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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
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:
Thanks to the return of the 50,000 bonus points sign-up bonus from the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, it just got easier to earn the coveted Companion Pass from Southwest. Read about the various ways through which you can more easily reach the 110,000 points needed to get the Pass through the end of 2017.
Travelers everywhere have noticed increasingly long wait times at TSA checkpoints across the country. At Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the lines have gotten so dreadfully long that American Airlines has decided to hire workers to help the TSA perform tasks in hopes of speeding up the process. However, the combination of more people flying and fewer TSA employees does not bode well for the summer travel season.
Even the most savvy points and miles enthusiasts choose to purchase flights every once and a while. Find out the best ways to minimize the cash coming out of your pocket when you book these tickets.
Each major airline has several tiers of elite status that in theory anyone can earn. However, some carriers also offer a level of status that’s available only by invitation. For American Airlines, that mysterious status level above Executive Platinum is called Concierge Key. Read to find out the top perks of this status for American’s highest spending customers.
Despite seemingly constant devaluations and hidden changes to award rates, there are still great ways to redeem miles on Delta. Explore the top ways to earn and then redeem 100,000 SkyMiles.
In Other News…
Hilton’s Offering Targeted Members Up to 50,000 Bonus Points
In a new targeted promotion, Hilton is offering some members up to 50,000 bonus points after staying 4 nights within a 90 day period. Check to see if you’re eligible with this link, and make sure to register before July 10, 2016.
Hyatt is Offering a 30% Bonus When You Purchase Points
You can earn a 30% bonus when you purchase a minimum of 5,000 Hyatt points by June 15, 2016 in the hotel chain’s latest promotion. With the 30% bonus, you’ll be paying 1.7 cents for each point.
Premium Economy Could Come to Domestic AA Flights Next Year
This week at the Bank of America Transportation Conference, American Airlines President Scott Kirby talked about the upcoming arrival of Basic Economy fares. He also mentioned the arrival of premium economy on domestic flights sometime in 2017. We don’t know exactly what to expect, but there will likely be more news to come in the coming months.
IHG’s Highly Targeted Summer Points Promo
IHG has released details on its most recent Accelerate offer. The offer is targeted, meaning it will be different for each customer, and not every member will be eligible. If you’re eligible, you’ll have to complete your stays between June 1 and August 31, 2016 in order to receive your bonus points.
Virgin Australia Will Soon Offer Economy Seats with Extra Legroom
Virgin Australia has announced that it will be installing economy seats with extra legroom, called Economy Space+. The new seats will be available on the airline’s 777-300ER aircraft on flights departing on August 30, 2016 or later.
Earn a 40% Bonus When Buying JetBlue TrueBlue Points
In JetBlue’s latest summer promotion, you’ll earn up to a 40% bonus when you buy TrueBlue points. You’ll get a bigger discount as you purchase more points, with the maximum being 30,000 points (with a 12,000-point bonus).
AA’s Retiring Those Annoying In-Flight Connecting Gate Announcements
American Airlines announced this week that it had stopped announcing connecting gate information prior to landing. The announcements would often interrupt the in-flight entertainment, to the annoyance of many passengers. American said that there was no longer a need for the announcements, as most customers now have smartphone apps that contain that information and more.
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