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Category Archive for 'Miles & Points'

5 Weeks Left Until Southwest’s Companion Pass Becomes Much Harder To Obtain, Here’s How You Can Take Advantage Before It’s Too Late!

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

On 1/1/17 Southwest stealthily changed their program rules without advance warning, removing hotel point transfers as a method to earn Southwest Companion Pass.

After an apparently controversial campaign to write to Southwest, file DoT complaints, and raise awareness of the change on social media, Southwest agreed to give a 3 month grace period to transfer hotel points and have them qualify to earn Companion Pass status. Southwest has posted about their change of heart here.

You can read Southwest’s response to people who filed DoT complaints here.

If you earn 110K Southwest points by 12/31/17 you’ll earn Southwest Companion Pass status that will be valid until 12/31/18. 

With a Southwest Companion Pass you’ll get to bring a companion with you for free on all Southwest paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and Southwest tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest. There is no limit to how many times you can use the companion pass.

Southwest still offers 2 free checked bags. Plus you can cancel revenue tickets with no charge and use the funds for a future flight. Point reservations can be cancelled for free with the points redeposited back to your account!

Until 3/31/17 Southwest will count hotel point transfers towards companion pass status. After that date they will no longer count.


It’s worth noting that points earned from Southwest credit cards will continue to count towards companion pass status, even after 3/31.

You can currently earn 50K points from both the Southwest Consumer Plus and Southwest Consumer Premier cards. You can also earn 60K points from the Southwest Business Premier card. However all are those cards fall under Chase’s 5/24 guidelines which makes them hard to get if you have been approved for 5 consumer cards within the past 24 months.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

After clicking on the Southwest Consumer Plus 50K card offer you can scroll down to find the offers for Southwest Consumer and Business Premier cards as well.


Hotel transfers made by 3/31 will combine with points earned from Southwest credit cards and paid flights to earn companion pass status by earning 110K points by 12/31/17.

In other words if you earn 60K points from hotel transfers by 3/31 and earn 50K points from opening a credit card in April you will still earn Companion Pass status.

Notes about transfers:
-Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards don’t count towards Companion Pass.
-You can’t transfer Starwood points directly to Southwest, but you can transfer Starwood points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio and then transfer Marriott points to Southwest.
-You can transfer 50K Chase points to 50K Hyatt and 50K Hyatt points into 30K Southwest points and those points will count for Companion Pass status.
-You can transfer Chase points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
-You can transfer points to another Marriott member to complete an award.
-You can transfer points to another Starwood member living at your address.

If you use the regular Marriott Rewards transfer chart you would need 310K Marriott Rewards points to transfer 110K Southwest points.

However you can get a much better deal with Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would give you 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

A transfer of 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott Rewards points will make that happen.

You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.

-It will take 2-3 days for the points to reach Southwest and your Southwest account will be updated to Companion Pass status within a few days of the transfer.
-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get a higher hotel category certificate.
-The 120K Southwest points transfer is the best value, but you can save points with a lower package if you don’t need 110K points for the Companion Pass.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.
-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.

You can view hotels by category and tier via the “find” button on this page.

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-120K Southwest points will net between $1,800-$2,400 of free flights. Thanks to the companion pass you can bring someone along for free, which will mean you can use those points for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights. Plus of course you’ll get a 7 night category 1-5 hotel stay. Not a bad deal for 90K Starpoints!

-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

-If you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

There is also a 5 night hotel+points option that can save you some Marriott points, but officially that’s only available for Marriott timeshare owners. 5 nights and 120K Southwest points would cost 235K Marriott points. That’s 35K fewer Marriott points than are required for the 7 night package. On rare occasions some reps will book the 5 night packages for non-timeshare owners.


Still short on points?

You can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year here. Points cost 3.5 cents each. You may be able to buy points for less than that on the grey market.

30K Starpoints would set you back $1,050. If you have a Starwood AMEX you would earn 2.1K Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll have paid $1,050 for 32.1K Starpoints or 3.27 cents per Starpoint.

32K Starpoints converts into 96K Marriott points.

If you already have most of the Starpoints and will utilize the companion pass then buying some points is a no-brainer.

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with additional Starwood accounts. You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

You can buy 84,500 Starpoints using 3 accounts for $2,957.50. With the Starwood AMEX you’ll also earn 5,916 Starpoints for the purchase, leaving you with 90,416 Starpoints.

Of course you won’t need to spend that much if you already have some Starpoints or Marriott points.

You can convert 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott points.

Those 270K Marriott points can then be converted into 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award and that will make your 120K Southwest points good for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights when you bring along a free companion.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-Until 4/5 only, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-Until 4/5 only, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-If you have the Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN you can call to have your Starwood account upgraded to Gold status which will then be matched to Marriott Gold as well!

-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 Rewards points (also transferable to 29,167 Starpoints) for spending $3,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.


Will you try to obtain Companion Pass status before the hotel point transfer opportunity ends?

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Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Related posts:
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2016 Edition
Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Consumer 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Business 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

This is a limited time offer scheduled to run until 4/5/17.  It offers 40% more points than the standard offer!

Typically there is only one limited time offer on the SPG card per calendar year, so there’s no better time to apply than now.

The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year on both cards.

For the consumer card you will get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $3,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending another $2,000 within 6 months, for a total of 35,000 bonus Starpoints and at least 40K total Starpoints. The terms state that if you have had the consumer card before you will not get the bonus for the consumer card again.

For the business card you will get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending another $3,000 within 6 months, for a total of 35,000 bonus Starpoints and at least 43K total Starpoints. The terms state that if you have had the business card before you will not get the bonus for the business card again.

You can apply for and get the bonus for each of these cards if you haven’t had them before.

If you have only had a consumer card you can get the points for business card and if you have only had the business card you can get the points for the consumer card.


Spending on the Starwood card:

The Starwood card remains a very good card for general spending.

While there are other cards with better bonus categories, the Starwood card is strong for general spending as Starpoints continue to be the most valuable mileage currency thanks to excellent uses at hotels and the 25% bonus for transfers into dozens of airlines.

There are no foreign transaction fees on the Starwood cards.

Starwood also allows members at the same address to transfer points between their accounts for free. Best of all making a transfer like that extends the life of your points by another 18 months.

There are thousands of uses for Starpoints, some of which have been over 50 cents each for me at hotels, but I aim for a minimum value of about 2.2 cents per point and am happy when I’m able to exceed that level. It’s not hard to reach a value of that level at hotels and you can transfer 20K miles into 25K valuable miles from airlines like Aegean, Alaska, American, and dozens of other programs. If you are able to obtain a value of 1.75 cents from those airlines then that imputes a 2.2 cent value for Starpoints as well. The miles won’t sell on the grey market for that price, but miles are always more valuable when you use them yourself for travel.

The Starwood card earns 2 Starpoints per dollar at Starwood hotels, or a 4.4% rebate at a value of 2.2 cents per Starpoint. It also earns double points on SPG hotel bedding and when you buy Starpoints. It earns 1 Starpoint per dollar everywhere else, or a 2.2% rebate at a value of 2.2 cents per Starpoint.


More valuable than ever thanks to the Marriott merger:

Marriott completed their purchase of Starwood last year and they treated Starwood members better than anyone could have hoped for thanks to a transfer ratio of 1 Starpoints:3 Marriott points.

I’ll write more about the best Marriott uses in a separate post.


American Express benefits and the annual fee:

There’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. Aside from the valuable points you’ll earn from signing up and spending you’ll also have access to awesome AMEX benefits:

The card also carries American Express’ awesome top-notch protections that are light-years better than any other banks. Most other banks always look for a way to get out, but that’s not the case with American Express.

-If you need to return an item up to $300 and a store won’t take it back due to a time limited or final sale policy, AMEX will gladly refund you thanks to return protection. The vast majority of the time you’ll even be able to keep the item, but if you do need to send it back the return shipping will be free. That’s a far more generous policy than any other bank offers. This benefit is valid for $1,000 of returns per card per calendar year.
–If a store charged a restocking fee to return an item then AMEX will cover it, up to $300/item, as part of their return protection coverage.
-You get an additional year of warranty coverage and if you have any issue in the extended warranty year they’ll pay to have it fixed or refund your entire purchase price without a hassle. This benefit is far more valuable than warranty benefits offered by other banks.
-If you need to dispute a charge there’s nobody who makes it easier or as pain-free as American Express does. It’s the easiest dispute resolution process in the industry by leaps and bounds and you can do it all online.
-If your item is stolen or broken within 90 days you’ll be covered.

See this post to see just how amazing AMEX benefits can be.


Spend Threshold

You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.87% fee. The Starpoints are worth more than 1.87 cents each, so that’s a no-brainer if you’re trying to meet a spend threshold to earn the signup bonus points.

If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes.

My local gas company allows me to prepay up to $1,000 on a credit card for a $1.65 flat fee. That’s a great way to earn miles and help meet a spend threshold. My electricity supplier allows me to pay with a credit card for free as long as I am enrolled in autopay. I used to prepay 5 months of rent on a my credit card (it’s easier in Cleveland where that’s just $800/month) for a $19 flat fee. You’d be surprised to see what you can charge to your credit card!


Sheraton Club Lounge Access:

The Starwood business card gives free club lounge access when staying at Sheraton hotels.

There have been rave reviews of the Sheraton Club lounge in Tel Aviv for example.  If you have a Starwood business card you’ll get free access to it and its free food, beverages, and sweeping view of the Mediterranean Sea. A free night at the Sheraton Tel Aviv is 12K points, 6K points+$110, or 9.6K points per night on a 5 night stay.


Premium Internet Access:

With either Starwood card you now get free premium in-room internet at Starwood hotels. All SPG guests get free internet, but cardholders will now get the faster version for free.


Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Starwood card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.


Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

In addition to the Starwood business card offering Sheraton Lounge access, the business card also offers Starpoints plus Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field


Elite Status and Crossover benefits with Delta and Uber:

Just by having a Starwood card you earn Preferred Plus status.  This status earns you the right to checkout at 4pm at Starwood hotels and get upgraded to preferred rooms.

If you spend $30,000 in a year on either Starwood card you earn Gold status.  Gold status gets you more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points.  You can also get gold status for free with no spending requirement by opening The Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

When you have the Starwood card you also get 5 elite qualifying nights and 2 stays for each Starwood card that you have that count towards earning Gold or Platinum status!

Starwood Gold and Platinum elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

And all members can earn bonus Starpoints for Uber rides as well after making a single SPG stay.


There are also Marriott elite benefits, stay tuned for another post on that, the best ways to use your Starpoints, and more about the best ways to use the Marriott program!

Where do you like using your Starpoints? Hit the comments!

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Discounted United Awards To Mexico

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Related: 55K Miles For Signing Up For A United Explorer Card; On Expanded Awards, Excursionist Perks, And Why The United Card Is My Favorite Airline Mileage Card


Discounted United Awards To Mexico

United awards to Mexico are on sale for 30K miles round-trip instead of 35K miles.

-Travel valid between Canada or the US49 and Mexico.

-Book by 2/24

-Travel between 4/29-5/26

-Travel valid only valid on United in coach.

-Round-trip or Open-Jaw travel is required, but you can get the discount on half the trip (2.5K miles) if one of the dates falls within the promo period.

Double open-jaw example for 30K miles:

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HT: SOS, via DDF

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HURRY! Excellent Coach And Business Award Availability On Air Canada’s New Montreal-Tel Aviv Route!

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Related: 55K Miles For Signing Up For A United Explorer Card; On Expanded Awards, Excursionist Perks, And Why The United Card Is My Favorite Airline Mileage Card


Award tickets to Israel are notoriously hard to find. “Hybrid points” are often the best bet for Israel.

But Air Canada has just loaded their new Montreal to Tel Aviv route. Award availability from Montreal to Tel Aviv is incredible. The return from Tel Aviv to Montreal is not as good, but is very decent for direct flights between North America and Israel.

Business class on the A330 is a 1-1-1 configuration with direct aisle access for all seats.

Coach has a 2-4-2 configuration.

Flights from Montreal to Tel Aviv operate on Sundays and Thursdays and flights from Tel Aviv to Montreal operate on Mondays and Fridays from June 22nd until October 16th.

The Montreal-Tel Aviv flight departs at 6:35pm and arrives 12:15pm the next day. The Tel Aviv-Montreal flight departs at 1:55pm and arrives 6:20pm the same day.

Orthodox Jews will want to be sure to check Shabbos times before booking the Thursday/Friday flights.

The following dates have at least 8 saver award seats in both coach and business class from Montreal to Tel Aviv:
June 22, 25, 29
July 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 27, 30
August 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 27, 31
September 7, 14, 17, 21, 28
October 1, 5, 12, 15
Other Sundays and Thursdays do have saver coach award seats from Montreal to Tel Aviv and 8/24 has 2 saver business seats.

The following dates have at least 8 saver award seats in both coach and business class from Tel Aviv to Montreal:
June 23
July 7, 14, 21, 28
August 4, 11, 18, 21
September 11
October 16
Other Mondays and Fridays do have saver coach award seats from Montreal to Tel Aviv.

These dates will sell out quickly, please post a comment if a date is no longer available.

For example there is award space to fly your whole family from NYC to Tel Aviv for Sukkos in business class. With United miles it would cost 85K miles in coach or 160K miles in business class, round trip per person:

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-You can transfer miles from Chase Ultimate Rewards to United (1:1 ratio) instantly. Awards can be cancelled for free within 24 hours. United never collectes fuel surcharges. After 24 hours non-elites will pay $75 to cancel awards more than 60 before a flight or $125 within 60 days of a flight. Awards can be booked online.

-Air Canada charges 80K in coach or 165K in business class round-trip and they’ll also tack on some $750 in taxes and fuel surcharges for Air Canada flights. Points transfer instantly (1:1 ratio) from AMEX. Transfers from Starwood (20K:25K ratio) can take 2-10 days. Awards can be booked online.

Singapore charges 75K in coach or 115K in business class round-trip. But they’ll tack on $735 in taxes and fuel surcharges for Air Canada awards. You can transfer points from AMEX, Chase, or Citi at a 1:1 ratio, but it will take a day or 2 for points to show up. Transfers from Starwood (20K:25K ratio) can take 2-10 days. You can call Singapore to book at 1-312-843-5333.

-ANA charges just 65K miles in coach or 104K miles in business class round-trip. Best of all they don’t charge fuel surcharges for Air Canada flights, taxes will be $66 from Montreal, or less from the USA. Unfortunately it can take 1-3 days to transfer points from AMEX to ANA (1:1 ratio) and transfers from Starwood to ANA (20K:25K ratio) can take 2-10 days. Awards can be booked online, though flights with connections may need to be booked over the phone.

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-Aegean charges a mere 60K miles in coach or 90K miles in business class round-trip and you’ll need even fewer Starpoints than that thanks to the Starwood 20K:25K transfer ratio. Factoring in a 25% discount that’s effectively 48K Starpoints in coach or 72K Starpoints in business class round-trip. They also don’t charge fuel surcharges for Air Canada flights, taxes will be $88 from Montreal, or less from the USA. Transfers from Starwood can take 2-10 days. You can call Aegean to book at +30-21-0626-1000.


Join the 80,100+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

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Get A 100% Bonus When Purchasing IHG Points; Lock In PointBreaks For $28.75/Night And Hotels In Israel From $57.50/Night

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

IHG: Get 100% bonus points through 2/17.

An IHG account is required, you can join here for free.

IHG normally sells points directly for 1.15 cents each. You can also transfer points from Chase, but that’s a criminal use of Chase points. Of course there’s a hack to buy their points at .7 cents each but with the current sale you can buy them directly for less than that without jumping through hoops. And that hack requires that you have points to start with.

IHG will double all the points you purchase, but to get the lowest rate (.575 cents per point) you’ll need to purchase at least 26K points which will be doubled to 52K points for $299. Of course you’ll also earn points on your credit card which will make the effective rate less than .575 cents per point.

You can purchase 60K points per member per year, so you can get up to 120K points with this promotion which would cost $690.

Note that IHG points require activity every 12 months, but you can just redeem for a hotel award and cancel it to extend the expiration for another 12 months.

IHG runs PointBreaks which allows you to book rooms at rotating hotels for just 5,000 points per night. That’s just $28.75 for a room if you buy points at .575 cents each. Those hotels rotate every couple of months.

Plus you don’t pay tax on award nights.

There are also good values to be had at high-end properties in NYC, London, Paris etc. For example an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora can go for as much as $1,000 with tax but costs just 60K points. That’s just $345 at .575 cents per point.

There are several IHG hotels in Israel. They won’t necessarily be a deal with this promotion, but they may be depending on the price of your desired travel dates.
Holiday Inn Ashkelon: 10K ($57.50 with this promo)
Crowne Plaza Jerusalem: 20K ($115)
Crowne Plaza Dead Sea: 25K ($143.75)
Crowne Plaza Eilat: 25K ($143.75)
Hotel Indigo Tel Aviv Diamond District: 25K ($143.75)
Crowne Plaza Haifa: 30K ($172.50)
Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv Beach: 30K ($172.50)
Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center: 30K ($172.50)
InterContinental David Tel Aviv: 40K ($230)

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United Lowers The Price Of Hawaii Awards!

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Related:

55K Miles For Signing Up For A United Explorer Card; On Expanded Awards, Excursionist Perks, And Why The United Card Is My Favorite Airline Mileage Card

The Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Award Chart And Everything You Need To Know About The Hawaiian Islands


Until today United has always charged 6K miles per Hawaii interisland leg.

The meant that if you booked an award from Newark to Maui via Honolulu you would pay:
-22.5K miles coach or 40K miles first from Newark to Honolulu
-6K miles coach from Honolulu to Maui
-6K miles coach from Maui to Honolulu
-22.5K miles coach or 40K miles first from Honolulu to Newark.

The round-trip award would be 57K miles in coach or 92K miles in first.

Singapore Airlines only charges 17.5K miles in coach or 30K miles in first to fly one-way on United between the US49 and Hawaii.
With the ability to transfer AMEX, Chase, Citi and Starwood points to Singapore, that was the way to go unless United only offered expanded XN saver award availability to Hawaii on your desired flights, which requires having a United credit card and using United miles.

However Singapore can’t redeem for travel on interisland flights, and separate tickets typically meant having to recheck baggage in Honolulu. That’s not much fun as Honolulu is a horrendous airport for rechecking baggage as you need to bring your bags to the interisland terminal to do that. Still, it was worthwhile to do the price differential.

However United has stopped charging extra for interisland legs! This makes the value proposition of using United miles to Hawaii much greater.

Plus you can even tag on a 3rd interisland leg as a free excursionist perk!

Just use the multi-city award search on United.com to piece it together. For example:

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And you can visit 2 Hawaiian Islands on one trip with 3 interisland flights for just 45K miles in coach:

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Or visit 2 Hawaiian Islands on one trip with 3 interisland flights for just 80K miles in first:

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Now that’s the Aloha spirit!

If only we could get United to bring back their Halfway to Hawaii in-flight contest…

HT: AJK, via DDF

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Marriott 2017 Annual Category Changes; Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Chart

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Marriott 2017 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes

Book stays before 3/7 local hotel time to lock in current rates for future stays at hotels that are going up.  Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print).  If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 3/7 when this year’s category changes go into effect.

23% of Marriott hotels will changes categories. Of those 60% will become more expensive and 40% will become less expensive.

This list is subject to change and other hotels can still be added to it.

For example if you have a 7 night category 1-5 hotel certificate and want to go to Curaçao, you’ll want to reserve that before 3/7 when the Renaissance moves to a category 6.

View sample hotels changing in category and more on the Marriott/SPG program after the jump:

 

(more…)

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Starwood 2017 Annual Category Changes

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Read about previous category changes:
Starwood 2016 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2015 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2014 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2013 Category Changes
Starwood 2012 Category Changes
2011 Starwood Category Adjustments
-2010 had no Starwood category changes
2009 Starwood Category Adjustments
2008 Starwood Category Adjustments
Starwood 2007 Changes: Launch Of Worldwide Cash+Points Awards (The good old days of Starwood in Israel)
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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Starwood 2017 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes (Click all to view all hotel changes)

Earn Starpoints on the Starwood Consumer American Express and on the Starwood Business American Express.

Book stays before 3/7 local hotel time to lock in current rates for future stays at hotels that are going up.  Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print).  If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 3/7 when this year’s category changes go into effect.

325 SPG hotels are changing category this year. 63% of those will go down in category.

This list is subject to change and other hotels can still be added to it.

View the key hotels changing in category after the jump:

 

(more…)

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Transfer Hotel Points To British Airways And Get A 35% Bonus

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Catching up on deals from this past week while I was on the road…

BA is offering a 35% bonus on hotel points transferred into Avios through 3/8/17.

-Bonus Avios can take 4-6 weeks to show on your account from the date of conversion.

For example:

-20K Starpoints normally transfers into 25K airline miles. With the additional 35% bonus you’ll get a total of 33,750 Avios.

-270K Marriott points (90K Starpoints) normally transfers into 7 free hotel nights and 120K Avios. With the additional 35% bonus you’ll get a total of 162K Avios. Read more about this redemption option in this post.

The value of Avios has been hampered over the past year due to the elimination of 4.5K short-haul awards within North America and scarce saver award availability on American.

However award availability has finally started improving on American of late.

Additionally the cost of a domestic first class award has gone down from 4 times the price of coach to 2-3 times the price of coach. For example a one-way flight from NYC to Chicago or Miami is 7.5K in coach or 15K in first class instead of the previous rate of 30K in first class.

Plus you can cancel Avios awards for just $5.60 each way up to 24 hours before the flight.

Of course there are dozens of airlines that you can transfer your Starpoints into and you can use them for hotel stays, so don’t transfer unless you have a need for the Avios.

HT: CZ60, via DDF and DoC

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Hilton Joining Delta In A Brave New Chartless Award World

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Delta eliminated their award charts 2 years ago.

They still have award charts, but they don’t publish them. That way they can devalue them without having to let their customers know.

I do have to give credit where it is due. Delta miles have actually become more valuable since then due to availability that is markedly better than American’s. But it’s very tough to get good value from Delta miles close-in and they don’t allow any international first class award redemptions.

For the most part I wrote off Hilton back in 2013 when they raised the costs of awards by more than 100%.

Today they announced that they will rebrand “HHonors” to “Honors.”

They’re adding a few new “benefits” starting in late February.

1. They will add flexible points and cash so that you can choose how many points and cash you want to use. Unfortunately it will only value your points at about 0.45 cents each, so there’s no special value there. Most points+cash options are valuable because they offer an outsized value for your points. This will not.

2. You’ll be able to transfer 500K points/year to up to 10 other members and receive 2MM points/ year from other members. That’s a nice additional to the program. They claim that’s unique in the industry, but it’s not. Hyatt, Marriott, and Starwood all offer that ability in one form or another.

3. You can use points for Amazon. This is sure to be a dreadful use of points.

4. Diamond members who have had status for 3 years and 250 qualifying nights can get a free one-time extension of their status. Hilton gives away Diamond status rather easily and it doesn’t offer benefits like those offered by Hyatt and Starwood.

They’re not advertising this part, but Lucky reports that they will also eliminate their award charts. Currently Hilton has a 10 category award chart. They won’t charge more than 95K points/night for any hotels, at least for now. And it’s likely that they’ll maintain internal unpublished categories as Delta does. But this way they’ll be able to charge more points for hotels without having to notify their customers that they are going to require more points in the future.

At least with the other hotel chains there is advance notice provided when hotels are going to change cateogries and there is an opportunity to make reservations before that happens. Collecting points in a program that doesn’t care to maintain a public award chart and let their customers know about devaluations is well, pointless.

Here’s hoping other programs don’t follow their lead. Luckily today’s “Hybrid cards” safeguard AMEX and Chase points from airline and hotel devaluations.

The only reason I even pay attention to the Hilton program at this point is because the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is by far my favorite hotel in Israel.

HT: yuguy, via DDF

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Convert Virgin America Miles Into Alaska Miles At A 1:1.3 Ratio; Check Your Account For 10K Bonus Miles!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Update: Check your emails for an offer from Alaska Airlines to Virgin America account holders to open an Alaska mileage account and earn 10K miles or $100 off an Alaska flight.

Some people’s offers require that you open an account by today while other people’s offers are valid in February.

I got 10K bonus miles and my wife and kids did as well thanks to having Virgin America account from the JetBlue PointsMatch offer. Talk about the deal that keeps on giving!

If you had a Virgin America account as of 12/5 and didn’t get 10K miles in your Alaska account or get an email to claim 10K miles you can call Alaska and ask about the promotion.


Originally posted on 1/9/17:

You can now convert Virgin America miles to Alaska miles at a 1:1.3 ratio here. Points transfer instantly.

There are lots of great uses for Alaska miles.

Note that this is a one-way street. The only reason to transfer now is to redeem an award with Alaska. Otherwise you can let your points stay on the Virgin America side and wait until you need Alaska miles or until they forcibly transfer all points over to Alaska.

In other news, people that had a Virgin America account as of 12/5 also got a nice surprise in their Alaska account. Here is the gift I found in my account:

as

 

 

 

 

If you only have a Virgin America account and not an Alaska account you should get an email asking you to open an Alaska account to claim your choice of 10K miles or $100 off a flight.

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IHG Pointbreaks Now Bookable For Stays Through April, Hotel Rooms From $31/Night

Monday, January 30th, 2017

IHG PointBreaks Linky

IHG Booking Linky

-The current list is valid for stays through 4/30/17.
-Hotels can sell out of discounted rooms quickly and only a limited amount of rooms are available per night.

You can book up to 2 reservations per hotel. There’s no limit to how long each of the stays can be.

You can stay in any PointBreaks hotel for 5,000 IHG points.

IHG sells 5,000 points for $67.50 (or less via targeted offers after you sign in). My account is targeted for a 75% bonus on purchases of 15K+. I can purchase 35K points for $250 or just $35.71 per 5K points.

If those points don’t post instantly you can call IHG to get a points loan based on your purchase confirmation number in order to quickly grab a room. Alternatively you can transfer 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG, though transfers are not instant. It’s a terrible use of Ultimate Rewards points (as they’re were more than twice that to brokers or when transferred to other airlines or hotels), but it allows you to start buying points for 0.7 cents each.

If you already have IHG points in your account then you can buy points on the cheap via making a cash and points booking.

Be sure to click on the rules during the checkout process to make sure that the room is fully refundable (almost all are):

-The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Meadowlands allows you to redeem 5K points and $70 for a night, just click “more options” and then select rewards nights. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 15K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 10K points for $70, or just $35 per 5K points.

-The Candlewood Suites Secaucus allows you to redeem 10K points and $99 for a night. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 25K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 15K points for $99, or just $33 per 5K points.

-The Crowne Plaza White Plains allows you to redeem 10K points and $125 for a night. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 30K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 20K points for $125, or just $31.25 per 5K points.

Where can you stay for 5K points?
The full current list is here, but here are a few samples:
-Candlewood Suites Disneyland Anaheim, CA
-Crowne Plaza Stamford, CT
-Crowne Plaza Edison, NJ
-Staybridge Suites Stroudsburg Poconos, PA

-Holiday Inn Express Pretoria, South Africa
-Holiday Inn Express Edmonton Airport, Canada
-Holiday Inn Frankfurt Airport, Germany
-Holiday Inn Nola-Naples, Italy
-Holiday Inn Panama Canal, Panama
-Holiday Inn Rosebank Johannesburg, South Africa
-Hotel Indigo Krakow, Poland
-Intercontinental Real Sando Dominigo, Dominican Republic
-Staybridge Suites Calgary Airport, Canada

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Is It Worth Paying 1.87% To Pay Your Taxes Via Credit Card?

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

On the IRS website you can find a processor that charges 1.87% to process your tax payment via credit card.

It can definitely make sense to pay your taxes via credit card if you are signing up for a card and are trying to reach a spend threshold that you won’t be able to reach without some help.

But what about if you don’t have any spend thresholds to meet?

-If you pay at least $5,000 in taxes on your Business Platinum card you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar spent. Those points are “hybrid” points. You can transfer them into real airline miles from any alliance. Or you can redeem them for paid travel. Thanks to the 50% points rebate those points will be worth at least 2% each, meaning you’ll be earning at least 3% back for the spending.

The $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points worth at least $152.82.

Update: 100K Offer Expired! If you open the Business Platinum card during the 100K limited time offer that’s ending on 1/25 and spend $15,000 on taxes you will pay $280.50 in fees. You will earn the 100K signup bonus plus 22,922 points for spending, for a total of 122,922 points that are worth at least $2,458.44 towards airfare.

That tax payment fee may be tax-deductible, you should speak to your tax preparer about that. If you can deduct the fee that changes the math based on your marginal tax rate.

You can also request a refund for any overpayment when you file your taxes and the IRS will cut cut you a check or a direct deposit into your checking account.

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card offers 1.5 points per dollar everywhere if you have 30 total transactions that billing period. The card also offers up to 4.5 points per dollar in categories like groceries, gas, and Uber. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points transferable to airline miles. If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN has no annual fee and offers 2.3 points per dollar during the first year the card is open on up to $50,000 in purchases.  A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 11,716 points. After the first year you’ll earn 1.3 points per dollar or 6,623 points. You’ll need an AMEX Everyday, Gold, or Platinum card to transfer those points into miles. If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card is the only no-annual fee card that can transfer points into airline miles.  It offers 1.2 miles per dollar spent. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 6,112 points transferable to airline miles.  If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

-The Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. If you have a Sapphire Preferred/Reserve or Ink Bold/Plus/Preferred you can transfer those points into airline miles or hotel points. If you have a Sapphire Reserve you can also redeem those points for 1.5 cents each towards travel. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points transferable to airline miles if you or an additional user have one of the aforementioned card or useable for $114.62 towards travel with a Sapphire Reserve.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX have the ability to transfer points into dozens of different airlines at a 20K:25K ratio, effectively 1.25 miles per dollar spent everywhere. If you owe $20,000 in taxes and pay for it on your Starwood card you’ll pay $374 and you’ll get 20,374 Starpoints which can be transferred into 25,374 miles. If you spend $30K/year you qualify for SPG and Marriott Gold status.

-The Discover it Miles card gives 3 “miles” per dollar everywhere for the first year that you have the card.  They’re worth 1 cent each, so you’ll come out 1.13% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

-The Barclaycard Arrival Plus gives 2 points per dollar plus a 5% rebate on redemptions, so you’ll come out .18% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

-The Citi Double Cash card gives 2% cash back, so you’ll come out .13% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

Other cards offer benefits for hitting annual spend thresholds.

-The JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard offers mosaic status for spending $50K annually. Mosaic status includes free changes and cancellations on JetBlue tickets for the Mosaic member and for everyone on their itinerary, 2 free checked bags, 15K bonus points for earning Mosaic status every year, free even more speed checkin and security access, early boarding, 3 additional points per dollar spent, free alcoholic beverages onboard, and a dedicated Mosaic 24/7 customer service line.

-The Delta Platinum and Reserve consumer cards and Delta Platinum and Reserve business cards offer elite qualifying miles for meeting annual spend thresholds. If you spend $25K/year you’ll also waive the requirement to spend a minimum amount on Delta flights to earn elite status.

-Spending $25K/year on the United Explorer card earns 10K bonus miles and waives the requirement to spend a minimum amount on United flights to earn Silver, Gold, or Platinum elite status. The United Club card offers 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere. Both United cards give access to expanded saver award availability, priority boarding, and keep your miles from expiring for as long as you’re a cardholder.

-Lots of other cards have threshold bonuses. The Chase Hyatt card gives elite night credits if you spend $20K or $40K, though that ends in February. The Chase Ritz Carlton card gives Marriott and SPG Gold status for spend $10K/year and Platinum status for spending $75K/year. The Chase Marriott gives an elite credit for every $3,000 spent. The AMEX Hilton and Citi Hilton cards award Gold status for spending $20K/yead and the AMEX Hilton Surpass and Citi Hilton Reserve award diamond status for spending $40K/year. The Citi Hilton Reserve also gives a free hotel night for spending $10K/year. The Chase Southwest cards give companion pass status if you earn 110K points in a year. The Chase Fairmont gives a free night for $12K/year. The Citi AA Executive card awards 10K elite qualifying miles for spending $40K/year. My grandfathered Ink Bold Exclusives card gives 167,500 miles if you spend $100K/year, etc, etc.

Is it worth it? It all depends on what you do with your miles.

Mimi and I flew to NYC last month on a last-minute ticket that would have cost $1,100. Not a bad deal for 15K Avios.

The value of airline miles is huge if you fly last-minute, one-way, or in business or first class internationally.

57.3K points transferred to Singapore is enough for a ticket in a private couples suite on an A380 one-way from JFK to Frankfurt.

With hybrid points you can always get a great value by using the points directly for paid tickets or you can transfer them into airline miles so that you are always be a step ahead of the airline’s game. Transfer points when outsized award values are available or redeem directly for paid flights when they are not.

Of course there are much cheaper ways of manufacturing spend to buy miles for less, but considering that this takes zero effort, it’s not a bad deal.

You can make 2 payments per credit card processor for each quarterly estimate or for your year end bill. You can make another 2 payments each time by using a spouses name to pay.

You can also pay with a debit card for a $2.25 or $2.59 flat fee in case you have a mileage earning debit card or gift cards to cash out.

Do you pay your taxes with a credit or debit card? Or is it too pricey of a method to buy miles? Sound off in the comments!

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IHG 2017 Category Changes

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Update: Today is the last day to book under the current award chart rates.


Originally posted on 12/28:

IHG’s 2017 category changes go into effect 1/15/17.

Hundreds of hotels are chaning categories and the vast majority are getting more expensive.

If you want to lock in lower rates but are short on points you can buy points from IHG here. Once you have 5,000 points in your account you can buy points via the method described here for $31 per 5K points.

Sample hotels getting more expensive (Book these now):
-Staybridge Suites Thornhill Toronto: Was 15K, now 20K
-Holiday Inn Tbilisi, Georgia: Was 15K, now 20K
-Holiday Inn Lisbon: Was 15K, now 25K
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fairbanks: Was 15K, now 25K
-Holiday Inn Amsterdam Area Towers: Was 20K, now 25K
-Crowne Plaza LAX: Was 25K, now 30K
-Holiday Inn Montreal Downtown: Was 25K, now 30K
-Holiday Inn Auckland: Was 25K, now 30K
-Holiday Inn JFK: Was 25K, now 35K
-Holiday Inn LGA: Was 25K, now 35K
-Holiday Inn Aruba Resort and Casino: Was 30K, now 35K
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kailua-Kona: Was 30K, now 40K
-Intercontinental Prague: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Canyon: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Manhattan-Financial District: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Cancun: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Old Sydney: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Niagara Falls: Was 35K, now 40K
-Intercontinental Porto, Portugal: Was 35K, now 45K
-Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City: Was 50K, now 60K
-Intercontinental Boston: Was 55K, now 60K
-Intercontinental Washington DC The Willard: Was 55K, now 60K
-Intercontinental Sydney: Was 55K, now 60K

Sample hotels getting less expensive (Wait until 1/15 to book these):
-Holiday Inn Helsinki : Was 25K, now 20K
-Holiday Inn London West: Was 30K, now 25K
-Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Center: Was 30K, now 25K

Which hotel’s category change will affect you the most?

HT: moe8555, via DDF

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Last Chance For Chase Sapphire Reserve 100,000 Point Signup Bonus; Get $2,100 In Travel!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Update, 1/12: This offer is set to expire at about noon, EST. As long as the landing page shows the 100,000 point bonus you can still signup for the card!


You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.


Related:
-Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
-Final Hours To Earn 100K+ Chase Points On 1 Card; Here Are 22 Ways You Can Use Those Points!


The Chase Sapphire Reserve took the mileage world by storm last year by offering 100,000 signup points and a boatload of other benefits. Chase took a $200-$300MM loss just in the 2016 Q4 on the card, so it’s no surprise that the massive signup bonus is coming to an end.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site

Currently the card offers 100,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months. Effective 1/12 that will go down to 50K points for spending $4,000. This offer will go offline sometime on the 11th, so try to apply by 1/10 to lock in the 100K bonus. The 100K bonus should be available in branch until 3/12.

You can use the 100K points for $1,500 in travel or you can transfer them into airline miles or hotel points.

The $300 in travel spend and $100 Global Entry fees that are refunded count towards the $4K threshold. You’ll even get the keep the bonus points for travel spending that is refunded. The annual fee does not count towards the spend threshold.

Note that if you have opened up 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 2 years it can be difficult to get approved for most cards from Chase. Read more about 5/24 here.

Annual fee:

The card has a $450 annual fee which is not waived for the first year. The effective annual fee though is much lower thanks to the travel credit.

Travel credit:

The Sapphire Reserve offers a $300 automatic travel credit to offset the annual fee.

The credit is good for any kind of travel related spending including airfare, car rentals, hotels, Disney tickets, Cruises, subways, taxis, and much more. Read a list of confirmed transactions that will trigger a credit here.

As the credit is per calendar year that means you’ll get $600 of travel refunds in your first cardmembership year with a $300 credit in 2017 and a $300 credit in 2018.

You must finish 2017 travel spending before your December 2017 statement closes and you you can start 2018 travel spending in December 2017 after your December statement closes.

Combined with the signup bonus that means you can get $2,100 in travel in your first cardmembership year.

After the first year, the annual travel credit effectively lowers the annual fee of the card to $150 per year. That’s only $55 per year more than Sapphire Preferred and it comes with a lot of valuable benefits that make the card a keeper:

Sapphire Reserve offers 3 points per dollar on all of the travel items listed in this post. It also offers triple points on dining including restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, bars, lounges, and cafes.

There are no foreign transaction fees.

You’ll be able to access over 900 clubs worldwide with Priority Pass and you can bring unlimited guests with you into the lounge for free! That includes lounges with kosher food and wine in Newark and Tel Aviv. You can call Chase to enroll in Priority Pass or you can enroll online here. You can even pay to access Priority Pass lounges before you get your membership card and you can call Chase to refund those lounge entries!

The Newark Art & Lounge in Terminal B is located before security and doesn’t require a boarding pass, so you can stop in for free kosher food and wine at any time!

Every 4 years you can get a $100 credit for a 5 year Global Entry membership which also includes TSA pre-check. That means you can skip the lines and forms when flying back from abroad and you can leave your shoes on, laptops in their bags, and go through metal detectors when flying from the US. It makes flying so much easier!

Additional cardholders cost $75/year and include a Priority Pass membership with free guesting privileges as well.

Increased cash back or miles:
The Sapphire Reserve allows you to use all your Chase points for 1.5 cents each per dollar towards travel.

The ability to choose between 1.5 cents per dollar or mileage transfers make Sapphire Reserve an incredibly versatile credit card. Thanks to their ability to be used at a high value as miles or when redeemed directly from Chase for travel, I called them “Hybrid points.”

You can choose to hunt for award tickets bargains and then transfer them into real airline miles instantly. The value of airline miles can be extremely high for one-way tickets, last-minute tickets, and first class tickets.

Or you can just use them for paid airfare, hotels, car rentals, or activities at a value of 1.5 cents each.

You can earn even more by spending on other Chase cards and transferring those points to Sapphire Reserve:
-If you have a Freedom Unlimited card you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere that are worth 2.25% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have a Freedom card you earn 5 points per dollar on rotating categories that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have Ink Plus or Ink Cash card you earn 5 points per dollar on office supplies, gift cards from office supply stores to hundreds of other stores, and telecom that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve. Gas, hotel, and dining purchases also have double point bonuses worth 3% towards travel.
-If you have Ink Business Preferred card you earn 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and telecom, and advertising on social media and search engines.that are worth 4.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.

That means you can be earning between 2.25%-7.5% back everywhere.

If you already have a Sapphire Preferred card you can downgrade it to Freedom or Freedom Unlimited to take advantage of their spending benefits and you can always transfer those points to Sapphire Reserve to make them 50% more valuable.

As a Visa Infinite card, it also comes with some benefits like discounts on car rentals, including 30% off at Silvercar.

Sapphire Reserve comes with primary rental car CDW insurance in every country in the world. Most other cards only have secondary coverage when you rent a car in your home country. This means that if you damage your rental vehicle you must file the claim with your own personal insurance policy first, and only if they won’t cover the damage will the credit card cover the damage. Even additional cardholders get primary coverage when they rent.

Most credit cards also exclude countries like Israel from coverage, however all Chase cards cover you worldwide, including in Israel. And they will give you a letter of coverage stating that you are covered in Israel so that you don’t have to argue at the rental car counter that your Chase Visa does give CDW coverage.

Plus you get triple points on car rentals, meaning there is no better card out there for car rentals!

-Roadside Assistance: Coverage for up to 4 incidents per year. The battery in my 2011 Altima died on me twice in the past month and Chase sent out assistance with ease. And yes, I did finally buy a new car battery.

-Trip cancellation insurance is free.
Trip cancellation reimburses up to $10,000 per person, up to $20,000 per trip, and up to $40,000 per year if you need to cancel for injury, death, or sickness experienced by you, a traveling companion, or an immediate family member of you or your traveling companion. Other covered reasons include severe weather, military orders, terrorism, jury duty, home dwelling becoming inhabitable, quarantine, or financial insolvency of the travel agency or operator of your trip.

Other card benefits include:
-Price protection. Find a lower price in a store or online on a non-auction site within 90 days and get back up to $500/item and $2,500/year.
-Return protection. Return an item to a store that won’t take back an item for up to 90 days ($500/item, $1,000/year)
-Purchase protection: 120 days of protection in case of damage or theft on items you buy ($10,000/item, $50K/year)
-Warranty protection: An extra year of warranty coverage on purchases ($10K/item, $50K/account)
-Lost Luggage Protection: If your checked or carry-on bags are lost you can be reimbursed by up to $3,000 per person.
-Trip Delay Protection: If you are delayed that either requires an overnight stay or is more than 6 hours you can be reimbursed for up to $500 in expenses per person.
-Baggage Delay Protection: If your bags are delayed by more than 6 hours you can be reimbursed for up to $100 in expenses per person per day, for up to $500 per person.
-Travel Accident Insurance: Coverage if you are injured or killed on a trip.
-Visa Infinite Concierge is included free of charge.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card earns Ultimate Rewards points and has the ability to transfer points into miles.  It also gives you the ability to transfer points from fantastic no annual fee cards like Chase Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Cash into miles as well, as those cards can’t transfer points directly into miles without having the Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Plus card.

You can also transfer points at an equal ratio to your own or to one authorized user’s airline and hotel programs:
-United (Star Alliance)
-Singapore (Star Alliance)
-British Airways (OneWorld)
-Korean (Skyteam)
-Air France/KLM Flying Blue (Skyteam)
-Southwest
-Virgin Atlantic
-Hyatt
-Marriott
-Ritz Carlton
-IHG

Point Currency:

Chase Ultimate Rewards offer instant and fee-free transfers to top-notch mileage and points programs at a 1:1 ratio.

You can transfer points to a household member’s Chase card or to an authorized user’s airline/hotel programs.

You can also transfer points to Chase business Ink cards like Ink Plus and Ink Cash where you can transfer from there to other business owner’s cards and/or programs.

Transfer partners include:
United (Star Alliance) is an excellent currency. They never charge fuel surcharges, they allow one-way awards for half the mileage, they have short-haul awards for 10,000 miles, they often run discounted award promotions, they allow for an “excursionist perk“, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards, though partner American has been stingy with award space of late. Awards start from just 4.5K miles. Flights to Israel on Air Berlin are just 60,000 miles round-trip with no fuel surcharges. They allow one-way awards for half the mileage. There are no close-in or expedite fees. You can cancel an award for as little as $5.60. Infants are only charged 10% of the miles on international trips instead of 10% of the full fare like US carriers charge. Plus they don’t collect fuel surcharges on American within the western hemisphere, on Qantas from or within Australia, on Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Alaska, or LAN and you can transfer points to Iberia to limit fuel surcharges there as well.
You can read more in this post on everything you need to know about BA Avios. And you can see 110 places you can go to nonstop from NYC with Avios.
Korean (Skyteam) offers unbeatable first class availability (A380 First Class Trip Report here) and they also have true bargains on partner travel, just 30,000 miles to fly round-trip on Hawaiian or Alaska to Hawaii in coach or 60,000 miles in first. And it’s just 20,000 miles to fly to Alaska in coach or 40,000 miles in first. You can even get a free stopover on the way to or in Alaska! If there is Delta saver availability you can even fly to Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands round-trip for just 25,000 miles in coach or 45,000 miles in business. 
Air France/KLM Flying Blue (Skyteam) offers promo awards from rotating North American cities to Europe, Israel, and Russia from just 12,500 miles each way. Regular awards to Israel are just 25K miles each way, though some fuel surcharges apply on most airlines except for Delta.
Singapore (Star Alliance) offers private walled-in first class suites that can only be booked with their miles. A suite one-way from JFK to Europe is 57,375 miles. Travel to the US48, Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, and Israel can all be had on the cheap. There are no close-in booking fees and changes and cancellations are very cheap. Fuel surcharges apply when flying on most airlines besides United. More info here.
Southwest offers a value of about 1.7 cents per point towards award travel, though that rate can now vary. Plus you get 2 free checked bags, free flight changes or flight cancellations. and you can even get a point refund if the price of your flight goes down.
Virgin Atlantic has some niche uses with awards on Delta.
Hyatt is a very powerful hotel currency. They have a cash and points option that offers some excellent values and more importantly those stays earn points, elite stay credits, promo credits, and you can use suite upgrades on cash and point stays as well. It remains far less expensive for high-end hotel stays than any other hotel program.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG.

-Generally speaking you’ll want to use the 1.5 cents per point option when redeeming for round-trip coach tickets booked in advance. You’ll generally want to transfer to miles for business class, first class, last minute and one-way coach awards. You’ll be better off with 1.5 cents per points for IHG and Marriott hotels, but Hyatt points can often be worth more than 1.5 cents each, so you’ll want to transfer points to Hyatt in those cases.

Will you be signing up for Sapphire Reserve before the 100K bonus goes away? Hit the comments!

HT: 12HRS, via DDF and TPG

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Final Hours To Earn 100K+ Chase Ultimate Rewards Points On 1 Card; Here Are 22 Ways You Can Use Those Points!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The Chase Sapphire Reserve’s whopping 100,000 point bonus ends this afternoon for online applications.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site

You need to spend $4,000 to get the bonus within 3 months, though the card counts the $300 in refunded travel expenses and $100 in refunded Global Entry/Pre-Check fees towards the $4K. If you visit Priority Pass lounges before you get your physical membership card you can get those charges refunded and they will also count towards the $4K. The Newark Art & Lounge used by El Al is located before security and doesn’t require a boarding pass. You can stop in there for free kosher food and wine at any time!

When you’re done spending $4,000 you’ll have between 104K-112K points depending on your spending categories.

If you and your spouse each signup you can quickly have double that. I helped a friend apply and get approved for a Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and an Ink Business Preferred card via 3BM and now he has a quarter million points!

What can you do with the 104K-112K points you’ll have after opening a Sapphire Reserve and meeting the spend threshold?

There are endless possibilities, but here are 20 in no particular order.

Point transfers to all airline and hotel partners are at a 1:1 ratio.

1. You can redeem them for $1,100 in cash.

I hope you don’t, but the option is available if you just want to take the cash and run.

2. You can redeem 110K points for $1,650 in travel.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you redeem for travel at a value at 1.5 cents per point, a 50% bonus from cards like Chase Freedom. (Or course you can still spend on Freedom to earn 5 points per dollar and then transfer them to Sapphire Reserve to make them worth 1.5 cents each).

You can transfer points from your other cards and from cards belonging to your spouse or additional cardholders to your Sapphire Reserve as well to redeem them for 1.5 cents each.

That includes airfare, hotels, car rentals, or travel activities redeemed via the Chase travel portal.

You can also call to book awards not found on the portal, like to book Southwest flights.

You can save tons of miles this way when redeeming for inexpensive coach flights.

The same United flight that is 49.9K Chase points…

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…would cost 170K United miles+$46:

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The same Delta flight that is 49.9K Chase points…

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…would cost 140K Delta miles+$46:

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3. You can transfer points to United to book 11 short-haul one-way awards (10K each) or 8 long-haul domestic one-way awards (12.5K each).

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Even last-minute flights are just 10K-12.5K miles. I’ve redeemed for last-minute flights that would have otherwise cost more than $1,000 for 10K miles, talk about a good use of miles!

4. You can transfer points to Korean to book 4 round-trips to Hawaii (25K miles) on Delta or 5 round-trips to Alaska on Alaska Airlines (20K miles).

There are no fuel surcharges.

JFK-Honolulu nonstop for 25K miles round-trip:

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The 25K coach award and 45K first class award within North America applies for any travel within “Mexico, United States (including Hawaii), US Virgin Islands, Canada, and Puerto Rico” Read more about this option here.

5. You can transfer points to Korean to book a first class suite from JFK to Asia or Asia to Tel Aviv for 80K miles:

You can fly in a Kosmo 2.0 walled-in suite on a brand new 747-8 from JFK to Seoul for just 80K miles+$104. If you were paying cash for the flight it would set you back over $10,000, so this is a value greater than 12 cents per mile:

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80K miles plus $23 is enough to fly in first class from Seoul to Tel Aviv. Or fly from Asia to Tel Aviv for 35K in coach or 62.5K in business.

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6. You can transfer to British Airways for 24 one-way international short-haul awards (4.5K each) or 14 domestic short-haul awards (7.5K each).

You can fly short hauls like London-Milan, Iguazu Falls-Sao Paulo, Johannesburg-Victoria Falls, Hong Kong to Taiwan, Melbourne to Sydney, and between most cities within Europe for 4.5K Avios.

You can fly between New York and places like Bermuda, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, Orlando, Montreal, Pittsburgh, or Toronto, or between Miami and the Bahamas or Cancun, or between LA and Cabo on OneWorld partner American.for 7.5K Avios.

7. You can transfer to British Airways for 7 one-way domestic first class short-haul awards (15K each).

These used to cost 30K Avios as American coded their domestic first class flights as true first class, costing 4 times the price of coach. Now they have been reclassified as business class which means it only costs twice the price coach.

There are no fuel surcharges.

If you find nonstop MileSAAver award space on AA.com then BA can book it. For example NYC-Miami in business class is 25K AA miles or just 15K BA Avios. Plus BA only charges $5.60 to refund your award versus $150 to refund an AA award.

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8. You can transfer to Singapore for 5 one-way flights on United in a lie-flat business class bed between Newark and Los Angeles or San Francisco (20K miles each).

Singapore only charges 20K miles each way for domestic business or first class on United. The same rates apply for United’s premium service between Newark and Los Angeles or San Francisco!

There are no fuel surcharges.

9. You can transfer to Singapore for 2 one-way flights in a couples suite between JFK and Frankfurt.

You can fly in Singapore suites class from JFK to Frankfurt for just 57,375 miles one-way with the 15% online booking discount that is applied after selecting a flight.  This is truly an aspirational award and Singapore service is second to none.  You’ll even have access to the Virgin Clubhouse in JFK with good kosher meals as well.

Fuel surcharges are about $200.

You can read my trip report on flying Singapore to Paris here.

There are single and double suites available. This is the double:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. You can transfer miles to British Airways for 9 one-way nonstop from the West Coast to any Hawaiian Island.

You can fly from the west coast nonstop to Hawaii on AA or Alaska for just 12.5K Avios each way.

Note that you must call BA to book awards on Alaska.

There are no fuel surcharges.

11. You can transfer to Hyatt for 4-9 nights in resorts like the Park Hyatt Maldives.

The Hyatt award chart is great for high-end hotels.  It caps out at 30K points for real gems like the Park Hyatt Sydney, the Park Hyatt Paris, and the Park Hyatt Zurich that can go for $1,500 per night.  Other hotel chains charge double, triple, or quadruple that amount of points for their high-end properties and they’re not nearly as good as the Park Hyatt chain.

Park Hyatt Sydney

A real sweet spot for Hyatt points are cash and points for category 6 hotels. These include real gems like the Park Hyatt Maldives, Grand Hyatt Kauai, the Andaz Maui, the Confidante Miami Beach, the Hyatt Carmel Highlands, and the Andaz 5th Avenue.

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Andaz Maui

The Park Hyatt Maldives can also go for $1,500 per night but it’s just 25K points!

 

You can stretch your points even farther by using just 12,500 points plus $150 per night for a category 6 hotel.  Best of all it’s considered a paid stay, so you qualify for promotions and can use suite upgrade certificates.

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There are also incredible uses for lower categories.

Category 3 hotels include the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach Honolulu, the Hyatt Place LaGuardia, the Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo, the Hyatt Palm Springs, CA.

You can stay in a category 4 property for just 15K points or 7.5K points+$100 in hotels like the highly rated Andaz Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica, the Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami, the Park Hyatt Toronto, the Hyatt Regency Kowloon, Hong Kong, the Park Hyatt Seoul, or the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile.

Category 5 hotels include the Andaz West Hollywood in LA, the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort an hour south of LA, the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort just north of San Diego, the Hyatt Regency Maui, the Hyatt Place NYC, and 2 of my favorite Hyatt hotels, the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, and the Park Hyatt Melbourne.

Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

12. You can transfer points for 2 or 3 one-ways from Bangkok to Sydney.

Want to get to the Park Hyatt Sydney and see the opera house from your bed?

When Mimi and I flew around the world in 2010 we started off in Thailand and then flew down under to tour Australia for a few weeks.

It’s just 40K miles for a 10 hour flight in Thai first class from Thailand to Australia. You’ll even get an hour long massage for free in the Bangkok first class lounge.

There are no fuel surcharges.

13. You can transfer points to Korean to fly round-trip from Australia to New Zealand in an Emirates First Class A380…with a shower spa onboard.

While you’re down under, hop from Australia to New Zealand in gilded style on Emirates and brag about taking a shower 39,000 feet in the air.

An A380 first class flight from the US to Dubai would run 210K Korean miles.  There are cheaper ways of doing that with miles from JAL, though you’ll need Starpoints to transfer to JAL.

14. Transfer to Hyatt to help earn a Southwest companion pass.

Until 3/31 you can transfer hotel points to Southwest and they will count towards the 110K points needed to earn a companion pass valid for unlimited uses 12/31/18.

While transfers from Chase don’t count for companion pass, transfers from Hyatt do.

50K Chase points transfers into 50K Hyatt points. 50K Hyatt points transfers into 30K Southwest points and those points will count towards the 110K requirement.

If you transfer 100K Chase points to Southwest via Hyatt you’ll have 60K points towards the 110K requirement.

If you don’t have any Starpoints or Marriott points to transfer to Southwest you would need 200K Chase points which would become 120K Southwest points via Hyatt and you would have the companion pass.

Points earned from the Southwest credit cards also count towards the 110K requirement.

15. Transfer to Southwest points.
There are no aspirational awards with Southwest, but you will get a decent value per point towards award travel.
Plus you get 2 free checked bags, free flight changes and flight cancellations. You can even get a point refund if the price of your flight goes down. There are no fuel surcharges.

A flight from Long Beach to Vegas is just 987 points+$5.60 one-way, a value of 2.4 cents per point. And it can be cancelled at any time with no penalty!

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16. Transfers points to Singapore and fly round-trip on United between the US48 and Alaska for 25K miles in coach or 40K in business class.

United charges 35K miles to get to stunning Alaska in coach and 60K in business.  Transfer miles to Singapore and they’ll book those same flights for just 25K or 40K.

There are no fuel surcharges.

Never thought of going to Alaska?  Read Something Fishy’s epic trip report with his trademark stunning pictures and you’ll want to start planning a trip.


Photo credit, Something Fishy, Trip Report part 2.

 

17. Transfer points to Singapore to fly round-trip on United between the US49 and Hawaii for 35K miles in coach or 60K in business class.

United charges 45K miles to get to the paradise also known as Hawaii in coach and 80K in business.  Transfer miles to Singapore and they’ll book those same flights for just 35K or 60K.

There are no fuel surcharges.

Need some inspiration for a Hawaii trip? This should keep you busy for a while:

DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler:
Part 1: General Info And The Island Of Oahu
Part 2: The Big Island of Hawaii
Part 3: Maui
Part 4: Kauai

Trip reports and posts on Hawaii:
-Trip Notes: Maui No Ka ‘Oi (2014)
-Trip Notes Kauai: Heaven On Earth (2014)
-The Hawaiian Islands. (2011)
-Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old (2011)
-View From The Room (2011)
-Pearl Harbor…70 Years (2011)
-Shaloha! (2011)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)

DDF forum threads:
Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
-Lanai, Molokai, and Niihau, Hawaii Master Thread
Maui Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread
-Links to trip reports from other DDF members.
-Something Fishy’s Maui trip report.

18. Transfer points to Singapore and fly one-way on United between the US and Israel for 37.5K miles in coach or 57.5K in business class.

Singapore charges fuel surcharges on most airlines, but not on United.

While you may be better off redeeming points for a round-trip, one-way tickets are notoriously expensive and can be a great use of a mileage redemption.

Note that if you want to travel on other airlines you may do better transferring to United, where fuel surcharges are never collected.

You’ll need to call Singapore to book.

19. Transfer points to Air France/KLM Flying Blue to book travel to Israel for 12.5K-18,750 miles each way.

Air France and KLM have monthly promo awards where you can book travel to/from the US and Europe, Israel, or Russia for just 12.5K or 18,750 miles each way in coach or 46,875 miles in business class.

You can view this month’s promo awards here.

Fuel surcharges can add $90 in coach or $220 in business.

20. Transfer to United for the excursionist perk.

Sure you can use 85K miles to fly from Tel Aviv to NYC.

But why not make life more interesting and fly to NYC and Alaska for the same amount of miles thanks to the excursionist perk.

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21. Transfer to British Airways and fly from JFK to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific business class for 37.5K Avios or first class for 50K Avios.

Cathay Pacific has the most comfortable seat, bed, and first class Pajamas in the sky.

You can fly in business class nonstop from JFK to Vancouver for 37.5K Avios in business class or 50K Avios in first class each way.

I’ve flown this route in 2011 and 2016 and it’s by the far the best flight within North America. Vancouver is also a fantastic city with amazing sights and great kosher food. I keep finding myself wanting to return and I’ll do just that for Pesach this year where I’ll talk more about some great redemption options.

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22. Bid on United exclusive experiences.

United auctions off some incredible experience with their miles.

Until I tossed the first pitch before game 7 of last year’s World Series I thought that my coolest use of miles when redeeming 25K United miles to steal 2nd base in middle of the 7th inning.

Another reader then bought their son a Bar Mitzvah present that he’ll never forget with their United miles.

Have you used United miles to bid on experiences yet?

 

Points can also be transferred to Virgin Atlantic, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG.

What is your favorite use of Chase Ultimate Rewards points? Hit the comments!

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No, Starwood Hasn’t Eliminated Transfers To Virgin America; Should You Transfer Your Starpoints Now?

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Update, 1/6: Today is final day to make transfers from Starwood to Virgin America. Those points transfer at a 20K:25K ratio. Starting on 1/9 you can transfer points from Virgin America to Alaska at a 1:1.3 ratio, making the effective SPG: Alaska ratio 20K:32.5K.

Update, 12/28: SPG has announced that 1/6/17 will be the last day to transfer points to Virgin America. Will you transfer points from SPG to Alaska via Virgin America at a 1:1.625 ratio before then?


Originally posted on 12/21:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.


On Monday I wrote about an incredible use of Starpoints. You can transfer 20K SPG points into 25K Virgin America Elevate points. Effective 1/9/17 you’ll be able to transfer Virgin America points into Alaska miles at a 1:1.3 ratio, so those 20K Starpoints will become 32,500 Alaska miles.

That’s an effective 1.625 Alaska miles per Starpoint, an awesome transfer option considering:
The breadth of partners that Alaska has. They include American, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Korean, JAL, and Qantas.

-The very generous stopover and routing policies that Alaska has. You can get a free stopover on a one-way award. You can route from the US to Israel via Asia or from Hawaii to Asia via the US48, etc.

-The very generous award change and cancel policies. You can redeposit an award 60 days before a flight without any fees.

The very generous award charts that Alaska has.

A one-way flight to Europe or South America on American is just 20K coach off-peak, 30K coach peak, 50K business, or 62.5K first with no fuel surcharges.

One-way Flights to Asia on award-winning Cathay Pacific are just 30K coach, 35K premium economy, 50K business, or 70K first with no fuel surcharges.

One-way Flights to Israel on Cathay Pacific are 50K coach, 55K premium economy, 62.5K business, or 70K first with no fuel surcharges and a free stopover in Hong Kong if you want one. Cathay starts flying to Israel on March 26. You must call Alaska to book travel on Cathay Pacific.

You’ll effectively get 1.625 Alaska miles for each Starpoints, so just divide Alaska’s award rates by 1.625 to see how many effective Starpoints those routes will cost.

In other words a one-way business class flight to Israel would cost 62,500/1.625=about 38,461 Starpoints thanks to the 25% transfer bonus from Starwood to Virgin America and 30% transfer bonus from Virgin America to Alaska! A 40K Starpoints transfer would net 65K Alaska miles via Virgin America, more than enough for that award.

The big winners were those who already transferred Starpoints to Virgin America for the JetBlue Pointsmatch promo.

Several bloggers and DD readers have noted that Virgin America no longer appears on the SPG transfer page.

I reached out to Starwood and they confirmed that it’s merely a glitch and it will be restored:

 

I chatted with SPG and the agent confirmed that he would be able to transfer my Starpoints to Virgin America, despite the website glitch.

Of course eventually the transfer option will be eliminated as the Virgin America program is merged into Alaska’s. But until then, you can funnel Starpoints into Alaska miles at a great rate.

The only reason I haven’t done so yet is that I’m not sure how much I trust Alaska. They devalued their Emirates award chart without notice. They say they’ll never do that again, but if their American or Cathay Pacific redemption costs grow too high, do I really expect them to give fair notice?

It’s hard to say.

Alaska is also notorious for having a nasty audit department that heavily frowns on booking awards for others and credit card churning.

So I won’t proactively transfer Starpoints at this rate. But if you’re ready to book an award in the near future, it’s an awesome transfer ratio.

Then again, with new opportunities made possible by the Marriott merger such as new hotels, Southwest companion pass, and the recent United transfer bonus, there are more amazing uses for Starpoints than ever.

Will you transfer Starpoints into Alaska miles at a 1:1.625 ratio while the opportunity lasts?

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Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points And Get 2 Years Of Southwest Companion Pass Status Plus 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Related posts (Read these first!):
-Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More
-Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!
-Don’t Make This Mistake When Transferring Starpoints To Marriott Points
-Mileage Expiration And Points Transfer Chart For 54 Loyalty Programs, How To Keep Your Points From Expiring, And How To Bring Them Back To Life After They’ve Expired


On Sunday, Southwest stealthily changed their program rules without advance warning, removing hotel point transfers as a method to earn Southwest Companion Pass.

After an apparently controversial campaign to write to Southwest, file DoT complaints, and raise awareness of the change on social media, Southwest agreed to give a 3 month grace period to transfer hotel points and have them qualify to earn Companion Pass status. Southwest has posted about their change of heart here.

If you earn 110K Southwest points by 12/31/17 you’ll earn Southwest Companion Pass status that will be valid until 12/31/18. 

With Southwest Companion Pass you’ll get to bring a companion with you for free on all Southwest paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and Southwest tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest. There is no limit to how many times you can use the companion pass.

Southwest still offers 2 free checked bags. Plus you can cancel revenue tickets with no charge and use the funds for a future flight. Point reservations can be cancelled for free with the points redeposited back to your account.

Until 3/31/17 Southwest will count hotel point transfers towards companion pass status.

After 3/31/17 only points from the Southwest credit cards, from flying on Southwest, and base points earned through transactions with Rapid Rewards partners will count. However hotel transfers made by 3/31 will combine with points earned from Southwest credit cards and paid flights to earn companion pass status by earning 110K points by 12/31/17.

Note:
-Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards don’t count towards Companion Pass.
-You can’t transfer Starwood points directly to Southwest, but you can transfer Starwood points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio and then transfer Marriott points to Southwest.
-You can transfer 50K Chase points to 50K Hyatt and 50K Hyatt points into 30K Southwest points and those points will count for Companion Pass status.
-You can transfer Chase points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
-You can earn Companion status from signup up and spending on Southwest credit cards.
-You can transfer points to another Marriott member to complete an award.
-You can transfer points to another Starwood member living at your address.

If you use the regular Marriott Rewards transfer chart you would need 310K Marriott Rewards points to transfer 110K Southwest points.

However it’s a much better deal with Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would give you 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

A transfer of 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott Rewards points will make that happen.

You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.

-It will take 2-3 days for the points to reach Southwest and your Southwest account will be updated to Companion Pass status within a few days of the transfer.
-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get yourself into a higher hotel category or you can save points if you already earned Southwest points this year and don’t need 110K points for the Companion Pass.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.
-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.

You can view hotels by category and tier via the “find” button on this page.

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-120K Southwest points will net between $1,800-$2,400 of free flights. Thanks to the companion pass you can bring someone along for free, which will mean you can use those points for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights. Plus of course you’ll get a 7 night category 1-5 hotel stay. Not a bad deal for 90K Starpoints!

-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

-If you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

There is also a 5 night hotel+points option that can save you some Marriott points, but officially that’s only available for Marriott timeshare owners. 5 nights and 120K Southwest points would cost 235K Marriott points. That’s 35K fewer Marriott points than are required for the 7 night package. On rare occasions some reps will book the 5 night packages for non-timeshare owners.

You can buy Starpoints here if you need some extra points to top off your account.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.

-If you have the Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN you can call to have your Starwood account upgraded to Gold status which will then be matched to Marriott Gold as well!

-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 Rewards points (also transferable to 29,167 Starpoints) for spending $3,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Will you go for Companion Pass status before the hotel point transfer opportunity ends?

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Southwest Relents, Will Allow Hotel Point Transfers To Count For Companion Pass For 3 More Months!

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Update: Southwest has now posted this change on their website here.


On Sunday, Southwest stealthily changed their program rules without advance warning, removing hotel point transfers as a method to earn Southwest Companion Pass.

They timed that change exactly to the day when many people were waiting to transfer their hotel points in order to earn 2 full years of companion pass status.

Today they made matters worse by sending out emails congratulating people who didn’t get Companion Pass status for earning Companion Pass. That’s a whole new level of trolling.

I filed an official complaint about Southwest’s unannounced program rules change with the DoT and recommended that readers who felt that Southwest was being deceptive should do the same.

Many others took offense that I suggested taking that course of action. Some people felt so strongly that they even posted expletive filled messages.

Apparently sticking up for your rights and exercising free speech is now a bad thing. Would they feel the same if Southwest cut the value of their points in half without warning?

Others agreed with my approach and some even cancelled their Southwest credit cards due to their behavior.

I’ve had good luck with the DoT in the past. They helped me get a full refund and compensation for my cancelled American Airlines trip to London when they stranded us in JFK overnight.

The DoT responded to me as follows,

“This responds to your communication regarding Southwest Airlines. The U.S. Department of Transportation seeks to ensure that all airline passengers are treated fairly. Complaints from consumers are helpful to us in determining whether the airlines are in compliance with our rules and to track trends or spot areas of concern that warrant further action.

We will forward your complaint to the airline and ask the company to respond directly to you with a copy to us. Airlines are required to acknowledge receipt of a consumer complaint within 30 days and provide a substantive response to the complainant within 60 days. We will review the airline’s response. If you need to contact me, please include your name and case number (see above). I will make every effort to reply to your message within one business day.

If our review of your complaint and the response from the company discloses a potential violation of our rules, we may pursue enforcement action. Generally, we pursue enforcement action on the basis of a number of complaints which may indicate a pattern or practice of violating our rules. Your complaint may be among those considered and may lead to appropriate enforcement action including the assessment of civil penalties. However, we have no authority to order compensation for individual complainants.”

Zach Honig reports that Southwest has decided to relent rather than fight. Here is the statement they sent him,

“As we began the New Year on January 1, we took the opportunity to close a loophole in our Rapid Rewards Companion Pass terms and conditions related to transferred points from our Partners. This was an effort intended to clarify qualification requirements for Companion Pass, one of the best benefits in travel, as well as to protect the integrity and value of the Rapid Rewards program.
In doing so, we updated our terms and conditions which now clearly state that points transferred from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club will no longer count toward qualification for a Companion Pass. Members will continue to earn toward Companion Pass benefits through paid flights flown on Southwest, Points earned through spend with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit cards, and base points earned through transactions with Rapid Rewards partners.

Many of you have reached out to us since then, and we greatly appreciate your honest and candid feedback. Because we are a Company that values our Customers and believes in doing the right thing, we are offering a limited window for Customers to earn toward Companion Pass by transferring their loyalty points from these Partners.

To that end, points converted from the above mentioned programs will count towards a Companion Pass until March 31, 2017. This is a hard deadline and we will not be able to make any exceptions beyond March 31. If you have points with these Partners that you wanted to transfer, please do not wait. Make the transfer before the deadline.

We appreciate all of our Customers and look forward to seeing you onboard very soon!”


Sure it was a great opportunity, but personally I fail to see why this was a loophole. Regardless Southwest is well within their rights to change their program terms, provided they give advance notice. I applaud them for coming clean and making their customers whole.

I definitely think that the noise on social media as well as the DoT complaints helped the cause.

So there you have it. If you earn 110K points by 12/31/17 you will be able to take a companion with you for free whenever you fly on Southwest until 12/31/18. Until 3/31/17 it will count hotel point transfers towards companion pass status. After 3/31/17 only points from the Southwest credit cards, from flying on Southwest, and base points earned through transactions with Rapid Rewards partners will count. The companion pass works on paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest.

The best hotel transfer options are:
-Hyatt, where 50K points will earn 30K Southwest points. You can transfer Chase points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.
-Starwood, where 90K points can transfer into 270K points Marriott points which will earn 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott hotel. I’ve written about that option in the pass and will write more about that option shortly.

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Southwest Is Just Trolling Us Now

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

On Sunday we learned that Southwest is no better than the network carriers when they stealthily changed their program rules without advance warning.

I thought that move was dirty pool. Airlines make billions of dollars annually selling their miles to banks, hotels, and other partners. They owe it to consumers to give notice when they want to move the goal posts.

Some commenters felt I was wrong for telling people to write to Southwest executive and to complain to the DoT about Southwest’s change without warning here..
I don’t see what is wrong with asking the DoT their opinion on mileage program changes that are made without warning.

But now Southwest is just trolling us.

This morning they sent out an email to tons of former Companion Pass holders with the subject, “Congrats! You earned Companion Pass”
Lots of DDF members got this email, despite no longer having a companion pass:

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Don’t get your hopes up. Southwest isn’t handing out Companion passes if you got the email and didn’t earn it:

Stay classy there Southwest.

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Southwest Kills Companion Pass Earning Option Without Advance Warning

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Southwest updated their Companion Pass terms and conditions today to exclude point transfers from hotels.

The new paragraph they added into the terms excludes point transfer from hotel partners as Companion Pass qualifying,

“Purchased points, transferred points transferred between members, points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club, points earned from program enrollment, tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not qualify as Companion Pass Qualifying Points.”


This effectively kills the 90K Starpoints transfer into 120K Southwest points, companion pass, and 7 nights in a Marriott hotel.

There are still some other great Starwood transfer options including 90K Starpoints for 132K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott hotel. Or until 1/6/17 you can transfer Starpoints into Alaska miles via Virgin America at an outstanding 1:1.625 ratio.

When I wrote about that deal back in September I wrote,

“If you transfer points now then the Companion Pass status will expire on 12/31/17.
If you wait to do the transfer until 2017 then the Companion Pass status would last until 12/31/18. Then again, it’s always possible for Southwest to stop awarding Companion Pass status for hotel transfers, so you might want to take advantage of this deal while it’s still alive.”


And that’s exactly what Southwest has done. I’m just disappointed that Southwest didn’t give any advance warning. So much for Southwest being different than the network carriers.

#WhereIsTheLuv?

Feel free to Retweet to get Southwest’s attention:

You can also complain to the DoT about Southwest’s change without warning here.

HT: mochjas, via DDF and TPG

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Check To See Your Targeted Offer To Buy Starpoints

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Update: Commenter “mw” notes that you are now able to purchase more Starpoints even if you already purchased the maximum 30K Starpoints for your account earlier this year.

If your account is targeted for a discount you can also purchase Starpoints for other accounts with the same discount, just select “Give Starpoints.”

The discounted point offer ends tonight!


Originally posted on 11/3:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months


Starwood allows you to buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year. They are normally 3.5 cents each, but through 12/31 you can save between 25%-50% off Starpoints here.

Just login to your SPG account to find your offer. With the discount you can pay as little as 1.75 cents per Starpoint, a record low price for Starpoints if you have that offer. If you pay with a Starwood AMEX you’ll also get 2 points per dollar, so if you buy 30K points for $525 you’ll also be earning 1,050 Starpoints for the credit card purchase. In total you will have paid $525 for 31,050 Starpoints or 1.69 cents per Starpoint.

As Starpoints can convert to airline miles at a 20K:25K ratio, the cost per mile can be as low as 1.4 cents.  Starpoints can also convert to Marriott points at a 1K:3K ratio, so the cost per Marriott points can be as low as 0.58 cents each.

If you use your Starwood AMEX you’ll also get 2 Starpoints per dollar spent, so you’re effective cost per points will be just 1.69 cents as you’ll get an extra 1,050 Starpoints for a $525 purchase of 30,000 Starpoints.

Your account needs to be 14 days old to buy Starpoints. While there is a limit of 30K Starpoints per person, people living in the same household can transfer Starpoints between each other for free. It even extends the life of their Starpoints by another 18 months.

There are tons of great uses for Starpoints:

You can use them to stay in Starwood or Marriott hotels.

-You can transfer Starpoints to Alaska via Virgin America with a 62.5% bonus through 1/6/17. A flight from the US to Europe or South America will start at 12.3K Starpoints, business class on Cathay to Asia will be 30.7K Starpoints, and business class on Cathay to Israel will be 38.4K Starpoints after an effective 38.5% transfer discount.

90K Starpoints is currently enough for 132K United miles and a 7 night hotel stay via Marriott.

90K Starpoints is also enough for 7 nights in a Marriott hotel, 120K Southwest points, and a Southwest companion pass via Marriott that is valid for the remainder of the year and the entire following year. You can make the transfer in January of 2017 and you would be able to fly with a companion for free through December of 2018!

-Or you can start saving up to play softball in Wrigley, cruise to Antarctica, or throw out the first pitch of the 2017 World Series with SPG Moments.

What offer are you targeted for and will you be buying Starpoints?

HT: davidmal, via DDF

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Korean Now Selling SkyTeam Awards Online; Fly From JFK To Honolulu For 25K Miles Round-Trip!

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Related post: The Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Award Chart And Everything You Need To Know About The Hawaiian Islands!


Korean Air is known among mileage junkies for having the best first class award space in the industry. They also have a generous award hold policy and their miles don’t expire for 10 years.

You can fly in a Kosmo 2.0 walled-in suite on a brand new 747-8 from JFK to Seoul for just 80K miles+$104. If you were paying cash for the flight it would you back over $10,000, so this is a value greater than 12 cents per mile:

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And that’s the beauty of “hybrid points.” You can transfer Chase points from cards like Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Plus, or Ink Business Preferred at a 1:1 ratio to Korean to get the flight for 80K points. It would make no sense to redeem it directly from the Ink Plus or even the Chase Sapphire Reserve which makes your points worth 1.5 cents each with direct redemption:

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80K miles plus $23 is enough to fly in first class from Seoul to Tel Aviv:

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But it was news to me that you can now search for SkyTeam awards on KoreanAir.com

View the rest of this post after the jump:

(more…)

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Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Annual Travel Credit; Plus: Timing The Spending And A 2017 Spend Report

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Update: If you changed your due date to the 25th of the month then your statement should close on December 28th. You should make your travel charge by today to make sure that it posts by the 28th for a 2016 travel credit.


Originally posted on 12/4:

Related:
-Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds
-Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your AMEX Airline Fee Credit
-Now Is The Best Time To Apply For A Sapphire Reserve Or Business Platinum “Hybrid Card”

-30 Awesome Things You Can You Do With Ultimate Rewards Points
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered


You can spend $300 per year on travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. You’ll receive an automatic refund for transaction in any of these categories until you reach $300 in refunds per year. The credit will post within a few days of the spend.

Click here to view how much of your annual travel spend has already been credited:

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View the full list of valid travel charges after the jump:

(more…)

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HOT! 90% Off Garuda Indonesia Award Redemptions In All Classes!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Update, 12/24: This promotion has been cancelled as of today. If you held a reservation you can still ticket it until 12/31.


90% Off Garuda Indonesia Award Redemptions In All Classes!

With this promo you can save 90% on Garuda Indonesia award redemptions in coach, business, and first class.
You need to book travel by 12/31.
You can travel between 2/1 and 5/31.

You need to call to book this promo at +62-21-2351-9999

Youmay also be required to go into a ticket office to confirm your tickets. In the US those are located in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and NYC.

This promo has already reportedly been booked by DDF members.

Garuda Indonesia is a very highly rated Skytrax 5 star airline.

Their first class includes walled in suites and chauffeur service to and from the airport!

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I signed up for a mileage account here and got 200 miles instantly. It didn’t let me register with a US address, so I entered an address in Israel.

You can print a copy of your membership card upon enrolling. You may need that in case you need to go into an office to complete ticketing.

Once enrolled you can search for award availability, though you can’t book the 90% off promo online.

Unfortunately Garuda does not have flights to the US.

-You can transfer points from Citi to Garuda, but it will take 2-3 days. Some agents will hold award flights for you.

You can buy up to 50K miles per year for 3 cents each, but you need to fill out a form to purchase them and it’s unclear how long that process will take or how to even complete the process. If you try purchasing miles please let us know how it goes!

You can calculate the normal award rates here and take off 90% with this promo.

First class one-way award rates:
-London/LHR to/from Singapore: Normally 190K miles, now 19K miles.
-London/LHR to/from Jakarta: Normally 190K miles, now 19K miles.
-Amsterdam to/from Jakarta: Normally 190K miles, now 19K miles.
-Tokyo/HND to/from Jakarta: Normally 90K miles, now 9K miles.
-Tokyo/NRT to/from Bali: Normally 90K miles, now 9K miles.

Business class one-way award rates:
-London to/from Singapore: Normally 90K miles, now 9K miles.
-London to/from Jakarta: Normally 90K miles, now 9K miles.
-Amsterdam to/from Jakarta: Normally 90K miles, now 9K miles.
-Tokyo/HND to/from Jakarta: Normally 63K miles, now 6.3K miles.
-Tokyo/NRT to/from Bali: Normally 63K miles, now 6.3K miles.
-Sydney to/from Bali: Normally 54K miles, now 5.4K miles.
-Sydney to/from Jakarta: Normally 63K miles, now 6.3K miles.
-Melbourne to/from Bali: Normally 54K miles, now 5.4K miles.
-Melbourne to/from Jakarta: Normally 63K miles, now 6.3K miles.
-Perth to/from Bali: Normally 54K miles, now 5.4K miles.
-Perth to/from Jakarta: Normally 63K miles, now 6.3K miles.
-Shanghai to/from Bali: Normally 54K miles, now 5.4K miles.
-Shanghai to/from Jakarta: Normally 63K miles, now 6.3K miles.

Fuel surcharges can add $20-$200 per one-way award.

Be sure to call to confirm the details and check award space before transferring points to Garuda. Of course the award space can disappear before the transfer is complete, though award space appears to be excellent for now.

HT: Hershelsdeals, via DDF and Lucky

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Rare United Polaris Dreamliner Award Space Between Tel Aviv And San Francisco; United Now Has 747s Masquerading As 777s

Friday, December 16th, 2016

1. Business class award space between North America and Tel Aviv is notoriously scarce. So it’s news when non-Shabbos dates have business class award space from Tel Aviv.

United launched San Francisco-Tel Aviv nonstop service earlier this year and it has been wildly successful.

It’s operated by United’s 787-8 Dreamliners.

This Sunday there are 3 business class saver award seats from Tel Aviv to San Francisco and this Tuesday there are at least 9 business class saver awards seats.

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You can book those with 70K United miles one-way, but if you have Singapore miles (AMEX, Chase, Citi, and Starpoints can all be transferred there) you can book it for just 57.5K miles!

The only other non-Shabbos dates with nonstop business class saver award space from Tel Aviv to San Francisco is on September 4 and 11, which each have at least 9 seats available.

These business class seats include United’s newly launched Polaris business class service with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding and pillows. Smart travelers will also request a Saks Fifth Avenue mattress pad, gel cooled pillow, and Pajamas, as those are not offered proactively by flight attendants. The Pajamas are officially only offered on routes that are 12 or more hours.

2. There are also at least 9 business class class saver awards from San Francisco to Tel Aviv on Wednesday, 12/28.

That is currently the only business class class saver award from San Francisco to Tel Aviv that is not on Shabbos or Yom Tov until November 14th, though saver award space can change frequently.

It can also be booked for 70K United miles or 57.5K Singapore miles.

That’s a value of 13.4 cents per mile!

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3. I previously wrote about United having 747s masquerading as A320s on the Chicago-San Francisco route.

Well now they have 747s masquerading as 777s on the same route:

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United discontinued regular 747 domestic flying earlier this year, but you can find them occasionally making their way between Chicago-San Francisco. The problem is that unless you look at the seat map it can be very hard to tell that it’s a 747. If you search using ITA Matrix for 747s or if you click flight details or flight status on the United.com search page you won’t find a thing. United is discontinuing 747 service altogether in 2018.

I found them operating from Chicago-San Francisco and vice versa today, tomorrow, and Sunday.

I flew with Rafi on the upper deck on that route earlier this year and he had the time of his life. 8 months later and he still talks about all the time. Now that was a good use of miles!

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Don’t Make This Mistake When Transferring Starpoints To Marriott Points

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Related posts (Read these first!):
-Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More
-Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points, Southwest Companion Pass Status, And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!
-Mileage Expiration And Points Transfer Chart For 54 Loyalty Programs, How To Keep Your Points From Expiring, And How To Bring Them Back To Life After They’ve Expired


A few months ago Marriott completed their buyout of Starwood and starting allowing members to transfer points back and forth at a surprisingly fair ratio of 1 Starpoint to 3 Marriott Rewards Points.

I noted in this post that transferring Marriott points to Starwood extends the life of your Starpoints, but transferring Starpoints to Marriott points does not extend the life of your Marriott points.

Marriott has a 24 month expiration policy. Here is a list of activity that Marriott considers as qualifying to extend the life of your points.
FT member “Astrophsx” notes that his last qualifying Marriott activity was on 10/6/14. He transferred Starpoints to Marriott on 10/15/16. On 11/23/16 Marriott expired those points.

After several hours of work he was able to get those points reinstated, but there are lessons worth learning here. If you have a Marriott account that had points expire, don’t transfer Starpoints there and let them sit or else they will be lost. In fact there’s no reason to leave any points sitting in a Marriott account as Starwood’s expiration extension policy is far friendlier.

There are plenty of good reasons to transfer Starpoints to Marriott such as during the recent lucrative United+7 nights transfer promo or for a Southwest companion pass, though you should wait until 2017 to transfer points to Southwest. But I don’t recommend keeping any points in the Marriott program until you’re ready to redeem them.

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Turkish Airlines: Fly 1 Paid Round-Trip And Get Enough Miles For A Free Round-Trip Award Ticket!

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Update: Turkish Airlines has just added the following new rule to the promo page:
“Only the segmented members who be informed by Turkish Airlines can benefit from this campaign. Usage rights within the campaign can not be transferred to third parties. Turkish Airlines reserves legal rights in case of violation of this rule.”

For a limited time you can still view the page and save a screenshot as it was yesterday here.

I tweeted Turkish Airlines yesterday to confirm the promo details.

You can tweet Turkish Airlines @TK_HelpDesk and @turkishairlines and you can file an official DoT complaint here about their changing of the offer’s terms without notice.


Turkish Airlines: Buy A Round-Trip Ticket And Get Enough Miles For A Free Award Ticket!

In order to view the promo you will have to click on “Revert to old version” twice and then click on the link above again.

For example you can fly from:
-JFK to Tel Aviv from 12/7-12/14 for $789 in coach and you’ll get 64K Turkish miles for a future free round-trip coach ticket.
-Tel Aviv to JFK from 12/8-12/13 for $789 in coach and you’ll get 64K Turkish miles for a future free round-trip coach ticket.
-JFK to Tel Aviv from 12/13-12/20 for $2,724 in business and you’ll get 94K Turkish miles for a future free round-trip business ticket.

You must complete travel by 12/27/16 and give a Turkish mileage number at the time of booking to qualify for this bonus.

You can view how many miles you’ll earn with this promotion by looking at the Turkish Airlines award chart.

Coach passengers can check 2×50 pound bags and business passengers can check 2×70 pound bags.

Turkish Airlines’ US destinations include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, JFK, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Washington DC.

Turkish is a very highly rated airline. Thousands of religious Jews have taken their flights without issues and report that service has been far superior to other airlines. Turkish has an award winning Star Alliance lounge in Istanbul. They operate a whopping 8 flights a day between Istanbul and Tel Aviv.

Turkish offers freshly made kosher meals in all classes and they are highly rated! They are made in Turkey and are kosher supervised by the OK.

The full terms are as follows:
-With your roundtrip ticket purchased until 27 December 2016, you will be awarded with Miles equal to the amount of a roundtrip Award Ticket on the same route.
-This offer is valid from 10 November 2016 to 27 December 2016
-Flight starting point should be outside of Turkey.
-Tickets must be issued as round-trip and must be flown.
-Mileage earned from the flight will be rounded to the amount of the same round trip limited capacity award ticket.
-The related promotion will be applied only for Turkish Airlines scheduled flights. Promotion is not permitted on Turkish Airlines codeshare flights and Star Alliance member airline flights
-Only the flights issued during reservation or at the time of ticketing to the Miles&Smiles account will be considered valid.
-Retroclaim requests are not included for this promotion.
-Extra miles earned from this promotion will be posted to member’s account on 20th of January, 2017.
-All reservation classes (Economy/Business) except award ticket classes are valid for this promotion.
-Turkish Airlines has the right to change terms and conditions of the promotion.
-A member can join to this promotion only one time.
-If there is more than one round-trip flight within promotion dates, only the first one will be considered valid for promotion.

HT: Hershelsdeals, via DDF


Join the 77,800+ people who follow @DansDeals on twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

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Convert Hotel Points To Cathay Pacific Asia Miles And Get A 30% Bonus, 20K Starpoints=32.5K Asia Miles; OneWorld Mileage Bargains

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Convert Hotel Points To Cathay Pacific Asia Miles And Get A 30% Bonus

-Convert hotel points between 12/1-12/31 Hong Kong time and get a 30% bonus.
-Bonus miles will be added by 3/31/17.

-20K Starpoints normally converts into 25K Asia Miles. With this promotion it will convert into 32.5K Asia Miles once the bonus is added. That’s an effective 62.5% bonus.
-270K Marriott points (90K Starpoints can transfer to 270K Marriott points) normally converts into 85K Asia Miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. With this promotion it will convert into 110.5K Asia Miles once the bonus is added.

I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. I earned my first million miles with one airline on Cathay thanks to their eBay Anything Points partnership and have flown in many memorable first class flights around the world with them.

Like many OneWorld airlines, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles has a distance based chart. However unlike the charts of British Airways and LAN, they don’t charge more miles for connecting flights.

Cathay Pacific also charges lower fuel surcharges for travel on British Airways than other carriers do which is great as BA has the best OneWorld award availability.

Asia Miles also has access to more Cathay Pacific saver awards than partner airlines do.

This chart of every OneWorld flight from NYC will give you an idea of how many Asia Miles you’ll need for an award flight.

For example:
-A round-trip on American from JFK-Los Angeles in business class is just 50K miles and in first class is just 70K miles. American charges 65K in business and 100K in first. Of course the trick is finding American saver award space…
-A round-trip on British Airways from JFK-London in business class is just 80K miles and in first class is just 120K miles. American charges 115K in business and 170K in first and charges higher fuel surcharges.
-A round-trip on American from JFK-Rio de Janeiro in coach is just 45K miles and in business class is just 80K miles. American charges 60K in coach and 115K in business.
-A round-trip on Cathay from JFK-Vancouver in business class is just 50K miles and in first class is just 70K miles. American charges 75K in business and 125K in first and chargers more fuel surcharges.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.

Will you be transferring Starpoints or Marriott points to Cathay Pacific with this promotion?

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Now Is The Best Time To Apply For A Sapphire Reserve Or Business Platinum “Hybrid Card”

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Offer expired!

Earlier this week I explained the extreme value offered by “hybrid cards” like Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum.

Each of those cards offer 100,000 points for signing up and meeting the spend requirements.

The game changing aspect is that you can choose to transfer them into airline miles when tickets are expensive, or you can use them for paid tickets when tickets are less expensive. Combined with other cards you are looking at a value for travel of 2.25% back on everyday spend and up to 7.5% in specific spending categories on Sapphire Reserve for paid tickets (potentially more with transfers to miles). Or combined with other cards you’ll get a value of value for travel of 3% on everyday spend and up to 20% on Business Platinum (potentially more with transfers to miles). Yesterday’s post explains the nuances involved with those calculations.

The hybrid cards aren’t cheap, they cost $450/year each. But they come laden with benefits like lounge memberships (4 different varieties with AMEX Platinum or with unlimited free guests on Sapphire Reserve), elite status (3 with AMEX Platinum), 10 annual free in-flight WiFi with AMEX Platinum, bonus spend points (triple points on ravel and dining with Sapphire Reserve, Global Entry/Pre-Check fee refunds on both cards, and most importantly, the ability to increase the value of all of your AMEX or Chase points when redeeming for travel.

The annual travel credit that each card offers help reduce the effective annual fee.

-The Sapphire Reserve offers a very generous automatic $300 credit for anything that is travel related. All travel related transactions will be automatically refunded until you reach $300.

Unlike what some Chase reps may claim, you can earn that credit once per calendar year, not per cardmember year. But the key is that the spending needs to be completed before your December billing statement prints.

Right now you can apply for the card and take advantage of $900 in travel credits in your first cardmembership year. You can get $300 in travel credit before your December 2016 statement prints. You can get $300 in travel credit anytime after that point until your December 2017 statement prints, and you can get $300 in travel credit in December 2017 right after your December statement prints. Your first annual fee will be due in January 2017 and your next annual fee won’t be due until January 2018.

People that have been approved for the card now are reporting that their first due date will be between January 15-23. If you have a due date of January 15 that means your statement end date is December 18. If you have a due date of January 22 that means your statement end date is December 26. Try to spend a couple of days before then and you will be good to go.

-The AMEX Business Platinum offers a $200 credit for fees related to an airline of your choice. This credit goes strictly by calendar year, but the same concept applies here. If you apply now you can spend $200 in December 2016, $200 in 2017, and $200 on 1/1/18. Your first annual fee will be due in mid-January 2017 and your next annual fee won’t be due until mid-January 2018.

I’ll make another post shortly with a list of items that qualify for credits on both cards.

With either card you should be able take full advantage of a triple-dip now. That’s 3 travel credits in your first cardmembership year. Of course you’ll also get another travel credit credit in each subsequent cardmembership year that will help take most of the sting out of their $450 annual fees so that you can enjoy the cards other amazing benefits at an affordable cost.

There’s no better time to apply for either card than right now.

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Flying Blue Discounted Promo Awards To Europe/Israel Now Bookable For January-February; JFK To/From Tel Aviv For 18,750 Miles

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Update: Today is last day to book this promo for the current cities. The promo can end as early as 6pm EST.


Originally posted on 11/1:

Flying Blue Promo Awards (Click here to view worldwide promo awards)

Air France Flying Blue Award Search (Login required to search for award flights)

Flying Blue is the joint program of SkyTeam member Air France and KLM. They consider Tel Aviv to be part of Europe which can make for some decent deals.

-Flying Blue charges fuel surcharges on their own flights but not on Delta flights. However availability is significantly better on their own flights than on Delta flights. When there is Delta availability though it’s significantly cheaper to book the Delta flights with Flying Blue miles than with Delta Skypesos.

-They normally charge 25K miles each way in coach and 62.5K miles each way in business class to Israel but they run rotating monthly promo awards throughout the year that are valid for select cities.

-Promo awards are only valid on Air France or KLM.

-Travel is valid in either direction and is valid for one-way or round-trip travel.

-You need to book the current promo awards by 11/30.

-Promo awards are nonrefundable and non-changeable.

-Promo awards require Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles. You can’t use Delta miles for these awards and you can’t transfer Delta miles to Flying Blue.

-With the current offer you can fly in January or February in either direction between Boston, Chicago, Houston, JFK,  or San Francisco, and Israel, Europe, or Russia for 18,750 miles each way in coach.

-With the current offer you can fly in February in either direction between Detroit, or Washington DC, and Israel, Europe, or Russia for 18,750 miles each way in coach.

-You can fly in January or February in either direction between Calgary, Edmonton, or Montreal, or Vancouver and Israel, Europe, or Russia for 46,875 miles each way in business class.

-You can fly in February in either direction between Vancouver and Israel, Europe, or Russia for 46,875 miles each way in business class.

-Availability is wide open:

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Want to pickup some Flying Blue miles?
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-You can transfer AMEX, Chase, or Citi points to Flying Blue at a 1K:1K ratio or Starpoints to Flying Blue at a 20K:25K ratio.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers from all banks.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX awards 25K signup points with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Flying Blue with the permanent 25% transfer bonus. Transfers can take a few days.

-American Express Membership Rewards points transfer instantly at a 1K:1K ratio to Flying Blue and can be earned from credit cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card or The Amex EveryDay Card

The Preferred card awards 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere, 3 miles per dollar on Uber and gas, and 4.5 miles per dollar on groceries if you make 30 transactions per month.

The EveryDay card awards 1.2 miles per dollar everywhere and 2.4 miles per dollar on Uber and groceries if you make 20 transactions per month.

You can also earn Membership Rewards points from consumer charge cards like the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express, and from business charge cards like the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Charge Card (limited time 50K signup bonus) or The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN (limited time 100K signup bonus).

Offer expired! The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee and for a limited time offers 10 points per dollar at restaurants, 2 points per dollar everywhere, and a 30% annual points bonus based on the past year’s purchases. However you’ll need any of the membership rewards cards listed above to transfer points from that card into airline miles.

Citi Thank You Premier, Prestige, and Chairman cardholders can also transfer points into Flying Blue. You can find credit card offers by issuing bank in the “other credit cards” tab at the top of this site.

Chase cards includes Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and Ink Plus. Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Cash can also earn points, but you’ll need one of the aforementioned cards to transfer points from those cards into airline miles.

HT: davidmal, via DDF

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United 25% Transfer Bonus: Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 31,250 United Miles, 75K SPG Into 152K Miles, Or 90K SPG Into 152K Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Update: Today is the last day for the 25% United transfer bonus!

You can buy Starpoints on sale here.

You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.


Originally posted on 10/14:

You can register here for 25% bonus when you transfer hotel points to United miles.

United just massively devalued their miles by eliminating stopovers and eliminating the ability to select your own award routing. Either you like what United.com shows you or you’ll need to pay more. But that’s not to say there isn’t still value left in the program.

-The promotion runs through 11/30. It is run by United, so you won’t see any mention of it on the hotel’s points site or during the transfer process.

-United will add 25% bonus miles for all transfers from hotel programs made between 10/12-11/30. (Transfers from Club Carlson will be multiplied by 40%, and transfers from Choice Privileges will be multiplied by 50%, all other chains will be multiplied by 25%.)

-You can earn up to 20K bonus miles with this promotion per United account.

-United will add the bonus miles by 1/31/17.

You won’t want to transfer Starpoints directly to United. While 20K Starwood points can transfer into 25K airline miles with dozens of airlines it only transfers into 12.5K United miles.

However you can transfer 56K Marriott Rewards points into 25K United miles. United will add 25% more miles, leaving you with 31,250 miles.

You can transfer 19K Starwood points into 57K Marriott Rewards points, which will give you 25K United miles and you’ll have 1,000 Marriott Rewards leftover. You can convert those leftover points back into 333 Starpoints. Effectively you can transfer 18,667 Starpoints into 31,250 United miles, an effective 56.3% bonus compared Starwood’s normal 25% bonus!

The maximum you can earn is 20K bonus United miles. You can transfer 56K Starpoints into 168K Marriott points which will earn 75K United miles before the bonus and 93,750 miles after the 25% bonus.

-Don’t forget that if you have Starwood Platinum Status you can match it to Marriott Platinum which will also get you United Silver status!

-An even better deal is with Marriott’s miles+nights packages. 90K Starpoints transfers into 270K Marriott Rewards points. That can be used for 152K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel with the 20K bonus miles from this United promotion. Even if you don’t use the 7 night hotel certificate being able to transfer 90K Starpoints into 152K United miles is an effective 68.9% transfer bonus!

-Alternatively about 83,333 Starpoints becomes 250K Marriott points which is enough for 130,000 United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel with the 20K bonus miles from this United promotion. Even if you don’t use the 7 night hotel certificate being able to transfer 83,333 Starpoints into 130K United miles is an effective 56% transfer bonus!

-The 7 night hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them. You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.

-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that. If you find an agent to do that you can effectively use 75K Starpoints for 152K United miles, an effective 102.7% transfer bonus.

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-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 152K United miles.

-If you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 152K United miles.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.

Will you be transferring Starpoints to United with this promotion?

HT: yelped, via DDF

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Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

I’ve always been an advocate of using airline miles over proprietary points from banks.

However the hits keep coming for airlines and the value of their miles.

After gobbling up airlines like Airtran, Continental, Northwest, and USAirways, the remaining airlines have made it increasingly expensive to earn elite status, while reducing benefits at the same time. They have reduced hub service and capacity in order to raise airfares. They have stopped awarding miles for flights based on distance flown. Their cheapest fares will no longer include free carry-ons.

They have all devalued their award charts, nearly doubling the cost of many awards:

-United massively devalued their award chart in February 2014.
-Delta removed their award charts from public view in February 2015. They have been stealthily making monthly devaluations since then, though their award availability has improved somewhat.
-Southwest has made a number of devaluations to their points value, despite having a fixed value that shouldn’t need devaluation like traditional award charts do when airline tickets get more expensive.
-American forced British Airways to charge 7.5K for their awards on AA instead of 4.5K in February of this year.
-American made huge devaluations to their own award chart in March of this year.

American, which once had the best saver award availability, has made it nearly impossible to redeem for saver awards. They have also increased the cost of their anytime award to eye-watering levels.

That’s not to say you can’t get some amazing values from airline miles. But it’s become increasingly difficult.

In the meantime there is still healthy competition in the credit card industry.

Non-convertible point cards:

-A 2% cash back card, like Citi Double Cash becomes increasingly compelling in the face of mileage devaluations, though that card has no signup bonus.

-The Capital One Spark Cash for Business offers a $500 bonus for spending $4,500 and 2% cash back.

-The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard is offering 50K points for signing up for a limited time. It offers 2 miles per dollar everywhere and a 5% refund when you redeem points for travel.

The problem with non-convertible cards is that they can’t transfer points into real miles. There are hundreds of times that I’ve redeemed points for tickets that would have been prohibitively expensive without miles. Accumulating straight cash back or points that can’t be converted into miles leaves you at risk when airfare is expensive.

Convertible point cards:

Convertible cards traditionally offer a poor value for paid airfare. They allow you to transfer points into miles, but when tickets are inexpensive it’s not worth using miles. Devaluations and increasingly tight capacity controls have also hurt the value of miles.

But just in the past few months we now have 2 credit cards that offer the best of both worlds.

Let’s call them Hybrid cards.

Hybrid card #1: Chase Sapphire Reserve:

Chase launched the Sapphire Reserve in August and it has been wildly successful. It costs $450/year, but there are many intriguing benefits that make up for that including:
-100,000 points for signing up and meeting the spend threshold.
-$300 in travel spending per calendar year that is refunded back automatically
-Priority Pass lounge membership with unlimited free guests
-3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining
-Global Entry+TSA Pre-Check fee refund

But often times overlooked is that cardholders can use all of their Chase points at a value of 1.5 cents each towards airfare, hotels, car rentals, and vacation activities.
That means you can use 44K points today for a round-trip to Israel that would cost 80-170K miles from the airlines. Plus when you use the credit card points it covers the tax and you earn miles for the flight as if you had paid for it.

You can login to your account and redeem Chase points for travel here.

The same United flight that is 49.9K Chase points…

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…would cost 170K United miles+$46:

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The same Delta flight that is 49.9K Chase points…

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…would cost 140K Delta miles+$46:

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That means you effectively get back 4.5% on travel and dining spending on the Sapphire Reserve card.

You can earn even more by spending on other Chase cards
-If you have a Freedom Unlimited card you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere that are worth 2.25% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have a Freedom card you earn 5 points per dollar on rotating categories that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have Ink Plus or Ink Cash card you earn 5 points per dollar on office supplies, gift cards from office supply stores to hundreds of other stores, and telecom that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve. Gas, hotel, and dining purchases also have double point bonuses worth 3% towards travel.
-If you have Ink Business Preferred card you earn 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and telecom, and advertising on social media and search engines.that are worth 4.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.

That means you can be earning between 2.25%-7.5% back everywhere.

The great thing about a Hybrid card like Sapphire Reserve is that if you need a one-way ticket, a last minute ticket, or a business/first class ticket you can transfer them instantly into real airline miles, assuming the value is better there. But if it’s not you can still get a great value from your points by redeeming them directly for a ticket without transferring them into miles.

That means you can use 53,375 Singapore miles (transferable from AMEX or Chase) to fly in Singapore Suites class:

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Instead of paying $5.3K or using 353K Chase points:

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Hybrid card #2: AMEX Business Platinum:

In October, AMEX responded to Sapphire Reserve by greatly increasing the value of The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

It also has nice benefits that also make its $450 annual fee worthwile:
-Up to 100,000 points for signing up and meeting the spend threshold.
-10 annual GoGo in-flight WiFi passes
-Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi access
-$200 in airline fee credits per calendar year to spend on the airline of your choice.
-Lost item insurance
-Priority Pass lounge membership
-Centurion lounge access
-Delta lounge access
-Airspace lounge access
-Global Entry+TSA Pre-Check fee refund
-Hilton, SPG, and Marriott elite status

AMEX then added:
-A 50% rebate on points used for coach tickets on the airline of your choice
-A 50% rebate on points used for business/first class tickets on all airlines
-50% bonus points on $5K+ purchases

Thanks to the 50% rebate your points are worth at least 2 cents each. The rebate typically posts the day after redeeming points.

Having other AMEX cards increases the value proposition further:
-If you have The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere that are worth 3% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. You’ll also earn 4.5 points per dollar on groceries that are worth 9% towards travel and 3 points per dollar on gas that are worth 6% towards travel.
-If you have the consumer AMEX Platinum card you earn 5 points per dollar on airfare that are worth 10% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.
-If you have the AMEX Blue for Business card you earn 1.3 points per dollar after the 30% annual dividend that are worth 2.6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. Plus you’ll earn double points everywhere and 10 points per dollar at restaurants for a limited time that are worth more than 20% towards travel after the annual dividend when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.
-If you have the consumer Premier Rewards Gold card you earn 3 points per dollar on airfare that are worth 6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. Groceries and gas will earn 2 points per dollar worth 4% towards airfare.
-If you have the AMEX Business Gold you earn 2 or 3 points per dollar on categories of your choice that are worth 4-6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here.

If you redeem 74,879 points for a ticket you’ll get 37,440 of them refunded back to you within a couple days. That’s a value of 2 cents per point.

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That’s an amazing value per point, though it comes with the annoyances of having to lock in one airline per year for coach travel and it requires waiting for the 50% rebate to come. You may have luck switching your airline of choice online via chat or over the phone, especially if you haven’t yet used your $200 in annual fee credit on that airline.

The 50% rebate for business or first class is for all airlines.

Instead of using 450K Delta miles plus $52 for business class…

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…you can use 113,319 AMEX points for business class after the 50% rebate. You’ll pay no tax and you’ll even earn miles for the flight!
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Of course having these hybrid cards gives you the flexibility to use your points at a 1.5-2 cent fixed value or to transfer into airline miles when they prove more valuable:

For example this flight tomorrow would cost just 10K United miles (which can be transferred instantly from Chase)…

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…instead of paying $573 or using 38K Chase points:

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The flexibility that hybrid cards like Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum offer put you one step ahead of the airlines. And it hinders their ability to devalue your points in the future.

Have you taken advantage of the benefits of these hybrid cards? Share your experience in the comments!

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Enroll In Double AMEX Membership Rewards Points At Select Stores

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Enroll In Double AMEX Membership Rewards Points At Select Stores

This offer is only for Membership Rewards cards.

Note that you can only enroll one card per login, though you can always make a new login for a card.

You can also enroll in double points for spending at small businesses here. And you can check if you are targeted for a Starwood spending bonus here.

HT: cashasap, via DDF

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5,000 Bonus AMEX Points For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Premier Rewards Gold Card And Spending $500

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Related: 2,500 Bonus Delta Miles For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Delta Gold Consumer Card And Spending $500


5.000 Bonus AMEX Points For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Premier Rewards Gold Card And Spending $500

If you add a free additional user to your Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express via the link above and spend $500 on the new additional card within 3 months you will get 5,000 bonus AMEX point.

You can add up to 5 additional users onto this card for free. There is a limit of 1 5K point bonus per primary card account.

The terms state that the bonus points can take 8-12 weeks to post, though typically they post much quicker than that.

Additional AMEX cards also qualify for AMEX Offers.

Additional Card Members must be at least 15 years of age. You are able to add yourself, a family member, or a friend as an additional user.

A social security number is required for this offer. There is no hard credit pull for adding an additional user.

However the account will show up on their credit report, which means that spending on the card can help or hurt their credit score depending on your credit utilization and payments.

An additional user card will also count against the user with Chase, which limits approvals for many of their cards if you have had more than 5 new accounts in the past 24 months. It is possible to appeal that decision based on it being an authorized user account if you say that you don’t use it and aren’t responsible for payment on the card, but some have been turned down because of that approval guideline. It is possible to have the additional user account removed from the credit report by closing it and requesting removal from the bank and/or all 3 credit bureaus.

HT: yitzyul, via DDF

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Excellent Business Class Award Space To Europe For 37K Or Israel For 57K AMEX Points Round-Trip

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Brussels currently has excellent coach and business class award space to Europe and Israel.

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The least expensive way to book a Brussels award ticket is with Etihad. You can view the award chart here.

-A round-trip between JFK and Brussels is 21,972 miles in coach or 36,620 miles in business.
-A round-trip between Brussels and Tel Aviv is 12,096 miles in coach or 20,160 miles in business.

A business class flight from JFK to Tel Aviv would be the sum total of those requirements, or 56,780 miles round-trip.

DDF member jmansour just booked 3 business class awards to Israel for next Sukkos for 56,780 miles plus $100 in taxes per passenger. There are no fuel surcharges.

Etihad partner awards must be booked over the phone at 877-690-0767 and then click 1, 2, and then 1 to reach an agent. Etihad agents are very hit or miss, so booking a Brussels award can require some HUCA.

You also need to book Etihad partner awards at least 14 days in advance of travel.

Etihad also has incredible award charts for other airlines, like American and GOL and they don’t charge fuel surcharges. Etihad still uses American’s far more lucrative old award chart and discounted off-peak travel dates.

Etihad miles expire 24 months after they were earned.

You can transfer AMEX (1:1), Citi (1:1), or Starwood (20K:25K) points to Etihad, but only AMEX points transfer instantly. The best plan of attack would be to call Etihad, find an agent that sees the award space you need, ask for them to hold while you transfer AMEX points to Etihad, and then complete the booking.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers from all banks.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX awards 25K signup points with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Etihad miles with the permanent 25% transfer bonus.

-American Express Membership Rewards points transfer instantly at a 1K:1K ratio to Etihad and can be earned from credit cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card or The Amex EveryDay Card

The Preferred card awards 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere, 3 miles per dollar on Uber and gas, and 4.5 miles per dollar on groceries if you make 30 transactions per month.

The EveryDay card awards 1.2 miles per dollar everywhere and 2.4 miles per dollar on Uber and groceries if you make 20 transactions per month.

You can also earn Membership Rewards points from consumer charge cards like the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express, and from business charge cards like the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Charge Card (limited time 50K signup bonus) or The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Offer expired! The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee and for a limited time offers 10 points per dollar at restaurants, 2 points per dollar everywhere, and a 30% annual points bonus based on the past year’s purchases. However you’ll need any of the membership rewards cards listed above to transfer points from that card into airline miles.

Citi Thank You Premier, Prestige, and Chairman cardholders can also transfer points into Etihad miles. You can find credit card offers by issuing bank in the “credit card offers” tab at the top of this site.

HT: Yaalili, via DDF and Lucky

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Samsung Pay: Earn $5 For Signing Up Plus Earn $15 For Using A Chase Card 3 Times

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, S6 Active, Note 5, S7, S7 Edge, or S7 Active devices have Samsung Pay.

-If you haven’t made any purchases yet, you can open the app, click on “promotions”, scroll down to enter a referral code, and enter my referral code for $5 in rewards: 715B46

-If you click on “promotions” you can also opt in to earn $15 in rewards if you use a Chase card to make 3 purchases by 12/31 at 8pm EST. This is valid for the first 100K people who opt-in, so you’ll want to opt in now. The 3 purchases must be at least 3 minutes or more apart from each other. The $15 reward will come in the form of a Visa gift card that will be added to your Samsung Pay wallet.

HT: nafnaf12, via DDF

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Get $15 Off $300 Of Visa Gift Cards From Office Max Or Office Depot This Week

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Get $15 off $300 in Visa gift cards from Office Max or Office Depot stores through 11/26.

Use your Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash card and get 5 points per dollar spent.

Last December my local store let me buy 60 cards as I racked up the miles in record time.

There’s a limit of 1 $15 savings per transaction. Some emplyees will allow multiple transactions and others will not.

If you buy 2 $200 Visa gift card in store you’ll pay $398.90 including fees and you’ll earn 1,995 points by charging it to an Ink Plus or Ink Cash card. If you buy a $200 gift card and a $100 gift card you’ll pay $297.90 including fees and you’ll earn 1,490 points by charging it to an Ink Plus or Ink Cash card.

You can use the gift cards to buy money orders at Walmart or at various grocery stores, gas stations or some post offices. Just use the last 4 digits of the card as the PIN number to cash them out.

Or you can donate the gift card to charity and get a receipt for the full $200 face value.

Or you can give away a gift card as a wedding or Bar Mitzvah gift.

Or you can always use it for everyday spending.

HT: davidmal, via DDF and DoC

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Buy $300 In Mastercard Gift Cards From Staples This Week And Get A Free $15 Staples Gift Card Via Easy Rebate

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

If you buy $300+ in Mastercard gift cards from Staples between 11/20 and 11/26 you can send in an Easy Rebate online to get a bonus $15 Staples gift card.

This is valid in-store only. Officially there is a limit of 1 rebate per household.

If you buy 2 $200 Mastercard gift card in store you’ll pay $13.90 in card fees. (A $200 gift card and a $100 gift card would have $12.90 in fees).

Use your Ink Plus or Ink Cash card to earn 5 points per dollar.

That’s 2,070 points for a $413.90 purchase. Plus you’ll get the $15 Staples card via Easy Rebate.

These Mastercards should have the PIN number in the package. They’re a bit trickier to use at WalMart, you need to hit cancel on the keypad after swiping it in order to change it to a debit payment before using it to load Bluebird, buying money orders, or using bill pay.

You can also buy money orders at various grocery stores, gas stations or at some post offices.

Or you can donate the gift card to charity and get a receipt for the full $200 face value.

Or you can give away a gift card as a wedding or Bar Mitzvah gift.

Or you can always use it for everyday spending.

HT: tzfas, via DDF and FM

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25 Free Hertz Points

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Register for the Hertz Holiday promo here and you’ll instantly be awarded with 25 points.

Just register, logout, and log back in again and your point balance will be 25 points higher than it was previously.

Free rentals start at 550 points.

Unfortunately free points no longer extend the expiration of your Hertz points, you now need to earn or redeem points on a rental every 24 months, other activity no longer qualifies.

HT: Baglach, via DDF

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