Saturday Recap: Bonus Avios, Hilton HHonors, Priority Club, Amtrak, AAdvantage Miles and More

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Here’s a recap of interesting points and miles news and promos from the week.

Hilton HHonors Giving Away 25 Million Points and Other Prizes
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hilton HHonors, the program is giving away 1 million HHonors points each to 25 grand prize winners. To enter, you need to “like” Hilton HHonors at the promo page, and you need a Hilton HHonors account, which you can sign up for here.  Then just enter the contest on the promo page by inputting the email address associated with your Hilton HHonors account. In addition to the points, Hilton will also be giving away daily prizes including bonus points, free night stay certificates (including three free nights at a Waldorf Astoria) and branded prize packs. The contest is only available to members from the US, Puerto Rico, Canada (excluding Quebec) and the UK who are at least 18 years old. When you register for the contest, you’ll receive one Sweepstakes entry and one Instant Win Game entry where you have to follow the instructions and play the game for daily prizes. You can enter once a day from now through September 18.

Amtrak Fall “Double Days” Promotion
Amtrak just announced its fall “Double Days” promo offering passengers double points on all train travel between September 5 – November 16, 2012, essentially awarding them 4 points per dollar spent on fares instead of the normal 2. Members must include their membership number when making reservations for travel to qualify. Limit of two qualifying one-way trips per day. Amtrak Guest Rewards points will not be awarded for cancelled or refunded reservations or tickets. Be sure to register here before booking any travel. Remember, Amtrak points can be transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.

1,000 Priority Club Points for Taking A Survey
This is a promotion from Priority Club where answering a few survey questions can score you 1,000 bonus points. It’s supposedly targeted, but it looks like anyone can enter their member information, and it only takes a couple minutes, so might as well try.

Up to 180,000 Bonus British Airways Avios For European Residents
When you book a flight in a premium cabin or selected Euro Traveller classes on British Airways and several partner airlines between now and December 16 and fly between September and December 16, you can earn bonus British Airways Avios points when you register for this promotion (you can sign up for BA’s Executive Club here).

Here’s how it breaks down:

For 1 return or 2 sectors (a flight between departure and destination with no scheduled change of aircraft) you earn 5,000 bonus Avios in Euro Traveller, 10,000 in short-haul Club Europe and 40,000 in long-haul premium cabins.

For two returns or 4 sectors, you earn 10,000 in Euro Traveller, 22,000 in short-haul Club Europe and 82,000 in long-haul premium cabins.

For three roundtrips or 6 sectors you earn 16,000 in Euro Traveller, 35,000 in short-haul Club Europe and 125,000 in long-haul premium cabins.

For 4 roundtrips or 8 sectors you earn 25,000 in Euro Traveller, 50,000 in short-haul Club Europe and 180,000 in long-haul premium.

As you can see in the table above, there are also bonuses for flying on OpenSkies between New York and Paris.

However, in the T&C there is actually a more detailed explanation that says on all British Airways Club World and First fares and those of partners passing through the UK and Ireland (ie to or through London), that the bonuses are actually 30,000, 60,000, 90,000 and 130,000 Avios respectively for 1, 2, 3 or 4 roundtrips. So if you’re planning to fly to or via London, your bonus won’t be as big.

The detailed table from the T&C reveals that British Airways premium long-haul bonuses and those of partner flights passing through London will be smaller than the advertised bonuses.

Like the current similar American Airlines bonus, per the T&C this is only available to European (non-UK) residents. However, there are bonuses for lower booking classes including intra-Europe economy in this promo that are not counted in American, although the bonuses, too, are smaller.

Eligible cabins and booking classes are: British Airways First (F, A), Club World (J, C, D, R, I), Club Europe (J, C, D, R, I), Comair Club (J,C,D,R), Euro Traveller / Comair Traveller (Y, B, H); OpenSkies Biz Bed (J, C, D, R, I), Prem Plus (W, E, T); American Airlines First (F, A), Business (J, D, R, I); Iberia Business (J, C, D, R, I).

So if you’re a Europe-based traveler with a lot of leisure travel coming up in Europe or a business traveler who flies long-haul in premium cabin between now and the end of the year, you could really rack up a ton of extra Avios with this promo.

Virgin America 30% Amex Transfer Bonus Ends September 2
Just a quick reminder that the 30% transfer bonus from American Express to Virgin America ends tomorrow. The transfer bonus is usually a paltry 2 Amex points to 1 Elevate point. That means for now you are getting between .8 and 1.15 cents per American Express Membership Rewards points, which isn’t a good deal for redemptions on Virgin America flights because you can purchase tickets with American Express’s Pay With Points at 1 cent per point (1.25 for Platinum cardholders) and you earn Elevate points on those flights. However, if you’re looking to top up your account for a particular award, you could consider this option.

Avis 5,000 American Airlines Miles Bonus Extended to September 15
The incredible offer I wrote about earlier this month that snags you 3,000 AAdvantage miles on 1-2 days rentals or 5,000 miles on 3+ day rentals with Avis and a 35% discount as well has been extended to September 15. To get the miles and discount use coupon code MUAA035, which gives 3,000 miles for rentals of 1-2 days and 5,000 miles for rentals of 3 days or more. Save up to 35% with Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K817165. Additionally, Ultimaterewards.com is currently offering 3 extra points per dollar for Avis purchases and you also get 2x points when paying with your Sapphire Preferred card, since rental cars are classified as travel. This is a pretty incredible offer, so if you haven’t gotten in on it yet, at least you have 2 more weeks.

Free Gogo In-Flight Internet and an iPad 3 on American With Lucky Seat In-Air Instant Win Game
Like Delta’s recent Lucky Seat contest, American is now offering a contest for passengers who log into Gogo in-flight WiFi to win Gogo passes, Target gift cards and an Apple iPad 3 grand prize. The contest ends on September 20, and you don’t even have to purchase internet service on the flight to enter. The contest is only open to residents of the US who are 18 and older.
Hat tip: AAdvantageGeek.

Double American Miles to Mexico
American airlines is offering double miles on flights between the US and any ciety they serve in Mexico from September 4-November 13 to celebrate 70 years of offering air service to Mexico. You must register here with the code MX70A. Flights operated by other codeshare partners are not eligible for this promotion. Bonus miles do not count toward elite status qualification or Million Miler status. Double miles will be calculated at 100% of the base miles earned.
Hat tip: One Mile at a Time.

Up to 8,000 Choice Privileges Points After Two Stays
Choice Privileges is offering members a bonus of up to 8,000 points after 2 stays from August 30-November 14, 2012. To score the bonus, you must register on the promo page before booking your stay. This mirrors its last promo, which offered the same bonus over the summer. The catch is that you only get the amount of bonus points that will get you to 8,000 points for a free-night redemption after counting the points you earn from your stays – it does not award 8,000 points in absolute terms – but at least there’s a 5,000-point minimum bonus.

Here are the T&C from the promo page:
After a second qualifying stay with arrival between 8/30/12 and 11/14/12, you will be awarded a minimum of 5,000 and maximum of 8,000 points, depending on how many points were earned from your two (2) separate qualified stays. These bonus points will allow redemption for a free night at the 8,000 reward night level at over 1,500 hotels. A free night at most Choice Privileges locations requires more than 8,000 points. Choice Privileges Diamond and Platinum members who book through ChoiceHotels.com will receive an additional 100 Choice Privileges bonus points with every qualified stay during the promotional period. For Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Quality®, Sleep Inn®, Clarion®, Cambria Suites® or Ascend Hotel Collection™ hotels, a trip is defined as a stay that is any number of consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs. For Econo Lodge®, Rodeway Inn®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, or MainStay Suites® hotels, a trip is defined as a stay that is two (2) or more consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs. Allow 72 hours from check-out for points to post. You must maintain an address in the U.S. (including U.S. territories) or Canada to be eligible for this promotion.
Hat tip: Loyalty Traveler.

Aerolineas Argentinas Joins SkyTeam
It was announced a while ago that Aerolineas was joining SkyTeam, and you’ve even been able to book awards on the airline using Delta miles since May, but now it’s official. The airline’s only non-stop route to the US is from Buenos Aires to Miami, but it has an extensive route system that opens up much of South America to passengers who have their miles with SkyTeam, and serves 52 destinations in 14 countries. The one downside so far: Aerolineas will implement SkyPriority for Elite Plus, First and Business passengers worldwide by the end of 2012, so even if you’re flying in a premium cabin or have elite status, you’ll still have to join the long line for now.

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