American Express

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American Express added Etihad Guest miles as its 17th airlines transfer today.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.29.18 PMYou can send Membership Rewards in increments of 1,000 points to Etihad miles at a 1:1 rate.
Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.30.14 PM

 

Etihad Guest is already a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points. In November 2015, we saw a 25% transfer bonus from many programs including Citi ThankYou Points to Etihad Guest miles. I expect if we see a future transfer bonus like that, American Express Membership Rewards would be included.

Uses of Etihad Miles

Etihad Guest miles are NOT good for booking Etihad flights. Here is my post on Sweet Spots of the Etihad Guest Program.

I think the best current awards are to fly American Airlines flights with Etihad miles at prices identical to the old pre-devaluation American Airlines award chart. For instance, you can fly AA flights to Europe seven months a year for 20,000 Etihad miles each way and no fuel surcharges.

I’ve also written about how you can fly to Europe in a flat bed for 36,620 Etihad miles + $94.70 in taxes in Brussels Airlines Business Class. This is technically still speculative, as I eventually found an Etihad Guest agent who found a Business Class award seat on this flight but I did not actually carry out the booking.

The only award I’ve booked myself with Etihad miles was Belgrade, Serbia to Bucharest, Romania on Air Serbia for 4,550 Etihad miles (now 5,000 miles) plus taxes. Air Serbia flights can only be booked with Etihad miles, award space is wide open, miles prices are cheap, and some of its routes are expensive. I recently transferred another 5,000 ThankYou Points to Etihad miles to be ready to book another Air Serbia flight this summer.

Transfer Speed

Last year, my Etihad miles took seven days to post after transferring from ThankYou Points. This week, the same transfer took five days to post.

That’s my best guess for the speed of American Express Membership Rewards transfers, though I will look for reports of people’s transfer times to see if they differ from ThankYou Points.

While there is no way around the risk that your award space disappears before your miles arrive, Etihad allows awards to be put on hold for 24 hours, so take advantage of that while your points are transferring between accounts.

Other Top Transfer Partners of American Express Membership Rewards

My other favorite AMEX transfer partners are:

Bottom Line

American Express Membership Rewards now transfer 1:1 to Etihad miles. This is great news–not to fly Etihad First Class–but to fly Etihad partners like American Airlines, Brussels Airlines, and Air Serbia.

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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 Starwood Preferred Guest personal and business credit cards from American Express now come with 35,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $3,000 and $5,000 respectively in the first three months of cardmembership.

Links:

The normal sign up bonus is 25,000 points, the twice yearly limited time offer is 30,000 points. This is the highest public sign up bonus ever on these cards. (And some people say the hobby is dying…)

American Express recently introduced a rule that you can only get the bonus once per lifetime on each of its cards. Eligibility is separate for each card. That means if you’ve only ever had the business card, you can still get the personal card or vice versa. But if you’ve had the personal card before, you can’t get this bonus on the personal card. If you’ve had the business card before, you can’t get this bonus on the business card.

If you get both cards, you’ll have to spend $8,000 total in the first three months of cardmembership. In return, you’ll get one Starpoint per dollar spent plus a 35,000 point bonus on each card for a total of 78,000 Starpoints. I get at least 2.5 cents of value per Starpoint in the following ways, meaning a total value of at least $1,950 to me.

Here are the main ways to get value from Starpoints:

1. Free Night Awards

Starpoints can be used for free nights at any Sheraton, W, Westin, Le Meridien, Aloft, Four Points, St. Regis, Element, or Luxury Collection Hotel. Free nights start at 2,000 points per night. And the best part is: If a standard room is for sale, you can book it with Starpoints. Free night awards are not capacity controlled like award flights are.

Here is the Free Night Awards chart:

Book a four night award at Category 3-7 hotels and get a 5th night free. Here are the total prices for five nights:

There can be tremendous value in the free night awards. For instance:

These are old examples. The prices have surely changed. Just pay attention to the ideas embedded in them.

Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort, Thailand is a stunning category 2 hotel that goes for only 3,000 points on the weekends. One weekend night in January goes for $123, so that redemption would be worth 4.1 cents per point.

3k Starpoints or $123

And more importantly, 78,000 Starpoints would be enough for up to 39 weekend nights at some properties.

Starwood Cards = 23 Nights Here

As another example of Free Night Awards, the cheapest SPG property in Hawaii is the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, a category 4 property that costs 10k points per night or 40k for five nights, using the 5th Night Free pricing.

The property goes for $302 per night after taxes for a five-day stay in March: $1,510 total. Instead you could pay 40,000 Starpoints and get 3.76 cents per point in value. And more importantly, you’d be here:

Get the 5th Night Free on the Big Island
2. Cash & Points Awards

Cash & Points awards are a way to stretch your cash and your Starpoints. You’ll generally get even more value from your Starpoints through these awards though they are capacity controlled. Here is the Cash & Points chart:

As you’ll notice, a Cash & Points night requires half the Starpoints of a free night plus a cash co-pay.

Unless I were taking advantage of the 5th Night Free with Free Night Awards, a discounted weekend night, or I was cash poor at the moment, I would look to choose a Cash & Points award over a Free Night.

To see why, let’s look at the Sheraton Frankfurt Congress Hotel, a Category 3 property. For a Tuesday this month, the hotel wants 149 euros for the refundable rate. Or you could spend 7,000 Starpoints for a Free Night, or you could spend 3,500 Starpoints + $55.

Comparing them:

  • 149 euros is $163
  • 7,000 Starpoints for a free night is a respectable 2.32 cents per point
  • 3,500 Starpoints + $55 is an incredible 3.09 cents per point

And I chose this hotel because I’ll be in Frankfurt next week, not because it has an abnormally valuable Cash & Points option. I’d frankly consider 3 cents per point about average for a Cash & Points redemption.

3. Transfer to Airlines with a Miles Bonus

For people who eschew chain hotels, Starpoints are incredibly valuable to transfer to airline miles because their are so many partner airlines, and in most cases, transferring 20k Starpoints nets you 25k miles in the account of your choice, a 25% bonus!

Starpoints transfer to 30 airlines in total, mostly at favorable rates.

The best three options are Aeroplan, Alaska Airlines, and Asiana. Starpoints transfer in a 20k points to 25k miles ratio (1:1.25) to all three airline airlines, and none is a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards or ThankYou Points. Click here for the reasons to transfer to those three airlines.

Other partners where I would consider transferring Starpoints include:

(Note that many of the airlines on this bulleted list are Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards partners, and I would rather transfer those points to these airlines, since I value Starpoints more.)

The one glaring weakness in the airline transfer partners is that United is not a 1:1 transfer partner, 20k Starpoints transfers to only 12,500 United miles. Avoid that transfer, and earn Ultimate Rewards instead to transfer to United.

But apart from that, the transfer partner list is astoundingly excellent. You can get on most commercial flights worldwide through one of these transfer partners.

Other Important Things to Know about the Starwood Preferred Guest Program

Status

Both the Starwood personal and business cards confer 2 stay credits and 5 night credits toward elite status, and they are cumulative, so if you get approved for both cards, I’ll have 4 stays and 10 nights credited to your account, leaving you just 6 stays or 15 nights short of Gold Status.

Gold Status entitles you to free internet and a 4 PM checkout. You also get an extra Starpoint per dollar on Starwood purchases, so cardholders with Gold Status get 5 Starpoints per dollar.

Other than stays, you can also get Gold Status by having an American Express Platinum card or spending $30k per year on a Starwood credit card.

4x or 5x

Cardholders can earn 4 points per dollar on Starwood purchases, 5 points per dollar if they have Gold Status. This breaks down to 2 points per dollar for the spending normally plus another 2 points per dollar if the spending is on a Starwood card.

Combine Points

You can combine points between Starwood accounts if both parties have had the same address on file for 30 days.

This is hugely important, since certain blocks of Starpoints are critical. For instance, if you and your wife each have 10k Starpoints, you could each transfer them to your respective American Airlines accounts and have 10k miles in two accounts. Or you could combine the Starpoints and send the points to one person’s American Airlines accounts, leaving you with 25k American Airlines miles in one account after the transfer bonus.

Your Parents’ Card

Your parents like to travel, they’re jealous of your trips, and they want a rewards card. But they don’t want to keep track of category bonuses, ten programs, and tons of promotions. (OK, maybe I’m just describing my parents.)

Tell each of your parents to get the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. Of course you can do better than putting all of your spending on this card by taking advantage of other card’s bonuses, but you can do pretty well by putting all your spending year after year on this card and building a balance of valuable hotel points that can also transfer to 30 airlines. When people come to my Award Booking Service with a stash of Starpoints, I know the job will be easy.

Big Spenders

I’ve argued before that Big Spenders Should Be Using One of These Three Cards (And They Probably Aren’t). One of those cards is the Starwood card. Because of its transfer partners and transfer bonus, using the card is like earning 1.25 miles per dollar in almost any airline program.

Nights & Flights

I probably should give Nights & Flights more billing because it might be a better deal than Free Night Awards, Cash & Points awards, and airline transfers. With Nights & Flights, you get five hotel nights and 50,000 airline miles for only 60-70k Starpoints.

Unfortunately the award is limited to Category 3 and 4 hotels. But the price is unbeatable. Going back to the Sheraton in Kona discussed above, for 70k Starpoints, you could get five free nights at the property plus 50k American Airlines miles to get there (you only need 35k).

Moments

A lot of airlines and hotels, want you to blow your points on overpriced experiences and merchandise, but Starwood Moments have some good values. I spent 5,500 Starpoints for two tickets to a Captial Cities concert, plus the chance to meet the band beforehand, and free food and drinks at a reception.

All in One Place

Starwood has an awesome chart that compares many of the redemption options discussed here and some worse options not discussed here.

Referrals

If you have the personal or business card, you can refer friends to these offers and earn 5,000 bonus Starpoints for each friend who gets the card. Log in here to get your referral links. You can post or request referrals in the comments.

Recap

Currently, both the personal and business versions of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card have a 35,000 Starpoint sign up bonus until March 30, 2016, their largest ever.

Getting both cards gives you 78,000 total Starpoints after meeting their minimum spending requirements. Through Free Nights, Cash & Points, airline transfers, and Nights & Flights, you can plan to get at least 2.5 cents of value per Starpoint.

These are the set-it-and-forget-it cards. For people who don’t have that attention span, these are go-to, everyday cards to keep in your wallet for a long time to build up balances towards incredible vacations.

Further Reading:

Links:

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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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Enroll any Membership Rewards earning card today for 2x Membership Rewards at Amazon on purchases through July 31, 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 6.05.16 PM

Sign into your American Express account, click on the card you want to enroll, and scroll down to see your “Amex Offers & Benefits.”

For my AMEX Platinum, the Amazon offer was listed second.

You can enroll through July 31, 2016 and earn one bonus point per dollar on Amazon purchases made after enrollment through July 31, 2016. Bonus points will post by October 29, 2016.

Bonus points are not available at foreign versions of Amazon. Sites using “Check out by Amazon” or other Amazon payment methods do not qualify for this offer. Offer not valid for Shop with Points transactions, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Local, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Supply, Amazon Local Register, Amazon Coins, Kindle Direct Publishing, Corporate gift cards, Amazon Home Services, Amazon Currency Converter, or websites affiliated with/linked to from Amazon.com.

Good Deal?

Cards and portals rarely offer bonus points at Amazon. Those are generally reserved for sites/stores with higher margins and smaller selections. In that sense, 2x is surprising and fantastic.

But you can get 5x at Amazon every day if you have a Chase Ink Plus. Just buy Amazon gift cards at an office supply store like Staples, earning 5x Ultimate Rewards per dollar, and then use those gift cards for Amazon purchases.

Also the Chase Freedom has offered 5x on Amazon purchases in the fourth quarter for the last few years. And if you use the Freedom Two Step, those can also become 5 airline miles per dollar.

Which Card?

If you can’t do better than 2x, which American Express card should you enroll in the offer?

The best option is the Amex Everyday Preferred. If you have 30 transactions in a statement, you earn 1.5x on the card, so you would earn 2.5x in total on Amazon through this promotion.

If you don’t have that card, any other card that earns Membership Rewards is equally good.

Full Terms

Get 2X Membership Rewards® points” means you will receive one extra Membership Rewards point per dollar spent using your enrolled American Express® Card in accordance with the terms of this offer. These extra points are in addition to any points you would normally receive for purchases on your Card under the terms of your Card Member Agreement and the Membership Rewards program. Enrollment opens on 3/22/2016 and continues until 7/31/2016. Enrollment limited. Only U.S.-issued American Express Cards that are enrolled in the Membership Rewards program at the time of purchase are eligible. Limit 1 enrolled Card per American Express online account. Offer is non-transferable. Your enrollment does not extend to any other Cards that may be linked to your account (such as Additional Cards). Offer valid only for qualifying purchases made with the US Dollar at Amazon.com or smile.amazon.com using your enrolled American Express Card after enrollment and prior to 7/31/2016. Not valid at international or non-English versions of Amazon.com or websites affiliated with/linked to from Amazon.com. Purchases made through other merchants or third party sites, including those using “Check out by Amazon” or other Amazon payment methods do not qualify for this offer. Offer not valid for Shop with Points transactions, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Local, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Supply, Amazon Local Register, Amazon Coins, Kindle Direct Publishing, Corporate gift cards, Amazon Home Services, Amazon Currency Converter, or websites affiliated with/linked to from Amazon.com. See Amazon’s website for shipping policy. Amazon may not ship to all areas. Purchases may fall outside of the offer period in some cases due to a delay in merchants submitting transactions to us or if the purchase date differs from the date you made the transaction (for example, the purchase date for online orders may be the shipping date). If American Express does not receive information that identifies your transaction as qualifying for the offer, you will not receive the extra points. For example, your transaction will not qualify if it is not made directly with the merchant. In addition, in most cases, you will not receive the bonus points if your transaction is made with an electronic wallet or through a third party. When we calculate the extra points benefit for Amex EveryDay® Card products, points awarded under this offer will not be included. Extra points may be reversed if a qualifying purchase is returned or cancelled. Extra points will be credited to your Membership Rewards program account within 90 days after 7/31/2016. Terms and conditions for the Membership Rewards program apply. Visit membershiprewards.com/terms or call 1-800-AXP-EARN (297-3276) for more information. Participating partners and available rewards are subject to change without notice. The value of Membership Rewards points varies according to how you choose to use them. To learn more, go to www.membershiprewards.com/pointsinfo. Amazon, Amazon.com, Amazon Prime, the Amazon.com logo, and the smile logo are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion.

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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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You can only get the bonus on American Express credit and charge cards once per lifetime. If you haven’t kept detailed records of all your past American Express cards, how do you know whether you’ve gotten a card before, meaning you can NOT get its bonus now, or whether you haven’t had it before, meaning you CAN get the bonus?

This question has come from several readers recently since the SPG personal and business cards have their highest ever bonuses of 35,000 Starpoints.

Request a List from AMEX Chat

To get a list of previous American Express cards, sign into your American Express account and click Help.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 1.24.04 PM

Then click Start Live Chat.Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 1.24.11 PM

Ask the rep for a list of all cards you have opened with American Express. She will start to list them one at a time.Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 1.40.39 PM

This seems to involve some skill beyond copying and pasting on her part as she missed one of my cards, but when I pointed it out, she found it.

Hat Tip Renes 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.

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In 2014, American Express changed its churning rules so that you could only get the bonus on a personal credit card once per lifetime.

Now the rule has been extended to business cards.

This follows the general trend of tightening the giving of bonuses by banks. For instance, Chase is about to institute a rule that you’ll be denied for a credit card automatically if you’ve opened five other credit cards in the last 24 months.

I expect to see further tightening, and I expect the changes to be profitable for the banks. Other bloggers who suggest it will be unprofitable are engaging in wishful thinking in my opinion.

I have updated the post “Issuing Bank Rules for Approvals and New Bonuses.”

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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.

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.

17

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.

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

Some credit card offers in this post have expired, but they might come back. If they do they will appear –> Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

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)

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)

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 (40k)
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)

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.

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