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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:

Starwood-Marriott-9_21_16-v2 2
It’s been a long time coming, but Marriott and Starwood are finally merging.

SPG/Marriott Rewards Status Match, Points Transfer and More Available Now

As of this Friday, Marriott officially acquired Starwood Hotels. The combined chain will have over 5,700 properties in 110+ countries worldwide. Find out the latest details of the merger, including how to status match and transfer points between brands.

A college student earned 15 million United miles by discovering vulnerabilities in the airline’s website.

College Student Has Earned 15 Million Miles by Hacking United

Georgia Tech student Ryan Pickren hacked into United’s website with the intention of revealing security flaws. As a thank you for his help, United awarded Mr. Pickren a whopping 15 million miles.

Chase’s Private Client banking program provides valuable benefits to its customers.

All About the Chase Private Client Program

Chase offers a special program for some of its top clients called Chase Private Client. Read all there is to know about the program which includes special services, fee waivers and Concierge Banking.

Don’t expect typical airplane food inside this Boeing 737-turned-restaurant in China.

China’s Hottest New Restaurant is Located Inside an Airplane

A new restaurant has opened inside a retired Boeing 737 in China’s Hubei Province. The interior features full-size booths and the menu is composed of gourmet dishes at a hefty price tag.

Several travel rewards cards offer great sign-up bonuses and waive the annual fee for the first year.

The Top Rewards Credit Cards With No Fee in the First Year

Learn about several cards that come with sizable sign-up bonuses but don’t charge an annual fee for the first year — perfect for those who would like to ‘test’ a card before committing to it.

Learn several habits that can help you become an expert traveler in no time.

7 Habits Of Highly Experienced Travelers

No one wants to make a rookie mistake while traveling — learn the tricks of experienced travelers to guarantee a smoother trip the next time you head to the airport.

In Other News…

You have a chance to win a free prepaid car rental with Sixt Rent a Car. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Get a Free Prepaid Car Rental From Sixt

Sixt car rental is running a promotion that will award a free prepaid rental to every sixth rental reservation made between September 23 and September 25. The rental company is also running a parallel contest in which contestants can enter via postcard to win one of 400 vouchers worth $300 — which could be more than the value of one prepaid rental.

Alaska Airlines is changing its extremely generous companion upgrade policy for its elite members.

Alaska Details New Policy on Companion Upgrades

Starting October 15, Alaska Airlines elite members will only be allowed to use companion upgrades for passengers traveling on the same reservation. The current policy allows elite members to upgrade anyone traveling on the same flight.

The new Club Aspire lounge at Heathrow’s T3 will be open at the end of October.

New Lounge Set To Open at London Heathrow’s T3

There are going to be lots of passengers at LHR that will be in search of a new favorite lounge since Delta elites will no longer have access to the Virgin Clubhouse. Luckily, a new option will be open as of October 24. Called the Club Aspire Lounge, this Priority Pass lounge will offer a selection of complimentary food and beverages, Wi-Fi, power outlets and nap areas.

Lyft drivers can take advantage of MasterCard Send, which allows them to receive payments instantly.

MasterCard Teams Up With Stripe to Provide Instant Payments to Sellers

Workers who rely on daily payments for their livelihood, such as Lyft drivers and Postmates delivery people, will now receive expedited payments thanks to MasterCard Send, a result of a partnership with Stripe, a feature that allows people to get paid instantly instead of in cycles.

You can now try out American Express’ new Facebook messenger bot.

American Express Facebook Messenger Bot Is Live

American Express has a new feature that will alert cardholders with offers and when a purchase is made on a card that they have linked with the messenger service. Unfortunately, you can only link one card to the messenger at this time.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • 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
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.