1. American Airlines and US Airways will start combining their mileage programs on March 28th. Make sure to link your accounts to avoid any potential issues.
2. You can now view an entire 5 weeks of Daily Getaways deals.
3. Speaking of, today you can purchase Hilton points for 0.5 cents each. As I’ve said earlier this week, it only makes sense to pay this price if you plan to redeem for Category 1 or 2 hotels and have immediate plans.
4. An even better thing to do may be to apply for Citi Hilton HHonors Visa that comes with 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in 4 months. Link to offer, doesn’t pay me commission.(h/t Doctorofcredit)
5. I normally re-tweet this sort of news items, but wanted to mention that through the end of today, Frontier is having a sale on certain routes, with some fares being as low as $39 each way. Travel is valid through May 20th.
6. Some Hilton HHonors category changes, effective April 8th. Nothing major as far as I can see, but take a look if you have any redemption plans. (h/t LoyaltyLobby)
7. Good post on Doctor of Credit on why Fidelity Amex is superior to Citi Double Cash. I concur!
On my mind
A painting by Paul Gauguin, exotic Tahiti…
Except, it’s not Tahiti at all! It’s actually a Caribbean island of Martinique where the artist spent some time before heading out to Pacific. Interestingly, he left only few months before the famous earthquake that wiped out the entire population except one prisoner who was luckily locked up in a dungeon.
Today, travel to exotic Caribbean islands is very much within the grasp of a regular middle-class family. Martinique is probably not the best example since it’s mostly served by Air France and requires a connection through Haiti. But Southwest, Jet Blue and Spirit (among others) can get you to Jamaica, Bahamas etc. for a very affordable price.
If you choose to partake in the miles and points hobby, you can get there for practically nothing. We just flew to Montego Bay from Orlando for less than 10,000 Rapid Rewards points roundtrip per person. That means that if you sign up for an offer of 50,000 points on Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa (working link in my page of bonuses), you can fly 5 people from just one credit card. Crazy!
If you are flexible, Spirit can get you to many islands in the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale for only 5,000 miles roundtrip, a special perk accessible to cardholders. Want to go to St. Lucia, which is often compared to South Pacific islands? You can fly there for 25,000 AAdvantage miles in the off-season from anywhere in US, including Alaska. That’s only 2 AA co-branded credit cards, and a family of 4 can have this trip for pennies on the dollar.
Of course, you do need to have passports. And the cost can be substantial if you have to multiply it times 4 or 5. Some simply can’t stomach this sort of initial expense. In that case, go to Hawaii, Puerto Rico or US Virgin Islands. All of them are quite different from mainland USA, and that’s a good thing.
By the way, Tahiti is actually more affordable than you might think. Air Tahiti Nui airline regularly runs a special where you can fly 2 kids free with 2 paying adults. Of course, the cost is $1,682 for just one paid ticket from LAX, but still. I bet it’s quite a bit more affordable than it was in the days of Paul Gauguin.
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