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Here’s a roundup of the week’s points, miles and travel industry news you may have missed:
United Reinstates Bermuda-Newark Flights in Low Season
Last year United stopped flying to Bermuda during the low season, but the airline announced that it will reinstate nonstop service between Newark and Bermuda starting November 20, 2015. There will be three flights a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Flights will depart Newark at 11:38am and arrive in Bermuda at 2:52pm, and depart Bermuda at 3:50pm and arrive in Newark at 5:25pm.
Hilton Makes Category Adjustments
Instead of making one dramatic category adjustment once a year, Hilton has started announcing small adjustments pretty much whenever it feels like it. The brand just released its latest category changes, which will be effective October 14, 2015. Nine properties will decrease in category, 33 will increase and 93 new hotels will be assigned categories for the first time.
Delta and American Offer Bonus Miles for Joining Dining Programs
Delta is offering a promotion for new SkyMiles Dining members, with the opportunity to earn between 3,000 and 3,500 SkyMiles. Within the first 30 days of joining, you can earn:
- 500 bonus miles for your first visit to a participating restaurant (SkyMiles Medallion Members earn 1,000 bonus miles for their first visit)
- 1,000 bonus miles for your second visit to a participating restaurant
- 1,500 bonus miles for your third visit to a participating restaurant
You must also create a dining profile before December 30, 2015 to earn the bonus miles.
Meanwhile, American is offering a bonus of 1,000 AAdvantage miles to new dining customers for joining, dining and creating a dining profile before December 30, 2015. You must:
- Create a profile
- Spend $30 or more at any participating restaurant in your first 30 days
- Pay with your registered credit or debit card
- Complete an online review within 30 days of your visit
Rocketmiles Bonus (All Partners) for First-Time Customers
Rocketmiles has launched a 3,000-mile bonus offer for first booking, but it does end today, October 3, 2015, so book ASAP. The miles are valid on any of the partner airlines associated with Rocketmiles, and this bonus is in addition to the miles you’ll earn for the hotel stay. Make sure to use the promo code transatlantic3000 when booking your hotel.
Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Restructuring for 2016
The Marco Polo Club, Cathay Pacific’s loyalty and elite status program, will be undergoing restructuring for 2016. The airline explains:
“New cabin products and additional routes, in particular ultra-long and ultra-short ones, mean that the way members earn status no longer accurately reflects their contribution to the airline. To meet the changing needs of our members, we have looked at ways to provide better, more flexible benefits, and to enhance the overall membership experience for our travellers. Starting 15 April 2016, we will be changing to a new points-based system, which will change the way you earn status and are rewarded.”
Basically, the program will be revenue-based. Passengers flying expensive fare classes on long-haul flights will earn more, and economy flyers in cheaper fare classes will take the hit. See this post for more info.
AA Launches October Be Pink Campaign
Each October, American Airlines launches its Be Pink Campaign to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. There are various ways to participate:
- Throughout October, AAdvantage members can earn 20 (instead of 10) AAdvantage miles for every dollar donated to Susan G. Komen through American’s Miles for the Cure program.
- In-flight purchase: Buying M&M’S Almond Chocolate Candies onboard will donate $1 per sale to breast cancer research.
- Admirals Club: In select Admirals Club locations, American will donate 20% when you purchase certain pink menu items.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards