Effective November 1, 2017, many United MileagePlus Saver awards will be going up in price (listed below, prices all one-way). Recall that there is separate pricing for United-only vs. partner awards.
Business Class – United Flights
- U.S. (premium only): 25k to 35k
- Hawaii (premium only): 40k to 50k
- Southern South America: 55k to 60k
- Europe: 57.5k to 60k
- Middle East and Central Asia: 70k to 75k
- South Asia: 70k to 75k
- Japan and Oceania: 65k to 70k
- Australia/New Zealand: 70k to 80k
Business Class – Partner Flights
- Southern South America: 55k to 60k
- Middle East and Central Asia: 80k to 85k
- South Asia: 80k to 90k
- Japan and Oceania: 75k to 80k
- Australia/New Zealand: 80k to 90k
First Class – United Flights
- Southern South America: 70k to 80k
- Central/Southern Africa: 85k to 90k
- South Asia: 80k to 95k
- North Asia: 80k to 90k
- Japan and Oceania: 80k to 90k
- Australia/New Zealand: 80k to 100k
First Class – Partner Flights
- Southern South America: 70k to 80k
- South Asia: 130k to 140k
Many Saver prices for flights that do not originate in the United States are increasing as well, but there are too many to list. The new award chart can be viewed here.
Short-Haul Economy Saver Awards
Nonstop partner flights of 800 miles or less will cost 8,000 miles in Economy class in all regions outside of the U.S.
Intra-island flights within Hawaii will be increasing from 6,000 miles to 7,000 miles one-way.
$125. Don’t no-show on awards.
Standard awards are becoming Everyday awards, with different pricing, but… who cares? Book Saver awards.
Via OMaaT, the Chase Hyatt Card’s signup bonus will be changing from two free nights anywhere to 40,000 World of Hyatt points on June 29, 2017.
40,000 WoH points is equivalent to two nights in a Category 5 property.
Points won’t expire as long as you have activity in your account. The two free night certificates from the current signup bonus need to be used within a year.
Two free nights are more valuable if you are redeeming for a Category 6 or 7 property.
In related news, Plastiq is no longer accepting VISA card payments for mortgage (and possibly rent) payments. It looks like most of the 3x avenues using Plastiq are dying if not already dead.
The easiest way to redeem this offer is to load $50 into your gift card balance (link). I have confirmed that it does trigger the success email.
This offer is targeted. Look for it by logging into your American Express account and checking your Amex Offers at the bottom. Make sure you open each account in a separate tab before adding this offer if you want it on multiple cards.
All of these offers are the highest ever. Note that none of these annual fees are waived the first year. Easy companion pass if you are approved for two of the Southwest cards.
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card – 60,000 points after $2,000 spend in 3 months; $69 annual fee
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card – 60,000 points after $2,000 spend in 3 months; $99 annual fee
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card – 60,000 points after $3,000 in spend 3 months; $99 annual fee
Barclaycard A – 50,000 miles after first purchase; $95 annual fee
This was reported by Milecards a little while ago, but I haven’t seen any coverage on other blogs. It looks like there is a bug with American Airlines’ homepage whereby if you start an award search there, you will potentially see less availability than if you started from the Advanced Search page. This is particularly common if you are looking for Alaska availability.
In the image at the top of this post, the search on the left was started from the homepage, while the search on the right was started from the Advanced Search page. As you can see, there is no MileSAAver availability on the left, while there are six dates with availability on the right.
Long story short, start all of your American Airlines award searches from the Advanced Search page.
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
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.
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.
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
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.