Good morning everyone. Last week, I was flying back from Salt Lake City (SLC) to Oakland (OAK) on Delta. The flight was oversold, so the gate agent was looking for a few volunteers to take a later flight (depart SLC at 10:30pm, land in OAK at 11:30pm) in exchange for a $700 gift card. Since I didn’t need to get back to OAK right away, I asked the gate agent if I could take a morning flight into OAK (depart SLC at 8:30am, land in OAK at 9:30am – I would then take BART into SF for work) and I also asked for a hotel voucher for the night. The gate agent said that was possible, so he added me to the volunteer list, and I waited near the gate for all passengers to board. After all passengers boarded the flight, the gate agent called me up, changed my flight to the new morning flight, printed out a hotel voucher, and showed me the list of gift cards that I was eligible to claim. I didn’t take a photo of the laminated sheet on the counter, but I believe these were the same gift cards that were offered. I decided to go with an American Express gift card since that was basically cash to me.
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.)
- JetBlue will add new routes along the West Coast and maybe to Hawaii (Wrong! JetBlue did add new routes along the East Coast, but nothing new on the West Coast.)
- Singapore Airlines will allow you to book United Airlines awards online (Correct! Singapore Airlines added the ability to book award flights on United Airlines in February.)
- British Airways will bring back the 4,500 Avios award price in the United States (Wrong! Sadly, the 4,500 British Airways Avios pricing band is still not available in the US.)
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