Tuesday, July 22, 2014         

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Before You Go

For Sunday, May 11, 2014

By McClatchy News Services


Fliers' view of TSA improves slightly

In the last few years, the Transportation Security Administration has removed the full-body scanners that create nudelike images of passengers and restricted pat-down searches of children and seniors, among other changes.

A new survey suggests that such efforts have made TSA screening less offensive to travelers.

Among more than 2,700 adults questioned in a recent survey, 64.2 percent said they were satisfied with airport screening procedures, with an additional 23.3 percent saying they were neutral on it. By comparison, the same survey last year found that 62.2 percent were satisfied and 19.8 percent were neutral.

Meanwhile, the share of travelers who described themselves as "unsatisfied" about airport screening dropped to 12.5 percent from 18 percent last year, according to the online survey by Travel Leaders Group, a Minnesota travel agency company.

Loopholes limit use of reward points

If you are saving loyalty reward points for your dream vacation, be wary of loopholes that can kill nearly one-third of your points.

The 10 largest credit card issuers offer up about $48 billion in loyalty rewards each year, but one-third of those rewards are never redeemed because of loopholes and limitations, according to a new study by CardHub, a credit card review site.

A requirement that you meet a minimum threshold before you can redeem your reward points was the most common limitation found in the study, followed by rewards that expire after a missed payment.

Capital One cards have the fewest reward limitations, the report said, while the Discover It card has the most.

Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive of CardHub, offered this tip: Get a card with real cash rewards, not fictitious currency like "dividend dollars." Reward programs can reduce the value of fake money, he said, "but they can't change the value of cash."


Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times

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