Huge New Credit Card Welcome Offers, Oneworld Elites Lose A Key Benefit, Hotels Start To Roll Back Cancellation Policies & More

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Welcome to the Traveling For Miles weekly recap. This week saw a number of fantastic new credit card welcome offers launched, another US airline now says it will start Covid-19 testing in an effort to get more people traveling, some big hotel chains rolled back their flexible cancellation policies, oneworld elites lost a key American Airlines benefit, Radisson launched a very good points sale and quite a bit more happened too. Read on to see what you may have missed.

Click on the headlines to be taken to the full article

Airline News

United Airlines New Hawaii Routes Now Open For Reservations

a large white airplane parked on a tarmac

A little under three weeks ago, United announced a number of new international routes to Africa and India as well as two new domestic routes that the airline said would “make it easier than ever to travel nonstop to Maui and Kona for the 2021 summer season”. Following a weekend schedule update, the new Hawaii routes are now in the systems and is taking reservations.

American Airlines Removes A Valuable Benefit For Oneworld Elites

American Airlines has made some good customer-friendly moves of late and it has been great at telling everyone about them via social media, press releases, and email blasts. What the airline has been less good at doing is letting flyers know when it makes a negative change and at some point in the last few days, the airline has eliminated a key benefit it has been offering to select oneworld elites.

Emirates Will Offer Its A380 On Just Seven Routes This Winter

Emirates operates the largest fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft in the world and it’s safe to say that without the investment Emirates put into the A380 program, the aircraft would have gone out of production a lot earlier than this year. Still, even a behemoth like Emirates isn’t immune to the current travel crisis and few things highlight that fact better than the airline’s plans for the Winter 2020/21 season which will see it operating its A380 on just seven international routes.

Alaska Airlines Will Add Another Five New SoCal Routes This Winter

a group of airplanes with faces on the tail

Alaska Airlines is continuing to build on its new friendship with American Airlines by adding a number of routes out of Los Angeles and Palm Springs as well as increasing the frequencies on a further three routes that it already operates out of LAX. Coming on top of the airline’s previously announced expansion at LAX, this is another big bit of positive news for travelers based in Southern California.

American Airlines To Introduce Preflight Covid-19 Testing (Select Markets)

A little over a week ago, United Airlines announced that it will be offering Covid-19 testing services for customers flying between San Francisco and Hawaii and that it is looking to expand similar testing to other routes. Now American Airlines is joining the party with its own plans to offer preflight testing for travelers traveling on select routes from next month.

United Airlines Announces Significant Route Resumptions & Expansions

On Friday, United Airlines announced that it will be resuming service on “nearly 30 international routes” across Asia, Europe, and South America as well as offering customers expanded services to destinations in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Central America, and Mexico.

Credit Card News

Huge New Offers Just Launched On The IHG Rewards Club Credit Cards

a group of credit cards

Chase has now unveiled new welcome offers on its IHG Rewards Club credit cards. The Premier card has had its welcome offer raised to 140,000 points (the joint all-time-high offer) and the no annual fee Traveler card has had its welcome offer raised to an incredible 100,000 points. In the right hands, both cards can be excellent additions to a credit card portfolio and with these increased welcome offers they’re clearly worth a closer look.

The New Incredible Welcome Offer On The Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Chase is in the process of refreshing the welcome offers on a significant number of its credit cards (yesterday saw the launch of two excellent offers for the IHG Rewards credit cards) and the new welcome offer that has been published for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card is the most rewarding welcome offer the card has ever had.

IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card – 100,000 Points & No Annual Fee

Chase issues two IHG Rewards Club co-branded credit cards and while the premium card usually gets most of the attention, this post focuses on the less often discussed no annual fee IHG Rewards Club Traveler credit card which is currently offering a fantastic welcome bonus and which gives cardholders one of the most valuable IHG Rewards benefits around.

Two Hilton Credit Cards Now Offering Boosted Welcome Bonuses

a pool with a house and a credit card

American Express has increased the welcome offers on the Hilton Honors Surpass Credit Card and the Hilton Honors Credit Card and while the increases aren’t exactly impressive, these are two very good credit cards (for the right audience) so improved welcome offers are always good news.

Chase Freedom Flex vs Chase Freedom Unlimited – A Look At Two Excellent No Annual Fee Cards

Chase has recently shaken up its credit card portfolio by introducing the new Freedom Flex credit card and by updating the Freedom Unlimited credit card with new bonus categories. Both cards are key players in the Ultimate Rewards universe so I’ve put the two side by side to see how they compare.

Hotel News

Hilton’s Has Updated Its Flexible Cancellation Policy – It’s Not Good News

Most of the major hotel chains have been reviewing the flexible cancellation policies they put in place to try to entice people to continue to make bookings during the current crisis. Chains like IHG and Radisson have effectively ended their fully flexible policies, Marriott has made its policy considerably less flexible while Hyatt’s policy remains as customer-friendly as ever. Now Hilton has updated its policy and it’s not good news.

Hyatt Expands Its Work From Home Packages

a gazebo with white curtains and a beach view

Towards the end of August, Hyatt introduced its “Work From Hyatt” packages which it hopes will allow individuals, couples, and families to combine work and relaxation all in once place and away from the confines of home. At the time the program was rolled out, only around 25 properties were participating and that made options a little limiting. Now, however, there are almost 60 participating locations and that makes this potentially a lot more interesting to considerably more people.

BE CAREFUL: Don’t Assume That All Hotels Are Still Offering Free Cancellations – They’re Not!

When the major hotel chains realized that no one was traveling and that no one was making any plans to travel, they all brought in policies that meant that travelers could cancel or change their bookings without fear of penalty (regardless of the type of rate they were booking) as they attempted to persuade people to make plans for the future. A number of these policies are now either no longer in place or are in danger of expiring.

Miles & Points News/Thoughts

Buy Radisson Points With A 100% Bonus (Useful For Flexible Bookings)

Radisson Rewards has launched a new points sale and it’s the best sale that the loyalty program traditionally publishes. All points purchases made through 25 October will earn a 100% bonus and with that valuing points at just 0.35 cents each, it opens up the opportunity for significant savings at some of Radisson’s best properties.

American Airlines Extends Business Extra Points Expirations

With Business travel still at a virtual standstill, American Airlines has realized that there are a lot of Business Extra Members sitting on a significant number of points that are set to expire at the end of the year. With Business Extra’s terms and conditions stating that points will expire unless used, American Airlines has intervened and confirmed that it is extending the expiration dates for any Business Extra Points that were set to expire on 31 December.

EXTENDED: Virgin Atlantic Is Offering Double Points On All Bookings

a red sign with white text

Back on 24 September, Virgin Atlantic announced that as well as renaming its currency “Virgin Points”. it would be offering double points on all bookings made by 1 October 2020. Well, today is 1 October and Virgin Atlantic has just extended the booking period by a couple of weeks.

How To Transfer Points From Chase Ultimate Rewards To Airlines (2020 Edition)

I frequently say how much I love the Ultimate Rewards points that I earn from my Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Freedom cards so I thought I’d write a quick step-by-step guide showing how easy it is to make a transfer from Ultimate Rewards to an airline loyalty program.

20% Bonus When You Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points To Southwest

A little surprisingly, Chase has launched its first airline transfer bonus for some time. Through 31 October 2020, Chase customers transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest Rapid Rewards will receive a 20% bonus.

Earn 25% Bonus AAdvantage Miles When You Convert Select Hotel Currencies

American Airlines has published a new offer which sees that airline offering a 25% bonus to AAdvantage members who choose to convert IHG Rewards Club points or World of Hyatt points into miles through 31 October.

Marriott’s Dining Program Is Offering 8 Points/Dollar In October

a table and chairs outside with a red umbrella

Marriott’s Eat About Town dining program has announced a new promotion in which it’s offering all Bonvoy members 8 points per dollar at participating restaurants all around the United States. New joiners to the program have the opportunity to earn a bonus of 1,000 points on their first dine and as you don’t have to use a Marriott Bonvoy credit card to participate, there’s scope to earn a significant number of points with this promotion.


Save Up To $600 On Delta Vacations With A SkyMiles Co-Branded Credit Card

Delta is currently offering holders of its personal SkyMiles co-branded American Express credit cards up to $600 off vacations that can be taken at any time in the current booking window (i.e deep into 2021), and it’s offering SkyMiles members who don’t currently hold a co-branded credit card up to $300 off similar vacations.

Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards Points Or $150 At Four Seasons Properties [Targeted]

a resort with a pool and palm trees by the ocean

Amex continues to roll out targeted hotel offers for cardholders and following deals for Hilton, Marriott, and Best Western stays (amongst others), we’re now seeing two excellent offers for stays at Four Seasons properties in select locations.

Long-Haul Flying Blue Promo Awards Are Back (For Select Regions)

In September, Flying Blue published its first set of Promo Awards since March but disappointingly, they were restricted to flights within Europe. A new set of Promo Awards has now been published and this time we’re being offered deals on flights within Europe AND to a limited number of select long haul destinations offered by Air France & KLM.