Traveling to San Francisco with a Toddler

A couple of years ago, planning a trip anywhere in the world for us was fairly easy.  Now however, we have a 1.5 year old with us, and he's not too fond of 12 hour drives in the car or long layovers.  We waited 2 years to take our son Leo on his first flight, but you can fly with a child older than 2 weeks without any issues on every US airline.  They also give you an option to...
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AMEX Reimbursement Times

Many Credit Cards offer off perks like 'Free TSA Pre-Check' and 'Free Travel Credits' for certain designated items like Luggage, Flight Changes, or drinks/snacks bought during flight.  The Amex Gold and Platinum Cards include a $100 or $200 'Travel Credit' that technically can't be used to buy regular airline tickets... But you CAN buy a SouthWest or other brands of Gift Cards ...
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CLEveland to LAx – October 2017 for 2 People

CLE-to-LAX-FREE
A friend from Shaker Heights wanted to treat her BFF to a trip to LA.  The time frame was ideally mid October, and they'd be flying out of CLEveland (Hopkins). She is new to Churning, so the planning for this trip went as follows for simplicity: Find Flights - Cheapest with Points without being 8.5+ hours Find the card(s) that are offering bonuses now that line up with ...
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Amex Biz Platinum – $10K Spend for 100K Points Phone Trick

The current (Average) Offer for the American Express Platinum Card is spend $10K, get 50,000 Points, and another 25,000 points when you spend another $10 Grand in THREE Months.  Even with Manufactured Spending this would be tricky, but for some folks, there's an alternative.   I called 1-800-971-6736 and said my real business (ProEDI) had gotten an offer of $10K ...
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SPG Card – Points Worth Considering

When you mention 'SPG Points' -  A lot of people will look at you like a dog who's just been shown a card trick. However, their valuable hotel currency shouldn't be overlooked.  The Starwood Preferred Guest Card (SPG)  is an Amex branded card with arguably the best ‘Points per Stay’ values.  its usually a 25K bonus, and twice a year it hits 30,000 points.  Similar to Hyatt, ...
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An Easy Way to Top Off & Earn More Marriott Points

You might find yourself in a situation like me, where you have 2,800 seemingly worthless Marriott Points.  You perhaps did $2,800 worth of spending on the ol' Marriott Card you recently canceled to get those.... But you can't redeem them for nights, magazines, OR anything fun.  Sure you can transfer them to SPG (at 3:1)  BUT, they only allow you to transfer in 1,000 point incre...
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Chase Sapphire Reserve – The Best Card Ever

This August Chase tried to blow past their competition by offering the undisputed 'Best Card Ever'  - The Chase Sapphire Reserve.         Normally when someone asks 'which is the best card for me?' I tell them it depends on their travel goals... but in this case, its a no brainer.  You get $600 worth of travel credit*, a TSA PreCheck Credit, AND 100,0...
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Direct Links for Airline Rewards Programs

A quick and dirty resource for finding Award Availability in the most popular airlines: Book Award Flights on American Airlines Book Award Flights on All Nippon Airlines - Very Convoluted Book Award Flights on United Airlines Book Award Flights on SouthWest Book Award Flights on Delta - Useful for finding cheaper flights on Korean Air via SkyPartner Transfer B...
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Using Vanilla Gift Cards & Money Orders to Meet Minimum Spends

In 2016, a lot of the old fashioned 'easy' methods for MS are no longer viable.  However, there is still one tried and true method that only involves a little more work.  This option involves using your new CC to buy Visa Gift Cards, and then using the VGCs to buy Money Orders, which themselves can be used as fungible cash or deposited back into your account. The process is ...
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Useful Traveling Resources – Air and Hotel Redemption Guides

Links to Rewards Maps, Planning Tools, Points Calculators So you've got points and want to spend them.  OR you want to play a trip and get the best value from the cards you'll be signing up for.  Here's a great place to find how many points it takes to reserve a flight or hotel in various programs. We'll get Hotels out of the way first. For Hotels, Award-O-Matic.com has the ...
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