Category Archive for 'Miles & Points'

Bonus Points For Flying JetBlue To/From NYC

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Bonus Points For Flying JetBlue To/From NYC

Register via the link above and you’ll earn 1K bonus points after 1 round-trip or 2 one-way flights to or from EWR, JFK, LGA, or HPN, You’ll earn another 2K bonus points after taking another round-trip or 2 one-way flights, and another 3K bonus points after taking another round-trip or 2 one-way flights. That’s a potential 6K in bonus points.

Flights must be purchased and flown between 5/25-7/23.

If you have a JetBlue Plus Card you can get a 10% rebate when redeeming JetBlue points, making the bonus worth even more. If you don’t have  card you can get 30K points for signing up. Cardholders also get a free checked bag for themselves and up to 3 passengers, 5K points every card anniversary, a $100 annual statement credit if you book a $100+ JetBlue vacation, 50% off in-flight purchases of cocktails, food, movies, and more.

 JetBlue Plus Cardholders can also earn Mosaic elite status by spending $50K on the card. Mosaic members get 15K bonus points for earning Mosaic status every year, free changes and cancellations on JetBlue tickets for the Mosaic member and for everyone on their itinerary, 2 free checked bags, free even more speed checkin and security access, early boarding, 3 additional points per dollar spent, free alcoholic beverages onboard, and a dedicated Mosaic 24/7 customer service line.

HT: Der Deutsche Jude, via DDF

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Hyatt Cardholders: Get 10% Back On All Point Redemptions! Plus A Unified Hyatt Award Chart With 10% Off Calculations

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Hyatt credit cardholders can register here to get 10% of their points back when they redeem them for stays through 9/5/17.

Don’t have a Chase Hyatt card? 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. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

-The Chase Hyatt card is not subject to 5/24 guidelines. It offers 2 free nights at any Hyatt in the world for signing up and spending $2,000 plus 5K points for adding a free authorized user. You can use those free nights at luxury Park Hyatt hotels in places like NYC, Sydney, Paris, or the Maldives that normally go for over $1,000/night! You’ll also get a free category 1-4 hotel to use every card anniversary, which can be used a hotel like the Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica  The card also gives Discoverist status, which gives free premium internet, bonus points, and 2PM late checkout. You can signup for a card now and then register for this promotion by 6/30.

Park Hyatt Sydney and Sydney Opera House. Picture taken from Sydney Harbour Bridge:

 

-If you need more Hyatt points you can buy them with a 30% bonus until 11:59pm CDT tonight.

-Registration will remain open until 6/30.
-Redeem your points for free nights, Points + Cash stays or toward room upgrades, dining and spa services completed between June 1 and September 5, 2017.
-Stays must be completed by 9/5, so if you are staying over that date, you’ll want to split up that award into 2 reservations.
-Points redeemed for Avis car rental certificates or points transferred to airline partners are not eligible for this promotion.
-Officially it states to allow 6-8 weeks after your points redemption has been completed for the points rebate, but based on experience from this promotion in the past, it should post much faster that that.

While the terms indicate that only points redeemed between 6/1-9/5 will qualify, Hyatt has confirmed to me that bookings made before 6/1 will qualify as long as the stay is completed between 6/1-9/5.

Here is the regular Hyatt award chart:

Hotel CategoryStandard Room AwardSuite Night AwardPoints+Cash Standard Room AwardCost of points saved with P+C Award
15K8K2.5K+$502 cents/point
28K13K4K+$551.38 cents/point
312K20K6K+$751.25 cents/point
415K24K7.5K+$1001.33 cents/point
520K32K10K+$1251.25 cents/point
625K40K12.5K+$1501.2 cents/point
730K48K15K+$3002 cents/point

 

 

And here is the Hyatt award chart with 10% off award stays:

Hotel CategoryStandard Room AwardSuite Night AwardPoints+Cash Standard Room AwardCost of points saved with P+C Award
14.5K7.2K2.25K+$502.22 cents/point
27.2K11.7K3.6K+$551.53 cents/point
310.8K18K5.4K+$751.39 cents/point
413.5K21.6K6.75K+$1001.48 cents/point
518K28.8K9K+$1251.39 cents/point
622.5K36K11.25K+$1501.33 cents/point
727K43.2K13.5K+$3002.22 cents/point

You can determine the category of every Hyatt hotel via this link.  Just toggle the category number to view other categories and expand the regions on the bottom to include hotels in the Asia/Pacific region or the Europe, Africa & Middle East region.

When booking a points+cash reservation I included a metric in the chart above that shows the rate that you’re effectively buying your points back at.

You’ll notice that points+cash stays are a worse value with the 10% off chart. That’s because you only get 10% of your points back, not the cash used.

The category 6 rate is normally the biggest points+cash bargain. You “buy” back or save 12.5K points per night for $150. Effectively you paid just 1.2 cents per point ($150/12,500) to save those 12.5K points per night. The category 1 and 7 points + cash deals are normally the worst as you are effectively paying 2 cents per point.
With 10% off the category 6 rate falls to 1.33 cents per point and the category 1 and 7 rates fall to 2.22 cents per point.

Note that standard awards have no blackouts or capacity controls on standard rooms and suites. However points+cash reservations are capacity controlled. A nice benefit of points+cash rooms is that they are considered a paid rate, so they qualify for all promotions that apply to paid hotel stays. On the flip side, Hyatt doesn’t charge resort fees on point stays or on free nights from their credit card, but you will pay a resort fee on points+cash stays.

Suite nights require a 3 night minimum stay and can only be booked over the phone.

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Earn Delta Miles With Every Lyft Ride

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

New Lyft users can use my referral link for $20 in Lyft credit.


Earn Delta Miles With Every Lyft Ride

Link your Lyft account with your Delta account and you can earn 1 mile per dollar spent on all Lyft rides. Additionally you’ll earn 3 miles per dollar spent on all Lyft rides that begin or end at an airport through 8/31/17.

If it was United miles, maybe this would make me use Lyft more often 😉

This is similar to Uber’s program that awards 1 Starpoint for every $2 spend on Uber and 4 Starpoints per dollar spent on Uber while you are staying in a Starwood hotel.

Of course you can also earn 3 points per dollar by charging your Lyft or Uber ride to a Sapphire Reserve card.

All AMEX Membership Rewards cards also award a bonus point per dollar for Uber spending, though not for Lyft spending. The Platinum Card® from American Express gives $15 in free monthly Uber credit and $35 in free Uber credit every December.

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Air Canada Will Bring Its Mileage Program Back In-House In 2020

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

In 2002 Air Canada decided to spin off its mileage program, Aeroplan, into its own entity.

Air Canada started selling it off in 2005 and completely divested of it by 2008. Aimia currently runs the program and has the contract to do so until June 29, 2020.

Experts thought that Air Canada would start a new trend, with airlines realizing big up-front bucks by spinning off their mileage programs.

But the opposite happened. The main value proposition of mileage programs is when they are integrated. That way the airlines can collect the big bucks that banks are shelling out, while offering award tickets that won’t hurt their bottom line. Over time banks have been paying higher and higher fees for miles in order to support their lucrative credit card departments.

Air Canada just announced that they will not renew Aeroplan’s contract and effective 6/30/20 they will bring their mileage program back in house. After that point you will earn Air Canada miles for flights and you’ll likely need Air Canada miles to redeem awards on Star Alliance airlines. Until then you will continue to earn Aeroplan miles.

If you have Aeroplan miles you will probably want to use them by 6/29/20. The Aeroplan program will continue to exist, but it won’t have access to the type of award flights that it enjoys now as Air Canada’s mileage program. It is nice that we’re getting a 3 years heads-up for that purpose.

Aeroplan has gone through a plethora of devaluations, even worse than the US programs. The best outcome of this announcement is that it will pretty much kill the voices that want other airlines to outsource their mileage programs. People are unlikely to invest in outsourced programs when airlines can just refuse to renew the contract and effectively kill the program.

HT: AJK

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The Final 2017 Daily Getaway: Discounted Hyatt Points

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

With Daily Getaways you can purchase discounted travel packages, but you have to be really quick.  The best deals will sell out in seconds, so you need to be waiting on the page at 12:59pm and refreshing the page.

Today is the last day of new deals. You can buy these packages at 1pm:

-24K Hyatt Points: $260 (1.08 cents per point)
-30K Hyatt Points: $330 (1.1 cents per point)
-40K Hyatt Points: $415 (1.04 cents per point)
-72K Hyatt Points: $775 (1.08 cents per point)

How good of a deal is that?
-Hyatt Place LaGuardia charges $200-$400/night with tax, but you can book the room for 12K points. If you buy points at 1.04 cents each that’s like paying just $125 for the room.
-The Andaz Costa Rica Papagayo Resort charges $250-$650/night including taxes and resort fees, but you can book the room for 15K points. If you buy points at 1.04 cents each that’s like paying just $156 for the room and no taxes or resort fees are owed on award stays.
-The Grand Hyatt Kauai charges $400-$800/night including taxes and resort fees, but you can book the room for 25K points. If you buy points at 1.04 cents each that’s like paying just $260 for the room and no taxes or resort fees are owed on award stays.
-The Park Hyatt Maldives charges $1,200-$2,000/night including taxes, but you can book the room for 25K points. If you buy points at 1.04 cents each that’s like paying just $260 for the room and no taxes or resort fees are owed on award stays.
-The Park Hyatt New York charges $800-$1,100/night including taxes, but you can book the room for 30K points. If you buy points at 1.04 cents each that’s like paying just $312 for the room and no taxes or resort fees are owed on award stays.
-The Park Hyatt Sydney charges $800-$1,200/night including taxes, but you can book the room for 30K points. If you buy points at 1.04 cents each that’s like paying just $312 for the room and no taxes or resort fees are owed on award stays.

Park Hyatt Sydney and Sydney Opera House, as seen from the Harbour Bridge:

Here is Hyatt’s award chart:

Hotel CategoryStandard Room AwardSuite Night AwardPoints+Cash Standard Room AwardCost of points saved with P+C Award
15K8K2.5K+$502 cents/point
28K13K4K+$551.38 cents/point
312K20K6K+$751.25 cents/point
415K24K7.5K+$1001.33 cents/point
520K32K10K+$1251.25 cents/point
625K40K12.5K+$1501.2 cents/point
730K48K15K+$3002 cents/point

You can view Hyatt hotels by category here.

Will you try to buy Hyatt points today?

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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, May 7th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

If you buy $300+ in Visa gift cards from Staples between 5/7 and 5/13 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.

visa

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).

Use your Chase Ink Cash, Ink Plus or Ink Bold 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 click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

Or you can use an AMEX SimplyCash card to earn 5% cash back.

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, so that won’t help with this rebate.

You can use the gift cards to buy money orders at Walmart or at various grocery stores and gas stations. 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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American Continues To Lead The Major Airlines’ Race To The Bottom With Even Less Room Throughout Coach

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Once upon a time, low cost airlines like Southwest offered no-frills service for less money.

My how times have changed.

Not only did the major network carriers (like American, Delta, and United that offer worldwide service via their hubs) get rid of hot meals, pillows, and other amenities, but they continue to find ways to make flying them as bad of an experience as ultra-low-cost carriers Frontier and Spirit provide.

After United launched Economy Plus seating in front of their exit rows, American countered and heavily advertised “More Room Throughout Coach.” Eventually they removed the extra legroom throughout coach.

Brian Znotins, former VP of United’s network strategy, shared with me that when Continental merged with United they shocked the industry by announcing they would launch Economy Plus throughout the combined fleet. Until that point United’s competitors didn’t realize that the extra legroom offering was actually profitable. American and Delta announced copycats of Economy Plus shortly after that.

However American will be the first US network carrier to shrink coach seats to a seat pitch (the space from the rear of one row to the rear of the next row) less than 30 inches. Do you think they’ll advertise “Even Less Room Throughout Coach?” American will even shrink the size of their bathrooms, as if they weren’t small enough to begin with.

Only Frontier and Spirit are stingier than American, at a pretzel twisting 28 inches of seat pitch.

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American and United are in middle of implementing a more customer unfreiendly version of basic economy fares that Delta originally launched. They attempt to mimic what airlines like Frontier and Spirit offer. Granted there are still advantages to the network carriers, such as earning miles, getting free drinks, onboard entertainment, more frequent flights in case of irregular operations, and the ability to get free carry-on and checked bags with a credit card. But there are other options available.

As American implements slimline seats with less legroom than ever, and starts charging to reserve most window and aisle seats, once again I have to wonder what their advantage is?

JetBlue offers generous legroom, free fast WiFi, free TV, and delicious free snacks. Plus you can credit your JetBlue flight to Singapore if you want traditional airline miles that don’t have a set value per mile. JetBlue is also the most generous airline when it comes to waiving their change and cancellation fees and they’ll offer a credit if your fare drops within 2 weeks of purchase.

Southwest offers 2 free checked bags and has no flight change fees. That means you can always cancel and rebook your flight if the price drops.

Somewhere along the line these low-cost carriers became the best value carriers.

-Delta runs an opaque mileage program that keeps customers in the dark (though their saver award space is better than American’s now). Delta runs the best airline operation (except when they melt down and get bailed out by the Chicago Aviation Police Force) and that’s a good enough reason to fly them.

United has MileagePlus in its corner, which despite devaluations, is by far and away the best mileage program with the best award availability.

Alaska has a fantastic mileage program and a well-run airline operationally speaking. They have a small footprint, but that will be growing with their acquisition of Virgin America. They also give credit if their fares drop.

Frontier and Spirit are cheap. You pay for drinks and for an assigned seat. You will be cramped. You won’t get free carry-ons or checked luggage. You may wait around for days if your flight is cancelled as they’re too cheap to put you on another airline and they don’t have frequent flights. They won’t even honor the 11:29pm next day cancellation policy if you book on Priceline. You may even wind up along the side of a highway on a broken down bus. But you’ll fly on the cheap and you can fly even cheaper on Spirit by buying tickets at the airport.

But American?

It was a great airline. Then the guys that ran America West and ruined USAirways proceeded to ruin American.

The WSJ ranked them as the worst airline for 2 years running. They cancelled the most flights, lost the most bags, and had the most extreme tarmac delays. That’s made worse by their inability to rebook passengers on Delta.

-They massively devalued their mileage program last year and followed that up by wiping out saver award availability on most routes. They charge massive fuel surcharges to travel on their primary Transatlantic partner, British Airways. They have draconian routing rules (Just try to book an award from the US to Australia via Asia or from the US to Southern South America via Central or Northern South America), they limit the total amount of miles you can fly on an award, and they don’t offer any kind of free stopover option on awards, making it even more difficult to use their miles. If you don’t know how to search for hidden partner awards, you probably can’t use your miles at all. Even when you do, it can take many HUCAs before an agent can find it.

-They made their gutting of saver award space worse by increasing their AAnytime award levels by massive amounts. United still maintains one rate that makes the higher award level far more reasonable than American and they give their cardholders expanded saver award space and last-seat availability at the standard level. For example a United flight from Newark to Los Angeles in business class is capped at 50K miles one-way while an American business class flight from JFK to Los Angeles can cost 97.5K miles one-way.

American couldn’t even be bothered to match Delta and United’s promises to offer up to $9,500 or $10,000 respectively to passengers in order to make sure that someone will always volunteer their seat in an oversell situation. Southwest even announced they would match JetBlue’s policy in ending the overselling of their flights.

-Their elite tiers are completely non-competitive with Delta and United. Lower tiers don’t get free upgrades, they get less free baggage, and they have more fees than elites at Delta and United. AA’s new 75K elite tier is stupidly named “Platinum Pro” and is a joke compared to United’s 75K Platinum offering. While United gives their Platinum members 3x 70 pound checked bags, free same day confirmed changes, free upgrades on awards for cardholders, expanded coach and business saver and standard awards, and free award redeposits outside of 60 days and $50 redeposits within 60 days, American only gives their Platinum Pros 2 free 50 pound bags, $75-$150 same day confirmed changes, no upgrades on awards, a $150 award redeposit fee, and no expanded award availability. Even AA top-tier elites got their confirmed upgrades slashed in half!

-Delta and United waive the airline spend requirements for elite status if you live abroad or if you spend $25K on their credit card, while American does not.

-There are zero weekly nonstop flights from North America to Tel Aviv on OneWorld compared to 7 on SkyTeam and 30 on Star Alliance.

-American won’t check bags onto another airline, even partner airlines, if you’re booked on separate tickets. That’s incredibly annoying when you need 2 award tickets to fly somewhere.

-American won’t allow 20 pound+ strollers or double strollers to be gate checked. And this is what will happen if you try to bring it onboard when you’re told you can’t gate check it…

-American’s flight status on their website and app are very primitive. It’s updated very late and often displays incorrect information in delay situations. United’s app is so far superior to American’s in every way.

-If you do want to redeem for an American flight, you’ll always do better by using miles from partner airlines like Alaska, BA, or Etihad, so there’s no longer much of a point of collecting miles from American. If you do fly on American you should credit your flights to a partner like Alaska.

Delta and United are much better than American these days, but they too continue to degrade their service standards as they get stuck in the middle between no-frills Frontier and Spirit and better value JetBlue and Southwest.

Really the main advantage of the network carriers (aside from their network of course) is their mileage programs. American and Delta don’t seem to get that, but at least Delta runs a decent airline operation.

It’s no surprise that American had to write down expected “other revenues” last month by some $220M less than expectations “primarily due to lower than expected AAdvantage credit card acquisitions as first quarter promotions were not as effective as planned.”

Maybe their customers aren’t as stupid as they think they are?

Customer unfriendly moves like Basic Economy and ridiculously narrow legroom will just continue to chase people away to better value airlines that don’t nickel and dime you to death, like JetBlue and Southwest.

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Should You Transfer AMEX Points To JetBlue With A 25% Bonus?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

It’s usually not worth transferring AMEX Membership Rewards points to JetBlue points as 250 AMEX points normally convert into 200 JetBlue points.

However until 5/31 there is a 25% bonus, which means that 250 AMEX points will convert into 250 JetBlue points.

Unfortunately AMEX charges a fee to transfer points to US airlines. That adds 60 cents for every 1,000 points transferred with a maximum fee of $99 per transaction.

 

There are a few factors at play to determine if you should transfer points to JetBlue.

-If you have a Business Platinum Card you can redeem points for at least 2 cents each. However that benefit will be reduced effective June 1st unless you have an Business Platinum card that was opened or upgraded between 10/1/16-5/31/17.

-If you have a JetBlue Plus Card you can get a 10% rebate when redeeming JetBlue points.

-If you don’t have immediate travel plans, is it worth locking points into JetBlue instead of keeping them as more flexible AMEX points that can be transferred to other airlines like Air Canada, BA, Cathay Pacific, Delta, El Al, Flying Blue, Singapore, and more?

 

Let’s take a look at the value of JetBlue points on several routes.

1. A flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas on 5/16 is $28.20 or 1,100 points+$5.60, a value of 2.05 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 990 points, a value of 2.28 cents per point.

2. A flight from LaGuardia to Boston on 5/16 is $48.20 or 2,600 points+$5.60, a value of 1.64 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 2,340 points, a value of 1.82 cents per point.

3. A flight from JFK to Chicago on 5/17 is $63.20 or 3,700 points+$5.60, a value of 1.56 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 3,330 points, a value of 1.73 cents per point.

4. A flight from JFK to Fort Lauderdale on 5/16 is $68.20 or 4,000 points+$5.60, a value of 1.57 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 3,600 points, a value of 1.74 cents per point.

5. A flight from Fort Lauderdale to Havana on 5/14 is $86.10 or 2,500 points+$30.60, a value of 2.22 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 2,250 points, a value of 2.47 cents per point.

6. A flight from JFK to Bermuda on 5/23 is $93.10 or 4,900 points+$5.60, a value of 1.79 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 4,410 points, a value of 1.98 cents per point.

7. A flight from JFK to Las Vegas on 6/11 is $113.20 or 7,400 points+$5.60, a value of 1.45 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 6,660 points, a value of 1.62 cents per point.

8. A flight from JFK to Burbank on 12/3 is $141.20 or 9,500 points+$5.60, a value of 1.43 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 8,550 points, a value of 1.59 cents per point.

 

On average, you should be able to get a value of at least 1.5 cents per JetBlue point or 1.7 cents cents per JetBlue points if you have a JetBlue Plus Card.

For the flight from JFK to FLL above you’ll get a value of 1.57-1.74 cents per JetBlue point, but when transferring from AMEX you’ll also pay $2.40 in AMEX domestic airline transfer fees. To calculate the value per AMEX point you’ll take the cost of the ticket ($68.20), subtract the 9/11 fee ($5.60), subtract the AMEX fee ($2.40), and divide by the points required (4,000 or 3,600). That imputes a value of 1.51 cents per AMEX point or 1.67 cents per point if you have a JetBlue Plus Card.

It’s not a mind-blowing redemption like I’ve received when flying from JFK to Europe in a $10,000 Singapore suite for 57K miles or when booking a last-minute Cleveland-NYC flight for 7.5K points instead of paying $500, but it’s a decent deal for your AMEX points if you don’t have a Business Platinum card.

The deal is definitely sweetened if you have a JetBlue card thanks to the 10% points rebate and the other benefits that the card offers like free checked baggage for up to 4 passengers, a 50% rebate for in-flight purchases, 5,000 points upon every card anniversary, and more.

 

Will you transfer AMEX points to JetBlue?

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30% Off Starwood Starpoints Purchases; Should You Buy Points For Southwest Companion Pass, Cathay First, Emirates Shower Class, Or Niagara Falls Hotel Stays?

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Update: Today is the last day of this sale.

This post was originally made on 3/3/17.

Hotel point transfers to Southwest no longer count towards earning a companion pass.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser. Earn Starpoints with the Starwood Consumer AMEXthe Starwood Business AMEX, or the Chase Marriott Visa.

Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards


Starwood is offering 30% off purchases and gifts of 20K-30K Starpoints through 4/30.

For example 20K Starpoints are on sale for $490 instead of $700 or 30K Starpoints are on sale for $735 instead of $1,050. That’s a cost of 2.45 cents per Starpoints instead of the regular 3.5 cents per Starpoint.

Of course you also earn miles for the purchase, which makes the real cost even less.

If you have a Starwood AMEX and buy 30K Starpoints for $735 you will earn 1,470 Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll pay $735 for 31,470 Starpoints, or 2.33 cents per Starpoint.

There’s no reason to buy them speculatively at those rates. But it can definitely make sense if you have a specific redemption in mind.

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

Here are some ideas for those points.

Southwest Companion Pass:

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

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

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

Note that points must be transferred by 3/31 in order for them to qualify for Southwest Companion Pass.

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

Even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 86,000 Starpoints using 3 accounts for $2,107. With the Starwood AMEX you’ll also earn 4,214 Starpoints for the purchase, leaving you with 90,214 Starpoints.

Of course that cost is less if you already have Starpoints or Marriott points.

With that you’ll get 7 nights at a Marriott hotel, 120K Southwest points, and Southwest Companion Pass status that will make your Southwest points good for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights when you bring along a free companion.

Read more about this option and where you can use the hotel nights in this post.


United miles+Marriott nights:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 132K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

As mentioned before, even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 90K Starpoints for about $2,107.

If you value the 7 night hotel stay at just $500 ($71/night) then you’re effectively paying $1,607 for 132,000 United miles. That’s a bargain at just 1.21 cents per mile.

Of course that cost is less if you already have Starpoints or Marriott points.

It’s worth noting that some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.


American miles+Marriott nights:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would normally convert into 120K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

With the current promotion you would get 150K American miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

As mentioned before, even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 90K Starpoints for about $2,107.

If you value the 7 night hotel stay at just $500 ($71/night) then you’re effectively paying $1,607 for 150,000 United miles. That’s a bargain at just 1.07 cents per mile.

Of course that cost is less if you already have Starpoints or Marriott points.

It’s worth noting that some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.


Cathay Pacific Business/First Class to Vancouver or Asia and 7 nights in a hotel:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Alaska miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

As mentioned before, even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 90K Starpoints for about $2,107.

Alaska charges just 50K miles to Asia in award winning Cathay Pacific business class and 70K miles in Cathay Pacific first class, where you’ll have the best seat and bed in the sky.

With 120K Alaska miles you can fly one-way in business and one-way in first class.

For example you can fly from the US to Taipei and get 7 nights at a category 5 property there. Or stay fly and at a category 5 JW Marriott resort in Vietnam. You can even stopover in Hong Kong once or twice for as long as you want with Alaska miles. That’s perfect if you want to have custom clothing made there as you can go back to have them fitted perfectly.

Don’t want to leave the continent?

A Cathay Pacific first class flight from JFK to Vancouver is 35K miles and a Cathay Pacific business class flight is 25K miles. 120K miles would be enough for 2 people to fly there in first class and return in business class.

#TonightsRide #GoFirstOrGoHome

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Discounted stays in SPG hotels:

Buying points for 2.33 cents each can make sense in pricey SPG hotels.

For example:

-The Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview is 3K Starpoints on weekends (That’s just $69 when buying Starpoints) and 4K Starpoints on weekdays ($93 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $250/night!

Plus you won’t owe any tax on Starpoint stays.

There’s even weekly Shabbos services and meals in the hotel in the summer and holidays!

 

-The S. Regis Bal Harbour can cost over $1,000/night after tax, but when using 30K Starpoints you won’t pay any tax, so your out of pocket rate will be $699:

srbh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-The W Fort Lauderdale is 12K Starpoints ($279 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $400/night.

-The S. Regis Rome is 20K Starpoints ($466 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $750/night.

Many other hotels are bargains with points, especially during peak travel times.


Emirates Shower Class:
Emirates A380 first class is affectionately known as “Shower Class.”

#Bedtime from #Emirates #ShowerClass #Suite

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Sure, you get your own walled-in suite and access to the onboard bar.

But it’s the onboard shower that sets it apart.

#Emirates #A380 #ShowerSpa #HeavenOfTheSkies

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You can fly it from JFK to Milan and by far the best way to book it is with JAL miles.

Emirates charges massive fuel surcharges when you use their miles, but Alaska and JAL can book you on Emirates without those fees.

However, Alaska charges 360K miles to fly round-trip from JFK to Milan while JAL charges just 100K miles round-trip!

You can transfer 80K Starpoints into 100K JAL miles thanks to the 25% transfer bonus. It other words by buying Starpoints at 2.33 cents each you can fly round-trip in Emirates shower class to Europe for just $1,864!

Want a longer flight in Shower Class?
JAL charges 135K miles from JFK to Dubai round-trip to 155K miles from JFK to the Maldives via Dubai round-trip.


Of course there are endless other ways to use your Starpoints where it can make sense to buy some points to reach an award redemption. How do you use your Starpoints?

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25% Bonus For Transferring Hotel Points To American; Get Up To A 100% Bonus When You Transfer Starpoints/Marriott Points!

Friday, April 28th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser. Earn Starpoints with the Starwood Consumer AMEXthe Starwood Business AMEX, or the Chase Marriott Visa.


American is offering a 25% bonus for converting hotel points into miles through 6/15.

Back in 2010 when these SPG-AA bonuses started you were able to rack up hundreds of thousands of Starpoints thanks to the US Mint, miles transferred to AA counted for million miler status, and AA had an awesome round-the-world award chart. I took advantage of all of those, but they no longer exist.

During 2015’s bonus I cautioned that American’s award chart was “so much better than their competition’s award charts that you can’t help but wonder when the devaluation will come…”

The devaluation came and it made their award chart downright terrible. Then the other shoe fell when American made their saver awards far more difficult to find than on any other airline. I wrote last July that their lack of award space could even be construed as a scAAm and even some of the biggest AA AApologist bloggers are now starting to call them out on it as well.

Doug Parker has gone from America West to ruin USAirways and now American. Even Jeff Smisek would blush at his actions.

So why would you transfer valuable Starpoints to American?

Despite the dearth and American award space and the fuel surcharges to redeem miles for travel on British Airways there are still some good uses. You’ll have to hunt for them as many partner awards are only bookable over the phone, such as Air Tahiti Nui, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, JAL, Qatar, and more.

For example I used 105K American miles to fly last month in an apartment on Etihad Shower Class from the Maldives to Cleveland via Abu Dhabi and JFK.

Though because of the #ElectronicsBan, I was stuck having to take pictures with my GoPro:

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0826.

 

 

And my phone:

img_20170328_173214

 

Sample transfer options:

-With this promotion 20K Starpoints will convert into 31,250 American miles with the 25% bonus. That 1.5625 AA miles per Starpoint transferred.

-You are able to do a Starwood Nights and Flights redemption for 60K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 3 property (normally 40K+28K Starpoints), or 70K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 4 property (normally 40K+40K Starpoints).

-90K Starpoints will convert into 270K Marriott points which will convert into 150,000 American miles with the 25% bonus plus 7 nights at a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. That 1.67 AA miles per Starpoint transferred plus you’ll get a free 7 night hotel stay. You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.

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 get it refunded you’ll have used an effective 75K Starpoints for 150K AA miles or a whopping 2 AA miles per Starpoint.

-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get a higher hotel category certificate.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.

Here is the miles+nights award chart from Marriott to American before the 25% bonus miles that American will award:

aa

 

 

Just be sure to compare American’s requirements with other airlines before transferring.

In this post I compared how many miles are required to fly on every OneWorld route from JFK.

Just for example, I flew last August from JFK to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific First Class for 35K Alaska miles. That same flight would have cost 55K AA miles. Non-elites would also have paid American a $75 last-minute fee which Alaska doesn’t charge, so be sure to do your research before you transfer.

-The names on the Starwood account and the AA account must match or the transfer will be rejected. You are able to transfer Starpoints for free between people living at the same address, though if you are changing the address on one of the accounts you’ll have to wait 30 days before transferring Starpoints to someone else’s Starwood account.

-The 25% bonus miles fulfilled by American will be posted within 7 business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by Starwood Preferred Guest. The initial transfer usually takes a couple of days. You can hold an AA award for 5 days which is enough time for the transfer to process.

HT: Moishebatchy, via DDF

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The “Too Generous” AMEX Business Platinum 50% Points Rebate Is Being Devalued

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Update: If you have opened or will open an AMEX Business Platinum Card between 10/1/16-5/31/17 you will get 50% airfare rebates with no cap until 1 full year has passed from when your account was opened!

That means you can still open a card through the end of May and take advantage of a full year of unlimited 50% airfare point rebates!


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

It’s not only your airline miles that are being devalued. Step up to the plate, bank points.

In October AMEX attacked the Chase Sapphire Reserve by offering a 50% rebate on paid airfare redemptions if you have a AMEX Business Platinum Card.

A few days ago I wrote about AMEX ending marketing on their Everyday Preferred card and posited that it was too generous to market the 50% bonus spending on that card while having a 50% points rebate on the AMEX Business Platinum Card.

I also wrote about AMEX slowing down the 50% rebate from posting within a day to taking much longer to post, though some DDFers have been able to get manually credited for the 50% by calling and asking or by redeeming points over the phone and asking for an instant rebate posting.

Plus AMEX has been awarding an extra 4 points per dollar even on point redemptions when you use an AMEX Consumer Platinum Card. It may even offer those 4 bonus points on the Business Platinum card after 3/30 when the 5x category for airfare bookings on AMEXTravel.com was added, but it’s too early for reports of that yet.

Clearly this benefit was costing AMEX more than that anticipated, as it’s being devalued after just 8 months.

-Effective June 1st, the Business Platinum airfare redemption rebate will drop from 50% to 35%. 

-Additionally, effective June 1st the rebate will be capped at 500,000 rebated points per calendar year.

Let’s take the example from Miami to Tel Aviv via Newark from that post. The ticket was $623.18 round-trip. That is 31,159 points round-trip after 50% back (a value of 2 cents per point) but it will be 40,506 points after 35% back (a value of 1.54 cents point) when that goes into effect on June 1st. If you book the ticket with a Consumer Platinum card you would also get an additional 2,493 points back, making the out of pocket cost 28,666 points with the 50% rebate (a value of 2.17 cents per point) or 38,013 points with the 35% rebate (a value of 1.64 cents per point).

With a Sapphire Reserve card you would need 41,545 points for the ticket ( a value of 1.5 cents per point).

And of course you earn miles for the flight, in this case you’ll earn 13,555 miles round-trip if you credit your flight to United’s Star Alliance partner, Singapore.

tlv

Of course you can supercharge your spending with a Chase Freedom Unlimited card where you can also earn 1.5 points per dollar or with an AMEX Everyday Preferred card you can earn 1.5-4.5 points per dollar everywhere.

If AMEX offers insider fares for your desired ticket then the difference between AMEX and Sapphire Reserve will be more pronounced, but otherwise this is a boon Sapphire Reserve. Sapphire Reserve doesn’t make you wait for a rebate and offers a 1.5 cents per points value on hotels, car rentals, and activities. That’s still less value per point than AMEX (especially if you also have a Consumer Platinum card), but the additional categories and not having to wait for a rebate makes it more flexible.

File this under the too generous to last category. It’s still a lot better than using airline miles for inexpensive coach tickets, but it won’t be nearly as lucrative as it is now.

Will you start burning points by 5/31 to take advantage of the 50% rebate while it lasts?

HT: mochjas, via DDF and TPG

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

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

If you buy $300+ in Mastercard gift cards from Staples between 4/23 and 4/29 you can send in an Easy Rebate online to get a bonus $20 Staples gift card.

staples

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 Chase Ink Cash, Ink Plus or Ink Bold 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 click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

Or you can use an AMEX SimplyCash card to earn 5% cash back.

That’s 2,070 points for a $413.90 purchase. Plus you’ll get the $20 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 and gas stations.

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 while earning 5% or 5 points per dollar.

HT: Iz, via DDF

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

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Update: Tax day is on 4/18 this year. Will you use a credit card to pay your taxes?

Originally posted on 1/22/17:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other cards offer benefits for hitting annual spend thresholds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

When I fly from Akron or Cleveland to NYC on a last-minute ticket it cost just 15K Avios instead of $1,200 round-trip.

76K points transferred to Singapore is enough for a ticket in a private couples suite on an A380 one-way from JFK to Frankfurt with no fuel surcharges.

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

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

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

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

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

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Delta Continues To Devalue Their SkyPesos In The Worst Way

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

2 years ago Delta removed the award charts from their website.

They still have internal award charts, but they won’t publish them.

I wrote back then,

” For whatever reason Delta doesn’t want people to know what the awards should cost. Or they want to be able to change award prices as they please without having to update their charts.”


Both statements have turned out to be true. They want their award pricing on their own flights to be opaque so that the price is what they say it is, period. There’s no way to cross-reference it or see if it’s pricing correctly. And every couple of months they have steadily increased the rates they charge.

They also run award sales that allow you to book mileage tickets for fewer miles, but how can they advertise a sale if there are no regular rates?

To be fair, it hasn’t all been bad. Award space for saver award travel on some routes, especially to Europe, has improved and is actually much better than on American. However close-in availability can get very expensive and saver award availability on routes like JFK-Tel Aviv is non-existent.

It’s the slow trickle of devaluations that have properly earned SkyMiles its SkyPesos moniker.

The latest news is that Delta has made partner award flights 10-25% more expensive than before. They managed to implement this latest devaluation while their airline and online operations were melting down over this past week.

A JFK-London flight in Delta business class is 70K miles one-way, but if you want to fly on Virgin Atlantic it’s 85K miles.

A Virgin Australia flight to Australia in business class was 80K miles one-way at the time they deleted their award charts. That rate went up to 95K after the charts were deleted and the new partner saver award rate on that route is 115K one-way.

Currently there’s a workaround if you book a domestic Delta flight at the saver award level to add on a partner award at the old rates. But finding Delta domestic saver award can be tough and it means having to take a connection. And it remains to be seen how long that workaround will last.

Delta feels that it is so strong operationally that they don’t need to have a competitive mileage program. Perhaps that is true or perhaps that is arrogance, but with some airlines making more profit selling miles than selling seats there will come a time where people will stop accumulating Delta miles with their credit cards and focus their spending on airlines that treat mileage collectors with honesty and fairness.

HT: Emkay, via DDF

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

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Get $15 off $300 in Visa gift cards from Office Max or Office Depot stores through 4/15.

Use your Chase Ink Cash, Ink Plus or Ink Bold card and get 5 points per dollar spentYou can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

Or you can use an AMEX SimplyCash card to earn 5% cash back.

Some stores may limit you to 1 transaction, but some stores won’t have any limits at all, which would allow you to scale the savings quite nicely.

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 and gas stations. 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 and FM

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Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Business Spend Bonus

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Several DDF members have posted that they were targeted for a spend bonus on their Starwood business card.

You can login to your AMEX account via this link to check if you are targeted.

If you are targeted and spend $10,000 on your SPG card you’ll get 20,000 total Starpoints. You need to enroll by 5/31 and complete the spending by 6/30.

My cards aren’t targeted this time, are yours?

HT: luckyluck, via DDF

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

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Update: Offer expired!


With the Marriott and Starwood programs set to combine next year this may be your last chance to apply for a Starwood AMEX with an increased signup bonus!

Originally posted on 2/16:

Related posts:
-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!
-SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards
-Is This The Final Opportunity Ever For An Increased Starwood AMEX Signup Bonus?
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition
Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!
Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Consumer Spend Bonus

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


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

2
 

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

amexbusstarwood960x680
 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Spending on the Starwood card:

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

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

There are no foreign transaction fees on the Starwood cards.

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

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

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


More valuable than ever thanks to the Marriott merger:

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

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


American Express benefits and the annual fee:

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

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

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

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


Spend Threshold

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

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

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


Sheraton Club Lounge Access:

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

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


Premium Internet Access:

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


Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

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

Enroll for free Boingo access here.


Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

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

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

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

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

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

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


Elite Status and Crossover benefits with Delta and Uber:

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

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

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

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

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


Read this post for more about Marriott elite benefits, the best ways to use your Starpoints, and more about the best ways to use the Marriott program!

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

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Daily Getaways 2017 Starts Next Monday, Which Packages Will You Buy?

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Daily Getaways 2017 Linky

Daily Getaways starts 4/10 and runs through May 12th.

At 1pm EDT every weekday there will be another sale, but you’ll have to be really quick. The best ones will sell out in seconds, so you need to be waiting on the page at 12:59pm and refreshing the page.

-On 4/10 Alamo will sell $50 rental certificates for $25.

-On 4/11 MGM will sell discounted Las Vegas hotel packages.

-On 4/12 you’ll be able to buy IHG points for as low as .576 cents each.

-On 4/13 you’ll be able to buy Busch Gardens tickets for $45 or Sea World tickets for $50.

-On 4/14 you’ll be able to buy 15K Wyndham points for $175, valid for redemption for a free night in any Wyndham.

-On 4/17 you’ll be able to buy 10,000 Best Western points for $55.

-On 4/18 you’ll be able to buy Omni hotel nights from $80/night.

-On 4/19 you’ll be able to buy Universal Studios Hollywood tickets with front of the line access for $139.

-On 4/20 Caesers will sell discounted Atlantic City and Las Vegas hotel packages.

-On 4/21 Loews will sell discounted night certificates at their hotels.

Other packages that may come up from 4/24-5/12 based on past years include Hertz points, Hilton points, Hyatt points, a Venetian Las Vegas hotel stay, Fairmont hotel night certificates, Avis rental certificates, and Marriott gift cards. Those sales will likely be announced next week.

Which packages are you going to try for?

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Save $10 Off $50 Or $20 Off $100 Of Mastercard And Select Store Gift Cards From Office Max Or Office Depot This Week

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Update, 4/6: This offer has been pulled as of today!


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

You can instantly save $10 off $50 or $20 off $100 of Mastercard and select store gift cards from Office Max or Office Depot stores through 4/15.

Valid gift cards include Mastercard, American Eagle, Catherine’s, Groupon, Fandango, and ToysRUs/BabiesRUs.

You can mix and match gift cards to get to the $50 and $100 thresholds.

-A $100 Mastercard gift card will cost $85.95 after fees.

-A $200 Mastercard gift card will cost $186.95 after fees.

Use your Chase Ink Cash, Ink Plus or Ink Bold 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 click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

Or you can use an AMEX SimplyCash card to earn 5% cash back.

Some stores may limit you to 1 transaction, but some stores won’t have any limits at all, which would allow you to scale the savings quite nicely.

If you buy a $200 Mastercard gift card in store you’ll pay $186.95 including fees and you’ll earn 935 Chase points by charging it to an Ink Cash/Bold/Plus card of you’ll $9.35 cash back with AMEX SimplyCash.

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 and gas stations.

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 and LT

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Bloomberg Confirms That Airlines Exist To Support The Credit Card Industry

Friday, March 31st, 2017

One of the themes I’ve written about during my 13 years of blogging here is that the mileage game continues to exist due to it being a win-win-win situation.

-The banks need the airlines to lure valuable customers to their products and make massive profits from their credit card divisions.
-The airlines need the banks to buy their miles by the billions to keep afloat and rescue them from bankruptcy.
-Consumers benefit from the banks largesse and the airlines ability to provide aspirational awards at attainable pricing when there is distressed inventory.

Commenters over the years have taken issue with my right to complain about things going wrong when using miles. Even after we were marooned in JFK for a day, there will always be the commenters that say I’m taking advantage of the airlines by using miles.

But Bloomberg today writes what I’ve been saying for years. The airlines need the mileage game in order for the aviation industry to exist and thrive. They make more money selling miles than they do actually selling seats on their planes. That’s why mileage earning for paid flights has been devalued while mileage earning from credit cards continues to be enhanced.

They also have incredible leverage over the banks. If a bank loses a co-branded airline card it would be devastating to the bank. That means the airlines can demand high rates for their miles. It’s how Costco was able to squeeze Citi to offer free credit card processing in exchange for switching over their co-brand relationship from AMEX. That’s an incredible amount of leverage.

The Bloomberg article says that the banks pay 1.5-2.5 cents for each mile. Some DDFers say they would be shocked if they even pay a third of that. However it corroborates what a former Citi employee and DansDeals reader once wrote that Citi pays American 1.8 cents for each mile and I’m inclined to believe that banks do pay very high rates for miles in order to keep their co-brand business. That’s what makes me angry when American not only devalued their award chart, but wipes out the vast majority of their award inventory. Predictably, there were comments saying I had no right to complain. But at the end of the day it’s a 2 way street. I’ll focus my accumulation strategy on other airlines and in the end, the unfair programs will lose out on that revenue.

In November 2014 I ripped into El Al Matmid changes. The next day I got an email from Gal Egozi, Matmid’s business development manager and the face of the Matmid changes. We spoke for 90 minutes on a broad and fascinating range of topics, perhaps one day I’ll share a transcript of it. He tried to spin the changes as positive, but I wasn’t buying into any of that. The real eye opener is that El Al had no idea that the US airlines were doing so well specifically because of their mileage programs. El Al looks at Matmid as a cost center, which is why it’s such a poor program. With a little help it could be transformed into the same profit center that it is for the US carriers.

At the end of the day, there’s a reason you can still book a $30,000 first class suite for 100,000 miles, an outstanding value of 30 cents per mile. The airlines want to keep selling miles to the banks and if they switched to a flat 1 cent or even 1.5 cents per mile program, people would abandon ship in droves. Part of the lure is also the thrill of the hunt and the ability to come ahead.

Over the years the game has gotten tougher as banks and airlines crack down on the loopholes and the more lucrative parts of their programs.

At the same time we have seen new outsized value from hybrid cards like Sapphire Reserve and Business Platinum that give the ability to redeem points for a value of 1.5-2.5 cents each or the ability to transfer points into miles. By smartly using other cards from AMEX or Chase you can even earn 2-5x the points per dollar spent on top of those redemption values. In some ways that’s better than we’ve ever had it.

And so the game lives on and luckily for us, it’s quite sustainable. It evolves. It’s not as lucrative as it once was. But the ride goes on.

Long live the mileage game.

HT: ExGingi, via DDF

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

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Update: There are just 2 days left to transfer hotel points to Southwest in order for them to help you earn a Companion Pass valid through 12/31/18!

Originally posted on 2/22:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Still short on points?

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

For example 20K Starpoints are on sale for $490 instead of $700 or 30K Starpoints are on sale for $735 instead of $1,050. That’s a cost of 2.45 cents per Starpoints instead of the regular 3.5 cents per Starpoint.

Of course you also earn miles for the purchase, which makes the real cost even less.

If you have a Starwood AMEX and buy 30K Starpoints for $735 you will earn 1,470 Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll pay $735 for 31,470 Starpoints, or 2.33 cents per Starpoint.

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

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

Even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 86,000 Starpoints using 3 accounts for $2,107. With the Starwood AMEX you’ll also earn 4,214 Starpoints for the purchase, leaving you with 90,214 Starpoints.

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

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

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


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

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

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

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

-The Chase Marriott card offers 107,500 Rewards points (also transferable to 35,833 Starpoints) for spending $5,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

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


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

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JetBlue Raises Checked Bag Fees And How You Should Be Avoiding Them

Monday, March 27th, 2017

JetBlue has quietly gotten rid of the discount for paying for a checked bag online or at a kiosk for new tickets. Previously checked bags paid for online or at a kiosk were just $20, but now the first checked bag is $25.

Additionally they have increased the cost of Blue Plus fares that include a free bag from $15 to a range from $23-$50 each way.

Still with free WiFi, TV, and snacks, JetBlue is a great airline to fly.

Plus those bag fees can be avoided if you have a JetBlue Plus Card.

The reasons listed below show why it makes for even a casual JetBlue flyer to be a cardholder.

the-jetblue-plus-card
Here is what the card offers:

-A free checked bag for the cardholder and up to 3 passengers on the same reservation. That’s a value of up to $200 in waived checked bag fees per round-trip.

-30,000 JetBlue points for signing up and spending $1,000. JetBlue points vary in value, but that will be good for about $450 of free flights.

-10% points rebate every time you redeem your points. The rebate will post within 1 business day of using points. That effectively makes your points about 10% more valuable and bumps up the signup bonus value of the card to about $500 of flights.

-5,000 points upon every card anniversary. Combined with the 10% rebate that’s 5,500 points that are worth about $83 towards JetBlue flights. That drops the effective annual fee from $99 down to just $16.

-$100 annual statement credit when you book a $100+ JetBlue vacation package.

-If you spend $50K in a calendar year on the Plus card then you’ll get JetBlue Mosaic status for the remainder of the calendar year and for the following calendar year.
Mosaic status includes free changes and cancellations on JetBlue tickets for the Mosaic member and for everyone on their itinerary, 2 free checked bags, 15K bonus points for earning Mosaic status every year, free even more speed checkin and security access, early boarding, 3 additional points per dollar spent, free alcoholic beverages onboard, and a dedicated Mosaic 24/7 customer service line.

-2 points per dollar on groceries and restaurants and 6 points per dollar on JetBlue purchases on top of the 3-11 points per dollar that you earn for the flight itself, which makes for a very nice rebate on JetBlue flights.

-50% rebate for in-flight purchases of cocktails, food, JetBlue movies and other eligible purchases.

-No foreign transaction fees.

-JetBlue points never expire.

JetBlue also allows families to pool their points together.

 The JetBlue Plus Card’s signup bonus makes it well worth the initial $99 annual fee and the anniversary bonus makes it worth keeping the card despite the $99 annual fee. The free checked bags and the 10% rebate on award tickets seal the deal on a very solid card offering. And the very generous bonus points offered on JetBlue purchases is icing on the cake.

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In 2016 I Burned 2,446,000 Miles, How Did You Stack Up?

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Some guys are great at recording all of their trips and the value of each mile burned. I’m not that precise, but I went back several years, tracked down my flights taken, and posted them on DDF for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Last year I flew some 42,000 miles:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how I burned them:

January:
-5 OW first class awards on United from Cleveland to Honolulu via Chicago for the family and my brother as a babysitter: 250,000 United miles
-5 RT interisland stopover awards on Hawaiian from Honolulu to Kauai to Maui to Honolulu: 60,000 United miles
-7 nights for an Ocean view room at the Grand Hyatt Kauai: 150,000 Hyatt points
-7 nights for an Ocean View suite at the Grand Hyatt Kauai: 75,000 Hyatt points+$1,050+diamond suite upgrade

#ICanGetUsedToThis #WinterInKauai

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February:
-7 nights for a suite at the Fairmont Kea Lani Muai: Free with lifetime Platinum.

#NakaleleBlowhole #MauiNoKaOi

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-5 OW business class awards on United from Honolulu to Cleveland via Newark: 200,000 United miles

March:
-1 RT business class award on United and SAS from Cleveland to Svalbard via Newark and Oslo with stopovers in Bodø/Lofoten Islands and Paris: 127,500 United miles

#PolarBears #InTheWild #Svalbard #WildWildNorth #nofilter 📷 @MorrisHersko

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#AuroraBorealis #LofotenIslands #SkagsandenBeach #Norway #Otherworldly #nofilter

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-1 RT coach award from Newark to Svalbard on United, SAS, and Swiss via Oslo and Zurich with stopovers in Bodø/Lofoten Islands and London for our photography guide, “Something Fishy”: 60,000 United miles

Another #incredible #AuroraBorealis in the #LofotenIslands #Norway #nofilter

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-Oslo and Lofoten stays via Airbnb 50% off.
-2 nights for a room at the Park Hyatt Paris via Hyatt card signup nights.

#CityOfLights #Montmartre

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April:
-2 RT business class award from Cleveland to San Francisco via Chicago for Rafi and I to fly on the Queen of the Skies: 100,000 United miles.

What's the appropriate compensation for being #Downgraded from #747 #Captain to #CoPilot?

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-2 nights in a Fairmont San Francisco Suite: Free with lifetime Platinum.

#FatherSonTrip #GoldenGateBridgeAtNight

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June:
-1 OW coach award from Cleveland to San Francisco on United to watch the Cavs bring home the first Cleveland trophy of my lifetime: 12,500 United miles.

#WeAreTheChampions #AllInCLE #Allin216

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-1 OW business class award from San Francisco to Cleveland on United’s party plane back home just hours after the game: 25,000 United miles.

August:
-2 RT coach awards from Cleveland to JFK on American: 30,000 BA Avios
-2 RT first class awards from JFK to Vancouver on Cathay Pacific: 140,000 Alaska miles

#TonightsRide #GoFirstOrGoHome

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-2 nights for a room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim: Free with lifetime Platinum.

#SoakingUpTheView in the #SignatureOfuroRoom at #FairmontPacificRim

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-1 OW coach award from Cleveland to Chicago on American to play Softball in Wrigley Field: 7,500 BA Avios

#RBISingle #SPGMoments @ #WrigleyField #TeamDansDeals takes #Game1 14 to 5!

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-1 OW coach award from Chicago to Cleveland on United: 10,000 United miles
-4 OW coach awards from Cleveland to Newark via Boston: $400 and negative 304,000 JetBlue points
-2 nights at Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston: Free with lifetime Platinum.

#ThisDayIsForTheBirds #JetBlueFamilyMileageRun

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-4 OW coach awards from Newark to Kansas City on United: 40,000 United miles


-4 OW coach awards from Kansas City to Cleveland via Chicago on United: 40,000 United miles

December:
-2 RT coach awards from Akron to LaGuardia on American: 32,000 LAN kilometers

#Pastrami #Flatbread at #BoeufAndBun is out of this world!

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-1 private jet from Cleveland to Teterboro with helicopter transfer to the W.30th Street Heliport: 16,000 LAN kilometers

#SweetRide #ThisShouldBeFun

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Well this sure beats the #HollandTunnel #5MinutesNJtoNY

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-1 OW coach award from Newark to Cleveland on United: 10,000 United miles

Total= 1,385,500 miles and points redeemed for travel.

And of course I spent 1,060,500 Starpoints for 4 tickets to game 7 of the World Series and the right to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.

Via DansDeals Facebook #FirstPitch #Game7 #WorldSeries #Jumbotron

A post shared by @dansdeals on

 

Total= 2,446,000 miles and points redeemed.

OK, to be fair I gained 304,000 JetBlue points back from their ridiculously lucrative promotion and United refunded 70,000 miles due to being downgraded from first to business from Chicago to Honolulu as they no longer allow carseats in 3 cabin first class.

But either way that’s over 2 million miles burned in 2016 and I’d call that a success. Though it would have been even more successful if it had hit 3 million with trips approaching the South Pole and North Pole in the same year. The miles aren’t getting any more valuable with age and I’m not getting any younger, so I’ll keep earning and burning whenever I get the chance.

Interested in seeing a post like this for previous years? How did you do last year? Hit the comments below and make your own map to post on DDF.

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

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

If you buy $300+ in Mastercard gift cards from Staples between 3/19 and 3/25 you can send in an Easy Rebate online to get a bonus $20 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 Chase Ink Cash, Ink Plus or Ink Bold 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 click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

That’s 2,070 points for a $413.90 purchase. Plus you’ll get the $20 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 and gas stations.

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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2 Days Left To Join The Chase Class Action Settlement If You Lost Points When Your Account Was Closed

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Chase Class Action Settlement

After a rash of Chase shutdowns several years ago I wrote a post called “What Not To Do: How To Avoid Having Your Account Closed

Chase used to confiscate points after a shutdown, though they generally stopped doing that a while ago. Some people did have success getting compensation for lost points via small claims court, though you don’t typically hear about those cases as the settlement includes a non-disclosure agreement.

However if Chase did shut down your account between June 2009 and today and you were never compensated, you can file a claim via the link above no later than this Friday, 3/17 in order to get compensation for lost points.

The exact compensation will vary based on the number of claims.

HT: JTZ, via DDF

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Get A 20-30% Bonus When You Transfer Hotel Points To Air Canada Aeroplan, Transfer Starpoints To Aeroplan With A 108%+ Effective Bonus

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Get A 20-30% Bonus When You Transfer Hotel Points To Air Canada Aeroplan

If you transfer hotel points to Air Canada’s Aeroplan mileage program from 3/13-4/17 you’ll get a bonus:
-Convert 2,500-99,999 miles and get a 20% bonus.
-Convert 100,000-199,999 miles and get a 25% bonus.
-Convert 200,000+ miles and get a 30% bonus.

-The total amount converted from all hotel partner will be added up in order to determine the bonus.
-The bonus miles will post to your account by the end of May.

By far and away Starwood and Marriott have the best transfer options. Unfortunately the bonus does not apply for Membership Rewards transfers.

The bonus stacks with Starwood’s 25% bonus as follows:
-20K Starpoints will transfer to 30K Aeroplan miles (50% effective bonus)
-80K Starpoints will transfer to 125K Aeroplan miles (56.3% effective bonus)
-160K Starpoints will transfer to 260K Aeroplan miles (63% effective bonus)
You can convert Marriott points to Starwood at a 3:1 ratio.

Marriott’s miles+nights makes for a great redemption:
-90K Starpoints (270K Marriott points) will transfer to 150K Aeroplan miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel, plus you can get back 15K Starpoints (45K Marriott points) for cancelling the hotel booked with a certificate, making the effective cost 75K Starpoints for 150K miles (100% effective bonus).
-180K Starpoints (540K Marriott points) will transfer to 312K Aeroplan miles and 2 stays of 7 nights each in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel, plus you can get back 30K Starpoints (90K Marriott points) for cancelling the hotels booked with the certificates, making the effective cost 150K Starpoints for 312K miles (108% effective bonus).

Of course if you use the hotel certificates the effective bonus can be much higher than that.

A breakdown of Aeroplan policies:

The good:
-Air Canada has one of the best lap child policies out there. You pay a flat fee of just $50 in coach, $75 in premium economy, $100 in business, or $125 in first for a lap child. Compare that to 10% of the paid fare with other airlines and you can save a small fortune, especially if you are flying in business or first class.
Aeroplan’s Star Alliance award chart has some bright spots, though not as many as it used to. A business class flight from North America to Europe or South America is 55K miles each way while first class is 70K miles each way.
-Air Canada generously allows for a free stopover within North America and 2 free stopovers when flying to another continent, so you can check out up to 2 cities for as long as you want in addition to your final destination.  If used properly you can create for yourself a mini round-the-world trip, all for the single award rate of flying to your final destination. So for just 110K miles you can fly in business class to 3 European cities and stay in each for as long as you want. Or for 160K miles you can fly to Australia in business, with stops in Europe and in Asia along the way for example.
-There are no expedite/close-in fees.

The bad:
-There is a C$100 charge to change or cancel an award ticket and a C$250 charge to cancel within 21 days of departure.
-Awards can’t be held.
-Premium class travel to Israel and the Middle East is pricey at 165K for business and 230K round-trip for first class. That’s higher than every other region in the world. Some agents may allow you to stopover in Israel on the way to another region for the lower cost of flying to the other region.

The ugly:
-Air Canada charges a fuel surcharge if you redeem their miles for travel on the following carriers: Adria, Air Canada, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, TAP Portugal, and THAI. (There is no fuel surcharge if you redeem their miles for travel on the following carriers: Aegean, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, Avianca/TACA, Brussels, Copa, Croatia, EVA, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, SAS, Shenzhen, Singapore, South African, Swiss, Turkish, and United)
-Air Canada miles require activity every 12 months to keep them active.

HT: Baglach, via DDF

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Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

2
 

-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

amexbusstarwood960x680
 

-The Marriott card offers 107,500 signup points, Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.


Now that you can transfer Starpoints into Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio there are more ways than ever to turn your Starpoints into miles.

In no particular order, here are 5 great ways to turn your Starpoints into miles:

-The first way is the traditional transfer of Starpoints into miles at a 1:1 ratio or a 20K:25K ratio to dozens of airlines, an effective 25% transfer bonus.

In parenthesis you can see if American Express Membership Rewards (MR), Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR), or Citibank Thank You (TY) points transfers to the airline as well. If no other program can transfer points to that airline it will say not applicable (NA)

OneWorld Alliance:
Air Berlin: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
American: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
British Airways Avios: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, UR)
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY)
JAL: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
LATAM: 20,000 Starpoints=37,500 kms (NA)
Qatar: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (TY)

Skyteam Alliance:
AeroMexico: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY, UR)
Alitalia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
China Eastern: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
China Southern: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Delta: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Korean: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (UR)
Saudia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)

Star Alliance:
ANA: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Aegean: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Air Canada/Aeroplan: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Air China: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Air New Zealand: 20,000 Starpoints=385 points (NA)
Asiana: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Avianca/TACA LifeMiles: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Lufthansa Miles & More: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Singapore: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY, UR)
Thai: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (TY)
United: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles (UR)

Unaligned:
Alaska: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Emirates: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Etihad: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY)
Gol/Varig Smiles: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles (NA)
Hainan: 20,000 Starpoints==25,000 miles (NA)
Hawaiian: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Jet Airways: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Virgin Atlantic: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY, UR)
Virgin Australia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)

-The second way is with Starwood Nights & Flights. You can get 50K miles with dozens of airlines and stay 5 nights in a SPG category 3 hotel for 60K Starpoints. Or you can get 50K miles with dozens of airlines and stay 5 nights in a SPG category 4 hotel for 70K Starpoints. If you were staying for 5 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using 32K Starpoints for 50K miles, an effective 56.25% transfer bonus.

-The third way is by transferring points to Marriott and transferring points from there to an airline.

The 2 most compelling offers there are:
-18,667 Starpoints would transfer into 56K Marriott points which becomes 25,000 United miles, an effective 33.9% transfer bonus.
-23,333 Starpoints would transfer into 70K Marriott points which becomes 25,000 Southwest miles, which qualify for Companion Pass status if initiated by 3/31. That’s an effective 7.1% transfer bonus.

-The fourth way is by transferring points to Marriott and using their nights and miles option.

You can read more about the option in this post.

-90K Starpoints would transfer into 270K Marriott points which becomes 132,000 United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.
-90K Starpoints would transfer into 270K Marriott points which becomes 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel and 120,000 miles for Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska, American, British, Copa, Delta, Frontier, GOL, Hawaiian, Iberia, Southwest, or Virgin Atlantic.

It’s hard to impute a value of the transfer bonus as this includes miles and nights, but let’s attack it from 4 different angles that will show the highest possible valuation, a reasonable stay valuation, a dirt cheap stay valuation, and the lowest possible valuation.

1. 7 nights at a category 5 hotel would normally cost 150,000 Marriott points or 50K Starpoints. If you were staying for 7 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using 40K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 230% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 40K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 200% transfer bonus.
2.
If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a reasonable value of 5K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 35K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 55K Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 140% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 55K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 118% transfer bonus.
3.
If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a dirt cheap value of 3K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 21K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 69K Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 91% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 69K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 74% transfer bonus.
4.
Some reps will allow you to return the 7 night hotel certificate for a refund of 45K Marriott points which you can transfer back to 15K Starpoints. You may need to book a hotel and cancel it in order to receive a 45K point refund. That’s not a good value for the 7 night hotel certificate, but if you won’t use the hotel stay then it’s better than nothing. If you return the certificate it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 76% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 60% transfer bonus.

Yes, that means even if you don’t use the certificate, you can still get 1.76 United miles per Starpoint. If you would make that hotel stay anyway you can get 3.3 United miles per Starpoint. If you value the free nights at 5K or 3K Starpoints each then you can get a value of 1.9-2.4 United miles per Starpoint. No matter how you slice it, that’s a great value for your Starpoints!

-The fifth way is by transferring points to Marriott and using their nights and miles option and finding a rep willing to sell you a 5 night package that’s officially intended for timeshare owners. Most reps won’t do it, but some will.

-78,333 Starpoints would transfer into 235K Marriott points which becomes 132,000 United miles and 5 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.
-78,333 Starpoints would transfer into 235K Marriott points which becomes 5 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel and 120,000 miles for Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska, American, British, Copa, Delta, Frontier, GOL, Hawaiian, Iberia, Southwest, or Virgin Atlantic.

Once again, it’s hard to impute the value of the transfer bonus, but this will show the highest possible valuation, a reasonable stay valuation, a dirt cheap stay valuation, and the lowest possible valuation.

1. 5 nights at a category 5 hotel would normally cost 100,000 Marriott points or 33,333 Starpoints. If you were staying for 5 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using 45K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 193% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 45K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 167% transfer bonus.
2.
If you wouldn’t normally stay 5 nights at a hotel, but assign a reasonable value of 5K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 25K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 53,333 Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 148% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 53,333 Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 125% transfer bonus.
3. If you wouldn’t normally stay 5 nights at a hotel, but assign a dirt cheap value of 3K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 15K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 63,333 Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 108% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 63,333 Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 89% transfer bonus.
4. Some reps will allow you to return the 5 night hotel certificate for a refund of 10K Marriott points which you can transfer back to 3,333 Starpoints. You may need to book a hotel and cancel it in order to receive a 10K point refund. That’s not a good value for the 5 night hotel certificate, but if you won’t use the hotel stay then it’s better than nothing. If you return the certificate it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 76% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 60% transfer bonus.

Using those 4 different scenarios shows us that:
-If you value the hotel nights at the actual cost of redeeming points for the room that you’re better with the 7 night option than the 5 night option.
-If you value the hotel nights as something, but lower than the actual cost of redeeming points for the room that you’re better with the 5 night option than the 7 night option.
-If you plan on returning the hotel night certificate that the value for your Starpoints to airline mile transfer will be the same whether you use the 5 night or the 7 night option.

There are a few things worth noting about the 4th and 5th miles+nights redemption methods:

-You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.
-The miles will post within a few days of the transfer, regardless of when or if you use the 7 night certificate.
-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on. For example if you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 120K-132K miles. If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 120K-132K miles.

Do you transfer Starpoints into miles or so you use them other redemptions? Which transfer method do you use? Hit the comments!

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Final Day To Register For Chase Freedom Q1 Spending, Q2 Registration Begins Tomorrow

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Today is the final day to activate this quarter’s Chase Freedom 5% categories.

You must register for Q1 bonus spending at Gas stations and local commuter transportation by today and complete spending by 3/31.

Tomorrow you’ll be able to register for 2017 Q2 spending at grocery and drug stores from 4/1-6/30.

Chase Freedom is an excellent no annual fee card thanks to its quarterly 5% categories. While they call it 5% cash back, you’ll really get 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent which can be worth much more than 5% cash. For $1,500 in spending per quarter you will earn at least 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points over the course of a year (7,500 points per quarter at 5 points per dollar spent).

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

While Chase Freedom is a great card for the bonus categories, it’s not a great card for everyday spending. However the Chase Freedom Unlimited card also has no annual fee and is excellent for everyday spending.

You can also earn 10 points per dollar on up to $2,500 in hotel and car rental spending on the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards this month with no registration required.

Freedom or Freedom Unlimited alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline or hotel miles, but if you or your spouse has a Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Ink Preferred card then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. You can read at the end of this post on great uses of Chase mileage transfers. The Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those premium cards.

The value of the points will be based on where you use them, but if you use those points for a trip worth where they are worth 2 cents each then you’ll have effectively earned 10% back on those “5 point categories.” The sky is the limit of the value of airline miles as they aren’t tied to the cost of a ticket. That’s good for people in the know and bad for those who are not. 1 mile can be worth 0.25 cents or it can be worth 25 cents, it all just depends on how you use them!

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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

Monday, March 13th, 2017

If you buy $300+ in Visa gift cards from Staples between 3/12 and 3/18 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).

Use your Chase Ink Cash, Ink Plus or Ink Bold 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 click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

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, so that won’t help with this rebate.

You can use the gift cards to buy money orders at Walmart or at various grocery stores and gas stations. 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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Delta Europe Coach And Business Class Award Sale

Monday, March 13th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-Get free checked baggage and priority boarding on Delta if you have the Delta SkyMiles AMEX or the Delta SkyMiles Business AMEX. You don’t need to use the card for those benefits.

-Earn 5 points per dollar on the AMEX Platinum Card or 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.


Delta Europe Coach And Business Class Award Sale 

How do you have a sale when you no longer publish the regular price?
Excellent question, but Delta has coach round-trips to Europe from 50K miles and business round-trips from 110K miles and there’s no doubt that award space is much better than American’s scAAmvantage.

-Book by March 14
-Travel from 8/1-10/31.
-Valid for round-trips only
-Blackout dates apply, use flexible award search to help find valid dates.

Sample business class flight:

cdg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample coach flight:

vce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HT: Rene

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Enroll Your United Credit Card In A Red Cross Benefit Program And Get 100 Miles

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Enroll Your United Credit Card In A Red Cross Benefit Program And Get 100 Miles

If you have a United credit card you can enroll via the link above to have United donate 100 miles to the American Red Cross for every $1,000 that you spend between 3/15-4/15. There is no cost to you.

As a bonus for enrolling, United will also give you 100 miles without any spending required. The free miles will post by 5/31/17.

Don’t have a United card? You should and this post explains why. Aside from free checked baggage on all fares, free carry-on bags on economy basic fares, and priority boarding on all fares, you also get significantly greater saver and standard level award availability. It also waives the flight spend requirement to get elite status, gives 2 free annual club passes, and allows elites to get upgraded on award tickets. Plus the signup bonus is currently 55,000 miles instead of 35,000 miles!

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

HT: yyonah, via DDF

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

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Update, 3/10: The 100K Sapphire Reserve offer available in Chase banking branches will end tomorrow.

Originally posted on 1/3/17


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


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

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

Effective 1/12 the 100K online offer will go down to 50K for spending $4,000. The 100K bonus will still be available in branch through 3/11.

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

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

Annual fee:

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

View more about the card after the jump:

 

(more…)

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

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Update: Today is the final day to book hotels before their rates go up.

Originally posted on 2/9/17:


Marriott 2017 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes

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

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

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

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

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

 

(more…)

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Starwood 2017 Annual Category Changes

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Update: Today is the final day to book hotels before their rates go up. Category changes can take effect local time, though agents over the phone may still be able to honor lower category rates today.

Originally posted on 2/9/17:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

————————————————————————-

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

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX offer 25,000 signup points each with no fee for the first year.

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

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

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

View the key hotels changing in category after the jump:

 

(more…)

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Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Consumer Spend Bonus

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Several DDF members have posted that they were targeted for a spend bonus on their Starwood consumer card.

You can login to your AMEX account via this link to check if you are targeted.

If you are targeted and spend $5,000 on your SPG card you’ll get 10,000 total Starpoints. You need to enroll by 3/31 and complete the spending by 5/31.

My cards aren’t targeted this time, are yours?

HT: coralsnake, via DDF

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All About Singapore Airlines: Enrollment Bonus, Excellent Mileage Accrual On 3 Domestic Airlines, And A Valuable Award Chart

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance that is known for being one of the best airlines in the world. I’ve flown in coach, business, and first class on Singapore and the service in every class of service is without a doubt the best I’ve ever experienced. In fact coach service on Singapore has been better than business or first class service on other airlines.

After flying 19 hours nonstop from Newark to Singapore in business class I was actually sad to have the flight come to an end.

And it’s hard to beat their A380 double suites which can only be booked with Singapore miles:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also have some excellent award chart bargains.

They did announce a devaluation for their own flights last week, but they cushioned it by announcing that they are eliminating fuel surcharges on Singapore flights and that they aren’t making changes to their excellent Star Alliance award chart. And the jump in mileage required is nowhere near what the domestic airlines have done for premium class award travel.


You can earn 500 miles by just signing up for a new account and using registration promotion (Exp: 4/14/17): JOINKF2017

The 500 points will post within 24 hours.


Singapore award bargains:
Singapore Airlines current award chart
Singapore Airlines award chart effective 3/23.
Singapore Star Alliance award chart

-A Singapore A380 walled-in suite from JFK to Frankfurt will be going up from 57,375 miles to 76K miles effective 3/23, but the $180 in fuel surcharges will be eliminated. You can only book Singapore suites with Singapore miles, but compare that to the 110K miles that United charges to fly from JFK to Frankfurt in Lufthansa first class!

In fact you can book that suite for just 75K miles with no fuel surcharges after 3/23 by adding on a Lufthansa leg from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv as their Star Alliance chart will be more advantageous to use than their chart for Singapore flights only.

A flight from Chicago to Singapore will actually be cheaper than from Los Angeles, NYC, or San Francisco to Singapore due to being able to use the Star Alliance award chart when combining travel on Singapore and another partner airline like United.

Suites availability between Singapore and Australia and New Zealand is excellent. So is availability from European cities like Zurich and Asian cities like Shanghai to Singapore.

Plus Singapore allows you to waitlist for saver award space on flights.

Singapore still allows a free stopover and open jaw on round-trip saver awards and you can add up to 3 additional stopovers for just $100 each by booking your award over the phone. If you book a standard award you can even get a free stopover on a one-way ticket.

Singapore has also applied for rights to fly to Tel Aviv themselves as well.

Singapore does charge fuel surcharges for most partner airlines, but notebly they don’t charge any for travel on United. Thanks to a generous Star Alliance award chart, that means it can be quite advantageous to use Singapore miles for United flights. However it’s worth noting that if you have a United credit card for expanded United award availability, that benefit only applies when using United miles and not miles from partner airlines like Singapore.

Sample one-way pricing using United miles vs Singapore miles:
-Domestic US first class on United using United miles is 25K miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 20K.
-A flight from the US48 to Alaska on United is 17.5K in coach and 30K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 12.5K in coach or 20K in first class.
-A flight from the US48 to Hawaii on United is 22.5K in coach and 40K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 17.5K in coach or 30K in first class.
-A flight from the US to Europe is 30K in coach, 57.5K-70K in business, and 80K-110K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 27.5K in coach, 65K in business, or 80K in first class.
-A flight from the US to Israel is 42.5K in coach, 70-80K in business, and 90K-140K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 37.5K in coach, 57.5K in business, and 75K in first class.

-A flight from the Middle East to Europe is 25K in coach, 45K in business, and 60K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 17.5K in coach, 25K in business, or 35K in first class.

Singapore even still offers a round-the-world award, something that airlines like American and United have discontinued. A round-the-world ticket to 7 destinations is 180K miles in coach, 240K miles in business, or 360K miles in first/suites class.


Note that partner awards can’t be booked online, you’ll need to call Singapore to book at 1-312-843-5333.

You can search for Singapore award availability on Singapore.com, but you’ll have to use a site like United.com or Aeroplan.com to search for Star Alliance saver award availability. Note that United.com isn’t able to search for any availability on Singapore flights, though you can call United to book award travel on Singapore, though business and first class from the US isn’t typically available with United miles.


Award fees with Singapore miles vs United miles:
-There are no close-in fees with Singapore miles. With United miles there’s a $75 fee within 3 weeks, though there are workarounds for that.
-Date changes on Singapore flights are free and are just $20 on other flights with Singapore miles. With United miles changes are $75-$125.
-Award refunds are just $30 with Singapore miles vs $75-$125 with United miles.


Mileage Expiration:
This is the Achilles’ heel of the Singapore program.

United miles will never expire as long as you have activity every 18 months or have a United credit card.

Singapore miles expire 36 months after they’re earned. You can extend them for 6 more months by paying a $12 fee per 10,000 miles extended.
If your miles are expiring and you don’t have any travel plans you can also book an award before your miles expire and then change the award for up to 1 year from when it’s issued.

You can also transfer Singapore miles into Virgin Australia Velocity miles at a 1.35:1 ratio. Those miles never expire as long as you have activity every 36 months.


Mileage earning from JetBlue, United, and Virgin America flights:

While United only awards a paltry 5 miles per pre-tax dollar spent on flights, Singapore still awards flown miles for United flights!

For example United recently had a $379 fare from Newark to Zurich. That fare was $282 before tax and would earn just 1,410 United miles. However you can give United your Singapore mileage number and earn 7,890 Singapore miles, which is the actual distance flown for the K class fare.

When United matched El Al’s $749 winter sale from Newark to Tel Aviv the base fare was $662. That would earn just 3,310 United miles. However you can give United your Singapore mileage number and earn 11,384 Singapore miles, which is the actual distance flown for the K class fare.

You can view the amount of miles that Singapore will award based on your fare class here.

-Singapore awards 100% of the flown miles for most United coach and business class tickets and 125-150% of the flown miles in some business and first class fare classes.

-Singapore awards 50-100% of the flown miles for most JetBlue coach tickets depending on the fare class and 125% of the flown miles in mint class.

-Singapore awards 100% of the flown miles for most Virgin America coach tickets and 125% of the flown miles in first class.

You can check the actual distance flown on GCMap.com. For example a flight from Newark to Sydney via Los Angeles would earn 19,884 Singapore miles for travel in most United fare classes.


Points Transfers:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-AMEX Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Singapore within 1-2 days.

-Starwood Starpoints transfer at a 20K:25K ratio to Singapore within 2-9 days.

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 currently have promotions awarding 25,000 signup points each with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Singapore miles with the permanent 25% transfer bonus.

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

The Preferred card awards 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, 3 points per dollar on gas, and 4.5 points per dollar on groceries if you make 30 transactions per month.

The EveryDay card awards 1.2 points per dollar everywhere, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 2.4 miles per dollar on groceries if you make 20 transactions per month. This is the only no-annual fee card that can transfer points into real airline miles from any bank.

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.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee and has a limited time increased signup bonus. However you’ll need one 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 Singapore at a 1:1 ratio.

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.

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

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


Do you accrue Singapore miles when you fly on JetBlue, United, or Virgin America? Hit the comments!

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Here Are The Changes Coming This Month To The AMEX Platinum Card; Comparison Of Consumer Vs. Business Card Benefits

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

-American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

AMEX will be making changes to their consumer Platinum Card effective 3/30.

new-platinum-card-flat
 

New benefits exclusive to the consumer card include:

$15 in monthly Uber credits:
Starting 3/30 a monthly $15 Uber credit will be added to your account. The monthly credit must be used by the last day of the month at 11:59pm local time.

You must have your AMEX Platinum consumer card listed as a payment method in your Uber account, but you don’t need to use the card in order to use the credit.

Every December you’ll get a $35 credit, making this benefit worth up to $200 per calendar year.

All AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards points already earn double points on Uber spending.

Uber credits typically work for food delivery from Uber Eats, so I’d imagine that this credit will work for Uber Eats as well, but we’ll have to wait until 3/30 to confirm if it will work for that.

The Uber credits are only valid for use in the US.

Uber VIP status:
AMEX Platinum consumer cardholders will be upgraded to VIP status, which prioritizes your rides to better cars and drivers with more experience and higher ratings in select locations.

5 points per dollar on hotel and airfare:
In October AMEX added 5 points per dollar for airfare spending on their consumer Platinum Card.

Effective 3/30 you’ll also earn 5 points per dollar on hotels, but with a caveat. You’ll only get the bonus points if you book hotels at AMEXTravel.com

Metal card design:
Until now AMEX has only provided their Centurion “Black card” cardholders with a metal card, but AMEX will now provide Platinum cardholders with a metal card.
Existing cardmembers can request a metal card effective 3/30.

Free additional Gold cardholders:
Previously additional Gold cards have been charged at a rate of $45/year, but effective 3/30 those will be free.

Annual fee increase:
Effective for new Platinum Card applications made on 3/30, the annual fee will go up from $450/year to $550/year.

If you apply before 3/30 you will pay only $450 for your first year, but you’ll still get the new benefits on 3/30.

If you are already a cardholder and your annual fee is due before 9/1 then your fee for 2017 will be $450. If your fee is due on 9/1 or later than you will be charged $550 for your next renewal.

Fee for additional Platinum cardholders will remain the same:
You will continue to be able to add up to 3 additional Platinum cardholders at a rate of 3 cards for a flat $175 per year. They will each receive their own lounge access capabilities, elite status, and Global Entry fee refunds, but won’t get annual airline fee or monthly Uber credits.


The Business Platinum Card will remain at $450/year.

amexbusplat960x680
 

Benefits exclusive to the business card include:

-A game changing 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.. Having the Business Platinum Card effectively turns all of your AMEX points earned on all Membership Rewards cards into “Hybrid” points by allowing you to redeem points for a value of 2 cents or more each for paid tickets or transferring them into real airline miles. The 50% rebate posts to your account within a day of redemption. You can get the 50% rebate whether you pay for the whole ticket or just part of the ticket with points.

-1.5 points per dollar on large purchases of $5,000 or more on the Business Platinum Card. You can earn up to 1 million points annually with this bonus. For example a $5K+ IRS tax payment will cost 1.87% (tax deductible for businesses) and will earn 1.5 points per dollar that are worth at least 3% towards travel with this card.

-Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi:
With the Business Platinum Card only, you get 10 annual Gogo flight passes to use on any flight with Gogo internet. You can enroll here for your free passes.


Read about the benefits that both cards offer and a comparison between the 2 cards after the jump:

 

(more…)

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Chase Freedom/Freedom Unlimited 10x Bonus Categories Added For March!

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

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.

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


Chase is offering 10 points per dollar on up to $2,500 in hotel and car rental spending on the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards this month.

Registration for this offer isn’t required. Booking must be made via ChaseUltimateRewards.com

You must use cash and not redeem points for the hotel stay or car rental in order to earn 10 points per dollar. This 10x promotion is only valid for travel booked in March, though travel can take place at any time. That’s a potential 25K points per card.

I maxed out this promotion last July on 3 Freedom cards and got 75K points. Since then I downgraded a Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom Unlimited, so potentially I can make 100,000 points off of this promotion. It’s all about playing your cards right 😉

They advertise the bonus as 10% cash back, but you’ll really get 10 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent, which can be worth much more than 10% cash. For example they can be transferred to a Sapphire Reserve card where they’ll be worth a minimum of 1.5 cents each towards travel or they can be transferred into airline/hotel miles. If you earn 25K points on Freedom/Freedom Unlimited and transfer them to Sapphire Reserve they’ll be worth a minimum of $375 towards travel and your effective rebate will be at least 15%.


Both the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited are excellent no annual fee credit cards.

The Freedom card earns 5 points per dollar on $1,500 in quarterly spending. You can click here to activate this quarter’s Chase Freedom 5% categories. With $1,500 in spending per quarter you will earn at least 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points over the course of a year (7,500 points per quarter at 5 points per dollar spent).

2017 bonus categories:
Q1: Gas stations and local commuter transportation
Q2: Grocery stores and drugstores

The Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere with no cap, an excellent card for everyday spending.

Freedom or Freedom Unlimited alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline or hotel miles, but if you or your spouse has a Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Ink Preferred card then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. You can read at the end of this post on great uses of Chase mileage transfers. The Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those premium cards.

The value of the points will be based on where you use them, but if you use those points for a trip worth where they are worth 2 cents each then you’ll have effectively earned 10% back on those “5 point categories.” The sky is the limit of the value of airline miles as they aren’t tied to the cost of a ticket. That’s good for people in the know and bad for those who are not. 1 mile can be worth 0.25 cents or it can be worth 25 cents, it all just depends on how you use them!

HT: stooges44, via DDF

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Combine Singapore Flights With Star Alliance Flights To Save; JFK To Tel Aviv In Singapore Suites Will Be Cheaper Than JFK To Europe!

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Related:
Singapore Airlines current award chart
Singapore Airlines award chart effective 3/23.
Singapore Star Alliance award chart


Earlier today I noted that the award chart for Singapore Airlines is getting pricier but that their Star Alliance chart won’t change.

It’s worth noting that if you fly on Singapore and a partner airline that you’ll use the Star Alliance award chart.

In the past that meant paying more miles and losing out on the 15% online discount as you need to call Singapore to book partner award travel.

When I booked travel to Paris via Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines in the past I booked an award ticket with Singapore and made a separate award on United for the intra-Europe flights.

Now it will often be the same or nearly the same price to add partner award flights on the same award as the Singapore flights by calling up Singapore and using their Star Alliance award chart.

In fact with the new pricier Singapore award chart you can even save miles on some routes by adding on additional partner award flights and using the Star Alliance chart!

Best of all if you wait to book until 3/23 you won’t pay a fuel surcharge for the Singapore Airlines flights! This is actually the opposite of a devaluation for the Star Alliance award chart!

And of course you can get a free stopover as well if you want to take one along the way. Singapore Airlines allows mileage transfers from AMEX, Chase, Citi, and Starwood, making them a great option for awards.

For example:
-A Singapore suites flight from JFK to Frankfurt is currently 57,375 miles but is going up to 76K miles.
-A Singapore suites flight from JFK to Frankfurt connecting to a Lufthansa European style business class flight to Tel Aviv will remain 75K miles.

-A Singapore business class flight from JFK to Frankfurt is currently 48,875 miles but is going up to 65K miles.
-A Singapore business class flight from JFK to Frankfurt connecting to a Lufthansa European style business class flight to Tel Aviv will remain 57,500 miles.


-A Singapore first class flight from San Francisco to Singapore is currently 91,375 miles but is going up to 118K miles.
-A Singapore first class flight from San Francisco to Singapore connecting to an EVA business class flight to Taipei will remain 100K miles.

-A Singapore business class flight from San Francisco to Singapore is currently 68K miles but is going up to 88K miles.
-A Singapore business class flight from San Francisco to Singapore connecting to an EVA business class flight to Taipei will remain 87.5K miles.


-A Singapore suites flight from JFK to Singapore is currently 95,625 miles but is going up to 120K miles.
-A Singapore first class flight from Chicago to NYC on United and connecting to a Singapore suites flight to Singapore will remain 112.5K miles.


Post what other Star Alliance routes you find where you can save miles by adding a partner flight!

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Singapore Airlines Award Chart Changes: A Merciful Devaluation

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Singapore Airlines allows mileage transfers from AMEX, Chase, Citi, and Starwood, making them a great option for awards.

They have an excellent Star Alliance partner airline award chart that still allows for a free stopover. You can also fly one-way for half the miles listed on the chart.
The great news is that the Star Alliance award chart will not be changing. There are fuel surcharges that vary by airline, but none are charged for travel on United and there are lots of bargains compared to the United award chart. Plus Singapore doesn’t charge any close-in fees.

However effective for travel booked on or after 3/23 the award chart for traveling on Singapore will get pricier. Here is the current award chart and here is the new award chart. You can lock in future travel at the current rates and you can change travel dates for free. You can also cancel and refund an award for just $30.

I love that they’re honest and say, that “Revisions to Saver Award levels in the Singapore Airlines and SilkAir Award Chart have been made to ensure that flight rewards remain sustainable yet competitive. We had last made adjustments to award levels in various zones in 2012.”

That’s so much better than American, Delta, and United spinning their devaluations as customer enhancements.

Award rates for travel on Singapore are going up and the 15% online booking discount is being eliminated. In the good news department Singapore will no longer have a fuel surcharge for their own flights.

In other words lets say you want to book a private walled in suite from JFK to Frankfurt:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently that would cost 57,375 miles plus $23 tax and $180 in fuel surcharges when you book that online.

Under the new award chart you’ll pay 76K miles plus $23 in tax. That’s an increase of 18,625 miles, but it’s cushioned by the elimination of the $180 in fuel surcharges.

That’s still a devaluation, but considering the elimination of fuel surcharges and the Star Alliance award chart being left unchanged I’d call that a devaluation made with mercy.

HT: EJB, via DDF

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