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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:
With 2016 finally here, it’s time to gear up for another year of earning and burning, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the perfect card to get you started. 2x points on travel and dining and a killer sign-up bonus are just two reasons why this should be your first pick for the new year.
The latest installment of our valuations series is here. With the new year comes plenty of changes to rewards programs, so stay tuned as airlines, hotels and credit cards begin rolling out their new updates. For this month, we added a program into the mix and put two on notice in anticipation of the upcoming devaluations in 2016.
Think you’re dedicated to the credit card game? It’s unlikely that you’ll beat Walter Cavanagh, also known as “Mr. Plastic Fantastic,” and the nearly 1,500 credit cards he keeps in his wallet. In total, Cavanagh has a credit line of $1.7 million but still manages to keep a healthy score, which is so important when applying for new travel rewards credit cards.
New and re-branded hotels tend to be a bit less exciting than new flight routes, but each year there are some great openings worth keeping an eye on. 2016 looks to be a great year for new properties in exciting destinations ranging from New York City to the Maldives, and our list of the 16 best is certainly worth a look.
In-flight safety seems to have been front and center in 2015 with all of the disasters and tragedies over the past couple of years, making AirlineRatings.com’s annual list of the top 20 safest airlines all the more interesting. Spoiler alert: Four US airlines made the cut this year but a foreign carrier ultimately came out out on top.
In Other News…
Uber Offers $30 Off Your First Ride When You Pay With Amex
New Uber users can earn $30 off their first ride with promo code UBERAMEX. The ride-sharing service typically offers a $15 credit for normal referrals — it even has offers for existing users to get a discount — so this is a good chance to stretch your first ride a bit further. To take advantage of the offer, you must pay your fare with an American Express Card, like the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card, which also earns Uber riders double points.
Emirates Expands A380 Service at LAX
Emirates slowly seems to be taking over the world of travel and connecting some of the farthest corners of the globe through its primary hub in Dubai. This week, the airline announced that it would be adding a second daily flight from Los Angeles (LAX) on its massive A380. The expansion won’t officially begin until this summer, but there are still plenty of ways to fly Emirates in the meantime.
Netflix Brings Its Service Global
Netflix announced this week that it would be bringing its service to more than 130 new countries around the world. While this is certainly big news for people living in previously unsupported countries, it’s also of interest to travelers around the world. Before the announcement, Americans looking to binge-watch their favorite programs abroad had to use a VPN to connect, so now it’ll now be a bit easier to stream. There are still a few notable holdouts (we’re looking at you, North Korea), but the coverage is still quite expansive.
United Introduces Complimentary Prosecco in Lounges
Over the past few months, United has been working hard to impress its flyers with the introduction of free drinks for all elites — even for passengers in coach — not to mention the switch to gourmet coffee. The latest news is the introduction of complimentary prosecco for United Club visitors starting in 2016.
Thai Airways Expects to Resume Los Angeles Service in late 2016 or 2017
Thai Airways is allegedly planning a service resumption to Los Angeles this year. In late 2015, the FAA announced that it lowered Thailand’s aviation safety rating to denote that the country lacks laws or regulations to comply with international aviation standards. The changes also mean that the airline is banned from opening new routes, so it’s unclear how the airline will proceed with US travel going forward. 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.
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.