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The Award Travel 101 podcast is back with more Award Travel 101 member questions, offers to help to improve your travel experiences, and a chat with Award Travel 101 community manager, Allison Caraway. If you want us to air your question, send us an email or reach out to us in the Award Travel 101 Facebook Community.
Award Travel 101 Podcast Show Format
We break each show into six sections:
- Question/Win of the Week — asked or shared by members of the Award Travel 101 community
- News & Enhanced Offers
- What Bonuses Did We Get — which will tell you what credit cards we're working on and why
- Trip Updates
- Highlight Feature
- What You Didn't Know — a feature dedicated to a big or small tip that will help you better maximize the value you receive from your rewards.
How to Listen to the Award Travel 101 Podcast
You can find us anywhere you listen to other fine podcasts including:
Previous Episode Show Notes
- 1 — Meet Award Travel 101 Community Administrators Angie & Joe
- 2 — Booking a Dream (African Safari) Trip
- 3 — Creating Memories Through Big And Small Trips
- 4 — 8 Steps to Better Award Travel
- 5 — Cruise (on Points), Racking and Stacking, and Keep or Kick it to the Curb
- 6 — Transfer Bonuses, Hyatt Bonus Journeys, and Benefits of AwardWallet
- 7 — So Many Program Changes with AwardWallet’s JT Genter
- 8 — Hyatt Changes, AA Domestic First Class Routes, and Meet the Mods (Jackie Wisniewski)
- 9 — Sapphire Lounge Opening, New Bonuses, Meet the Mods (Jerod Morales), and Business Class for Six
- 10 — When to Part with Points and Angie's Safari Trip
- 11 — AvGeeks, Spreadsheets, & Cheatsheets – Meet the Mods (Mike Zaccheo)
- 12 — Status Matching for More Value
- 13 — How Often Do You Get a New Card
- 14 – Incredible Trip to New Zealand on Points, Plus a Trip to the Freddie Awards
- 15 — Best Card for Groceries & Award Travel Community Meetup
Award Travel 101 Podcast Episode 16 Show Notes
Meet the Team – Allison Caraway
Award Travel 101 community manager Allison Caraway discusses how she was introduced to travel and loyalty programs, her time traveling with family, some of her favorite programs, and a trip she's building to Singapore and Bali with friends she met from the community.
Question of the Week (from the Award Travel 101 Group)
Eric Wood asks:
I have a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® that I've had for years (well over 48 months). I don't want to close it, but would love another sign-up bonus [SUB]. I'm trying to understand whether I can downgrade it to the American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp®, avoid the annual fee, and be eligible for another SUB on an AA Platinum Select. (Also, will the card number change if I downgrade it? So much auto-pay is set up and it is a pain to change). I've read various blogs on the topic and am coming out confused. Can anyone explain this scenario?
News & Enhanced Offers
- American Airlines Now Offering Mileage Discount When Booking Round-Trip Awards — this is not good news for many of us
- IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card (see increased offer on the IHG One Rewards Business Card here) — who can get this bonus and what you can do with the card and 140,000 points
- Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards domestically — many people think the only way to get outstanding value from points is tied to international business travel. Here are some ways to use your points within the U.S.
What Bonuses Did We Get?
- Allison — 140,000 (learn more about earning points paying rent through Bilt) 5x in first 5 days (Bilt Rent Day promotions like United Silver, Hyatt Match, 100% transfer bonus to Flying Blue)
- Joe — Nothing new
- Allison — Baseball (19, adding DC, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Cleveland this year,) Belize, Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Bali
- Booked Premium Suite with Hyatt points and flights with Delta SkyMiles and Southwest Rapid Rewards (CC rewards cover about $1,750 including Priority Pass restaurant benefit)
- Booked a night away (Happy Mother's Day to her and all of the Moms here in AT101!) using an expiring Marriott 35K Free Night Award for my wife and a friend of hers
- Helped a buddy build a trip for him and his daughter to the Hyatt Regency Clearwater (expiring Category 1-7 Free Night Award) along with a few nights at Grand Cypress (2 Category 1-4 Free Night Awards) for the water park as well as flights, all on points totaling 27K Rapid Rewards and 20K SkyMiles saved $1,850.
- In addition to working on an overnight in NYC with my son, I nabbed JetBlue Mint 4A & 4F “Throne Seats” LAS-JFK using 50K (each) AA miles to cover ($2,400) – paid $400
- Used less (25K vs 33K) United miles to book a mixed cabin award for less than economy. Used a trick on the United Dreamliners (shared in AT201) to get Premium Economy instead of economy (and I'm waitlisted for a Polaris CPU)
Highlight Feature: Citi Product Change Rules
- AA MileUp Card (see AA MileUp Card review) — Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services
- Citi® Double Cash Card (see Citi Double Cash review) — 2% on everything, making it a catch all for any non bonus category spend
- Citi Custom Cash® Card (see Citi Custom Cash review, $200 sign-up bonus) — Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Easy 2,500 points each month from these Citi Custom Cash spending categories are: restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.
- Citi Rewards+® Card (compare with Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, 20,000 sign-up bonus) — 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase, 10% rebate on the first 100,000 points redeemed each year. See how Allison flew Turkish Business class for 29K ThankYou Points.
- Citi no-fee options
What You Didn't Know
Allison’s Tip of the Day: How and why you want to use the AA Award Map.
Where To Find the Award Travel 101 Community
For questions, you can join us in the free 94,000+ member Award Travel 101 Community.
- If you want to jump into more intermediate and advanced strategies, our Award Travel 201 community ($89.99 annually) is filled with those who want to dig into the weeds, looking for more outsized value.
- To book time with our team to discuss how to better your earning and burning strategies, check out Award Travel 1-on-1.
- You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Meetup sold out, but you can waitlist
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