Kyleonthe trip sherpa

Mileage Earning Debit Cards Revisited

After lots and lots of emails and comments from a post written over 10 months ago, it seems like it is time for an update.   But before we get into that you should sign up for our email list here.  

So let's start fresh on this debit card mess.


There are dwindling options for those with a desire to earn points and miles based solely on the use of a checking account debit card.  But don't despair, there are ...

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Exclusive: SPG Opens an Opulent New Milanese Property


***It's time you UPGRD your inbox.  If you haven't yet subscribed to the UPGRD Newsletter you could be missing out on giveaways, events, and more.  Click here to subscribe and enter a comment below with what you like most about the new Milan Excelsior Gallia property or SPG for a chance to win an amenity kit.***


Here is the recipe for an amazing property.  

Step One:

Start with a historic building.   

The ...

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US Airways 7 Day Upgrade Window - What's the Point?


As a recent US Airways Chairman, I am adjusting to their system.  My general rule of thumb is that I add my frequent flyer account to whichever airline I am flying.  For example, this week I am flights to Tulsa (on American) and to Omaha (on US Airways) and have put my respective numbers on each.  The reason for this is the upgrade window.  When flying as a Chairman on American Airlines flights I have access to first class but only within 24 hours of travel, at which time ...

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Gambling with Status - Predicting the Future with AA and Nailing it (you can too)


Background about last year's EXP challenge and the value of Executive Platinum status with American

Last year I was able to take advantage of a limited time status challenge all the way up to Executive Platinum (top tier) for flying 30,000 miles in 90 days.  At that time I was just starting a new job and time off was not an option, so it meant lots of weekend mileage runs and time away from home.  On a Saturday morning I would head to the airport and fly from the east ...

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BREAKING - No more Hyatt Diamond Challenges

I have been able to confirm with Hyatt that as of 10/31/14 they no longer offer Diamond Status challenges or status matches. That's not to say that they absolutely won't match again in the future or re-introduce a challenge, but in it's current format, the Diamond Challenge is no more.   Hyatt's Gold Passport Diamond status is one of the most lucrative in the hotel industry giving members (4) confirmed suite upgrades good for stays of up to 6 nights each.  Those are good on any ...

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Points for Apple Payments?

I am certainly an interested Apple consumer, maybe a fanboy is a better description. As I await the all-but-certain two iPhone 6 models announced tomorrow and an iWatch (if we believe the 3.4 million rumors) I am just as excited about their payment system.  

Purportedly integrated into the phone through NFC (near field communication), Apple is said to be enabling the ability to "touch" your phone (or presumably your watch) to a payment pad in order to complete a transaction with ...

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URGENT! PSA - Burn Your Short Haul Avios

A discovery was made by Gary Leff of Boarding Area's View From the Wing Blog that Iberia (owned by British Airways parent company IAG) have changed their short haul redemption rates and created a new American Airlines only award chart.  

As Gary points out this is a devaluation of 333% which is truly unprecedented in our mileage and points game.  Unannounced changes from the Avios program, however is not without precedent.  Therefore, I recommend you to burn them for short haul awards if you have any in mind.  The long hauls do not seem to show much change. While this is not confirmed yet, it seems likely.  

You have been warned.


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Credit Card Prom Date Issue

As I mentioned yesterday, I would be applying for a couple of cards and I wasn't entirely sure about which ones I would do. Doctor of Credit had mentioned on one of my last posts that I should submit the appropriate documents to have a couple of bureaus frozen before applying for any US Bank credit card.  There's more on that here.  To be fair, I followed his advice, wrote the documents signed them (the Sherpstress too) and gathered the copies of ID required.  

...and ...

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Credit Card Apps - Jeans and T-Shirt edition

I am easily a newcomer to the credit card side of the world of miles.  Though we have held cards for many years, April was my first true go at it.  There are only a few cards I will be going for and only a couple offered by  Full disclosure, some of the links I post will earn a commission for me, but I will note which do with an asterik.  It does not influence my decisions about what to post, nor should it influence for which cards you should apply.  Look ...

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UPDATE: It's Been A Very Bad Year - Air Algiere Plane Goes Missing, 116 on board

UPDATE:  The plane has been found crashed.  All are presumed dead, though that has not yet been confirmed.


The details are limited as of now, but an Air Algiere MD-83 carrying 116 passengers has gone missing in bad weather en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers.  There is not yet a crash site nor any indication that the plane has crashed, only that the aircraft is missing and has not been in contact with the requisite authorities. The ...

A New Role for Malaysia Airlines

First of all, MH17 is a terrible tragedy that has hit at least one family twice in five months.  The families of those concerned have the compounding emotion of not only their loved ones perishing, but also of outrage that the death of their loved ones were preventable on multiple fronts.  

But this post isn't about that. 

There were several aircraft in the area at the same time, one of which was operated by Singapore Airlines, it could have been that flight ...

Delta Debit Card Not Going Away After All

There was speculation about the Delta Debit Card from SunTrust possibly going away.  I covered the card extensively here if you would like more info.  My own mother got the card just before the website was taken down and the offer was to be closed.  Gary Leff had indicated that they would be "replacing the card" which suggested to me at the time that this would be an alternate reward scheme and nothing as lucrative as the previous.  The link to the new page is ...

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Credit Card Application - UPDATE

A couple of days ago I applied for a few cards and shared which they would be.  I mentioned that becuase of being out of the country off and on over a recent four-year span, my credit history looks like swiss cheese with holes all over the place.  I wasn't terribly confident in how many of the cards for which I was applying, I would be approved.  I have some preliminary results, here they are.  It's also worth noting that one credit bureau had an old address on file (part ...

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It's Credit Card Application Day - Which Ones and Why I Value Them

I am not quite like other bloggers in that I have only as of late really started to apply for reward earning credit cards with any consistency, though I have carried a few accumulated over time.  My situation was unique, as my wife and I were in and out of the country for four years (mostly out) and this made our credit report look like Swiss cheese, full of holes (or in this case expanses of time). 

I will apply for eight cards on one day, for which I will not likely gain ...

Changes coming to US Airways Mastercard

Just a heads up to cardholder's (the Sherpstress is one), after an unrelated call to the DMSC (Dividend Miles Service Center) I was told that the reps received notice today that there will be changes in the next ten days to the current "Mastercard".  As per the usual marketing banter, agents will "be excited to hear what's next" from the Barclays card.  For me, the timing is perfect because I am about to do another card signup round and the Dividend Miles offer out now is okay, but ...

Malaysia Airlines Flight Loses Contact

First reported by NBC, a Malaysia Airlines 777-200 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing has lost radio contact.  Though there is no confirmation that the aircraft has indeed crashed, it's never a good sign of course.  There are 239 (227 pax, 12 crew) souls on board and the flight was scheduled to land at PEK at 0630 local time (1730 Eastern Time).  The flight number is MH370. 

Here's to hoping it's just a bit of radio trouble, though I fear that's unlikely. 


Business incentive program - American Airlines Business Extra


In case you missed my post from yesterday detailing business incentive programs and their benefit using the Skybonus example, check it out first here. 

My favorite program

Why is American Business extra my favorite program?  The value of American's award chart (especially now with US Airways flights eligible) is much higher than that of Delta.  Additionally, the value per point is significantly higher.  Earning in the program is a LOT less complex ...

Free double dipping - Intro to business incentive programs


Rocky had a great post about the bonuses currently offered by business incentive programs from Delta (Skybonus) and American (Business Extra).  I have been a member of these programs for years, and I have been preparing a post about them since the bonuses have thrust them into the limelight. Please see my email me at [email protected] for a referral link to either program (Rocky's are all gone now but I still have 10 Skybonus available and 9 Business Extra ...

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Shanghai Psychos

This is why I love travel.  A video has been floating around from some Ukrainians that sneak into a skyscraper under construction and climb to the top.  I'm not ruining the video by saying that as far as you consider the top to be, they go further. As a side note - this also fuels my appetite for the GoPro IPO, I will be  buyer. 

But why does this reaffirm my love for travel? 

1) The beauty of the city as seen through their eyes (or GoPros).

2) ...

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Are you earning miles on absolutely every transaction?

This is a post about getting miles on everything, and I mean everything for which you exchange money.  I get miles on rent/mortgage, insurance, I even get miles when I pay a babysitter.  I will get into that shortly, but first, here is a little background on why I am writing the post.  If you are sick of hearing about credit cards (and don't need anyone else moaning about it) you can scroll down three paragraphs to the dotted line where I get to the ...

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