AA’s Devaluation, Costco Switching to Visa, Marriott’s Plans for SPG & 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:

The recent AA devaluation isn't all bad: Short-haul domestic flights now cost just 7,500 miles.
The recent AA devaluation isn’t all bad: Short-haul domestic flights now cost just 7,500 miles.

6 Things to Know About the AAdvantage Devaluation

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.

As of June 20, Costo will no longer accept American Express cards, including it’s own co-branded one, in favor of Visa cards.
As of June 20, Costo will no longer accept American Express cards, including it’s own co-branded one, in favor of Visa cards.

Costco Officially Switches to Visa on June 20

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 impressive looking Westin Denver International Airport, a Starwood property.
The impressive-looking Westin Denver International Airport, a Starwood property.

Here’s What Marriott Plans to Do with Starwood Preferred Guest

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.

Who wants to fly for free?
Who wants to fly for free?

9 Cards That Can Get You Enough Miles for a Free Flight

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 MasterCard and transferable point currency cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth considering for your own wallet.

Use those extra bonus points to stay at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Hawaii.
Use those extra bonus points to stay at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Hawaii.

Earn up to 75,000 Bonus Points With Hyatt’s Latest Promotion

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…

Treat yourself to a stay at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Queenstown in New Zealand — for less.
Treat yourself to a stay at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Queenstown in New Zealand — for less.

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.

Don't miss Starwood's latest dining promotion.
Don’t miss Starwood’s latest dining promotion.

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.

A peek at the latest targeted promotion by Southwest.
Here’s a peek at the latest targeted promotion by Southwest.

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.

You can earn double the points on train travel between March 21 and May 21.
You can earn double the points on train travel between March 21 and May 21.

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.

One of these sweet rides can be yours for the weekend for 3,300 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points.

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.

As of March 30, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Washington Square will become a Category 6 property.
As of March 30, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Washington Square will become a Category 6 property.

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in 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 & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Sleek metal card design
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Travel confidently with premium Travel Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Delay Reimbursement and more
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 See Terms Excellent Credit