I rarely post deals from because, frankly, they aren’t usually that great. This one is an exception…

Save $30 off 3-star hotels with code: 3STARUS
Save $40 off 4-star hotels with code: 4STARUS
Save $50 off 5-star hotels with code: 5STARUS

This is strong, especially in locations with cheaper options like Vegas, Thailand, etc. As always, the best way to do it is with multiple one-night stays. Limited to the first 15,000 bookings. Stay by the end of the year and book by the end of the month.

rio Deals

The Top 25 Credit Cards

Time for the monthly edition of my Top 25 Credit Cards. Again, if you’re a newbie, make sure you read The Newbie Guide. Many of your questions will be answered there. Basic things like not applying for 3 Chase cards at the same time should be known before you continue. For people running out of cards, remember there’s often a Business card option. I listed a few here but not many, so it might be worth exploring more Business cards. Also, “churning” might be an option. The dates here are a guideline but things always tend to vary individually.

Miles and points aren’t an equal currency. 50,000 Delta Skymiles are worth less to me than 50,000 miles from pretty much any other airline. 25,000 Hyatt points are worth a ton more than 25,000 Hilton points. And so on. These links work right now (August 18th at midnight). If you read this later, many of the offers will have changed. Things move fast in this game so read the offer details before applying. Here we go! My Top 25 current credit cards in order are…


  • Ink Bold and/or Ink Plus (Chase)
    • Spend $5,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • The points transfer to United, Southwest, British, Hyatt, etc.
    • 5 times the points on purchases at office stores.
    • Go to a local Chase branch and ask about the 70,000-point Plus offer.
  • Sapphire (Chase)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Still very valuable points. See Ink cards above.
    • One of my favorite cards to use when I don’t have any spends to meet.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest aka SPG (American Express)
    • Spend $5,000 in 6 months. Get 25,000 points.
    • Incredible card. I really, really love cash + points for hotel stays.
  • Barclay Arrival (Barclays)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • One of the best cards for actual spending, as discussed here.
  • American Airlines cards (Citibank)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 miles.
    • Read the wiki post for the most current links.
    • The 100,000-mile Executive card is long gone. All that remains is 60,000.
  • US Airways (Barclays)
    • Spend $1. Get 40,000 miles.
    • It’s a good time to grab your American and US Airways miles.
  • United Airlines (Chase)
    • Log in and see if you are targeted for the 50,000-mile offer.
    • Better 55,000 miles here through September 2 if you add a user.
    • A good business version can be found here.
  • Southwest (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • It’s not a good time of year to work on getting your companion pass.
  • Mercedes Benz Platinum (American Express)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points.
    • Big $475 fee but benefits like global entry credit and $200 credit.
    • A no-fee for the first year Platinum card  is here.
  • Platinum (American Express)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Temporary increase from the usual 25,000 points.
    • Incredible benefits, but $450 annual fee. $200 in credits does help.
  • Ritz Carlton (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 70,000 points..
    • Read why applying by phone is probably the way to go.
    • Older offers discussed here. One for 140,000 points.
  • Marriott (Chase)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 70,000 points and a free night.
    • These point are a little underrated. Also Business card links here and here.
  • Hilton Honors Reserve (Citibank)
    • Spend $2,500 in 4 months. Get 2 weekend nights. Best Hilton card.
    • Gold status while you have the card. Upgrades, breakfast, internet, etc.
    • They just added a $100 statement credit to this offer.
  • British Airways (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • 100,000-point offer recently ended (for now).
  • Club Carlson Premier (US Bank)
    • Spend $2,500 in 90 days. Get 85,000 points.
    • Great hotel card and not from the usual issuers.
  • InterContinental Hotel aka IHG aka Priority Club (Chase)
    • Spend $1,000. Get 80,000 points.
    • One of the most underrated hotel cards out there.
    • This is now a MasterCard. Watch the 90 second video using code MIAMBXWF09.
    • Flyertalk discussion for this one is here.
  • Hyatt (Chase)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 2 nights at any Hyatt.
    • Even more valuable after the point devaluation.
  • Fairmont Hotel (Chase)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 2 nights and breakfast at any Fairmont.
    • Again, many of these hotels are very expensive.
  • Alaska Airlines (Bank of America)
    • Spend $1. Get 25,000 miles.
    • Offer with statement credit here.
    • Bank of America cards can be MUCH more “churnable” than most.
  • SimplyCash Business (Amex)
    • A very strong cashback card option.
    • 3% on chosen category (including gas) and huge 5% at office stores.
  • Premier Gold (Amex)
    • Possible 50,000 points, rather than the usual 25,000.
    • A bit of a pain, but you can see if you’re targeted.
  • Propel (Wells Fargo)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • A decent new offering, and again, it’s always good to see cards from different banks.
    • Here’s a solid Business card from Wells Fargo.
  • Hawaiian Airlines (Barclays)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 35,000 miles.
    • Business version is here.
  • FlexPerks (US Bank)
    • Spend $3,500. Get 20,000 FlexPoints.
    • Thanks to Christopher F. for getting me to add this card to the list.
  • Venture (Capital One)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • Up from 20,000 miles.
  • Frontier Airlines (Barclays)
    • Spend $500 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • Frontier miles aren’t for everyone.
  • Thank You (Citibank)
    • Weird offer. 20,000 points for spending $2,000 in 3 months. Then 30,000 more points for spending $3,000 in first 3 months of 2nd year.
    • Bonuses on this card go up/down often.
  • Korean (US Bank)
    • Spend $1. Get 15,000 miles.
    • Down from 30,000-mile offer.
    • Business card is here.
  • Delta (American Express)
    • 50,000 mile offers.
    • Delta Skymiles are…well…not good.
  • Wyndham (Barclays)
    • Spend $1,000 in 90 days. Get 45,000 miles.
    • Offer goes up and down. We’re in an “up” time right now.
  • Hilton Honors (American Express)
    • Spend $750 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Hilton points are definitely not what they used to be.
  • Hilton Honors Surpass (American Express)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 60,000 points.
    • Get the previous card, and you’ll get tons of offers to upgrade to this one.
  • Hilton Honors (Citibank)
    • Spend $1,000 in 4 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Between the 4 cards, you have LOTS of Hilton options.
    • They added a $50 credit for this one.
  • Prestige (Citibank)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 30,000 points.
    • Nice benefits including $200 credit, but huge $450 annual fee.
  • Freedom (Chase)
    • Worth having in your collection for the 5% quarterly bonuses.
    • No reason to close this one.
  • Asiana (Bank of America)
    • Spend $2,500 in 90 days. Get 25,000 miles.
    • Meh.
  • Virgin America (Comenity)
    • 2 different card offers I discussed here.
    • Issued by Comenity Bank, which is the best thing about these cards.
  • LAN (US Bank)
    • 20,000 miles for opening. 3 upgrade coupons each year.
    • Down from a 40,000-mile offer.
  • Virgin Atlantic (Bank of America)
    • 25,000 miles for spending a buck and adding users.
    • Again, Bank of America is more churnable than most.
    • Global Entry credit if you’re looking to save the TSA PreCheck fee.
    • Wait for the 50,000-mile offer to come back.
  • Choice Hotel (Barclays)
    • You’re truly running out of cards if you’re still reading this far.
    • I keep this as the last card mostly out of tradition.

Recently Dropped:

  • Business Gold Reward (Amex) – The 50,000 to 100,000 offers will be back.
  • Lufthansa (Barclays) – 50,000-mile offer ended. Again, I expect it back.
  • LifeMiles (US Bank) – Dropped from 40,000 to 20,000 miles.
  • AirTran (Chase) – This one looks to be gone for good.
  • Best Western (Barclays) – Again, who really cares?

*Beyond this mile/point list, the following are some great cashback cards*


milenerdThe Top 25 Credit Cards

Hmm….A Quick Note About Awardwallet

Wow, I just heard a guy say he couldn’t remember his British Airways password. He was trying to figure it out. The thing is, he had AwardWallet open in a tab WHILE HE WAS SAYING THIS! After my overly dramatic reaction, I realized something…

No matter how many times I’ve talked about AwardWallet, some of you are still not using it the right way.” The dude above uses AwardWallet only to avoid expiration dates. He was actually trying to memorize all his passwords by heart. Sigh. So let me review a few basic points:

  • Yes, AwardWallet will alert you if an account is about to expire. But you have to then TAKE ACTION to extend that expiration date.
  • You never, ever, ever, never, ever have to memorize passwords if you use AwardWallet. This is a big part of the point of the whole thing. Just make sure you remember your AwardWallet password.
  • Click mile/point accounts in AwardWallet and you’ll be automatically logged in. Again, this is kind of the point.
  • Personally, I’m a fan of adding credit card accounts in AwardWallet. You’re then able to track those points…Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, FlexPerks, etc.
  • You can still track United, American and Southwest. Just make sure you do it AwardWallet’s way. Read those messages that pop up!

The point is this…AwardWallet is a lot more than an cool system of tracking your point balances. Let it do more work for you. Otherwise, you might just kill ol’ MileNerd!





milenerdHmm….A Quick Note About Awardwallet

Hey Ladies

It’s 2014. “Gender issues” bore the hell out of me. But, then again, so do the other forms of discrimination. Honestly if you still don’t see women, gay people, black people, midgets, or anyone else as equals…you’ve got some serious problems. I’m not a doctor, but I believe the medical term for your disorder is “majoris douchebagous.”

That being said, stereotypes aren’t always the same thing as discrimination. Here’s an easy example…

“American teenagers are into cell phones and social media.”

That isn’t discrimination against teenagers. Yes, there are exceptions, but the numbers prove it to be an accurate statement on the whole. And yes, as an Indian guy, I love me some numbers!

So how does this apply to our world of miles and points?

Simple. It’s a world dominated by men. Sadly for all the socially awkward, bumbling dudes collecting points…this is painfully true. It would be nice to have more women around, but as it is, it’s pretty much a sausage fest. And, unfortunately for all the dorks, it’s impossible to redeem those miles for a hot date.

I know a lot of people in this game, and if I were to guess the numbers, I’d say it’s about 75% men/25% women. The ironic part is how much more vocal you ladies are (in a good way). I get your questions emailed daily, so I’ve been observing this for years. In contrast to so many of the sheepish guys, you are charming, articulate, and polite. But there is one stereotype I’ve observed to be true…

…In this world of miles and points, women are much bigger wusses.


(hold for defensive reaction)


(waiting patiently)


(ok, this probably isn’t going to pass)


Internal thoughts of every woman reading right now: “How could MileNerd say that?? I was totally agreeing with everything, and then he said THAT???!!??”

Here’s the thing, ladies…it’s true. Guys are simple. We just do stuff. Most of the time it’s stupid. And occasionally, things work out. We’re cool with applying for multiple credit cards, buying a bunch of gift cards, and taking what you like to call “risks.” We don’t know about things like “weighing the consequences.” Most of us are confused about what that even means. Ladies, we’re just built differently than you are.

And in this strange world of miles/points, our hairbrained scheming has worked out for us. We’ve taken big chances and reaped such huge rewards. Our AwardWallet balances are overflowing, as we dive from deal to deal. Again, I see this every single day. Thousands of emails later, I know how well the guys have been doing. On the other hand, ladies, I have seen your fear and trepidation. Your emails are full of doubts…concerns…overall wussiness. You tiptoe into the points pond, while the men cannonball in from the rocks above. Ladies, I totally get how my gender can be perceived as morons. You basically babysit us for much of the day. But in this land of miles and points, it’s time for you to do the last thing you want to do…

Man up.




milenerdHey Ladies

Delta SkyMiles Are…

…still terrible.

But, hey,  if you’re running out of cards…they’re sort of decent-ish…I guess. Maybe. Never mind. They’re really bad. And with that glorious introduction, here are the increased Delta offers through September 8th.

  • Gold card – 50,000 miles after spending $1,000 in 3 months.
  • Platinum card – Annual fee not waived, but you will qualify for elite status faster.
  • Gold Business card – Same as the Personal version of the Gold card.


milenerdDelta SkyMiles Are…