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Best Chase Cards, New Airline Routes, Starwood Buyout & 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:

chase cards featured
The best Chase card for you depends on what you’re looking to use it for.

Which Chase Card Is Best for You?

From Sapphire Preferred to the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card, Chase offers plenty of rewards card options, and each of them can be valuable for their own reasons. Depending what you’re looking for, whether it be cash back, earning transferable points or flying with a specific airline, among others, there’s a card that’s best suited for your needs.

Southwest Airlines teams up with the Kidd Kraddick foundation to fly chronically and terminally ill children and their families to Disney World for an all-expenses paid vacation. The annual Kidd's Kids event was started by Kidd Kraddick who passed away in 2013. / Stephen M. Keller, 2014
Southwest expanded its domestic network in March.

Exciting New Airline Routes for March 2016 and Beyond

Each month, airlines launch new and exciting routes within their networks, as well as announce new routes that will begin soon. Read on for a list of the latest flights that will be taking to the skies this month or in the near future.

A Marriott acquisition isn't entirely off the table.
With Anbang dropping out, Marriott is now the sole bidder for Starwood.

Anbang Won’t Be Acquiring Starwood After All

It looks like the Starwood buyout saga may soon be coming to an end. Shortly after Anbang announced its roughly $14 billion in cash offer to purchase Starwood, the Chinese Consortium announced that it’s decided to not move forward with the acquisition. Anbang’s move leaves Marriott as the sole bidder.

patagonia-featured
Argentina has suspended its reciprocity fee for US passport holders for the first time since 2008.

Argentina Waives Reciprocity Fee for US Passport Holders

In a move that will make traveling to the South American country more affordable for US passport holders, Argentina announced that it’s waiving its reciprocity fee to enter the country. Tourists staying in Argentina for less than 90 days for tourist or business purposes will not have to pay the $160 fee while it’s suspended.

Virgin America is offering waivers
Alaska Airlines and JetBlue have reportedly bid to acquire Virgin America.

Alaska and JetBlue Bid to Acquire Virgin America

It looks like airline consolidation will be continuing. According to people familiar with the matter, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue have both expressed serious interest in acquiring Virgin America. All three airlines have declined to comment, but there could be official confirmation as soon as next week.

In Other News…

The W
The W Punta de Mita in Mexico is set to open May 1, 2016.

Turn Three Stays at Select SPG Properties Into 3,000 Bonus Starpoints

With SPG’s latest promotion, members can receive 3,000 bonus Starpoints after three eligible stays at participating properties in Latin American and the Caribbean between March 30 and June 30, 2016. You’ll earn 500 Starpoints after the first eligible stay, 1,000 after the second and 1,500 after the third for a total of 3,000 bonus Starpoints.

British Airways A380 at JNB
Most Club World passengers will only be allowed two pieces of checked luggage.

British Airways is Cutting Its Baggage Allowance for Club World Passengers

Club World passengers with British Airways will only be allowed to check two pieces of luggage, each weighing up to 32kg. The current limit is three pieces of luggage, but business-class passengers with tickets issued after May 10, with the exception of Gold Executive members, will only be allowed to check two.

In order to shop duty free at DXB, you'll now have to pay a fee. Image courtesy of Dubai Airports.
In order to shop duty free at DXB, you’ll now have to pay a fee. Image courtesy of Dubai Airports.

If You’re Traveling Through a Dubai Airport, You’ll Have to Pay a New Fee

All passengers who book tickets to travel through any of Dubai’s airports (including DXB) after June 30, 2016, will be required to pay a new fee. The country is issuing a fee of AED35 ($9.50) to all travelers, which will be collected by the airline, as a service fee for using airport facilities.

The Hilton
The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, Papetoai, French Polynesia.

Earn Hilton HHonors Status with Its Latest Status Match

Hilton is offering a status match if you show proof that you have hotel status with a another program now and you’ve also stayed at a hotel within the past year. If you complete this form by June 30 and are eligible, you’ll receive Hilton HHonors status through March 31, 2018, but the terms and conditions (which may have not been updated yet) list an expiration of March 2017.

Image by John Walton.
Fly Qantas to earn double points. Image by John Walton.

Earn Double Qantas Points on Eligible Flights

If you book an eligible Qantas flight by April 5 for travel until March 17, 2017, you’ll earn double Qantas Points in all cabins. Eligible flights include any operated with a QF flight number on your ticket where Status Credits or Qantas Points are normally earned, in addition to certain American Airlines flights. To enroll, register here and input your Qantas Frequent Flyer number when booking.

Featured image courtesy of Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa.

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 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
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