Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Feb 26

Delta makes enormous change to frequent flyer program; Others likely to follow

For many moons, I’ve been advocating the notion that airlines will eventually turn to revenue-based mileage accrual instead of distance.  In other words, you will start to earn miles based on how many dollars you spend, not how far you fly.  The program goes into effect on 1/1/15 and elite status qualification will be unaffected.

Note for those who are new to frequent flyer miles: When one airline makes a big change, the others tend to follow.

The biggest change is basing your total number of miles on the amount that you spend and your elite status.  The new chart is as follows:

Diamond members receive 11 miles per dollar spent

Platinum members receive 9 per dollar

Gold, Silver and base members receive 8,7 and 5 miles per dollar, respectively.

Add two miles per dollar if you pay with your American Express Delta card.

The big winners will be high-level elite flyers on expensive tickets, particularly short trips.  The Diamond member who pays $300 each way on the Boston-New York shuttle earns approximately 2,250 miles now.  But that same member would earn 6,600 miles under the new program (11 miles per dollar X $600).  Note that the 11 miles per dollar is the same bonus (125%) versus base as the current program offers.

And, of course, the loser is the base member with no status.  Paying $500 to fly from New York to LA?  Sorry, your 5,000 total flight miles will earn you just 2,500 miles (5 miles per dollar X $500) now.

Partners will offer a percentage of the miles flown.

Redemptions will also see a change.  The system is moving from three tiers to five.  Few details have been released, but expect it to get even more complicated.

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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!

Feb 24

And I’m back!

Hi folks.  I’m back from hiatus and will be posting again within a day.

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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!

Feb 18

Jet Blue: 25% off points redemptions, with lots and lots of conditions

Airlines frequently offer bonus miles for certain actions, but they rarely offer discounts when redeeming points.  Jet Blue has come through, in that respect.

But the offer comes with conditions.  You have to book by tomorrow.  For travel 3/4-4/19 (sorry, spring breakers).  You can only fly Mon-Thur or Sunday.  Sorry weekenders.  Fares will not be discounted below 5,000 points.

I didn’t see anything about a first-born, but it may be in there.

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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!

Feb 14

Out of office notice: Until 2/24

I’ll be out of the office for the next ten days.  I’ll try to keep some updates running but may not catch everything.  Looking forward to going more full-time when I return.

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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!

Feb 11

Does it make sense to buy miles from the airlines?

My inbox is filled with offers from airlines offering to sell me miles directly.  No need to get on a plane and earn them, I can have more reward opportunities with the swipe of a credit card.

That last sentence should be the clue that these deals are almost always bad.  They want you to pay for the opportunity to use a reward.  Sounds kind of like buying a ticket, doesn’t it?

Of course, one could argue that by not incurring the costs associated with having you as a passenger, the airline should be able to sell those miles to you much more cheaply than if you actually flew for them.

Except that’s rarely the case.  Let’s use this offer that I received today from United Airlines as an example.  United is offering me miles at “up to 40% off” the normal price.  Of course, you have to buy a lot more miles to get that 40% off.  Smaller purchases will get you 25% off.  So if I want to buy enough miles for a “saver award” at United to fly domestically, I’d need 25,000 miles which, at their “special” price, would cost $705.47.  And that’s just for a saver award!  Refer to this post to read about your chances of getting one of those tickets at a “saver award” rate. You’d be much better off just buying the ticket outright, which will likely cost you significantly less than $700.

There is one, and only one, occasion that I can think of in which buying miles makes sense, and that is if you can purchase a small amount of miles that will put you over the threshold for an award.  For example, let’s say that you have 49,285 miles in your US Airways account and have found an award flight that will cost 50,000 miles.  US Airways will let you buy miles in small quantities, as low as 1,000 miles.  Those 1,000 miles will cost you $35, which is a terrible price for buying miles, but it beats missing out on an award ticket.  In this case, and in this case only, does it make sense to buy miles.

If you really need the miles and have no intention of flying in the near future, the cheapest way to buy them is probably to make a purchase through an airline’s online mall, as discussed here.  You’ll get miles for something that you would have purchased anyway.  Scroll down to the bottom of that page for links to each of the major airlines’ online malls.

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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!

Feb 10

American Airlines and US Airways continue to integrate

American Airlines just announced that it would be adding “more room” seats on US Airways planes.  “More room” seats have more legroom than coach but less than first class.  They are a way to reward customers with elite status or allow others to pay a little more for a better experience.

So why is this important to miles?  Simple: the sooner the airlines get fully integrated, the sooner that they will become one and your miles will get combined.  Keep an eye out for these little milestones.

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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!

Feb 07

Cash back for Valentine’s Day flowers; where to buy for your loved one

Really, you can get cash back at any time of the year for buying flowers, but there’s always some good specials around Valentine’s Day.  The trick, of course, is to use a cash-back shopping site.

Big Crumbs has merchants offering anywhere from 6% to 12% back on your purchases.  But be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the screen to click on the link for up to 40% off your 1-800-FLOWERS order in addition to 10.8% back.  Just put “flowers” in the search bar on the site and it will pull up all the relevant offers.

 

Mr. Rebates is offering from 3 to 18% back on flowers purchases.  You’ll likely be able to find similar deals to the ones at Big Crumbs above.  Just keep an eye out for the restrictions, including those on using bonus codes found outside of Mr. Rebates.  You want to make sure to get your cash.

As always, shop around, but before you make your purchase, clear your cookies so the purchase tracks correctly.

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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!

Feb 05

Miles for Valentine’s Day love; bonus codes for extra miles

Note: When it comes to big holidays, the best offers for online shopping often aren’t on the carrier’s website.  Frequently, they offer bonuses that aren’t listed.  Here’s a few codes for February 14:

American’s website is offering 15 miles per dollar at FTD and 1-800-flowers.com, as well as 1,000 miles per order at Telaflora.  But head over here for 30 miles per dollar at 1-900-flowers.com or here for 30 miles at FTD.  Secondary bonus: at the latter, use your American Airlines credit card (if you have one) for an extra 200 miles.  Hey, every bit counts.

United Airlines is good enough to match the offer, with 30 miles per dollar spent at FTD here.  No matching offer from 1-800-flowers yet, but I’m sure they’ll come through for us.

FTD also came through at US Airways, but only to the tune of 25 miles per dollar spent.  Check it out here, although you might as well get the American miles, since your US Airways miles will become American miles once the two merge.

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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!

Feb 04

FTD and Delta: Up to 35 miles per dollar spent

So I’m starting with the Valentine’s day posts, given the mileage earnings opportunities out there.  For Delta, you can earn as much as 35 miles per dollar spent, with an additional 500 just for placing the order.  The standard pricing is 20 miles per dollar spent, but there is a special elite code that gets you the bonus miles.  There’s no reason not to try out that elite code, even if you do not have elite status.  If you are placing the order over the phone, use promo number 34825.

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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!

Jan 31

It’s been a quiet week…

So I didn’t want you to think that I had forgotten about you.  🙂

Next week, I’m going to prep for Valentine’s Day by seeing where you can get the most miles for your dollars on flowers.  Hey, every bit helps!

Want to subscribe? Just enter your email in the box above (and to the right) and click on the confirmation. GMailers, check your Social or Promotions boxes!

Follow me on Twitter @FFMiles101 or share with the Facebook button below.

And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!