Weekly Review: July 21, 2018

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I’m spending the weekend finalizing some travel for the late summer and early fall. In addition to booking a review trip, I’m also planning to take a trip with my dad to Europe in the coming weeks. We were supposed to go to Macedonia and Slovakia last September, but due to the hurricane in Florida at the time, we had to cancel. Since the ticket was booked through Aeroplan it has to be used within a year of the date of issue, so we need to use that up by late August.

On the points & travel front, this week we saw promotional Iberia Avios post for those who recently signed up for Iberia Plus accounts, we saw some great Amazon promotions with Prime Day, Wyndham introduced a new “stay two get one free” deal, United ordered new planes, Japan Airlines was awarded a Skytrax 5-star airline, and more.

With that out of the way, here’s a recap of this week on the blog:

Featured Stories

How To Check If TSA PreCheck & CLEAR Lanes Will Be Open (And Other TSA Considerations)

Between typical summer travel and TSA’s new regulations, airport security lines may be worse than ever. The airlines have been doing their part, sending emails with friendly reminders suggesting that fliers arrive at the airport two hours early, even for domestic flights. For many of us, programs like TSA PreCheck and CLEAR can make the difference between a smooth airport experience and a last-minute 800-meter dash with a rollaboard.

But if any of us have ever sprinted through the airport after hitting some unexpected traffic, we know there are few moments worse than the sinking feeling of seeing that our expedited security lines are closed.

And, contrary to what one may think, the hours of operation don’t necessarily correlate with high-traffic hours.


SUCCESS: Bonus Iberia Avios Finally Post For New Account!

Just under a month ago Iberia ran a promotion offering 9,000 bonus Avios for every ticket booked, up to 90,000 bonus Avios. Even cheap domestic tickets qualified, so many of us booked 10 one-way tickets from Malaga to Madrid for under $300, in hopes of getting 90,000 Avios.

What truly made this promotion crazy is that they awarded miles shortly after booking rather than after flying, and told people that they didn’t have to take the flights to earn the bonus.

Not surprisingly, they had quite a situation on their hands. I speculated that they’d honor the promotion but would make it difficult on people, and that’s exactly what they did.

While those of us with existing accounts did pretty well, the same can’t be said for those with new accounts.


13 Hotel Credit Cards Offering Free Nights

I think hotel credit cards are among the most underrated out there. Understandably a lot of people get cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card to maximize their spend, and that’s a great idea. These cards offer valuable bonus categories, no foreign transaction fees, great travel coverage, and more.

But I think supplementing one of those cards with a hotel credit card can make a lot of sense. That’s because hotel credit cards largely offer some incredible perks that more than justify the annual fee, including free hotel status and even some free night certificates.

We’ve seen a lot of changes in the hotel credit card landscape lately, and in this post I wanted to provide a rundown of all the credit cards offering hotel free night certificates.


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TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

Selecting My SPG Platinum 50-Night Benefit (For The Last Time Ever)
When Should You Pay A Credit Card Surcharge To Earn Points?
Should You Pay For Hyatt Stays With The New World Of Hyatt Credit Card?
Last Day (Ever?): Buy Starpoints For 2.275 Cents Each
Capital One Venture Card: Easy To Use Fixed-Value Points
Chase Launches New Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card
Chase Ink Bonus Categories: Everything You Need To Know
My Experience Buying Starpoints For 35% Off And Then Transferring Them
10 Best Credit Card Offers For July 2018
Business Gold Rewards Card From Amex [In-Depth Review]
Wyndham Is Offering A Free Night After Two Stays
Transfer LifeMiles And Get A 100% Bonus
Potentially Save 20% On An Amazon Purchase… AGAIN!
Amazing Deal: ~$900 Direct Return Business Class Fares From South Africa To Brazil
SUCCESS: Bonus Iberia Avios Finally Post For New Account!
Earn Up To 4x Amex Points For Amazon Purchases (Targeted)
Big Citi AAdvantage Card Welcome Bonuses Ending Soon
Earn 15 Miles Per Dollar Spent With Saks (Stack With Amex Platinum Credit)
Save Money On Kimpton Stays With New Amex Offer
New Amex Offer For Best Buy Purchases
American Is Offering Up To 1,500 Bonus Miles For Online Shopping
Amazon Prime Day: Don’t Forget To Save 20%
No Brainer: Buy A $25 Amazon Gift Card, Get A Free $5 Credit
Amazing Deal: Bose QuietComfort 25 Headphones For $125

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

New IHG PointBreaks List Coming Monday, July 23, 2018
Can You Redeem Miles For Air France First Class?
Garuda Indonesia Is Offering 50% Off Award Tickets (Including First Class)
Cathay Pacific Business Class Awards Are Back To Normal
Hyatt Offering 10% Refund On Award Redemptions This Summer
13 Hotel Credit Cards Offering Free Nights
Cathay Pacific Is Offering A Flight Exclusively For Mileage Redemptions
Qatar Airways Restricts A380 First Class Awards
My Favorite Use Of A Hyatt Category 4 Free Night Certificate

TRAVEL With Lucky

American’s “Secret” Flagship Lounge Keeps Getting Better
Tempting: Saint Helena Is Temporarily Getting More Flights
How To Check If TSA PreCheck & CLEAR Lanes Will Be Open (And Other TSA Considerations)
Can Credit Cards Be Canceled Due To Inactivity?

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Review: Bobby Van’s Steakhouse JFK (Priority Pass Lounge)
Review: Emirates A380 First Class Dubai To Milan
Review: Timberline Steaks & Grille Denver Airport
Review: Le Meridien Dubai (Emirates Dubai Connect Hotel)
Review: Emirates First Class A380 Los Angeles To Dubai

NEWS & Updates

Plaza Premium First Lounge Hong Kong – Interesting New Concept
Could Atlantic Airways Start Flying Between New York & Faroe Islands?
Korean Air’s New Ad Campaign Is… Really Strange?
Insanity: Italian Government Wants To Take Permanent Stake In Alitalia
Angry Non-Rev Plans To Sue American Airlines
Malaysia Airlines Is Bringing Their A350 (With First Class Seats!) To Sydney
Amex Centurion Lounge DFW Closing For Three Weeks
OMG: American Airlines Non-Rev Goes On Epic Tirade After Being Denied Boarding
Uganda Airlines Orders Two A330neos
Hello Jordan: Ryanair’s Interesting Middle East Expansion Plans
Nigeria Wants To Launch New National Airline
Hyatt Launches FIND, A New Experiences Marketplace
Hi Fly’s New A380 Has A Cool Special Livery
Confirmed: Cathay Pacific Flying To Seattle As Of March 2019
Cathay Pacific Hints At Next US Destination
AWESOME: T-Mobile’s New $5 Per Day International High Speed Data & Calling Plan
Japan Airlines Becomes Skytrax 5-Star Airline
Alaska Airlines Lounges Seattle Leaving Priority Pass
Singapore Airlines Wins Skytrax 2018 Airline Of The Year Award
United Orders 29 Planes, Including Four Boeing 787-9s
Delta To Add Premium Select Seats On All Widebody Flights To Europe – Yay?
Awesome: British Cave Rescuers In Thailand Given Free Flights For Life
“Plane Bae” Story Takes A Turn For The Worse…
Emirates Opens Beautiful New Lounge At Cairo Airport
Aigle Azur’s Interesting New Longhaul Flights


I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

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Comments

  1. Are you still planning on going to Namibia Lucky? I’m interested in hell reading your reviews and thoughts on it

  2. Why no story on the Delta-Westjet transborder joint venture announced on Friday the 20th? Curious to hear your take on it.

  3. Hey Ben quick question. How do you keep track of these things? Like the aeroplan award cancellation that has to be used, or maybe some miles that will expire, or other such things. Like I’m sure these things aren’t just sitting in the back of your mind the whole time but rather they are noted somewhere (unless you have amazing memory). But where do you keep track of such things?

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