[Miles Briefs] United Award Sale – 20% Off Domestic U.S. Awards

Requirements

  • Valid for round-trip travel between 8/23/16 and 12/15/16 in economy class only
  • Must book by 8/23/16 with 14-day advance purchase
  • Blackout Dates: November 22, 23, 26, 27, 28

Prices

  • Domestic short-haul saver round-trips: 16,000 miles
  • Domestic saver round-trips: 20,000 miles
  • Alaska saver round-trips: 28,000 miles
  • Hawaii saver round-trips: 36,000 miles

HT: Dan’s Deals

[Amex Offers] $50 off $300 on Air Travel (Targeted)

amex air travel

Expires 10/31/2016.

This should work on gift cards as long as they are processed directly by the airline and not a third party (e.g. Cashstar).

To see if you were targeted, login to your American Express account and check your Amex Offers at the bottom.

You can add this deal to multiple credit cards if you have the offer available on more than one account. Make sure you open each card in a separate tab before adding it to any of your cards.

United MileagePlus Changing Stopovers and Fees on October 6, 2016

united mileageplus program updates

Direct Link

Quick Summary

  • Current stopover policy is being removed and replaced with the “Excursionist Perk”
  • Change/Cancellation fee structure is changing, mostly for the worse
  • Round the World awards are being discontinued

My Take

Here are the official rules for applying the Excursionist Perk:

  • The Excursionist Perk cannot be in the MileagePlus defined region where your travel originates.
  • Travel must end in the same MileagePlus defined region where travel originates.
  • The origin and destination of the Excursionist Perk is within a single MileagePlus defined region.
  • The cabin of service and award type of the free one-way award is the same or lower than the one-way award preceding it.
  • If two or more one-way awards qualify for this benefit, only the first occurrence will be free.

Essentially, this means that your stopover/open-jaw must occur entirely in the same region as your destination. This removes a couple popular methods of leveraging the current stopover and open-jaw rules:

  1. Stopovers/open-jaws in a separate region on your way to/from your destination. Many awards will route you through a different region on your way to or from your destination. A couple years ago, for example, I routed through Bangkok on my way home from Auckland and had a stopover in Bangkok. Under these new rules, this will not be allowed because Bangkok and Auckland are in separate regions.
  2. “Free one-way” awards. Imagine a straightforward routing where I just want to fly from San Francisco to London and back. I could potentially add a stopover/open-jaw by tacking on another flight at the end from San Francisco to Honolulu sometime in the future. This is my “free one-way” award. Because of the first rule, these awards will no longer be bookable.

For changes and cancellations, some fees are going up, and others are going down, so it’s easier to just look at the new chart:

united mileageplus program updates fees

Other key takeaways are that the penalty ($50) for close-in changes/cancellations will now kick in within 60 days of departure, as opposed to within 20 days, which is the current policy. Also, you cannot makes changes fewer than 24 hours before departure for flights on partner airlines. Overall, the new rules make award travel more restrictive and penalize the customer more if plans have to change for any reason.

Lastly, nobody really cares about Round the World awards, so no big loss here. Overall, these are a ton of negative changes though, and we should all be fairly disappointed.

20% Transfer Bonus from Starwood to American (20,000 SPG to 30,000 AA)

aa spg

I’m catching up on a few things that came up while I was on vacation. Many of these topics have already been discussed on other blogs, so if you’re familiar with them, feel free to skip the next few posts…

Through September 14, 2016, American Airlines is offering a 20% bonus on transfers from Starwood Preferred Guest. Because SPG already offers a 5,000 mile bonus when you transfer in increments of 20,000 points, you’ll receive 30,000 AAdvantage miles for every 20,000 SPG Starpoints you transfer, for a total bonus of 50%.

Two things to keep in mind are that you need to transfer in 20,000 point increments to maximize this deal, and Starwood has a transfer limit of 79,999 points per 24 hours. This effectively means you won’t want to transfer more than 60,000 points per day.

Link to full Terms and Conditions