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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:
Southwest can often be overlooked by frequent flyers due to the lack of first class seats and extensive elite benefits, however the airline’s Rapid Rewards program can be highly valuable for domestic travelers. Learn about why it could benefit you to participate in Rapid Rewards and use the points as part of your greater travel strategy.
Believe it or not, we’re already nearly halfway through 2016, which means you should be thinking about your strategy to (re)qualify for elite status for 2017. Read about the various status challenges/matches that you could participate in to help you reach your elite status goals.
The Andaz Maui resort is a highly sought after property, but unfortunately it has a very unfriendly minimum stay requirement when using Hyatt points to book free nights.
Looking for an easy way to boost your United MileagePlus balance? Simply download and register an account with Prosper Daily, a personal finance app that tracks your credit score and spending to claim your 1,000 United mile offer.
A top TSA official, Kelly Hoggan, has been removed from his position after a House Oversight Committee hearing about the agency’s management. Here’s hoping a change in top-level management will lead to a better handling of the screening process at airports around the country.
In Other News…
Automakers Rush to Invest in Ridesharing Services
Volkswagen AG, the German auto giant, made a $300 million investment in rideshare service Gett. Inc. this week. Gett is active in over 60 cities and the strategic partnership with Volkswagen is meant to assist the rideshare company with expanding in Europe and New York City. Meanwhile Toyota Motor Corp. shared that it had made an investment in Uber to create a relationship in sharing data and knowledge, as both companies have indicated a desire to create self-driving cars.
CitiGold Clients Will Now Receive Free CitiBike Membership
CitiGold banking clients will receive a new benefit. Citi has extended a free, one-year membership for CitiBike to 1,700 of these customers. The offer ends June 13, 2016.
Earn Bonus AAdvantage Miles with Stays at Hilton, IHG and More
Take advantage of a chance to earn bonus AAdvantage miles when using the airline’s online shopping portal to book hotel stays with Hilton, IHG, Choice Hotels and other chains.
Delta Revamps In-Flight Food Selection
Delta has shared the details of its new and improved in-flight food options, named Flight Fuel. Highlights of the new menu include an industry first non-GMO snack box as well as a fresh fruit and cheese plate.
Silvercar Leaves the Dallas Fort-Worth Market
Silvercar’s exclusively Audi fleet and simple pricing model have made it a great option for those wanting to rent a car with a little more flash than the usual Chevy Impala. However, it hasn’t been a success everywhere. Following shutting down at Houston Hobby Airport, Silvercar will no longer serve Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport, at least in part due to a very inconvenient pick-up process.
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