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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:
Marriott announced Tuesday that it would be making positive changes to the Marriott Rewards program. The program will add an Experiences Marketplace, Elite Concierge Service and Guaranteed Late Check-Out, which all closely resemble features of the Starwood Preferred Guest program.
In a targeted offer, United is awarding tons of miles to former top-tier elite fliers. Members will earn a pre-determined number of miles after reaching a ‘milestone’ based on Premier Qualifying Dollars spent.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is now available for online applications, making it much more accessible to the general public. Here’s a look at when it does and does not make sense to spend on this card.
Currently there are very few Airbus A350s in commercial service, but that should change in the coming years, as Airbus has a healthy order list from numerous customers. Take a look at the latest information on which carriers will be operating this new aircraft, and on which routes.
Despite several changes over the last year, Amtrak’s Guest Rewards program offers some great value. Now that Bank of America is offering a co-branded Amtrak credit card, you may be wondering whether it’s a good option for you. Here’s a look at this card’s best features.
In Other News…
Take a Google Street View Tour of Aer Lingus’ New 757 Business Cabin
Aer Lingus has been steadily improving over the past few years, and this improvement continues with the introduction of a new business-class seat for its internationally configured 757-200 aircraft. You can even take a tour of this new cabin on Google Street View.
Uber’s Working to Put More Deaf Drivers on the Road
In a move to combat chronic unemployment among hearing-impaired individuals, Uber is partnering with a prominent non-profit group for the deaf in hopes of hiring more deaf drivers. The rideshare company has taken steps recently to make its app more accessible for hearing-impaired drivers, and hopes to change the perception of deaf people in the US.
Earn Up To 50,000 Bonus Points with Club Carlson
Register for this promotion through Club Carlson’s site and you could earn up to 50,000 bonus points on stays between April 18 and July 31, 2016.
Redeem Citi ThankYou Rewards Directly on Expedia
Citi ThankYou Rewards members can now use ThankYou points to book hotel stays through Expedia. Customers will have access to the full portfolio of 230,000+ hotels on Expedia, and can also combine ThankYou points with cash to pay for the stay.
Gogo’s 2Ku Wi-Fi is Now Flying in Mexico
This week AeroMexico was the first airline to activate Gogo’s 2Ku in-flight Wi-Fi service on five of its airplanes. For now, this enhanced in-flight experience will be free to customers, but that’s expected to change soon. It’s also worth noting that Delta will soon have the service active on some of its aircraft.
Featured image courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Singapore.
The Points Guy Assessment:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.
- 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®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- 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