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Each Saturday, we round up news stories that you may have missed from the week before, including several that already appeared on The Points Guy, and some more that we haven’t covered yet. If you’re an avid TPG reader, scroll down for the new stuff. Here’s the top miles, points and travel news you may have missed this week:
Loyalty programs are constantly changing, and so are the credit cards associated with them. Sign-up bonuses rise and fall, benefits are added and removed, programs devalue or revalue. To make the most of them, you have to stay up to date on the credit card offers out there and take advantage of great new deals as they become available. Here are my picks for the top current travel rewards credit card offers happening this month:
1. Ink Plus Business Card from Chase
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred
3. British Airways Visa
4. Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
5. Citi Prestige
6. Platinum Card from American Express
7. Citi ThankYou Premier
8. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier
9. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve
10. Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa
Check out the new Emirates commercial featuring Jennifer Aniston and get ready to laugh. The video begins with Aniston opening a lavatory door on what seems to be a dated plane (obviously not an Emirates A380) and wandering to the galley asking for the shower. As if it wasn’t already clear that Gulf carriers have US airlines beat by a mile — and then some — Emirates has brought Jennifer Aniston on board to drive that point home.
Norwegian Air is planning to offer flights from select US cities to Europe for just $69 each way starting as soon as 2017. CEO Bjørn Kjos says the airline will begin flying from small airports that currently have little to no international service — such as New York’s Westchester County Airport and Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport — with final destinations like Bergen, Norway and Edinburgh. In order to accommodate the large number of expected bookings when the actual routes and prices are announced, Norwegian plans to add five more 737 MAX jets from Boeing to its fleet in addition to the 100 it already has on order.
One of the questions I’m asked most often is “how much is a point or mile worth?” The answer varies from person to person and depends on how well you can maximize a particular currency for your needs. Still, some points are worth more than others. My valuations are based on a combination of how much I would pay to buy points if given the opportunity, and the overall value I could get from redeeming them.
Amex has confirmed that Platinum Card members will now receive free Hilton HHonors Gold status. Whereas this was once a limited-time offer back in 2013, it’s now a regular card benefit. Primary card members can register here, while secondary members will need to call the number on the back of the card to receive the upgraded status. If you have the Platinum Card, Business Platinum or Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card, you should be eligible for this offer per the terms and conditions.
In Other News
Earn Bonus AAdvantage Miles with National Car Rentals
You can save up to 25% and earn 1,000 bonus AAdvantage miles on National Car rentals two days or longer. Make sure to use Contract ID 5030835 in order to the receive discount and provide your American Airlines AAdvantage number at time of reservation to earn miles. The offer is valid until Decemer 31, 2015.
Best Western Changing to a Revenue-Based Loyalty Program
Starting January 1, 2016, Best Western is changing its loyalty program. Some new benefits and adjustments include:
- Points are earned based on how much you spend (on hotel stays, airlines and through other partners).
- Points can be redeemed for free night vouchers, Best Western Travel Cards, airline miles and more.
- Gold members will receive a bonus of 10% and Diamond Select members will receive a bonus of 50% plus other benefits.
- Points no longer expire.
More information and details can be found on the Best Western Rewards website.
Hilton’s Digital Key App Now Available on Android
Android Hilton HHonors members can now use the Digital Key feature of the HHonors app at the 17 hotels where it’s currently available. Digital Key gives members the option to bypass the hotel check-in counter and access their rooms, as well as any other area of the hotel that requires a key. Hilton says that by early 2016, HHonors members will be able to use their smartphones as their room key at 250 US properties.
Two New United Club Lounges Opening This November
United Airlines will open two United Club Lounges this November: one at San Francisco Airport (SFO) and the other in the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL). The 6,000-square-foot SFO club will be located in the new Terminal 3, Boarding Area E. The club will feature about 130 seats along with runway views for plane junkies who live for watching take-offs and landings. The ATL club will be 5,000 square feet and have about 100 seats, also with runway/tarmac views. The club will be located near Gate T12. The new clubs will have a similar look to recently renovated locations like Chicago (ORD) and London (LHR), featuring distinct design and seating arrangements, a new food menu and vintage aviation decoration.
Win 100,000 Miles from Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping
You could win 100,000 miles Alaska miles without even purchasing anything. To enter, log in to your Mileage Plan Shopping account. You’ll get five more entries for qualified purchases and another five more for opting into Mileage Plan Shopping emails. The contest is open to legal residents 18 and over of the 50 United States and DC who are Mileage Plan members. Enter by October 25, 2015.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|N/A||16.24%-23.24% Variable||Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95||0%||Excellent Credit|