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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:
In order to make the most of sign-up bonuses with travel rewards cards, you have to keep up with their ever-changing offers. To help you keep track, I share my top picks each month. The following cards earned a spot on my list for December. For more benefits and info on each, click here.
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred
2. Ink Plus Business Card from Chase
3. Chase Freedom
4. British Airways Visa Signature Card
5. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
6. Blue for Business Credit Card from American Express
7. Citi Prestige
8. Platinum Card from American Express
9. Citi ThankYou Premier
10. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve
I’m often asked how much a point or mile is worth, and the truth is that this varies from loyalty program to loyalty program. I post my valuations each month to reflect what I think each airline and hotel currency is worth. This December, I lowered my valuation for Aeroplan, and while Ultimate Rewards is losing a transfer partner this month, I left it unchanged for the moment. Read the full post here for more details.
AA will soon be the first US-based carrier to offer a dedicated premium-economy cabin on international flights. This new cabin will debut in late 2016, when AA takes delivery of its first 787-900 Dreamliner. In addition to more legroom, the premium-economy cabin perks will include more spacious seats, enhanced dining, noise-reducing headphones, amenity kits and more.
If you have a lower-than-ideal Uber rating, you run the risk of being declined for rides, or even being booted from the service completely. TPG Contributor (and former Uber driver) JT Genter shares some tips for improving your rating. To get started, click here.
Pick up one of these great gifts for that special traveler in your life. Big-ticket items include our favorite noise-canceling headphones and a great camera from Sony, while we also recommend plenty of stocking stuffers, such as luggage tags and in-flight skin savers. For the full guide, click here.
In Other News…
Fly on Air France’s Last 747 Flight
Air France will soon be retiring its 747 aircraft, and it’s hosting a tribute flight to celebrate the 747’s 45-year run. Passengers will enjoy a scenic flight leaving from Paris CDG over France’s landmarks, plus a business-class lunch and champagne for all passengers. Tickets cost 220 euros ($241) for the entire cabin.
ExpertFlyer Now Offers Email Alerts for Star Alliance Award Availability
You can now set email flight alerts for ExpertFlyer to find out when award space or upgrades are available on Star Alliance flights. This service is already available on ExpertFlyer for many airlines, and it’s extremely useful to have this information emailed directly to you. You can get a 5-day free trial of ExpertFlyer here.
Buy Up to Alaska’s MVP Status
Alaska is reportedly offering select members the chance to buy up to the next tier of elite status. If you haven’t received an offer with prices, you can try calling the airline in January 2016 if you’re worried you might not make the cut. Some elite members have reported that if they’re short by 500 miles or less, they’ve been bumped up to the next tier. However, it seems that you’ll need to pay if you’re short by 500 to 5,000 EQMs. Rates vary depending on your status and how many EQMs you need.
United To Debut Next-Generation Business Class on New Boeing 777-300ER
United’s new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is coming at the end of 2016, and with it will come a new generation of business-class seats. There will be no first class on these planes; United seems to think that its BusinessFirst cabin is the future. While there aren’t immediate plans to retire first class, the airline will be reducing the number of long-haul first-class flights, and it will not be adding first-class cabins to new deliveries. Hey, at least United is considering offering pajamas in its new business class.
25% Off Avios Redemptions with Select Iberia Flights.
Through December 31, 2015, you can get 25% off select Iberia award flights when you redeem with Avios. Most of the available flights are to or from Madrid, with additional destinations in Europe, Central America and South America.
Get JetBlue TrueBlue Bonus Points Plus Discount When Flying Emirates
TrueBlue members who register and book select round-trip Emirates flights by February 2, 2016 and fly before April 30, 2016 can get a discount and earn up to triple JetBlue TrueBlue points. The bonus amounts and discounts are as follows:
- $1,000 off first-class fares and earn triple TrueBlue points
- $500 off business-class fares and earn double TrueBlue points
- $50 off economy-class fares and earn double TrueBlue points
You must book you flight using the promo code USJET16 and make sure to choose TrueBlue as your loyalty program of choice when booking.
Get 1,000 Bonus SkyMiles
You can earn a one-time bonus of 1,000 Delta SkyMiles by using the services of two or more participating non-airline partners by February 29, 2015. Eligible partners include:
- Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards from American Express in the U.S.
- Delta Credit Cards in select countries
- Financial Partners
- Car Rental, Limo & Shuttle
- Cruises & Vacations
- SkyMiles Dining
- SkyMiles Shopping
- Retail & Specialty Partners
You must first register for the offer here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|N/A||See Issuer's Terms||Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95||0%||Excellent Credit|