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I’m still on our Hawaiian vacation, so I’m probably going to be checked out from this blog until next weekend (at least for the most part). Right now we are at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai which is honestly exceeding every expectation. It’s so nice, I just can’t sit in the room blogging.

When I get home, I’ll be sure to write up at least a mini-review on the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea in Maui (massive #fail) and a full review of the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

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grand hyatt kauai
Grand Hyatt Kauai (Lobby)

For now, though, I just wanted to give you a quick round up of some things that I’ve noticed the last several days. I know that many of you are voracious miles-hounds that read 28 blogs a day, but I also know that some of my readers are not that crazed and might miss out if I don’t cover in some small way, so, here we go:

American Airlines’ AAdvantage 40th Anniversary Giveaway

Head to this page to see what you’ve won. Up until May 3rd, it seems you can play every single day. Some have won nice prizes like 4,000 miles, while others have gotten a bunch of rocks. But it’s free and worth a shot!

American Express Plans to Re-Tool the Platinum Card – with a $695 Annual Fee!

First came the news that Amex is ending free Centurion Lounge access for guests of the cardmember starting in 2023.

Then, news came out that the Platinum Card will see its fee rise to $695 in July for new card members with some changes to card benefits.

Here is a list of the rumored changes as compiled by MilesTalk group moderator A.R. Mattheus.

So, I guess if the new benefits don’t sound great, you might consider pocketing the bonus on the Amex Platinum before July of this year.

Free Leading Hotels of the World Membership

An annual membership for Leading Hotels of the World costs $175. They seem to be offering a free year of membership for all, and it worked for me to add a year to my account (I hadn’t paid this year – I just mean I had an account already). The Club membership has some nice perks (free breakfast, early check-in and late checkout, potential upgrades, etc.) so it’s worth grabbing it for free. Just go to https://lhw.com and look for the offer. It also dropped 500 points in my account which appears to be worth $40.

United Quest Credit Card Launches

united quest

I’d previously teased the United Quest credit card. The final details changed just a bit from then, but it was mostly accurate.

The bonus offer is pretty darn sweet: Get 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months and an additional 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months. (How to apply for this 100k offer)

100,000 miles for $10,000 in spend with 6 months for the second $5,000 isn’t bad. It’s a shame that United recently devalued the program, but 100,000 miles still has approx. $1,200 worth of value. Just keep in mind you won’t be eligible if you are over 5/24, though don’t worry about how many Chase credit cards you have.

Hawaiian Airlines Miles No Longer Expire

Much like just about every domestic airline except American, Hawaiian has ended the policy of expiring miles for inactivity. Figures they would do this just weeks after I burned my Hawaiian miles so they wouldn’t expire 😉 Still, this is great if you have a balance as it will save you from having to transfer 1,000 Amex membership Rewards points just to keep them alive. They also reduced elite qualification criteria by 50% for this year.

Keep in mind that you can spend Delta miles and United miles as well as AAdvantage miles for inter-island on Hawaiian Airlines, but not for Mainland-Hawaii travel. That’s where the Amex –> Hawaiian transfer can come in handy.

IHG Maybe, Possibly Walked Back the Devaluation

Just over a week ago, IHG devalued their program yet again. Well, the last few days it seems that they walked it back. But for how long? For now, I’m maintaining my new lower value for IHG Rewards points at 0.4 cents per point.

And I think that covers the “Need to know” since my last post on April 7th. If I don’t have another chance to blog this week, you can still catch both me and breaking news in the MilesTalk Facebook group (which is much easier for me to pop on during vacation).

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Thoughts?

Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

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