Maximize your Miles through Travel Rewards Credit Cards

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One of the best and proven ways to earn and maximize miles is via travel reward credit cards. Travel reward cards usually offer new cardholders with great signup bonuses, and users can get up to 30,000 miles and more, depending on the provider and the sign up bonus offer.

You will also have to meet a specific spending requirement to be eligible for these bonuses; but it is worth, considering the bonuses that sometimes equals to hundreds of dollars in cash or airfare, if you sell or transfer the miles. In any event, if you have planned to make a large purchase, it will be worthy enough to ensure that you get the best sign up bonus available for your credit card.

How to Find Outstanding Credit Card Offers

You will need to do good research to find the credit card offer that is best for you. It is better to invest some time and look for the best deals. You will need to be patient to find competitive deals, as banks promote their best deals repeatedly as limited time offers. This means that if you are unable to find a good deal for you, just wait for a few days, and strike while the iron is hot.

Advantages of Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Travel rewards credit cards allow users to earn more miles when they use credit cards to make some specific purchases. For instance, co-branded credit cards offer their users more than double miles for a dollar spent with a particular hotel stay or airline company. There are also some other travel reward credit cards that offer bonus miles for everyday purchases that the users make. The everyday purchases can be anything from groceries, gas, or dining out and this can be used as an easy way to stack up miles. You would buy these items on a regular basis anyway, what if you get some bonus miles on these purchases.

Marriott-Starwood Merger: Two New Rewards Programs for Loyal Members

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Finally, there is some good news for Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest rewards points holders. Marriot has officially announced that even after the merger with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, they will continue to offer the rewards points benefits to loyal members of both the companies.

“Obviously there’s a lot of work to do as it relates to combining the loyalty programs,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Commercial Officer for Marriot International. “But the great thing for consumers is that right out of the gate, they will be able to link their accounts and match their status from day one.”

Linnartz further added that, “The earliest that we would combine the two programs will be 2018. You can imagine all of the complexities involved with the respective partners [for each program].” She also explained that loyalty members can club their SPG accounts to Marriott Rewards through their website, and transfer the points to match their privileged status on both programs.

Members can redeem the bundled reward points for free hotel stays across the company’s network of properties around the world. Apart from that, members can also redeem their points for exclusive activities, sports events, entertainment, or for online purchases at Marriot’s shopping portal. Members can also exchange points at a 3:1 ratio, where 3 Marriott Rewards points equals to 1 SPG reward point.

With the rewards points accounts linked, loyal members get even more options to choose a property for free stay. For instance, Marriot Rewards members can now get free nights at Bora Bora, Maldives, or Santorini, which were earlier available to SPG members only. Similarly, reward stays at Tuscany, Aruba, or Kruger National Park would now be accessible to Starwood Preferred Guests, which were earlier offered exclusively to Marriott members.

“Marriott’s and Starwood’s guests have shown tremendous loyalty to our brands and now that we are one company, we are seizing the opportunity to reinforce our loyalty to them,” said Linnartz. Marriott also organized a Global Travel Day in October to celebrate their merger with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Reports say that Marriott Rewards would continue their partnership with JP Morgan Chase for their credit card program, where Starwood would hold on to American Express for their Starwood Preferred Guest Card.

Why you Should Sell your Airline Miles

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Credit card points and travel rewards are great and they help you to get a free flight. There are many simple and effective ways to earn more reward points and slowly accumulate them. Many major airline companies also give attractive offers and deals for customers to double or significantly increase their credit points.

However, a few travelers might not have any plans to redeem the points. Carlyn is one such frequent traveler, who earned many credit card points, but wasn’t in any mood to redeem them. So, she decided to make the most of her credit card reward points by selling them through a mileage broker.

“I didn’t see a value in holding onto them hoping that I would find a flight I could use,” Carlyn said. The mileage broker helped her to claim a great profit even though she did take a bit of a gamble.

It is important to find a reliable mileage broker and thoroughly learn about the entire process before heading forward. You should also learn about how much they are offering for each of you rewards points. If you are happy with the amount they are offering, only then you should continue with the deal and sell miles.

In majority of the cases, the points sold by the individuals to the brokers are redeemed for a flight ticket, which they eventually sell to someone else. However, in some of the cases, airline companies allow you to sell reward points or credit card points to your friends and family members.

Brian Kelly, a reward points expert says that, “The airlines and credit card companies are looking for transferring of points to people in different states, different last names and different geographical regions.”

However, travel points expert, Eli Hoffman says that, “Airlines definitely do not want the client to sell their miles to a company like ours. Even if something did arise, we still guarantee payment; you would keep the payment even if your account got shut down.”

However, Carlyn admitted that she was happy and satisfied with the deal and said, “I made money selling miles that I’m no longer using and somebody else that needed a last minute flight was able to save some money.”

Earn 3x United Miles While Booking Airbnb Stays

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We all know that there have been only limited chances to earn bonus points or miles on Airbnb purchases. Only a few cards like Citi ThankYou Premier or the Chase Sapphire Reserve offer 3X points on travel purchases. However, United Miles have released an app that has added Airbnb as one of their merchants. This means that users can earn at least 3X United Miles for the Airbnb purchases, other than the miles and points earned with their credit card.

For each dollar that you spend on Airbnb, you will be getting 3 United Miles. The TPG value of United Miles is 1.5 cent per mile. Users can also earn points from the credit card purchases. For instance, if you are using Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you could earn 3X Ultimate Reward points, which means that a purchase of five hundred dollars can lead to 3,000 points in total. You can buy an Airbnb gift card as well and then credit it to your Airbnb account.

Further, card holders with United Mileage Plus Explorer cards can get 25% bonus on any earnings made through the app, even though the card is not used to make the purchase. This will boost your bonus to 3.75 miles per dollar. If you do not have a United Mileage Plus Explorer card, you can earn 30,000 bonus United miles after spending thousand dollars for purchases in the first three months of sign up, if you signup now.

In another news, Airbnb has partnered with Qantas Airlines. This partnership allows you to earn Qantas miles by booking Airbnb stays making use of the carrier’s website. Under this scheme, for every dollar that you spent with Airbnb, you can get a Qantas mile. The unfortunate thing is that it is not possible to stack up these promos, so it will be a better option to make the purchases through the United Miles app.

If you were looking to make some money by selling miles that you have accumulated over the past, you can get in touch with a reliable mileage broker like YYZ Miles, and get the top deal on your reward points.

Converting Hotel Points to Airline Miles

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Many hotel loyalty programs these days offer the option to convert their loyalty points to airline miles, but you may need to sacrifice some value in this process. For instance, both Hilton and Club Carlson offer an interesting exchange rate of 10:1 with most of the airlines, whereas IHG offers a bad deal of 5:1. In general, it is not a wise idea to swap hotel points for miles, unless you are sure that you will not use up the points for hotel stays.

If you need to swap hotel points for miles, it will be better to transfer large quantities of points, as you can have a better return with that. For example, suppose that you are planning to exchange Marriot rewards points for airline miles. If you transfer the points to American Airlines, you can have an exchange rate of 5:1 at the lowest tier, which improves when you go up the tier. At the highest tier, you can have values less than 3:1. This is why it is best to transfer large quantities of points.

If you are transferring to MileagePlus, you can have even better returns, as Marriot has partnership with United Airlines. Here, you can get returns of nearly 2:1 at the highest tier, and it would be a fair trade. If you were able to take advantage of any transfer promotions, you might even claim better returns on transfer.

United Airlines is also one of the most rewarding programs when you book Marriot hotel and air packages bundled, as you can have a 10% return as mileage bonus with that. This means that in this package, you can redeem 200,000 points for 55,000 miles together with a seven-night stay in category 1-5 hotel.

You may also consider transferring your points to Southwest, as these points can make you qualify for the companion pass. Do not expect the same rate that you got with United, but still, it is a good redemption option.

Marriott International Loyalty Program Members will Receive Reciprocal Benefits

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The first major decision from Marriott International after their merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts was to provide reciprocal benefits to each of their loyalty program members.

Marriott International purchased Starwood in an estimated $13 billion deal. This deal allowed Marriott International to become the largest hotel company in the world. Marriott launched 30 new brands and expanded their business to over 5,700 hotels.

Reports indicate that Marriott owns approximately 1.1 million rooms in over 100 countries. This major decision enabled the members of the Marriott Rewards program and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) to link their accounts at the official site of Marriott, so that they could earn and redeem their reward points.

In an interview, Marriott CEO, Arne Sorenson said, “We did want to deliver real benefits to our customers immediately.” She also added that the two programs will continue as separate and Marriott will focus on product and technology enhancements.

Sorenson also confirmed that their merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts will approximately double the presence of their company in lucrative regions such as Africa, Middle East, and Asia. This is one of the biggest hotel mergers in the recent years. Prior to this merger, IHG and Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants also entered into a merger last year.

Even though many individuals have showed their likeness towards this recent merger, executive director of the Master’s of Hospitality Management Program at Georgetown University, Gray Shealy, feels that the merger will be less rocky. “They’ve had tons and tons of time to prepare for it,” Shealy said. “If anyone is going to do it as smoothly as possible it would be Marriott. Airline operations are so wildly different than hotel operations.”

Senior hotel research analyst at Baird, David Loeb stated that a lot more options would be available to the Marriott customers because of this merger. Loeb said that the options might not be available over the entire industry. “It will be tougher and tougher for smaller companies to compete. Consumers do like choice,” he added.

Sorenson has also confirmed that they are planning to retain the existing brands of the company. “We think we’re advantaged and our customers are advantaged by having more choice, not less,” Sorenson said. He also added that Marriott plans to “provide as clear a distinction as we can between the brands in terms of product and service so that our customers can have a sense of what each brand stands for.”

AmEx Offers Big Savings on Airlines

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AmEx offers run for a limited time and are usually targeted at American Express cardholders. Among the average offers, there are many compelling deals that you should not miss. If you have ever looked through the list of the offers, you will know how overwhelming it can be. The best travel related AmEx offers are discussed below.

Aerolineas Argentinas

You can spend just five hundred dollars and get cash back of a hundred dollars via this airline. In addition, multiple purchases made with the card will count towards the five hundred dollars spending requirement. The offer can be found on Business Gold Rewards card from American Express OPEN, Starwood Preferred Guest Business credit card from American Express, and Hilton HHonors Surpass credit card.

This offer is only valid for purchases of air tickets and add-ons that are bought at the same time. Moreover, you should purchase directly from Aerolineas Argentinas and the transaction should be done in US dollars. The offer is running now and is valid until November 15, 2016.

Delta

Spend just thousand dollars to get cash back of two hundred dollars. The offer is applicable for American Express Premier Rewards Gold card, as well as for AmEx EveryDay and AmEx Green cards. The different purchases made with the card count towards the thousand dollars spending requirement. However, the purchases like in-flight wireless internet access, charitable contributions, shows, games and movies accessed through a personal electronic device and SkyMiles Cruises do not qualify for the offer.

Virgin Atlantic

This offer lets you have cash back of two hundred dollars per thousand dollars spent. The purchased limit is not yet clear but it is recommended to make a purchase of thousand or more dollars to avail this offer. Also, the purchases should be made on the US website of Virgin Atlantic or from the mobile app of the airline company. The offer is valid until November 6, 2016.

8 Ways to Become a Points and Miles Millionaire

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Many travel hackers from all around the world take advantage of travel rewards and use them to book free flights. And yes, there are numerous simple ways to accumulate points and miles even without frequent traveling.

Majority of travel hackers have successfully earned thousands of miles and points, even without stepping into a flight. Here are a few tips and simple ways, which will help you to accumulate miles and points.

Co-Branded Credit Card

Signing up for a new co-branded credit card is the best and fastest way to earn miles. Almost all co-branded cards offer a minimum of 30,000-mile joining bonus. Sign up for multiple credit cards to accumulate more points.

Points-Earning Credit Card

Point cards also offer huge sign up bonus to their customers. The bonus offered by points-earning credit card can be later redeemed or transferred with awarding flights.

Online Shopping Portals

Online shopping portals allow you to claim numerous points and miles. Whenever you are shopping online, such portals would help you to earn miles on every dollar you are spending.

Hotel Stays

Hotel loyalty programs allow us to earn free nights at hotels. If you are interested in earning flyer miles, then the best way would be to spend your night at a hotel. Many hotels offer approximately thousands of flyer miles for every night.

Eating and Drinking

Another easy and effective way to earn more points is by dining at the airlines restaurants. You will be rewarded for each dollar, which you will spend there. Use your credit cards to pay the bill, as the miles will then be automatically transferred to your account.

Transferring Miles

Transferring miles is another effective way to win more points and book a free flight in your favorite airline. In many cases, you will have to spend your money in order to earn miles. However, the value and quality of your flight will definitely be worth your money.

Car Rentals

Many major airlines are in partnership with a number of companies and this includes car rental companies like Hertz. Delta Airlines offer rewards up to 3,400 miles when you rent a car from Hertz.

Newsletters

Airline newsletter helps you to know about latest mileage earning opportunities. Newsletters provide you constant updates from the world of miles and points and allow you to earn more travel points and rewards.

Different Factors to Consider Before Selecting a Travel Credit Card

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Travel miles are great and they are an excellent way to earn free airline tickets. Numerous simple and effective tips are there to earn more travel miles and we can easily accumulate our travel miles through these ways and enjoy a free flight every once in a while. However, a travel credit card could offer you a lot more.

Adding a travel credit card to your wallet can bring numerous benefits. Nevertheless, there are a few basic things, which you should consider before signing up for a travel credit card. Below are a few basic facts to be considered before selecting a travel credit card.

Good Credit

Almost all reward credit cards require new cardholders to have excellent credit scores. Travel credit card is no exception. Therefore, before applying for a travel credit card, make sure you have a good credit score. If you don’t, it is wiser not to apply now.

Try to accumulate the points and then apply for your travel credit card, once you achieve a good credit score. The chances of getting your dream credit card increases when you have an excellent credit score.

Travel

There are more than a few reward credit cards available in the market. This means you will have to compare between different credit cards before making a choice. Another important factor to consider while selecting a reward credit card is how you travel.

Many individuals are loyal to a particular airline and they prefer to travel only via these airlines. If you are one among those individuals, then it is wiser to go for their branded airline credit card. However, if you do not prefer to travel in a single airline, then a generic card that offers plenty of rewards for travel purchases is undoubtedly the perfect choice for you.

Reward Points

The reward offerings by each travel credit cards will be different. Hence, you will have to review each of the travel credit cards carefully before settling for a specific one. If you spend a certain sum of money within a few months after the purchase of your new credit card, you might even get a sign-up bonus.

The reward points offered by credit cards often vary on where you are spending your money. Hence, it is important to know the places that will maximize your reward points. So, examine and compare different travel credit cards before selecting one.

Sell Airline Miles Without Violating User Agreement

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Many individuals, who own plenty of reward points, doubt how to sell their reward points without violating the user agreement. However, if you are interested in selling your reward points, there are numerous options available to you. You can easily find an agency or a broker online and sell your miles effectively.

Michael, a TPG reader, who owns million of reward points said, “I have over a million points (a mixture of United miles, American miles, Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, British Airways Avios, Southwest points, StarPoints, US Airways miles, ANA and Delta SkyMiles). How can I sell the points without violating airlines’ user agreements? If I can sell them, how much can I get? How does the IRS look at the sale of points?”

Yes, you can easily sell your reward miles by finding a reputed agency online like YYZ Miles. We provide you with the complete details of the process and the price bidders are offering for your reward points. If the amount they offer seems reasonable to you, then you can proceed with the deal. If the amount seems unreasonable, then you can wait for a couple of days for a better deal.

There are a few other ways to sell miles as well. The programs offered by major airlines allow you to gift your points to your family and friends. However, you won’t be rewarded with a profit in majority of these programs.

The US Airways recently organized a 100% share miles bonus to their customers. The promo of this program stated that “Members may receive a maximum of​ ​50,000 bonus miles during the offer period.” An advantage of this program was that it allowed the customers to send their miles to other accounts. The customers were granted the wish to send as much as they like but each account was only eligible to earn up to 50,000 bonus miles.

A similar miles bonus program was also held by American Airlines. In this program, the customers were rewarded with a bonus of 20% bonus, when they share 5,000-25,000 miles. Whereas, the customers who shared 26,000-40,000 miles and 41,000-50,000 miles were rewarded with a bonus of 25 and 30 percent respectively.

However, the airline charged a fee of $20 for 1000 shared miles up to the first 5000 miles. JetBlue also launched an exciting offer Family Pooling, which allowed 5 children and 2 adults to share a single account. Yet the best of all such deals is to sell your miles through a reliable broker.

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