chase Sapphire Preferred cards and now it’s time to renew. I use mine often, she does not. Rather than pay both annual fee renewal, I was thinking of transferring her points to my account (which I have already done) and canceling her card. She does still have the Freedom card in her name and open. Will those points in my Ultimate Awards account be taken away when she cancels her Sapphire Preferred card? Or are we good? Thanks much.


  38. Darius,

    My wife and I both got the Chase Sapphire Preferred last year. The annual fee is coming up and I use mind and she doesn’t. I have already transferred her Ultimate Rewards points to my account a couple months ago. She will still have the Freedom card open. If she cancels the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, will Chase take away those bonus points she earned that are now in my Ultimate Awards account? Thanks for the help.


  39. Are there any worthwhile uses for Citi Easy deals points? I have 3,400 pts and when I look online the offers are not worthwhile — such as $5 off a $50 gift card. Is there any place I can transfer these points to so they have some real value to me for travel? I have an old Citi Diamond Preferred credit card that I rarely use and just keep for my credit history since it is one of my oldest cards. My husband has a Citi Aadvantage credit card.

  40. @Anish – You’re welcome! Bora Bora is a lovely place, I hope you enjoyed your getaway!

    You can earn lots of miles and points from your everyday spending! The quickest and easiest way to earn a ton of miles and points for Big Travel is by earning credit card sign-up bonuses.

    I sign-up for 3 to 4 cards each quarter. Then I take ~10 months to evaluate cards and decide if they’re worth keeping and paying the annual fee:

    Be sure to read my Beginner’s Guide for an overview of how it all works:

    @Mike K – Airlines usually release award seats at different times throughout the year.

    It’s great that you’re getting an early start because finding award flights for 5 people on the same itinerary can be very challenging. So if you’ve found 1-way flights that work, you may want to go ahead and reserve them. Then check back for when United Airlines opens their schedule for the return flight.

    An award booking service could be very helpful because you’re traveling as a large group. See my post for some suggestions:

    @Shalin Shah – See my post on all the ways to get to India on United Airlines miles:

    @Amber – Canceling your card won’t impact your award ticket.

    @Kenneth Lee – Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. Unfortunately, sometimes customer service agents aren’t well informed.

    You will lose bank points like Chase Ultimate Rewards or AMEX Membership Rewards points when you cancel your card. You can avoid this by redeeming your points or transferring them to partners, as you mention.

    See my post on how to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners:

    And if you have another Chase Ultimate Rewards card that you plan to keep, you can transfer your points there before you cancel to keep them safe:

    But keep in mind, if you cancel airline and hotel cards you will NOT lose your miles and points:

    @kat – This deal has expired. Check the Hot Deals page for the most current offers:

    @Jay Connors – It really depends on your travel goals. The Citi DoubleCash card might be a good option because it doesn’t have an annual fee. See the Hot Deals page for all my latest card recommendations:

    @Mark – I don’t think so. But I would suggest calling Hawaiian Airlines.

    @Mark Ludlow – I would write down the flight numbers and call American Airlines to see if they can find it in their system.

    @Kristina Myasnyankina – Thanks for sharing!

    @Chatan Patel – Congrats! Enjoy the upgrades :)

    Here’s where you can find details on status matching:

  41. We are new to the whole “miles” world, but would like to work towards a trip to take our adopted daughter back to China. It will take a few years for us to save up the money to make the trip, so can you suggest a long term strategy. We are pastors, so we could use our quarterly tax payments as a way of racking up needed purchases on the cards. Many thanks!

  42. Hi Daraius,

    Sept 14 is 91 days from my last set of credit card apps. I see that the SPG offer ends on Sept 14. Does “end” mean “through” Sept 14, or through Sept 13?


  43. Hi Daraius,

    If I am into collecting American Airline miles, which ard is better to charge on to earn AA miles, Citi Prestige or Citi American Airlines? And why?

    Thank you,


  44. hi Daraius,

    We collect American Airline miles. Which card is better to charge on, Citi Prestige or Citi American Airline Platinum, and why?

    Thank you,


  45. Of interest, American Airlines has just announced a DOUBLE mileage promotion on flights to Asia – using promotion code: ASIA4

    Unfortunately I booked my ticket last week – and it appears that this will not apply in that instance. I will contact AA and see…

    Maybe as an Executive Platinum they might consider (not that the status really has much impact, in my experience)


  46. @Tai – Some folks with more than 5 credit applications in the past 24 months have been approved for Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, so this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

    That said, if Chase denies your application, there isn’t any trick other than calling and speaking with someone.

    Also, see my post on possible exceptions to the new Chase rules:

    @Stephen – Interesting, thanks for the tip!

    @stephanie – Sorry that happened! Seems to be working fine now. But let me know if you’re still having trouble!

    @Amber – Canceling your card won’t impact your award ticket.

    @Suzann – Check out The Points Guy’s post that compares all the American Airlines cards:

    @Catherine – When you book an award flight to Europe using American Airlines miles, you can avoid paying high fees by avoiding British Airways flights.

    If you can’t find other oneworld airline (not British Airways) flights for this segment of your trip, there are lots of budget airlines in Europe that can probably get you there for cheap:

    Or you may try using an award booking service to help you find the best routing:

    @TB – You can still earn the sign-up bonus on your own card

    @Leah – The US Airways card is no longer available since they merged with American Airlines.

    And cards like the Citi AAdvantage Platinum and Citi Aadvantage Executive give you and travel companions 1 free checked bag, plus priority boarding. But these perks are only good for domestic flights.

    But there are lots of other great reasons to sign-up for these cards:

    However, you usually get up to 2 free checked bags on many US Airways international flights:

    @Daniel O. – Once she transfers the points to your account they are safe.

    @Pat S – Unfortunately, while Citi Easy Deals ARE easy, they are NOT very good deals! You might see a few restaurant promotions for coupons you like. But you may consider calling Citi to switch this card to a different no annual fee Citi card such as Double Cash. That way you keep your oldest account and you can use the Citi Double Cash card to earn 1% on purchases, then another 1% when you pay your bill.

    You can find the link to the Citi Double Cash card here:

    And see my full review of this card for more details:

    @Dawn Burnett – Welcome! A great place to start is with the Beginner’s Guide, which shows you how to get started in 10 steps:

    There are lots of ways miles and points can help you get to China. Which points you should work on earning depends on which airline has the most flights out of your local airport to your destination city.

    For example, American Airlines and United Airlines both have flights between the US and Hong Kong. And there are many ways to earn the miles you’d need:

  47. Thank you Daraius and Emily,
    Just been approved for Citi AAdvantage card through your link.
    Am learning so much about making travel affordable for my family.
    Went to see the grand canyon this spring – Southwest airlines using points…
    One resolved problem: rented a car using Alamo and Southwest partners promo link,
    also used bypass the counter preregister feature. Went to return the car at end of vacation, Alamo had no record of us renting the car… the person who assisted us at the lot with scanning our info
    didn’t complete the registration. So, Alamo didn’t charge us for the 9 day rental!
    I followed up with Alamo 30 days later, and no further problems, never charged for the rental.

  48. Hello!

    Thank you for making this blog, I’ve been a big fan for many years now! I’m looking into trying to get a southwest companion pass again for 2016 and had a quick question for you.

    I want to ensure that I get the points for the 2016/2017 years but in order to maximize the time I have the companion pass I was wondering if I could activate the cards sometime before the end of 2015 so that I can work towards the 2000 spend limits before the new year. Once the new year hit I’d cross the 2000 spend threshold for each card and wait for the points to hit my rapid rewards account. Question is, if some of my spend is in 2015, will the gifted points still be valid for a 2016 companion pass.

    Thanks for you help!


  49. Hello! My boyfriend and I are looking at flying to Spain and Italy next year with my American Airlines points. I have enough points to fly both of us in Business Class, but do not have enough points for First Class. Is there a huge difference with Business and First on AA flights to Europe?

  50. Daraius, me and my family (4 total) are planning to go to europe in spring of 2016. I really want to know what card should one, two, or three of us open in order for us to fly there for free in economy or cheap in business class. I’ve read about many cards and i’m stuck between what one would be best for international flights.


  51. Hi! I’m brand new to the hobby and am starting to think about my honeymoon to Thailand and Vietnam in early 2017. For the flight from DC there would you recommend the Citi Executive AA Advantage (I don’t otherwise fly AA frequently so probably wouldn’t be spending more than the minimum) or getting the Citi Premiere and Prestige?

    I already have around 25k AA miles, the DiscoverIt Miles card, and just got the Amex Everyday Preferred (will probably downgrade once I get the sign up bonus).

    Thanks for your help!

  52. Hi,
    The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® credit card has a sign up bonus wherein I will recieve 75,000 miles if I spend $7500 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening the account.

    I have a medical bill for $7500, can I pay my medical bill of $7500 using this credit card and still recieve the sign up bonus of
    75,000 miles. I am not sure if paying a medical bill using this credit card will be considered as a “Purchase” for recieving the sign up of bonus of 75,000 miles.

    can you help in letting me know so that I can move forward and apply..
    Any help in this regard is appreciated.
    Thanks much!!


    Darius I would greatly appreciate your help. I have 1,309,027 AMEX MR points and 635,000 DL Skymiles.
    I want to transfer some of my MR points to AA, I know BA and Iberia are MR transfer partners.
    Is there anyway I can transfer some of my MR points to AA miles.
    Thank you,

  54. Dararius, I got a notice in the mail today for AmerExp Business Gold Rewards Card for 75,000. My question: I just got the Starwood’s Business Card a month ago and a had an AmerExp Business 50,000 points card which I cancelled it 4/14. With the AmerExp rules do you think there is a possibility that I would be able to obtain this card?

  55. Daraius –

    My wife and I have a boat-load of American Airline miles (500k for me / 400k for my wife) and we finally convinced our parents to watch our 1yr old so we can jet off and be young and free again! We want to explore Croatia and are wondering what you think the best flight route to take from San Diego would be? We’d love to fly first or business (award travel) and really splurge…………. Any “pointers” would be appreciated (sorry couldnt resist…)

  56. Hello,

    Thank you so much for the wonderful site!
    I have a question I hope you can answer. Recently I got carried away and applied for several credit cards on the same day (3 for me and 3 for my wife) and got all of them approved (citi,chase saphire, and chase marriot). All were approved, and now I am finding it difficult to do the required spending in 3 months on all 6 cards. This is my question: Does the ‘spending period’ start when I receive the card, or when I activate it? If it is the latter, then I have some wiggle room by activating some cards later. If not, I will have to be really inventive…


  57. Darius, I have 69K Chase ultimate rewards points I need to find a use for asap. I don’t have any travel other than a trip to Aruba in February, (which is already paid for). We will be staying at a Marriott property (prepaid). I need to cancel the card but I need to find a use for these points. Can you suggest the best use? THx

  58. Hey Daraius! Love your blog! Question – does having a lot of credit cards cause any downsides to your credit score or to your ability to manage all your cards and accounts?

  59. Hello,

    I am in the process of planning flights for our honeymoon. Between the two of us we have enough points to fly business class to Vietnam using United. We were finally ready to purchase until suddenly all availability for business/first class awards disappeared. For some reason only Economy flights are available from Oct. 2015 to current. This is only true for the small airport we are flying out of. If we look at flights from Chicago (connecting city) and on the availability still shows for business/first. Have you ever heard of all business/first class awards disappearing for a whole year? I called United all I kept getting was the speech “availability constantly changes”. For some reason this happened when United changed to their new website, and I’m not sure if its related.

  60. I am eligible to get SW business & personnel. When should I apply for both where my pts will post for 2016 to qualify for CP ??? It has been over 2 yrs since I applied for 1 card and thanks to your help will reapply for both for CP this time. I do not want to miss out on the 50000 pts offer now.

  61. Daraius,

    Thought you might appreciate this. I just took your advice and applied for the AMEX Hilton HHonors Card where you can get 60,000 points and no annual fee and was accepted. The cool thing was that they gave me a $60.00 credit since they were unable to tell me what my credit limit was going to be.

    Have you ever seen this before? (see below statement)

    “You have been approved for a Hilton HHonorsTM Card from American Express and you will receive your new Card in the mail in 7-10 business days.
    Since you were unable to use your temporary credit limit, we will be awarding you $60 in the form of a statement credit. You will receive this statement credit within 8-12 weeks on your Credit Card.”

  62. Hi Daraius,

    I always do a new set of applications after 91 days. I usually do 3 cards each day from different banks.

    I’ve many of your articles, (and I realize you once did 5 cards for Alaska Airlines), but with exception to those specific opportunities, is it reasonable to apply for more than 3 cards for each application round? What advice do you have?


  63. Hi Daraius,
    According to this website,, one could deposit Visa gift cards onto a Paypal account, and then withdraw that money to a bank account to pay bills. This seems easier than going to a Family Dollar to do it with the Serve card. Do you have any experience with this?

    Thanks for all that you do! :)

  64. Hi there, trying to get to Vienna :) I have 73K Citi Thank you points and some 50k on Southwest? Our aim is to go by next May (2016) Any tips mega-appreciated!!!

  65. Reader question: I am considering cancelling my Citi AA Platinum card with which I got most of my Aa Miles. I have a recent citi AA Aviator card. Will I still get the 10% bonus refund on a 110k miles award redemption (annual 10k max) by having the Aviator card even though most of the miles were earned with the Platinum? Thanks.

  66. Hi, thanks for all the info, it’s been just over 3 years since I’ve started hub and I have now gone on or have booked, 10 free trips with 18 cards and our credit rating is still top tier. My question, just purchased new home and will be doing so reno/updating. Love the idea of buying gift cards to home depot for 5x points with chase freedom. Don’t love the idea that I will not receive any extended warranty or “backup” from credit card company if there is a problem. American express saved me on a previous reno with a contractor problem.Any ideas?
    Thank you

  67. @Shay – It means September 14, 2015, was the last day to apply.

    @TB –

    @RichardP – Thanks for sharing! I hope you get the double miles for your trip. Good Luck!

    @jayne – You’re welcome! Glad the rental car situation worked out in your favor!

    @Alex Kim – Glad you like the blog! See my post on the the best timing for earning the Southwest Companion Pass

    @Crystal – First Class may have more space and better food. But Business Class is pretty terrific and you’ll have a fantastic time either way! Have fun in Europe!

  68. Hi Darius,

    I recently got the Citi Thank You Premier and am trying to reach the $3000 min spend for the bonus. I’ll probably just barely make it and was wondering what would happen (if anything) if I return an item after they’ve already given me the bonus. I plan to continue using the card after the initial 3 months, so it’s not like I’d have a negative balance. But I’m just wondering if Citi is strict about that sort of thing.

    Thanks in advance!

  69. Hi
    we are traveling to Hawaii and are looking for a good deal for our flights any suggestion?

  70. Hi Daraius and all, I’d like some advise if any one can help- I have the Southwest Premier Rapid Rewards Visa Signature card in good standing which I’ve had for three years. I’d like to get a Southwest Air Companion Card (starting January of next year- 2016) so it would be good for almost two years- 2016 through 2017. As the Rapid Rewards miles (I would need 110000 miles to get the Companion Card) need to be collected in one calendar year- I would need to apply for two new SWA Cards (in January) and then accumulate 10000 more miles. Getting 10000 miles is not a problem but should I close my present SWA Visa Signature Card now (September of 2015) to have a better chance of getting two new cards and then apply for the two new cards in January or should I just try and get two new cards from SWA (actually Chase Bank). My credit scores are 800+’s but I think they (Chase) would question why I need three SWA branded cards. Any and all reponses are greatly appreciated.

  71. I booked a domestic flight on United using Aeroplan miles. How do i get my United frequent flyer # into my booking? e.g. using the finnair website to add your American airlines number to BA award flight bookings. thx

  72. Hi Daraius,

    Any confirmation on whether or not gift card purchases with Apple Pay on my discover card count towards the maximum $10,000 spending that gives 22% cash back?

  73. Hello Daraius!
    First of all, great website!
    I have a couple of questions:

    Are there points/miles programs that let you EARN miles while redeeming?

    Also, regarding ChargeSmart… My mortgage company doesn’t appear in their website. Does it mean that I cannot use that tool?

    Thank you and keep up with the great job! I already saved tons of money thanks to your blog!

  74. Do points from Choice Hotels still transfer to Southwest and count towards Companion Pass? Saw this verbiage and wondered if things had changed.

    Points purchased for personal use or as a gift, transferred points, points earned from program enrollment, Tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and Partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not qualify as Companion Pass Qualifying Points.

  75. Hello, I really love your website. I was wondering if you could help me plan a trip. We will not be going until Summer 2018, so I have planty of time to collect points. We want to go to Italy (Rome, Forence, and Venice). There will be three adults. Please let me know the best strategies to try and get a free trip. Thank you.

  76. Have British Airways avios devalued again in the last few days?

    I’m near Providence, and PVD-CLT had always priced at 4500 avios in the past until I believe just last week or so. Now it prices at 7500 avios.

    I just used the tool to check Boston to Dublin
    It used to show Dublin on the map at 12500, but now it doesn’t even show.

    This is not looking good!

  77. Daraius,
    Would love to be a guest on your site… I have been traveling big on small money for years. My 4 year old has been to 17 countries, myself 50. My blog emphasizes you can go to other countries for same money as going to beach for week! I have had over 300 guests in my house through home and hospitality exchange, really been an amazing life experience. I’m going to homeschool my daughter and we are going to travel the world to learn!
    Laurie (and Ellie) Deppa

  78. Marilyn Truppo

    May need to rent car occasionally in near future. Does my Capital One card cover the rental car insurance? Does Enterprise have special rates etc for Capital One customers?

  79. Hi Daraius,

    I was following your website from last 9-10 months and started collected the miles/rewards. I have around 160k Amex Reward points available and would like to use them for travel to India in couple of months. Could you please suggest what would be best airline transfer, is it Avios or Aeroplan as Avios transfer ratio is changing from next month. Aeroplan required 50k miles for one way and Avios varying between 30 to 35k. So please suggest me.


  80. Hey Darius, After reading about how people have been able to get pretty lucrative retention offers from various card companies in order to not cancel their card, I thought I’d give it a try. I called Barclay, whose Advantage Red Aviator card I never use. (I got it when it was a US Airways card – 40,000 US miles, soon to become Advantage miles, for an $89 annual fee not waived the first year.) I’d never done this before and didn’t really know how to go about it. At first I thought I got a pretty poor deal – fee waived for one year plus 500 miles. But then I just received this targeted ad in my email that I thought you’d want to know about. 15,000 miles for spending just $500 in each of October, November and December. (Skip a month and the deal is off.) So I guess it was worth sticking with this card!

    josh mackles

  81. Two questions likely covered before , sorry. Are you as down on capital as other travel bloggers?

    Have a SWA card and recently a companion pass. Want to add a card or two to use for all spend and acquire hotel and airline points. Already have older Thank You Preffered, Discover, and Costco Amex cards.

    Thanks much

  82. Hi Daraius,
    I had an SPG card in the past but it was not purple. Is this considered a different product or am I barred from getting the sign up bonus again?

  83. Hi – I was disappointed with a recent one way car rental using Capital One Rewards Travel Portal. They quoted “total cost” for an 9 day rental which was better than the competition. However, on picking up our car, we found we would be charged both a concession fee and a tax on the $200 drop off charge. This was an additional $57.78 which was definitely not included in the “total cost”. Also, we returned the car 2 hours earlier than anticipated so we had it for just under 8 days. There was no adjustment – which is as stated in the contract, so, if one should use their service, better to commit to an earlier return.

  84. Hi Daraius,
    I’m about to use up my 350k mile balance on my United Mileage Plus Visa through Chase. They’ve been good to us for the most part but many times the seat availability has been extremely limited or I’ve been forced to burn 65k miles on standard awards more often than I would have liked do to the lack of Saver Awards. Now that I’m bringing my account down to near zero what would you suggest as a more beneficial card in an effort to gain more flexibility and lesson the miles needed to pay for a seat? We travel typically to HI but are blowing our balance on a family trip to Europe next summer. 5 travelers. Two parents and 3 sons 14, 16 and 19. Currently run all the expenses we can through this Visa. Spend about $10k/month and pay it off at the end of the month. This includes all of our monthly expenses including gas, groceries, utilities etc.
    Love your emails and thanks in advance for the advice!

  85. @Katie – I would not recommend doing that. PayPal has been known to flag that type of activity, and close accounts. Even worse, if you have money in the account, it can take a long time to get it back.

    It’s an added step to go to Family Dollar to load up your Serve card, but for now it’s the easiest way to load gift cards.

    @Heather H – You can use Southwest points to get to another airport. And you can use Citi ThankYou points to transfer to partner airlines, depending on which card you have!

    Here are a few award booking services I can recommend if you need more help:

    Good luck, and have a great time in Vienna!

    @Frank Wong – Yes, as long as your Barclays Aviator card is linked to your American Airlines frequent flyer account, you’ll still enjoy the 10% rebate benefit.

    @GT – Yes! When you redeem Citi ThankYou points for flights, you’ll earn miles when you fly.

    The same is true for when you redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for flight in the Chase Travel Portal:

    And you’ll get a value of 1.25 cents per point toward your travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus cards.

    Usually, when you redeem airline miles for flights, you won’t earn more miles when you fly.

    @Rod – As far I know, they still DO count.

    @Wendy – A lot can change in the miles and points world in the next 3 years! That’s part of what I love about this hobby!

    When you get ready to travel, I recommend reaching out to an award booking service that can help you maximize your points:

    And of course keep reading Million Mile Secrets, because I’ll always share the best ways to use your miles and points. Thank you!

    @Lenny – Providence to Charlotte is over 650 miles, but under 1,150 miles, so British Airways is pricing the award correctly. Perhaps they’ve been underpricing it and just figured it out? In any case, they haven’t devalued recently.

    And you can still book the Boston to Dublin route on Aer Lingus. You’ll just need to search on, and then call to book the award.

    Hope this helps!

    @Laurie Deppa – Thank you! We will be reaching out to you soon!

    @Marilyn Truppo – It depends on which credit card you have. I recommend calling Capital One to ask them what levels of coverage your card has.

    And, depending on what card you have, you might find this post helpful:

    Thanks for reading!

    @Leslie – For larger purchases, it might be worth it to use your regular credit card, especially if you think you’ll take advantage of purchase protection. You can always earn miles or points in other ways!

    @kay – In my experience, they won’t take the sign-up bonus back, but they will take back any points you’ve earned on the purchase.

    @Jeanne – This site posts lots of deals:

    Good luck finding a cheap flight to Hawaii! I hope you have a great time!

    @Steve – It’s really up to you. Lots of people like to keep their expenses separate, and use multiple cards to do that. That said, you can always close the cards and re-apply. As long as it’s been over 24 months since you last received the bonus, you should be OK. Good luck with earning the Southwest Companion Pass!

    @atul malhotra – You can always call Aeroplan and ask them to add it. You can also add it when you check into the flight. Keep in mind you won’t earn miles on an award flight, though.

    @Shay – Not yet. I’ll have a post on it as soon as I know!

  86. ive been getting declined when attempting to load my bluebird acct with visa debit gift cards. any others reporting this issue? just started happening yesterday. Any advice? im sitting on $5k in gift cards and feeling nervous…Thanks, Jay

  87. Hi Daraius,

    I always do a new set of applications after 91 days. I usually do 3 cards each day from different banks.

    I’ve many of your articles, (and I realize you once did 5 cards for Alaska Airlines), but with exception to those specific opportunities, is it reasonable to apply for more than 3 cards for each application round? What advice do you have?


  88. Darius
    I didn’t realize I have to earn the 100k points in the same calendar year for the companion pass. I only got approved for one when I applied despite re attempts for second sw card, chase said I’ve used up all the credit on other cards and therefore can’t extend another chase card. I have a few other cards including chase ink plus, citi as, spg Amex. So I was wondering is there a way to get the pass and have a whole year to linger to use it. I really don’t want to have only a few months left to get it. Especially since I’m going thru divorce, I’ll be here awhile in Louisiana but could have used it if had it for frequent trips to ATLANTA.
    Can I hold the miles and apply for second card next year to get the pass next year as I only have 50k sw miles. Or is there another way to do this. I prefer to start next year or a way to use full year.

    How can Idi right thing with credit cards in divorce, use it more or use it less before community property is settled?

    Second question:

    How does all these credit cards and credit score get effected in this divorce? What should I do to prevent further loss of money or credit via credit card or maximize value. Do I need to transfer points if can’t use it fast enough or freeze credit bureau or close acct? Can I continue to open credit cards or is it not wise at this point?

    Third question,

    I have to pay rent by money order but grocery store issuing it only takes my debit card. Rent is 1240/ mo. Is it better to get rid of unused bluebird and open Amex serve to pay rent this way? Since max any allowed is more with serve than bluebird?

    Thank you

    Hope you are doing well


  89. Hi Daraius! I just was approved for the Thank You Premier card from Citi. After I met the spending requirements for the sign up bonus, my plan was to have my wife get one also, get the bonus, and combine the points. After reviewing the Thank You website, it says you “cannot share bonus points awarded for opening new accounts.” Any experience on this? Is this enforced?

  90. Good morning Daraius. I read your blog every day! Question: I want to sign up for 2 chase southwest air cards and saw that one 50K offer expires oct 7. Do you know of any that will go a little longer since I want to get the bonus in Jan 2016 (so I have a little time in Jan to rack up the spend) so the companion pass will be good for 2 years? Also, I need to get the business card and a personal card. Should I apply for both the same day or wait a certain amount of time between the 2 applications? THANKS :-)

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