...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Using Citi Points for travel in March

I've been looking for a mid-semester break option and was able to find one recently using Citi Thank you Points to redeem for a break to Switzerland!  Citi points are excellent for transferring to partners or using in lieu of regular airfare through the Travel portal. 

Return options were not the most ideal though I'll be able to handle a brief stop at Heathrow on the way back.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Alaska Program airline partners

Alaska miles are an extremely valuable currency - there aren't many ways to gain these miles unless you fly on Alaska or use the co-branded credit card from Bank of America.  If you are able to accumulate miles in the program, redemption options are fairly robust for direct flights on partner airlines (or on Alaska if you choose).  The list of partners:

American Airlines
British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Hainan Airlines
Japan Airlines
Korean Air
Ravn Alaska

For redemptions (especially Cathay Pacific and Latam) you will need to call Alaska at 800-252-7522.  You can also search for availability on those two carriers by using the British Airways site.

Emirates is an excellent partner for business class awards to the Middle East; I also like Cathay and JAL.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Citi Thank you airline partners

Presently I'm working on building up my balance of Citi Points - in general I find that Chase points are most valuable for the travel patterns I keep but there are some amazing airline options via Citi that need to be at the top of my points accrual list.

The current list of Citi airline partners:

Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific)
Avianca LifeMiles
Etihad Guest
Eva Air
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Garuda Indonesia 
Jet Airways JetPrivilege
Malaysia Airlines Enrich
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
JetBlue TrueBlue
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Some of these that are notable to me include Qatar, Singapore, and Etihad.  There are many cross-redemptions possible via Chase and other programs - this opens up travel miles options to more places in the Middle East and Asia.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Cards in my Wallet right now

I'm often asked about how many credit cards I have since I play the points and miles game regularly.  I often look for the best bonuses and options for regular spend along with what extra perks match my travel habits/plans - this is the best way to use the cards without getting yourself into debt trouble.  Pay off each one every month!

Having cards open actually does help your credit score provided you don't keep running balances.  30% of your credit score is utilization and 35% is your payment history.

Cards in my Wallet

Chase Sapphire Reserve - one of the best earning cards with 3x points for travel and 3x for dining

Chase Freedom - Quarterly bonus categories give 5x points and pairs with Sapphire

Chase World of Hyatt - 4x Hyatt points per stay make this one of the best for hotel stays

Chase IHG Rewards Club Select (no longer available) - Platinum Elite status plus free night every cardmember year

Chase United Mileage Plus Select (no longer available) - 3x miles on United purchases plus EQM, 2x gas/grocery/dining + Star Alliance purchases

Chase Biz Plus (no longer available) - 5x points at office supply and phone, 2x on gas station and hotel

Chase Biz Cash - 5x points at office supply and phone, 2x points on gas stations and restaurants

Citibank Premier - 3x points on travel including gas stations; 2x on dining/entertainment

Citibank AA Biz Platinum - 2x AA miles on purchases plus free checked bag and priority boarding; 2x on gas stations

Citibank AA Mileup - 2x AA miles on flights plus 2x miles for grocery purchases

American Express Hilton card - 7x Hilton points on stays, 5x points restaurant/gas/grocery, 3x all other purchases

American Express Gold Delta card - 2x miles on Delta purchases, $50 statement credit

Discover It card - 5x points/cash on quarterly bonus categories, link to Amazon.com purchases

Bank of American Alaska Airlines card - 3x miles on Alaska purchases, $99 companion fare

I keep a spreadsheet for all of these cards with sign-up dates, times, cancellations, and annual fee notes.  This helps me know where I stand each year and how keeping or cancelling a card might affect my overall portfolio.  In general I'm always evaluating based on what deals may be present; there is always a new app for points!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year 2019!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy 2019 filled with lots of travel (and no missed connections)!