Monthly Archives: November 2015

Increased Sign-Up Bonuses for Chase Sapphire Preferred and Freedom Cards!

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of my favorite as it earns bonus Ultimate Rewards points in categories I use often, like dining and travel. Normally there’s a 40,000 point sign-up bonus once you meet minimum spend but starting today that bonus hasa been increased to 50,000 points.

A great companion to the Sapphire Preferred is the Freedom card. It is a no-annual-fee card that earns Ultimate Rewards points – but unless you also have the Sapphire Preferred card or one of the Ink cards (which do have annual fees) you cannot transfer the Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Freedom card to an airline or hotel loyalty program. The Freedom card has rotating categories each quarter where you can earn 5x points. This quarter’s categories includes Amazon.com, just in time for the holidays.

This is a temporary increase in the signup bonus so be sure to sign up for it while it’s around. Then register your Freedom card to get the 4th quarter bonuses.CSP

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first three months after approval. Add an authorized user and get an additional 5000 points.

This card earns double points on dining and travel. With this offer the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom

Earn 15,000 points after $500 spend in three months after approval. Add an authorized user and get and additional 2500 points.

This card earns 5x points in quarterly rotating categories. Once you’ve received your card you must register for each quarter. You can do that HERE.

Categories: Chase, Credit Cards, Freedom, Sapphire Preferred | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Chase Restricts Transfers of Ultimate Rewards Points

Starting today Chase is changing where they’ll allow you to transfer your Ultimate Rewards (UR) points, which are earned from their Sapphire Preferred, Freedom and Ink series of cards.

In the past, you could transfer URs to a family member who lived at the same address. Now you can only transfer the points to a household member who is listed as an authorized user on your credit card. For business cards, you can only transfer points to yourself or an owner of the company who is listed as an authorized user on your card account.

Note that this does not change the ability of families to pool URs within the Chase system, only the ability to transfer those points to a frequent flyer or hotel program.

I expect this will make things more difficult for families who in the past could use URs to top off a child’s frequent flyer account. As a single person this doesn’t really affect me.

Categories: Chase, Freedom, Ink, Sapphire Preferred | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Win a 5-Night Hawaiian Vacation

2015-11-15 Destination Aloha SweepstakesHawaiian Airlines and the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort have a contest where you can win a 5-night stay at the resort, round-trip airfare for two, a $200 dining credit at the resort and a $200 gift certificate good toward an Infinity Spa package.

Enter this contest from now through this Friday, November 20, 2015. The winner will be selected on Tuesday, November 24th. You may click HERE to enter. (The winner can also expect an IRS 1099 form.)

Unfortunately I will not enter because the winner must complete their stay before December 1, 2016 and I already have my vacation for 2016 all mapped out. But that just increases your chance to win! Good luck!

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Hyatt Points + Cash Now Bookable Online

2015-11-15 Hyatt Points and Cash OnlineHyatt is definitely one of my favorite hotel chains. Just last month some friends and I spent nights in the Park Hyatt Sydney and Park Hyatt Melbourne. They are beautiful properties and the staff members were all fantastic. Look for the trip report in the coming days (or more likely, weeks).

Anyway, while we enjoyed our rooms thanks to the use of Hyatt Gold Passport points, there’s no question that it takes a lot of points for the higher category properties. If you don’t have quite enough points to cover your stay, Hyatt has now made it even easier to make Cash + Points bookings by opening up the booking process online. That’s both good and bad. For those who use P+C regularly, it makes it easier than ever – no more calling Hyatt to book your stay! On the downside, it makes the option more visible to those who might not have known it existed and cause award room availability to shrink. Only time will tell if it makes a major impact to award inventory.

P+C reservations can certainly help you stretch your points but do be aware that for the top-level category 7 rooms you’ll still be shelling out $300 cash in addition to the 15,000 points. For our stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney, the $300 would have been a little less than half the cost of the room if we’d paid cash. Here’s the Points + Cash chart from the Hyatt website:

Hyatt Points and Cash Chart Nov 2015

One more thing to remember about P+C nights is that they DO count as a paid stay. So if you’re chasing status and need paid stays, this is one way to stretch your cash.

In addition to the P+C changes, Hyatt made two more features available on the website:

  • Upgrading your room to a Regency Club or Grand Club room – room types that come with breakfast included
  • Canceling award night stays

All in all, these are good changes for the website and I’m glad Hyatt has made the upgrade.

Categories: Hotel, Hyatt | Tags: | Leave a comment

Need A Credit Card?

I earn far more miles from credit cards than I do from flying or from hotel stays. Credit card sign-up bonuses can give a big boost to anyone’s account! While I’m not one of the big bloggers who gets a cash comission from the credit card issuers, the credit card companies will allow regular members to receive a referral fee (of points/miles) if they refer someone to the card.

Delta Gold CardI’m a little late putting this one out there, but from now through this Tuesday, November 17, 2015, if you’ll allow me to refer to to the Gold Delta Amex card, I’ll earn bonus miles if you’re approved. You’ll get 50,000 bonus miles after using the card to make $2000 in purchases within the first three months after the approval date (not the date you receive the card). If you make a Delta purchase with the first three months you’ll also get a $50 statement credit. To refer you, just send me your first name and your email address to 2btraveling@gmail.com.

NOTE: You may be able to get an offer for 60K miles + $50 statement credit. You can find instructions here. Also, it is not open to those who currently have this card or have had it in the past. I believe the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year but cannot guarantee that.

Marriott Credit Card
If you don’t need Delta SkyMiles, what about hotel points? I’m also allowed to refer folks for the Chase Marriott Visa. I value this card if only for the reason that it offers a free night stay each year that you renew the card. The free night is good at any category 1-5 Marriott, so that pays for the annual fee right there. This card does not have foreign transaction fees, making it a good one for international travel.

In addition, this card earns 2x points for purchases from airlines, car rental companies and restaurants and 5x points for Marriott purchases. Plus for every $3000 in purchases, you get one credit toward elite status – that’s in addition to the 15-night credit you get each year at your account anniversary!

You’ll get 50,000 bonus points if you spend $2000 in the first three months after account approval. The annual fee is waived the first year and is only $85 after that.

If you think you’d be interested in this card, just send me an email at the address above and I’ll send you the phone number and the codes you need to get this offer.

Note that there is an alternate version offering 80K after $3K spend, but the $85 annual fee is not waived. Application Link. I won’t get bonus miles for this but it is a better offer so I wanted to be sure it was out there. Neither of these offers is available to those who currently have the card or have received the new cardmember bonus in the last 24 months.

Categories: American Express, Chase, Delta, Delta Amex, Marriott, Marriott Rewards Card | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Alaska Airlines Mystery Miles Sale

2015-11-14 Alaska Mystery BonusAlaska Airlines is offering a mystery bonus when you buy miles. The bonus amount varies by individual. I got the most generous bonus:

  • Buy 10,000-19,000 miles, get a 20% bonus
  • Buy 20,000-39,000 miles, get a 35% bonus
  • Buy 40,000-60,000 miles, get a 50% bonus

With the 20% bonus that’s 2.29 cents per mile. With the 35% bonus that’s 2.037 cents per mile and with the 50% bonus it’s 1.83 cents per mile. Ben of One Mile At A Time values Alaska miles at 1.6 cents each while Brian, The Points Guy, values them at 2 cents apiece. That could make it worth your while to buy points, especially if you already have a use for them in mind.

What if you don’t live anywhere near Alaska? Not to worry, they have lots of partner airlines, despite not being part of a global alliance. Domestically they team with both Delta and American. Internationally you can use Alaska miles on AeroMexico, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair, KLM, Korean Air, LAN and Qantas.

Note that purchases are processed by Points.com and as such do not count as airline spend for your credit cards.  There is also a 7.5% Federal Excise Tax and GST/HST for Canadian residents.

So if you want to be like Jennifer Anniston and fly the first class with the bling and take a shower on board, you can use Alaska miles on Emirates to do just that!

Categories: Alaska Airlines, Purchased Miles | Tags: , | Leave a comment

UK Registered Traveller Program Available For Global Entry Participants

Though I generally only travel internationally once or twice a year, I love being part of the Global Entry program. This program allows expedited entry into the US simply by using a kiosk upon arrival. You get to skip long lines and go straight to the exit podium at most airports. Plus, you almost always get TSA PreCheck when traveling domestically. As you know, PreCheck allows travelers to keep their shoes on, skip the nude-o-scope (usually) and leave laptops and liquids in their carry-ons when passing through airport security. All this for only $100 for five years.Global Entry LogoNow comes word that those of us enrolled in Global Entry are eligible to apply for the new UK Registered Traveller Service. The cost is £70 but if your application is unsuccessful you’ll get £50 back. The service is good for one year.

According to the email I received, membership in the Registered Traveller program includes these benefits:
· Access to ePassport gates at airports across the country

· Use of the UK / European Union queue at airports across the country

· A dedicated Registered Traveller lane at Gatwick Airport

· Not needing to complete a landing card on arrival to the UK

· No credibility interview with a Border Force officer.
UK Registered TravellerI don’t travel to/through the UK often enough for this to make it worthwhile for me but it’s nice to know it’s available. If you want more information check out the Registered Traveller website.

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