I almost lost thousands of bonus points – TPG staffer mistake story

I almost lost thousands of bonus points – TPG staffer mistake story



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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Dirty money: Could ditching cash keep you healthier this season?

Dirty money: Could ditching cash keep you healthier this season?



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Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

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These rewards are expiring at the end of this year – The Points Guy

These rewards are expiring at the end of this year – The Points Guy


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Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Etihad partners improve mileage earnings – The Points Guy

Etihad partners improve mileage earnings – The Points Guy


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Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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These are the current CDC travel advisories – The Points Guy

These are the current CDC travel advisories – The Points Guy


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Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Delta finds itself in the middle of holiday havoc again with hundreds of flight cancellations

Delta finds itself in the middle of holiday havoc again with hundreds of flight cancellations


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Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Getting Trip Insurance (When is Flight Insurance Worth It?)

From researching attractions to viewing romantic bed and breakfasts while simultaneously dreaming up your packing list, preparing for a vacation is an exciting experience. But while you’re busy coordinating all of the fun stuff, don’t forget about the practical planning you need to do, too!

Travel insurance is one thing you might want to add to your vacation checklist, depending on your circumstances. If you’re wondering “is travel insurance worth it?” or “what does travel insurance cover?”, we’re here to help you navigate this journey.

In this post, we’ll discuss what travel insurance means, when it might make sense for you to add travel insurance and more. To skip ahead to your topic of interest, use the links below.

What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of insurance policy that’s designed to cover the potential fees and losses incurred while traveling domestically or abroad.

In the event that you have to cancel your trip due to an emergency or other circumstances, or if something like severe weather or locational threats interrupt your trip, travel insurance may help to minimize the associated financial penalties. Additionally, travel insurance can cover lost or stolen baggage, as well as temporary medical and injury coverage. Of course, what your trip insurance does and does not cover depends on the policy that you purchase.

Now that you know what travel insurance is, let’s take a look at what is covered by travel insurance and what is not covered by travel insurance.

What is Covered by Travel Insurance?

Just like when you’re shopping for medical, auto, or homeowner’s insurance, you typically have plenty of options to choose from when buying a travel insurance plan. And a variety of options means differing levels of insurance coverage. Four of the most common types of travel insurance include:

  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: Trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you for insured items, such as your flight accommodations, in case you had to cancel due to illness, a death in the family, or other circumstances listed in the policy that you purchased.
  • Emergency Medical Assistance: If you are injured or become ill while you’re traveling, emergency medical assistance can help you get medical coverage at your travel destination.
  • Baggage Insurance: If your luggage or other personal belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged while traveling, baggage insurance can provide cost assistance for the items included in your trip insurance policy.
  • Accidental Death: Accidental death insurance can provide you with coverage in the event that you or a family member suffers from fatal complications due to an injury or accident that was covered within your travel insurance plan.

Depending on the trip insurance carrier and plan you select, there may be other caveats, exclusions, or additional coverage included in your policy. Always be sure to read the fine print and ask your travel insurance agent if you have any questions about the extent of your plan’s coverage.

Who buys travel insurance?

If you’re wondering whether you should buy travel insurance, it might help to take a look at who else finds value in this type of insurance coverage.

According to a recent study, 23% of people surveyed said they intend to buy more trip insurance in 2020 than they did in 2019. And of those who plan to purchase travel insurance, Gen Z’ers and Millennials are most likely to do so. In fact, 30.39% of 18-24 year-olds and 28.21% of 25-34 year-olds said that they were likely to buy travel insurance for an upcoming vacation. 45-54 year-olds, on the other hand, aren’t quite so interested in trip protection; only 12.7% said they’d buy insurance on their trip.

It’s important to note that even if you fall into one of the categories that does or does not tend to buy travel insurance, you don’t necessarily need to base your decision on data trends. In order to decide whether you should buy travel insurance, you’ll want to consider a number of factors specific to your situation. Let’s take a look.

When Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

If you subscribe to the old saying, “you’re better off safe than sorry,” you might think trip insurance is worth purchasing—especially if you’ve invested a substantial amount of money into your vacation or are exposed to risk factors that might influence your decision.

According to a survey from Travel Market Report, the top three reasons people buy travel insurance include:

  • Cost of the trip
  • Concerns about family’s health and welfare
  • The type of trip they’re planning

If you or a family member are dealing with health issues that may impact your trip, for example, trip insurance may be worth it in case you need to cancel or reschedule.

When you probably shouldn’t buy travel insurance

Before you buy travel insurance, ConsumerReports.org suggests checking how much you’re already protected with your current insurance policies and credit card coverage plans.

  • Some healthcare plans will include a certain level of health insurance for plan holders who are traveling domestically and abroad.
  • Your homeowner’s and renter’s insurance plans may protect your belongings even while you’re off-site. If you’re worried about bringing your laptop or camera on vacation, check to see if your home insurance plan already includes these items.
  • Certain credit card companies offer trip cancellation coverage as well as lost luggage and car rental coverage.

Consumer Reports also cites travel lawyer, Jeffery Miller’s advice on purchasing travel insurance: “The millennial going to Las Vegas doesn’t need travel insurance, but if you’re in your 40s and have elderly parents who might fall ill and cause you to cut short your holiday, then yes, you should definitely get coverage.”

Note: Before you commit to a travel insurance plan, read the plans that are offered to you. You may be surprised about what they do and do not cover, so it could be worth a quick read if you’re still unsure about it.

How to Get Travel Insurance

If you decide that travel insurance is a good investment for your situation, your next step will be to find the best plan for your needs.

Who offers travel insurance?

There are several travel insurance companies, banks, and credit cards that provide trip insurance plans for you to choose from.

Some popular travel insurance companies include:

  • Amex Assurance
  • Travelex
  • Generali Global Assistance
  • World Nomads
  • Travel Guard
  • Seven Corners
  • Allianz Global Assistance
  • RoamRight Travel Insurance

Credit card companies who offer travel insurance include:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Chase

While you’re shopping for travel coverage plans, be sure to compare policies to get the best rate for your situation.

Tips for Buying Travel Insurance

To find the best travel insurance option for your plans, use these tips provided by ConsumerReports.org:

  • Check your existing coverage: Does your health insurance plan cover you while you’re traveling domestically or abroad? Or perhaps your travel credit card offers coverage for lost luggage, flight insurance, or trip cancellation. Consider checking these options as you shop for trip insurance.
  • Compare plans and pricing: Many companies who offer travel insurance will issue free quotes, so take advantage of this so that you can shop around for the plan that gets you the most bang for your buck.
  • Know your policy limitations: Like any type of insurance plan, there are several limitations on coverage, one of which being “known events.” Once a hurricane has been named, for example, it becomes a known event that can disqualify your trip coverage. In addition, there are certain time constraints which could void coverage if you don’t cancel within a specified timeframe, or if your trip is scheduled X days after an event such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

Beware of CFAR plans: One travel insurance option insurers offer is known as CFAR insurance (cancel for any reason). While this may sound ideal, you might think twice about this type of plan, which can be expensive and not as valuable as it claims to be. Consumer Reports notes that the cost of CFAR plans are typically 40% higher than standard travel insurance plans and often only pay out 50-70% of trip costs upon cancellation.

Wrapping Up: Is Trip Insurance Worth it?

Like any financial decision, you’ll make in your lifetime, whether or not travel insurance is worth it depends entirely on your unique financial situation and travel plans. Perhaps you got a good deal on your flight and the cost of your insurance would cost the same as the reservation altogether. In this case, trip insurance might not be worth it.

There are many different variables you should consider when deciding whether or not travel insurance is the right solution for you, including:

  • The amount you’ve invested in your trip
  • How much you’re already covered with your healthcare plan, renter’s insurance, etc.
  • Personal circumstances which may impact your plans, such as health or family issues which may jeopardize your vacation

If you do decide that travel insurance makes sense for your situation, be sure to read your policy carefully. The fine print may include important coverage caveats or exclusions that could put you in a tricky situation later on.

Want to learn more about managing your summer travel spending or how to approach the budgeting topic while on vacation with friends? Check out our travel resources for tips and tricks to help you plan your next adventure.

Sources

Investopedia | Berkshire Hathaway  | North Carolina Department of Insurance  |  Travel Pulse  | Travel Market Report  | Consumer Reports  | Trip Savvy

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Why a timeshare brand just bought Travel + Leisure magazine

Why a timeshare brand just bought Travel + Leisure magazine


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Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: thepointsguy.com

How to Cancel A Trip or Vacation

No matter how thoroughly you plan your trip, last-minute changes to your personal schedule can still happen. If you need to alter or cancel your travel plans it can be a serious headache—and a lot of lost money might be next. Still, in many cases, cancelling a trip is unavoidable. A sudden family emergency may come up, your work may need you for a huge assignment, or you or your travel companion might unexpectedly fall ill. Life happens — coronavirus pandemics happen. While some cancellation fees are unavoidable, there are a few simple things to keep in mind when these things happen. 

If you need to cancel an upcoming trip, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to mitigate your losses, reduce your money stress, or even secure a rescheduled vacation. Check out these tips that can help you avoid paying full cancellation fees the next time you need to cancel a trip.

Know the Policies

First things first: when booking big ticket items for travel, it’s important to make sure you read the fine print. Ideally, you should make sure you know the ins and outs of the airline, hotel, or travel agency’s policies before you enter any credit card info. This includes their cancellation policy. 

Cancelling a Hotel or Rental

For hotels, I usually book with Hotels.com or a similar service—that’s because their cancellation policy often includes general refunds at most hotels if you cancel before a certain date, and sometimes a voucher for a future stay for cases where refunds might not be available

If you’ve rented a vacation home from a site like Airbnb, always check the trip cancellation policy listed on the rental profile. While the service might have its own general cancellation policies, individual property managers likely have their own set of requirements and deadlines for cancellation too. 

I also usually go a step further and always make a note on my calendar on the last day it is free to cancel.

Cancelling a Flight

For flights, you should know that federal law states you have 24 hours to cancel your trip from the time you book your flight if you book it at least seven days before the departure date without having to pay a fee—you can check Transportation.gov for further details. Bear in mind that this only applies to flights booked through the carrier itself, not flights booked through third-party websites. Some airlines, like Southwest, have much more generous cancellation policies than others. Though, in many cases, you’ll at least be able to put the money you spent on your flight toward a trip in the future. This varies significantly from airline to airline, so checking trip cancellation policies ahead of time is a must whenever you book a flight.

Cancelling a Rental Car

If you have booked a prepaid rental car at your destination, you should be able to find their cancellation policy on their company website. Most—like Avis and Hertz, two common rental car companies—will charge a fee for cancellations more than 24 hours after you’ve made the booking, and might charge even greater fees if you cancel your tip within 24 hours of the day you’re scheduled to pick up the car.

Cancelling a Tour or Excursion

Tours and excursions that you’ve booked in advance can also be cancelled, but whether you get a full, partial, or no refund will largely depend on the company you’ve booked through. It’s a good idea to pick up the phone and call the agency to see whether there is any flexibility in their trip cancellation policy.

Cancellation tips: boosting your chances of a refund

Cancellation policies imposed by large companies can sometimes be set in stone—but sometimes they might not be. Especially for smaller companies and hospitality services, there might be a bit of wiggle room you can take advantage of if you need your vacation cancelled. Here’s what I usually do to increase my odds of a refund when I need to cancel a trip. 

Cancel As Early As Possible

Just like most industries, time is money in hospitality—so if you do suddenly find out that your trip must be cancelled, don’t put it off. The minute you know you can’t go, start making calls to cancel all your plans. Begin with the big-ticket items, like flights and hotel reservations, and work your way down to smaller things like tours and restaurant reservations.

Often, travel services are hesitant to offer refunds because they might not have time to sell your spot to a new customer. That makes it important to start early because if the hotel, resort, or cruise line has time to resell your tickets, you have a higher chance of receiving a refund.

Just Ask, You Never Know

Even if you think a reservation is hopeless, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Once, I had to cancel a trip due to a vaccination error (that was completely my fault). I had to cancel my entire trip and found out the night before! Instead of giving up, I called and explained the situation. 

The hotel gave me a full refund because they received tons of walk in service and, since it was high season, they knew they would find a new customer for the room immediately. That was a pleasant surprise that I didn’t see coming! Not bad for cancelling a vacation last minute. Ultimately, you don’t know what kind of customer service and travel deals are available unless you actively seek them out.

Call, Don’t Email

Notice I said start making calls, not sending emails. Talking to a person, and especially the right person, can make a huge difference in getting a partial or even full refund. Often, it helps to speak to someone in management, as high up as possible. Remember, a manager is much more likely to waive a cancellation fee or refund your money than an hourly employee. 

When you first call it’s likely someone at the front desk will answer the phone. You can then ask to speak to managers and slowly move your way up the chain of command—just be sure that you’re polite. It’s not the front desk employee’s fault that they have to enforce whatever vacation cancellation policy the hotel or airline has in place. 

Seek Alternatives to Money

If a vendor can’t refund your cash, your next inquiry should be about any sort of alternatives they can offer other than money. This is often something like a voucher for future service, or some portion of your money put toward a later booking. On the trip I mentioned before, where I had to cancel because of missing vaccinations, I had tons of tours booked. Although I wasn’t able to get a refund for them, they did promise to reschedule all the tours when I did get a chance to take my trip

If you do get any offer for future service, be sure to have them send it to you in writing. I kept the emails from the tour companies, and when I finally did go a couple of months later, I conveniently rebooked all the tours!

Keep That Code

If you manage to score any sort of refund or voucher for a future booking, write down any confirmation code they send you and keep it somewhere safe. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your bank accounts or credit card statement and make sure that the money has been refunded after a couple of days. If it’s not, you’ll have their confirmation email and code in writing so you can call and inquire after your refund. It’s also wise to look into using a travel card, which might be able to offer you some protection against difficult refund situations.

Booking Travel Insurance

One of the best ways to avoid the hassle of travel cancellations is to purchase a travel insurance policy. Travel insurance is generally fairly inexpensive—around 5% to 10% of the total cost of your trip, depending on a few details like your age, the kind of trip you’re taking, and how many people you plan on adding to the policy.

Travel insurance can also be helpful to have even if you do end up going on the trip, but something goes wrong, like an airline losing your luggage, or getting injured while abroad and needing emergency medical insurance. The expense might seem like a hassle on top of all your other bookings, but the more you stand to lose from a sudden cancellation, the smarter it usually is to invest in protection for your plans. And even budget-friendly vacations might benefit from being insured. After all, you never know what might happen.

When traveling, you want to make every dollar count. Make sure you know your travel companies policies, you’re diligent about calling and speaking with managers, and you insure trips if you can. With the right planning and foresight, even an unexpected trip cancellation doesn’t have to be a disaster. 

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23 minutes, a $20 taxi and no boarding pass: How I pulled off a seemingly impossible international connection

23 minutes, a $20 taxi and no boarding pass: How I pulled off a seemingly impossible international connection


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Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: thepointsguy.com