Travel Rewards Credit Cards


Hi, I'm Mike and I've been collecting and burning frequent flyer miles for two decades now. Come join in the fun!

Most commented posts

  1. Welcome to The Boston Globe readers! An introduction to the site… — 10 comments
  2. Using the Bluebird card for Manufactured Spending — 9 comments
  3. A request for my readers… — 5 comments
  4. Foreign transaction fees on credit cards… — 5 comments
  5. Southwest Airlines and how to get the greatest airline perk ever — 3 comments

Author's posts

Nov 08

Why are airline tickets priced so crazily

Many people have seen the analogy comparing airline pricing with paint, but rarely are we given an insight into why the pricing is so crazy.  I hope to provide a little bit of that explanation. The Economics 101 explanation would be “supply and demand.”  But S & D is too simplistic.  If it were that easy, …

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Nov 05

Mileage devaluation: When an airline increases mileage “pricing”

When the first frequent flyer program was created, airline managements simply had no idea how popular they would become.  No one saw a tie-in with credit cards, shopping, etc.  And while those enhancements have dramatically raised the profile of frequent flyer programs, The downside, however, is that there are far more miles out there than …

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Nov 04

Shopping for miles: 17 American miles per dollar spent at Nieman Marcus

In the Shopping for Miles section, I discussed earning miles by shopping through an airline’s website.  You can get some good deals, but you rarely get more than three or four miles per dollar spent.  Often, the biggest rewards are for merchants you may never have heard of who are willing to offer great rebates just …

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Nov 03

Weekend Updates

A few updates this weekend: I started on the glossary, which is now its own page.  If you have any suggestions for terms, particularly ones that I have used, that should be in there, please let me know. I added direct links to the various alliances in the post about airline alliances. Want to subscribe? …

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Nov 01

An easy way to earn miles:

One of my favorite types of posts is ways to earn miles without actually flying.  As we saw in the “Shopping online” section, it can be easy to earn miles on the ground.  Rarely do you hit the miles jackpot with these options (It’s usually 500 miles here, 1000 there, etc..), but they add up. …

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Oct 29

Elite Status: Extra freebies for frequent travelers

For those travelers who fly more than 25,000 miles per year on a particular airline (or airline alliance), you may be eligible for Elite Status on that airline.  Think of it as a bonus on top of the miles that you are already earning.  The airline keeps track of not only the miles that you …

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Oct 28

Airline Alliances: What are they and how do they work?

We’re moving into FF Miles 102 territory, but it’s important to understand the ideas behind airline alliances.  Simply put, an alliance is a partnership between two or more airlines, making long-distance travel easier.  There are three main alliances: Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam.  And while two US Airlines can be in the same alliance (US …

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Oct 27

Choosing a frequent flyer program: Which one is for me?

So you’re just getting started and about to build your frequent flyer account.  You’re now ready for the most important question: What airline’s program should I choose? And the single best answer is: It depends.  Sorry about that, the answer may not be so easy. Truthfully, like many things in life, the best program for …

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Oct 20

Earning miles without flying: Earn by shopping

The internet has become the great equalizer for shopping.  With a few clicks, you can compare prices for just about anything.  Thus, stores have turned to bonuses to get you to shop there. Before we go any farther, here’s a key point: You should never, ever buy anything online without determining if you can get …

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Oct 10

Understanding an Award Chart

No one has ever accused an airline of making things simple, and that includes figuring out how many miles you need to use to get somewhere.  In this post, we’ll look at an award chart and make some sense of it.  Please note: These things can get complicated, so don’t worry if it doesn’t all …

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