Here’s a quick recap of interesting miles and points news from this week:
2,500 Bonus United Miles For Shopping: Now through December 31, for every $250 you spend by shopping through United’s online shopping portal, you’ll earn 500 bonus MileagePlus miles, up to a total of 2,500 bonus miles. This is all in addition to the points you would normally earn by shopping through the portal – base or bonus – so if you were going to do a fair amount of online shopping anyway, this could be an easy way to squeeze a few extra miles out of your purchases. However, I might wait to see if any more lucrative bonuses come along through your other shopping portals of choice at the merchants you’re going to be patronizing. For instance, if you found a merchant that was offering 5 miles per dollar through the shopping portal, on a $250 purchase, you’d earn 1,250 miles plus the 500 mile bonus for a total of 1,750. With a 10x bonus, you’d be earning 3,000 miles. Not too shabby.
40% off every Second Night with Starwood: Now through December 31, 2013, Starwood is offering a 40% discount on every second night at participating properties in North and South America. Reservations have to be booked through Starwood and the discount varies by hotel and is based on the best available, non-restricted rate. Advance purchase is required and your credit card will be charged at the time of booking – reservations are pre-paid and non-refundable and cannot be changed. A limited number of rooms is available at these rates and blackout dates apply. So you have to play around with the search function a little bit to find dates where the discount applies to properties you’re interested in, but there seems to be a fair amount of availability, so this could be a good way to save on some stays as you work your way toward elite status for 2013. Use the promo code ZB4 when you book online or call (866) 924-8746. SPG is also running a concurrent side promo where you can earn 100 Starpoints for “Adding Your Wish” to the site’s Travel Wish Map, so might as well score a bonus 100 points while you’re looking for discount reservations.
21% Cashback on IHG Hotel Stays: TopCashBack is offering 21% cash back on stays at IHG properties including Staybridge Suites, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Candlewood Suite and Crowne Plaza (sorry, no Intercontinental!). That means if you wanted to head to San Diego and stay at the Indigo there for as low as $90 after the rebate. Or if you were interested in sampling some scotch whiskies…in Edinburgh, you could stay at the Hotel Indigo there for as low as $157 per night, but earn 21% back for a total nightly rate of just $124 – a steal in that expensive city. Just note, it looks like this offer will only be good until Monday, November 19, 2012.
Cathay Pacific Black Friday Sale: Cathay Pacific has announced it’s first-ever Black Friday sale. You might think it’s more fitting for the airline to offer a Cyber Monday sale, but it’s hoping to get in on all the consumer frenzy starting after Thanksgiving. The promo will kick off at midnight on November 23 and will last through Monday, November 27, 2012. Customers will save up to 15% on flights for Chinese New Year during the month of February. Thirty of the customers who book tickets online will be entered into a prize drawing to take place on December 12, 2012. A quick search of February ticket prices reveal economy fares as low as about $1,100 – so with this sale, that would be down to about $935. You can access the sale here. No camping out in line required.
30% Bonus on Purchased Alaska Airlines Miles: Now through December 21, 2012, you can earn a 30% bonus on purchased Alaska Airlines miles. Miles normally cost 2.95 cents each including a 7.5% tax. This promo brings the cost per mile down to 2.27 cents each. As usual, whether this is worth it depends on your needs and whether the math makes sense for you. I’m not usually a proponent of purchasing miles with such a low bonus and would say that a 30% bonus isn’t terribly attractive. However, if you’re close to an award redemption level, you could score a few extra thousand miles this way depending on how many you purchase, and remember, Alaska has some exciting partners that include not only American and Delta, but also international airlines like Cathay Pacific, British Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Emirates, LAN, Qantas and more, so you can put those miles to good use all over the world.
30% Bonus Points on Amtrak: Now through December 31, 2012, you can earn a 30% bonus on purchased Amtrak points from Points.com. Points may only be purchased online and not through the Service Center. Points may be purchased in increments of 500 points up to a total of 10,000 points per person in a calendar year. The 30% bonus does not count toward the annual point limit. Purchased points do not count toward tier status. Points will be posted to the recipient’s Amtrak Guest Rewards account within 72 hours of the completed transaction. Buy Points transactions are final and non-refundable. To learn more about earning Amtrak points, see this post, and to learn more about how you can maximize Amtrak Guest Rewards points redemptions, read here.
20% Sale on Hyatt Home Products: Echoing last week’s W Hotel Store Discount, the Hyatt Home Store is holding a 20% sale now through November 30, 2012. Items on sale include Andrew Morgan bedding, Portico bath amenities (who loves White Ginger!?). The bad news is, it excludes products like Tumi, Herman Miller, Clearance and Hyatt Spa Store merchandise. Still, if you found something you liked at a Hyatt hotel while on the road that you thought might be a good addition to your home, this is the time to get it at a discount. To be sure the bonus is applied to your order, enter the promo code HYHOLIDAY2012 when you check out with your shopping cart.