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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:
As of March 22, American Airlines’ new award chart changes are in effect. While the updated AAdvantage program for 2016 is, in many ways, a devaluation, the changes aren’t all that bad. Here’s what you need to know.
Beginning June 20, the wholesale chain will start accepting Visa cards exclusively, marking the end of its partnership with American Express. Citi and Costco also unveiled the details of the new Costco Anywhere Visa Card this week, including some lucrative bonus categories.
The Starwood merger/acquisition saga continued this week when Marriott responded to Anbang’s bid with a higher offer. Marriott also acknowledged plans to run SPG on its own shortly after the merger is complete, but eventually to combine it with the current Marriott Rewards program.
These nine credit cards can get you enough miles for a free flight with little effort on your part. Here’s why airline co-branded cards like the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard and transferable point currency cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth considering for your own wallet.
Hyatt’s sweet summertime promotion gives you the chance to earn up to 75,000 bonus Hyatt Gold Passport points on stays between April 1 and June 30, 2016. Make sure you register online after April 1 to take advantage of the latest promo.
In Other News…
Snag an 80% Bonus When Purchasing Hilton HHonors Points
Now through April 1, you can score an 80% bonus on purchased Hilton HHonors points, with points available for just $0.0056 each. TPG values HHonors points at 0.5 cents each, however, so unless you have a specific redemption in mind, this isn’t a phenomenal deal.
Earn Double Starpoints on Dining with SPG’s Latest Promotion
Now through June 15, you can earn double Starpoints by dining at participating restaurants in your hometown or during your travels. SPG members must register for the Twice as Nice promo and spend at least $10 to be eligible.
Southwest Offers a Status Match to Targeted Rapid Rewards Members
The carrier is currently offering complimentary A-List status through May 25 to targeted Southwest Rapid Rewards members who are also enrolled in TSA PreCheck. You can also extend your newly given status to December 31 by registering, booking and completing two round-trip flights, four one-way flights or by earning 5,850 Tier Qualifying Points between now and May 25.
Earn Double Points on Spring Train Travel With Amtrak
Members of Amtrak Guest Rewards can earn double points on spring travel to more than 500 destinations now through May 21 — you can also earn up to 6x the points with Double Days offers from various hotel, rental car, retail and Broadway show partners. Register at AmtrakGuestRewards.com/DoubleDays and reference your Amtrak Guest Rewards number when booking to receive credit for this offer.
You Can Now Rent a New Shelby Mustang With Hertz
Hertz and Ford are launching a new version of its iconic Ford Shelby Mustang for Hertz customers, which can be rented for a limited time at 17 US airport locations, including Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas (LAS) and Miami (MIA), among others. The 2016 Ford Shelby GT-H is part of Hertz’s Adrenaline Collection and costs 3,300 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points for a weekend rental.
Select Hilton Properties Are Making Category Adjustments
Hilton is making some changes to its current category listings, rearranging the ranks of 35 US properties as well as a select few in China, Malaysia, Mexico City and the UK. Hotels like the Hampton Inn Daytona/Ormond Beach in Florida will decrease from category 3 to 2, while others like the Hilton Garden Inn Fort Myers will increase from category 4 to 5.
Featured image courtesy of The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, Mauritius.
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