It’s a messy relationship when it comes to airline partners, and this month sees Alaska end its on-again, off-again relationship with Delta and formally marry Virgin America. This is good news for Alaska fliers although Delta travelers lose a valuable earning and burning partner. Alaska also beefed up benefits for its Mileage Plan members; this is a net win for Alaska fliers.
2016 Major Trends Include Mergers Shaking Things Up and the Spread of Anti-Churning Rules
The past year was one of non-stop change in the travel rewards industry with huge changes in major frequent flyer programs, bank credit card offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. We saw devaluations continue for all three of the major domestic legacy airlines. And the major travel rewards credit card issuing banks all imposed stricter sign-up bonus rules. There were several mergers between airlines and hotels that also lead to some big changes to loyalty programs.
Barclaycard Offering AAdvantage Aviator Cards Again
The wait is over! Barclaycard has released the online application page for the Aviator Red Mastercard.
Barclaycard was the issuer of the US Airways co-branded cards before US Airways merged with American Airlines. When the merger occurred, existing cardholders were given the option to convert their cards to a variety of new Aviator cards in the lineup. Unfortunately, those cards were not available for new applicants at that time.
Score American Airlines Elite Status Spending Waivers with These Credit Cards
As we approach the holiday season, sign-up bonus offers for new credit cards are proving to be generous and rewarding. Also, read on to find out how Hilton is making lifetime Diamond status easier to achieve and how to bypass part of American’s new elite status spending requirements in the new year.
Mileage Redemption Options And Bonus Points for Online Shopping
Alaska Mileage Plan is a crowd pleaser, and it continues to impress with new redemption opportunities with Japan Airlines. Also, don’t miss the latest points and mileage earning bonuses for making online purchases as you shop around presents this holiday season.
United Pulls Back the Curtain on Polaris and Delta Gouges Members Who Want to Buy Extra MQMs
United’s much-heralded Polaris lounge and inflight product are finally here. The airline rolled out the new offering Dec. 1 and will slowly make its way across the airline’s network in the coming months and year. Delta also put its MQMs on sale, but the prices will make your jaw drop. At least, Air France and KLM have put some awards on sale and Aeroplan (Air Canada) has some free miles up for grabs.
Delta Discounts Award Tickets, But Raises the Cash Cost; Donate JetBlue Points and the Airline Will Match
Delta is surprising us with a Cyber Monday mileage sale; it’s not often that Delta lowers the price of a mileage ticket. And JetBlue is helping us to feel extra thankful this season by matching our TrueBlue point donations to charity.
United Introduces a New Economy Class and American Adds a New Perk For Elites
United has announced a new fare class that is especially restrictive. It is designed to counter ultra-low fare airline competition, but frequent flyers should be cautious before booking it. American is also giving its Concierge Key members a nice new bonus.
Faster Path to Elite Status on AA Through Card Spending and Free Marriott Points for Linking Social Accounts
There are some opportunities to score bonus points with many travel companies this week. Scoop ‘em up while you can! And American peeked in some good news announcing a partial waiver for the elite qualifying dollar spend requirement put into place for next year’s elite program. We have all the details.
Big Bonus on Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Credit Card
Between now and the end of the year, Barclaycard is offering one of its biggest signup bonuses ever for new cardholders. If you are approved for the card before the end of the year and spend $3,000 in the first 90 days, you can earn 50,000 bonus miles, which is equal to $500 in travel redemptions.
How to Navigate Thailand in the Next Year
When it comes to redeeming points and miles for a dream vacation, Thailand is often at the top of the list. Low prices for hotels, tours, and dining combined with lots of flights with relatively decent award space into Bangkok create the perfect, friendly storm for an amazing trip.
Changes Coming for Chase INK Business Cards
There have been several big rumors floating around the blogosphere recently regarding changes to the business card offerings from Chase. These have included rumors of a new product, possible changes to bonus categories, and the possible elimination of one of Chases’ current offerings. We now have official confirmation from Chase of exactly what is in store.
Early Holiday Shopping Bonuses from Amex, AA and United and New Rewards Program from Hyatt
American Express rewards spenders at small businesses
Between now and the end of the year, earn double miles and points when using your American Express card at qualifying small businesses in your area. Included in the offer are more than 50 Amex-branded cards including the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express and Hilton HHonors American Express. What’s unique about this promotion is that Amex is doubling whatever rewards currency your card offers.
Devaluations from Delta and More While American Set to Introduce Basic Economy Fares In 2017
Delta has devalued its miles for the fourth time in a year offering zero advance notice to flyers. You might want to rethink your loyalty. Just be careful if you go with American next year as it plans to introduce basic economy fares with no frills that are sure to come with all kinds of restrictions.
Double Miles for Virgin First Class, More Fees with Aeroplan Flight Changes and Points Transfer Options
This week brings good news in terms of rich promotions, but also sour news in terms of more restrictive airline fees. Read on to see who the winners and losers are in the world of travel this past week.
How to Fly Etihad’s Luxurious Residence on Miles and How to Get 500 Miles in Five Seconds
Until now, Etihad has kept its Airbus A380 private residence an option for big spenders only. Now, the airline is allowing big mileage spenders to get in on the luxurious experience. Plus, there are plenty of bonus miles and points up for grabs this week.
Airbnb and United Partner Up, New Award Ticket Options to Europe and 5x on Amex Travel
Airlines in the SkyTeam alliance are making it easy to request missing miles from past flights. Frequent flyers should always double-check their accounts to make sure they receive credit for flying. It’s easy to forget to look and sometimes miles are missed. Other news this week include new amenities aboard Hawaiian Airlines, new routes between North America and Europe, 3x on Airbnb through United’s app and a new 5x bonus for Amex premium cardholders.
Alitalia Aligns MilleMiglia Benefits Across Etihad Partner Airlines
In the travel enthusiast community, it seems we can barely go a few weeks without an announcement of some sort of award chart devaluation or benefit reduction in one of our favorite programs. So any time we can actually announce an improvement to an award program, it comes as a big relief.
Marriott SPG Merger Opens New Doors for Points and Miles Collectors
New Opportunities from the Marriott/Starwood Merger
Remember when it was first announced that Marriott would be buying Starwood? It struck fear into the hearts of many travel hackers that the industry’s most valuable transferable point program might be ruined or even eliminated by a hotel chain with a low value rewards program. So far, those fears have been unfounded. Marriott and SPG recently announced the first major changes to their awards programs and the news is good!
What’s Next on Marriott/SPG: Linking Accounts, Maximizing Benefits and Other Miles/Points News
The biggest news in travel at the moment is the merger between Marriott and Starwood. Travelers are asking what it means to them. Here’s how to take advantage of the best benefits with the two programs plus the latest in other travel news for the week.