Educational Posts on Loyalty Programs

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It’s Time for Your Annual Frequent Flyer Mileage Checkup

Now is a good time to review where you stand with your preferred airline and hotel partners.

If you don’t take action, when the clock ticks to midnight on January 1, your elite status fate for the coming year will be sealed. Since airlines and hotels base elite status and earned rewards on the calendar year, everything must take place before the end of the year.

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5 Things You Might Not Know About Your Credit Score

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Your credit score is one of your most valuable assets and you should nurture it and protect it. You want a healthy credit score to help you accomplish all of your life goals, including getting a mortgage or car loan (with reasonable interest rates) or passing a potential employer or landlord’s background check.

You also want a high credit score so you can fully participate in the lucrative hobby of collecting frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty program points, or bank points (such as American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Citi ThankYou points).

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Alaska and Virgin America Finally Tie the Knot While Alaska and Delta Split

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.

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2016 Major Trends Include Mergers Shaking Things Up and the Spread of Anti-Churning Rules

travel news

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.

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MissTravel: Dating and Global Travel

Have you wished you had a special someone to explore the world with? You might want to check out MissTravel.com, an online dating site for travelers.

Headquartered in Las Vegas, MissTravel is among the new wave of dating sites that cater to specific lifestyles. Entrepreneur Brandon Wade founded the site in 2012 and serves as chief executive officer.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Mall Portal: A Primer

If Southwest Rapid Rewards is your main frequent flyer program, you need to be aware of Rapid Reward Shopping as well. This online shopping mall acts as a portal to all of your favorite online retailers, from Kohl’s and Old Navy to JCPenney and Ulta Beauty. All you need to do to earn extra Rapid Rewards points is visit the portal and click on the store you wish to shop at. Then, once you make a purchase, you’ll be rewarded with a certain number of Rapid Rewards per dollar spent. It’s that easy, but we’ll step you through the entire process.

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Barclaycard Offering AAdvantage Aviator Cards Again

aviator credit card

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.

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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.

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The Year in Review: Frequent Flyer Program Changes in 2016

A lot happened in the world of frequent flyer programs this year. Not surprisingly, award chart devaluations were the norm, particularly for premium cabins. The news wasn’t all bad, though. Some redemptions actually dropped in price, and airlines and credit card issuers introduced new partnerships, giving members more redemption and transfer options.

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Are You Booking Your First Award Tickets by Phone? Here’s How

You’ve been painstakingly saving those miles for a special trip and you finally reached your goal. You’ve got enough miles to book that award flight you’ve had your eye on. Booking award travel can be a bit intimidating if you haven’t done it before—especially when booking over the phone. But, have no fear. It’s easy to master the art of booking award tickets. Just use our handy script if this is your first time trying to book a free flight from your frequent flyer program.

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Delta SkyMiles Shopping Mall Portal: A Primer

If you are a fan of online shopping and you’re a miles and points junkie, you have to get in the habit of using your favorite airline or hotel’s online shopping portal. Delta Skymiles Shopping is just such a portal, and we’ll show you exactly how to sign up so you’ll be rewarded with extra miles on purchases made through this venue. We’ll also show you how to spot deals at SkyMiles Shopping and how to know when to pass up that purchase.

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Christmas Shopping Travel Hacker Style

How much will you spend on holiday shopping this year? According to PricewaterhouseCoopers the average shopper will spend about $1,100 although many will spend more.

When you add to that the amount spent on food, entertainment and other holiday expenses, this time of year represents a tremendous rewards opportunity for savvy travel hackers. It’s just a matter of knowing how to buy travel hacker style.

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HomeExchange: How Travelers Can Get Free Lodging

homeexchange

Did you know you can travel around the world and get lodging for free? That’s what HomeExchange offers with their house swapping service.

RewardExpert spoke with Alexandra Origet, HomeExchange’s global public relations director, to learn more.

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AAdvantage eShopping Mall Portal: A Primer

aadvantage shopping portal

If you’re not leveraging your favorite airline’s online shopping portal, you are leaving miles—and possibly points—on the table.

Sure, it might be easy to log in to your favorite etailer to buy that pair of sneakers for your kids, but if you go the extra mile and make one additional click at the airline portal, you’ll be rewarded with a certain number of miles per dollar spent—and that’s on top of whatever bonus your credit card offers you for making purchases.

Let us help you discover the value of online shopping portals. Today we’ll step you through American Airlines’ AAdvantage eShopping portal just in time for holiday shopping.

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Amex Sign-up Bonus Clawbacks and Hitting Minimum Spend Requirements

Amex Sign-up Bonus Claw-backs

American Express sometimes offers 100,000-point sign-up bonuses. Not too long ago, some people found a link online for a 100,000-point sign-up bonus for the personal Platinum card which was not supposed to be made public.

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AA and United Set to Compete with Budget Carriers Like Frontier and Spirit

Delta first introduced Basic Economy fares which offer reduced amenities and flexibility relative to standard economy class tickets back in 2012. The bare bones fares were available in select markets in order to compete with low cost carriers such as Frontier and Spirit.

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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.

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CleverLayover: Save Money On Global Travel

How would you like to save money on long-distance flights? That’s what CleverLayover says they can do.

RewardExpert spoke with CEO and Co-founder Phil Hu to find out more. He explains the secrets of the system and offers a few travel tips.

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Best App for Renewing Your Passport

Best App for International Travel

The appropriately named ItsEasy app makes it easy to renew your passport. You’ll never need to trudge down to the post office and wait in line again. Just use an iPhone or iPad to snap your photo, fill out the appropriate forms and send them off to ItsEasy. They’ll take care of the rest.

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Help City Kids by Donating United Miles to R.O.C.K.

Real Options for City Kids, or R.O.C.K. for short, is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that provides active and enriching programs to youth living in the working class neighborhood of Visitacion Valley. R.O.C.K. gives kids in this underserved community a chance to participate in activities they wouldn’t normally have access to, such as sports, outdoor adventures and a variety academic programs. Thanks to a partnership with United Airlines, you can donate MileagePlus miles to this worthy charity.

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