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, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our 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 (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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7,994 responses to “Contact

  1. Hi Darius,
    I received the offer about a 50 credit with an additional user for citi prestige (who spends 3k) and having the 50 fee waived. However, after I signed up for the offer, I was told that there is no waiver of the fee. Do you (or any of your followers) have a screen shot of the offer as it is infuriating that they are not honoring it. With that said, Citi was kind enough to credit half of it but I know what I read….but dont have evidence of the offer


    • I understand your frustration. The Citi representatives I spoke with said the $50 statement credit was in addition to no authorized user fee. I’d recommend calling back or contacting Citi via a secured message.

  2. Daraius, Hello! I hail from Kyle, just down the road. I’ve been following your blog for just under a month now and it’s been a great benefit to my education. Today, Plastiq confirmed the payoff of a 14K/10% signature loan at my credit union that I borrowed on my brother’s behalf in November 2016 (payoff of 2 furniture loans he and his wife had at 19% interest). I’ve been working with them to buy their house last year and to improve their credit.
    When I saw the documentation on the signature loan and noted the $3100+ in finance charges, I realized I had to figure out a way to “buy” the loan and collect the 10% interest myself. I’ll have the money next year, but I needed an immediate solution in order to capitalize on the upfront interest portion of the loan. That’s where your blog comes in! 🙂

    I was looking hard into the Plastiq angle, but couldn’t relax about the 2.5% fees. Then I saw the special Am Ex offer at 2% and then serendipitously, I saw your post about the Am Ex Biz Plat and my mind was awhirl! I applied for the Am Ex Biz Plat and the Chase Slate on the same day and was approved for both and worked with Chase to ensure I had the credit limit necessary to cover the balance transfer on the Slate. With both cards approved my plan was complete. I would use Plastiq to “buy” the signature loan and simultaneously accomplish my spend (for the most part) on the Am Ex Biz Plat. Next month, when the payment is due, I will do the balance transfer at no cost to the Chase Slate with a 0% carry for 15 months. So for $287 (2% of $13900 (I allowed the Credit Union to collect on the first (interest) payment out of goodwill and also to have leverage if they give me grief, the next time I apply for a loan, after paying this one off after the 1st payment). So for $287 I will receive 100K Membership Rewards plus 50% points back on flights and all the associated perks, plus over $3000 in interest payments, an 8% return! Talk about killing 2 birds with one stone! Thank you for providing the “missing links” to the solution of my dilemma!! In writing this I just realized and then called Chase to get my Slate CL increased to account for the effect on my credit utilization ratio! I hadn’t considered that previously. Thanks yet again!

  3. Dear Daraius,
    Your site has been a true gamechanger for me. Thanks to you and your team, my wife and I will be travelling around the world for 6 months starting in January. Was able to get the united round trip ticket to SE Asia prior to the October 2016 changes for only 80K Mileage Plus points per person. My question is whether it is possible to add an excursionist perk to this round trip award without any additional fees and how would I be able to request that? For your info: we are leaving from US, arriving to NZ, and have used an open jaw from Kuala Lumpur to travel back to US with a 3 month layover in Europe.

  4. Hi Darius, I’ve got a tough one for you. Like many of us who practice this “Hobby” (more of a part-time job given the amount of time I spend on it!) I spread the gospel of miles to friends and family in hopes of finding another soul who enjoys the challenge as much as I. Two years ago I got my brother in-law to get the Chase preferred card. He was really excited about it, easily made the spending req and earned the 50k bonus miles. The problem, I later learned from my sister, is that he is kind of a scatterbrain and did not take my advice to set up automatic bill pay on the account. So you can probably guess what happened. It came time for renewal and he missed the deadline. The card was canceled.
    So my question is, is there any way he can get those 60+ k UR points he earned back? He tried calling Chase, but to no avail. What if he opened another UR account like Ink Plus, or just opened another Preferred account without bonus? It would be a shame to have earned all those points in vain. What do you think?
    Thanks as always for your help.

  5. Hi Darius!
    My husband applied for the Southwest Premier Business Visa card – 1 for each of 2 businesses. They gave us both cards but indicated AFTER WE SPENT THE $2000 we can’t get the 50,000 for the 2nd card. Has anyone been successful in getting at least a portion of that bonus? Do you have recommendations on next steps?

    • Hi Kristi! Many folks report you’re eligible to earn more than 1 Chase sign-up bonus on the same card if you apply with different EINs. For your situation, I’d recommend contacting Chase, either online, by phone, or in-branch to see if someone can help you get the sign-up bonus for the 2nd card. Hope this helps!

  6. I have lots of AA award miles and would like to book a business class ticket using my AA miles to Bangkok and return from Kuala Lumpur. What and how is the best way to book my ticket using AA award miles? Please advise.

  7. Hi Darius,

    I do not do MS. I use tio, previously chargesmart to pay my mortgage. Recently when I am paying they asked for driver license number. It says DL is mandatory for all payments above $1000 in AZ. Any idea why is this becoming mandatory even If I am not paying by cash?


    • I haven’t heard of this before. It could be a rule in your state. Or maybe they are verifying your information to prevent a fraudulent charge.

      I’d recommend asking them directly if this is a recent change, and why they are asking for that information.

  8. Could you please update the list of airlines that do NOT impose carrier fees on award tickets? (It’s my understanding that because of the lawsuit against BA for the egregious fuel surcharges at the time when the price of fuel has significantly dropped, those airlines that do impose those fees, now call then “carrier fees”)

  9. Hi Darius,
    I was wondering if any of your staff or readers have tried to reapply for Chase SW Plus/Premier/Business cards and was told the card must be CLOSED for 24 months before they could reapply and take advantage of a new card signup bonus?

    My SW Companion Pass expired at the end of December, and it would be 24 months at the end of Feb. 2017 since I received the 50k bonus on my Plus and Business cards, so I was planning on closing then signing up for new cards at the end of the month if the bonus was still in place. I called the SW Plus customer service line to triple check when I earned my last SW points bonus, and the rep I spoke with mentioned that if I was thinking about signing up for a new SW card, it must be 24 months from when the bonus was first earned AND the card must be closed for 24 months?!

    Has anyone else experienced this? Would really love advice on this before I apply and have a hard pull on my credit score if I’m not going to be able to earn the 100k bonus anyways. Many thanks in advance!

  10. Hi Darius
    What can i do with about 95000 miles at Virgin Atlantic.
    Can it be transferred to Alaska Airlines or Virgin Airlines?
    Thanks for the response

  11. I’ve been into collecting miles/points for about 18 months, spanning most of last year. When should I plan to cancel some cards, like my Hilton Honors no-fee cards, in order to reapply for the bonus later in the year when two years have passed since I got the cards?

  12. Seeing as you are one my favorite Points bloggers I thought I would throw this your way. It must get difficult to come up with new blog ideas. I just stumbled upon a topic that 5 minutes of googling could not resolve which prompted me to consider someone might view it as a good blog idea.

    I have had the AMEX Gold card for several years. Last week I added the Blue For Business due to the bonus sign up opportunity that exceeds 100,000 points. What I didn’t realize that it earns Membership Rewards only due to the fact that I have the Gold card (any Membership Rewards earning card will work). HOWEVER for those who don’t have a Membership Rewards earning card, the Blue earns Membership Rewards EXPRESS points.

    A blog post pointing this out would be very useful to some I feel. Also, if you can demystify the difference in the Membership Rewards and the Membership Rewards Express programs I certainly would be interested. I am glad I read the letter AMEX sent me pointing this out. The letter failed to explain the difference in the programs and therein lies your opportunity.

  13. Darius,
    Been a follower for a long time and I’d like to connect for an interview. You can reach me via email or Twitter (@is_lou)

    Thank you

  14. I thought I would share my recent dilemma and lessons learned: I am a Citi Prestige holder and back in July I booked a four night stay at the Punta Cana Now Larimar resort in the Dominican Republic to take advantage of Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free benefit. To book my stay I followed the normal Prestige procedure, called up the Concierge line and booked through their travel agency, Aspire Lifestyles. Since the trip is coming up very soon I pulled up my reservation confirmation code, entered it into Now Larimar’s resort website and received an error that my reservation had been cancelled. Since booking the reservation back in July I had checked the reservation multiple times on their site and it showed up fine. Now it showed cancelled!? Uh-oh! I called up Now Larimar and they confirmed the reservation had been cancelled. They informed me that between 2/1 and 2/3 they had attempted to charge my Prestige card multiple times and sent emails to my “travel agent” (Aspire Lifestyles) informing me the charge was not processing and if not corrected the reservation would be cancelled. None of these emails were ever delivered or forwarded to me directly. On the call I began to have an inkling of what had happened. Since the original booking had been made I went through an experience of having very low amounts of fraudulent spending on my Citi Prestige. When I noticed, I reported the fraud to Citi and they delivered a new card to me with a new number and refunded the fraudulent amounts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that there is a process set in place between Citi and Aspire Lifestyles to update the credit card information on existing reservations should a credit card number change occur. While on the phone with the resort my main concern was now regarding availability of rooms for the upcoming trip we had booked. Fortunately, a room that fit our needs was available and was placed on hold under my name. I then called up Citi Prestige Concierge and went through the process of booking the held room through them to ensure I still get the 4th Night Free benefit. I now have a confirmation number in hand and disaster has been avoided, but this could have turned out really bad! What if I had just assumed my reservation was intact when we boarded our flights, showed up to the resort and were left with no room! What if the resort had no availability? I’m more than willing to take some ownership of the mistake. I should have considered verifying held reservations on my Prestige when it was replaced, but it never crossed my mind. The main concern I have is that the resort emailed Aspire Lifestyles multiple times and never received a response from them. I wish I had been looped in during that time and would have corrected everything before the original reservation was cancelled. One funny thing, I know that my original reservation was cancelled outside of the no-fee cancellation window, so I’m sure there’s a $50 cancellation fee hitting my old card number somewhere out there!

    • Thanks for sharing! It’s definitely a good idea to check on your reservations from time to time. This story could certainly help other folks avoid the same issue in the future. But glad everything worked out!

  15. I am looking for sign up bonuses that include global entry without spending 450 annual fee and also has a signup bonus. Thanks

  16. Is there any benefit to having a Southwest credit card and a Chase Sapphire Reserve? Our travel plans do not include any Southwest travel for the next 18 months and the point rewards are greater on the CSR which then can then be moved to a Southwest account for future travel.

  17. Hi Daraius,

    I have been a fan of your site for quite some time and have used your affiliate links for many credit card sign ups. I have amassed about 500,000 chase points and I would like to spend them this fall for my honeymoon. We are flying from Boston to Maui or Kauai and would like to fly first class. I am having some trouble figuring out the best way to do that. Could you suggest which airline program would be best for us to transfer chase points to and how to book?

  18. Hello,

    I have a very old Discover card collecting cash back (have $500 currently). Today I received an offer to convert it to a Discover Miles card. Is that worth it? Should I withdraw the cash or let it convert to miles. Thank you,

  19. Hi,

    I want to pay for a holiday trip but they do not take cc. I want to earn the points by paying through my cc, but also want the travel protection offered by my cc. If I pay through PayPal, there is a fee (my responsibility) – would I preserve travel protection? Would I earn the same amount of points? What is the best way to handle this?

    Thanks so much!

    • You usually have to book directly with a tour company using a credit card to get travel protection benefits. I’m not sure PayPal would work. I’d recommend contacting your credit card benefits provider to see what they say. Hope it works out!

  20. Dear MMS,
    My wife and I started a Bilingual Travel Blog that shares information in both English and Japanese. We noticed your blog post about building your credit score when you are new to the USA ( and wanted to ask permission to reference your blog, and quote parts of your past article in Japanese. We will add the mentioned link to our blog for any readers to reference the source. Please let us know if this is possible.

  21. Hi Daraius,

    I signed up for the SPG card last year and the one year anniversary is approaching (March 2017, first year annual fee waived) and have accumulated a pretty good chunk of points which I won’t be able to use before then. Is there a way to keep the points without having to renew thus avoiding the annual fee? Thanks!

  22. Hi, I’m new to the whole points and rewards thing and a recent reader of your blog.
    We got both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred cards this past holidays. I carry the Reserve while my husband carries the Preferred card. I was planning to downgrade the Preferred card to Freedom to avoid the annual fee, however, my husband had recently bought 2 expensive Samsung tablets with the Preferred card. Would we lose the extended warranty benefits on these tablets if we downgrade this card, or would it still apply later down the road when we need to make a claim? I’m just wondering whether we would need to carry this card until the warranties expire, in case we need to make a claim, and whether it’s worth paying the extra annual fees.
    Thanks for all the great info on here!

    • To use card benefits like purchase protection or warranty extension, your account has to be open and in good standing. So downgrading will mean losing the coverage. I’d recommend contacting the benefits provider to see what they say. Hope this helps!

  23. If you have both cards, you can consider downgrading the Sapphire Preferred to the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited like I recently did. This card earns 1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases with no cap!

    I recently saw this comment of yours above. If I downgrade my Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom Unlimited can I still transfer my points earned on the Freedom Unlimited to the points account for the Sapphire Reserve? Thanks for your help.

  24. We recently flew from the west coast to Kauai on Alaska Airlines. I chose to put the flown miles on my Alaska account but put my husband’s miles on his Delta account as he was close to an award ticket amount. I was awarded 2466 miles and he was awarded 1850 miles, each way. Did I get a bonus because I have an Alaskan credit card? Or did he get less because the miles were put on a partner airline? Or is there another explanation to the difference in awards? Thanks.

  25. FYI…your Hot Deals page shows 50k for AAdvantage from Citi, but I got a mail offer for 60k. That’s 50k for $3k spend in 3 months, and another 10k miles if you spend a total of $5k in first year.

    • Thanks for sharing! That sounds like it’s a targeted offer.

      We only post public offers that everyone can apply for on the Hot Deals page. But we’ll be sure to let folks know they may receive something similar in the mail.

  26. Hi MMS,

    I’ve been using your tips to get awesome trips in business/first class for years. Thank you for that. This may not be the best place for it, but during one of those trips I came up with an idea for a travel site that shows local events going on at the time you’re traveling.

    I thought my site might be a unique showcase for your Friday interviews. I know the interviews are mostly with bloggers, but would this be something you’d consider? My site is: if you want to see it first. Thanks!

  27. Hi Darius,

    Do you know if Chase has plans to return to offering credit cards with 5X points for rewards categories: office supply stores; internet, cable, and phone services?

    Thank you.

    • You can still get the Chase Ink Cash card, which earns 5X per $1 spent in those categories. And then combine the points you earn with another card, like the Sapphire Preferred.

      But I don’t have any information about future cards.

  28. Hi Daraius,

    It’s been a while since I have communicated with you as I was out of the country for a few years. Now that I am back I have found there have been a lot of changes to the manufactured spend adventure. I tried to find an answer to my question on the Flyer Talk forum but couldn’t seem to get a definitive answer so I thought of you as you were always so generous in sharing your expertise. Hopefully this is an easy one.

    1) Are there any Visa/MC/AMEX gift cards that can be loaded at WalMart to Bluebird or GoBank anymore? I still have those two active cards.

    I want to apply in branch for the Sapphire Reserve card before that offers expires in March and it requires a $4000 minimum spend.

    I see some people can use certain gift cards at the Post Office and thought you might suggest which issuing banks seem to work for that.

    Your valuable suggestions are much appreciate.

    • Hi Jack and welcome back! I’ve read AMEX has been shutting down most folks accounts if they reload their Bluebird accounts with gift cards. So I’d be cautious.

      And I don’t have personal experience with using gift cards at the post office. But some banks don’t like when you just purchase gift cards to meet minimum spending. So you don’t want to risk not getting a huge sign-up bonus.

  29. Do purchases made through the Chase UR Portal show up as “travel”? I want to buy 4 ow tickets and I have enough UR for 2+. But I also have Barclays Arrival miles for 2+. I want to book all four tix on one record through the UR Portal, use all my UR points, and put the balance on my Barclays so they can be erased later. But I am afraid that either 1) the charge will not show as travel OR 2) the charge may be split up somehow to show less than the $100 minimum required to redeem my Barclays miles. The tix are about $240 each by the way.
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Yes, those purchases should code as travel.

      If they don’t, you can always call Barclaycard and ask for a manual adjustment because they are legitimate travel expenses. Either way, I don’t think you have anything to worry about there.

      I’m not sure how or if the tickets will be split. But if they’re $240 each, you should be clear there, too. Let me know how it goes!

  30. Hi Darius,

    I have 2 AA cards in last 30days from citi. Today my wife received a mailer for 60K aa miles offer. I would like to apply on that offer. Do you think that will be approved or should I wait until 90 days?


  31. Hi Daraius,
    I’m about to loan $23k to a family member. Is there a good way to do this using a CC (AMEX) and get some points from it, understanding that there would be fees associated to it? I initially thought PayPal, but it seems risky.

  32. Hey, quick question, we’re in Hawaii and rented a car paying woth point son the chase reserve portal, we declined the coverage from budget and now somebody broke the rear window, we already changed the car but are we covereded for this with the card even though we paid with points? Thank you for any help with this

  33. Emily, just saw the Women’s March photos posted on Instagram. LOVE them!

  34. Hi Darius,
    I recently received the Amex Platinum and join National Executive Emerald Club. I thought I read somewhere in the benefits that Amex Executive Emerald Club members received 3-hour window buffer on the rental returns. Do you know anything about this buffer on a rental return? I had last minute meeting in Atlanta and rented the car from Memphis International return and drove back on a 1-day turnaround and got back late and overslept. I was told I only had a 29 minute buffer. Can you give any insight if this exist. Thanks

  35. Hey. Great blog! (Urgh – I sound like a comment spammer!!)

    I have a question which I’ve been curious about for a while but not managed to find an answer to anywhere online. Maybe you could write a post about it, if you think it would interest other readers?

    My question is this: who pays for the miles you earn on a partner airline when you credit to a different program? For example, last year I achieved Silver in BA’s Executive Club. The tier points and redeemable miles were earned almost exclusively from flights on their OneWorld partner Qatar. So who paid for these miles? Did Qatar buy them from BA, or did BA ‘pay’ for them?.

  36. Hello MMS,
    I have an upcoming trip to Singapore from JFK with a 10 hour layover in Germany. Any suggestions on what I can do during this time.? We’re a family of 4 and would like to keep cost down if possible. Any recommendations appreciated!
    Thanks in advance!

  37. Hi Darius! In a recent interview on your site, I learned of earning miles simply from having a bank account (Bank Direct). I looked up your old posts on it but wonder if you might offer a current analysis? Are there other airline choices now for opening and maintaining other bank accounts? Is it worth it tax wise to use say $50,000 for this purpose. Your interviewee used $200,000. Thanks!

    • With a $50,000 deposit you’d earn 5,000 American Airlines miles per month (60,000 miles per year). I’m not an investment advisor, so you’ll have to do the math to see what makes the most sense for your particular situation.

      60,000 American Airlines miles is more than enough for 2 round-trip coach tickets within the US. Or a round-trip coach flight to Europe from the US.

      Plus, you won’t pay taxes on the miles you earn from the BankDirect account. But you might be able to earn more with this money deposited elsewhere. Hope that helps!

  38. Hi Darius – I am tempted to open a Chase Sapphire Preferred but am in no hurry. Is 50,000 bonus miles the best they offer on this card or should I wait? Thanks!

  39. Hi Daraius ,
    how are you? i was at your class in washington dc a few years back. I would like your help, i would like to visit japan and the philippines each place about a week, i live in seattle, wa. Please give me your suggestion, thank you!!


  40. Hi
    I want two economy return tickets from NYC to Vienna Austria. 0ne for myself leaving this Saturday returning on Saturday 2 weeks later. The other for my wife leaving this Sunday returning on Saturday ( 6 days later) . I have only 40000 miles in my united airlines account and the total needed are 120000, a gap of 80000 miles. I have several hundred thousand Amex rewards points.
    Can you help me in getting these united tickets? What are your charges for Your service? Is there enough time even to transfer these points?

  41. I recently canceled the AA Aviator card which was issued from Barclays. I think it was originally a US Air card then they sent the Aviator Red in it’s place. My quesion is, can I apply for the current Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard or will that be a red flag and declined?


  42. Hi Daraius, I’m a new subscriber to your website and I am intrigued by the stories about points travel. My wife and I would like to travel to Australia and New Zealand in Jan or Feb 2018. Is it possible to accumulate enough points in that time frame to receive two business economy tickets? If so, what advice do you have for a neophyte to obtain this goal. I enjoy the stories and information on your website. Thanks. Jim

  43. Hi Darius,
    Could you please clarify how to utilize Marriott miles to help earn the companion pass on Southwest Airlines? I know the deadline is fast approaching at the end of March and that this benefit will end at that time.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you for all your good advice!

  44. Hi Daraius,

    I recently received an email from Chase regarding the new Ink Business Preferred card that said the 80k bonus sign up was only being offered until the end of March. I’ve been weighing the Ink Business Preferred versus the Starwood Preferred Business card and was hoping for your opinion. I can’t meet the sign-up bonuses for both at the same time. Do you think the Ink will continue to have the higher sign-up bonus? If not, which card is better?



  45. hi darius,
    I’m trying to book tickets to msp with my 2 kids for the summer. The problem is that i only have enough points for 2 tickets and want to use my husbands’ for the 3rd but i don’t know how to book it online. Both of my kids are under 9. Any tips??

  46. I hope you are well!
    I wanted to take a moment to admire your post on Mail Forwarding Services for the Overseas Expat! I think it is great how you mentioned so many helpful details on how to activate your new card while abroad. I feel this is a major issue many face, but do not know how exactly to do it.

    Let me tell you a little about us….

    We are a mail forwarding company based in the US since ’97 who ship clients their mail internationally or domestically! We had this awesome idea to help travel bloggers earn extra money by just talking about our services! We even allow you to try it out for free, too! We would honored to be added to your list of mail forwarding services!

    We also would love to have you write up a guest post for us as an alternative, or even join our affiliate program to earn up to another $500+ per month!

    If you would be interested in any of these opportunities, please let me know and I will only take a few moments of your time to provide more details on the program. Or simply answer any questions you may have.

    I wish you the best, and look forward to hearing from you soon!

  47. You posted a website that uses past flight data that will help you figure out what’s the best/lowest price to book airfare. I’ve gone back through the blog and can’t find it. I’ve used key search terms but can’t find it there either. Can you remind me what that website is?

  48. Hi Darius

    Thank you so much for being my inspiration to use miles to get out and see the world. I started collecting points in November 2016 by signing up for the Amex Platinum card and in January got the SW premier /SPG cards. So this is all very new to me and I ready your blog everyday. Thanks , you’re the BEST!

    My goal is to get the Southwest Companion Pass through Marriot hotel and air package deal before March 31st, 2017.

    The Plan:
    I have 117K Amex rewards+25KSPG guest points from sign on bonus =192K Marriot Rewards points.
    I have 50K Southwest sign on bonus points earned this month(2.06.17), plus an additional 10K if I spend another $1K.

    1. I could buy an additional 8K Marriott reward points for $100.00 or 28K Marriott rewards points for $ 350.00
    2. I could buy an additional 10K SPG Starpoints for $ 297.50 – regular $ 350.00 but SPG has a 15% promotion through 4.30.2017.
    Both scenarios are targeting the 200K Marriott reward point for 7nights +50K Rapid rewards points or 220K Marriott reward points for 7nights +70K Rapid rewards points

    Is it possible to earn the companion pass by combining either the 50K or 70K rapid rewards earned from the Hotel and Air package with my 50K SW rapid rewards earned from signing up for the new card ?

    Does points earned from SW sign on bonus count toward the Companion pass?

    Or should I just buy additional miles to have the 270K necessary for the Companion Pass?

    Whew, that is a loooong question but I am researching all possibilities .

    Thanks for you help.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad you found inspiration from the blog!

      It sounds like you’re on the right track to earn the Companion Pass! You can combine points from the Hotel + Air Package and sign-up bonus to earn the Companion Pass. Keep in mind, in addition to the 50,000 Southwest point Chase Southwest sign-up bonus, you’ll also earn points from meeting the minimum spending requirement (and yes, all those points count toward the Companion Pass!). This might help you decide between the 200,000 and 220,000 Marriott point Hotel + Air packages.

      Just remember to book the Hotel + Air package before March 31, 2017, so the points get to your Southwest account in time. Hope this helps!

  49. I divide my time between homes in the USA and UK. In the USA I am a great fan of mileage sign up bonuses, and have accumulated and used many, many miles.
    But I have had trouble finding any good deals for cards that use pounds other than dollars. MBNA has a VISA/AMEX card which gives me American Airlines miles, but I didn’t get any sign up bonus.
    Why are the Brits being missed out on these deals?
    Or have a missed an offer somewhere?

  50. Dear Daraius,
    I am beginner of this hobby and learning so much from your blog, Thank you so much!!. I am desperately need of expert’s guidance. Due to declining health of my father, I would like to make a quick trip to South Korea but I don’t really have 8K plus money that I could spend on airplane tickets for my family of four at this time. I was thinking that I could utilize some credit cards sign up bonuses and what I already have, I could make this trip cheaply as possible. What we have currently have is 100,000 miles each with Delta and I have 75,000 UR points and 56,000 Southwest points. Could you shine on some idea that I could implement so my family could make this costly trip possible? Delta would be best choice considering what I have, is that right? What kind of cards I should get and strategy on how to redeem them?
    Thank you in advance of your help.


  51. Hi Daraius, We just signed up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (at the bank – so I received the 100k points). We have an AMEX Starwood Preferred Card for personal and my business. I also have a Citi Thank you Premier. We would never get rid of the AMEX, but I don’t know which we should keep of the Chase or Citi card. Which do you see as having the better benefits? Or maybe both should be kept? Please let me know your thoughts.
    Thank you.

  52. Thanks for replying to my Barclays question, I forgot to ask the following:

    Is there any tricks/ideas to get my 17 year old son his own credit cards and getting the airline miles bonus in his name? I realize any card would have to be co-signed since he is a minor with out full time employment but wasnt sure if there was a loophole?

    Also, any way around of getting my brother’s AA miles transferred over to my children’s AA accounts with out having to go through the pay to transfer system?

  53. Hi Darius,

    Just a tip I’ve learned about the new Hilton award program. Maybe no-news to you, but thought it could be new based on recent changes to HHonors.

    Making separate reservations for each award night versus one reservation for multiple nights can save your Hilton points.

    My example:

    Booking Hilton Garden Inn Hong Kong Mongkok three nights: March 22-25th.

    If I do one reservation Hilton quotes 30,000/night = 90,000 miles total (30,000/night based on highest Friday night rate)

    If I do separate reservations for each night, then it’s 25,000 Wed, 22,000 Thurs, 30,000 Fri = 77,000 points total.

    A 13,000 point savings for me!

  54. Is there anyway to get the 100K bonus pts for AMEX Platinum before March 30th?

  55. Hello, I have a Platinum American Express card. They will be offering 5x points on Hotel Travel booked thru their website. Is it better to book directly with my Hotel Partners like Hilton(Gold) and Starwoods(Gold) and collect their points or use my American Express Card and collect 5x membership rewards points? If you could discuss the Pro’s and Con’s of which is the best way to accumulate points that would be awesome.



  56. My husband has the Sapphire Reserve and the Freedom. He plans on keeping them both. I have the Sapphire Preferred and the Freedom. If I move my current UR points to him and then cancel my Sapphire Preferred, can I then move future UR points from my Freedom spend to him? In other words, must I keep my Sapphire Preferred in order to transfer UR points from my Freedom card to my spouse?

  57. Interesting question for you,

    My gf recently applied for the SW Premier and Preferred cards with a 50k bonus. However, it looks like she missed the deadline on spending $2,000 on the Premier. I know cardmembers who received a bonus within 24 months are not eligible to receive a bonus on the same card. My question is, could she close the premier, open it again in a few months, and get the bonus? Or is the fact that she had the card within 24 months disqualifying?

  58. Hey Darius & Emily! I’m starting up a new blog, so I’m really newbie to the scene, but a long time travel hacker. I have some personal contacts at Agoda’s HQ in Bangkok, and they offered me a nice little coupon for their mobile app, 10% off all bookings, combined with the app discount its about 15% off in total. Full details and terms of the coupon are on my post, its pretty simple & straightforward. Would be really cool if you’d be willing to repost it, totally understandable if you’re busy though. Here is my link with the info and the coupon code itself, thanks for your time!

  59. Theresa & Joe Inserra

    Hi Daraius,

    Love your site and the frequent email missives – they’ve really helped us travel better!

    We do have a question: If we have already had (and cancelled) the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, can we take advantage of their new offer? We cannot see anything one way or the other on the American Express site ( Perhaps we are just missing the obvious?? Thank you!

    • The personal and small business versions of the AMEX Starwood card are considered different card products.

      So if you’ve only had the personal version, you can still get the small business version (and vice versa).

      But you can NOT get the same card product a second time. Because AMEX only lets folks get a card once per lifetime. Under “Offer Terms” it says:

      “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”

      Hope this helps!

      • Theresa & Joe Inserra

        Thanks Daraius – we appreciate the response!

        One follow-up if you don’t mind. Do you have a post to which you can point us that describes the qualifications for a small business?

        And thanks again for your excellent resource – you’ve made a positive difference for us!

  60. Hi MMS,

    I discovered this amazing points and miles world only a little over 5 months ago! Since then, I’ve been reading your blog and other travel blogs on a daily basis!! My wife & I had orginally booked a flight 6 months ago to visit her parents in Malaysia this coming May, but we had to cancel the trip as we found out recently she’s pregnant & we are expecting our first child. So now we are planning to bring our soon-to-be daughter to meet her grandparents sometime in 2019 & would really need your help! I know it’s still two years way, but we also know time will fly by so quickly especially with our first child and since we are so new to this world of points & miles. We would like to know which airlines (and how) are our best options in booking two business class seats (or even 1st class if at all possible) from Newark or JFK to Malaysia (either round trip or one way–if one way, we prefer on our return from Malaysia to Newark/JFK). Currently we have 320,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points and 80,000 SPG points (We understand it’s not much in the world of points & miles, so we are reaching out to you for help in planning this special trip for us as a family so our daughter can see her grandparents for the first time). Your help is much appreciated!!


    • Congrats! First thing to consider is that infants only fly for “free” until they’re 2 years old. So depending on the timing of your trip, you may need 3 seats.

      Also, on award flights, you still usually have to pay for the taxes and fees and some percentage of the cash price (like 10%) of the ticket for a lap infant. This can really add up if you’re flying in First or Business Class!

      As for which points or miles to use, you could consider using Singapore Airlines miles to fly from New York to Kuala Lumpur. You can transfer both Starwood points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Airlines miles at a 1:1 ratio, so that could work well for you!

      Check out this post for more about using Singapore Airlines miles:

  61. what happens if i purchase a united flight with a non united card but pay for the baggage fees with a united card???? thanks and regards ed

  62. Hi:

    Could you please clarify something about Chase’s 5/24 policy?.

    My wife is an “authorized user” of a credit card that I recently opened in my own name .

    Does that card count as one of her “5” ?

    Or does Chase only care about the number of cards she has recently opened in her own name?

    Many thanks

    • Unfortunately lots of folks have reported that authorized user accounts DO count against their 5/24 status.

      But some folks have had success if they close the authorized user account and explain to Chase that they weren’t the primary cardholder. Good luck!

  63. Hey Darius!

    Long time reader here of your blog (going on 4-5 years I think!)… I’ve signed up for probably every card on your site at least once, and did the same for my wife.

    Purpose of my reaching out is that I am debating going ‘gung ho’ on the Marriott promotion that is starting for the 3.75M points… basically helping to sign up and complete mail in entries for every single person that I know. I thought it might be an interesting read for people on your site, so my offer is that when I start or complete it be more than happy to tell my story and provide some pictures. Just an offer – no response needed if you’re not interested. Just thought it’d be a unique and interesting story!… targeting at least 25 people to sign up x 20 mail ins (good for 3 entries each). Be amazing if one of us won!!


  64. Please give an update on the status of using gift cards to load to a Bluebird card. Is it possible?

  65. I love that you are a CPA, I am too. My blog is about early retirement, you should check it out sometime. We travel hack as well.

  66. Good Morning from where you went to school Evanston, IL
    We sold our house and our new one will not be ready for 60 days. We have decided to spend these sixty days and at a Hyatt House. should I use my Chase Hyatt Card or my Chase Sapphire Reserve?
    I do plan on using the points for future Hyatt stays.

    • Both cards earn the same amount of points per $1 spent at Hyatt (3X Hyatt points on the Chase Hyatt card or 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Sapphire Reserve).

      But I’d rather use my Chase Sapphire Reserve because you’ll have more flexibility. Just in case you decide to use your points for a flight or nights at a different hotel instead. And if not, you can always transfer the Ultimate Rewards points you earn to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio!

  67. Love your blog, I have been following it for about a year now. My wife is currently at 4/24 and has the following cards:

    Retail Card
    Ink Preferred
    Citi AA Business

    She’s looking to get the following:
    United 70k (she’s targeted)
    SW 50k (any card)
    Amex Plat (she’s targetted for 100k)
    Amex SPG (35k)
    Citi AA Plat

    We’re thinking of applying for all of these (or atleast 4 tomorrow) mostly cuz:
    1) Chase, she’s at 4/24 and don’t want the others apps to block her from getting these 2 final chase.
    2) Amex 100k Plat, we’re not sure if there’s an expiration (shows pre-qualified online but no date like there would be for mailers), want it before the new changes) and can combine with SPG personal
    3) Citi AA has 6/6 rule which she’ll be at if she applied for the other 4.
    Yes, it’ll be tough to MS, but i think I can handle it (with organic spending on the Amex Plat. Downsides of doing all 5 within a few hours? Or is there one I think I can hold off on?

    Btw, I’m thinking of getting CP, so was gonna hold off on it for her. I’m at 4/24 as well, but already have the United Card., CSR, CSP, Ink Preferred, and a retail card. My last Chase Application was February 27th and I got approved on March 1st. Due to the Chase 2/30 rule, I will be able to apply on March 31st. However, I am qualified for the Amex Platinum 100k which expires on 3/28. I have heard that Amex does not post for a month, so I was going apply for both the Amex Plat and SPG Personal to combine hard pulls on 3/28. Do you think I will still be okay for the SW cards on 3/31 if apply for the two Amex cards slightly before. All this is assuming I can MS everything


    • Your plan seems sound, but I can’t guarantee you’ll be approved for all of them. Because it’s up to the bank in the end! And outside of their rules (like 5/24) they consider things like credit score and the amount of credit they’ve already extended to you.

      Plus, if there’s a delay with any of your applications, it might throw things off.

      Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

  68. Hello Darius, Any idea if purchasing amex gift cards qualifies meeting the spend requirement on the
    starwood personal/business credit card.
    Thanks in advance

  69. Hi Darius:

    I have Chase Business Ink Cash and Ink Plus. I am confusing about earning 5% and 5x points, which one is better. Is it the same to earn UR To transfer for travel ? Sorry, if this question is nonsense but I am just learning about the Points and Miles .

  70. Daraius, you are one of the first blogs that I started to follow as soon as I got into the miles&points game. I like your blog and read it almost everyday. Thank you! However, today I am here to leave this message for a different reason: I start to feel this blog has been falling behind other good blogs. First, the content is less surprising and sometime toward a narrow audience. Second, I particularly dislike the kind of “big giveaway” and “winner announcement” posts. It feels…cheap. It is as if you couldn’t catch enough visitors so that you have to give out freebies…I know you don’t have to do that and shall not do it. My suggestions? for the first one, just do it as a passion as you did. Search deals or collect them from your readers. Try to post something unique now and then (I know it is hard as so many bloggers around). For the second, it is easy. Just stop that! Yes, you might lose some traffic, but you raise your level in my (and hopefully most of your readers’) mind.

    BTW, even without doing anything, you are still great bloggers, and right now one of my daily must-read blogs. But compared to my two other blogs, Frequent Miler and Doctor of Credit, I senses a little bit feeling of falling behind. My two cents.

  71. Hello Daraius, if I apply a credit card which charges no fee in the first year, deactivate it just under a year and reapply again, will it affect my credit score? Can I do this every year?

    • It is possible, but you may not being able to earn a new sign-up bonus each time because of tighter bank rules. So that’s something to consider.

      Also, if it’s a card with a bank you really like, I’d recommend keeping it and paying the annual fee to establish a solid relationship with the bank.

      As for your credit score, it may dip a little with each new credit pull, but should recover. I do recommend keeping at least one card long-term though. Preferably a card with no annual fee!

  72. Steve Andersen


    Southwest Companion Pass Question – My wife has a companion pass on our daughter. I just earned another one and was going to put it on my wife.

    If I do this and I get a ticket for me my wife will fly for free, but will my daughter also be able to fly free under my wife’s companion pass?

    • That wouldn’t work because you must link your companion to a paid or award ticket that you booked in your Southwest account. So your companion couldn’t add another companion because your ticket wouldn’t show up in her account.

  73. Darius,

    Enjoyed the blog from way back when. Keep up the great work!

    Quick question.

    I have chase sapphire/reserve/marriott.

    Majority of my paid business travels are Marriott and enjoyed being their platinum member for numerous years thus far.

    Trying to gauage point values accounting for multipliers and transfer rates.

    Majority of my overall point usage will likely be transferred to airline partners or spg desitinations.

    Reviewed TPG point valuation.

    So based on this, it would be wiser to use chase reserve at 3x multiplier as opposed to chase marriott at 5x? Or in other words, what would be the best bang for my buck in your opinion?

    • Interesting question!

      If you’re interested in Starwood stays, I’d go with the 5X category bonus for stays at Marriott hotels with the Chase Marriott card.

      But if you’re more interested in transferring points to airline partners, the better choice would be to pay with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

      So it depends on which type of travel you want more. Whichever you pick, choose the card that’s best for your goals.

      Hope that gives you some guidance!

  74. Hi Darius, I need your help!! I am sitting on 266K Thank you points, 200K UR points, 68K Capital one Points, 200K AA miles, (and can borrow another 150K from my dad) and 86K United miles. My dream is to get my family of 5 to Bora Bora (overwater bungalows look amazing), but I don’t think I have the points to do that. As a consolation, we’d like to visit Hawaii (Maui, Kauai and possibly the Big Island). Coming from Boston and targeting first week of August for 10-14 days. I am fairly confident that I will have to throw cash at this problem, I have budgeted $3K for the hotel/airfare in combination with the points. Any suggestions on how to attack this? I read so many mixed reviews on those award travel planners, and I am certain I can do this myself.
    Am I too late for an August trip? I wouldn’t be against paying cash for a flight to get the family to a hub if that would open up my low point options. Any help appreciated from the expert!

  75. Hi just found your site, looking for info on combining my reward pts for several cards etc.
    MY QUESTION, any advice for travel insurance carriers?
    good site hope to use it to Austrailia

  76. Hi Darius,

    I wonder if this would work at least with some hotel chains:

    My points expire on April 1, 2017. I use them now to book a hotel for February 2018. In January 2018 I cancel that reservation. Will I get these points back?


  77. Hello,

    The amex personal platinum is offering a 75000 sign up bonus with only spending 5000 in 3 months.
    Any thoughts?

  78. Hi,

    I missed the cut off date for Chase Sapphire Reserve 100K bonus by a day. *sigh* Is it still worth getting it? And keeping it? I already feel like I lose out. What’s your calculation on the $450 annual fee, losing 50K and how much harder I have to work to earn the 50K points?

  79. Hi, my name is Alex. Could you tell me more about advertising on your web-site?
    I’m interested mostly in sponsored article opportunity.
    Would be grateful if you provide me with info about that.


  80. julie frederick

    Hi there,I’ve been trying to plan a trip for my 10 year anniverary at the end of this year using my 300K IHG points to the Intercontinental Thalasso, as that seems to be the only Intercontinental that allows the use of points. Finally got ready to pull the trigger and when I try and book, it says “the dates I requested aren’t available, but that other dates are” However, when I click on that link, there are no dates available, at any time. Same with the other Intercontinental in Bora Bora. I’ve searched the internet and your blog….did IHG get rid of free nights at the Thalasso? I’m going to be so bummed if they did. Any insight would be appreciated! Thank you,Julie 

    • I don’t believe they’ve changed the rules for using points there, but it can be tricky finding award nights at popular hotels. It might be worth a call to IHG. The best way to get an award night is to check often or book very early in advance.

      Good luck, I hope you can find the award nights you’re looking for!

  81. Daraius- Long time reader of your blog for several years…. I was wondering if you’ve ever done an article focused on the best strategies for using points for cruises? I looked through the search function and found lots of good ideas interspersed throughout different articles, but nothing geared solely toward cruises. Maybe I missed it? I’m asking since I would like to take a 12+ day cruise around South America. Many thanks, Mike

  82. Hi,

    I’m still new to points and enjoy this website a lot. I have the following cards:

    Starwoods Amex, Chase Reserve, southwest Visa, Marriott. I want to plan a trip to Asia from Los Angeles specifically Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul over the Christmas holidays. What’s the best way to plan for a family of four using points. Should I apply all my points toward airfare or hotel?

  83. Need a little help in finding 2 business class awards to Australia from St. Louis. I barely have enough AA miles for the trip (my retirement gift) I plan to take in Mar/Apr ’18 (also my 71st birthday). When I review the AA site I always find the class is not available on one leg of the flight (the longest leg). I could pay for help, but have to believe there is some easier way of using AA points on some One World member airline that flies into either Australia or New Zealand. Suggestions ??

  84. Hi Darius – I recently decided to apply for the Southwest Premier Card and following your advise, I also put my application in for the SW Business card. We have been in business for 8 years as a Sole Proprietorship so there is no question of the legitimacy. The personal card was immediately approved but I received a notice that they needed to review additional information on the business application and that an answer would be forthcoming via US mail and could take up to 30 days. To me, this usually indicates a rejection. Is there a number I could or should call for Chase to appeal or should I just wait for the letter to arrive?

    • The “needs further review” note doesn’t always mean a rejection!

      But if you’d like, you can call Chase small business card reconsideration at 800-453-9719. Sometimes they’ll ask you to move part of the credit line from another card to this card. But it’s worth calling to plead your case if you’re denied!

  85. I am wondering if have the Chase Ink Business card will impact my Chase Ink Preferred Business card. Are they completely different products? Also, I am likely going to close my IHG card because I am out of points. How long until I should apply again? Is it from the time it is opened, closed, or a bonus is received?

    • Yes, the Chase Ink Plus, Ink Bold, and Ink Preferred cards are considered different products. So haven’t one of the other Ink cards shouldn’t hurt your chances of being approved for the Ink Preferred, although whether you’re approved is ultimately up to the bank. And they’ll take into consideration the total amount of credit they’ve already given to you.

      As for the Chase IHG card, you can get the card again as long as you hadn’t received the bonus in the previous 2 years AND you don’t have the card currently open.

      But don’t forget about Chase’s 5/24 rules when planning which cards you’ll apply for next! You can read more about it here:

  86. Hi, I was hoping you can answer a question about the Chase card products. My understanding (from reading your blog!) is that one of the big perks of the Chase Sapphire family of cards is that spouses can transfer points to each other and that points earned on the Freedom card can be combined with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to be used as points rather than converted to dollars/gift card redemptions. I was wondering if my husband has a Chase Freedom card but does not have a Chase Sapphire Preferred/Reserve card, but I do, can I transfer his Chase Freedom UR points to my Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Ink Plus UR account?

  87. Hi,

    I’m reaching out on behalf of MGM Resorts International from their Media Agency. We’re looking to potentially have some articles written on one of our offerings – M life Rewards program – throughout the remainder of the 2017. Along with this, there would also ideally be standard banner ads running on your site.

    We’re looking for this to be more informative and traffic driving than sign-up related.

    Would this be something you can accommodate? Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or clarification.


  88. Hi Darius,

    Great Blog! I apologize if you have gone over this topic on your blog before but I have a quick Hyatt question. I want to book a Hyatt room way in advance to secure a reward room but I don’t receive my free reward night from the Hyatt CC for a few months. So if I booked the room now with points, would Hyatt let me use the reward night once I receive and redeposit my points? Thanks! – Glenn

    • I’m not sure that will work because the award nights they make available for points are different than those they make available for folks with a free night certificate. But you can always call Hyatt and ask!

  89. Hi there!

    I’m reaching out because I see an opportunity for Million Miles Secrets to tap into a new revenue stream via VigLink. VigLink finds links on publisher pages that go to merchants, and converts them into links that generate revenue. In other words, you get paid when clicks from your page turn into purchases. We offer a number of revenue generating products at absolutely no cost to the publisher.

    Major publishers such as StyleCaster, The Daily Beast, CNET and MSN are just a few among the 2 million publishers who have already begun earning meaningful revenue with VigLink services — your site could be next!

    Are you the right person to contact for this opportunity?

    Ali Donohue

  90. sybil levenson

    Your points page is really helpful

    Am looking for Amtrak card packed with Bonus Miles..any suggestions

    Thank you

  91. Hi aivd reader here. I have a quick question regarding using chase points. I want to go to hawaii (4 roundtrip tickets) potentially in late december using the korean air skypass. I’ve been reading, but not sure how to be 100% sure there is delta or alaska availability. Any tips? Also would it be better to transfer all the points to Hyatt to get explorist status and upgrade to a suite?


    • It depends on whether you’d save more using your points for the hotel or for your tickets. So I’d suggest comparing the cost to see which is a better deal.

      You can check on Delta’s website for availability. Just be sure you’re looking for low-level award seats if you plan to use Korean Air miles for a Delta flight!

  92. Hello,
    I am curious about end-of-year hops. I saw a segment on TV once regarding those folks that are just short of Chairman or Executive status flying several linked segments to nowhere essentially. The purpose being just to get the number of flights to qualify for that specific status. I gave it little thought until last year when I ended the year 6 segments short of Executive Platinum. I would love to know whether those few extra segments actually make a big difference or not. If they do, I would appreciate it if you have any advice on how to proceed. I have great latitude in booking my own flights. Any tricks/tips are appreciated.

    Best regards, Mike LaVigne

    • Hello Mike – If you’re very close to earning elite status like Executive Platinum, it could make sense to take a few flights at the end of the year. But it really comes down to the cost and benefits. If you’ll use the perks of the status, then booking a few cheap flight segments might be a good idea. Hope this helps!

  93. Daraius,

    In December you published an interview with Steve Solosky, the traveling professor ( After reading the interview we (four couples) hired him to take us on a Peru tour (Cusco, Machu Picchu, & Puerto Maldonado/Amazon jungle). We just returned home Saturday, 3/25/17 and I can highly endorse him. He was intimately familiar with the ins & outs of all the locations the whole trip, which made the trip worry free, plus he’s a really nice guy.

    I’ll see you & Emily in Chicago in October.

  94. I’ve put together a string of stays at Hampton Inns for work recently. I’m getting my 2,000 bonus points per night for their promo, but am also getting an additional 1,000 points per night listed as “2017 COBRAND SPECIAL 1000 POINT BONUS.” I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth… I’m all for 50% additional bonus points but am curious if you have any ideas on what’s triggering it? I’m an Amex Hilton Surpass card holder but 2/3 stays were booked through my corporate travel group and placed on my non-Hilton Amex. Thanks!

    • I know there were several targeted Hilton promotions recently. So it’s possible the extra 1,000 points are in addition to points you earned from any other promotion you registered for. It’s always great to earn extra points unexpectedly!

  95. Good morning!

    I have a quick question from an expert within the travel hacking world!

    I have opened an AMEX SPG business card in the past using my SSN. I have recently started a new business and have gotten an EIN number. Can I open another SPG card with the EIN and get the bonus again?


  96. I applied for a Chase/United card a few months ago which gave miles AND free access to their members only lounges in airports (a $50 savings). The $450 annual fee was waived for the first year. I got my card in the mail and shortly thereafter a $450 bill. United said it was not their issue – call Chase. I called Chase and they said they were not privy to United’s offer. What? Neither would honor my issue despite me having the original offering bulletin.
    This is more an FYI than a request for assistance since I have been around with both parties twice to no avail

  97. can you please help us how to utilize chase points? i would like to mainly pay for the flight from hawaii to san diego using chase award points. Thanks!!

  98. A couple of months back I had received an email from Hilton that from March 1, we will be able to transfer points between household members free. I called a few weeks back since I need to get some points to top off for an award redemption. The CSP had no idea. I think I read another email this would be from April 1. Any idea if and when this can be done.

  99. Hi,

    I’m a big fan of your work.

    Quick question – My wife and I started to open credit cards in her name to benefit from additional sign up bonuses. In the past, I would apply for a card and just add my wife as an authorized user. Will that hurt her ability to open her own cards? We’re specifically concerned about how it would impact Chase’s 5/24 rule.

    We want to get the Chase Freedom Unlimited card to use the 1.5 ultimate rewards points per dollar spent on non-dining/travel spending (we use the chase sapphire reserve for travel/dining spending). However, I got denied recently because I’ve open too many cards in too short a period of time. Will my wife have the same issue if she’s been an authorized user on most of the cards that I’ve been opening? We added her because we were able to hit the spending thresholds quicker if we were both carrying the cards.

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated!


  100. We are traveling to Santa Barbara, Ca end of May this year. There are no Hilton hotel deals in the area with points. Is there a card you recommend that we get to help out with costs of hotels?