[ERROR FARE] Atlanta / Cincinnati / Detroit / Minneapolis / Salt Lake City / Seattle to Port au Prince, Haiti for $375 Round-Trip (FIRST/BUSINESS CLASS)

Definitely a mistake!

Example search with Google Flights

Availability is through April 2018. You can click through your Google Flights results to book.

Do not book any non-refundable hotels or activities to accompany this until you’re sure they won’t cancel these tickets.

HT: The Flight Deal

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card – 50,000 Point Signup Bonus (Worth $750 in Travel)

Sorry, I was on vacation for two weeks and didn’t find time to post this right away. In any case, this new card has been discussed widely on other blogs, so hopefully you’ve heard about it already.

Direct Link (must be recognized as an existing U.S. Bank customer by their system to apply, which can take up to 35 days after opening an account with them)

U.S. Bank has launched a new credit card called the Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card. Its signup bonus is 50,000 points (worth $750 in travel) after $4,500 spend in 90 days.

Major features include:

  • $400 annual fee
  • $325 in travel credits every cardmember year
  • 3x points on mobile wallet purchases (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Microsoft Wallet)
  • 3x points on travel purchases (airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxis, limousines, passenger trains, cruise lines)
  • Points worth 1.5 cents each toward airfare, hotels, car rentals when booked through U.S. Bank’s Rewards Center
  • Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
  • $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓
  • No foreign transaction fees

The travel credits make the annual fee on this card effectively $75. Whether this card is worth keeping long-term will depend on how much value you can get from the bonus categories, particularly the 3x points on mobile wallet payments, which is unique.

There are some other benefits, such as a Priority Pass membership, Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi passes, etc., but I don’t value those much because you can get similar or better from other credit cards.

American Express Business Platinum 50% Airline Bonus Being Reduced to 35%

Quick Summary

The American Express Business Platinum Card currently refunds 50% of your Membership Rewards points when you use their Pay with Points feature. This benefit gives you an effective value of 2 cents per MR point.

Starting June 1, 2017, this refund will be reduced to 35%, reducing the effective value of MR points to 1.538 cents per point. There will also be a new cap of 500,000 points rebated per year. In most cases, MR points will be best used for transfers to airline partners, which is how it was before this benefit was added.

Discussion

Any flights booked prior to June 1, 2017 will continue to receive the 50% rebate, even if you are flying at a later date.

The amount of time it takes for the rebate to post is also being increased, though we currently don’t know by how much.

New cardholders (including those who have upgraded from another type of card) who applied between October 6, 2016 and May 31, 2017, will still receive the old benefits (50% rebate, no cap) for one year from the date their cards were issued.

HT: The Points Guy & Doctor of Credit

Increased Bonus for British Airways Visa Signature Card (100,000 Miles / $20,000 Spend)

Chase has increased the signup bonus for the British Airways Visa Signature card. It is now tiered as follows:

  • 50,000 Avios after spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 75,000 Avios (i.e. an additional 25,000 Avios) after spending a total of $10,000 in the first year
  • 100,000 Avios (i.e. another additional 25,000 Avios) after spending a total of $20,000 in the first year

I’m not terribly excited by this offer due to the very high spend requirement but thought it was worth mentioning.

There is no special link required to sign up — you can just go to the regular landing page.

$10 off $50 Mastercard Gift Cards @ Office Depot / Max (Limit 2+)

Via Laptop Travel, Office Depot / Max are offering a promotion for $10 of $50 in Mastercard gift cards.

The way the register works, you can purchase a single $100 (or $200) Mastercard gift card and receive two “$10 off $50” discounts for a total of $20 off. The limit is supposed to be two discounts per household, but you may have luck with the cashier letting you purchase more. If so, they will need to be rung up one at a time for you to receive multiple $20 discounts. The deal is valid through 4/15/17.

Good luck!

$50 Ebay Gift Card for $40 (Samsung Pay)

Samsung Pay currently has a promotion for 20% off gift cards. It started a couple of days ago, but I didn’t find the gift card lineup to be too interesting. Today, they’ve added Ebay to the mix, so I thought it was worth a post.

To purchase, open the app, click Gift CardsAdd, and Buy Gift Cards.

I could not find the terms and conditions, but the typical restrictions are no more than two gift cards per 24 hours and no more than $500 in face value purchased during a promotion.

Other gift cards on sale include Applebee’s, Domino’s, Famous Footwear, Gymboree, Miguel’s Restaurants, Overstock.com, Regal Entertainment Group, rue21, and Toys R Us.

Wait 5 minutes between purchases if you’d like to earn Samsung Rewards on both orders.

Edit: Oops, title.

Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card (3% Cash Back First Year, 2.5% Thereafter, $59 AF Waived First Year)

There is no online application currently. Call (800) 328-1935 to apply.

Quick Summary

  • 3% cash back first year, 2.5% after that
  • $59 annual fee, waived the first year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Link to Terms and Conditions

Discussion

There is no signup bonus, but you can get this card without a hard pull if you are an existing cardholder of their Visa Platinum or Platinum Rewards card, as long as your credit limit is currently over $10,000.

3% cash back is great of course, but that’s only good for the first year. For year two and beyond, the break-even point compared to a 2% cash back card is $11,800 in annual spend.

Do remember that there is also the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card, which gives you 2.625% back if you can quality for Platinum Honors, which requires $100,000 on deposit with Bank of America and/or Merrill Edge.

HT: FatWallet Finance

American Express Business Platinum Card New Benefits

Quick Summary

Similar to what they did with their personal Platinum Card, American Express announced some new changes to their Business Platinum Card, effective March 30, 2017:

  • 5x Membership Rewards Points for airfare and/or prepaid hotels booked through www.amextravel.com.
  • Improved Priority Pass benefit, now allowing up to two free guests.

Discussion

Unlike with the personal card, there is no increase to the annual fee.

5x points on airfare booked through amextravel.com is good, though it’s worth noting that this differs from the personal card, which also allows you to book your airfare directly with the airline. Like with the personal card, 5x points on hotels booked through amextravel.com isn’t that useful.

Extra guests with your Priority Pass benefit is always a good thing.

All in all, I’m not too excited about these changes, but at least there wasn’t anything negative.

American Express Platinum Card Adds New Benefits (Uber Credits) & Increases Annual Fee to $550

Quick Summary

Earlier today, American Express announced some new changes to their Platinum Card, effective March 30, 2017:

  • Annual fee increases to $550.
  • Uber Credits of up to $200 per year ($15 per month in January through November and $35 in December) + Uber VIP status.
  • Improved Priority Pass benefit, now allowing up to two free guests. (HT: The Points Guy)
  • 5x Membership Rewards Points for prepaid hotels booked through www.amextravel.com.
  • Complimentary Gold Authorized User Cards.

Discussion

The $550 annual fee will be charged at your first annual renewal date on or after September 1, 2017. Thus if you originally opened your card before September, you won’t be charged the higher annual fee until your renewal in 2018.

The Uber credits expire at the end of each month in which they are issued and are only valid within the US, so you need to be a regular Uber rider to be able to take full advantage of this benefit. As for Uber VIP status, I don’t believe it is really worth anything.

Two free guests for Priority Pass lounges is nice, though I already have this benefit from several other cards.

5x points on hotels booked through amextravel.com is not as great as it may seem because booking through a third party website generally means you won’t be eligible for points or stay credits in the hotel’s rewards program. This may not be an issue for smaller, boutique hotels.

Adding free authorized users can be useful for Amex Offers, but that’s about it.

Overall, these changes are good for regular Uber riders and not so much for everyone else.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Award Redemption Changes (Singapore Airlines and SilkAir Operated Flights Only)

Yesterday, Singapore Airlines announced a series of award redemption changes for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir operated flights, effective March 23, 2017:

  • There will be a new award chart (link).
  • The 15% award mileage discount is being eliminated.
  • Fuel surcharges will no longer be assessed.

Note that no changes are being made to partner (i.e. Star Alliance) awards.

Quick Summary

Awards on Singapore Airlines and/or SilkAir will now cost more in miles, but less in cash due to the removal of fuel surcharges. For most cases in Business, First, or Suites Classes, the cash savings does not make up for the extra cost in miles, and this is a devaluation. On the other hand, in Economy or Premium Economy Classes, the new changes might work in your favor.

Some routes will cost fewer miles as a partner award rather than a Singapore Airlines / SilkAir award, so if you’ve found availability on Singapore Airlines / SilkAir, you may be able to save miles by adding a flight from a partner that does not assess fuel surcharges (e.g. a domestic positioning flight with United Airlines).

More Miles vs. Less Cash

With the increase in the number of miles to book an award and the removal of fuel surcharges, you may or may not come out ahead depending on your booking class, destination, and how you value the miles. The tables below show the old and new mileage costs and well as current fuel surcharges for one-way flights from the USA to Singapore.

People flying to Singapore in Economy or Premium Economy Classes will save $220 at the cost of between 8,125 and 10,500 miles (depending on whether you fly from the East or West coast as well as class of service). I think most people would happily make this trade. On the other hand, those flying in Business, First, or Suites Classes would probably rather pay the $230 or $240 fuel surcharge to save between 19,750 and 26,625 miles.

Los Angeles / San Francisco to Singapore

Class Current Mileage New Mileage Mileage Increase Fuel Surcharge
Economy 29,750 38,000 8,250 $220
Premium Economy 55,250 65,000 9,750 $220
Business 68,000 88,000 20,000 $230
First / Suites 91,375 118,000 26,625 $240

Houston / New York to Singapore

Class Current Mileage New Mileage Mileage Increase Fuel Surcharge
Economy 31,875 40,000 8,125 $220
Premium Economy 59,500 70,000 10,500 $220
Business 72,250 92,000 19,750 $230
First / Suites 93,500 120,000 26,500 $240

There are some destinations such as Hong Kong and Tokyo that currently have very low fuel surcharges and are basically seeing a mileage increase with little to no cash savings.

Partner Awards Might Be Cheaper

One quirk of the new award chart is that select routes will now cost fewer miles when booked as a partner award rather than an award exclusively on Singapore Airlines / SilkAir. So if you are planning to book a Singapore Airlines / SilkAir flight to one of the destinations below, you could check to see if you can convert this to a partner award by tacking on a partner flight that does not incur any fuel surcharges, such as a domestic positioning flight on United Airlines.

Below I’ve listed all routes that originate from the USA that cost fewer miles when booked as a partner award, in round-trip pricing. Some of these differences are extreme. If you’re flying from the USA West Coast to the Middle East in Singapore Airlines First Class, you can save 136,000 miles (!) by adding a short partner flight. Of course, a long itinerary like this would really only make sense if you were planning to visit Singapore in addition to the Middle East; otherwise, it would make more sense to fly another airline (i.e. a route that doesn’t connect in Singapore).

Destination Class Singapore / SilkAir Cost
(E): USA East Coast & Houston
(W): USA West Coast
Partner Cost
Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, & Laos First / Suites 240,000 (E) / 236,000 (W) 225,000
South China, Hong Kong, & Taiwan Economy 96,000 (E) 90,000
Business 200,000 (E) 175,000
First / Suites 270,000 (E) 200,000
North China Economy 110,000 (E) 90,000
Business 220,000 (E) 175,000
First / Suites 290,000 (E) 200,000
India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, & Bangladesh Economy 110,000 (E) 105,000
Business 220,000 (E) / 196,000 (W) 195,000
First / Suites 290,000 (E) / 276,000 (W) 265,000
Japan & South Korea Economy 116,000 (E) 90,000
Business 230,000 (E) 175,000
First / Suites 300,000 (E) 200,000
Australia (Perth & Darwin) Business 220,000 (E) / 204,000 (W) 195,000
First / Suites 290,000 (E) / 296,000 (W) 255,000
Australia (excl. Perth & Darwin) & New Zealand Economy 120,000 (E) 110,000
Business 236,000 (E) / 220,000 (W) 195,000
First / Suites 304,000 (E) / 308,000 (W) 255,000
North Africa, Middle East, & Turkey Economy 104,000 (W) 75,000
Business 204,000 (W) 115,000
First / Suites 286,000 (W) 150,000
Central & South Africa Economy 104,000 (W) 90,000
Business 204,000 (W) 145,000
First / Suites 286,000 (W) 220,000