The most comprehensive guide to saving money on all your trips, receiving valuable extra travel perks (usually reserved for frequent travelers), and easily earning free airline tickets and hotel nights.
There is no need to browse through hundreds of (frequently outdated) blog entries to become an expert on how to earn free travel and get the cheapest possible travel reservations. Everything you need to know as a beginner or more experienced travel "hacker" is explained, organized, and cross referenced.
- Free National Executive Elite status and a free rental. Any American Express cardholder can use this link to signup for a new account with Executive Elite status (National's highest level of status). After you make your first rental and pay with an American Express card, you'll receive five credits, which will be enough to earn one free rental day.
- Double Cash card now earns ThankYou points. You now have the option to earn 2x ThankYou points per dollar with the Citi DoubleCash card. When combined with a Citi Premier or Prestige card, you can transfer these points to over a dozen different airline programs or earn up to the equivalent of 2.8% cashback (when you use your card to purchase airline tickets). The Chase Unlimited combo (or Amex Blue Business Plus card) is probably still the best option for your credit card spending, but the Double Cash combo is worth considering.
- New opportunity to earn lots of Membership Rewards points on your online purchases. For those that don't know, "Shopping Portals" are a way to get cash back on most things you buy online. Rather than going directly to an online store, you visit the Shopping Portal first, and then click on a link to visit the store. As a result, the Shopping Portal gets paid a commission on your purchase, and kicks back the bulk of this commission to you.
- RIP Cash and Points hotel awards. Over the last year or so, Hilton, Marriott, SPG and now Hyatt have modified their Cash and Points awards. Once a great way to get more value form your reward points, the major program's Cash and Points awards are now almost entirely useless.
Ebates was the first major Shopping Portal and has just introduced the ability for new customers to earn Membership Rewards points, instead of cash back, on their purchases. For example, rather than earning 6% cash back at Macy's, you can earn 6x Membership Rewards points. If you are comfortable using your Membership Rewards points for frequent flier tickets, they are worth considerably more than 1 cent each. As a result, you are getting a substantial boost for anything you buy through Ebates.
This is only available for new users and only by signing up with this link. You need to already have an online account with Amex where you have at least one credit card that earns Membership Rewards points. If you use the Ebates Credit Card to make the purchase you'll get an extra 3x Membership Rewards points on any purchase you make in this way.