Battle of the Big Three – Part 1: ThankYou Points vs Ultimate Rewards vs Membership Rewards

Citi Prestige Card

Today, I’d like to kick off a review of the three major transferrable points currencies: Chase’s Ultimate Rewards (UR), Citibank’s ThankYou Points (TYP), and American Express’ Membership Rewards (MR). I am starting with these as they are arguably the best advertised and most known of all the miles programs outside of airlines’ and hotel’ own programs. I have cards with all three but if you’re just starting out, you can certainly maximize just a single program and get very impressive rewards very quickly if you target high sign-up bonuses and are strategic about your spend.

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The Six Cardinal Rules of MileNavigator

Welcome to the MileNavigator! Whether you’re just starting out and dipping your toes into the world of award travel redemption, are firmly in the intermediate camp, or are a seasoned veteran who’s redeemed miles for everything from Ritz-Carlton stays in Morocco to Cathay Pacific First Class, this post serves to set out and define the ground rules of this hobby:

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Introduction and Mission

Good evening, everyone!

First off, I would like to thank you for visiting this site. Part of the reason I decided to create my own entry in the crowded world of travel blogs is my desire to use my experience in helping others get into the exciting hobby of travel hacking. By leveraging and maximizing credit card rewards, you will be able to take advantage of amazing redemptions and revolutionize your travel. Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend away with a couple of free hotel nights or an exotic getaway to the Maldives or Japan, the world of credit card points and airline miles opens up an entire world of high-end travel and hotel stays that would otherwise set you back many months (and years) of savings!

Having been in the travel hacking hobby for over 3 years, one of my goals is to prioritize my real-world experience in this hobby as well as use as data-driven and visual approach as possible. Over the years, during my introduction to the world of credit card travel, I have noticed that many blogs advertise the latest and greatest bank offer with either only superficial details or information directly lifted from advertising materials. Not only would you find certain redemptions were very difficult – if not impossible – to book but the fine-print would make even those very difficult to achieve. Additionally, in many instances, I would find that I needed to look through multiple web sites over many days to really get enough information about a new program or offer to make an informed decision, leading to countless hours of time lost researching products.

With your help and feedback, I hope to avoid the same mistakes that I encountered early on in my hobby and make the world of award travel better for everyone. I look forward to hearing about your experiences and travel stories as well as any tips and advice you have to add to this community.