Educational Posts on Loyalty Programs

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Merger Update: American Airlines and US Airways

If you’re a member of the American Airlines AAdvantage program and/or US Airways Dividend Miles, you’ve no doubt been trying to keep up to date on the changes that are in store as the two airlines merge. Here’s what’s happening as of spring 2015.

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South African Airways Voyager Program Review

As South African Airways is a member of the Star Alliance, there’s no doubt that you can get to a lot of places with the airline’s Voyager miles. The question is: Would you want to?

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Access Airport Lounges with Priority Pass and Lounge Club

For many people, spending extensive time at an airport can be miserable. Overcrowded restrooms, overpriced food and seat shortages at gates add to the general stress of flying. Fortunately, there is a more civilized way to spend your layover: in an exclusive oasis of peace and tranquility called the airport lounge.

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How to Book Iberia Plus Awards

Though it’s not as widely known and publicized as the Air France-KLM partnership, British Airways and Iberia merged back in 2011. They are technically one airline, even though they operate under separate brands.

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Icelandair Saga Club Program Review

Like Singapore Airlines, Icelandair serves a small island nation, but it has a big international reputation. The airline has carved a niche for itself in the U.S.-Europe flight market by offering free stopovers in Iceland and frequently featuring super-low cash fares.

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Should You Ever Buy Miles and Who Sells Them?

Once you’ve learned a bit about redeeming frequent flyer miles, this thought will probably cross your mind:“What if I just buy miles at a discount?” While it would still be out of pocket, you’d essentially pay less for that plane ticket especially when booking a long-haul international flight in a premium cabin. So, is buying miles an effective strategy for the frequent flyer? Let’s dive in and find out.

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How to Book Southwest Rapid Rewards Awards

Initially a regional airline known for its unusual seating policies”first come, first served” Southwest has transitioned over the years into one of the main domestic airlines, especially after its recent integration of AirTran.

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Air New Zealand Airpoints Program Review

As New Zealand’s flagship carrier, Air New Zealand has great strengths domestically. Like its neighbor Singapore Airlines, this island-based carrier also covers a lot of ground beyond its shores.

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How and Why to Get a Chip-and-PIN Credit Card

Chip credit cards—also known as EMV, for Europay, MasterCard and Visa—have recently become the standard in the U.S. Just about every credit and debit card now comes with a chip, which improves security.

However, U.S. cards typically use chip-and-signature technology, not chip-and-PIN. Chip-and-PIN is the standard in most of the rest of the world. Having a card with chip-and-PIN technology can make traveling abroad much easier. So what’s the difference and where can you get one?

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How To Book Airberlin Topbonus Awards

Airberlin’s days as a budget airline appear to be over. Today it is one of the staples of oneworld and has several partners outside the alliance as well. With all these connections, members of its frequent flyer program Topbonus have the option of spending their miles on a variety of carriers all over the world.

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Airberlin Topbonus Program Review

Airberlin once positioned itself as a budget airline, but it seems they have reconsidered. Now their transatlantic flights feature in-seat entertainment in economy and lie-flat seats in business. If you’re looking for comfortable flights and good award seat availability between North America and Europe, then consider joining airberlin’s loyality program, topbonus.

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Should You Pay Cash or Use Miles?

Not everyone can earn a significant number of frequent flyer miles quickly, so once you do have enough for an award, you treat those miles like gold. After all, they are a precious commodity that can help take you all over the world, but sometimes you just need to get home to see grandma. When should you pay cash for your airline tickets and when should you use miles? Here’s some advice.

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How to Book Free Spirit Awards

While Spirit will never win a popularity contest, it’s hard to argue with its financial success. It was profitable even in the hardest of times, when every other airline was struggling to stay afloat. Spirit Airlines has only one competitive angle: low price. And for that price, it provides only one service, transporting you from point A to point B. Everything else costs extra.

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Spirit Airlines Free Spirit Program Review

Free Spirit, the frequent flyer program for Florida-based budget carrier Spirit Airlines, is very controversial. On the one hand, it is very restrictive. Your miles expire after only three months of inactivity, unless you have the Bank of America Spirit Airlines World MasterCard (see below).  Most programs give you at least a year, and some up to two years. On the other hand, Free Spirit miles can give you amazing and unbeatable value if you’re in the right place at the right time.

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Managing Multiple Credit Cards: Ninja Tips

If you’ve discovered the power of tapping into your good credit to sign up for new credit cards in order to snag hefty frequent flyer mile bonuses, the inevitable has probably already happened: your wallet is stuffed to the gills with plastic.

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How to Book an Award With Capital One Venture Miles

Capital One Venture is a program that’s easy to use, allowing you to redeem miles earned with credit card purchases for travel. You can purchase award travel through their shopping portal or erase travel purchases from your statement.

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Combine Your Points and Miles With Frequent Flyer Household Accounts

One of the most annoying things about frequent flyer programs is that there is often no easy or free way to transfer miles from one account to another. If you fly often for work but your spouse doesn’t, there are probably times you wish you could move some of your miles to your partners account.

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The True Price of an Award Ticket and How to Avoid Fuel Surcharges

If you’re collecting miles and playing the frequent flyer awards game, you’re probably already familiar with the airport taxes, fuel surcharges and other fees that often get added to your ticket. So when you finally earn that “free” flight you’ve been saving up for, you don’t expect it to be completely free.

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How to Book Flights with American Express Membership Rewards

American Express Membership Rewards is the granddaddy of programs offering point transfers to major airlines like Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, ANA, British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic among others. Having a stockpile of Membership Rewards points gives you the flexibility to book award flights on 17 different airlines without having to accrue miles in all of those programs.

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Aeromexico Club Premier Program Review

Like many aspects of Mexico’s tourist industry, Aeromexico and its frequent flyer program meet some, but not all North American travel expectations. For example, Aeromexico offers feeder co-branded credit cards with exceptional value, but it also requires you to call its frequent flyer program for things you’d expect to be able to do quickly and simply online.

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