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The Incredible Etihad Residence, Exciting New Airline Routes & More

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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:

Living Room
The Etihad Residence includes a living room, shower and bedroom.

TPG Reviews: The Etihad Residence Full Review

I recently flew in The Residence on Etihad’s inaugural A380 flight from New York JFK to Abu Dhabi. The whole experience was incredible, from an included chauffeur to the airport and a relaxing time in the Etihad Lounge at JFK to the amazing Residence itself, which consisted of a private living room, bedroom and bathroom with shower. I also had my very own butler Eren, and a chef who prepared me a delicious Thanksgiving meal! To find out more about this unforgettable flight, read the full post here.

One year of spend on the Chase Sapphire Preferred can give you amazing rewards.
One year of spending on the Chase Sapphire Preferred can get you some amazing rewards.

One Year Of Earning and Burning With The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

It’s no secret the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of my favorite credit cards. It’s better than ever now that it has a permanently increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. In this post, TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Nick Ewen explains how a year of average household spending on the card could get you some incredible rewards, like a few round-trip plane tickets to Hawaii or three nights at a top-tier Hyatt hotel. For more info on what types of rewards you can earn, click here.

Air Canada now flies to Dubai from Toronto. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Air Canada now flies to Dubai from Toronto. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Exciting New Airline Routes for November 2015 and Beyond

This month Etihad brought its A380 to the US — including the plane’s famed Residence and Apartment suites. A one-way trip from JFK to Abu Dhabi in The Residence will set you back more than $30,000, but you can book the Apartment for a much more reasonable 90,000 American miles each way — at least, before the upcoming devaluation. Other new routes include Virgin America’s flight from SFO to Honolulu (HNL) and Air Canada’s nonstop service between Toronto and Dubai on the airline’s three-cabin Dreamliner. For more new routes, read this post.

Register to earn bonus Starpoints in 2015.
Register to earn bonus Starpoints in 2015.

Earn 2,015 Starpoints on Your Next SPG Stay in 2015

Starwood just launched another points promotion for guests: SPG members can earn 2,015 Starpoints for simply registering online before their next stay. The promotion is valid until the end of the year. Remember to also register for SPG’s Fall 2015 promo to earn double Starpoints on your stays through December 20. For more promotion details, click here.

It’s now easy to check your Uber passenger rating.

How To Check Your Uber Rating

Now available in 67 countries around the world, Uber is one of the most useful transportation options for travelers. The app has a mutual rating system that helps drivers decide whether or not to pick you up. While they were once secretive and hard to find, passenger ratings are now easily accessible on the Uber app. To find out how to access yours, read the full post here.

In Other News…

AA bonus extended through 2016.
AA extended its buy miles bonus through early 2016.

American Extends 60% Bonus on Purchased Miles Through 2016

American Airlines has extended its offer to earn up to 75,000 bonus miles when you buy, gift or share miles. Previously, the offer expired in November, but it will now be available through January 4, 2016. The regular price of buying miles from American is 3.17 cents per mile ($29.50 per 1,000 miles plus a 7.5% Federal Excise Tax) — before a $30 Processing Charge per purchase — but with the maximum 60% bonus offer, it’ll actually drop your price down to roughly 2 cents per mile!

Delta discontinues Interline Ticketing and Baggage Agreements with Emirates. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Delta and Emirates are discontinuing their interline agreement. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Delta Discontinues Baggage and Ticketing with Emirates

As of November 28, Delta has ended its interline ticketing and baggage agreement with Emirates. This means that the airlines will no longer be able to sell tickets that include any segments on the other carrier. Additionally, if travelers have an itinerary that includes both airlines, they will now have to pick up and re-check their baggage when switching carriers. All reservations made with tickets issued prior to the agreement discontinuation date will be honored as issued.

Amex Membership Rewards transfer to Iberia at a 1:1 ration through December.
Amex Membership Rewards transfer to Iberia at a 1:1 ratio through December.

Amex Membership Rewards Transfer to Iberia 1:1 Through December 2015

Recently, Amex Membership Rewards lowered the transfer rate of MR points to British Airways and Iberia Avios — from 1:1 to 2.5:2. However, through December 31, 2015, you can transfer to Iberia Plus at a 1:1 ratio, thanks to a 25% bonus offer. You can also transfer points between Iberia and British Airways for free. For tips on redeeming flights using Iberia Avios, see this post.

Delta ONE passengers will soon get pajamas (not sure if they will look like the above photo, we can only hope). Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Delta ONE passengers will soon get pajamas (not sure if they will look like the above photo, we can only hope!). Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Delta One Passengers from Los Angeles to Shanghai and Sydney To Get Pajamas

Anyone seated in Delta One business class from LAX to Shanghai or Sydney will receive pajamas to wear during the flight. This pajama service will begin on December 15, 2015. Rumor has it that this service could be rolled out to other routes in 2016 if deemed successful.

New seat concept designs for Singapore Airlines business and first class. Photo courtesy of DCA Designs.
New seat concept designs for Singapore Airlines first class. Photo courtesy of DCA Designs.

New Concepts for Singapore Airlines First and Business Class

British firm DCA Design International recently released concept images for new business and first-class seats on the Singapore Airlines A380 and ultra-long range Airbus A350 aircrafts (coming in 2017-18). The first-class concept includes a split-seat design, geared toward couples traveling together. The ottoman could then be used for another one or two passengers during meal time, allowing the first-class suite to accommodate up to four people. We’ll have to wait and see if Singapore decides to go for these concept designs.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • 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 a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 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
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