Blog & News

Putting Malta on your Bucket List – 7 Reasons

I recently completed a 5 night, 6 day trip to Malta – wait, where? Exactly. When I told friends and family I was traveling to Malta, half were confused as to where it is; the other half were confused – why would anyone go to Malta? 7 Reasons Why Malta Should Be on Your Bucket

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AMEX Platinum Annual Fee Change and More – On MilesFlying Podcast

Take a listen to the podcast below from my friend Yehuda over at Miles Flying. There we discuss credit cards, favorite destinations and the newsworthy item related to the annual fee increase on the AMEX Platinum Card. Curious why the fee is going up from $450 to $550? I can tell you, it’s not just

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Welcome, Million Mile Secrets Readers!

Welcome! Thanks for visiting my page. I hope you enjoyed reading my interview on Million Mile Secrets! I hope I can share some thoughtful advice and information with you. Things have been a bit quite on the site as I’ve recently started a new full-time job, but I have some nice content to share with

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Back to Basics: How To Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points

See my Back to Basics: How To Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards  Content Cards that Earn Membership Rewards Transfer Partners How to Link Programs & Transfer Transfer Rates, Bonuses & Times Most Valuable Transfer Partners  Cards that Earn Membership Rewards Membership Rewards (MR) are the points currency of American Express which transfer to airline and hotel

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The Other Blogs I Read

Believe it or not, the travel hacker / credit card reward blogs industry is pretty crowded *gasp*! If this isn’t your job, filtering through all the noise and finding meaningful and worthwhile content can be onerous. While my Feedly is stacked with every travel, aviation and rewards blog out there, here are a few to

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Kosher in Barcelona

This is an much delayed post as part of a trip we took during Thanksgiving 2016 to London and Barcelona. DISCLAIMER: I’m not a food critic/blogger or rabbi. Traveling to cities that have smaller kosher-keeping populations can make it difficult to enjoy your time in the locale. After all, eating the local fare helps you immerse

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Starwood Cards Back Up to 35,000 Bonus Miles

The Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) credit cards from American Express are back up to 35,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases. They’ve change the spending requirements, but the card benefits are staying the same. As AMEX cards one once per life time, this would be the best time to get the card with an all time

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Hawaiian Airlines Pulls a Delta Skymiles: Over 550 Flights, One Saver Business Class Seat

For the New Year, my wife and I were supposed to be in Hawaii and Sydney. Unfortunately, we were unable to go and had to cancel and reschedule our trip. I had originally booked us from Honolulu to Sydney on Hawaiian Airlines’ flight for 40,000 miles each way, per person, for a total of 80,000

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Every (Other) Co-Branded Airline Credit Card

After the launch of the Cathay Pacific credit card from Synchrony, I thought I’d put together a list of all the other co-branded airline credit cards (of which there are many). Here are the parameters for what’s included in the list: Current and/or best offer Some analysis on the worthiness of the card Many of the

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New Cathay Pacific Card: No Thanks!

Yesterday Synchrony (who?) released their much anticipated co-branded credit card withCathay Pacific Is it a worthwhile addition to your wallet?   (Wait – Synchrony? Synchro-who? Synchrony is a large issuer of store cards; think Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers.) The Offer  Earn 25,000 Asia Miles after spending $2,500 within three months of card opening  2x

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STOP! Rebates Ahead! Credit Cards That Offer Point Rebates

You know what the best thing about opening up a new credit card is? The sign-up bonus, of course! You know what’s even better? Using those points or miles and then getting some back – just for using them! Some credit cards offer points rebates; either for being a cardholder, or using the card. How

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Your Guide to Flying Between the Hawaiian Islands

When flying to Hawaii from the East Coast (or anywhere not the West Coast), you’ll most likely need to connect in Honolulu (HNL) – unless you’re connecting somewhere in California. After connecting onto your final destination in HNL, you may wish to visit more than one island. Inter-island flights are short, but can be expensive

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Hacked By Shade

Hacked By Shade Hacked By Shade   GreetZ: Prosox – Sxtz – KDZ – RxR HaCkEr – GeNErAL – HolaKo – Golden-Hacker – ~Abo-Al EoS Twitter: @ShadeHaxor

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Guide to Using Merrill Lynch Points

Intro How to Redeem Your Points How Redeeming Points Actually Works Where Can I Fly for $500? Starting Your Search How to Maximize on Flights Less Than $500? FAQ Intro Several weeks ago I wrote about an “obscure credit card from a familiar bank” – the Merill+ from Bank of America. As a recap, here’s

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PSA: Where to Find The Best Flight Deals – Without Points

Sometimes it’s not always worth using points – sometimes, it’s a better value paying cash. (See here: Cash Vs. Points). That being said, shelling out several hundred dollars for a trip to Europe isn’t always doable for a lot of people. So where do your friends find these “hacker fares”? In reality, a lot of

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Watch movie online Cyberbully (2015)

WATCH NOW Quality : HDTitle : CyberbullyDirector : Ben Chanan.Writer : Ben Chanan,David Lobatto.Release : 2015-01-15Language : English.Runtime : 62 min.Genre : Drama, Thriller. Synopsis : \’Cyberbully\’ is a movie genre Drama, was released in January 15, 2015. Ben Chanan was directed this movie and starring by Maisie Williams. This movie tell story about A

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Chase Sapphire Reserve – Bonus Changes January 12th

Per The Points Guy, Chase has informed its affiliates that the highly lucrative bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards on the Chase Sapphire Reserve will decrease to 50,000 points on January 12, 2017. The spending requirement of $4,000 in three months will remain the same. The silver lining? Rumor has it that this offer will

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A Year in Review – 2 Million Miles Earned

Earlier this week I shared with you an updated fourth quarter of earning and burning. (You can view quarters 1, 2 and 3). I write and share this information for the following reasons: Transparency. I’m a big believer in sharing my knowledge – after all, that’s why I started this blog! If I’m not open and transparent, how

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Virgin America & Alaska Airlines Merging Loyalty Programs – The Right Way

A few days ago Virgin America and Alaska Airlines completed their long awaited and much delayed merger. As we’ve seen with airline mergers, the first thing the companies focus on is allowing customers to book (revenue) flights on each others websites. From there, they move onto other priorities such as integrating the fleet, the crew

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Quick Hit: New Barclays Credit Card Is Here!

Several months ago I reported that Barclays would once again earn the right to issue their Aviator cards to new cardmembers. Under the previous agreement, all US Airways cardholders had their products converted to one of the four flavors of the Aviator card. The caveat was that Barclays could not issue new products. Now that’s

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A Points Promotion Worth Your Time – JetBlue & Amazon

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Comparing Credit Card Travel Credits

With the end of the year coming up, now is the perfect time to ‘double-tip’ on credit card travel credits. If you already have one of these cards, make sure to go ahead and check if you’ve fully used the credit. Your credits will be good to use for the remainder of this year and next

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Trip Highlights: Barcelona, Spain

Though comprehensive trip reports can be interesting, I find them to be too much and too long to read, and often times, boring. So that’s why I’ll provide some highs and lows. That being said, I’m more than happy to chat about specific aspects of the trip and location. Read Part 1: Trip Highlights: London England

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Trip Highlights: London, England

Though comprehensive trip reports can be interesting, I find them to be too much and too long to read, and often times, boring. So that’s why I’ll provide some highs and lows. That being said, I’m more than happy to chat about specific aspects of the trip and location. A Brief Intro After numerous cancellations of

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(My) Eight Truths About Points, Miles & Credit Cards

On Award Travel Travel is not free.  Contrary to what people may tell you, traveling on points and miles isn’t free. Forget about award taxes (even if you minimize them), simple things like taking public transportation from the airport costs something. But… Traveling on points gives you opportunities you may otherwise not have. This is why

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PSA: When To Pay With Cash

A bit of a PSA, below is a recent scenario I encountered and how I made the best decision. Cash Vs. Points I recently booked a trip from London to Barcelona. And as I start any search for any trip, I hop onto Google.com/flights to see what the options are. As we can see, there are

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An Obscure Credit Card From A Familiar Bank – Worth $500 – $1,000

A few weeks ago Doctor of Credit posted about a increased offering from Merill Lynch. As many of you will know, Bank of America and Merill Lynch merged in 2009 during the Recession. To miles and points enthusiasts, Bank of America is best known for their Alaska Airlines credit cards. Merill Lynch cards, however, have

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Best Uber Promo of the Year

I typically don’t write about these types of deals, but the offer is too good not to share. AMEX and Uber have had a relationship for a few years now, allowing members to pay for rides using Membership Rewards and/or earn 2X Membership Rewards per dollar when paying with AMEX card which earns those types

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Clever Marketing from Discover – I Actually Opened the Offer

As someone who holds a lot of credit cards, I rarely am lucky enough to receive mail (otherwise known as “mailers” or “targeted mailers”) offers to sign-up for a new card. Typically, the banks and loyalty partners target those who don’t carry a lot of cards, or someone who hasn’t opened up a few recently. Now,

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Cathay Pacific Will Fly to Tel Aviv in 2017

While it’s been rumored for a while now (amongst several of Asia’s prominent carriers), yesterday Cathay Pacific (CX) announced that they’d begin flying four times a week from their Hong Kong (HKG) hub to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv (TLV). They will be flying their brand new A350’s which feature  economy, premium economy

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Finding the Best Hyatt Credit Card Offer

Sorry for the hiatus, but now I’m back! I recently became re-eligible for one of the best hotel credit cards currently on the market: the Chase Hyatt Visa card. I first got this product in October 2014. I recently hit my two year anniversary since earning the sign-up bonus so per Chase’s T&C, I’d be

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Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards – 4 Increased Offers

American Express usually increases their Delta co-brand credit card offers in the summer, but it seems we’ve lucked out and they’ve done it again. Remember, you can only get these cards once-per-lifetime per person, so if you were thinking about it, it may be the right time. Before applying, consider what type of uses you’d

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Earning, Churning & Burning: Quarter 3 Update

As the third quarter of 2016 comes to a close, I wanted to share with you all my progress in the past three months; some hiccups and my strategy going forward.  You can read Quarter 1’s update here and Quarter 2’s update here. Q3 Earned Let’s start off by taking a look at 2015 and then move on

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The Difference Between Saver and Standard Awards

Airlines release award seats at different levels, some of which are available to partners that allow you use your miles to book those award seats, and others which are not released and then restrict you from using your miles to redeem an award. For example, you want to fly American Airlines from New York’s LaGaurdia

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Back to Basics: How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

[Disclosure: I may earn points referral bonuses for card links you click on this site]. With a new Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards, I thought it would be a good time to go back to basics and review the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and how point transfers work. Transfers enable you to pool a single points

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Marriott and Starwood Merger Complete – Begin Transferring Points

[Disclosure: I may earn points referral bonuses for card links you click on this site]. Yesterday I wrote about the changes to the American Express SPG cards – specifically, their sign-up bonuses went from 25,000 Starpoints to 2 free night certificates for any category 1 – 5. This is definitely an inferior offer, and considering

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AMEX Changes SPG Sign-Up – For the Worse!

Sometime last night American Express changed the pretty standard sign-up bonus on the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) cards. This all comes after the news earlier this week that the Marriott-Starwood merger would indeed close. Though that’s one of the early and first steps, it is a major one. However, based on past airline mergers,

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Review: Chase Fairmont Credit Card

Chase has had a Fairmont credit card for a while, but for a variety of reasons, it’s gotten little play on points and miles blogs. But, now with Chase’s restrictions on getting approved for some of their best products, it’s time to expand our horizons. Bad News First The primary reason the Fairmont card doesn’t

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Why I’m Closing All My Citi American Airlines Credit Cards

At the end of August, Citi instituted a new rule to clamp down on churning; whereby those who open or a close a card from a product family – take any American Airlines, Hilton or ThankYou points earning card – the card member must wait 24 months before earning the bonus on any other card from that

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NO LONGER AVAILABLE: Amazing Hotel Offer – Hilton 2nd Night Free Offer

UPDATE: This offer is no longer available as of Friday, September 16. The promotion was ended early due to its unexpected popularity. Two days ago, Visa Signature’s Luxury Hotel Collection partnered with Hilton to bring an amazing hotel promotion. Essentially, if you book two nights at participating Conrad, Waldorf or Curio hotels – you get

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Earning the Sign-Up on Chase Cards Again

When Chase added their new rules restricting customers from earning card member bonuses if they’ve opened up more than five cards in a 24-month period, they fortunately did not include all their cards in that rule. Exceptions to Chase’s 5/24 Rule Chase Hyatt British Airways Ritz-Carlton IHG Amazon Disney AARP Marriott Rewards Business While you

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PSA: Booking Delta SkyMiles Partner Awards

While Delta SkyMiles continue to devalue, there are still some solid uses. In this specific case, it isn’t the best use of SkyMiles, but SkyTeam was the only alliance with availability for my flights. I’ve been watching availability on a Sunday flight from Shanghai (PVG) to New York (JFK). When I was finally ready to

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Frequent Flyer Award Booking Links

For me, one of the most vexing aspects to award bookings is sometimes how to find a way to book the award. What do I mean by that? Learning the award program, best uses, tricks and ins-and-outs can be difficult, but once you do, finding a way to book online can sometimes even be more

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In This Game, There’s No Time Like the Present

In an ever changing game of devaluations and restrictive churning rules, there’s no time like the present. Some things I have waiting in the pipeline… Chase Hyatt sign-up bonus, again. October 2016 will be two years from when I last earned the Hyatt sign-up bonus of two free nights at any Hyatt. I’m really excited

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It’s a Bird… It’s a plane… No, wait! It’s a Delta Devaluation!

Here we go again. Yesterday, Lucky from One Mile at a Time discovered that starting January 1, 2017, one of the best award redemptions on Delta will be increasing. The News The U.S. to Europe currently (and has for a long time) costs 62,500 SkyMiles. That’s 125,000 roundtrip. But after January 1, 2017 this will

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ACT FAST: Citi Credit Card Product Changes Tomorrow

On Sunday Citi’s new credit card rules went into effect, essentially limiting you to one product per credit card family, per two years. Unfortunate, but if you keep track of openings and closings, you’ll be better off and know when you’re ready to apply next. A bunch of Citi bonuses are changing tomorrow, September 1. If

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Stretching Your Points for a Rainy Day

With constant devaluations and tightening of rules by banks (see here, here and here), the gravy train is slowing down. While there has been a lot of conversation about the why it’s happening, there isn’t much conversation on conserving those points and maybe saving them for a rainy day. The point (pun intended) to churning, earning

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Last Days to Get Citi Products Under Old Rules

[Disclosure: I do not earn any compensation from the links on this article] Beginning on/around Sunday, August 28, Citi bank’s new rules regarding churning their credit card products will go into place. This may be that Sunday is the last day under the old rules, or the first day of the new rules. Either way,

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve Is Finally Here – And I’m Late!

On Monday, the day we’ve all been waiting for with bated breath – arrived. (Sorry I was late to the game!) The Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase’s newest and shiniest credit card has officially launched. Though it’s really exciting and it’s a sweet new product with lots of potential, it’s bittersweet for a lot of us

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Lack of American Airlines Award Space – Europe 2017

I like to plan early. I mean really early. Like 11 months from the day I’d like to travel. 11 months or so are when many airline calendars open up for revenue reservations and award bookings. Sometimes, the day the calendar opens up can be the best day to book. For many people it’s pretty

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Chase Sapphire Reserve – NEW Credit Card

There’s a new credit card in town, and it’s called the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Officially, it will be launched August 21, 2016, but yesterday… Well, yesterday the card accidentally went live and eagle-eyed churners over at Reddit posted the link and begin to apply. About 20 minutes after that, Chase shut down the link. Why?

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Citi Churning Rules – Bad News

Another one bites the dust. Earlier this year, Chase began limiting card members in a rule that’s known as “5/24” (see Chase – The Other Shoe Drops’), followed by AMEX which hammered another nail in the coffin by limiting ALL of their credit card bonuses to once per lifetime. Well, yesterday it was Citi’s turn.

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AMEX Membership Rewards to Avios – 50% Bonus!

Last October, American Express decreased the Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios from 1:1 to 250:200, respectively. Since this “devaluation”, there has not been a British Airways Avios transfer bonus (though there historically have been many in the past). Today, it seems, was the launch of a new transfer bonus – 50%! This offer is

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Citi Prestige – New Sign-up and Benefits Revealed

Last week I discussed that the Citi Prestige would be changing – at the time, it was not clear to what it would change to, exactly. At first, some information was “leaked” that Admiral’s Club access when flying same day AA ticketed flights was ending in July 2017 (a year from now) and that earning

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New Credit Cards Coming from American and Avianca – SIGN ME UP

Some exciting credit card news surfaced last week that I wanted to share with you folks! We often don’t get good news in the credit card/points/miles world, but alas, rejoice! American Airlines, Citi, and Barclays Ink a New Deal There are currently EIGHT American Airlines credit cards in circulation. Four are not for new applicants

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Citi Prestige Sign-Up Bonus Changing on Tuesday?

Rumor in the blogosphere it that the Citi Prestige sign-up bonus will be changing on Tuesday. This bonus will change Tuesday – to what? Only time will tell. Bloggers with affiliate links have been informed by their masters respective affiliate networks that they need to pull the current Citi Prestige links down by Monday at midnight.

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A Review: Ritz Carlton Herzliya

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links]. About a week ago I began toying around with the idea of staying at the Ritz Carlton Herzliya – the second of two aspirational point redemption hotel properties in Israel. You can review that here, where we reviewed the best redemption option for

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Credit Card Churning, Earning & Burning – Quarter 2 Update

As the second quarter of 2016 comes to a close, I wanted to share with you all my progress in the past three months; some hiccups and my strategy going forward.  You can read Quarter 1’s update here. Q2: Earned Here’s my churning results from Quarter 2 of 2015:   2015   Bank Card Bonus Citi

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To Ritz, or Not To Ritz?

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links]. When points and miles enthusiasts talk about aspirational properties and redemptions, you always hear about the showers on the plane and the lavish suites. But when miles and points enthusiasts talk about aspirational properties and redemptions in Israel, they don’t talk about the

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jetBlue Will Match Your Points – Worth it?

On the heels of their easy and amazing Mosaic Status Match, jetBlue is again looking to capture clients from the upcoming Alaska and Virgin America merger with a points match. They’ve done the status match, now they’re doing a points match. It’s exactly how it sounds, but there are some rules to follow: Apply for the points

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Costco Now Takes Visa – And a New Costco Card from Citi

The big news this week is that Costco began its switchover to accepting all Visa debit and credit cards. For a long time now, Costco only accepted American Express credit cards and Visa and Mastercard debit cards. Of course, many people had the AMEX Costco card–in fact, it was a huge percentage of their revenue and credit

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Celebrating [Fifth] Freedoms to the Caribbean

“Why am I flying Air New Zealand between Los Angeles and London?” “Why the heck is everyone telling me to use my miles on that Singapore Airlines flight between New York and Frankfurt?!” The above quotes are representative of unique routes that airlines fly called “Fifth Freedom Routes”. What are Fifth Freedom Routes? Before we

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Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem – Redeeming Hilton Points

I recently completed a long, three day holiday weekend at the Waldrof Astoria Jerusalem. Though I never intended on checking in to the Waldorf while in Israel, it was a last minute decision that I’m happy to have made. Point Hotels in Israel Israel, but Jerusalem in particular, is pretty devoid of points hotels. Dead

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Flight Cancellation Compensation – My Experience

Those who follow me on Instagram (@miningformiles) know that I’m currently in Israel. (I’ll be here for two months on assignment, but that’s besides the point). Flying is always a fun experience (heavy sarcasm intended), but miles, points and the perks that come with credit cards can make it a bit more enjoyable. Sometimes, a

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Limited Time Credit Card Offers

Credit card offers are more or less cyclical. There are historically certain times of year that you can get a higher offer than normal. Sometimes there are nice surprises, but there is some consistency. That being said, here are some limited time offers I wanted to bring to your attention, and the churning rules associated

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Chase, So You Can’t: Update on 5/24 – The Other Shoe Drops

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links]. A few days ago, Doctor of Credit reported that his sources (and as posted on DansDeals Forum and Reddit) confirmed the “5/24” rule from Chase went into effect a few days ago. Briefly, the 5/24 rule from Chase means that if you have

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Best & Worst Award Cancellation Fees

Fees are never good, but sometimes you have no choice but to cancel an award. Some of those cancellation fees hurt more than others. (Fees for cash tickets may be different. This is only for award tickets). Keep in mind that if you use Delta miles to book an Air France award flight, you will

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Finding Hidden AMEX Sign-Up Offers

Some credit card sign-up offers stay the same year-round (like the Citi Reserve – 2 Weekend Nights), while others stay lower year-round and then increase–Starwood Preferred Guest Personal & Business goes from 25,000 to 30,000 around August each year. American Express sign-up bonuses on their own products (charge cards, EveryDay Preferred) change constantly. There are times

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[News] What You May Have Missed – May 15 – May 22

Points Use your points this summer to get some last minute award availability to Dublin, Rome, or Athens at its islands. Great follow up on European airports with the lowest fuel surcharges by MileValue. Some sweet new benefits for those who frequent Wyndham hotels (and may want to consider getting their revamped credit card). Delta

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#IHateTheWait – Let’s Talk About the TSA

Ah, the TSA. An important and vital role, but often criticized for they inefficiency, their inability to actually protect and be proactive, and their overall treatment of travelers, our nation’s Transportation Security Administration is about to face an onslaught of summer travelers. Overall, I can’t say I’ve had horrible TSA experiences, but I know many

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Let’s Go to Europe This Summer – Greece (and its islands)

This is Part III in a series. See Part I: Let’s Go to Europe this Summer – Dublin and Part II: Let’s Go to Europe This Summer – Rome. All screenshots showing award space are reflective of the day posted. Every summer thousands and thousands of tourists migrate over the Atlantic ocean and flock to European cities.

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Product Changing with Bank of America

Historically, Bank of America has been the most churner friendly bank. Up until about a year ago, it was possible to open up five (yes, you read five) Alaska Airlines credit cards and earn the bonus in the same day. After a enterprising blogger post about that, the deal effectively was killed. That being said,

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Let’s Go to Europe this Summer – Rome

This is Part II in a series. See Part I: Let’s Go to Europe this Summer – Dublin.  All screenshots showing award space are reflective of the day posted. Every summer thousands and thousands of tourists migrate over the Atlantic ocean and flock to European cities. Though the ideal time would have been September 2015

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Let’s go to Europe this Summer – Dublin

This is Part I in a series. All screenshots showing award space are reflective of the day posted. Every summer thousands and thousands of tourists migrate over the Atlantic ocean and flock to European cities. Though the ideal time would have been September 2015 to start looking at summer to Europe award availability, sometimes it’s

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Easy Status Match to jetBlue Mosaic Status

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links]. I rarely write about status matches or challenges because they’re usually unattainable for the average scheming joe, but in this case… The cat’s out the bag. jetBlue is running a promotion for frequent fliers with other airlines to match their current elite status

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May the 4th Be With You: Fly the Star Wars Jet on Miles!

May the 4th be with you. Today is  special day for Star Wars fans worldwide: today we celebrate everything Star Wars by cleverly changing the word “Force” (as in the Force in Star Wars… If you don’t know what that is, stop reading now. No. Really.) to “Fourth”–as in May 4th! In a cross promotional

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Get 1 Week or 1 Month of Free Hotel Nights With These Limited Time Credit Card Offers

There are currently four Hilton HHonors cards in circulation. Two of these cards are no fee, and two are with a fee. AMEX issues two and Citi issues two. The Citi Hilton Reserve (annual fee) has not changed it’s bonus in forever–it’s quite good, at two weekend night certificates at any Hilton worldwide. The caveat is that

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Mobile Award Booking? There are apps for that!

With everything we do going increasingly mobile, I find myself checking in for flights, changing seats and searching award and cash tickets on my mobile apps quite often. As this is a blog about miles and points (!), I’ll be taking a more critical look at the best apps for searching and booking award tickets.

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Zika-Free Beach Destinations on Points & Miles

[DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or medically trained professional; the destinations suggested are based on my research and understanding of the virus. Travel to these destinations at your own discretion] The onslaught of the Zika virus and the deleterious affects on fetus has caused understandable concern amongst travelers worldwide, but in particular those in North

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Ah… Airport Lounge Access

So you have three hours to connect between flights and you’re flying coach. What’s there to do? Sure, you could walk around the airport aimlessly looking at overpriced magazines and bottles of water… Or, you could go into one of the many airport lounges and kick back, have some snacks, some complimentary drinks, comfortable chairs and

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Kosher While Traveling: Beijing & Tokyo

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links] Note: I am not a rabbi and the opinions related to keeping kosher are my own, based on my experience and asking my own rabbis.   A common question I receive from those who keep kosher and those who do not, is how we

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Trip Highlights: Tokyo, Japan

Though comprehensive trip reports can be interesting… I find them to be too much and too long to read, and boring. So that’s why I provide highlights for each location. That being said, I’m more than happy to chat about specific aspects of the trip and location. A Brief Intro… After spending three nights in

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Trip Highlights: Beijing, China

Though comprehensive trip reports can be interesting… I find them to be too much and too long to read, and boring. So that’s why I provide highlights for each location. That being said, I’m more than happy to chat about specific aspects of the trip and location. Airlines/Hotels You can read about what points we

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[News] What you may have missed over the past few weeks…

I intend for this post to be weekly, but as we were away… No time like the present! Miles/Points The Hilton Surpass card has been upped to 100,000 points, for spending $3,000 in three months. This is the highest it’s ever been…. And what to do if you recently applied for this card, before the

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Credit Card Churning – Quarter 1 Update

Quarter 1 of 2016 will be coming to a close and I wanted to provide my lovely readers with an update on where I am with card churning this year. Here’s my results from the first three months of 2015: 2015 Bank Card Bonus Chase Southwest Plus 50,000 Chase Southwest Premier 50,000 Chase Marriott 80,000

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My Ongoing Drama with AMEX

Sunday, February 10. I apply for a targeted 100,000/$10,000 spend on the American Express Platinum Business card. Instant approval. Sunday, February 10. I apply for the general AMEX EveryDay Preferred, 15,000/$1,000 offer. Instant approval. What Happened Next After receiving my card, I quickly met the required spend and several days later, the sign-up bonus (or “acquisition bonus”,

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When Should You Start Earning Miles for a Trip?

Trip planning can be strenuous, even when going for (nearly) free. With miles and points, there is some foresight thats involved. Mainly: what miles do I need to get where I want to go? So you can just apply for a card, earn the bonus, and then figure out where you want to go–but what

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Limited Time Credit Card Offers – Sign Up Now!

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links]. There are some limited time card offers I want to share, so get on them now… With strategies on how to get them all at the same time. After all, that’s what churning is all about! Marriott – 80,000/$3,000 + 7,500 points for adding

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How We’re Getting to Asia Using American Airlines Miles – A $22,800 value!!

A few weeks ago I posted about our 9 nights in hotels on points, but… What about our flights? Tomorrow is the last day to book your AA awards at (mostly) lower prices. Here’s what we’re doing and booked at the lower AA prices: New York (JFK) – China, Beijing (PEK), via Hong Kong (HKG)

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Why You Should Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Some Awesome Uses

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links]. I already wrote about the strengths of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, but I wanted to highlight some of the great uses I’ve gotten out of the card, and other uses friends and clients have gotten out of the card. There are four transferable point

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Activate Chase Freedom Q2 Today – Grocery Stores & More!

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links]. Yesterday Chase Freedom cardholders could activate their Q2 Freedom categories, which include grocery stores… and more! Grocery stores is usually a category (and a popular one!) on this card, but per the site, they’ve added BJ’s Wholesale and Sam’s Club. Should be easier

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T – Minus… 7 Days

“Dallas… We have a problem…” Contest ALERT* $25 gift card (airline) to the first person who comments correctly on why I substituted ‘Dallas’ for ‘Houston’. A few weeks back I posted about the upcoming AA Devaluation. And the day is almost here. I highly encourage you to re-read that post, but as a reminder, here’s the

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Getting Creative: Mininmum Spend Requirements

On Friday I wrote about what I don’t post about, the primary focus being manufactured spending. One of the most common questions clients and friends ask me is “how do I satisfy the spend requirements for so many new cards?” Though, per my policy, I do not go into heavy detail, some advice I do give

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[NEWS] The Week That Was – 3.5.16 – 3.12.16

Miles United miles expiring? Earn 1000 free United miles just by signing up for the dining rewards programs. Signed up for the SPG Personal or Business card at 25,000 or 30,000 points? It’s worth calling the number on the back of your card to see if they’ll goodwill match you 5,000 – 10,000 points to

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What I Don’t Post About…

…Manufactured spending. Manufactured spending is the process by which one generates, or manufactures money spent to reach a sign-up bonus or generate points with as little as real expenditure as possible, Why Don’t I Post About… Manufactured Spending? When bloggers post about these things, they die. Take for example: Target Redcard by AMEX… Dead Vanilla Reloads…

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Sign-up Bonuses That Post Quickest

When signing up for a new credit card, there is a process of being approved, receiving the card, spending the money to get the bonus, waiting for the statement to close and then finally earning the points. Are there workarounds to earning your points quicker? There sure are. One method, which is hit or miss depending

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[NEWS] The Week That Was 2.28 – 3.4

This weekly post will go live every Friday, highlighting news from the world of miles, points, airlines and credit cards that you may have missed.  Credit Card: Rumors that big changes are coming to the Chase Freedom card in early March. (I covered this here.) SPG Sign-Up increases to 35,000 on both personal and business

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[NEWS] Starwood Credit Cards Upped to 35,000

Coming off the heels of the news of the new Amex churning restrictions , AMEX upped their offers from the usual 25,000 on the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) cards to 35,000 bonus points. Details Personal Card The Starwood Preferred Guest personal card requires $3,000 in spend, for 35,000 bonus points and comes with the following benefits:

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Chase Freedom Unlimited – Details Revealed

Yesterday, Chase revealed its new product to The Points Guy, the Chase Freedom Unlimited. On Sunday, another blogger revealed this rumor and there was much speculation that the current Chase Freedom which has x5 points on rotating quarters would go away and that a new Chase Freedom product would replace it. This new product, the

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Churning Update: AMEX Pins the Nail on the Coffin

The Golden Age of Churning has ended. Earlier this month, I reported that Chase has affectively removed themselves from the churning game. Back in 2014, AMEX began limiting their sign-ups on personal cards as once per lifetime. Business cards, were safe, but it was only a matter of time when this would carry over to

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Devaluation ALERT: American Airlines – Lock In Award Pricing NOW

On March 22 one of the most lucrative award charts will devalue: American Airlines. After American and US Airways announced their merger, it was only a matter of time before this would happen. Were the changes bad? Yes. Could they have been worse? Yes, definitely. Finding value post-devaluation is another discussion, but locking in the

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9 Nights in Asia: Hotel Points

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links]. In about a month, we will depart on our long-awaited trip to Beijing and Tokyo. Our routing will look something like this: Leg 1: JFK-HKG-PEK Leg 2: PEK-HND Leg 3: NRT-JFK We will be in Beijing (PEK) for three nights and Tokyo (HND/NRT)

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Strategies Before Chase Drops the Axe

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links]. In May 2015, Chase began restricting it’s proprietary Chase products to customers who have had more than 5 cards in the period of 24 months, from any bank. At that time, co-branded (United, Hyatt, Southwest, etc.) and business cards were exempt from this

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Cash vs. Points?

Part of effectively using your miles and points is not only knowing how to use them, but when to use them. There are two major factors that determine this for most people: A. Getting the most out of each redemption B. Availability of miles vs. availability of cash A. Getting the most out of each redemption Without

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Finding Value in Delta Skymiles

Majority of those who collect miles via credit cards loathe Delta’s frequent flyer program, sky miles. It even earned the term SkyPesos, highlighting their lack of value (much like the Peso to other currencies, stable currencies).  Let’s talk about some about some of that derision and even finding some value (if you currently have Skymiles).

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Update on Chase Churning Rules

The longer this “hobby” continues to be a “hobby”, the best deals will come and go quickly, and will be dead even faster. As more “users” occupy the market, the airlines and banks, the greatest deals will go by the wayside. The end of 2015 and early 2016 saw the death of many manufactured spend

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Last Minute Hotel Deals–Hotel Tonight to the Rescue

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation if you click on any external links]. For our quick trip down to Miami, I had booked an Airbnb (our first time!) for one night. We were in Miami for three nights. So what about the second and third nights? There are lots of point hotel options along the beach, but few

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Quick Tip! Taking advantage of Winter Weather Waivers!

This weekend, the wife and I popped on down to Miami for a quick, weekend getaway. The weather was solid while we were there, but the rest of the country has been battling storm after storm. After checking into my original flight on Sunday night, which was a 5:30 AM departure from Miami to Atlanta,

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Using Your Miles to Get to Israel: Part I

Israel is an incredibly popular destination for award travelers from all over the world. It’s the number one destination request of my award booking service. Focusing on travel from the U.S., there are a limited number of direct flights from the U.S. to Israel. This post will be broken up into two parts. The first

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Winter Weather and Flying

This past weekend’s first serious winter storm, Jonas, saw over 5,000 cancelled or delayed flights across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Passengers and airlines have been pretty lucky this winter with the mild weather that we had. Even Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are notorious for colliding with severe weather, were spared. So what do you do

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The Holy Grail of Award Travel: Southwest Companion Pass

[Disclosure: I may earn compensation from some of these links]. UPDATE: Both Southwest personal cards and business cards are offering 50,000 points. Click here for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Visa – 50,000 points with $2,000 spent in three months.  Southwest Airlines—either you love it or hate it. Messy group boarding, no assigned seats, two

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Credit Card Churning 101

[8/23/16 – This post has been updated to reflect recent changes by multiple banks]  What’s churning? Churning is the process by which one opens and closes cards (sometimes the same ones, or different) to earn a sign-up bonus multiple times, on multiple cards. To fully reap the benefits, review the rules for each bank and

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January 2016: 220,000 Points, 4 Cards

2015 Ended strong, with over a million miles and points earned via credit card sign-ups. To match that, or overcome that, I need to start off 2016 strong. I managed to get my hands on a coveted American Express Business Platinum 100,000 sign-up bonus. Because AMEX merges credit pulls, I was also able to apply

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In-Depth Credit Card Review: Chase Sapphire Preferred

A Chase Sapphire Preferred review. Again. The only difference is that I don’t have links plastered all over my site (only one!) or a quota to fill for sign-ups through my page. Now that we’ve covered some basics, it could be beneficial for some to read this review of the ubiquitous Chase Sapphire Preferred. Though

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Understanding Airline Alliances

  Though I intended to delve into fuel surcharges today, I think the next logical step is to understand airline alliances and how you can take full advantage of them. This will help to give you a complete picture of the best way to book award tickets. What’s an airline alliance and why is it

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Crash Course on Booking Award Tickets

  I’m going to outline my process for searching and booking award flights. This is just a primer, but feel free to add your thoughts below. Don’t let your miles or award availability (the amount of seats that can be booked with miles) determine where you want to go: go where you want to go

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Chase Sapphire vs. Citi Premier vs. AMEX Gold Card

In a battle to the death… YOU DECIDE Sapphire Premier Gold Winner Standard Sign-Up Bonus 50,000 50,000 25,000/50,000 Sapphire/Premier Spend required 4,000 3,000 1,000 Gold Bonus Categories 2x Dining, Travel 3x Gas/Travel, 2x Dining/Entertainment 3x Airline, 2x Supermarkets, Gas, Dining YOU DECIDE Annual Fee First Year $0 $0 $0 Tie Annual Fee After 1st year

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The Best Miles (and Cards You Need) for Domestic Award Travel

We’re always looking where we can go next that includes a flight over 6 hours, across the ocean (either of them), or over the Artic. But what about good ole’ domestic travel to see mom, dad or grandma and grandpa? Some points are better than others for domestic travel, while others are excellent for international

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Are Annual fees Worth Paying?

  Aside from “How’s your credit score?”, the second most common question I receive is, “How much do you pay in annual fees a year?” There is a fear in paying annual fees. Sometimes it can be worth it. Many cards come with the fee waved for the first year, but a few have it

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Beginner’s Guide Part 1: Getting Started and Choosing the Right Credit Card

I got involved in collecting credit card miles/points when a family member introduced it to me. I was skeptical and nervous. Learning the ropes, like anything in life, takes time. For some, this is a second, full-time job. For most, it’s about finding the best possible deal and saving the most money to take trips

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Let’s Talk About Credit

DISCLAIMER: I am not a credit analyst. The information below is based on my experience and the experience of others who earn miles and points. Yesterday you read about the opening of 20 credit cards in one calendar year. One of the first questions that springs to some minds is: “20 credit cards? Won’t that

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2015: A Year In Review, Earning and Burning Over 1 Million Miles

was a tremendous year for loyalty program and credit card enthusiasts. There were some ups, but many downs. Manufactured spending opportunities withered (goodbye, Redbird) while many others went underground to keep their tactics hidden. Delta continued to butcher its award chart and signaled the possibility that they would go revenue-based (like Southwest and JetBlue). The

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