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American Follows Delta’s Lead on Free Premium Transcon Meals and Marriott Top Elites Get Free Star Alliance Gold Status

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Marriott is now giving its Platinum Premier members free United Premier Gold status. Find out how to get it (and corresponding Star Alliance Gold status), plus which routes are now eligible for free economy class meals when flying domestically on American and Delta in this week’s roundup.

American does a monkey see, monkey do on free economy meals on transcon routes

If you’re flying one of the coveted routes between JFK and either Los Angeles or San Francisco, American is following Delta’s lead and beginning to offer free meals in economy class effective May 1. Unlike Delta, however, these are the only two routes that will have free economy class meals on American’s transcons; Delta is offering them on nearly a dozen flights (many in direct competition with Alaska and American).

Air France and KLM extend mileage expiration

Flying Blue is making a small change to their mileage expiration policy. It used to be that your miles were valid for 20 months from the last date of activity. Now, travelers have a full two years to use miles following the last date of activity. Keep in mind activity for Flying Blue is different than other airlines; qualifying activity includes taking a flight with a Flying Blue partner for credit or using a co-branded credit card. Award redemption or mileage transfers do not qualify as activity.

Southeastern Grocers add Plenti to loyalty program

If you shop at Winn-Dixie, BI-LO Fresco y Mas, or Harveys grocery stores, the brands now partner with Plenti. It offers members numerous ways to earn points and save on the things they already shop for every day, regardless of the payment method used. Effective April 5, customers can earn and redeem points for savings on groceries, gas with Exxon and Mobil stations, and at thousands of other online and retail partner locations, including AT&T, Macy’s, Chili’s, and Rite Aid among others.

Southeastern Grocers add Plenti to loyalty program
Southeastern grocers and Plenti are now partners

Chase Freedom announces second quarter bonus categories

Chase Freedom® cardholders have the option to earn 5 points per dollar spent (or 5% cash back) each quarter at a variety of retailers. For the second quarter of the year, customers can use the card at grocery stores and drug stores to receive the bonus, but registration is required first. The earning period is between April 1 and June 30; the bonus is only awarded on the first $1,500 spent.

Transfer hotel points to Aeroplan for a bonus

If you move points from various hotel programs to the Aeroplan program, you can earn as much as a 30% bonus. It is a tiered bonus system that gets higher depending upon the number of points transferred between now and April 17. Points can also come from various programs (meaning you can clear out orphan points accounts with this offer). This promotion can be especially lucrative for those transferring Marriott points with one of the hotel company’s hotel and air packages. For example, redeem 270,000 Marriott Rewards points and you can receive seven nights at a category 1-5 hotel plus 150,000 Aeroplan miles!

Earn free United miles and help the American Red Cross

If you have a United co-branded credit card, you can receive 100 free miles by registering for this promotion. Then, every time you use the card between now and April 15, United will donate 100 miles to the Red Cross to help in its relief efforts. This is a win-win for everybody. Be sure to register before the end of the month for the free points.

Earn bonus miles donating to Red Cross
Donate miles to Red Cross using United co-branded card

Marriott gives top elite free United Premier Gold status

Marriott’s Platinum Premier members are now eligible to earn free United Premier Gold status, which includes Star Alliance Gold status. Marriott Platinum members still receive United Premier Silver status for free. United’s Gold status comes with complimentary domestic upgrades based on eligibility 48 hours in advance and lounge access internationally among other benefits.

Elite members can score a nice bonus for Hertz rentals via United

Make a rental car reservation with Hertz via for a midsize car and above, and you could be eligible for as many as 2,750 bonus miles depending upon your United status. One-night rentals qualify for the bonus offer, which is available until the end of May.

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