The last week in miles: United’s fee changes and award sale, SPG –> AA bonus, Free Borgata stay, IFE free on AA, and more…
Sorry for the radio silence over the last week. I was pretty busy actually enjoying the rewards of miles and points which meant little time to blog about them. I took a trip to France and Spain in OpenSkies’ BizBed product and spent the time at some pretty amazing hotels (mostly on points, of course). Look out for reviews of the Intercontinental Le Grand Bordeaux, the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville, Spain and the Westin Palace in Madrid. I’ll post them later this week.
I still made notes of the major things you need to know about, though, and I’ll highlight them below.
But first, as many of you reading this are email subscribers from the 2016 SXSW Travel Hacking Meetup, I’d like to ask you to take a minute to vote for my 2017 SXSW Miles and Points seminar. Thanks in advance for your help in making that happen.
Now, onto miles and points news:
- United made some pretty big changes to how you can use stopovers as part of your award itinerary. Essentially you can get three one way awards but only pay for two as long as it meets certain criteria. They call it an Excursion Perk. More on this on the MileagePlus page.
- United has also changed the way they will charge for award changes and/or redeposits. Depending on your status, fees may be going up or down so have a look.
- And United is also running an unpublished (as of this writing) 20% sale on domestic awards. You can read more on the original FlyerTalk post about it. Asia is apparently 25% off. Only in coach, though.
- Through September 14th, you can get a nice bonus if you transfer your SPG Starpoints into American Airlines AAdvantage miles. The 20% bonus means that 20,000 Starpoints becomes 30,000 miles. No reason you can’t stack this with Nights and Flights. 70,000 Starpoints would get you 60,000 AA miles and 5 nights at a Category 4 hotel. I wouldn’t personally transfer to AA as I find SPG points to be too valuable, but if you have a large balance with SPG and award flights that work with AA or OneWorld, it’s not a bad deal. Especially ahead of the Marriott merger.
- More American Airlines news: Free premium in-flight entertainment to match what Delta previously announced.
- Flying Virgin America before Sept 30? Grab 999 free Elevate points.
- The Borgata in Atlantic City is officially joining the MGM MLife program. If you don’t already have a Borgata card (sadly I do) and you are MLife Gold or above, you can get Borgata Black Label for a year and enjoy a free night stay on top of your Black Card perks. If you are Hyatt Platinum, you can automatically receive MLife Gold.
- Chase has launched a new Ultimate Rewards card with a 100K UR signup bonus that competes against the newly crappy Citi Prestige card with a large annual fee. More on that in a detailed post this week.
- Lastly, if you have been affected by Delta’s complete clusterf*ck the last two days, here’s the compensation on offer.