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Southwest Says Aloha to Hawaii, TPG Readers Bid Farewell to United's 747, Fires Devastate Northern California and More

Oct. 14, 2017
4 min read
Southwest Says Aloha to Hawaii, TPG Readers Bid Farewell to United's 747, Fires Devastate Northern California 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.

Southwest Announces Nonstop Flights From the Continental US to Hawaii

The announcement that many had been waiting years for finally came this week: Southwest plans to launch flights between the continental US and Hawaii.

Here's What It Was Like to Be a TPG Reader at United's 747 Farewell Family Day

Last week, several TPG staffers and 100 readers and their friends had the chance to attend United's Family Day in San Francisco (SFO). This event was extra special, since the airline had two of its soon-to-be-retired-747s on display for all to explore.

Fires Rip Through Northern California, Causing Massive Damage and Evacuations

Multiple fires ripped their way across several North Bay counties in California this week, leaving utter devastation in their paths. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed in the early hours of Monday morning, forcing thousands of people in the area to evacuate.

How You Can Still Fly Turkish Airlines Without a Visa

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Earlier this week, Turkey halted the issuance of new visas for US citizens — effectively, if you don’t already have a Turkish visa, including an e-Visa, you can no longer enter the country as a US citizen. However, there’s no impact to transit passengers, and there’s no immediate need to change an itinerary that doesn’t include a stopover in Turkey.

California Residents Can Earn a Southwest Companion Pass After Just One Purchase

Perhaps the best-ever targeted offer for Southwest's tremendously valuable Companion Pass just popped up this week for California residents: Sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card and make one purchase to get a Companion Pass through December 31, 2018.

My Experience Flying Through San Juan, Puerto Rico

Last Thursday, TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig traveled to Puerto Rico to cover relief flights and JetBlue's operations at San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marín Airport (SJU). While the airport is back up and running, with dozens of daily flights, Puerto Rico clearly felt like an island still reeling from a record-breaking hurricane and crumbling infrastructure.

Delta's Mobile App Now Checks You in Automatically

As of Thursday, Delta's iOS app supports automatic flight check-in — if your flight appears in the latest version of the Delta app, a boarding pass will automatically pop up 24 hours before departure.

United's Retrofitted 777s Will Get 50 Polaris Seats, 3-4-3 in Coach

United will soon begin retrofitting its older 777s, installing the new 1-2-1 Polaris business-class seats and adding an extra seat in each row in economy, just as United’s done with its domestic configuration. While the change up front is going to be more than welcome, you're going to want to stay away from coach in these aircraft if at all possible.

In other news...

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Transfer Hotel Points to United and Receive a 30% Bonus

Between now and November 30, 2017, you can receive a 30% bonus on points transferred to United MileagePlus from any of its hotel partners. Note that you can only earn up to 25,000 miles with this promotion.

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Alaska Adds Option to Pre-Order Meals in First Class

Alaska Airlines has added the option to pre-select meals in first class on select flights, up to two weeks before departure. The feature is expected to roll out to more routes in the coming months.

Featured image by UIG via Getty Images

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more