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11Dec/110

*Last Day* Earn 25,000 bonus miles (for each partner) when you convert partner points to Air Canada’s Aeroplan miles

Until tomorrow, you can earn up to 25,000 bonus miles when you convert partner points to Air Canada's Aeroplan miles. You can earn up to 25,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for points converted from each of the eligible loyalty programs (listed below).

This is how it works:

Convert your points to... Earn a bonus of...
5,000 Aeroplan Miles 1,000 Aeroplan Miles
10,000 Aeroplan Miles 2,000 Aeroplan Miles
20,000 Aeroplan Miles 4,000 Aeroplan Miles
50,000 Aeroplan Miles 10,000 Aeroplan Miles
100,000 Aeroplan Miles 25,000 Aeroplan Miles

Since you earn this bonus with each eligible loyalty program you convert points from, you can earn up to 25,000 bonus miles with as many partners of the following partners as you want.  Thus, you can add up to thousands of Bonus Aeroplan Miles in addition to base Aeroplan Miles you converted to. For easier reference, here is Air Canada Aeroplan's Award Chart and discussion of their devaluation earlier this year.

This is particularly an excellent use of WorldPoints earned through Bank of America Fidelity Rewards American Express credit card that earns 2 points per $ on any spend and carries no annual fee. For WorldPoints conversion to Aeroplan, please note that there is a transfer limit of 50,000 points on each transfer. Not to worry. Remember that the conversion number is cumulative and not based on a single transaction. Thus, you will have to do the transfer twice to reach that 100,000 transfer and earn 25,000 bonus.

  • Financial Cards: Convert financial card points for bonus miles.
  • Hotels and Car Rentals: Convert hotel loyalty points with Best Western Rewards™, Starwood Preferred Guest®, Marriott Rewards®, Hilton HHonors™, Hyatt Gold Passport™, Choice Privileges®, Goldpoints Plus, Coast Rewards, Shangri-La Golden Circle, AClub, and Wyndham Rewards®! For Car Rentals, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program members can exchange their points for Aeroplan Miles.

This promotion ends tomorrow, December 12.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Maximum 25,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles can be earned per eligible partner loyalty program per Aeroplan Member.

2. For clarity, Aeroplan Miles per loyalty program will be issued by Aeroplan based on the thresholds outlined as follows:

  • 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member's account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from that partners program is between 5,000 – 9,999 Aeroplan Miles; or
  • 2,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member's account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from that partner's program is between 10,000 – 19,999 Aeroplan Miles; or
  • 4,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member's account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from that partner's program is between 20,000 – 49,999 Aeroplan Miles; or
  • 10,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member’s account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from that partner’s program is between 50,000 – 99,999; or
  • 25,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member’s account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from that partner’s program is 100,000 or more.

3. The calculation of the "total" Aeroplan Miles earned per partner that qualify for the bonus is based solely on conversions made by the member with the partner, in accordance with the partner's terms & conditions, between November 21 and December 12, 2011.

4. Aeroplan is not responsible for errors or omissions made by the partner while executing the conversion transaction on behalf of their member. Bonus miles will be credited into the member's account by Aeroplan as each threshold is reached, and may take up to eight weeks from the date the member makes his/her request with the partner.

22Nov/110

Get Ameriprise World Elite MasterCard for free Prioirty Pass membership with unlimited airline lounge visits

Since posting my recent thread on Priority Pass and Airline Lounge access, one of the readers asked if there are any cheaper alternatives to AMEX Platinum credit card if all that he wants is a Priority Pass membership with no per-visit fee without paying the hefty $475 annual fee plus $175 add-on card fee of AMEX Platinum. And the answer to that is yes, there is one great alternative!

There are several credit cards out there that sponsor free membership to Priority Pass. However, please note that there are multiple levels of PP membership with varying types of coverages and charges as also noted in the previous post. Types of membership with corresponding examples of credit cards are as below:

  • Standard membership which charges $27 to your sponsoring credit card for each visit to an Airline lounge covered in the Priority Pass network. Each accompanying guest also pays $27. This membership is typically $99 but is covered by your sponsoring credit card. Examples of this type of membership include AMEX Hilton Surpass card ($75 annual fee) and most MasterCard World Elite cards (Citi's World Elite cards are not included in this as Citi has opted into a different Lounge Access program).
  • Standard Plus Membership which comes with 10 free lounge visits included every year of membership. After the free visits have been used, each visit is charged at US$27 per visit to the member's sponsoring credit card. Each accompanying guest also pays $27. There are cards that offer a customized Standard Plus membership in which the cardholders get first 2-3 visits free after which they pay the regular $27 per visit per person fee. Examples: Chase INK Classic with no annual fee (but includes Priority Pass with 2 free visits for first year only), Chase INK BOLD with first year annual fee waived (but includes Priority Pass with 2 free visits for first year only) and now defunct, Citi AMEX Platinum.
  • Prestige Membership which provides unlimited free in-network lounge visits to the member and accompanying guests are charged $27 directly to the member's sponsoring credit card. Prestige membership typically costs US$399 but is covered by your sponsoring credit card. Examples: AMEX Platinum ($475 annual fee plus $175 for up to 3 add-on cards) and Ameriprise World Elite MasterCard ($150) with up to 3 free add-on cards.

This last one, Ameriprise World Elite MasterCard is a real gem. It provide free sponsorship to Priority Pass's Prestige membership, not just for the card-holder. But you can get up to 3 free add-on cards each of which will come with their own Priority Pass Prestige Membership. You just can't beat that (actually, for a limited time a while ago, this card came with annual fee waiver, for the life of the card account).

I will not talk about this cards rewards program as there definitely are better cards out there. Read my previous post about two great cards to have in your wallet.

19Nov/110

Hawaiian Airlines fare sale out of NYC, as low as $155 each way using your 25% Off Coach Roundtrip for Two from Hawaiian Airlines Signature Visa Discount

This post is a follow-up on my post from a few days ago for Hawaiian Airlines fare sale to/from NYC-JFK for $212 each way for a round-trip total of $445 including taxes. If you recall, I had written about earning 140K Hilton HHonors points using Hawaiian Airlines Visa credit card sign-ups and also another post about best uses of Hawaiian Airlines miles. One thing that I had totally missed out is that the Hawaiian Airlines Signature Visa credit cards also come with a Certificate that offers 25% Off Coach Round-trip for Two Between Mainland U.S. and Hawaii. I was reminded about the certificate when my new credit cards arrived in mail this morning.

So, it turns out, the NYC fare sale can be had for even less. In my test booking, I could get the fare for as low as $155 each way, per person when booking for two passengers using this discount certificate.


Unfortunately, as we can see in the above screenshot, by now, the lowest fare of $212 each way is already gone for most of the days within the valid travel dates of June 4th-30th, 2012. However, the fare is still low enough as compared to what you can find out of JFK, especially considering that this is a non-stop on a wide-body airplane, with excellent entertainment system, food and drinks. Plus, if you make use of the 25% discount certificate, it makes the deal even more attractive. Basically, this certificate gives you 50% discount off the 2nd passenger (or 50%-off companion, if that is easier to understand).

See the above pictures for steps to unlock the discount. Just go ahead and use this certificate and grab your summer getaway to Hawaii!

Please note that the this fare sale ends tomorrow, November 20.

Additional points to note about this new route:

• Roomy, New Wide-body Planes
• Complimentary Meals Curated by Hawaii’s own Chef Chai Chaowasaree
• State of the art In-Flight Entertainment
• Award-winning Hana Hou! Magazine

The attractive part is that flight times are also very conveniently scheduled with arrivals at 3pm into Honolulu and arrivals at 6am at JFK for the return flight.

Validity of the sale fare -

Travel Period: June 4th-30th, 2012

Booking Period: November 16th-20th, 2011

Plan your Hawaiian Getaway for next summer at this low price. I doubt you will find a better fare to Hawaii from the Big Apple, during the peak summer travel period.

13Nov/112

Beware! Barclays will deny credit card application for all non-immigrant legal residents of the US

I recently talked about a few cards offered by Barclays like the US Airways Visa credit card that offers up to 50,000 bonus miles and the Choice Visa credit card offering 40,000 bonus Choice points. It is important for me to inform the readers that Barclays will only consider providing a credit card to applicants who are US Citizens or US permanent resident (i.e., Green Card holders). Barclays will deny all other applicants.

Please note that there is no place on any Barclays application where they ask for this information. But they can figure it out based on when your social security number was issued. Basically, if your social security file was not initiated within a few years from your birth, you are suspect in their eyes. Thus, they will send you a letter requesting a proof of US citizenship or permanent residency. This is the first bank I know of that requires US Citizenship or Permanent Residency for approving credit cards.

So, all those non-immigrant legal residents of the US on a Visa like F1 (student) and H1 (work permit) who are in the churning game, please do not waste an inquiry by applying to any Barclays card.

Filed under: Credit Cards 2 Comments
12Nov/110

Get 30,000 Ultimate Reward points or $300 cashback when you apply for Chase Freedom credit card (no annual fee)

Apply for Chase Freedom credit card and get 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $500 on the card. You can redeem these 30,000 Chase UR points for worth $300 cash or gift cards. There is no annual fee for this card.

Note that the UR points earned from this card cannot be transferred to one of the Airline or Hotel partners within Ultimate Rewards program as this card is ineligible for transfer. However, if you have another Chase card that earns Chase UR points like Chase INK BOLD (that also earns 50,000 Chase UR points, with first year annual fee waived), the points earned from this Chase Freedom card get consolidated to the same Chase UR account and are now eligible for the transfer. These transfer partners include UA, CO, BA, KE, Hyatt or Marriott, and you convert your points at 1:1 ratio for no charge.

This is a good card option for those who are strictly not interested in getting cards with annual fee. Otherwise, there are plenty of good options, some of which I have already discussed and many more that I will be talking about in future.

11Nov/110

Companion Certificate program for Citi ThankYou Premier card results in savings of $229

My experience trying to use Citi ThankYou Premier card's companion certificate program was a pleasant one resulting in savings of $229 as compared to buying two tickets out of pocket at the market rate.

If I had bought the two tickets directly from the Airline, these would have cost me $637 total. I got the exact same flights for $408 through Citi Companion Certificate program by calling them at 888-428-4078. This comes to a net savings of $229, well over the annual fee for the card.

I simply love this card. A detailed analysis of this card can be found in this post. Best of all, you will earn miles on both the tickets!

Some points to be noted:

  1. Cardholder has to be one of the two travelers.
  2. Tickets have to be booked at least 4 days in advance.
  3. You may not have a choice of flights covered by the program.
  4. It is not a real companion certificate that gives you the second ticket for free. But in a few other test cases I tried, the savings ranged between 50-70% of the total cost of two tickets. That is fantastic in my opinion.
  5. You have to use Citi ThankYou card to pay for the tickets.
11Nov/114

EXCLUSIVE! Earn up to 40,000 Choice Privileges points when you apply for Choice Privileges Visa Credit Card (still active, was supposed to end November 30)

Update, December 5, 2011: As long as the link for the application is active, this offer should remain active as reported in post# 23 of this FlyerTalk.com thread. I will update the link as soon as the offer is dead.

Update, Nov 13, 2011, 7:30 AM: Beware! Barclays will deny card application for all non-immigrant legal residents of the US

Update, Nov 11, 2011, 7:00 AM: Some users reported a broken link. The link has now been updated. Please let me know if you still continue to have issues.

I would really appreciate if readers could provide feedback about their experience by posting comments. Would love to hear if the link worked for them and if they were approved or denied. This would help other readers.

You can now earn up to 40,000 bonus Choice Privileges points (24,000 after first use and 16,000 more after your first stay paid with this card) when you apply for Choice Privileges Via Signature card offered by Barclays Bank. The card has no annual fee.

Please note: The link takes you directly to the application page which does not show offer details. So, here is the offer showing Choice Visa 40K.

Under Choice current award structure, 40,000 points can get you up to six free nights at their lowest award level requiring 6,000 points per award night. The best value of Choice Points is to use them for award nights at hotel properties outside the US (especially Europe).  Another good option is to use Choice points for the their luxury properties like Preferred Hotel Group and Barcelo hotels. Choice program also has other redemption options like gas gift cards, dining gift cards, car rental and other travel related gift cards and ability to transfer points to a bunch of Airlines' Frequent Flyer programs.

Note that you will earn 24,000 bonus points after your first purchase and rest 16,000 only after your eligible stay paid with this credit card. As copied and pasted from offer's terms and conditions:  card-members will earn an additional 16,000 points after their first paid stay with their new Choice Privileges Visa Signature card at a Comfort Inn® , Comfort Suites ®, Quality®, Sleep Inn®, Clarion®, Ascend Collection®, Cambria Suites®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay®, Econo Lodge® or Rodeway Inn® hotel in the U.S.

With the Choice Privileges Visa Signature card, you'll also earn:

  • 15 points per $1 spent at 4,200 Choice Privileges locations.
  • 5 points per $1 spent on additional Choice Privileges points and Choice Hotels gift cards.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on everyday purchases such as gas and groceries.
  • Automatic Elite Gold status.

This offer is valid through November 30, 2011.

10Nov/110

2x American Express Membership Rewards for Chicago

I just found an offer sitting in my emails that I had not looked at since it was originally sent to me. Chicago residents can earn 2x American Express Membership Rewards points until November 15, 2011 at the participating merchants simply by enrolling their AMEX card and using it to pay the merchant. This offer originally was from October 1, 2011 to November 15, 2011.

Although, it says that the offer is for first 1,000 card members who successfully I was able to enroll two hours ago. This means that the enrollment is still open and readers can still take advantage of this offer.

Terms and Conditions for the offer as copied and pasted from the offer webpage:

The following Offer Terms are specific to the Offer above:

To be eligible for this offer, you must register a Membership Rewards program-enrolled American Express Card at americanexpress.com/getrewardedchicago between September 15, 2011 and November 15, 2011. You may only register one Card for this offer. Using the same registered Card for each transaction, you must make at least one purchase at participating merchants between October 1, 2011 and November 15, 2011. Registration is limited to the first 5000 registrants. You may earn a maximum of 1,000 bonus points during this promotion. Prepaid and corporate cards, and ExpressPay transactions are not eligible. If your Card is replaced during the promotional period, please call the customer service number on the back of your Card for assistance. Bonus points will be credited to your Program account within 10-12 weeks after charges appear on your billing statement. Some American Express Cards are not eligible for enrollment in the Program. Program terms and conditions apply; see membershiprewards.com/terms or call 1-800-AXP-EARN (287-3276). Participating partners and available rewards are subject to change at any time. Bonus ID 6966. Additional terms apply. See Registration Terms & Conditions for details.

Enroll in this 2x AMEX MR points for Chicago offer

List of participating merchants

 

8Nov/110

Priority Pass Membership gets you over 600 Airline Lounges at over 300 Airports in over 100 countries

I was recently asked by a reader who was new to flying about Airline Lounges and how does one get access to them.

Generally speaking, most Airline Lounges are meant for the premium passengers who either hold a business class or first class tickets, or those who hold an elite status with the airline or their select partners, or if you have purchased a Membership for their lounges. Each Airline has a different set of rules for access to their Lounge. It is best to check what these rules for the Airline Lounge of your interest.

Holding a lounge membership in one Airline gets you access only to their own lounges and may be one or two additional partner airline's lounge. This can restrict the choice of lounges and may not be offer you the most options. An alternative to holding a membership in one Airline's lounge is a program called Priority Pass. Priority Pass is  a program which partners with a lot of Airline lounges as well as independent airport lounges all over the world. Membership in Priority Pass gets you access to over 600 lounges at over 300 Airport in over 100 countries. You can search for the lounges at the airports of your interest on their website or on a smart phone. No matter what airline, what frequent flyer membership, elite status, or class of ticket bought, eligible cardholders will enjoy all of the convenience of an airport lounge.

Disclaimer: Please note that I am not affiliated or connected to Priority Pass or any any other websites in mentioned in this post in any ways, commercial or otherwise.

Membership in Priority Pass can cost you anywhere between $99 to $399 depending on the type of the membership you purchase. Following are the three types of memberships in Priority Pass:

  • Standard membership which charges $27 to your sponsoring credit card for each visit to an Airline lounge covered in the Priority Pass network. Each accompanying guest also pays $27. This standard membership costs $99.
  • Standard Plus Membership which comes with 10 free lounge visits included every year of membership. After the free visits have been used, each visit is charged at US$27 per visit to the member's credit card on file. Each accompanying guest is also charged at $27. Standard Plus membership costs $249.
  • Prestige Membership which provides unlimited free in-network lounge visits to the member and accompanying guests are charged $27 directly to the member's credit card on file. Prestige membership costs US$399.

Apart from the above ways to access airline lounges, American Express Platinum card ($475 annual fee + $175 for up to 3 add-on cards) holders also get access to select Airlines' lounges which include American Airlines' Admirals Club, Delta Airlines' Sky Club and US Airways Club. AMEX Platinum card holders can also request free Priority Pass Prestige Membership to access lounges covered by Priority Pass. Thus, with AMEX platinum card, you can get access to most Airline lounges.

There are several credit cards out there that sponsor free membership to Priority Pass. However, please note that there are multiple levels of PP membership with varying types of coverages and charges. Examples of such cards are AMEX Hilton Surpass Card, most MasterCard World Elite cards, some other premium cards.