American Airlines is running a promotion where you can earn 3 AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent at Hilton properties between now and May 31, 2015. It’s a targeted offer and I received it for one of my AAdvantage Executive Platinum cards. I went ahead and registered my card, even though I don’t currently have plans for a Hilton stay before the promotion period ends because as the old saying goes, it’s better to be safe that sorry.
Hilton brands include the flagship Hilton brand, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, Home2Suites and Hilton Grand Vacation Clubs. If you’re not staying at one of these hotels, if you dine there and put the charge on your card it may qualify for the 3x points.
Like other credit card issuers, Citibank offers a card that earn a transferable points currency. I don’t yet have a card that earns Citi Thank You Points (TYPs). TYPs can be transferred to a variety of airline and hotel partners on a 1-to-1 basis, except where noted:
- Asia Miles (currency for Cathay Pacific and others)
- EVA Air Infinity Mileage Lands
- Etihad Guest
- Air France Flying Blue
- Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hilton HHonors Worldwide (1:1.5)
All transfers are for a minimum of 1000 points and must be transferred in 1000-point increments.
Recently Qantas was added as a transfer partner, making Citi the first US card issuer to allow direct transfers to Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF). Several bloggers have pointed out that it’s not particularly a great deal given that Qantas awards are distance-based and international flights will incur fuel surcharges.
What this transferability does offer is flexibility. Qantas is part of the oneworld alliance along with American Airlines, British Airways and others. Qantas (and BA) open their booking schedules approximately three weeks before American opens theirs. This, combined with how few premium cabin seats Qantas makes available, mean that award seats can be booked using QFF (or BA Avios) as soon as they’re released – leaving those with only AA miles to pick up the crumbs that are left.
The downside is that Qantas charges 168K QFF miles and BA charges 150K Avios each way in first class from North America to/from Australia. And both programs incur fuel surcharges of $390 each way to go along with the taxes and fees.
Short-haul flights using QFF miles are cheaper than the US legacy carriers at 8000 miles each way for flights of up to 600 miles but BA only charges 4500 Avios each way.
So would you ever want to transfer your Thank You Points to Qantas? Probably not, but it depends on your situation. If you’ve been saving up TYPs for a trip Down Under this will get you in the door more quickly though you’ll still have to shell out over $400 for first class flight. But it may be worth it to you to lock in a first class flight well in advance. Once the American Airlines calendar opens up, you could cancel your ticket bought with QFF miles and watch for the seat to go back into award inventory and then use your AA miles to pay for it. The question is: is the reward worth the risk of losing your first class seat? For me, the answer is no. I’d rather pay the $400 and lock in my flight than risk losing it. Since a first class ticket goes for $9600-$10,300 (depending on whether you depart from Los Angeles or Dallas) each way, it’s absolutely worth it to me to lock it in and not worry about the $400 – but as always, it’s your call.
HT: The Frequent Miler
Can you tell that we’re right in the midst of shoulder season? There are all kinds of promos coming through every day. Here are recent ones I’ve seen, in no particular order:
IHG Rewards Club is featuring a bonus on purchased points this month. The bonus depends on how many points you’re purchasing. I’ve got a nice stash of points at the moment so I’ll sit this one out.
Club Carlson is having a sale at select hotels when you book by this Friday, October 10 and stay on select dates through the end of the month. Talk about restrictions! Since I just returned from vacation I won’t take advantage of this either.
I’m not an aviation geek by any means but one of the few planes I can recognize on sight is the Airbus A380, since it’s a full-length double-decker. Air France is starting a new route, Miami to Paris (CDG), on December 1st. Remember Air France is part of SkyTeam which means you can use Delta miles on this flight. Sadly, Delta will not allow you access to La Premiere (first class) and if you book before the end of the year a one-way ticket will cost as much as a round-trip. However, Air France’s Flying Blue program is a transfer partner of both Starwood and Amex Membership Rewards, so that’s the way to book first class on the new bird.
And finally, if you hold one of the Hilton co-branded credit cards (Amex has two, Citibank has one) you should have received this offer via email. The link in the mail is specific for each recipient but you can buy or give Hilton HHonors points until October 22 and get a bonus, depending on how many points you buy or give. Might be a nice way to top off your account if you’re just a little short.
It seems the reports of the demise of the American Airlines 100K mile credit card were premature. True, the link was not working for a few days but it seems to be back now, per this post from Mommy Points.
Get yours while it’s hot!
In February American Airlines introduced their Citi Executive AAdvantage credit card. It came with a steep $450 annual fee but offered AAdmirals club access, a $200 credit after $200 in purchases as well as 100,000 miles after spending $10,000 on the card in three months. As of today that offer is dead.
But the good news is that they’ve got a new offer! Not quite as many miles but with a lower spending requirement. The new offer is 75,000 miles after $7,500 in spending within three months. There’s a $100 credit after $100 in spending though the $450 annual fee is still in place.
Offer: Citi Executive/AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard
Full list of terms:
Terms and Conditions
What’s not mentioned is that these cards are churnable! That means you can apply for and receive the card, meet the spending requirement, collect the miles, then cancel the card and start the cycle all over! Being a little more cautious than some, I picked up two of the 100,000 mile offers. I plan to pick up one of the 75,000 cards when it’s time for my next round of credit card applications. There are some limitations as to how quickly you can churn these so feel free to ask if you have questions.
Thanks to View From The Wing for pointing out this offer!