Miles and points mean I can travel beyond what my wallet would allow. My Scandinavia swing in September and upcoming Africa trips in October would not be possible without the miles boost.
While on the road I shut out the miles and points hobby, catching up in chunks. What I have been up to:
- A series of approvals for Amex Platinum (100k), Business Rewards Gold (75k), and Starwood Business (30k).
- Closing out my Chase Ritz-Carlton. Got the points, maxed out the airline credits, used Lounge Club for unlimited guests, and moved on. Only downgrade options are Marriott cards. No retention offer given, none expected. I will miss the JP Morgan customer service line.
- Adding to my stash of Bank of American Better Balance Rewards card, now up to 8, all from Alaska or Virgin Atlantic conversions.
- Learning the wonders of United MileagePlus awards on Ethiopian and Turkish. Thanks to help from UPGRD Matthew, I learned United puts Turkey in Europe which makes Africa-Africa tickets via Istanbul price at 60k one-way in economy. Also that United agents can manually issue tickets under the minimum connect time, in this case Istanbul is 60 minutes and the only feasible itinerary is 55 minutes. No comprehensive free resource for checking MCT, I believe paid ExpertFlyer is the best option for those who need it.
The miles and points world has been slow to shake off summer with little news in September, here’s what I saved.
- When A Bargain Fare Isn’t A Bargain (Or, Why The Flight Deal Does Not Feature Deals from Spirit or Frontier etc) (The Flight Deal).
- The ITA Matrix Commands You Probably Don’t Know (Map Happy).
- Why Delta Thinks They’re Too Good to Have an Interline Agreement With American and American Retaliates Against Delta, Ramps Up New York LaGuardia (both View from the Wing).
- United, Delta, or American Elite? Status Match to Copa and Get Free United Club Access! (View from the Wing).
- The best ways to pay for flights (The Frequent Miler).
- 1 Best Use From Each Miles & Points Program (Travel is Free).
- Ask for the ‘flights window’ to get Delta SkyMiles awards at lower prices (MileCards).
- Great Updates To ANA Award Search Tool (One Mile at a Time).
- United ExpertMode+ gets new features (Wandering Aramean).
- United Airlines Closing Honolulu and Detroit Call Centers (Live and Let’s Fly).
- Booking Iberia award tickets for fun and profit (The Free-quent Flyer).
- How to know you’re getting the lowest mileage price with SkyMiles (MileCards).
- Saudia Award Space Now Bookable on Delta.com (Live and Let’s Fly).
- American Will Now Charge You for 2 Awards If You Fly Hawaiian Airlines Beyond Hawaii and Guide to Booking Award Tickets Using American Miles (both View from the Wing).
- Brooklyn’s hotel boom: Brooklyn-born Joe Brancatelli thinks the borough’s added rooms won’t draw business travelers (The Business Journals).
- American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) (TravelZork).
- Baha Mar developer’s bankruptcy case dismissed by U.S. judge (Travel Weekly).
- American Express Membership Reward Point Transfers to Best Western Ending December 31, 2015 (Travel with Grant).
- Details About New Barclaycard “Luxury” Card (Previously Black Card) Released – Available From October 1st (Doctor Of Credit).
- Amex Offers via the Amex Mobile App (The Frequent Miler).
- Elan Credit Cards (Personal Finance Digest).
- Sam’s Clubs to Accept AmEx Cards (WSJ).
- Introduction to US Bank ScoreBoard Reporting to Analyze Spending Activity (Travel with Grant).
- No fee, Chip with PIN priority cards now available from First Tech Credit Union (MileCards).
- So, My Husband Got Into Reselling… (Miles For Family).
- Common acronyms used in the MS world (see what I did there) (Miles per Day).
- RIP US Bank Buxx – last day to load 10/24/2015 (Miles per Day).
- MS Woes: $2,000 Stolen Off My PayPal Reload Cards (Point Princess).
- New blogs worth reading? (Personal Finance Digest).
- Watch How Uber Scammers in China Make Big Money from Fake Rides (WSJ China Real Time).
- Meet the Plaintiffs Lawyer Out to Save Gift Cards (WSJ Law Blog).
- The Various Levels of Paypal Accounts (Doctor Of Credit).
- A brief Target and Cartwheel App Primer (Big Habitat).