There are some opportunities to score
New flight options overseas
If you’re looking to redeem frequent flyer miles, there are several new routes to take note of for potential award availability. Star Alliance member Air Canada is launching service between Vancouver and Frankfurt next summer; it also recently launched service between Vancouver and Delhi. British Airways, a oneworld member, recently announced new service between London Heathrow and New Orleans and from London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale and Ontario. All service will begin in 2017. These new routes could present a great opportunity for award redemption; jump on it before others do.
Hawaiian Airlines offers the chance to bid for upgrades
If you’re headed on a Hawaiian Airlines flight between the mainland and Hawaii, consider the carrier’s new Bid Up program for a little extra comfort. The way it works is that the airline sends an email notification to those eligible for the upgrade 10 days before the flight. Travelers can make a bid for how much more they are willing to pay, and then they will be notified 48 hours prior to takeoff if the bid was accepted. This could be a great way to enjoy a premium seat at a discount, especially if you hit the jackpot aboard one of its retrofitted Airbus A330s that feature a new lie-fat seat.
Earn bonus Aeroplan miles by transferring hotel points
If you have some orphan points in hotel loyalty program accounts or simply want to buff up your Aeroplan mileage account, now is the time. Between now and Dec. 12, if you transfer hotel points into Aeroplan, the airline redemption program will throw in some bonus miles. The promotion operates on a sliding scale depending upon how many points are transferred offering as much as a 30% bonus. If you’re in a bind, however, keep in mind it could take as much as six weeks for the bonus to post to your Aeroplan account.
Earn Marriott Rewards points by linking social media accounts
If you can link your social media accounts to Marriott Rewards, you can score as many as 1,500 points (500 for each account). The promotion link asks for details on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Snake on a plane…for real!
Did you see the video of the writing snake hiding in the ceiling panels of an Aeromexico flight? It is certainly enough to give you the heebee-jeebies!
American AAdvantage finally announces partial EQD waiver
“Too little” and “too late” are phrases that could be used to describe this recent announcement. Unlike Delta and United, which offer waivers for reaching their higher levels of status through spend if you clock in at least $25,000 on their co-branded credit cards, American is choosing to go in another direction.
In 2017, you can get a shortcut to elite status spend requirements by using your American co-branded credit card from Barclaycard (co-branded Citi cards are not eligible). If you spend $25,000 on the AAdvantage Aviator Red, Aviator Blue, and Aviator Business MasterCard cards, you can get a $3,000 elite qualifying dollar (EQD) waiver on your earning requirements.
That is hardly as generous as Delta and United. Those with the AAdvantage Aviator Silver MasterCard can earn as many as $6,000 EQDs by spending $50,000 on qualifying each year ($3,000 EQDs at $25,000 in spend and then another $3,000 EQD at $50k). If you don’t have a co-branded card with Barclaycard already, signups will be made available in 2017.
World of Hyatt replacing Gold Passport
Hyatt has rejiggered its loyalty program with new tier names and benefits. For those that achieve 10 qualifying nights or 25,000 base points (five base points per dollar spent), they will earn “Discoverist” status; for “Explorist” status, earn 30 nights and 50,000 base points; 60 qualifying nights and 100,000 base points will earn “Globalist” status, which brings a slew of benefits including confirmed suite upgrades and bonus points. Other new perks include receiving a free award night for staying at any five World of Hyatt participating brands.
American Express launches business referral program
Holders of an American Express business card can earn bonus points for referring others to acquire the same card they have. There are a variety of business cards bearing the American Express logo, many of which are co-branded with companies like Starwood and Delta. These all qualify for the referral program and award bonus points that correlate with the loyalty program associated with the card. Keep in mind the bonus is available for a limited time, some ending as early as Jan. 25.