Here’s a recap of the interesting points and miles news from this week:
American Airlines 50% Bonus on Purchased Miles: Now, through February 28, 2013, you can earn up to 30,000 bonus miles when you buy AAdvantage miles. You can purchase between 5,000-60,000 miles and you’ll earn a bonus of 1,500-30,000 AAdvantage miles. So, you can get a 50% bonus on purchases of 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 and 60,000 miles, but your bonus goes down in the intervals between tens of thousands of miles since it rises incrementally with the number of miles you purchase.
Ordinarily, American miles cost 2.95 cents each plus a $35 per-transaction fee. So if you were to buy just 5,000 miles, you’d end up with 6,500 miles for a total of $182.50, or 2.8 cents per miles. If you were to go all out and buy the maximum 60,000 miles for the 50% bonus, you’d end up with 90,000 miles for a total cost of $1,685. That’s a CPM of 1.87 cents and suddenly the numbers are a lot more interesting. As with any buy miles promo, do the math and figure out if the option to buy miles makes more sense than trying to rack them up any other way, and whether the redemptions you’re interested in using those miles for make sense in terms of value. Allow 72 hours for purchased AAdvantage miles to post to the designated AAdvantage account and up to 5 days for the bonus miles to post.
Up to a 30% Points Bonus when Purchasing Hyatt Points: Now through February 6, 2013, Hyatt Gold Passport members can receive up to a 30% bonus when purchasing Hyatt Points. Here’s how the bonus structure works. Purchase 1,000 to 9,000 points and get a 10% bonus; purchase 10,000 to 29,000 points and get a 20% bonus; or purchase 30,000 to 40,000 points and get a 30% bonus. For example, if you purchase 15,000 points you will receive a total of 18,000 points. Purchase 30,000 points and you will receive a total of 39,000 points. This bonus is hard-coded so there is no need to register for this offer. Bonus points will be awarded upon completion of individual transactions, offer only available when points are purchased for the purchaser’s account. The offer is not valid for transactions gifting points. As always, do the math for yourself. For instance, if you wanted to buy the 22,000 points you’d need for a free award night at a top-tier Category 6 hotel like the Park Hyatt Sydney or the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, you’d have to purchase 17,000 points with this promo for a total cost of $408. Rooms at those two properties in particular can easily go for double that, but before you make your purchase, you should check rates at the properties at which you’re interested in redeeming those purchased points and make sure you’re getting a decent return on your money.
New Benefits for Delta Medallions on GOL: Delta announced some new benefits for their SkyMiles Medallion members when flying GOL. Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members will enjoy more perks when flying with GOL, their airline partner in Brazil. Be sure to enter your SkyMiles number when booking your flight to enjoy these benefits, which include complimentary preferred seats, bag fee waivers, priority check-in, priority boarding and accrual of Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). Also, Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallions will be able to enjoy complimentary GOL Smiles VIP lounge access in São Paulo (GRU) and Rio de Janeiro (GIG) with a same-day boarding pass for a GOL international or Delta flight for themselves and a guest. Benefits are not available if tickets are booked through the GOL website, you must book through Delta.
New Perks for Oneworld Emerald Members: Oneworld unveiled two more benefits for Oneworld Emerald members as part of its strategy of positioning itself as the first choice airline alliance for frequent international travelers. Frequent flyer cardholders with Oneworld Emerald status will be entitled to an extra checked baggage allowance, above the standard limit for the cabin class in which they are traveling – either one additional item where the piece concept applies, or an extra 20 kg (44 lbs) where the weight concept applies – when they fly on any Oneworld member airline. They will also be able to use fast track lanes through security when flying from select key airports worldwide on select Oneworld member airlines. These are in addition to the current perks such as priority boarding, priority wait-lists, First Class check-in counters, and preferred seats.
Enter to Win a Six Month All Expense Paid Trip: MyDestination has launched a promotion called “Biggest Baddest Bucket List.” It’s basically a contest where individuals submit a short video about destinations on their bucket list for 6 months for a chance to win their dream trip with all-expenses-paid travel plus $50,000. The winner’s dream trip will start in June 2013 and go through December 2013, wherein he or she will get to tick everything off at once during a 6-month, around-the-world journey. In order to get the true “round the world” flavor, the final itinerary should include a minimum of 25 locations from the My Destination network and at least 2 destinations from each continent. To enter: you need to create your very own video sharing your local knowledge and tips for people who might visit your destination. Then write a blog post about an interesting travel experience you’ve had and finally post three photos that you took yourself relating to the blog post.
US Airways Offering Targeted Promotion on Purchased Miles: Now through February 28, 2013, US Airways is offering a targeted 100% bonus on purchased miles. If you’re targeted for the 100% bonus that’s a CPM of 1.87 cents including tax. There’s no need to register since you’ll receive the bonus automatically on the Buy Miles page. However, there are a few rules: You must be a Dividend Miles member for at least 12 days, this promotion limits mileage purchases to 50,000 miles – 100,000 miles with the bonus; for each purchase there is a processing fee of $30 and a 7.5% tax recovery charge, and these transactions are processed by points.com so it won’t count towards airfare multiplier categories like the 3 points per $1 on the Premier Rewards Gold or 2 points per $1 on the Sapphire Preferred, or for reimbursements through the Amex Platinum $200 rebate. Hat Tip: One Mile at a Time
Air France Announces New Airline HOP!: Air France announced their new regional airline this week called HOP!. HOP! will operate 530 daily flights to 136 destinations in Europe beginning March 31, 2013, with one-way fares starting at €55. This will account for 30% of AirFrance’s total flights including 60% of their domestic flights. HOP! will have a fleet of 98 aircraft with seating ranging from 48-100 seats. They will primarily operate flights from Paris-Orly and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Air France says they chose the name HOP! because it evokes rapidity and the ease with which travelers can get from point A to B, and is synonymous with agility.