If you travel internationally two or more times per year, strongly consider using a credit card exclusively for overseas purchases. The best current option is a Capital One card that charges no foreign transaction fees. Chase now has a similar card.
Most travelers never stop to investigate how many extra miles they can accumulated by shopping online and using their cards. Major retailers often have deals with credit card companies that pay more than 1 point per dollar charged.
If you have more than 100,000 points but are unsure as to how to best utilize them, consider hiring an expert. There are now small entrepreneurs, such as Gary Leff, who have created a business out of doing nothing but helping Frequent Flyers make the best use of their mileage awards. You will normally work with Mileage Experts online. Never use a travel; agent to do mileage. It is a separate, unique, and insane specialty.
We love and use the Starwood ,American Express card. There are two reasons why we love this card . You can simply transfer your earned miles to any one of more than 30 airlines. One call and the miles are placed where you need them. But the second reason we love this card is that when you move miles, Starwood actually gifts you with 5,000 bonus miles, as in free miles, for every 20,000 you transfer. What is the down side of this card? They do charge a foreign transaction fee. Bad Amex.