General

Round Up: Hilton earning changes, Free AA Elite Status for some, Hilton Ascend not a new product, Redeem IHG for Kimpton, Bye Virgin America, JetBlue extends status a month

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Some things to know in miles and points from the last few days:

      • Hilton has made some changes to how you will earn going forward when you stay at a Hilton Honors property. You will earn more if you are an elite member and will lose the ability to earn part Hilton Honors points and part miles for your stays. The fixed miles part was great for very low cost stays.  They are also launching their new line of Hilton credit cards next week. Note that according to Lucky, the Ascend product that replaces Surpass will NOT be counted as a new product, meaning existing or past Surpass card holders won’t be eligible for a signup bonus on Ascend. There is an offer in Amex accounts now for holders of the fee-free Hilton card to “upgrade” to Surpass and get 75,000 points. If you do it by Jan 17th, your annual fee is $75 instead of $95 after. Only downside is that there could be a better offer later, but I took it just in case.  More info on the changes here.

     

      • TPG is reporting on a slew of offers being sent out offering people free elite status on American all the way up to Platinum Pro (the 75k a year level). I was not targeted myself but from the chatter, maybe I’m alone on that. Check your email!

     

      • Virgin America is officially dead and its callsign has been retired. While the planes won’t be painted for a while, it’s all Alaska Airlines from now on. You can convert your remaining Virgin points into Alaska miles now (you get 1.3 Alaska for every one Virgin America point).  You can convert yourself now or it will be done for you in February. Only downside to waiting is that they will tie up your points the first week of February during which time you won’t have access – only if you don’t convert yourself beforehand.

     

      • You can now spend your IHG points at Kimpton hotels since it’s officially part of the combined loyalty program now. This is a big plus in my view. Some Kimpton loyalists fear their brand will change. Time will tell. If you had Kimpton Karma nights they were converted into IHG points. 

     

Lastly, for now, if you had JetBlue Mosaic status for 2017, JetBlue has extended your status through this January. 

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