Category Archives: Airlines + Miles

New AwardWallet Plus Feature: Receive Alerts for Incoming Miles & Points with Balance Watch [Winners Selected]

Updated 8pm PT on 3/15/19: Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.  I wish I could give everyone codes, but I only have so many codes available.  Here are the winners: Mike Saint, Bill Pisor, LAURAPDX, Brandon, Priscilla Ennis, Seth, Will, Stephanie Woods, iwantmoremiles, and Jim F.  I will email the winners the codes.  Thank you.


Good afternoon everyone.  A year ago, I wrote AwardWallet Feature I Wish Existed: Keep Checking for Account Balance Changes.  In that post, I wished there was a way for AwardWallet to constantly check a specific airline / hotel account to see when miles or points posted.  This is super important if you transfer points from a transferable points currency (Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi Thank You Points, Capital One Points, or Marriott Bonvoy) in the hopes of booking an award flight before the award space disappears.  Some transfers are instant, while others may take several hours or several days.

I am happy to report that AwardWallet took my idea and added the feature to AwardWallet.  Here is a blog post describing Balance Watch and how the feature works:

“Balance Watch will monitor a loyalty account to let you know as soon as your points arrive. Once activated, AwardWallet will check your balance up to twenty-four times per day and send you a desktop, mobile, and email notification as soon as a change is detected.”

Image source: https://awardwallet.com/blog/balance-watch/

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Keep Airline Miles from Expiring with Conversions from Radisson Rewards (or Hilton / Hyatt / IHG / Marriott / Wyndham)

Good morning everyone.  A few days ago, I got an email from Radisson Rewards about transferring Radisson Rewards Points into airline miles.  I figured it would be a bad deal in terms of the value you get from Radisson Rewards Points, but thought it might be useful if you have airline frequent flyer miles expiring soon and need some activity to reset the expiration date.  I went through the transfer process to convert 2,000 Radisson Rewards Points into 200 American Airlines miles.  Trust me, I know this is a terrible exchange, but it is a very efficient way to keep airline miles from expiring (and I don’t put much value on 2,000 Radisson Rewards Points).  I then went even further down the rabbit hole and looked at other hotel programs (Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Wyndham) to see if they offered better value in terms of resetting airline mile expiration dates than Radisson Rewards.  Here are my results…

To get started with the conversion of Radisson Rewards Points into airline miles, I started here.  As you can see, 2,000 Radisson Rewards Points = 200 airline miles.  The transfer ratio is the same regardless of how many Radisson Rewards Points you want to transfer.  10 Radisson Rewards Points = 1 airline mile.  According to Frequent Miler’s Reasonable Redemption Values (RRV), 1 Radisson Reward Point is equal to 0.38 cents per point (CPP), which would make 1 airline mile worth 3.8 CPP (which is unrealistically high).  But look at it a different way.  2,000 Radisson Rewards Points would be worth $7.60 (2,000 x $0.0038 = $7.60).  In reality, I get 40,000 Radisson Rewards Points every year when I pay the $60 annual fee on my US Bank Radisson Rewards Business Credit Card, so that comes out to a 0.15 CPP value ($60 / 40,000 = $0.0015).  The new calculation would make 2,000 Radisson Rewards Points worth only $3.00 (2,000 x $0.0015 = $3.00).  So would you redeem $3.00 in Radisson Rewards Points to reset your frequent flyer miles expiration date?

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3 Buy Miles/Points Promos Ending in March: Avianca LifeMiles (100%), Alaska (40%) & United (70K Bonus Miles)

Good afternoon everyone.  I was working on my Buy Miles & Points Page and found a few offers ending this month.  Always check the math to make sure that buying miles & points makes sense for you.  Do not buy miles & points speculatively unless you have a use in mind.  With that said, here are 3 buy miles/points promos ending this month.  First up, Avianca LifeMiles is offering a 100% bonus on all miles purchased.  This offer expires on March 14.

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Come Say Hi to Me at FTU Seattle this Weekend (March 9-10)

Good morning everyone.  I am heading to Seattle this weekend for a fun-filled FTU (Frequent Traveler University).  If you are heading to the travel conference, say hi if you see me.  I will be wearing my Travel with Grant shirt on Saturday and Sunday.  It is always fun to meet TWG readers and catch up with old friends.  If this is your first FTU, try to meet and talk to as many people as possible.  Preferably, try to find people that live in the same state or region as you do, since you can swap MS stories and share local tips & tricks.  Even though I am not giving any presentations, feel free to ask me any travel, bank account, or credit card related question.  If I do not know the answer, I will probably know how you should ask.  Here’s to good weather, great conversations, and a fun weekend talking about miles, points, and travel!

Reality Check: My Dilemma Booking $200+ Hotel Room (But $200+ Flights Are No Problem)

Good afternoon everyone.  My last reality check post was pretty popular (Reality Check: Traveling with Non-TSA PreCheck Travelers Sucks) so hopefully you guys enjoy this post and I get some good feedback from you guys.  Here is some background info and how I think.  I love nonstop flights and tend to book those even if they are not the cheapest option.  Booking flights under $100, under $200, and under $300 do not bother me at all, but when it comes to booking a hotel room, I find it hard to justify paying $200+ for a hotel room.  For the nonstop flights that I tend to book, using miles is not ideal.  Either the flight is so cheap that I would be getting a terrible value using miles (like a $100 Alaska Airlines flight vs. 12,500 Alaska Airlines miles) or only standard awards are available (like a $200 United Airlines flight vs. 25,000 United Airlines miles).  I mostly fly Southwest Airlines and have a stockpile of Southwest Airlines gift cards (thanks to airline reimbursements from American Express Business Platinum, American Express Hilton Aspire, and Chase Southwest Airlines Priority) and discounted gift cards sold on eBay, along with many Southwest Airlines travel credits that I need to use before they expire.  When I fly Southwest Airlines, I always use up my travel funds and then redeem Southwest Airlines gift cards.  In those instances, those Southwest Airlines flights seem much cheaper to me than the original price.

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