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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:
Read about an amazing first-class trip booked using just one sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Check out the most exciting new routes that airlines announced this month, from the world’s shortest international flight to new destinations in China.
Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels has led to a slew of new questions — and new opportunities. Learn about the best cards to have if you plan on staying at Marriott or Starwood properties.
Penn Station in New York City is quite frankly a horrible place to spend any amount of time. Luckily, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has unveiled plans for a new-and-much-improved station called the Pennsylvania Station-Farley Complex, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.
Now that you can link your Marriott and SPG accounts, take a look at when it’s beneficial for you to transfer your Starpoints into your Marriott account.
In Other News…
Win An Island Getaway Thanks to Southwest
Follow the instructions to enter Southwest’s Wanna Get Away contest. The airline is giving away round-trip airfare and a 3-night stay for five winners (and their guests) at an all-inclusive resort on an island off the coast of Belize.
Qantas Changes Up Its First Class Amenities
Australian carrier Qantas will soon introduce new amenity kits and pajamas to its first class passengers. The airline only offers a first class cabin on its fleet of A380s, so the changes will only affect a relatively small number of Qantas passengers.
You Can Use HHonors Points to Purchase TSA PreCheck
TSA PreCheck is a highly valuable service that is well worth its $85 enrollment fee (good for 5 years). There’s a new way to enroll for ‘free’ —Hilton will allow you to spend 30,000 HHonors points to waive the fee, but it’s far from a good deal.
You can save on hotel bookings if you simply enroll in Greyhound’s Road Rewards program or book a trip with the bus operator. Note that you’ll have to search on Greyhound’s site to find these deals.
Austrian Will Add Premium Economy and Wi-Fi
By November 2016, Austrian will roll out Wi-Fi on its short-haul flights on Airbus aircraft, with the rest of the fleet getting connected by summer 2017. Even better, the airline will add a premium economy starting winter 2017.
Featured image courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.
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