Norwegian Keeps Growing, Electronics Ban Lifted for Some Carriers, July Valuations and More
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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.
Norwegian Air Shuttle seemingly can’t be stopped — the carrier recently announced that it’ll be expanding its footprint even more in the US. The carrier plans to add Austin (AUS) and Chicago (ORD) to its route map, and it’s expanding service in Oakland (OAK), Boston (BOS) and Newark (EWR).
Several Middle Eastern and African airlines have been dealing with the electronics ban since it was implemented back in the spring, but now four of the originally affected carriers (Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Turkish) have been cleared for their flights to the US. So, if you have any upcoming travel planned on those four carriers, you’ll now be able to bring along your full suite of electronics.
It’s the beginning of the month, which means it’s time to check in on our points portfolio and see what they’re all worth.
For this month’s list of top travel rewards credit card offers, TPG changed it up a bit. Rather than ordering the 10 best picks based on a variety of factors such as transfer partners, redemption options and ancillary card perks, he used his valuations to rank the sign-up bonuses from most to least valuable. Additionally, he factored in annual travel credits, and subtracted the card’s annual fee.
The largest barrier to any of us maximizing our points and miles continues to be finding award availability. Read on to find out how to understand the tools and patterns of award availability so you don’t have to pay an award booking service to do it for you.
This week it was TPG Assistant Editor Brendan Dorsey’s turn to open his wallet — check out which cards he has in his portfolio, and why.
On January 1, 2018, Alaska is changing the rates it charges for award flights on American Airlines. While some of the changes are minor, it’s certainly a remarkable devaluation and you should be aware of what’s set to change come January.
In other news…
Austrian Adds Two Longhaul Destinations
Austrian shared this week that it’s going to begin flying to Cape Town, South Africa (CPT) and Tokyo, Japan (NRT) from its hub in Vienna (VIE). It’s been reported that the the Tokyo route is set to begin next summer, and will be followed by Cape Town in the fall.
Cathay Pacific Establishes Codeshare With MIAT Mongolian Airlines
This week, Cathay Pacific shared that it’s begun a codeshare agreement with MIAT Mongolian Airlines. This means that MIAT will place its code on several Cathay Pacific flights from Hong Kong (HKG), and Cathay’s code will go on MIAT’s four weekly flights between Ulaanbataar (ULN) and HKG.
Etihad Launches New Airport Transfer Service That Will Earn You Miles
Etihad will offer all of its passengers the option to book a paid airport transfer with a service called Conxxe. While the car service itself isn’t too remarkable, what’s interesting is that you can earn Etihad Guest miles when you purchase a transfer. If you book before July 31, 2017 and travel before December 31, 2017, you’ll earn 3 miles for each dollar you spend on the transfer.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
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- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.