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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express, Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card, Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
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:
From Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Hyatt Credit Card, TPG presents the top card offers for the month of April. Use these cards to get started on your next award flight or stay with a variety of airlines and hotel brands.
Here’s the full list:
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred
2. Chase Ink Plus Business Card
3. Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express
4. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
5. Citi Prestige
6. JetBlue Plus Card
7. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
8. Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
9. British Airways Visa Signature Card
10. Hyatt Credit Card
The airline industry’s consolidation continues with Alaska’s acquisition of Virgin America. The Washington-based carrier will take control of Virgin America as a result of a roughly $4 billion deal, beating out a bid by JetBlue.
The Federal Aviation Administration recently announced that it would be easing slot restrictions at Newark for the first time since 2008. These changes mean that the airport could offer more flights as well as other positive perks for travelers.
Airbus showed off its next-gen A330neo cabin at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. Here’s a look at the new product, although it’s pretty similar to the A350.
If you’re reading TPG, it’s likely you’ve stepped into most, if not all of the world’s busiest airports. Read on to see how each one stacks up against the rest.
In Other News…
KLM is Bringing its Dreamliner to the Bay Area
Dutch airline KLM will begin flying its 787 Dreamliner to San Francisco from Amsterdam starting in May — the new service will operate twice weekly.
Alaska Airlines Frequent Flyers Get Perks on British Airways for a Limited Time
Travelers flying on British Airways between April 1 and September 30 will be able to take advantage of some extra perks that normally aren’t offered despite the airlines’ partnership. Alaska MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75k members will have access to Club World priority check-in, fast track security and the Galleries Lounge in London (LHR) — priority check-in will also be available in Seattle (SEA). On top of that, you can also earn double redeemable miles when you fly BA through September 30 by registering here.
Amex Platinum Changes Earnings for Vacation Packages
Beginning June 1, Amex is changing its Vacation Package program for Platinum members. While you’d originally just receive a flat bonus of 5k, 10k or 25k points based on how much you paid, Platinum members will now only earn 2x the Amex Membership Rewards points for each dollar spent on a vacation package.
MGM is Rebranding the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas
MGM’s Monte Carlo will be renamed and rebranded starting this June. There’s no official word on a new name yet, but the changes will reportedly focus on the growth of international and millennial customers visiting Sin City.
ScoreBig Partners with Club Carlson
Ticket-seller ScoreBig will now allow users to earn 5 to 60 Gold Points per dollar spent on the website towards the Club Carlson rewards program — ScoreBig also has airline partners like JetBlue and Southwest.
You Can Now Pay with Citi ThankYou Points on BestBuy.com
Customers can now use Citi ThankYou points to pay for purchases on Best Buy’s website — as usual with redemptions of this nature, it’s likely you can get better redemptions with your Citi ThankYou points elsewhere, so you’re probably better off skipping this option.
Select Alaska Airlines Cardholders Can Earn Bonus Miles
Some Alaska Airlines Visa Signature cardholders might be eligible to earn 2 additional miles per dollar spent on hotel and car rentals through June 30 (up to 2,500 miles). The offer appears to be targeted, so be sure to check your email to see if you can participate — note that you must register to earn the bonus.
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