Good afternoon everyone. In mid January 2018, I wrote My Unlikely, But Entertaining 2018 Travel Predictions. I did not look at that post until yesterday, so it was fun to look at the predictions I had made. I will go through my 2018 predictions and see how well I did. Since my memory is not that great, please correct me if I am wrong on any of these. In a few days, I will share my probably equally as unlikely but equally as entertaining 2019 travel predictions, so check back for that post. Without further ado, here were my 2018 predictions and the results:
After the Virgin America merger, Alaska Airlines will add new routes to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean (Correct! According to Alaska Airlines’ website, they did add several new routes of Mexico City from SFO, LAX, and SAN. Unfortunately, there were no new routes to Canada or the Caribbean.)
Delta Airlines will introduce cash and miles award tickets, then American Airlines and United Airlines will follow suit (Wrong! Looks like none of the big 3 airlines added “cash + miles” award tickets.)
Southwest Airlines will increase their Transfarency by automatically keeping track of travel funds in each account (Wrong! You still need to manually track your travel funds.)
Delta is late to the party in offering us their holiday shopping bonus miles deal. But better late than never! If you like to shop and like to earn miles and points when you shop, then this is the sweet spot time of year! With the holidays upon us, take advantage of this shopping sweet spot and use airline shopping portals to earn miles and points for shopping you’ll do anyway. Here’s Delta’s bonus promotion, as well as reminders from the other airlines offering holiday bonus miles. Continue reading →
There are many choices when it comes to increasing our miles and points so we can travel more for less. Recently, however, when using my companion passes and free tickets from credit cards, my friend Carrie asked how that worked and which credit cards came with that perk. Good question! There are many credit cards that come with free bags or priority boarding. Along with those benefits, these three credit cards also provide a free (or almost free) companion ticket benefit.
Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card
The Alaska Airlines credit card is one I’ve had for many years and I never miss using the Companion Fare. Essentially, this annual benefit is a free buy-one-get-one ticket in economy class. The primary traveler must pay the fare, but the companion pays just $99 plus taxes and fees. I always get more than the annual fee of $75 in value per year using this fare. I’ve used it for trips across the US and most recently to Seattle. The certificate is easy to apply to your fare and more than worth the annual fee.
The competition has heated up in August with banks, credit card companies, and airlines stepping up to the plate with some of their best sign-up offers. If you qualify for these cards, now is a great time to give them a go!
Up to 175K SPG Points
Good news on the American Express front. American Express announced significant changes to their two co-branded SPG cards this week.
The card is currently offering 75K points after spending $3K within the first three months as well as 6x points on Marriott/SPG purchases and 2x points on all other purchases. You’ll also receive a free night award every year after your card account anniversary (good for redemption up to properties going for 35K per night). Beginning in 2019, you will receive 15 elite qualifying nights for holding the card. The card comes with a $95 annual fee that is waived for the first year.
Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels and 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees.
Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
You have a limited window to obtain this card until 8/26. AmEx normally limits the card to those applicants who have not had it before, but additional restrictions will be put in place come 8/26: Effective 8/26, welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, Marriott Rewards Credit Card from Chase, or The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card from JP Morgan in the last 30 days.Continue reading →
I’m well versed in flight options from the US, but when it comes time to plan trips between different regions, I have to think about my options a little more. My boyfriend and I decided to plan a trip to El Salvador for the end of May, but I was going to Cuba right before as part of the last class for my MBA. He was able to snag great flights on Delta for only 14,500 miles roundtrip during one of their sales. Unfortunately, I was locked in to flying to Cuba with my class – which, thankfully was a cheap $90 flight that I wouldn’t have used miles for anyway. I decided it would make way more sense to fly directly from Cuba to El Salvador than to come back to the US first. As usual, I checked cash prices first. I was looking at around $300 for the one-way flight… ouch.
That’s when I turned to using miles. Flyermiler, one of my favorite tools, showed that I could book with Avianca LifeMiles for only 10,000 miles! It also showed that United would cost only 10,000 miles, but that’s not actually correct. United charges 12,500 or 17,500 miles for an economy class flight, depending on routing. Luckily for me, I had some LifeMiles, so I was able to get a killer deal on my flight to El Salvador!