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Here’s a recap of the interesting points and miles news from this week:
US Airways 100% Buy Miles Promotion: As a recap from earlier this week, now through May 31, 2013, US Airways is offering up to a 100% bonus on purchased miles. There is a limit of 50,000 purchased miles (so 100,000 with the bonus). It is a tiered bonus, so you only get the full 100% bonus if you buy at least 30,000 miles. Here’s how it works: Buy/gift 5,000 – 9,999 miles, get a 25% bonus; buy/gift 10,000 – 19,999 miles, get a 50% bonus; buy/gift 20,000 – 29,999 miles, get a 75% bonus; or buy/gift 30,000 – 50,000 miles, get a 100% bonus. Miles are sold for 3.5 cents each plus a 7.5% tax recovery charge. You can only buy up to 50,000 miles at time (100,000 with the bonus) so 100,000 miles through the buy miles promotion costs $1,881.25, at a price of just under 1.9 cents per mile. Thanks to some great sweet spots in US Airways award chart, such as 90,000 miles for roundtrip business class to Asia or 110,000 miles for roundtrip business class to the South Pacific, buying miles through this promo could be a good deal.
Airlines Keep Raising Their Fees: This past week, American Airlines, United, US Airways and Delta all announced that they would be increasing their ticketing change/cancellation fees for travel within the U.S., between the U.S. and Canada, and between both the U.S. and Canada and Mexico, Puerto Rico & the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean and Central America to $200. Frontier also announced this week that it will begin charging $25-$100 per carry-on bag for those passengers who do not book their tickets on Frontier’s site. They also stated that they would be charging for $1.99 for coffee, tea, soda and juice on their flights. This week, Southwest Airlines announced that they would be implementing a no-show policy on flights booked after May 10, 2013, for travel beginning on or after September 13, 2013. Those passengers who do not cancel their ticket prior to the flight will not receive any refund and the rest of their itinerary will be canceled.
Marriott Rewards (Targeted) Summer Promotion: Marriott announced a new promotion for this summer in which Marriott Rewards members can earn some free bonus nights. Here’s how it works: First, register by July 31, 2013, then stay twice at any participating hotel between May 15 and September 2, 2013. You’ll earn one free night after each second paid stay, up to two free nights, which can redeemed at any category 1-5 hotel worldwide. The free nights earned will then be valid for one year from when they are issued. Readers have noted that this promo might be targeted and that Marriott is sending out variations on this offer to members, so the terms you get might not be the same as this particular offer.
New Hilton HHonors Members Earn 1,000 Bonus Points: Hilton HHonors and Aeroflot have teamed up to offer travelers 1,000 bonus points just for signing up for Hilton HHonors. To be eligible, you must sign up through this site, which is in Russian, but there are many online translator tools such as Google Translate where you can easily translate the site into English, and select Aeroflot as your airline earning partner. In addition to the 1,000 points just for signing up, you can earn 1,000 bonus Aeroflot miles each after your first and second stay, and an additional 2,000 miles each for the third and fourth stay for a total possible bonus of 6,000 miles. Since you can always change your airline earning preference once you’ve registered, you might as well give this a shot if you don’t already have a Hilton HHonors account. The bonus points should post 4-6 weeks after signing up. Hat Tip: Frequent Flyer Bonuses
Cathay Pacific Business Class Sale: Now through May 31, 2013, Cathay Pacific Airways is offering 20% off their business class cabin for flights to Hong Kong for travel from June 1, 2013 to August 31, 2013. Business Class amenities include flat bed seats, personal 15.4-inch video screens, and a wide a selection of both Asian and Western food. The flights that are on sale are from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York to Hong Kong for a discounted price of $4,863 roundtrip. There is a 30-day advance purchase requirement. As a reminder, Asia Miles is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, so another option is to redeem your Amex points. For comparison, a round-trip Los Angeles-Hong Kong award in business class would require 120,000 miles and roughly $300 in taxes and fees.