This is a news recap from last week, tailored to an average family. For faster updates, follow me on Twitter or check my feed on the right side of the blog.
1) This is probably the biggest news item of the week. American Express is offering a 50% bonus on transfers from AMEX Membership Rewards points to British Airways Avios until 10/10/2016. This could be a good deal for many families due to distance-based award pricing. Keep in mind, under this offer, 250 MR points will equal 300 Avios.
I don’t plan to make a speculative transfer from my MR stash, but this is probably as good as it gets. If you are someone who is constantly in need of Avios, you should definitely consider it. Read my post on why Avios program has recently took a turn for the worse if you plan to redeem points on American-operated flights. Hat tip to Dannythedealguru blog where I saw it first!
2) United Mileage Plus is currently offering a 20% discount on certain economy awards. Mostly, it includes off-season and roundtrip redemption is required, but it could certainly be useful for some. You have to book by August 23rd. Details here
3) Check your Amex offers. Some decent (though targeted) ones have popped up on hotels and airfare. Always save your offer right away because once a certain limit is reached, it will disappear from your online profile.
4) If you can lock up $5,000 in a savings account for 90 days, Chase will give you $100 bonus. Expires September 30th, and you do have to open it in-branch. I might actually go for it myself. Details here
5) IHG Rewards Club is bringing back 50% off award sale for participating hotels in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The award discount is valid for stays September 1 – October 30, 2016, when booked between August 15 – 28th.
This could be a good deal if you can travel over Labor Day weekend, though airfare might be expensive when purchased this close to departure date. Several properties in Mexico start at 7,500 IHG points per night, which is a bargain. Of course, the reason for the sale is the fact that this period falls during hurricane season. Still, chances of you being directly impacted by it are relatively low. Details and property listings here
6) Say what? Citi is limiting ability to get Thank You points via new credit card. You will now qualify for one sign-up bonus per 24 months. So, if you’ve gotten a Citi Thank You Premier within the last two years, you won’t be able to collect 40,000 points on Citi Prestige if you apply right now. Details here
7) I’m sure by now you’ve heard about upcoming changes in United program stopover rules. If you are looking to do something incredible with your United miles AND you have the vacation time necessary, read this post on Travelisfree It looks complicated, but it’s really not. Two principles to keep in mind:
- Stopovers are possible on one-way award tickets if you can tack on additional leg to a separate region.
- You’ll have to book a separate one-way ticket back to US.
8) Caribbean without the cruise ship by RapidTravelChai. A very interesting slide show presentation for various ideas on how to visit Caribbean. Definitely check it out because it looks like a ton of work was put into it. Personally, I think a cruise is a good way to “sample” Caribbean islands. But I agree with the author, to get a true sense of the place and its culture, you should probably fly there.
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