American Express

Until December 21, 2015, there is a 25% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to Hawaiian Miles. One thousand Membership Rewards transfer to 1,250 Hawaiian Miles.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.21.47 AM

This is actually the third ongoing offer at the moment, with transfer bonuses to Iberia (and indirectly British Airways) Avios and Virgin America points that I have already covered.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.21.40 AM Good Deals with Hawaiian Miles

Hawaiian Airlines is not a member of any alliance, but it has a number of partners. You can use Hawaiian miles on:

  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • ANA
  • American Airlines
  • China Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Korean Airlines
  • Virgin America
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

Check out the award charts for all partners here and for Hawaiian Airlines flights here.

Here are some deals I like.

Flying Hawaiian

20,000 MILES (16k Membership Rewards)

Economy, one-way, Hawaii to:

  • New York City

new-york-city-wallpaper

  • Las Vegas

Las-Vegas-images-300x200

British Airways offer excellent deals from most West Coast cities to Hawaii, but they do not have any partner flights directly from Las Vegas. Thus, Hawaiian miles are the best miles to use for award flights from Las Vegas to Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Airlines award chart states that flights from Hawaii to the mainland cost 20,000 miles. However, for holders of the Hawaiian Airlines credit card the price is discounted to 17,500 miles.

27,500 MILES (22k Membership Rewards)

Economy class, one-way, Hawaii to:

  • Pago Pago, Samoa
  • Papeete, Tahiti

honeymoon-ideas-Tahiti-Cooks-Bay

40,000 MILES (32k Membership Rewards)

Economy class, one-way, Hawaii to:

  • Brisbane
  • Sydney
  • Auckland

western-australia-kangaroo-beach

First class, one-way, Hawaii to:

  • Seattle
  • Portland
  • Sacramento
  • Oakland
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego
  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix
  • New York City

Here is a trip report of Hawaiian Airlines First Class.

120703-HawaiianA3301st-01

47,500 MILES (38k Membership Rewards)

First class, one-way, Hawaii to:

  • Pago Pago, Samoa
  • Papeete, Tahiti

120703-HawaiianA330200-01

65,000 MILES (52,000 Membership Rewards)

First class, one-way, Hawaii to:

  • Brisbane
  • Sydney
  • Auckland
  • Taipei
  • Beijing

inflightfood

Flying Partners

30,000 MILES (24k Membership Rewards)

Economy class, round-trip, Korean Air, Seoul to all its destinations in Asia:

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.35.27 AM

  • Akita
  • Aomori
  • Fukuoka
  • Hakodate
  • Kagoshima
  • Komatsu
  • Nagasaki
  • Nagoya
  • Niigata
  • Oita
  • Okayama
  • Osaka
  • Sapporo
  • Shizuoka
  • Tokyo (Narita, Haneda)
  • Beijing
  • Changsha
  • Dalian
  • Guangzhou
  • Hong Kong
  • Jinan
  • Kunming
  • Mudanjiang
  • Qingdao
  • Shanghai (Hongqiao)
  • Shenyang
  • Shenzhen
  • Tianjin
  • Tunxi
  • Weihai
  • Wuhan
  • Ximen
  • Xian
  • Yanji
  • Zhengzhou
  • Irukutsk
  • Taipei
  • Ulaanbaatar
  • Vladivostok
  • Bangkok
  • Cebu
  • Chiang Mai
  • Da Nang
  • Denpasar Bali
  • Hanoi
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Jakarta
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Manila
  • Palau
  • Phnom Penh
  • Phuket
  • Siem Reap
  • Singapore
  • Yangon
  • Guam
  • Colombo
  • Malé
  • Mumbai
  • Kathmandu
  • Tashkent

images

Korean Air, a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards and SPG, charges 30,000 to 75,000 miles for the above itineraries.

30,000 Hawaiian miles could also be used for a round-trip ticket departing from any of the Asian cities listed above and going to Seoul.

35,000, 45,000, 60,000 MILES (28k, 36k, 48k Membership Rewards)

The chart to fly American Airlines with Hawaiian Miles is similar to what American charges for its own flights. With the 25% transfer bonuses, some of the deals get very good indeed.
Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.35.32 AM

Roundtrips to the Caribbean, Central America, Southern South America, and Europe are good deals in economy.

How to Book Partner Awards

You need to find Saver availability on the partner, which you cannot do on hawaiianair.com. For American Airlines space, I’d search aa.com; for Korean space, I’d search delta.com; for other partners, I’d search wherever its award space was searchable. Hawaiian Airlines should have access to all its partners’ Saver award space.

Then you book by calling 877-HA-MILES from 7 AM – 4:30 PM HST Monday through Friday, which is currently noon to 9:30 PM ET.

Other Ways to Get Hawaiian Miles

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® comes with a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.

Hawaiian Airlines cardholders with family members who also accrue Hawaiian miles can take advantage of a unique benefit: Hawaiian miles can be combined into one account through the share miles program. This free benefit can turn worthless “leftover” miles into an award goldmine.

Anyone who has a card open can receive Hawaiian Miles from another account for free. Most airlines charge over 1 cent per mile for transfers of this kind!

The other benefit of the Hawaiian Airlines card, that I mentioned earlier, is that you get to book Super Saver economy awards between the United States and Hawaii for 17,500 Hawaiian miles each way instead of the 20,000 mile price on the chart.

Bottom Line

You have 12 days to transfer 1,000 Membership Rewards to 1,250 Hawaiian Miles. That will be a good deal for people who want to book the sweet spots on the Hawaiian Airlines chart that I laid out in this post.

Hat Tip View from the Wing

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

9

The Citi Prestige® Card comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. It also offers a $250 Air Travel Credit per calendar year.

$250 Prestige Air Travel Credit

The Air Travel Credit can be used to offset the first $250 you spend on any airline (or at any online travel agency) on airfare, award taxes and fees, baggage fees, seat selection fees, upgrade fees, change fees, onboard fees, the purchase of miles, or pretty much any other charge that is processed by an airline. Here is how I spent mine in the first month of having the card.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.36.26 AM

Although I generally say the $250 credit is “per calendar year,” technically the credit is for all statements that close within a calendar year. That’s a little different, and it means you need to spend the $250 credit a little bit quicker than you might realize.

From the terms of the Citi Prestige:

“This statement credit is an annual benefit available for purchases appearing on your billing statements from December through the following December. Pending transactions that do not post in your December billing cycle will count towards the next year’s Air Travel Credit.”

So if your statement closes on December 15, 2015, your purchase needs to appear on that statement to count toward your 2015 credit. That means you may only have a few days left to max out the credit, depending on when exactly your December 2015 statement closes.

As a corollary, your 2016 credit is going to offset any purchases made after your December 2015 statement closes, even if those purchases are in 2015.

American Express Air Travel Credits

The Prestige Air Travel Credit was a response to American Express credits. All versions of the American Express Platinum offer a $200 annual Air Travel Credit and the Premier Rewards Gold offers a $100 Air Travel Credit. The American Express credits are worse because:

  1. They are smaller than the Prestige’s $250 credit.
  2. They cannot be used for airfare like the Prestige’s $250 credit can.
  3. You have to designate one airline in advance of using the credit, and the credit only applies to that airline. (No advance designation required for Prestige credit which applies to all airlines.)

However the terms on the American Express credits say:

“[E]ach Card Account is eligible for up to a total of $100 [$200] per calendar year in statement credits.”

That means that you actually have until December 31, 2015 for charges to post that can get offset by these credits. I’d make sure I made all purchases by December 27, though, since purchases often take a day or two to post.

I am going to use my American Express credit to purchase airline gift cards, which are explicitly excluded from reimbursement, but are in fact reimbursed. See “Which Airline Gift Cards Are Reimbursed By American Express Fee Credits?

Best practices for American Airlines gift cards, my designated airline, are to buy $100 gift cards a few days apart, so I purchased my first today.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 9.58.48 PM

Bottom Line

You have until your December 2015 statement closes on your Citi Prestige® Card to use your 2015 Air Travel Credit. Since that could be as soon as tomorrow, use it today.

You have until December 31, 2015 to use your American Express Airline Fee Credits. Plan ahead since you want to purchase a few days before the deadline, and some airline gift cards like American Airlines’, may require more than one purchase spread over a few days.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

16

American Express Platinum Cardholders (including the “regular” Platinum, Business Platinum, Mercedes-Benz Platinum, and Ameriprise Platinum) get a $200 Airline Fee Credit each calendar year to offset “incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 4.52.23 PM

However “[t]his benefit doesn’t offer credit toward airline tickets, mileage points purchases or mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, upgrades, duty–free purchases, or award tickets.”

You have to designate one airline each year before making the purchase you want to offset, make that purchase on your Platinum card, and wait for reimbursement.

This fee credit is much worse than the $250 Air Travel Credit on the Citi Prestige® Card, which also resets each calendar year, because:

  1. $250 is better than $200. And since you can earn these credits every calendar year and the first 12 months you hold the relevant credit card will contain two calendar years, $500 is better than $400. Please read this full post on the Prestige’s $250 Air Travel Credit to learn how to earn it.
  2. The Prestige’s Air Travel Credit explicitly reimburses the purchase of airfare and payment of award taxes. The Platinum’s specifically disallows those purchases.
  3. You have to enroll in the Platinum’s credit. The Prestige’s is automatic.
  4. You have to choose a single airline each year for the Platinum’s credit. The Prestige’s credit covers all airlines (and online travel agencies.)

While some people spend $200 per year on incidentals like onboard refreshments, seat selection, and baggage fees, most of us don’t. It would be better to convert that $200 to something more useful. Enter gift cards.

While AMEX’s terms and conditions clearly say you can’t buy gift cards and get reimbursed, in fact, you can. There is a FlyerTalk thread devoted to each airline that you can select for fee reimbursement for people to post their experiences trying to purchase gift cards.

I’d recommend clicking on the thread that interests you, reading the wiki at the top that summarizes the thread in a few paragraphs and then clicking on the last page or two to read the most recent reports. I’ll do that for you here, but it could become out of date quickly.

American Airlines

Gift cards of $100 or less are being automatically reimbursed. Purchase two $100 gift cards a few days apart.

Alaska Airlines

For the last few months, no Alaska Airlines gift cards have been reimbursed. Keep a close eye on the thread though because the problem may be temporary.

Delta Airlines

Gift cards of $50 or less are being automatically reimbursed. Purchase four $50 gift cards during the same checkout. You can redeem two at once.

Hawaiian Airlines

Only one attempt–at a $200 gift card has been reported in the last four years–and it was not reimbursed. Two years ago, someone’s under-$100 Hawaiian Airlines flights were reimbursed, but not his flights over $100.

JetBlue

Gift cards are not reimbursed.

United

The wiki of the United thread:

“Gift Registry and Gift Cards

The consensus is that United gift registry contributions will be reimbursed and gift card purchases will not. So

  1. Log into united.com
  2. Set up a gift registry for yourself
  3. Use the link in your gift registry web page to send an announcement to your email address. This better, faster, and more reliable than searching for your gift registry, especially if you have a common name. Even someone with an unusual surname like mre5765 has could not find his registry after creating it.
  4. Log out of united.com
  5. Follow the Make Contribution in your gift registry email
  6. Contribute using your Amex platinum card

There seems to be no downside to contributing in sub-200 dollar chunks since the gift registry creates a single pool of cash. However there are lots of reports of successful fee credits from a single $200 donation. Whether done as on $200 transaction or eight $25 transactions, the result is that one will have $200 in ones TravelBank.”

So that’s very gift-card-like and just a few more steps.

Southwest

$100 gift cards are being reimbursed.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

7

I will spend over 200 nights this year in Airbnb apartments–here’s where I am sleeping in 2015–so three pieces of news about Airbnb caught my eye today.

  1. Most (all?) AMEX cards are offering $50 off a $100 Airbnb purchase made by 12/31/15.
  2. You can use AMEX Membership Rewards to pay for Airbnb stays.
  3. You can earn Virgin America Elevate points for Airbnb stays.

Right now, if you sign up for Airbnb through my referral link, you’ll get $25 off your first stay, and I’ll get $25 off my next stay. Feel free to leave your referral link in the comments.

Get $50 Off Your Next $100+ Airbnb Stay

Sign into your American Express account and look for “Amex Offers & Benefits” below your recent charges.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.16.53 PM

My very last offer was $50 back on a $100+ Airbnb purchase made by December 31, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.02.45 PM

Book a stay or buy a gift card this year on your enrolled American Express this year and get $50 back. This is $50 free for me that I will use for a stay this year or next.Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.03.07 PM

(Don’t) Use Membership Rewards to Book an Airbnb Stay

You can now use American Express Membership Rewards to pay for an Airbnb stay. You will get 0.7 cents of value per point, which is atrocious, though, so don’t do it. I value Membership Rewards at about 2 cents each.

Get Virgin America Elevate Points for Airbnb Bookings

Start your Airbnb bookings on this page, and you will earn 1 Virgin America point per dollar of the booking. If you sign up to host and complete a stay, you get 20,000 Virgin America points.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.23.38 PM

Virgin America points are worth about 2.3 cents each, so that’s a 2.3% rebate on stays and a $460 host sign up bonus.

I did not complete a booking, but from going through most of the steps, I can say that the $25 coupons earned from referral links can be applied to stays that earn Virgin America points. I do not know whether you would earn 1 point per dollar on the subtotal or only on what you pay after the coupon.

I have no way to test, but I assume the $50 American Express credit (above) could be stacked with the Virgin America points offer as long as you spend $100+ on the stay.

Bottom Line

I spend more than half my time in Airbnb apartments, which are better, bigger, and cheaper than hotel rooms. Here’s how Airbnb works.

Right now, if you sign up for Airbnb through my referral link, you’ll get $25 off your first stay, and I’ll get $25 off my next stay. Feel free to leave your referral link in the comments.

Today’s Airbnb news:

  1. Most (all?) AMEX cards are offering $50 off a $100 Airbnb purchase made by 12/31/15.
  2. You can use AMEX Membership Rewards to pay for Airbnb stays.
  3. You can earn Virgin America Elevate points for Airbnb stays.
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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

1

Hilton Gold Status is now a standard benefit of the American Express Platinum Card, Platinum Business Card, and (I assume) Mercedes-Benz and Ameriprise Platinum cards. That’s great news for me, since I just got the”regular” Platinum Card with a 100,000 point sign up bonus two months ago.

Hilton Gold Status is not automatic just by holding one of these cards. To get the status, click this link.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.03.28 PM Enter your Hilton number, and you will get a pop up saying the status should appear in 72 hours.Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.04.36 PMIf you have additional cardholders, they can get Hilton Gold Status too, just not online.Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.06.57 PM

 

I’ve updated Get the Most Out of Your American Express Platinum Card to include this benefit. If you have a Platinum card, you have to read that post.

What Is Hilton Gold Status?

Hilton Gold Status is the middle of three tiers of elite status and normally requires 20 stays or 40 nights in a year to earn.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.11.46 PM

 

Here are the benefits:

25% ELITE STATUS BONUS

With Gold elite status, you automatically receive a 25% bonus on all the HHonors Base Points you earn.

5TH NIGHT FREE

Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive every 5th night free4 on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more.

HOTEL BENEFITS1

Members with Gold status receive all the benefits in the lower tiers:

  • Digital Check-In: choose your room, and customize your stay from your mobile device up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Complimentary in-room and lobby Standard Internet access during stays at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Canopy™ by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™
  • Quick reservations and check-ins based on your room preferences
  • Late check-out2
  • Express check-out
  • 2nd Guest stays free3
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs5
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay (at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Embassy Suites Hotels™, Hilton Garden Inn™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™ hotels)1

MY WAY GOLD MEMBERSHIP HOTEL BENEFITS:6

Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or one in-room movie1 per stay

Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

Embassy Suites Hotels™

  • 500 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or two snack/refreshment choices per stay

Hilton Garden Inn™

  • 750 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary Hot Cooked-to-Order Breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

Hampton™

  • 250 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and non-alcoholic beverage

Homewood Suites by Hilton™

  • 250 HHonors bonus points per stay or two bottles of water and Pepperidge Farm cookies per stay

Home2 Suites by Hilton™

  • 100 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and bottled water per stay

Hilton Grand Vacations™

  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay

Hat Tip Doctor of Credit

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

0

American Express is offering real FICO scores for free to cardholders. Get yours here. Barclaycard, Citi, and Discover already offer real FICO scores for free to cardholders, so by now everyone who opens rewards credit cards should have free access to their real FICO score.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 1.38.30 AM

Your FICO score is the main or one of the main factors in all decisions lenders make about whether to extend you credit, how much, and on what terms. Watch it. Guard it. Keep it high. Keep traveling for free with the miles and points you earn from opening credit cards based on your high score.

Hat Tip View from the Wing

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

3

American Express christened the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the day after Black Friday, as Small Business Saturday in 2010. Every year since then, American Express has offered $10 to $30 in statement credits per American Express card for shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday. There are probably people who have racked up over $1,000 in free statement credits from American Express in the last five years.

Well this gravy train is over, at least for this year, but I’d guess forever. American Express is not offering statement credits this Small Business Saturday.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 1.54.26 AM

Bummer!

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

The page that shows American Membership Rewards transfer partners seems to require sign in, so I will put the partners and ratios here for those who are considering getting an American Express card and want to see where their points can transfer. The best options are Delta, Aeroplan, Flying Blue, Avios, Singapore, and Virgin Atlantic miles depending on the trip you have in mind.

Airlines (all transfer options 1,000 Membersip Rewards to 1,000 miles unless noted):

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • AeroMexico Club Premier Miles
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia Club
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • British Airways Avios
  • Iberia Avios
  • El Al Matmid Points (1,000 MR = 20 points)
  • Emirates Skywards Miles
  • Hawaiian Airlines Miles
  • JetBlue TrueBlue Points (250 MR = 200 points)
  • Singapore KrisFlyer Miles
  • Virgin America Elevate Points (200 MR = 100 points)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotels:

  • Best Western Rewards Points (1,000 MR = 1,000 points)
  • Choice Privileges Points (1,000 MR = 1,000 points)
  • Hilton HHonors Points (1,000 MR = 1,500 points)
  • SPG Starpoints (1,000 MR = 333 points)
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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Transfer 80,000 American Express Membership Rewards to 40,000 Virgin America Elevate points by December 31, 2015 and receive top tier Virgin America Gold Status through February 2017.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.01.50 AM

In addition, if you complete the transfer by October 8, 2015, you will get 25% more Elevate points, so 80,000 Membership Rewards would equal Gold Status plus 50,000 Virgin America points.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.00.12 AM

Good Deal?

I value Membership Rewards at 2 cents each. I value Virgin America points at 2 cents each. Elevate points can be redeemed for a nearly-fixed value on Virgin America flights or according to award charts on partner airlines.

I ordinarily wouldn’t transfer Membership Rewards at the 200:100 ratio to Virgin America points. Even with a 25% bonus, 200 MR:125 Elevate is a bad deal.

But the addition of Gold Status makes things interesting.

Assuming you value both Membership Rewards and Virgin America points at 2 cents, then transferring 80,000 Membership Rewards to 50,000 Elevate Points plus Gold Status is like spending $600–the value of the “lost” points–on Gold Status. The perks of Virgin America Gold Status are:

  • Access to the Virgin America Loft at LAX (also a Priority Pass that you can access with free membership from the Citi Prestige® Card)
  • Complimentary upgrades to Main Cabin Select (24 hours before the flight)
  • Priority access to purchase first-class upgrades
  • Three free checked bags
  • Priority security and priority boarding
  • 100% bonus on points on all money spent on Virgin America flights (ie 10 points per dollar)
  • 25% discount on two main cabin tickets per year

Is that worth $600 to you? Probably not. If it were, you would probably already have Virgin America Gold Status because one thing I’ve noticed about status is that the people who can most use it are the same people who earn it in the first place because using it and earning it both require a lot of flying.

Bottom Line

I’m sitting out this transfer bonus/status grab. I have flown Virgin America once in my life, and I probably will fly it once or zero times before February 2017. But if you are in the weird position of not having flown Virgin America much so far but planning to fly it a lot in the next 17 months, by all means, you should transfer 80,000 Membership Rewards to 50,000 Virgin America points plus Virgin America Gold Status by October 8.

Even though I won’t take advantage, I love this innovation from American Express, and I hope Citi and Chase come up with exciting promotions to compete.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

This was a popular post two years ago, and I want to update it with all the cards to earn the following miles, which I consider the most important:

  • American
  • Delta
  • United
  • Alaska
  • Singapore
  • British Airways
  • Southwest

This is a good reference if you want to collect a certain type of miles, but this should not be construed as an endorsement to open all the cards on any of the lists.

I haven’t included any analysis, just the sign up bonus. These cards have annual fees, minimum spending requirements, and category bonuses. Read their terms and conditions before applying. If there’s not a direct link, you can get to the card by clicking one of these banners.

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See the footnotes at the bottom for further explanation of some points. The number in parentheses is the sign up bonus of the card.

American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® (50k)
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® (50k)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Citi Gold American Airlines personal cards (I saw a targeted 50k by mail in April 2015, online the best I see is 25k)

Delta SkyMiles

Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz (50k MR1)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (25k MR2)
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (30k)
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (30k)
Platinum Card from American Express (25k MR1)
American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card (25k MR1)
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express (10k, also earns MQM)
Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express (earns MQM)

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United MileagePlus Miles

United MileagePlus Explorer Card (personal) (up to 55k, any 30k offer can add an authorized user for 5k, and can be matched 20k higher with a secure message to Chase)
United MileagePlus Explorer Card (business) (50k, inside your United account)
Ink Plus (50k UR+5)
Sapphire Preferred (45k UR+5)
Ink Cash (20k UR-6)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (15,000 to 15,6254)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (15,000 to 15,6254)
Freedom (10k UR-6)
United Club Card (0, but 1.5 miles per dollar on all spending)

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Alaska Mileage Plan

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card (25k)
Alaska Airlines Business Card (25k)

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles

Citi Prestige® Card (50k)
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card (50k)
Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz (50k MR2)
Ink Plus (50k UR+5)
Sapphire Preferred (40k UR+5)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (25k MR2)
Platinum Card from American Express (25k MR2)
American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card (25k MR2)
Ink Cash (20k UR-6)
Freedom (10k UR-6)

British Airways Avios

Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz (50k MR2)
British Airways Visa Signature (50k)
Ink Plus (50k UR+5)
Sapphire Preferred (40k UR+5)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (30-31.25k3)
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (25k MR2)
Platinum Card from American Express (25k MR2)
American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card (25k MR2)
Ink Cash (20k UR-6)
Freedom (10k UR-6)

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Southwest Rapid Rewards

Southwest Premier Personal Visa (25k, I cover frequent 50k offers here and there are 50k referral links from other readers in the thread)
Southwest Premier Business Visa (25k, I cover frequent 50k offers here)
Southwest Plus Personal Visa (25k, I cover frequent 50k offers here)
Ink Plus (50k UR+5)
Sapphire Preferred (40k UR+5)
Ink Cash (20k UR-6)
Freedom (10k UR-6)

  1. Membership Rewards transfer 1:1 to Delta with a $0.60 fee per 1,000 transferred. There were transfer bonuses, but the last was November 2011.
  2. Membership Rewards transfer to British Airways Avios and Singapore KrisFlyer miles with no fee. There are frequent transfer bonuses to Avios. The last was 40% in December 2014. There has never been a transfer bonus to Singapore miles.
  3. Starpoints transfer 1:1 to Delta, American, Alaska, Singapore, and British Airways miles with a 5k mile bonus for every 20k Starpoints transferred. 25k Starpoints would transfer to 30k miles, but 25k Starpoints transferred as part of exact 20k increments represents 31,250 miles.
  4. Starpoints transfer 2:1 to United miles with a 2.5k mile bonus for every 20k Starpoints transferred. Avoid this horrible deal.
  5. UR+ are Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred 1:1 to United, Singapore, British Airways, and Southwest among other loyalty programs
  6. UR- are Ultimate Rewards that cannot be transferred 1:1 to airline miles and hotel points. But you can transfer these points to an Ink Plus or Sapphire Preferred account and from there to airline and hotel points.

Did I make any mistakes? Correct them in the comments.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

0

Many people can get a small business credit card. Opening small business cards roughly doubles the number of amazing miles and points cards available to you.

Every small business credit card I’ve gotten I opened by putting my social security number as the tax ID, and by saying that my business is a sole proprietorship. I got many of the cards when my business revenue was very low.

Check out my post on How to Be Approved for Business Cards.

If you have a business, make sure you are opening the right business credit cards to maximize your free, discounted, and luxury travel. Here are the top four cards, broken down by Best Sign Up Bonus, Best Category Bonuses, Best for Everyday Spending, and Best for Perks.

Best Sign Up Bonus

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® offers 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months.

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American Airlines miles are currently the most valuable because United and Delta jacked up the number of miles needed for premium cabin awards last year, but American Airlines has not.

Just the sign up bonus on the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® is enough miles for a roundtrip to Europe, South America, or Asia.

The card offers double miles at office supply merchants, telecommunications merchants, and car rental merchants and a 5% mileage bonus every year you renew.

The card also comes with a free checked bag and priority boarding on American Airlines flights.

The annual fee of $95 is waived the first 12 months.

Application Link: CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard 

Best Category Bonuses

The Chase Ink Plus offers 5x Ultimate Rewards per dollar for purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services. The card also offers 2x points at gas stations and hotels.

The Ink Plus offers 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the card. Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean, Virgin Atlantic, and more.

The annual fee of $95 is waived the first 12 months.

(Note that Chase is split testing higher annual fees for the card, so make sure you get the best offer.)

Best for Everyday Spending

The Starwoord Preferred Guest Business Card from American Express OPEN earns 1 Starpoint per dollar on all purchases.

Starpoints transfer to over 30 airlines, most at a 1:1 ratio. Whenever Starpoints transfer at a 1:1 ratio, you always get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 points transferred. That effectively means that you are earning 1.25 airline miles per dollar on all purchases with this card. Key 1:1 transfer partners:

  • American Airlines
  • US Airways
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Many More, but NOT United

Here is how to transfer Starpoints to airline miles.

The card comes with 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 in the first six months. Points can also be used for free hotel nights, Cash & Points stays, and Nights & Flights awards.

The annual fee of $65 is waived the first 12 months.

Best for Perks

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is the king of perks for business cards. The card comes with:

Here is how to set up and maximize those benefits.

The card comes with 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months. It earns 1 Membership Rewards per dollar on all purchases with no category bonuses.

The card has a $450 annual fee that is NOT waived.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

10

2015 means a new $200 airline fee credit for anyone with an American Express Platinum card. This is one of the biggest benefits of the card, and one you can turn into $200 worth of airline tickets.

I have a Platinum Business card that I opened in September 2013.

  • In 2013, I bought $200 worth of American Airlines gift cards and was rebated $200 on my statement.
  • In 2014, I bought $200 worth of American Airlines gift cards and was rebated $200 on my statement.
  • This week, I bought $200 worth of Delta gift cards and was rebated $200 on my statement.

American Express makes you pick one airline on which to receive your airline fee credit, so to change mine from 2014 to 2015, I had to go to this page and make my new selection.

The American Express Platinum airline fee reimbursement is only meant to reimburse airline fees not ticket purchases or gift card purchases. However, the decision of what to reimburse is left to a computer algorithm, so some gift card purchases are reimbursed. The reports of FlyerTalkers should be your guide, but your experience may vary.

This FlyerTalk thread explains how to turn the $200 airline fee credit into $200 worth of Delta gift cards. The process is different for gift cards from each airline, so check out this post where I link to threads on each airline.

According to the FlyerTalk thread, only $50 Delta gift cards were being reimbursed by American Express, so I bought four in one $200 purchase on January 8, and my $200 was reimbursed on January 10.

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You have to wait 72 hours after purchase to redeem a Delta gift card. About 73 hours after my purchase, I purchased a $121.60 one way flight from Greensboro to Tampa in March with my gift cards. I still have $78.40 worth of Delta gift cards.

The FlyerTalk thread also explains that you can only use three forms of payment on a single Delta purchase. That means you can use three $50 gift cards like I did or two plus a credit card to pay the amount greater than $100.

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Further Reading

Keep in mind that with the Citi Prestige® Card your annual airline fee credit is $250, that this credit does apply to ticket purchases, and that this credit applies to all airlines instead of just the one you select. For these reasons, I plan to get a Citi Prestige® Card soon. My review of the Citi Prestige® Card.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Some folks who type their information into the Card Match tool are getting offers for the:

  • American Express Platinum with 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • American Express Premier Rewards Gold with 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $1,000 in the first three months
  • Amex Everyday Preferred Credit Card with 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $2,000 in the first three months.

Hat Tip The Points Guy and View from the Wing

Head to the Card Match tool, and you’ll find out if you’re matched in just a few seconds. Although it asks for your Social Security Number, the tool does not generate a hard credit pull, and creditcards.com is a large and reputable site.

It appears that very few people are being targeted, leading to a lot of angry people in the FlyerTalk thread discussing the deal. From that thread I learned that some people are being targeted for the 100k offer, but if you are not targeted and try to change the online application to your name and information, you will get an error when you try to submit the application. From the comments on The Points Guy’s thread, I’ve learned that calling American Express and asking for the 100k offer doesn’t work.

Bottom Line

You probably aren’t targeted for three amazing American Express offers by the Card Match tool, but why not take a few seconds to find out if you are.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

3

Uber is my favorite way to get around. I no longer call or flag down taxis. On a recent trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles, I didn’t rent a car, using Uber to get around instead.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 1.17.39 AM

Uber is the world’s best taxi service because it has clean, courteous drivers and the easiest ride-ordering app imaginable. Tap, tap, tap, and a car whose progress you can track towards you is on its way.

American Express is currently running a promotion with Uber during which new and existing Uber customers can get a $10 American Express statement credit. Sync an American Express card to Twitter and use it to pay for an Uber ride in 2014 to get the $10 credit.

This $10 credit for new or existing users is in addition to the massive $30 in free credit to new users who sign up through a referral link. (Sign up with mine and I’ll also get one free ride up to $30. Leave your referral link in the comments if you’d like.)

Here’s how to get the $10 credit:

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

4

American Express Small Business Saturday is back the Saturday after Thanksgiving–November 29, 2014.

This year, you can get up to three $10 statement credits per American Express card. Since I have five American Express cards, I could get $150 in statement credits, but I’ll be out of the country. Don’t miss out on your free $150.

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  • When can you register for Small Business Saturday?
  • How do the statement credits work?
  • What counts as a small business?
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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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