Educational Posts on Loyalty Programs

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The Marriott Reward Program Has a Hidden Gem

Most hotel loyalty programs allow you to convert hotel points to airline miles. But airline miles are normally more valuable than hotel points (with the notable exception of the SPG program), so transferring points to miles is usually a losing proposition. Your points will transfer with a very poor ratio, around 1,000 points will transfer to between 200 and 400 miles. However, using Marriott’s RewardsPlus Hotel program in conjunction with the United Mileage Plus Program can reap major benefits.

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How to Book Lufthansa’s Miles and More Awards

Lufthansa’s Miles and More is one of the best frequent flyer programs among European carriers. Despite some heavy fuel surcharges by Lufthansa and most of its European partners, the Miles and More program has enough sweet spots to make it very valuable, and award flights could be a true bargain under the right  circumstances.

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Emirates Skywards Program Review

emirates skywards program review

A good way for North American frequent flyers to understand Emirates is to think of it as akin to Alaska Airlines. They are both hometown airlines that have slowly grown through strategic partnerships and smart market choices into major global forces. But they always put the expectations of local passengers first. In the case of Emirates, that means impeccable style and service.

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Flexibility Is the Key to Free Flights

One of the most common gripes about frequent flyer programs is that the miles you earn are hard to redeem when you need them. It’s not that airlines want to upset you; it’s just that they don’t want to give away seats they hope to sell. They want to let go only those seats that according to their calculations are going to fly empty anyway. An airline is a commercial enterprise that would rather make money than fly us for free no matter how much we think we deserve it. But if you are flexible, you can make the most of your miles.

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How to Book British Airways Awards

British Airways awards are an invaluable resource for frequent flyers, thanks to their distance-based award chart, great availability, and cheap, one-tier redemption system.

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Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Program Review

krisflyer program

Named for the mythical silver bird depicted on Singapore Airlines livery, KrisFlyer is one of the most fascinating frequent flyer programs today.

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The Oasis at the Airport: American Express Centurion Lounge

The Oasis at the Airport: American Express Centurion Lounge

One of the most exciting new benefits offered by American Express is access to its new line of airport lounges. Dubbed The Centurion Lounge, the company has opened three locations so far in Las Vegas, New York’s LaGuardia, and at Dallas/Fort Worth. These private lounges are an oasis in the middle of three very busy and sometimes chaotic airports.

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Aegean Airlines Program Review

Named the best regional airline in Europe in 2014 by industry watchdog SkyTrax, Greece’s Aegean Airlines is one of those airlines that you may not have heard of and rarely have occasion to fly but might seriously consider squirreling points away in.

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For the Locals: Alaska Airlines Club 49

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has a unique program-within-a-program that is exclusively available to the 735,000-plus residents of Alaska: Alaska Airlines Club 49.

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Miles and Points Transfer Options

One of the most powerful tools you have when it comes to making the most of your miles and points is the strategic use of transfers.

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Airline Award Ticket Change Policies and Fees

Booking award tickets isn’t the easiest thing in the world. For true peace of mind, you would have to book far in advance–ideally 330 days out to guarantee availability. With nearly a year before travel though, things can happen that could impact your trip, so its important to know what the airlines policy is on award ticket changes and the types of fees they’ll incur.

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5 Hot Airline Credit Card Bonuses Ending Fast

Earlier this fall, it looked like we had seen the last of the really high credit card sign-on bonuses for the year. Lufthansa offered 50,000 miles on its co-branded credit card, and Chase finished a big 70,000 point push on its business card, the Chase Ink.

But oneworld alliance airlines or at least the ones most relevant to North American travelers seem to have gotten together and decided that they really like the business that credit cards bring them. British Airways, American Airlines and US Airways have all thrown out 50,000 mile sign-on bonuses.




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How to Book United Airlines Awards

As one of the three major domestic carriers, United can take you nearly anywhere you want to go in the U.S., and its partner network, including the powerful 27-member Star Alliance, can get you most places in the world.

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Frontier EarlyReturns Program Review

Frontier is a love-it or hate-it airline. Although it’s not quite in the same league as its domestic low-cost competitor Spirit, which recently solicited hate mail from travelers in exchange for 8,000 miles, Frontier is unapologetic about its high fees. Those fees allow them to offer low fares for people who want them, and a higher price for people who are happy to pay to be comfortable.

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How to Redeem the Alaska Airlines Companion Voucher

Every year Alaska Visa Signature cardholders get a present in the mail: a voucher for a $99 coach companion fare. This voucher is a nice bonus that helps offset the $75 annual fee. The physical voucher is more of a formality, since Alaska stores these electronically on the cardholders Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account.

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How to Book Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Awards

Though it is known for its high fuel surcharges, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is actually a very versatile program offering many ways to earn miles and access high quality flights.

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ANA Mileage Club Program Review

All Nippon Airways, or ANA, is a Japanese airline in the powerful Star Alliance, which includes North American carriers United and Air Canada. Don’t confuse ANA’s versatile award program, Mileage Club, with the similarly named Mileage Bank offered by the other major Japanese airline, JAL.

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How to Redeem the British Airways Travel Together Ticket

British Airways Avios can be a difficult reward currency to maximize, with a distance-based award chart and massive fuel surcharges overseas. You can certainly get value out of short-haul awards on partner carriers, but what if you’re more interested in international travel?

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Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Program Review

Cathay Pacific is the main carrier for China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, so it might not seem to be the best fit for flyers based in North America. But if you need to do a lot of travel to Asia from the U.S., it’s a very safe bet: It won the 2014 Skytrax Award for Worlds Best Airline.

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How to Redeem the US Airways Companion Ticket

The US Airways Companion Ticket is a great perk of the US Airways Premier World MasterCard issued by Barclays. Cardholders get the companion certificate after every card anniversary as an incentive to keep the account open. This perk will be discontinued in 2015 due to the carriers merger with American Airlines, but the merged airline is expected to offer a similar benefit when that happens.

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