We focus so much on securing the top elite statuses to take advantage of the prescribed benefits that we forget that hotel staff is often empowered to help us even when we don’t have status. Fancy extra bottled water or more toiletries? A simple phone call can be the answer. And even a few dollars as a tip can score some nice perks.
Squaremouth: Online Service Helps You Sort Through Travel Insurance
The tour company in charge of your European holiday goes bankrupt. A volcano destroys the Indonesian city you intend to visit. You twist an ankle while trekking through Nepal, or suffer a life-threatening illness while on a cruise to Brazil. Your house burns down while you’re exploring the jungles of South America. These unforeseen events, and countless others like them, are more common than you might think and can easily destroy a vacation—unless you have travel insurance.
Transferring Miles and Points to Family and Friends
Whether you need to top up your account for an award flight or you have a few unused miles that could be put to good use by someone else, pooling miles is a great way to maximize your buying power. There a number of frequent flyer and credit card rewards programs that allow you to transfer points to other members, but each loyalty program has its own rules.
Can a Gate Agent Give You a Free Upgrade or Other Perks?
Ever wonder what those gate agents are doing at a busy gate as they type furiously into a computer? What powers do they have that can help you as a frequent traveler?
The Ultimate Guide to Airline Benefits for Military Families
Over the last eight years, my family and I have been the beneficiary of some incredibly generous military benefits given by U.S.-flagged air carriers. While these typically take the form of free baggage, there are other benefits the smart military family should try and utilize. Today, I’ll cover all the benefits given to service members from each of the major carriers in the U.S.
Earn Triple SkyMiles for Airbnb and Marriott-Starwood Award Category Changes
If you plan to redeem Marriott Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest points for a hotel stay, be sure to review the list of category changes the company is making to many of its properties on March 7. Delta is also offering up a few bonus miles offers and some positive inflight changes. Read all about them in this week’s update.
Curb: Making Taxis as Convenient as Ridesharing
When driving oneself isn’t an option, and taking a bus, train or subway is either impossible or inconvenient, an increasing number of travelers are turning to ridesharing solutions to find transportation to where they want to go. But what if you could avoid the safety concerns of Uber and Lyft without sacrificing their convenience? You can—if you use Curb to hail a taxi instead.
RewardExpert recently spoke with Jason Gross, the company’s head of product and marketing, about how Curb works, new developments expected this year, and his best tips for using the app on your next vacation.
Using Chase Ultimate Rewards for a Round the World Trip in Business Class
Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of the most valuable credit card rewards programs around. Chase offers several business and personal credit cards that allow you to earn these points, which can be redeemed directly for travel reservations using the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center. But the best feature of this program is the ability to transfer points to miles seven different frequent flyer programs and four hotel programs.
Help Grant Dreams to Adults With Terminal Illnesses by Donating Miles to Dream Foundation
Dream Foundation began fulfilling Dreams for terminally-ill adults in 1994. Since its founding the organization has fulfilled over 25,000 Dreams. You can donate miles or points from United, Alaska Airlines and Southwest to help support their important mission.
A Guide to Navigating Baggage Fees
If you’re not a road warrior with status across every airline or have a wallet full of credit cards, it may become inevitable that you’ll have to cough up a few bucks to pay for checked baggage. These fees may or may not be avoidable, so consider this guide on the general practice of dealing with airline fees on any carrier.
Amex Platinum Card Updates
American Express recently refreshed a few benefits on their premium cards in response to Chase and Citi upping the game with the Sapphire Reserve and Prestige cards. Here’s a recap of the changes made to the American Express Platinum cards.
HomeAway: Twice the Space at Half the Cost
Would you like to enjoy all of the conveniences—and privacy—of an entire home for half the cost of a typical hotel room? That’s what HomeAway offers travelers with their vacation home rental service.
RewardExpert spoke with Melanie Fish, HomeAway’s travel expert, to learn more about the company’s rapid growth, why the vacation home rental market is expanding and how you can use the website or app to plan your next vacation.
JAL Upgrades its Japan Hawaii Fleet
The Honolulu to Tokyo route is hotly contested as Hawaii is a very popular destination with Japanese tourists. It’s been long served by Air China, ANA, Delta Air Lines (Northwest Airlines had the route), Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines and United Airlines. To distance itself from the competition, Japan Airlines has upgraded its Boeing 777-200ER service on the route.
New Routes to in 2017 and How to Fly Them for Free
Many airlines have announced new routes for 2017. Some are to sunny international destinations like Cuba and Key West, while others increase travelers’ options at busy hubs. Below are the most exciting new offerings announced so far this year and a rundown of the cards to get so you can fly those routes for free.
New Amex Centurion Lounges in Hong Kong and Philadelphia
American Express recently announced that it will open Centurion lounges in Hong Kong and Philadelphia later this year. That will increase the number of these exclusive airport lounges from seven to nine. Find out what they have to offer and how you can get in.
Delta Elites Have a New Benefit to Enjoy and American and Flying Blue Puts Awards on Sale
It’s not always good news for Delta flyers, especially since SkyMiles is known for constant devaluations with little notice. This time, there’s something to celebrate, at least for its top-level elite members. Plus, don’t miss the award discounts being offered by American and Flying Blue.
Help Kids Get the Medical Care They Need by Donating Delta Miles to CMN Hospitals
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is a nonprofit that raises funds and awareness for children’s hospitals across North America. Since its inception in 1983, the organization has raised over $5 billion for its 170 member hospitals. Those donations help provide medical care for the 62 children who enter a CMN Hospital every minute. You can support this important work by donating your Delta SkyMiles.
Best Credit Cards For Hotel Elite Status
There are few travel experiences as annoying as arriving at a hotel after a long trip, and being forced to wait in a line to check in. On the other hand, it’s gratifying to bypass the line and receive immediate service when you have elite status with a major hotel chain.
On top of that, guests with elite status can enjoy other perks like room upgrades, late check-outs and even free breakfast. Finally, having elite status means that you’ll earn more reward points for every dollar you spend.
Tips for Dealing with Airline IT Problems
Delta became the latest airline to succumb to a massive IT failure last month. It was a total meltdown for all platforms as Delta.com and the Delta app were both inaccessible which led to a nationwide grounding of all Delta domestic flights. Late that night, operations gradually came back online, but updates were being announced individually for each airport, still leaving many travelers confused and without flight options.
Vacasa: Vacation Rentals Made Easier
Modern travelers have more lodging options than ever before. Hotels, resorts, B&Bs and private homes around the world are all just a few clicks away. But with all that variety comes a lot of uncertainty.