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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!

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

Daraius Dubash - Million Miles Secrets

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

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

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

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

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

Emily in Lake Como, Italy

Emily Used her Miles to Visit Lake Como, Italy


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Million Mile Secrets is part of the BankRate family!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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8,007 responses to “Contact

  1. Hi Darius!
    Thanks for responding to my question on 12/5, but I’m sorry I did not pose the question clearly. I failed to mention I also need to use my points for my son who will be traveling with me.

    The Starwood credit card suggested of 20,000 points plus 5,000 when transferred won’t get me to the 90,000 points needed for us to travel to Ireland. I already have 50,000 bonus points from American Airlines Citi Select Platinum.

    The American Airlines chart says I need 45,000 miles round trip(22,500 one way) for just me.. I also need a card for free hotel.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Sharlene,

      If you get the personal Starwood card and earn the 25,000 Starwood point sign-up bonus, you’ll actually have 28,000 Starwood points because of the 3,000 points you’ll earn for completing the cards minimum spending.

      And if you transfer those to American Airlines, you’ll get a 5,000 mile bonus, for a total of 33,000 American Airline miles. Add that to your 50,000 American Airlines miles and you’re just 7,000 miles short for your trip.

      To earn more miles, you could consider applying for the small business version of the Starwood card. Or earn more miles or points through regular spending.

      As for hotel cards, that depends on where you want to stay! Check out our Hot Deals tab for the best hotel card deals here:

  2. Hi. Appreciate some advice. I have a trip in 5 weeks (just me) from san jose,ca to orlando, fl that I want to do on the cheap. I’ve accumulated some points in Chase UR, Amex, JetBlue, BA Avios. What’s my best option for flight? Appreciate your help. -Greg

  3. Hi, Is there a press contract email I can be provided with to send some bonus mile promotion offers?

  4. Hi Darius,
    I got an offer in the mail for 50K miles for the Chase United Explorer card. I read everything that was in the offer and nowhere did it mention anything about any restrictions if I have applied for more than 5 credit cards in the last 2 years. Can I safely assume that the Chase 2/5 rule would not apply to this offer?

  5. I have points with Ritz Carlton, SPG and Marriott. Is there a way I can combine my points from all three into one? For example, can I transfer my Ritz Carlton points to SPG, then all of my SPG points to Marriott?

  6. Do you have any tips for someone needing to travel yet does not have credit cards that accumalates miles? I travel around the globe at least 3-5 x;s a year and stateside.

  7. Hello Darius,

    So, it looks like you can now apply for the Barclaycard American AAdvantage cards once again! Yay! Two questions on the topic.

    (1) Do you see any reason to wait for a higher sign up bonus? I think when the card was the US Airways version (like 2 years ago), the bonus was 50,000 miles (after paying the annual fee and making a single purchase).

    (2) Do you think being approved for the new Aviator card will hinder being approved for future Aviator cards?

    I check your website daily. Your work is outstanding.

    • Hi Marcus,

      Thanks for the awesome feedback. 🙂 I don’t know whether they’ll offer a higher sign-up bonus or not. But 40,000 American Airlines miles is a pretty good deal, especially if you need the miles for a specific trip.

      And if you apply for one Aviator card you should be eligible for the others, because they’re different card products. But it’s up to the bank to decide if they’ll approve you in the end!

  8. Hi Darius, Just cancelled a Chase airline card a month ago which I had for several years. How soon could I re-apply to get the bonus again for the same one. Could my wife apply right now in lieu of me…as we always get a duplicate card to charge to the same account anyway but thinking under her name this time might help if it matters?

    Terrific website and info as always!

    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi John T,

      With Chase cards, you can get the card again as long as you haven’t received the bonus in the previous 2 years AND the card isn’t currently opened. But each Chase card is considered a different card product, so it depends on whether you’re trying to open the same Chase card or a different one.

      And yes, your wife could apply because she wasn’t the primary cardholder.

      But remember, with Chase’s stricter approval rules, if you’ve opened 5 or more credit card accounts (from any bank) in the past 24 months, it’s VERY UNLIKELY Chase will approve you for most of their cards, with a few exceptions:

  9. Couple of questions: I just saw a travel credit on my CSR account but had already received the $300. I’m thinking that because my current statement now carries me to Jan 2017 that Chase is awarding those credits earlier than the calendar year change? Also… would you do a post about status matching? I find it super confusing. For example, I just figured out if I apply for the Ritz Carlton card and spend 75K in a calendar year, that would give me platinum on SPG & Marriott as well and United Silver may match with Delta Crossover? And discovered the Amex biz platinum gives me status on National? It would be great to see a post that tells us which cards give what status and with that status you can match over to other programs. Thanks Daraius!

    • Hi Nina,

      Great idea for a post! And yes, Chase is counting your 2017 travel credit because that’s your next statement close date.

      With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase considers the end of a year as “the close of the December statement.” So it’s not calendar year like other cards, for example the AMEX Platinum cards.

  10. I was turned down for the Chase Saphire Reserve Cc. The reason was too many credit cards. How do I get around this? I have about 15 open accounts should I close the ones I’m not using? Thanks

  11. Hey guys, I have a question about business cards that I was hoping you could answer. I just got my first business card a month ago (amex BRG) for a small tutoring business I run. I’m now thinking about also getting into gift card reselling as a way to meet minimum spend and earn some extra miles on new cards. If I wanted to consider that a separate business, how would I handle business card apps since both would be sole proprietorships? They’d be fundamentally different, but I wouldn’t have an EIN for either. Thanks for the help!

  12. Hi. A couple of questions for you…

    I’m planning on flying Econ from NYC to LHR from Sun Jan 22 to Sun Jan 29. I’m completely flexible on time and airline. All look to be the exact same price at $555 return.

    1) Is there any way to determine the approx number of seats sold/available on a particular flight? Given my flexibility, I’d like to be on the emptiest plane possible.

    2) Which airline has the best Econ experience for this route?



  13. I am wanting to apply for both southwest cards when they are 50k signup bonus. Right now on their official site the signup bonuses are 40k each but if I follow the links on your site it says the sign up bonus is 50k on the application page. How do I know if I will really get the 50k signup bonus through the link you provide when the official site only says 40k? Do I need to take a screen shot of the 50k offer when applying in case they try not to honor it? I’m just a little skeptical that they would offer a higher bonus through the link you are providing.


  14. Here is a question you may want to use for an article, but it’s one that I have because I want to cancel a credit card…

    I have the Citi HHonors Visa, which comes with an annual free weekend night at any Hilton hotel after spending $10k on the card over the card’s year. I received the free night from my spend, and the free night is good for 1 year. If I now cancel the card (to avoid the $95 fee), will I lose my free night?

    I want to cancel the card because I do not plan to spend $10k on the card this year. The free night is not worth the spend, which could go towards sign-up bonuses or on cards that more valuable points. Plus, I do not need the GOLD status from Hilton. If the free night were allowed on ANY night, I would probably do it again, but the weekend restriction makes the card noncompetitive when compared to the IHG and Hyatt cards (both of which do not require spend).

  15. I have a question that happily turns out to be theoretical, but still would like to know how to deal with the situation in any event. My wife and I were flying back on United from Sydney to San Francisco where we were naturally required to go through immigration and customs. Our next flight to Atlanta was a little over 4 hours later, so we thought we had plenty of time. We did not, as it turned out. We were in the immigration area for 3.5 hours because my wife’s fingerprints would not register on their cameras and was sent to “secondary.” We just barely made the next flight. If we had missed the flight, would we have been required to rebook at our own expense since the airline was not at fault?

    • In theory, it’s possible the airline could make you rebook. But in situations like yours, I’ve found airlines try to accommodate passengers and figure out a solution. Especially after you just flew all the way from Sydney!

  16. Million Miles Secrets keeps me thinking about new uses for my points and miles. I have been to over 70 countries, most by using my reward points. The timely announcements of new signup offerings from the various credit card companies in invaluable. Plus the offering of other Blogs that give different information on lounges, particular airline upgrade cabins, etc. is what makes MMS so good. thank you for your service. I appreciate it.

  17. I want to fly from Ewr to Yul and the next day fly from Yul to FLL. Stay in FLL for a few days and then back to Ewr. Can you tell me if there is a site that will tell me my best options for booking this trip with points.


  18. Hi Daraius:

    Which card provided better value for airline travel in bus / 1st class? Amex Bus Plat with 50% points back or the CSR through portal? I don’t have the personal Amex Plat.

    Thanks, Gail

  19. Hi Darius,
    I applied the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and got my new card 2 weeks ago, I booked a southwest ticket and the $300 travel credit reimbursed last week. After reading some online post, I found I actually used the allowance for 2017, NOT 2016, because my first statement will fall into Jan 2017. I called Chase several times to change the first statement date to later this month, no dice.
    After thinking through my situation, here is what I figured out, could you please confirm this for me?
    For folks got approved early this year, they got a $300 credit for 2016 and $300 for 2017 for $450 annual fee is they choose to close their accounts before next annual fee due;
    for people like myself who applied in December 2016, (chase said the annual fee will be charged on 1/1/2017), I got a $300 for 2017 and after December statement of 2017, I can get another $300 before 1/1/2018, it’s still a $600 profit for a single $450 fee. Assume I choose to close my account by 12/31/2017.
    It’s actually makes no difference, does this sound right?

    Thank you very much. Merry Christmas!


  20. Have not seen you write anything about getting 5X Chase Ultimate Reward Points by purchasing Air BNB gift cards @ office supply stores (Staples) using the Chase INK card and then using the gift cards to pay for air bnb stays.

  21. Hello. I’ve had the Marriott Rewards Premier card for 7 years and my anniversary is 12/28. Two questions if you can help — 1) If I cancel, how long do I have to wait to be eligible for the new cardmember bonus? The way I read their post is that if I haven’t received a bonus in 2 years and don’t currently have the card, I will be good for the new bonus which would fit my case. Probably cancel and wait a couple weeks to reapply? 2) I will get 15 elite nights on my anniversary as well as one free night in a cat 1-5 in exchange for the $85 annual fee. Those are worth $85 to me as I used the category 5 free night for a $200+ hotel last year. My question is, will they take back the 15 elite nights and free cat 1-5 when I cancel? Does anyone have experience with this vs conjecture? I am guessing they won’t since it will be transferred to my account but would appreciate any insight into anyone’s experience doing this. Thanks!

    • You are correct. You’re eligible to earn the sign-up bonus again if it’s been more than 24 months from the date in which you earned the last sign-up bonus on the card. It’s unlikely you’ll lose your current free anniversary night because it’s already in your Marriott account.

  22. I just wanted to let you know about a recent experience I had with Chase Reserve. The annual travel credit needs to be completely used by the December billing statement or you lose it, and it rolls over to the next year. I planned a family gathering for today (December 26th) while my family was in town at a local hotel. When I checked my travel credit balance it stated I had not used it yet. Finding that odd, I called Chase to ask what my current balance was as I should have roughly $200 left for the year and was told about this policy. I was pretty upset, but after getting several “floor managers” on the phone, I became even more upset. Apparently they have been fielding calls regarding this issue for the entire month of December! He agreed that it was frustrating and that in the future they MAY inform customers of credits about to expire before that happens. So basically: they knew there was an issue, they’ve known for almost a month, and they have no policy to deal with it other than stating “by using the card you agree to the terms and conditions. etc. etc….”. They had no comment when I asked why an email wasn’t sent to members to remind them of an expiring credit once they found out it was an issue. I received numerous emails from Citi about expiring credits over the last month, and even received a phone call offering some uses for the credit (1,500 points!?! expiring December 31st). I was pretty irritated at this point and asked if Chase knew about this, had no mechanism to warn or compensate or at least allay the irritation of members ( I suggested a credit toward future annual fee or points award – both shot down), then how are we to believe Chase isn’t either being deliberately shady or just plain stupid? In a purely business sense, if they’re shady, I don’t want to do business with them, and if they are stupid at doing their business, I don’t want to do business with them. The manager even tried to excuse the situation on the Reserve card being new? The card may be new, but Chase has been around for a long time, and is the largest bank in the US and 7th in the world! If he meant to imply “too big to fail”, meaning the corporate structure is one where changes happen very slowly because it is just so HUUGE, I might agree, but you need customers to stay afloat. This is a premium card, with a very hefty fee, and they anticipated paying the travel credit to new card holders – so this entire situation smacks of greed and poor customer service. This is actually my ONLY Chase account, and my first first Chase credit card. If this is how they treat their premium customers, it’ll probably be my last.

    • I appreciate you sharing your experience and sorry to hear your frustrations. It would have been helpful for the bank to send a note about expiring credits before the December billing statement. In the future, I’d recommend using the credit as early in the year as possible.

  23. Hi Darius:

    Thanks for all wonderful posts. This is my second week reading your blogs. I recently received an offer from Delta-amex gold card- 60000 points after 1000$ spend within 3 months of opening the account. 50$ statement credit. The annual fee is $95 waived for the first year. Is this the best card offer specifically from delta-amex gold? Or they may come to me with 75000 if I just wait? The added benefits are 2miles per $ delta purchase and 1 mile per other purchases.

  24. thanks for the very informative cover of how to use luftansa points, first of all.. I’m trying to use my awards to go to south america, is it consider 3 region just for changing planes in region (b) before heading to your destination, even if its not a stop over? even being from florida, all planes still switch planes in panama before heading to south america. thats what their call center is telling me. but doesn’t that trigger 3 region for any flights regardless of destination? that includes trips to africa, india and some part of asia, coming from north america, except for europe of course.

    • If there are no direct flights on your desired route, it’s possible that your flight falls into the 3-region award category. Sometimes it’s helpful to speak with more than one representative. Hope you can book your award trip!

  25. I signed up for a chase reserve credit card earlier this year. I still have about $100 worth of travel credit remaining that I would like to use before the end of the calendar year, but I don’t have any trips planned. What is the best way for me to use this credit? I have an IHG account. If I buy points through the IHG rewards website does that count as travel? I also have an Alaska airlines account. I am open to opening new reward accounts and buying points if you think that would be best.

    • Purchasing points will usually not count towards the annual travel credit on the Sapphire Reserve.

      But there are lots of other travel purchases that will count with merchants like: airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

      So there are lots of ways to use your remaining credit! I’d recommend making a small purchase first to see if it counts. Then if it does, spend the rest.

  26. Hi Daraius and Emily!

    Your team has been my inspiration to find ways to travel in college without ever paying for airfare! I am new to the blog scene and would love any expert advice or insight that you have for a newbie! The piece below I wrote highlights your site and will bring traffic to your site, thus revenue as well :). Finding a valuable mentor in this new arena is something that I would love to have and would appreciate any of your time.

    I was hoping that someone on your team could check out my article and give me any feedback or thoughts on it? Also, please feel free to share it our post it on your media outlets if you find it valuable for your audience. 🙂

    Hope to hear from you soon!


    Michael Novak

    • Thank you for your kind words!

      I’d recommend adding more photos and breaking up the blocks of text if possible. Most importantly, keep it going – the first year of blogging is by far the toughest. Continue to post, you are off to a great start! 🙂

  27. I recently downgraded my Chase Sapphire Preferred to Chase Freedom Unlimited. My wife was an authorized user on the Preferred card. She will not be on the Freedom Unlimited card. Will this affect her credit score negatively? How will this show up on her credit history? Closed card? She rarely used the card and we had it for about 1.5 years.
    Thank you!

  28. Hi just wanted to get your thoughts on whats the best way to travel from ORD Chicago to Auckland news Zealand stay there for a week and then go to Melbourne Australia or Sydney for few day and back to ORD is the anything possible with united miles change after oct 6th or getting any free one ways back in us I have 300k ultimate rewards from chase and 200k hilton points

  29. Hi Daraius – Happy New Year! I note there seem to be a lot of charts on various subjects, but I haven’t seen one that gives information on how card travel programs relate to each other – what points will transfer to another program our how to move points/miles to other travel/hotel programs to gain an advantage you might not have within your current program. Such as how SPG points might transfer into Marriott, or how some Citi miles might be moved into the Hilton program. I am sure there are many such moves that could benefit a traveler that we don’t currently know about. Any thoughts you might have on this subject would be very interesting.

  30. I appreciate you blog I look foreward reading it every morning. I have a question regarding the Delta Platinum Amex card. My wife recently signed up, and they offer $100 credit for a purchase on Delta if made in the first three months. However, we not able to plan a trip so soon. Are we able to purchase a gift card and still recieve credit from Amex? Thank You Happy New Year!!!!!

  31. Hi, southwest flyer here and I have tried to earn the 110,000 points but i was turned down last year for one of the needed cards. to date my husband and I both have around 65,000 points. Both of us have a chase credit card and have paid them off. I know that these points will not count toward a companion pass because the new year has started. We were going to cancel then try to reapply as our credit to debt is low now and we believe due to good pay behavior on our chase cards that we will not be denied. Would you tell us the best way to get those points this year. Where to start from here?

  32. I just tried booking with the Diamond desk, and after a lot of hold time, the agent came back and said AXON was discontinued as of Dec 31, 2016. I haven’t seen anyone write about this yet.

    Just tried again with second agent, same thing, she never heard about till now!

  33. HI, about Chase Saphire Reserve card and the $300 Travel Credit, is it possible once i get this card to use the Full $300 on gift cards than cancel the card as soon as the annual fee comes around ?? would that work ??

  34. Daraius,

    Thank you for being a great resource for travel advice on the cheap, I have always loved your detailed screenshot filled posts on getting incredible bargains for worldwide excursions. Our family of 4 would like to utilize 2 Southwest Companion Passes for our upcoming great adventures this year and next. My wife applied and received the 2 southwest cards and she has already completed the minimum spend on both so we should have her companion pass after transferring 20K Chase Ultimate Rewards through Marriott or purchasing Choice Hotel points for $220 for the last 6000 rapid reward points. Now the bigger challenge is how I can obtain my Companion Pass. I have roughly 68K SPG points through the American Express co-branded card (member for 6 years) and some 120K Chase Sapphire Preferred Ultimate Rewards points. I was thinking my best route would be to ask Amex customer service for some bonus points as I just paid the annual fee last month and get 2 referral friend bonus points to try to get me to 90K SPG points and then transfer to Marriott to utilize the Marriott 7 nights package + 120K Southwest Rapid REwards. Do you have any other recommendations or ideas for me? Thanks again for all your help

  35. about the chase saphire reserve card $300 Travel credit, will AMEX gift cards count as a travel Purchase ?? thanks…..

    • I don’t think that would work. I recommend spending it on travel instead, for things like: airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

  36. Hi,

    I currently have the SW companion pass. It will be expiring this December. However, I’m planning a family trip to Disney World in 2018. If I already have the companion pass, can I earn it again for next year or do I have to wait until it expires to earn it again?


  37. Hello Daraius.
    I want to get a southwest companion pass in this year. Here is my plan.
    As I know I can transfer points to Southwest from hotel rewards only till March 31. I don’t have any of them now, but I have Chase Ultimate rewards( I got them from Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card). I want to transfer 15000 points to Hyatt, so I will get 15000 Hyatt rewards, and then I will transfer/exchange them for 6000 SouthWest rewards account. How long will it take time? A month? Then I will apply for 2 southwest 50000 points card( personal and business). After I spend $4000 for both cards I will get 104000 points. So I will get 110000 SW points and get a companion pass. Will it work or I miss some important details?
    Thank you.

  38. Newbie stacking question: If I book a stay at a Hyatt through the Southwest travel portal and pay with my Chase Sapphire Reserve, will I earn Ultimate Rewards, Rapid Rewards, and Gold Passport Points in one fell swoop? Or can you only earn Gold Passport Points by booking directly through Hyatt?

    • Great question!

      You’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Southwest points, but you likely will NOT earn Hyatt points. You’re correct in that you usually only earn Hyatt points when you book directly through Hyatt.

      There are some exceptions here and there, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  39. hi there, I recently had my 3 Chase accounts closed, and I have held my accounts in high regard with excellent payment history and never late. I was surprised to find out that the reason for the closure was due to adding and removing authorizer users from 1 of the accounts. Do you know why this would be the basis or reason for closing my accounts? Especially when Ive had an excellent history with Chase. Thank you. Jon

    • That sounds like a strange reason for an account closure. Maybe you could contact Chase again and speak to a different rep that might be able to offer more insight into the situation. Or try to send them a secure message for more information. Good luck!

  40. Hi there.

    My wife and I have a lot of chase ultimate reward points. What is the easiest and best way to utilize these for airline travel from Phx to Hong Kong? We’d ultimately like to go to Thailand. Thanks for your help!

  41. I want to sign up for newsletter-can’t find where?

  42. I want to sign up for newsletter. Can’t find where to do it?

  43. This might seem like a no-brainer, but I just wanted to get a second opinion. I’ve had the Chase Sapphire Preferred for a while and just picked up the Reserve card recently for the sign-up bonus, plus the fact that we dine out a decent amount and will take advantage of the extra 1X points. We do not travel a lot per se, but would be able to use the $300 annual travel credit without a problem. Is there any reason to hold on to the Preferred card at this point? Thanks for your thoughts.

  44. i received an offer from Chase offering me 50,000 miles if I spend $2000 in 3 months with the MileagePlus Explorer card, United Airlines. Awesome offer. I cannot find the site that allows me to sign up. When I think I have found this site it sends me to an offer for $30,000 spending $4000 in 3 months. I called Chase and they suggested your site where, again I cannot find the site to sign up for this terrific deal. Can you help me. After 2 hours of searching I am getting frustrated. I am asked to sign into the url and log in using my MilePlus number. I have until 01/31/2017. No site, no site. ???????????????????????????? Help please.

  45. Hi There, we had read your blog about your honeymoon in bora bora sometime back and had worked on going there for our 10th anniversary using miles. First of all let me thank you for the great information.

    We are going to bora bora in July of this year. I had booked all flights with a stopover in AKL in September of last year using united miles. I was booked on air New Zealand for the SFO-AKL sector. Now there has been a schedule change and united is saying there is no availability around my dates (+/- 10 days) as of now . So they are giving me two options. Either refund the ticket or wait to see if something opens up. I doubt seats will open up as availability in economy is low. What are my options? Thanks again!!

    • Happy to hear you enjoy the blog! Has the airline offered any sort of compensation for your troubles? I might suggest calling again and talking to a different rep to see what other options they can provide. Perhaps ask for a supervisor if you don’t have luck with the first phone agent. Good luck!

  46. I just got the 2nd from left, these World Points cards from BofA fill in a gap left by Barclay’s $100 minimum travel redemption. Statement credits must be a $25 minimum, however you can combine expenses to bring them up to that amount. Included are museums, galleries, festivals, all sorts of activities, plus regular travel. They give 1.5 points/ $1 spent, and have no annual fee. Worth checking out for your readers?

  47. Hi Darius,

    One more question for you! We have a lot of Chase Ultimate Rewards. What would be the best and easiest way to use them from Arizona to fly to Athens, Greece? Ultimately we’d wind up in Santorini?

    Thanks so much! Love your site.

  48. hi Daraius and Team,

    Is there an easier to search for flights using Singapore miles without performing individual searches, like day by day searches?

    Does Singapore site have something similar to American Airline where it shows you the total miles based on the day for an entire month?

    Does Singapore Airline based its flights on region or distanced based?

    Thank you for your help.


  49. Hi Darius, I want to get the Southwest companion pass. Can my wife get The 50,000 bonus points with the Chase Southwest card and use my Southwest account number, instead of her own, to get the points into my account?

  50. We got American Express cards with the 60,000 Delta miles. We want to book our tickets and are wondering if we are allowed to depart from a different city/country that the one we arrive in.

  51. Wife has Chase Reserve, will being authorized user on her account hurt my chances of getting card next year? Sounds like it will show up on my credit report if I go authorized user route.

  52. Daraius & Emily;

    We have over 4 million miles on AMEX Platunium and AA Program.. Planning a trip to Shanghai in March 20th thru 30th 2017 for two.. Would like to fly on First Class on any of the Top Five International Airlines flying out of Miami, Florida. Would like to know if there is a service that could help us manuver mile redemption web and assist us in planning future travels.

    Your expertise would be greatly appreciated..


  53. hi, im new to the board. is there something where u buy debit cards at sams club, earn miles then buy postal money orders with that debit card, then cash the money order and pay the credit card? thanks!

    • Certain PIN-enabled gift cards can be used to purchase money orders. But you’ll have to pay fees. Also, some banks are known to close down credit card and bank accounts if they see activity like this, so I’d be cautious and move slowly if you decide to try this.

  54. Hi Daraius,
    Have you ever flown business class on Royal Jordanian? I’m looking at their flight from Chicago to Amman, connecting to Tel Aviv (with AA miles). Curious about the quality of their product. Any other suggestions for business class to TLV with AA miles?


  55. Hi Daraius,

    I’m a longtime reader of the site and first time commenter – thanks for all your good work!

    I saw that Chase has a new Amazon Prime Visa card that looks appealing: I would like to have the card but want to avoid an additional credit check, so I’m considering calling them to see if they can transfer my Chase Freedom card over to the new Prime card. I have two questions that I thought you might know the answer to:

    1) Am I right to assume that transferring the line of credit over to the new card will avoid a credit check?

    1) How does transferring credit affect the age of my credit on my credit report? (The Freedom card is the credit card I’ve had the longest, so closing it could hurt that part of my credit score.)


    • Thanks for reading the blog and your kind words!

      It’s unlikely that Chase will let you product change from the Chase Freedom to Amazon Prime Rewards Visa. But generally when you product change with Chase, you keep the same account number and the length of your account history does not change on your credit report.

      Hope this helps!

  56. Completely new at this and would like to know where to start. Read some about buying gift cards to earn points that turn into miles. Please help.

  57. Looking for companies to help me to navigate thru all the points so I can take advantage of buying vacation this feb 2017..can you recommend a few ?

  58. Hi, Darius,
    I’m planning on heading to Morocco next February (2018) to visit with my daughter who is about to begin her 2 year commitment to the Peace Corps. I then plan on going to her Peace Corps country- Ghana in September 2018. What cards should I get to begin to pay for all of these trips?

  59. I’m looking at a trip from SLC to Frankfurt (or nearby airports) in June and have 1 million amex rewards points – any tips on what airline to transfer to for best bang for buck rewards trip (Biz or Econ differences?)

  60. What overall credit card do you recommend? I have the Gold Delta American Express, but I feel like it takes so long to accumulate points. They have also cut back on some of their rewards, so it doesn’t seem worth the annual fee anymore. Help! I use my card for everything!

  61. Hi,

    I’m a long time reader. You may have noticed my comment on your post many times.

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    I’ve been brainstorming some topics that I think your readers would get a ton of value from:

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  62. I have 500,000 Marriott points. What is the best way to get a Southwest Companion Pass?



  63. Hi Daraius!

    I have a friend who just received the Mileage Plus Explorer card and received 50,000 miles after completing the bonus requirements. Two weeks later, he received an offer in the mail for the Mileage Plus “Club” card, with a 75,000 mile sign up bonus. Do you know if he can now apply for this new card as well, so he totals 125,000 miles? Or, is it not allowed since he already has a Mileage plus card. Thanks! – Nick

  64. Hi Darius,

    If I have two businesses with their own ein, can I get chase business cards on both companies?
    If I have a business with its own ein and have two partners, can each partner get chase business cards and each one get their own sign on bonus?


    • Because you have multiple businesses with different EINs, Chase will let you get 2 separate business cards.

      But it’s unlikely Chase will approve you and your partners for business cards using the same EINs. Instead, 1 person could get the card and add the other partners as joint business owners or authorized users.

  65. I love to travel to Europe & found the river cruises much to my liking, however I don’t believe I can use points to book them & I use the for the air as well. Is there anyway to do this & what card would be best? I just don’t see one.

  66. Hi. Do Kimptom hotels take any points? If so which ones?

  67. What’s the best place to stay in Santa Barbara on points?

  68. Yesterday on a flight from Syracuse to Charlotte the stewardess announced a special in-flight promo on the new Barclaycard Aviator card. Same promotion as you see online, but they waive the spend requirement. Once approved, you just need to activate the card, pay the annual fee (unfortunately, they didn’t waive that too) and make at least one purchase, something as simple as a cup of coffee or a pack of gum. So, both my wife and I signed up; a total of 80,000 AA miles with NO qualifying spend. Not bad. In the announcement, the stewardess announced that this offer was only available on selected flights. So, your readers won’t see this offer all of the time. And, in fact, there was no similar offer, not even a pitch, on our subsequent Charlotte to Key West flight, but maybe because that was a smaller American Eagle flight.Thought this might be of interest to you and your readers.

  69. Hi,
    I think this post is a bit off, as CITI only transfers to Virgin ATLANTIC which is NOT the same as Virgin America.

    Plus, I don’t see Atlantic having an agreement with Alaska.

    Please advise!


  70. Travel on Alaska/Virgin
    I am ready to book two one ways with my Alaska Miles. I love the program and the options that they offer.
    Want to fly to Australia with a stop in Fiji. I think I understand their rules that allow me to book flights on Alaska and just one other partner, in this case, it would be Fiji.
    So far so good.
    My question deals with the second flight and how to understand the current state of the Alaska merger with Virgin America.
    Coming back, I want to book their partner, Cathay Pacific from Cairns to Hong Kong and then to LAX.
    My question is if I want to fly onward from LAX to IAD on a flight that has an Alaska flight number but is actually a Virgin America aircraft; would this currently violate the one partner rule?

  71. Hi Daraius,

    My startup just launched HoterRatePRO at

    Your site and mine are both aimed at saving travelers money. So, we listed the link to your site in the “Websites we like” section of our Landing Page – at bottom/right.
    I will appreciate it if you will write about us on your site, or ideally post our Press Release.

    We are the first to offer Hotel Rate Tracking and Rate-Alerts for Hotel Loyalty Programs Member-Only Rates.
    So, we are targeting members of hotel loyalty programs. But non-members can also save with our system.
    In the first release we cover 48 hotel brands of Hilton, IHG, Marriott and Starwood. More coming soon.

    Here is the link to our Press Release:

    You can find more info on our Landing Page, and lots more info in our FAQ which is accessible (without sign-up) from the Press Release or the Landing Page menu.

    I will consider it an honor if somebody like you will sign up to our site. After you forward your first hotel confirmation email for Rate Tracking, you will be able to see all the features that users can use to customize and control the Rate Tracking.
    Suggestions for new features will also be appreciated.

    Thanks, Zavdi Lichtman
    Travel Trix Pro Ltd

  72. Hi Daraius & Emily,

    I’ve started collecting miles a year ago (mainly from Chase cc). I have almost 400k points. I have been reading your blogs and various online websites but I feel over my head on how to use my points effectively to book flights & hotels for my family. There’s 5 of us! Are there reliable websites that will help me figure out the best way to use my points to maximize my rewards? Since there are 5 of us, I’m thinking we’ll need to buy coach class tickets and use our miles to upgrade to business class and get hotels, if possible. I’m planning a trip to Europe next summer, 2018.


  73. Hello –
    I have been assisting my 3 children (ages 25, 23, 21) in getting credit cards bonus signups the past year or two by getting their own credit cards.
    But I have been placing myself as an authorized user (getting a card on their account so that I can help them meet minimum spend) on their accounts practically each time.
    My question is…does the fact that I’m an authorized user on their accounts count again my own personal application status for credit cards as far as the Chase 5/24 rule applies to me ? I hope not or I am sunk. Ha.
    Thanks for any information.

    • Unfortunately it usually does. Lots of folks have reported that being an authorized user on someone else’s account has counted against their 5/24 status. Unless specifically targeted for an offer from Chase.

      The good news is you can remove yourself from their accounts and let Chase know. So that might help your case when you get ready to apply for another Chase card.

  74. So I had discovered that my Marriott Rewards points were not being accurately posted. Dealing with MR and the hotel where each one blames each other. I stay at the hotel on a weekly basis and it is amazing that the issue occurs on a regular basis.
    The bigger issue is about the 15 elite nights awarded by the Chase Marriott Rewards card. I was tracking the nights since early may 2016 since I was staying at a Marriott on a regular basis. I had noticed early on the 15 elite nights, although MR was saying that they only posted on 11/22 which is the credit card anniversary date. There is no way for me to prove this since it doesn’t keep track anywhere on their website like the actually points. I told them why do the terms state that the 15 elite nights would only post 6-8 weeks after your anniversary. So then the representative said, “oh I think your anniversary is actually earlier than 11/22.”
    I told them that would mean that my ability to earn at a higher level would basically be for about 5 weeks because the points fall off. He said that is not under their control and is awarded by the credit card company.
    So I called the credit card company and they said it would post 6-8 weeks after the anniversary. I said it has been more than 8 weeks. He said it would post at the closing of the next statement which was 1/22. Again I waited and no elite nights.
    I can’t figure out why it is so difficult to get a clear answer. Their last response was “to be patient.”
    I gave the example to the MR where my anniversary was 12/31, which would in effect mean that I would never be able to utilize or take advantage of a higher status. I said basically under my current situation (GOLD status), I would not reap the higher point accumulation if I had actually stayed 60 nights (15 short of Platinum) until November. That would in effect mean that even if I stayed an additional 14 nights up before my anniversary I would in essence be out about 15,000 points due to the difference between Gold and Platinum. Not counting the other benefits offered to Platinum

    • Sorry to hear you’re having a difficult time. Sometimes it helps to keep talking to different representatives, or to even ask for a manager. Issues like this are always frustrating! Let us know how it goes!

  75. daruis, I hope you can help. to use Korean miles on delta for first class, how many miles am I supposed to look for on the delta website. I am trying to do 4 people to Hawaii in first and American wants to charge me 67,500 each feels like a colossal waste of miles.

  76. Hi, Darius!

    Can you explain to me how the “International Airline Program” companion ticket perk on the AMEX Business Platinum works? It appears that if you book a business or first class ticket through the AMEX travel service and it is on a participating airline, you can get a companion ticket – free? It says that there is a $39 service fee applied to the full fare ticket, and that the companion ticket is subject to government taxes and fuel surcharges. Does this mean you can Pay with Points for one ticket (getting 50% back) and get a companion ticket for $39 plus taxes and fuel charges?

    I haven’t seen this benefit explained on any of the travel blogs. It looks promising…

    • Unfortunately you can’t use Pay with Points, you’ll have to buy one Business or First Class ticket at full price to use the International Airline Program perk. Plus, fuel surcharges and taxes can often add up to hundreds of dollars for international tickets.

      But sometimes you can find a good deal, so it’s worth checking. Especially you are paying for a cash ticket!

  77. Hi! 🙂
    Thanks for your great info over the years. I have never had the time to figure this all out, but I thought maybe this is the year! I applied and was approved for a southwest card which will lead to 50000 Pts, and an Amex card, 100000 Pts. Chase rejected my second app for “too many chase cards”. What I really need to know is how to get he companion pass without getting another chase card. Is there a way to do it with my current bonuses? If not, is there a card other than chase that would help? Could my husband apply for one and have that count? Any help is greatly appreciated. 🙂

  78. Hi Daraius,

    I have around 900k Marriott rewards points, 180k Delta Skymiles and 50k United miles. In addition to that i have around 200k points on Barclays Arrival card. What do you think would be the best or efficient way of using those points. My goal is to travel across Europe (2-3 weeks) next year.

    I would appreciate any help. Thanks.

  79. Hi Daraius,

    If I recalled correctly, one of your posts mentioned that you can earn miles with Bankdirect AND Fidelity. Can you please provide the link to Fidelity as I am unable to locate the link / information on its (Fidelity) site?

    Thank you for your help.


  80. Hello!

    What a great piece. 🙂
    I love the information included about Earth Class Mail & Mailboxes, Etc.
    It is always such a touchy process when sending credit cards overseas, as there are a lot of risks involved.

    If you are interested in adding a third mail forwarding option, US Global Mail would be a fantastic addition, as we send out many credit cards overseas to ensure they get to our clients safely!

    We are offering something in return, and I would be happy to explain if you wanted to speak with me directly!

  81. Any suggestions for a good Marriott property with kitchen and separate room (not divider) anywhere nice in the US or neighboring countries for travel with SN toddler (for the hotel and air deal with southwest). Upto category 8 OK, we will just do 5 nights instead of 7. Much appreciated.

  82. Hay Emily,
    I met you last year at the Chicago travel conv.
    I am planning to travel to South Africa and am interested in the 2 day stopover in Dubai using Emirates air line. The upgrade points round trip to business is 175,500 points. I am not traveling till August.
    I would LOVE to find a way to get these points in the next 6 months.
    Please help me find a way…like what credit cards should i open, what tactics should I use to rack up the points, etc… I do have a business but never opened up a credit card for it, if i do can I transfer the points into my personal non-business credit card to consolidate the miles. I seriously have no clue where to start?
    Your the best! I appreciated any help you can give me!!!

  83. So I understand the 24 month time frame but if I want to apply for the United MilagePlus Explorer again (I received the bonus 3-4 years ago), would having the lower tier MilagePlus Rewards card that I downgraded to, count against me as being an existing card holder? Or would my current lower tier United card count as a different product?

  84. Kristin Claricoates

    Hi Daraius. I hope you are well! I am very new to finding great travel deals, as my job does not let me travel often. I am getting married in May, and I’m looking for a way to take my fiancee and I from Chicago (any airport) on May 28 (evening?) to Positano for 7 days and then Santorini for 8 days (come back to Chicago June 12 2017). I would love to travel the best way possible- my fiancee is amazing and I would love to spoil him- but I sure don’t know where to start other than the travel credit card. Tips? Thank you very much for your time!

  85. Hi, Big Fan of MMS. I wanted to either ask for your advice or bring your awareness of the ability to use Amex Bus Platinum pay with points for SWA. I have talked to 10 different people at Amex and have concluded that the only way to get the 50% bonus is to call Amex travel to book the travel on SWA. The problem is that they charge $39 for each booking. This really puts a dent in the value of the benefit. Does this sound right? They ensured me that you can’t book then call them back to reimburse the points as you mentioned in previous posts. Thanks for all you do!

  86. Would you mind telling the name of the Casa Particuliar that you stayed in Havana? Would be much appreciated.

  87. How do i switch to ‘mobile view’ on the phone? It used to show mobile view by default but from a couple of weeks ago it shows ‘desktop view’ and it is very difficult to read that way on the phone. I looked around all corners of this site to look for a ‘mobile view’ but could not locate it.

  88. Darius/Emily:

    I recently earned the S/W Companion Pass for the second time on 1-25-17, so I have it until 12-31-18. I have had my personal and business S/W credit cards since Nov. of 2014. My wife is going to apply for both a business and personal card in Nov. of 2018 to try and get the companion pass for us to use in 2019 and 2020. My question is when would you suggest that I close my two S/W credit card accounts to try and churn them again for the companion pass in 2021 and 2022? I received my 50K bonus points on 1-24-15 and 2-5-15 (business). This time around I used a combination of hotel transfers, shopping portal, dining and credit card spend to achieve the 110K required points.



    • Congrats on the Companion Pass! With Chase cards, you can get the card again as long as you haven’t received the bonus in the previous 2 years AND you don’t have the card currently open. So you’ll have to plan accordingly.

      That said, it’s ultimately up to the bank (Chase) to decide whether to approve you. And the rules for earning the Companion Pass could change by 2021! Just take into account Chase’s 5/24 rule when you’re deciding when and which credit cards to apply for.

  89. Can Virgin America miles be transferred to any other entity

  90. Hi Darius and Team!

    I am the Online Marketing Coordinator for staySky Hotels and Resorts. We are a Family of Orlando Hotels and I saw this article:

    We are in the business of getting happy travelers booked in hotels close to major theme parks for less and we offer a number of specials and money saving amenities like free shuttle transport to the parks and laundromats for those looking to save.

    Would you consider adding us to the great article above?

    By the way, this site re-affirms my decision to snap up the Chase Sapphire. Now time to add those miles up!

    Please reach out to my email and I will be happy to assist.

    Thank you!

  91. How do I get started with all this free travel in Vancouver Canada? I have some cards but they take forever to accrue any mileage for free flights.

  92. I received an email from Chase today saying, “We’ve sent an important communication to your Secure Message Center, available on Chase Online or on the Chase Mobile app. The subject is: We updated your rewards program.” The focus was on my Chase United card, which is in fact the Business Explorer version.

    I’m not sure if this was there before and I didn’t notice, but it called right out to me this time. Under the heading “How you could lose your miles,” the last bullet reads, “by repeatedly opening or otherwise maintaining credit card accounts for the purpose of generating rewards.” I’m not clear on what is meant by “otherwise maintaining”, but it seems a bit iffy as to whether Chase is saying they could pull your United miles if you only use the credit card only to earn miles! Any thoughts?

  93. I have a lot of CITI points. and since they won’t transfer to Virgin America/Alaska, What airline recommendations would you have for me to transfer those miles to a carrier to fly to Hawaii?

    Thanks Darius!

  94. I love your website and visit nearly daily. However, I do not like seeing political posts in your Instagram page. I would highly recommend that you do not mix your business and your personal beliefs.

  95. Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red – UPDATE

    I recently submitted a comment about how I got a special offer on this card on a recent AA flight; 40,000 miles with NO spend requirement. Just use the card once and pay the annual fee.

    Turns out this offer wasn’t as special as I thought at the time. Looks like you can now get the same offer online:

    Personally, I think this is a great offer. Surprised I haven’t seen it mentioned on any of the FF blogs I follow. (Like yours the best, by the way.)

  96. Hi Darius!
    We have had our Marriott card for over 15 years and currently have about 140,000 points left on it. I am considering closing this account and opening the Hilton Reserve card because we are interested in traveling to Europe. Would this be recommended by you?
    We have over 500,000 miles on our American Airlines card.
    Thanks for you advice.

  97. I’m well past 5/24 so several of the Chase cards are out of my realm. My question relates to business cards and Chase. I run a medium size eBay business. I have several AMEX business cards and am interested in Citi and Chase business cards if it can be done. My goals are simply free travel – air and hotel points. (I have all 3 Citi Thank You cards as well as a couple AMEX cards for Membership Rewards points which I will transfer to Delta when it’s time.)

    So–which Citi and Chase business cards would be best for these goals? And, at least for Chase, does 5/24 come into play for those?

    Thanks for your help.

  98. Hey Darius,
    If I applied for an american express gold card and I missed the the 3 months to get the 50K points. Is it possible to cancel the credit card and reapply to get the bonus?

  99. Total newbie here! We recently booked a trip for our family of 5 on Scandinavian airlines because we found a deal for our 3 kids to fly free. I noticed through their rewards system all points can be put in a family account. I’m thinking of using these, applying for the chase saphire preferred and utilizing any other way to rack up points for united that we’re thinking of using for a trip to Germany next year (just husband and I). Any thoughts, suggestions would be great!

  100. Hi Daraius & Team,

    Out of the three US airlines (AA, United, & Delta), what airline would you say offers the best values for their customers (not according to ones specific situation)? And what order would you rank them as far as values to their customers?

    Thank you for responding.