Category Archive for 'Miles'

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

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

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

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 by bank or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

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

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As explained in this post, Chase calculates the year based on when your December statement closes. If your statement closes on December 15th then you must finish your 2016 travel spend before that date. Your 2017 spend will begin on December 16th.

Generally speaking your statement will print 3 days later in the month before your payment due date. If your payment due date is on January 20th then your statement will close on December 23rd. It would be wise to finish the spending a few days before December 23rd. After December 23rd you can start working on your 2017 travel spend.

 

Can you still get a 2016 travel credit if you apply now for a Sapphire Reserve card?

People have been reporting various due dates in January. If you get a due date between the 6th to the 25th then your bill will close between December 9th-28th and you will have time to spend the $300 in 2016 travel credit.

It is definitely still possible to get those due dates, but there’s no guarantee. If you do apply then be sure to call reconsideration to see if you can get approved today.

You may also be able to change your payment due date to generate a December statement if your due date is earlier than January 6 or later than January 25th. Just call to have you due date changed to January 25th to have your statement close on December 28th.

 

There is now a DDF datapoint to verify that the system is working as promised. Member “thankyoudan” opened his Sapphire Reserve on November 8th. His first statement closed on December 1st. He got a $300 credit for 2016 on 11/27 before his December statement date and another $300 on 12/2 after his December statement date.

 

These categories have been confirmed as working for automatic travel refunds. If you know of others please post a comment!

Air:
-Airline tickets from any airline
-Alaska Airlines gift cards
-American Airlines gift cards
-Baggage fees from any airline
-Delta gift cards
Hawaiian Airlines gift cards.
-Online travel agencies (Including Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline)
-Seat selection or upgrade fees for any airline
-Southwest gift cards
-Retail travel agencies
-Taxes on award tickets for any airline
United gift registry: Register and create a goal in order to contribute travel funds to your United account for future ticket purchases

Dining:
-Uber Eats

Lodging:
Airbnb
-Airbnb gift cards
-Campgrounds
-Cruises
-Groupon Getaways
-Hotel stays
-Marriott gift cards
-Motel stays
-Norwegian Cruise Line gift cards
-Online travel agencies (Including Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, and Priceline)
-Timeshares
-Retail travel agencies

Theme Parks and activities:
Disney Vacation account funding
UndercoverTourist.com (Discounted Disney, Universal, Legoland, and SeaWorld tickets)
Viator gift certifiates.

Transportation:
-Amtrak
-BART
-Bridge tolls
-Buses
-Car rentals
-Car2Go
-Eurostar
-Ferries
-Greyhound
-Jerusalem Light Rail
-Limos
-Long Island Railroad
-Lyft rides
-Megabus
-Metra Rail Chicago)
-Muni/parking meters
-NJ Transit
-NYC MetroCard
-Oyster card
-Parking garages
-Prepaid EZPass tolls loaded with the one-time payment option online or over the phone. If the system auto-loads then it won’t count as travel. Note that this loading method works for the vast majority of people, but a couple people have reported that it didn’t work for them.
-Prepaid I-Pass tolls loaded via one-time payment
-Prepaid FasTrak tolls loaded via one-time payment
-Prepaid SunPass tolls loaded via one-time payment
-Prepaid Washington DOT Good to Go tolls loaded via one-time payment
-Postpaid 407ETR Toronto tolls
-Subway travel
-Taxis
-Tolls
-Trains
-Trenitalia
-Tunnel tolls
-Uber gift cards only if they are bought from the MileagePlusX app for iOS or Android
-Uber rides
-Ventra Chicago
-Zipcar

Were you refunded from other purchases? Hit the comments!

 

More about the card:

Signup Bonus:

Chase is currently offering an unprecedented 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $4K on the Sapphire Reserve card within 3 months. You can use those points for $1,500 in travel or you can transfer them into airline miles or hotel points.

The travel spending and Global Entry fees that are refunded still count towards the $4K threshold! You’ll even get the keep the bonus points for travel spending that is refunded!

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 by bank or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

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 unless you have a banking relationship like Chase Private Client. 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 fees described above.

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.

Combined with the signup bonus that means you can get $2,400 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 above. 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!

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.

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.

The 1.5 cents per dollar redemption option also means the travel and dining categories on this card earn at least 4.5% per dollar.

-The no-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. Having the Sapphire Reserve makes everyday spending on that card worth at least 2.25%.

-The no-fee Chase Freedom and Ink Cash cards also have 5 point category bonuses and those will be worth at least 7.5% if you have the Sapphire Reserve.

-The new Ink Business Preferred has several 3 point categories that are worth at least 4.5% if you have the Sapphire Reserve.

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 you can find Delta saver availability you can fly to Hawaii 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 funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-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? Hit the comments!

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 by bank or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

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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


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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.

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 or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

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).

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:

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 or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

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 (limited time 100K signup bonus).

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

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

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

If you add a free additional user to your Delta Gold consumer account via the link above and spend $500 on the new additional card within 3 months you will get 2,500 bonus Delta miles. There is a limit of 1 bonus per primary Delta account.

The Delta Gold card currently is offering a limited time 50K signup bonus.

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 qualify for AMEX Offers. You can have up to 99 additional users on a primary card account, but the bonus is only for adding 1 card.

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: Einstein, via DDF

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Get A 50% Bonus When You Transfer AMEX Points Into Avios

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Get A 50% Bonus When You Transfer AMEX Points Into Avios

Normally 250 AMEX points transfers into 200 Avios. With this bonus 250 AMEX points transfers into 300 Avios. This promotion runs through 12/15.

The bonus is only available for transfers into Iberia Avios.

As you may recall from the “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios” post, you can transfer British Airways Avios back and forth to Iberia Avios and Avios.com Avios. Each of those programs have different partner airlines and different award charts.

You can combine points via this link via the BA site. Sometimes that link doesn’t work so you can also try this link on the Iberia site to combine points.

There is no minimum transfer amount:

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There are 2 caveats to combine points though:
1. Both accounts have to have been open for 90 days.
2. Both accounts must be active and received points. Transfers from AMEX or earning miles from other sources activate an account.

I’ve posted previously about Iberia Avios being a useful account to have, so hopefully you already have one from deals like this which gave free Iberia Avios.

If not you can open an Iberia account here.

AMEX transfers into BA Avios instantly, but transfers from AMEX into Iberia Avios can take a day or 2. Transfers between BA and Iberia are instant.

If you want to fly on Iberia to places like Europe or Israel you can save a fortune in fuel surcharges by transferring BA Avios to Iberia and using them on Iberia flights.

Assuming that you have an Iberia account older than 90 days you’ll be able to transfer points from AMEX MR to Iberia and then to BA at parity.

Here is the Iberia Avios award chart for travel on AA. Rates are for round-trips and are the same regardless of the number of connections:

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And here is the BA Avios award chart for partner airlines. Rates are for each segment flown.

ZoneFlight DistanceCoachBusinessFirst
1 (Flights that don't touch the USA)1-6504.5K9K18K
1 (Flights to, from, or within the USA)1-6507.5K15K30K
2651-1,1517.5K15K30K
31,152-2,00010K20K40K
42,001-3,00012.5K37.5K50K
53,001-4,00020K60K80K
64,001-5,50025K75K100K
75,501-6,50030K90K120K
86,501-7,00035K105K140K
97,001+50K150K200K

Note that using Iberia Avios are more complicated than BA. Their website is terrible and often requires calling to book. They also only have round-trip awards and you can’t make changes or cancel partner award travel. But you can save quite a few Avios if you’re persistent.

Of course this is all assuming you can find AA award space for your journey. Be sure to search before you transfer.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-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).

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.

HT: Yaalili, via DDF

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American First Class Awards Booked With Avios Just Got A Lot Cheaper…If You Can Find Saver Award Space

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

BA Avios was one of my favorite mileage currencies before American pulled the rug out and stopped releasing saver award space. BA can only book American flights when AA.com is showing saver award space.

Ironically that happened earlier this year after they devalued their award chart and forced BA to devalue their award chart for AA flights. That led to these posts:
-What Exactly Is American’s AAdvantage?
-A Comparison Of AA, Delta, And United Saver Award Space: Is AAdvantage The New SkyPesos?
-Is AAdvantage A ScAAm? See For Yourself And Let The DoT Know

Compounding matters is that AA has always used a first class fare code for the front cabin on 2 class planes for domestic flights. That meant flying first class with Avios was prohibitively expensive.

That has finally changed. Effective for flights on or after 1/11/17 the front cabin on 2 class planes will have a business class fare code.

For example this Philadelphia to Chicago flight in first class will now cost 15K Avios instead of 30K Avios:
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Unfortunately American is still incredibly stingy with their saver award space. Many routes have no first class saver award space at all after 1/11, but hopefully that’s due to the fare class changes and space will improve shortly.

 

You can see in this BA award chart just how many Avios the reclassification will save you.
-Zone 2 NYC to Miami in first drops from 30K to 15K.
-Zone 3 Chicago to LA drops from 40K to 20K.
-Zone 4 Los Angeles to Hawaii drops from 50K to 37.5K.

ZoneFlight DistanceCoachBusinessFirst
1 (Flights that don't touch the USA)1-6504.5K9K18K
1 (Flights to, from, or within the USA)1-6507.5K15K30K
2651-1,1517.5K15K30K
31,152-2,00010K20K40K
42,001-3,00012.5K37.5K50K
53,001-4,00020K60K80K
64,001-5,50025K75K100K
75,501-6,50030K90K120K
86,501-7,00035K105K140K
97,001+50K150K200K

HT: Gary

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Even With Delta’s Business Class Flash Sale To Europe, There’s A Cheaper Way To Book

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Delta eliminated their award charts last year, though I saved screenshots of all of them.

And yet they frequently have award sales. They had a Hawaii sale recently, but I pointed out that even with the sale it was significantly cheaper to book awards with Korean miles for travel on Delta as Korean considers Hawaii to be in the same zone as a regular domestic flight!

Now they are having a business class sale for travel to Europe. You can book round-trip saver award travel for 99K miles instead of 140K miles.

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You need to book travel by tomorrow and fly between March 1-June 30.

That’s a great deal if you’re sitting on a pile of Delta miles, but if you don’t there are other options.

Korean is famous for having the best first class award space in the industry, but they also have an excellent Skyteam award chart.

If you have Chase points you transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to Korean and book that same Delta saver award for 80K miles round-trip. And that’s their regular price, not a sale price! As long as Delta has 140K round-trip business class awards to Europe available on their site (or 99K with this promo) then Korean can book it for 80K round-trip.

You need to call Korean to book award travel on Delta at 800-438-5000. As always, be sure to call to check for award space before transferring points.

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Chase’s Highest Ink Public Signup Bonus: Chase Ink Business Preferred Offering 80K Signup Points And…Cell Phone Protection

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

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 or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

Chase has launched the Ink Business Preferred card.

If offers 80,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.

It also offers 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and telecom, and advertising on social media and search engines. You can earn 3 points per dollar on $150K in spending per cardmember year.

There is a $95 annual fee. If you apply for the card in a bank that fee may be waived, though you should be able to request via secure message that the fee be waived to match in in-branch offer. Additional cardholders are free. There are no foreign transaction fees.

One unique protection that the card comes with is cell phone protection. If you pay your cell phone bill with the card you’ll get $600 per claim against theft or damage to your cell phone with a $100 deductible, valid for 3 claims within 12 months. You can make a claim for any cell phone that’s listed on the bill!

The Ink Plus card is now discontinued, though the no-fee Ink Cash card is still alive and offering 5 points per dollar on office supplies and telecom.

Applying for a business card and the benefits of business card spending:

The Ink cards are business cards. But you may be already running a business that qualifies for a business card and there are several huge advantages that business cards have over consumer cards as you can read here.

The Ink cards are subject to 5/24, though getting an Ink card doesn’t count towards your 5/24 count as AMEX/Chase/Citi business cards don’t show up on your credit report.

If you’re like me and you run more than one business you can signup for multiple of the same card for each business to manage each businesses expenses separately.

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 name. 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 as well as in the social security number field.

A great thing about these business cards is that they don’t report your spending on your personal credit report.

On personal cards if you spend money on your card 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 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 few dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month.

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

Cash back:

Ink cards can be registered for Visa Savings Edge.

With that program you earn cash back on top of points. For example you’ll earn 1% cash back at Chevron, and Texaco, 2% cash back at TigerDirect, 4% cash back at Alamo and National, 5% cash back at B%H Photo, Lenovo, and several hotel brands.

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 also use them with a 1.25 cents per point value on travel. If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you can transfer the points to that card and get a 1.5 cents per point value, which would make the signup bonus worth at least $1,200.

Or you can transfer points into miles.

Transfer partners include:
United (Star Alliance) is an excellent currency. They never charge fuel surcharges, have very flexible routing rules, 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 a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize a single award ticket into several free trips, 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 award space you can fly to Hawaii 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 and often has sales for discounted awards to London.
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 funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG.

Will you be signing up for Chase Ink Business Preferred?

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Book JetBlue Award Tickets And Get 15% Back, JetBlue Plus Cardholders Get 25% Back! 6 Examples Of Where You Can Fly For Less Than 5K Points

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Update: This promo ends today!

Originally posted on 11/10:

Related: Which New JetBlue Card Is Right For You?


Today Only: Book JetBlue Award Tickets And Get 15% Back, JetBlue Plus Cardholders Get 25% Back

-If you register via the link above and book award tickets by 11/14 for travel completed by 1/14/17 you’ll get a rebate of 15% of your points.
-Offer not valid for previously booked flights or changes to a previously-booked flight.
-Points will be automatically deposited to the TrueBlue account used to book travel.
-In the event you cancel your reservation, or change your reservation so that it no longer complies with the terms for this offer, you will not receive any TrueBlue points back.
-Please allow 4-6 weeks after your flight for points to be posted to your TrueBlue account.

If you matched your status from another airline to JetBlue you can even cancel your flights for free.

If you have a JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard you always get free checked bags and a 10% points rebate, but in this case you’ll get a full 25% rebate as both the 10% rebate and the 15% rebate will come off the original points rate paid. The card comes with a 30K signup bonus for spending $1,000 in 90 days. It has a $99 annual fee but it also comes with 5,000 bonus points (5,500 after the rebate) every year that pretty much covers the cost of the card. There is a no annual fee JetBlue World Mastercard, but it doesn’t give free bags or a points rebate.

What’s are JetBlue points worth? It all depends on the flights you take, but here are 3 examples:
1. JFK-Chicago on 12/6 is $53.10 or 2.9K points+$5.60. That’s normally a value of 1.64 cents per point (53.10-5.60/2,900). With the 15% rebate you’ll pay 2,465 points after getting back back 435 points and the value will be 1.93 cents per point (53.10-5.60/2,465). With a 25% rebate you’ll pay 2,175 points after getting back 725 points and the value will be 2.18 cents per point (53.10-5.60/2,175).

2. Palm Springs, CA to JFK on 12/10 is $65.10 or 3.9K points+$5.60. That’s a value of 1.53 cents per point (65.10-5.60/3,900). With the 15% rebate you’ll pay 3,315 points after getting back back 585 points and the value will be 1.79 cents per point (65.10-5.60/3,315. With a 25% rebate you’ll pay 2,925 points after getting back 975 points and the value will be 2..3 cents per point (65.10-5.60/2,925).

3. Newark-Fort Lauderdale on 12/11 is $56.10 or 3.2K points+$5.60. That’s a value of 1.5 cents per point (56.10-5.60/3,200). With the 15% rebate you’ll pay 2,720 points after getting back back 480 points and the value will be 1.86 cents per point (56.10-5.60/2,720). With a 25% rebate you’ll pay 2,400 points after getting back 800 points and the value will be 2.1 cents per point (56.10-5.60/2,400).

4. JFK-San Juan, Puerto Rico on 12/5 is $94.90 or 5K points+$5.60. That’s normally a value of 1.79 cents per point (94.90-5.60/5,000). With the 15% rebate you’ll pay 4,250 points after getting back back 750 points and the value will be 2.1 cents per point (94.90-5.60/4,250). With a 25% rebate you’ll pay 3,750 points after getting back 1,250 points and the value will be 2.38 cents per point (94.90-5.60/3,750).

5. JFK-Havana, Cuba on 12/11 is $98.90 or 3.5K points+$5.60. That’s normally a value of 2.67 cents per point (98.90-5.60/3,500). With the 15% rebate you’ll pay 2,975 points after getting back back 525 points and the value will be 3.32 cents per point (98.90-5.60/2,975). With a 25% rebate you’ll pay 2,625 points after getting back 875 points and the value will be 3.55 cents per point (98.90-5.60/2,625).

6. JFK-Bermuda on 12/4 is $76.90 or 3.7K points+$5.60. That’s normally a value of 1.93 cents per point (76.90-5.60/3,700). With the 15% rebate you’ll pay 3,145 points after getting back back 555 points and the value will be 2.27 cents per point (76.90-5.60/3,145). With a 25% rebate you’ll pay 2,775 points after getting back 925 points and the value will be 2.57 cents per point (76.90-5.60/2,775).

Or if you want to fly in a private Mint suite:

Los Angeles-JFK on a red-eye on 12/17 is $548.10 or 41.4K points+$5.60. That’s a value of 1.31 cents per point (548.10-5.60/41,400). With the 15% rebate you’ll pay 35,190 points after getting back back 6,210 points and the value will be 1.54 cents per point (548.10-5.60/35,190). With a 25% rebate you’ll pay 31,050 points after getting back 10,350 points and the value will be 1.75 cents per point (548.10-5.60/31,050).

–Note that there is a Zika outbreak in Miami, Cuba, and Puerto Rico so talk to your doctor before traveling there if you or your spouse are pregnant or want to become pregnant.

HT: Yaalili, via DDF


Join the 76,300+ 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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Connect To Marriott On Social Media And Instantly Get 1,600 Rewards Points; Extend The Life Of Your Starpoints

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Connect To Marriott On Social Media And Get 1,600 Rewards Points; Extend The Life Of Your Starpoints

Click “Sign Up” to link your Marriott number with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and you’ll get 500 points for each one.
After connecting you’ll have the option to follow Marriott on Instagram and Facebook to earn another 50 points each.

In total you’ll get 1,600 Marriott Rewards points and they post to your account instantly. Just logout and back into your account to view the points.

Marriott doesn’t count social media bonus points towards extending the validity of your points, but Starwood does. You can transfer your Marriott Rewards points instantly into Starwood Starpoints at a 3:1 ratio and they can go back from Starpoints into Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio at any time.

You won’t lose the points for disconnecting the accounts or unfollowing afterward.

I highly recommend having dedicated social media accounts that you use just for the purpose of these bonuses.

HT: davidmal, via DDF

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10 Final Thoughts On Throwing Out The First Pitch

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Continued from:
8 Years Ago Was The Biggest Night Of My Life, Tonight Will Try To Come Close As I Toss A Ceremonial First Pitch At Game 7 Of The World Series
On The “Value Proposition” Of Spending A Million Starpoints For The Experience Of A Lifetime
Video And The Experience Of Throwing Out The First Pitch In Game 7 Of The World Series


1. I still grin from ear to ear thinking about throwing out the first pitch before Game 7 of the World Series. A true childhood dream come true. Being able to walk onto the field with my wife (on our anniversary no less) and my grandfather made it that much more special.

Still can't get over being called up to the mound before game 7…what an experience!

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

Points come and points go, but there are only so many moments in life like that. How do you place a value on them?

2. I’ve always been of the opinion that miles are at their best when they’re used for dreams. I’ve redeemed my miles for countless aspirational redemptions and there’s no doubt that’s what makes mileage game so much fun. There wouldn’t be thousands of DDF obsessives if it was just about a free ticket to Miami.

Things I could never have imagined as a child are coming true.

I would never pay the asking price for a first class ticket, so the exact value obtained is fairly meaningless. My point is that the bottom line value goes out the door when you’re fulfilling your dreams.

When I write about flying in a Singapore couples suite for dinner in Paris or about taking the field before game 7 the message to my readers is the same: Dream big!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. I’ve built up a stash of tens of millions of miles over the past 15 years. Opening hundreds of credit cards, taking advantage of stackable Hyatt faster free nights promos, mileage running stacked with promos like free system wide award tickets of 10K bonus miles per segment, the JetBlue 300K mileage run, Wendy’s cups, transferring eBay anything points into miles, manufacturing points with Google Checkout, US Mint, Amazon Payments, gift cards, etc, etc.

I’ve been able to use over 10 million points to fly in first class on more flights than most people do in several lifetimes. Given that I don’t sell the points or use them for others due to the risks involved, the opportunity to use them for this was a dream come true.

If you’re not a die-hard Baseball fan then this will probably never make sense to you. Then again there are few people who understood why the United Island Hopper was on my bucket list.

Cloud 9:

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4. Apparently some people are shocked that I focus on earning and burning miles and points on this miles, points, and deals blog. They feel the need to point out that my priorities are clearly mixed up.

To be clear, learning Torah, davening with a minyan, and spending time with your family are all important things in the life of an Orthodox Jew. I started this blog while I was studying for Smicha, but that’s just not what this blog happens to be about. There are blogs that are about learning and I’m happy to learn something in person with anyone that drops by my local shul. It’s just not the focus of this blog.

5. Experiences will always trump things in my book.

Your car and your toys won’t last. The memories made will. So I drive a 6 year old Altima and look to make memories.

While on vacation we look for a photographer to take a photo shoot of our family in front of local scenery rather than buy souvenirs. Capturing the memories is better than bringing back clutter.

I take a look back at the day of our wedding and the days that our kids were born. Those are clearly in another class of memories.

But the manufactured memories are still awesome. How can I help but grin as I think about:
The day I flew to San Francisco (on a mileage ticket I had booked months earlier) to see the Cavs finally win a trophy for Cleveland.
The time Mimi and I went on a grueling 14 mile hike but got to experience the stunning Na Pali coast in Kauai in a breathtaking way.
The time spent underwater in Palau’s other-worldly Jellyfish Lake.
The trip I took with my grandfather to the MLB, NBA, and NFL Hall of Fames, capped off by an Indians win that we saw from the Green Monster.
The look in Rafi’s eyes when I took him on a father-son trip upstairs on a 747 and he got to sit in the cockpit.
The 7th inning when I walked onto the field and made off with 2nd base to the amazement of everyone in the stadium, including the Indians players.
Or the time I walked up to the mound before one of the greatest sports games in history to toss out the very first pitch. There’s not more than a small handful of fans in the world that can say they did that in their home stadium before a Game 7 of the World Series.

You can take away my things, but you can’t take away those memories.

6. Several commenters were aghast that I didn’t just donate the points to charity. I use my miles for myself and my family in order to avoid mileage auditors from looking into my account, which can happen if you book awards for too many people.

7. I wish the Tribe would have won, but being able to bring 4 people onto the field and into the game and then sit just 1 row away from the field for what may have been the best World Series game of all time is nothing to sneeze at either.

Well these aren't bad seats. Not bad at all. #SPGMoments #WorldSeries #Game7

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

8. Did I think of not wearing my Tzitzes out or not wearing a Yarmulkah under my hat?

Not even for a second.

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Via DansDeals Facebook #FirstPitch #Game7 #WorldSeries #Jumbotron

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

9. Yes, DansDeals traffic was up last week. Way up. No, I never thought I’d see my face on TMZ’s home page.

10. I never played in little league or owned a baseball glove. I was a studious little kid and my parents were not into sports. Though I loved the math aspect of baseball and knew the stats of hundreds of baseball players by heart.

My lack of playing ability only made the dream of walking onto the field of a World Series game that much more far-fetched. With just a couple hours to learn how to throw a baseball 60 feet I was thrilled to watch my sinker take a one-hopper to the catcher instead of watching the ball dribble to the plate or go wide right or left as so many YouTube videos show.

Bottom line folks, miles allow you to dream big. And I’ll never regret dreaming big.

DSC00600a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Office Depot/Office Max: No Purchase Fees For $100 Mastercard Gift Cards

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Office Depot/Office Max stores are not charging any purchase fees on $100 Mastercard gift cards from today until Tuesday, 11/8.

DDF member eliraps sent me this image of the promo.

Although it says there’s a limit of 1, he was able to buy 5 of the $100 Mastercard gift cards for $500 total without any issue.

Use your Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash card and get 5 points per dollar spent. 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. Note that the Ink Plus card is slated to be discontinued in the very near future.

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 some post offices.

Or you can donate the gift card to charity and get a receipt for the full 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: eliraps, via DDF

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Buy $300 In Visa Gift Cards From Staples This Week And Get A Free $20 Visa Gift Card Via Easy Rebate

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

If you buy $300+ in Visa gift cards from Staples between 11/6 and 11/12 you can send in an Easy Rebate online to get a bonus $20 Visa gift card.

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

If you buy 2 $200 Visa 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).

That’s 2,070 points for a $413.90 purchase. Plus you’ll get the $20 Visa card via Easy Rebate.

While Staples.com now carries $300 gift cards, I haven’t seen any reports of the $300 cards being found in stores yet.

Use your Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash card and get 5 points per dollar spent. 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 use the gift cards to buy money orders at Walmart or at various grocery stores, gas stations or at 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: Iz, via DDF

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Check To See Your Targeted Offer To Buy Starpoints

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

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. 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, so there is still time to open an account and take part in this promotion. 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 currently transfer 18,667 Starpoints into 31,250 United miles via Marriott. If you have a 50% off promotion that means you can effectively buy United miles for just 1.04 cents each.

90K Starpoints is currently enough for 152K 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. Assuming there no changes you can make that 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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Video And The Experience Of Throwing Out The First Pitch In Game 7 Of The World Series

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Continued from:
8 Years Ago Was The Biggest Night Of My Life, Tonight Will Try To Come Close As I Toss A Ceremonial First Pitch At Game 7 Of The World Series
On The “Value Proposition” Of Spending A Million Starpoints For The Experience Of A Lifetime


It seemed like the bidding would go on forever. Starwood extends their auctions by 5 minutes every time a new bid is placed. But then it was finally over, I had won the auction for the experience of a lifetime! And on our 8th anniversary no less!

Just one not so minor detail, I’m just a spectator. A die-hard Indians fan, sure. But I’d rather watch the pros do it. I’ve never pitched a baseball in my life! Well, if you’ve never thrown a baseball, learning how to throw a ball 60 feet in just a day is no easy task.

So I turned to Adam Levine. Not that Adam Levine, just the one who davens at my local Chabad House and organizes local Sunday morning softball games. He worked with me on fielding and hitting before I played a game in Wrigley and I even wound up with a run scored and some RBIs. This time he graciously spent a lot of time making my pitch look halfway respectable. With a few more days I probably could have thrown a perfect strike, but there was just 8 hours from when the auction ended until the time of the pitch.

At first it seemed certain that I would Baba Booey or 50 Cent it:

 

But eventually I was able to throw the ball over the plate. But what would happen when I was pitching in front of 40,000 fans without even a single warmup pitch?

Meanwhile Indians fans from around the world wanted to see Charlie Sheen toss out the first pitch thanks to his Major League fame. “Get me Vaughn,” is part of Indians sports lore. They took to Twitter demanding that he throw out the first pitch.

Thanks to a Tweet and a DDF member I did get in touch with Charlie’s people. It would be cool to get up on the mound and yell “Get me Vaughn.” But MLB made it clear that they did not want Charlie Sheen on the field, period. The story somehow landed me as the top story on TMZ last night. I did help them find a suite for Charlie though after they were not able to secure one.

MLB reps met with us at the Jake’s press entrance and took Mimi, JJ, my grandfather, and me down to the field level. It’s like another world walking around the field.

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What an amazing way to spend your 8th anniversary:

 

 

 

I said hey to Tito and Mike Hargrove:

 

 

 

My grandfather loved it and told Tito about the ’48 and ’54 series he went to:

 

 

 

And then it was time for the big moment. I don’t even know how to possibly describe it. Surreal doesn’t nearly do it justice, but everything around me just froze. The announcer saying my name felt a million miles away. Through the hundreds of Indians games I’ve attended since I was a child I’ve been watching pitchers go up to that mound.

Never in my wildest childhood fantasies could I ever imagine walking up there during a game. And not just any game, but the final game of the World Series.

Mind. Blown.

It was truly an awesome experience and worth every Starpoint that I spent.

 

Via DansDeals Facebook #FirstPitch #Game7 #WorldSeries #Jumbotron

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

 

The pitch went as good as I could have hoped for considering that I had never pitched a ball and didn’t have any chance to warmup beforehand. It went over the plate with a single bounce. It didn’t go wide right or left. It didn’t dribble to the plate. And I didn’t get boos from the crowd.

That’s a win in my book!

JJ screams his head off in the video, so um, turn down your volume. But here’s the video.

 

 

And a video of the Jumbotron:

 

 

 

Is this real life?

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Cloud 9:

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And yes, I did have the first pitch. So technically Jim Thome threw out the 2nd pitch 🙂

 

The seats that came with the auction were fantastic:

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Well these aren't bad seats. Not bad at all. #SPGMoments #WorldSeries #Game7

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

The game itself was an emotional roller coaster. No doubt it will be considered one of the top World Series games of all time. The crowd was raucous and on their feet. The stadium probably had 30-40% Cubbies fans, which made for an interesting experience. After the Indians tied the game at 6, it just felt like it was bound to happen in the bottom of the 9th. They had come back from too far to not go all the way.

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It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback, but at the end of the day this Indians team surprised everyone. Even their own beat writer. The whole county felt like it was rooting for the Cubs as they hadn’t won for 108 years, as if the Indians 68 year drought was nothing. Even my 5 year old son Rafi told me before I went to the game that the Cubbies were going to win.

#ClevelandAgainstTheWorld #RallyTogether #LetsGoTribe #WorldSeries #Game2 #Windians

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

For the Tribe to make it so far without their best hitter and their #2 and #3 starting pitchers is mind-boggling. And for them to do it on a salary that was $100MM less than the Cubbies is a testament to great management. However the Indians heavily overworked pitching staff simply ran out of steam at the end. Sure it would have been icing on the cake had the Indians won and the loss was bitterly disappointing, but it didn’t take from the whole experience.

Right now it feels like when the Cavs lost in 2015 when they didn’t have Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love for the finals. But hey, they came back to win it earlier this year. And odds are they’ll play the rubber match next year in the Finals.

Congrats to Cubbies fans on winning it all though.

Hopefully the Indians can stay healthy next year and have an awesome rematch with the Cubbies in 2017. And may the team with the longer drought come out on top 😉

And hopefully another sports obsessed mileage junkie will have the once in a lifetime experience that I had before game 7.

 

The first pitched ball of Game 7:

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I’ve flown around the world in first class countless times, stolen 2nd base in middle of an Indians game, swam with normally poisonous Jellyfish in Palau, seen the Polar Bears near the North Pole, and thrown out the first pitch of a World Series game. But better than all that I have an awesome loving wife and an amazing little son and daughter. I thank G-d every day for those blessings and the life that I live.

The only real question is where should my next adventure be?


-Bid on your own SPG Moments packages with your Starpoints or Marriott points.

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


Join the 75,900 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.

Follow my travel and sports obsession on Instagram @DansDeals.

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On The “Value Proposition” Of Spending A Million Starpoints For The Experience Of A Lifetime

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Yesterday I wrote about some of the background that led to my bidding 1,060,500 Starpoints to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before game 7 of the World Series.

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Some people on the internet took offense that I would spend “$10,000” or “$25,000” on the experience.

Here are my thoughts.

I earned these points by doing things like opening hundreds of credit cards over the years and taking advantage of offers that come and go, like buying hundreds of thousands of dollar coins from the US mint that I promptly deposited back into my account while banking the Starpoints.

I don’t sell my points. That’s against the terms of the programs and it’s risky.

Despite traveling in first class many times per year, I accumulate points at a faster rate than I can burn them. Even after this bid and spending 7 figures of miles annually, I still have 7 figures of Starpoints and 8 figures of total miles. And we still have 9 Fairmont accounts that come with a lifetime of free suites, massages, and scotch that I got for free thanks to DansDeals readers taking advantage of that deal. (Thank you!) What I’m trying to say is that I won’t have to stay home because of this bid.

So if the points mostly cost my time to earn, how do you assign a value to what you spend?

 

Sure, I could have stayed at the S. Regis NY or Bal Harbour for a month with the points. (Boring!) But it’s there that I’d determine value and that I’d rather spend $159 instead of 30-35K Starpoints.

But on a once-in-a-lifetime experience like stealing 2nd base or throwing out a first pitch in game 7 of the World Series?

I don’t see that as a value based decision.

Others were aghast that I spend so much on this but didn’t spend more on the Antarctica cruise bid. The difference is that the Antarctica cruise can be purchased with money, and I think that getting there is only going to get more mainstream over time. As it had a fixed value as the auction got pricier, the value proposition evaporated. It may be a once in a lifetime experience as well, but tens of thousands of people visit Antarctica annually. I do still hope to go there, but there was nothing time sensitive about Antarctica. And besides, the cruise line was not very accommodating anyway.

There have only been 38 Game 7s in history. How many people have thrown out a first pitch at Game 7 of the World Series? How many of those people threw it out while watching their favorite team playing at home?

I’d venture to say that’s a very, very low number. Probably in the single digits and way less than the hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of people who have stepped foot on Antarctica. Fans just aren’t given opportunities like that, it goes to former players and celebrities who may not even care about the team.

And with Starwood going away, their MLB partnership or the Moments auctions may go away as well.

The auction also generated a nice amount of press about DansDeals, which was a nice bonus.

And what better way is there to spend your 8th anniversary than on the field of the 7th game of the fall classic?

At any rate, the experience also came with 2 seats just 2 rows behind the Cubs dugout. I was sitting next to die-hard fans who had ponied up north of $10,000 per ticket! In the row in front of us was the Ricketts family and Rahm Emanuel.

Thanks to Indians season ticket holder and all-around nice guy, Chaim Goldstein, I was able to get seats upstairs to all the home World Series games at face value. I would never value those seats at the $20,000 it would have cost to get them on Stubhub. But sitting so close to the field for an amazing roller coaster of a game is a completely different experience than sitting upstairs.

Besides for my wife and me, I was also able to bring JJ and my grandfather onto the field and they didn’t even need tickets, they got to stay in the ballpark for the rest of the game!

As I was bidding higher I did 2nd guess myself at times, but somehow it felt like divine providence. This was the place where G-d put me with the ability to earn all of these miles in Cleveland. And now there was an auction that could only be paid for in Starpoints for an experience as a lifelong Indians fan that I’d cherish forever.

It wasn’t a question of how could I justify going for it. It was a question of how could I justify not going for it.

To be continued…
Video And The Experience Of Throwing Out The First Pitch In Game 7 Of The World Series

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Israel Hotel News: Goodbye To A Points Hotel, Welcome To Another, And A Points Anomaly

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

-Effective 12/31/16 the category 6 Hilton Eilat Queen of Sheba will leave Hilton.

You can use 40K points per night or 32K points per night on a 5 night stay until the end of the year.

That leaves the category 8 Hilton Tel Aviv and the category 10 Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem as the remaining Israeli hotels in the portfolio. The David Citadel opened as a Hilton in 1998 but left in 2001.

Speaking about the Waldorf, it’s worth noting that despite going up to a category 10, their pricing is unchanged at 80K points per night or 64K points per night on a 5 night stay for Hilton cardholders or elites. That still falls within the range of pricing for Hilton category 10, but I’d expect it to still go up to 95K per night at any time.

Not long ago Starwood had 13 properties that were all bargains with Starpoints. I stayed in many of them on a month-long trek across the holy land in August of 2007 spending just a couple thousand Starpoints per night to stay in Jerusalem, Haifa, Eilat, Tiberias, and the Dead Sea.

SPG was down to just the category 5 Sheraton Tel Aviv, but they have now added the category 5 Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel located in Zichron Yaakov between Caesarea and Haifa. SPG category 5 hotels cost 12-16K points per night or 9.6K-12.8K per night on a 5 night stay.

Starwood will also open the W Tel Aviv-Jaffa on 5/1/17. The category for that hotel has yet to be determined, but hopefully it will be a 6 (20K-25K points per night) and not a 7 (30-35K points per night)

You can also transfer Starpoints to Marriott to book the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel for 11.6K points per night or 9.3K points per night on a 5 night stay. Or 110K Starpoints can get you 152K United miles and 7 nights there.

Or you can transfer Starpoints to Marriott to book the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya for 16.6K points per night or 13.3K points per night on a 5 night stay. Or 140K Starpoints can get you 152K United miles and 7 nights there.

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

You can view other 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.

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IHG Pointbreaks Now Bookable For Stays Through January, Hotel Rooms From $28/Night

Monday, October 31st, 2016

IHG PointBreaks Linky

IHG Booking Linky

-The current list is valid for stays through 1/31/17.
-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 100% bonus on purchases of 21K+. I can purchase 60K points for just $345 or just $28.75 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:
-Holiday Inn Chicago North-Evanston, IL
-Crowne Plaza Monroe-South Brunswick, NJ
-Crowne Plaza Princeton, NJ
-Crowne Plaza Saddle Brook, NJ
-Hotel Indigo Cleveland-Beachwood, OH
-Crowne Plaza Portland-Lake Oswego, OR
-Crowne Plaza Suites Pittsbugh South, PA
-Crowne Plaza Grove City Outlets, PA

-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Oshawa Downtown-Toronto Area, CA
-InterContinental Cali, Colombia
-Holiday Inn Express Panama
-Holiday Inn Express Campo de Gibraltar, Spain
-Holiday Inn London-Luton Airport, UK
-Holiday Inn Montevideo, Uruguay

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Are Chase’s 5x Cards Going To Be Killed Off?

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

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.


Update: Chase has confirmed that the Ink Plus card will be discontinued with the launch of the Ink Business Preferred card later this year. The exact date for that is unknown. The status of the Ink Cash card is unknown as well, but odds are that it will drop the 5x categories for new applicants even if it does stick around.

I’ve been able to rack up (and redeem) a few Chase points over the years. They add up quickly thanks to 5x categories:

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Apply now for an Ink Plus or Ink Cash card if you want to be grandfathered and lock in the ability to earn 5 points per dollar!

You can open a Ink Plus and Ink Cash card and earn the signup bonus for each of your businesses.


Originally posted on 10/19:

Banks offer cards that earn 5 points per dollar in select categories as a loss leader.

Their days may be numbered at Chase.

Chase currently offers 3 Ultimate Rewards cards with 5 point categories, Freedom, Ink Plus, and Ink Cash. The Ink Bold and Ink Classic also offer 5 points per dollar but they are no longer available for new applications. Chase has been generous with grandfathered cards though, I have an Ink Bold that still earns 1.675 points per dollar everywhere and a $100/year Presidential Plus card earning United elite qualifying miles that haven’t been available to new customers for years.

The Freedom card offers 5 points per dollar in rotating categories. Chase launched the Freedom Unlimited card earlier this year with a very generous 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. When it did so the rumor was that the Freedom card would be discontinued. That hasn’t happened, but rumors of its demise for new customers continue to persist.

Bloomberg broke the news today that Chase will soon launch the Ink Business Preferred card. It will offer 80K points for signing up and carry a $95 annual fee. The bigger news is its reward structure: 3 points per dollar on travel, telecom, shipping, and advertising on social media and search engines on up to $150K in annual spending.

Currently Ink Plus has a $95 annual fee and offers 5 points per dollar on $50,000 of annual spending on telecom, TV, internet, and office supply stores. It offers 2 points per dollar on $50,000 of annual spending on gas and hotels.

Ink Cash has no annual fee and offers 5 points per dollar on $25,000 of annual spending on telecom, TV, internet, and office supply stores. It offers 2 points per dollar on $25,000 of annual spending on gas and dining.

The 5x office supply bonus is quite lucrative when used to purchase gift cards for stores like Amazon or generic Visa gift cards, so I’m not surprised that Chase isn’t going to offer that on the new card.

Will the Ink Cash and Ink Plus cards be phased out with the Ink Business Preferred launch? Will their rewards structures be changed to match that of the Ink Business Preferred card?

There are strong rumors that the 5 point categories will no longer be offered to new customers. Let’s just say if you want to take advantage of 5 point per dollar cards that you may want to apply for those cards sooner rather than later. Just remember that 5/24 guidelines apply.

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Buy $300 In Visa Gift Cards From Staples This Week And Get A Free $20 Visa Gift Card Via Easy Rebate

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

If you buy $300+ in Visa gift cards from Staples between 10/23 and 10/29 you can send in an Easy Rebate online to get a bonus $20 Visa gift card.

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

If you buy 2 $200 Visa 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).

That’s 2,070 points for a $413.90 purchase. Plus you’ll get the $20 Visa card via Easy Rebate.

While Staples.com now carries $300 gift cards, I haven’t seen any reports of the $300 cards being found in stores yet.

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

You can use the gift cards to buy money orders at Walmart or at various grocery stores, gas stations or 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: incendia, via DDF

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1,000 Free Air Canada Aeroplan Miles And Extend The Life Of Your Miles

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

1,000 Free Air Canada Aeroplan Miles And Extend The Life Of Your Miles

Complete the short quiz (you don’t need the right answers) and you’ll get 1,000 miles.

It doesn’t state how long it will take for the miles to post.

Aeroplan miles require activity every 12 months, so this will extend the life of your miles for a year.

HT: ben89, via DDF

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Maximizing AMEX And Chase Bonus Spending And Redemption Categories

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

AMEX and Chase have come out swinging with points that are worth more when you have their premium cards.

The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN now offers a 50% rebate when you redeem coach airfare with your choice of a domestic airline and a 50% rebate when you redeem for business or first class airfare with any airline on amextravel.com. Be sure you are logged in to redeem points. People have had success chatting to change the airline of their choice as well, but YMMV (your mileage may vary).

If there’s a $100 airline ticket you want to book it will cost 10,000 points and you’ll get 5,000 points back. That means your points are effectively worth 2 cents each as a fixed rate redemption. And unlike with mileage tickets, you will also earn miles for these tickets. AMEX also offers insider fares that can make your points be worth even more than 2 cents each towards paid airfare, but we’ll ignore those fares for the purpose of this post. Of course the caveat here is that you have to have the full amount of points available in your account and then you must wait for the points rebate.

This post doesn’t account for AMEX bonus points for spending at small businesses.

-The Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you redeem points for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and select travel activities at a fixed rate redemption value of 1.5 cents each from the Ultimate Rewards site. There’s no waiting around for a rebate or selecting an airline, but the maximum value is 1.5 cents each.

Both of these cards also offer the ability to transfer points into real airline miles where your points can be worth far more or far less, depending on what you use them for. Miles can be worth 0.5 cents or 50 cents each depending on the exact redemption. But for determining value in this post we’ll assume a baseline of 1.5 cents each for Chase and 2 cents each for AMEX based on the fixed redemption options that the Sapphire Reserve and Business Platinum cards offer. That’s not entirely fair as the Chase redemption option offers far more flexibility, but for this post we’ll just compare the maximum potential fixed rate value even if it requires jumping through some hoops.

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.

Of course the real trick is maximizing spending categories and then using those points with the premium cards. This post assumes that you will have a Sapphire Reserve or AMEX Business Platinum in order to maximize the fixed rate redemption value.

On Chase Ultimate Rewards cards that means:

-Everyday purchases on Chase Freedom Unlimited where every purchase earns 1.5 points per dollar. You can transfer those points to Sapphire Reserve, making the effective rebate at least 2.25% everywhere thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value.
The Freedom Unlimited card offers 15,000 points for spending $500 in 3 months and another 2,500 points for opening an additional user card. It has no annual fee and a 3% foreign exchange fee.

-Travel purchases on the Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn 3 points per dollar making the effective rebate at least 4.5% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value. This category includes airfare, car rentals, hotels, Airbnb, campgrounds, cruises, trains, buses, subways, Uber, Lyft, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, E-ZPass, parking, and more.
The Sapphire Reserve card offers 100,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months. It has a $450 annual fee and no foreign exchange fees. It comes with a $300 automatic travel credit every calendar year, a Priority Pass lounge membership with unlimited free guests, and Global Entry/Pre-Check membership.

-Dining purchases on the Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn 3 points per dollar making the effective rebate at least 4.5% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value. This category includes Restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, bars, and lounges.

-Office Supply purchases (including gift cards sold at office supply stores to stores like Amazon) on Ink Plus or Ink Cash cards to earn 5 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 7.5% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value.
The Ink Plus card offers 60,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. It has a $95 annual fee and no foreign exchange fees. You can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $50,000 in spending per year.
The Ink Cash card offers 30,000 points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. It has no annual fee and a 3% foreign exchange fee. You can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $25,000 in spending per year.

-Telecom, Cable, and internet service on Ink Plus or Ink Cash cards to earn 5 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 7.5% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value.

-Gas on Ink Plus or Ink Cash cards to earn 2 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 3% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value.

-Rotating category purchases on Freedom to earn 5 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 7.5% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value. In 2016 these categories included Q1: Gas stations and local commuter transportation. Q2: Grocery stores and Wholesale clubs like BJs, Costco, and Sams Club. Q3: Restaurants and Wholesale clubs. Q4: Department stores, Drug stores, Wholesale clubs.
The Freedom card offers 15,000 points for spending $500 in 3 months and another 2,500 points for opening an additional user card. It has no annual fee and a 3% foreign exchange fee.

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.


On AMEX Membership Rewards cards that means:

-Everyday purchases on AMEX Everyday Preferred where every purchase earns at least 1.5 points per dollar if you make at least 30 transactions per month. You can transfer those points to the Business Platinum card, making the effective rebate at least 3% everywhere thanks to the 2 cents per point value.
The AMEX Everyday Preferred card offers 15,000 points for spending $1,000 in 3 months. It has a $95 annual fee and a 2.7% foreign exchange fee.

-Everyday purchases on AMEX Everyday card (if you want to avoid paying additional annual fees) where every purchase earns at least 1.2 points per dollar if you make at least 20 transactions per month. That’s an effective rebate at least 2.4% thanks to the 2 cents per point value.
The AMEX Everyday card offers 10,000 points for spending $1,000 in 3 months. It has no annual fee and a 2.7% foreign exchange fee.

-Everyday purchases on AMEX Blue for Business card (if you want to avoid paying minimum transactions per month) where every purchase earns at least 1.3 points per dollar after a 30% annual points dividend. That’s an effective rebate at least 2.6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value.
The AMEX Blue for Business card offers 10,000 points for spending $1 in 3 months. It has no annual fee and a 2.7% foreign exchange fee.

-Large everyday purchases of $5,000 or more on the Business Platinum card to earn 1.5 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 3% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at 1,000,000 points per year.
The AMEX Business Platinum card offers 50,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months and another 50,000 points for spending another $10,000 in 3 months. It has a $450 annual fee and no foreign exchange fees. It offers a $200 airline fee credit per calendar year that can also be used for gift cards purchased for stores like Amazon via United MileagePlusX. It offers a 50% rebate when you redeem coach airfare with your choice of an airline and a 50% rebate when you redeem for business or first class airfare with any airline on amextravel.com. It provides 10 annual GoGo in-flight WiFi passes, Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood Gold elite status, Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, Priority Pass lounge access, Global Entry/Pre-Check membership. Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi, and Lost item protection.

-Airfare purchases on the Platinum card to earn 5 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 10% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.
The AMEX Platinum card offers 40,000 points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. It has a $450 annual fee and no foreign exchange fees. It offers a $200 airline fee credit per calendar year that can also be used for gift cards purchased for stores like Amazon via United MileagePlusX. It provides Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood Gold elite status, Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, Priority Pass lounge access, Global Entry/Pre-Check membership. Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi, and Lost item protection. You can also add 3 additional cardholders for a flat $175 fee ($58.33/year each) which each include elite benefits, lounge access benefits, and TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.

-Airfare purchases on the Premier Rewards Gold card to earn 3 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.
The Premier Rewards Gold card offers 25,000 points for spending $2,000 in 3 months. It has a $195 annual fee which is waived for the first year and no foreign exchange fees. It offers a $100 airline fee credit per calendar year that can also be used for gift cards purchased for stores like Amazon via United MileagePlusX.

-Shipping on AMEX Business Gold to earn 3 points per dollar as your preferred category or 2 points per dollar otherwise. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at $100,000 per year.  If you spend on Fedex you can also get a 5% rebate, for a total of 11% back.
The AMEX Business Gold card offers 50,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months for a limited time only. It offers 3 points per dollar in the category of your choice and 2 pints per dollar on other categories. It has a $175 annual fee which is waived for the first year and no foreign exchange fees.

-Groceries on AMEX Everyday Preferred to earn 4.5 points per dollar with 30 total transactions/month. That’s an effective rebate at least 9% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at $6,000 in spending per year.

-Groceries on AMEX Premier Rewards Gold to earn 2 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 4% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.

-Gas on AMEX Business Gold to earn 3 points per dollar as your preferred category or 2 points per dollar otherwise. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at $100,000 per year.

-Gas on AMEX Everyday Preferred to earn 3 points per dollar with 30 total transactions/month. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.

-Gas on AMEX Premier Rewards Gold to earn 2 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 4% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.

-Restaurants on AMEX Premier Rewards Gold to earn 2 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 4% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.

-Uber on AMEX Everyday Preferred to earn 2.5 points per dollar with 30 total transactions/month. That’s an effective rebate at least 5% thanks to the 2 cents per point value.

-Advertising on AMEX Business Gold to earn 3 points per dollar as your preferred category or 2 points per dollar otherwise. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at $100,000 per year.

-Computer hardware, software, and cloud computing on AMEX Business Gold to earn 3 points per dollar as your preferred category or 2 points per dollar otherwise. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at $100,000 per year. If you spend on HP you can also get a 5% rebate, for a total of 11% back.

-Car rentals on AMEX Blue for Business to earn 1.3 points per dollar plus 5% cash back if you rent with Hertz. That’s an effective rebate at least 2.6% (or 7.6% for Hertz) thanks to the 2 cents per point value.

Summary:

CategoryAMEXChase  
Advertising-6% Business Gold-2.25% Freedom Unlimited
Airfare-10% Platinum
-6% Premier Rewards Gold

-4.5% Sapphire Reserve
Car rentals-2.6-7.6% Blue for Business-4.5% Sapphire Reserve
Everyday Purchases-3% Everyday Preferred-2.25% Freedom Unlimited
Gas -6% Everyday Preferred
-6% Business Gold
-4% Premier Rewards Gold
-7.5% Freedom during rotating category.
-3% Ink Plus
-3% Ink Cash
Groceries -9% Everyday Preferred
-4% Premier Rewards Gold
-7.5% Freedom during rotating category.
-2.25% Freedom Unlimited
Hotels-3% Everyday Preferred-4.5% Sapphire Reserve
Restaurants-4% Premier Rewards Gold-7.5% Freedom during rotating category.
-4.5% Sapphire Reserve
Rotating categoriesN/A-7.5% Freedom
Office Supplies-3% Everyday Preferred-7.5% Ink Plus
-7.5% Ink Cash
Telecom-3% Everyday Preferred-7.5% Ink Plus
-7.5% Ink Cash
Uber-5% Everyday Preferred-7.5% Freedom during rotating category.
-4.5% Sapphire Reserve
Shipping-6-11% Business Gold-2.25% Freedom Unlimited
Computer Hardware/Software-6-11% Business Gold-2.25% Freedom Unlimited

Do you maximize your spending? Have another strategy you use? Hit the comments!

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500 Free Virgin America Miles And Extend The Life Of Your Miles

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

500 Free Virgin America Miles

Register via the link above and you’ll get 500 Virgin America miles.

This is a separate promotion than the 500 free miles that were available last month.

The miles will post to your account in November.

This will extend the validity of your Virgin America miles by 18 months.

HT: Emkay, via DDF

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Delta NYC Flash Award Sale From 5K Miles!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Update: This sale ends at 11:59pm EDT tonight!


Originally posted on 10/11:

Delta is offering discounted award tickets to and from NYC.
-Purchase by 10/12 at 11:59pm EDT.
-Travel 12/1-12/20

Sample one-way sale fares:
-NYC to/from Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, or Pittsburgh for 5K miles instead of 7.5K.
-NYC to/from Chicago for 5K miles instead of 10K.
-NYC to/from Cleveland for 8K miles instead of 10K.
-NYC to/from Seattle or Portland for 9.2K miles instead of 11.5K.
-NYC to/from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, or San Francisco for 10K miles instead of 12.5K.

Post what deals you find!

HT: Yaalili, via DDF

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Confirmed: Massive Devaluation For United Miles #UnitedUnfriendly

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Yesterday I posted that award tickets booked on United.com or via United phone agents were pricing very strangely. The exact same flights could cost 80K, 92.5K, or 110K miles depending on if United.com found them automatically or how you searched for them.

It turns out that it’s not a bug. It’s #UnitedUnfriendly rearing its ugly head again. Gary writes that he assumed it had to be a glitch as such a change without sufficient prior warning would constitute an unfair and deceptive practice worthy of a DoT complaint. United told him that,

“There is not a glitch on the new site for multi-city — that functionality is working as we previously announced. The new MileagePlus award changes are designed to make multi-city searches easier, give our customers greater flexibility, offer the Excursionist Perk, and provide efficient options that meet their travel needs. Selecting the multi-city option will break up the search into separate awards. We believe our multi-city pricing is consistent with the industry.”

Except nothing is easier, the Excursionist Perk is a massive downgrade from a stopover, and more flexibility just means pay us more miles.

There was a nice run of improvements from when Smisek was fired. United started improving their clubs, business class, in-flight snacks and coffee, free snacks for elites, and more. Employee morale went way up which made for far more pleasant and on-time flights.

American fired their President, Scott Kirby in August. United immediately hired him and named him their President. Scott Kirby is the man who said in a press conference that the Philadelphia-Tel Aviv route was “extremely lucrative” before canceling the route due to the route “always being a money-loser.” He came over with Doug Parker from America West to destroy USAirways and obliterate American’s operational performance and AAdvantage in record time.

And now United has removed the ability the manually pick your own saver award flights. If you take United.com’s suggestions then it will give the saver award rate for the route, but if you try specifying valid saver award flights you’ll pay a separate rate for each flight. That applies whether you select the flights on United.com or with a phone agent, though there are a couple reports of rare agents that are willing to sell tickets from the old system where you can string together your choice of saver award flights without paying additional miles.

United claims this is in line with industry practices, but that’s a farce.
Even American still allows you to combine saver flights on a single saver award as long as the routing is legal and you don’t have a stopover of more than 24 hours on an international flight and most carriers allow you to do the same.

Let United know how you feel by Tweeting your thoughts to @United with hashtag #UnitedUnfriendly or email them.

You can also retweet

If you feel deceived by MileagePlus’ lack of proper notification of the change you can file a a DoT complaint as well for their deceptive and unfair practices.

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Is United’s Devaluation Significantly Worse Than Promised Or Is It Just A Bug?

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Last week United eliminated most award stopovers, free one-ways, and round-the-world awards.

Tough pill to swallow, but that’s the way the industry has gone and United generously introduced an Excursionist Perk that allows for a stopover as long as it occurs in the same region as the destination and doesn’t occur in the region of origin.

Despite some rumors to the contrary, they also didn’t eliminate XN, YN, or JN expanded award availability for cardholders or a seminar tip.

And they even fixed Expert Mode, which now shows up on award searches once again.  When it was eliminated I contacted the 1K email support team who told me that it had been disabled permanently. I followed up explaining why I found it so useful to know how many award seats were available without having to do an award search for the award calendar and then having to do a revenue search to view how many award seats were actually available and they let me know back in June that it was fixed. When I told them it was still not showing they said they would bring it back and it’s good to see it finally make its return. This saver award nonstop from Tel Aviv to Newark on March 1st has at least 9 seats for cardholders and elites but no saver awards seats for non cardholders.

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However since the update I can’t login to my account details page in Chrome, though it still works in Firefox.

But worse than the stopover elimination is that when using the multi-city search on the website or by phone the system now prices every segment separately. You can no longer create a routing even if it falls within the award rules.

In the past you were able to use multi-city search to string together award flights that United.com didn’t come up with. In other words if you search for an award from NYC to Tel Aviv you’ll find many routing options on United.com, but you can find many more by searching from NYC to Europe and Europe to Tel Aviv. In the past you were able to manually select flights and they priced at the same rate as a regular award.

Now United.com and phone agents are charging separately for each leg when manually requested. That means you’re stuck with what United.com finds, if you use the multi-city option you are penalized even if you select the same flights that United.com does find!

United.com successfully found a flight from Tel Aviv to JFK via Munich for 42.5K:

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However when I select those exact flights via multi-city search it now prices each leg separately:

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United.com was unable to find a business class flight from NYC to Sydney on December 6th:

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It was able to find an 80K business class option from Los Angeles to Sydney:

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By using multi-city search I easily added the NYC-LAX flight to that itinerary by searching NYC-LAX and LAX-SYD. But instead of the 80K miles it should have cost, it shows 92.5K due to the new pricing logic:

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How bad is the new pricing logic? If I search for NYC-AKL and AKL-SYD then the same exact flights come back at 110K:

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If United.com comes up with NYC-LAX-AKL-SYD it’s 80K in business class. If I use multi-city search it can be 92.5K or 110K depending on how I input the search.

Is this #UnitedUnfriendly or a#UnitedBug?

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United *Enhancing* Award Booking Fees And Rules; 14 Examples Of United Stopover Awards You’ll No Longer Be Able To Book In 2 Months

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Update, 10/5: Today is the final day to book a free one-way or stopover award with United miles.


Originally posted on 8/5:

Effective 10/6 you will no longer be able to book stopovers on United awards as has been allowed in the past.

Most insultingly, the email they sent out says that the changes are for “More flexible award booking and streamlined fees” and that “Starting in the fall, we are enhancing the way you book MileagePlus award travel on united.com”

Nothing good has ever come out of an airline enhancement. I’d rather be told how it is than have their marketing team try to work their spin. #UnitedUnfriendly is rearing its ugly head once again.

United writes that “Many members found the stopover policy to be confusing. Our goal is to keep the benefit while making the process of booking your multi-city trip easier, so we are introducing the Excursionist Perk, which is a free one-way award within select multi-city itineraries.”

I have no idea how Excursionist Perk is any less confusing than stopover, but I’ll try to explain what the difference is in this post. But in short, stopovers are awesome, and the “Excursionist Perk” removes all of the awesome from stopovers.

The new stopover rules are downright awful, as is the new Excursionist Perk name for the stopover. But quite frankly, the only surprise is that they are still offering some sort of stopover option at all. American and Delta no longer offer any stopovers, though many foreign carriers still do.

Stopovers allow you to add a free segment to your itinerary and the techniques of them is something that I spent a lot of time at DansDeals Seminars discussing (though it was also when I noticed the eyes glazing over on most novices as they started to get confused). For example if you book a round-trip from NYC to London in August you can “stopover” after your London trip for 6 months and then get a free one-way to Miami in February. You can then use miles or find a cheap one-way ticket back home after that, or you can book a trip from Miami to Paris the following summer with the Miami-NYC leg in February and NYC-Paris and back the following August.

You can book a stopover award here, just click multi-city. I generally search for 3 one-way awards and when I find saver award space for those 3 legs I’ll then use the multi-city option to book it. If you initially search via multi-city it often gives errors and shows fewer options that when you search for one-way awards.

United is also eliminating round-the-world awards. Those awards were a good deal before the 2014 devaluation at 180K coach, 260K business, and 350K first. With that devaluation those rates shot up to 200K coach, 350K business, and 450K first. The last day to book a round-the-world award is 10/5.

United is also updating their award fees. Here is the new award fee structure and here is the current fee structure. Currently non-elites pay $75 for changes more than 21 days in advance of a flight, $100 for changes within 21 days of the flight, or $200 to cancel an award. As of 10/6 non-elites will pay $75 for any changes or cancellations more than 60 days in advance of the flight and $125 within 60 days of the flight, so that’s actually a nice improvement for when you need to cancel an award. However Platinum elites are very unhappy as they go from not paying any award change or cancel fees to paying $50 for any changes made within 60 days.

You can still book traditional stopover awards until 10/5 for travel through the end of schedule. If you keep the first flight of your award ticket then you’ll be able to change the rest of a traditional stopover ticket, but if you change the first flight of your award ticket you will lose your traditional stopover.

Stopover rules after 10/5:
1. Free stopovers will no longer be allowed to occur in the region of origin.
2. Free stopovers will no longer be allowed to include a flight that spans 2 regions.
3. Free stopovers will no longer be allowed if the origin and destination of the trip are in different regions.
4. Stopovers will no longer be allowed on a wholly domestic ticket for an additional 10K miles.

You can view a list of regions here.

Here are examples of what all this means in the real world:

1. Intra-Hawaii coach with stopover: Currently 12K, will be 18K:
A. Honolulu-Kauai in coach on 1/15.
B. Kauai-Maui in coach on 1/22.
C. Maui-Honolulu in coach on 1/29.
This will no longer be a valid stopover award as the stopover leg B occurs within the region of origin.

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View more examples after the jump:

(more…)

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On Additional Sapphire Reserve Cards Without A Fee And Keeping Sapphire Reserve For Additional Years; Earning $4,250 In Travel Credit

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

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.

Related posts (Read these first):
Chase’s Highest Ultimate Rewards Signup Bonus Ever: Sapphire Reserve 100,000 Point Bonus Is Now Live; Get $2,100 In Travel!
-What Should You Do With Your Sapphire Preferred Card After Getting A Sapphire Reserve Card?
-On The Topic Of Chase 5/24

-Expedite Your 100,000 Point Sapphire Reserve Signup Bonus; Can You Get The Signup Bonus With Only $3,700 In Spending?

Sapphire Reserve mania is everywhere. I still get Bloomberg Businessweek for free thanks to combining a few magazine subscriptions from this deal and there it is on this week’s front cover. When dollar coins from the Mint made the front page of the WSJ we all knew that it would come to an end, so I’m not sure how I feel about the cover story…

At any rate, I’d like to tackle a couple of common questions with the Sapphire Reserve.

People often ask me about the $75 additional cardholder fee. And it’s true, this is indeed a disadvantage compared to Sapphire Preferred which has free additional cardholders.

Both myself and my wife signed up for our own Sapphire Reserve cards, so we have no need for an additional user card. It was a no-brainer for both of us to signup. In our first cardmebership year (August 2016-2017) we’ll pay $900 in annual fees, but we’ll get a total of 200,000 bonus points that are worth at least $3,000 of travel credit (though likely much more than that by transferring those points into miles). Additionally we’ll get $1,200 in automatic travel refunds for airfare, car rentals, hotels, Airbnb, campgrounds, cruises, trains, buses, subways, Uber, Lyft, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, E-ZPass, parking, and more. You can even buy airline or hotel gift cards or just prepay your E-ZPass account to trigger the credit. The $1,200 is made up of $300 in credits on each of cards in 2016 and then another $300 of credits on each card in 2017.

Chase even awards 900 points for that $300 in spending despite it being refunded. That’s another 3,600 in bonus points on free spending between our 2 cards, good for at least $54 in free flights.

Between our 2 cards that’s a minimum of $4,250 in travel credit in our first cardmembership year. That’s well worth paying $900 in annual fees. And that’s not even counting the triple points on travel and dining, the Priority Pass lounge membership, the 5 year Global Entry membership, and the ability to redeem all Chase points for 1.5 cents towards travel, including on cards like Freedom Unlimited where you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere (effective 2.25% minimum rebate everywhere) or Freedom/Ink cards that can earn 5 points per dollar (effective 7.5% minimum rebate in select categories).

The reason that Sapphire Reserve has a $75 additional cardholder fee is to cover the primary Priority Pass membership that each additional cardholder receives. With Chase’s Priority Pass membership you can bring unlimited guests with you into the lounge for free.

If your additional cardholder travels with you then it’s not worth paying the $75 as they can enter as your guest. But if they travel by themselves it can make sense to pay the $75.

Previously 2 Chase online SM reps and a phone rep told me that additional cardholders would also qualify for Global Entry credits, but it turns out that is not the case.

If you just need an extra Sapphire Reserve card for travel and dining spending you can get a duplicate card by just calling Chase and asking for an extra metal or plastic version of the card.

Or if you still have the old Chase.com interface you can request a replacement card online. I have 2 Chase logins, 1 only has my personal accounts and has been upgraded to the new interface. The other login has both my personal and business accounts and still uses the old interface. After logging in to an account with the old interface just click on “Customer Center” and then “Card replacement:”

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I haven’t been able to find that option in the new Chase.com interface.

I now have 2 identical Sapphire Reserve cards in my name that both work, no $75 fee required. Even if a store asks for ID, Visa does not allow a store to refuse to swipe your credit card if you refuse to show it…

Another common question is whether it’s worth keeping the Sapphire Reserve for subsequent years.

Chase has done a good job making a strong value proposition to keep the card despite its $450 annual fee.

My 2nd cardmembership year will run from August 2017-2018. In 2018 I’ll get another $300 in travel credits. Chase also awards 900 points for that $300 in spending, so that’s $313.50 of annual credit.

The credit will apply in every subsequent cardmembership year and it makes the effective annual fee just $136.50 per year. That’s only $41.50 per year more than Sapphire Preferred and is a bargain considering what you get for that.

If you spend $233 per month on travel and dining you’ll already pay for that difference in the annual fee thanks to the 3 points per dollar awarded with Sapphire Reserve compared to 2 points per dollar with Sapphire Preferred. That level of spending means an extra 2,800 annual points that are worth at least $42 thanks to the minimum 1.5 cents per point travel redemption value if you have a Sapphire Reserve card.

Of course the additional benefits are much more than just the extra point per dollar. You also get the lounge membership with unlimited guesting, the Global Entry credit every 4 years, and the ability to use all of your Chase points for 1.5 cents each towards travel.

Other Sapphire Reserve benefits include roadside assistance, free trip cancellation insurance, primary CDW insurance, rental car discounts, price protection, return protection, purchase protection, warranty protection, lost luggage Protection, trip delay protection, baggage delay protection, travel accident insurance, and Visa Infinite Concierge. You can read more about those here.

As always you can transfer points to someone else in your household, so if one person in the household uses cards like Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink to earn between 1.5-5 points per dollar everywhere they can transfer those points to the another person in the household who has a Sapphire Reserve to transfer into miles or use at a value of 1.5 cents each. And you even can get extra Sapphire Reserve cards to earn 3 points per dollar for travel and dining purchases without paying the $75 annual fee as shown above.

I’m just hoping that these levels of benefits will be sustainable despite the mainstream media coverage…

Have you signed up for a Sapphire Reserve yet?

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Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Related posts (Read these first!):
Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths
Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel
Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points, Southwest Companion Pass Status, And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel


The Starwood-Marriott merger completed last Friday.

In 2018 the programs will combine and form a new program, but in the meantime you can link your SPG and Marriott accounts together and then transfer points freely back and forth in order to take advantage of the best that both programs have to offer.

-You can receive 3 Rewards points for every Starpoint transferred into Marriott.

-You can receive 1 Starpoint for every 3 Marriott Rewards points transferred to Starwood.

-Transferring any Marriott points to Starwood will keep your Starpoints alive for another 18 months, so it’s worth doing it just for that. Marriott points expire after 24 months and you need to earn or redeem points to keep them alive, transfers don’t extend their expiration. However Starwood counts transfers as activity to keep your points alive. Officially Starwood has a 12 month expiration policy, but they don’t enforce it until 18 months have gone by. Starwood is also generous about reactivating expired miles if you plead your case.

-Starwood also has a more liberal member transfer policy. You can transfer Starpoints to any member who shares an address with you. If the addresses don’t match you’ll need to wait 30 days after changing the address before initiating a transfer. If you want to transfer Marriott points to someone living at your address you can transfer those points into Starpoints, transfer those Starpoints to the other member, and then that member can transfer those points back to Marriott.

-The minimum transfer from Marriott to Starwood is 1,000:333. The minimum transfer from Starwood to Marriott is 1,000:3,000. This post does not factor in minimum transfer amounts.

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

-Marriott has 9 categories of hotels that range from 7,500 to 45,000 points per night or 6,000 to 40,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.

-Marriott also has 5 tiers of Ritz Carlton hotels that range from 30,000 to 70,000 points per night or 20,000 to 60,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.

Starwood has 7 categories of hotels that range from 2,000 to 35,000 points per night.

-Both chains also offer capacity controlled Cash+Points options that aren’t displayed in this chart.

-Starwood category 5-7 hotels have low and high season dates that are set annually by each hotel.

Chart 1: View how many Starpoints or Marriott Rewards are needed for Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and SPG hotels, along with a few sample hotels from each level.

The top number is the points required for a 1 night stay. The bottom number is the points required per night if you stay for 5 nights:

Hotel CategoryStarpoints per night for a 1 night or 5 night stayMarriott Rewards per night for a 1 night or 5 night staySample Hotels 
Marriott Category 12,500

2,000
7,500

6,000
-MOXY Milan Airport
-Protea Hotel Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Zambia
-Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, South Africa
Marriott Category 23,333

2,666
10,000

8,000
-Courtyard Toronto Airport
-Courtyard Detroit Southfield
Marriott Category 35,000

4,000
15,000

12,000
-Courtyard Oxnard
-Denver Marriott Tech Center
-Protea Hotel Sea Point, Cape Town
-JW Marriott Hanoi
Marriott Category 46,667

5,333
20,000

16,000
-JW Marriott Hotel Beijing
-JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City
Marriott Category 58,333

6,667
25,000

20,000
-Residence Inn Los Angeles Airport
-SpringHill Suites Fairbanks
-Renaissance Chicago O'Hare Suites
-Marriott Tbilisi, Georgia
-Marriott Lisbon
Marriott Category 610,000

8,000
30,000

24,000
-Residence Inn San Diego La Jolla
-Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel
-Renaissance Sao Paulo, Brazil
Marriott Category 711,667

9,333
35,000

28,000
-Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel
-Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach/Oceanfront
-S. Kitts Marriott Resort
Marriott Category 813,333

10,667
40,000

32,000
-Turnberry Isle Miami
-Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
-Atlantis, Royal Towers, Bahamas
-JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa
-Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Marriott Category 915,000

12,000
45,000

36,000
-Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
-Boscolo Venice
-JW Marriott Hong Kong
-Scrub Island Resort, Virgin Islands
-Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe, Paris
-Grosvenor House Lonson, A JW Marriott Hotel
Ritz Tier 110,000

8,000
30,000

24,000
-Ritz-Carlton Beijing
-Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi
Ritz Tier 213,333

10,667
40,000

32,000
-Ritz-Carlton Cleveland
-Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Ritz Tier 316,667

13,333
50,000

40,000
-Ritz-Carlton Herzliya
-Ritz-Carlton Cancun
-Ritz-Carlton Toronto
Ritz Tier 420,000

16,000
60,000

48,000
-Ritz-Carlton Maui
-Ritz-Carlton NYC/Battery Park
Ritz Tier 523,333

18,667
70,000

56,000
-Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour
-Ritz-Carlton South Beach
-Ritz-Carlton New York/Central Park
-Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
SPG Category 12,000 (Weekends)

3,000 (Weekdays)

No 5 night discount
6,000 (Weekends)

9,000 (Weekdays)

No 5 night discount
-Aloft San Jose, Costa Rica
-Le Méridien N'Fis, Morocco
SPG Category 23,000 (Weekends)

4,000 (Weekdays)

No 5 night discount
9,000 (Weekends)

12,000 (Weekdays)

No 5 night discount
-Four Points Niagara Falls Fallsview
-Sheraton Eatontown, NJ
SPG Category 37,000

5,600
21,000

16,800
-Le Méridien Chiang Mai
-Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale
SPG Category 410,000

8,000
30,000

24,000
-Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa At Keauhou Bay, HI
-Four Points Miami Beach
-Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
SPG Category 512,000 (Low)

9,600 (Low/5)

16,000 (High)

12,800 (High/5)
36,000 (Low)

28,800 (Low/5)

48,000 (High)

38,400 (High/5)
-Royal Palm South Beach
-Sheraton Kauai Resort
-Sheraton Tel Aviv
-Sheraton Iguazú Resort & Spa
SPG Category 620,000 (Low)

16,000 (Low/5)

25,000 (High)

20,000 (High/5)
60,000 (Low)

48,000 (Low/5)

75,000 (High)

60,000 (High/5)
-W Hong Kong
-Westin Venice
-SLS Beverly Hills
-W Retreat Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
SPG Category 730,000 (Low)

24,000 (Low/5)

35,000 (High)

28,000 (High/5)
90,000 (Low)

72,000 (Low/5)

105,000 (High)

84,000 (High/5)
-S. Regis Bal Harbour
-S. Regis Princeville, Kauai
-Gritti Palace, Venice

Chart 2: View how many Starpoints or Marriott Rewards are needed for a air+hotel package at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels.

With these packages you will get miles and a 7 night hotel certificate.

The best value is the largest mileage option, though there are smaller mileage options as well.

-For example for 90K Starpoints or 270K Marriott Rewards points you will get a 7 night hotel stay at Marriott category 1-5 properties and 132K miles if you choose to transfer the miles to United.

-You’ll get 120K miles if you choose to transfer the miles to Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Southwest, or Virgin Atlantic. Transfers to Southwest qualify for Companion Pass Status which allows you to bring a friend with you for free on all paid and award travel through the end of the year after you qualify.

-You’ll only get 85K miles if you choose to transfer the miles to Aeroflot, airberlin, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA LifeMiles, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Korean Air SKYPASS, LAN, Lufthansa Miles & More, Multiplus, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Saudia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways Voyager, TAP Air Portugal, or Turkish.

-You’ll get a miserly 60K miles if you choose to transfer the miles to JetBlue or Virgin America.

-The miles will post right away regardless of when or if you use the 7 night certificate.

-The 7 night hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them. The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights. You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.

There is also a 5 night hotel option, but officially that’s only available for Marriott timeshare owners. On rare occasions some reps will book the 5 night packages for non-timeshare owners.

Hotel CategoryStarpoints required for 7 nights and 132K milesMarriott Rewards required for 7 nights and 132K miles 
Marriott Category 190,000270,000
Marriott Category 290,000270,000
Marriott Category 390,000270,000
Marriott Category 490,000270,000
Marriott Category 590,000270,000
Marriott Category 6100,000300,000
Marriott Category 7110,000330,000
Marriott Category 8120,000360,000
Marriott Category 9130,000390,000
Ritz Tier 1140,000420,000
Ritz Tier 2140,000420,000
Ritz Tier 3140,000420,000
Ritz Tier 4180,000540,000
Ritz Tier 5180,000540,000

 


Chart 3: View how many Starpoints or Marriott Rewards are needed for a nights+flights package at Starwood hotels. This option only exists for SPG category 3 and 4 properties.

With these packages you will get 50K miles credited to your choice of dozens of airlines and a night hotel stay.

Hotel CategoryStarpoints for 5 nights and 50K milesMarriott Rewards for 5 nights and 50K miles
SPG Category 360,000 180,000
SPG Category 470,000 210,000


-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 Rewards points (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 “Other Credit Cards” 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.

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.

-This link for 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!


Do you have plans to transfer points or stay in a hotel that wasn’t possible previously? Share your redemptions in the comments!

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