Hello from Greece! We’re just wrapping up a fantastic two week trip, during which we visited Italy and Greece. We had such a fun and relaxing time, and I can’t wait to return soon. I look forward to sharing all the details of the trip soon.
On the points and travel front, this week we saw great opportunities to purchase points at a discount, Chase revealed the 5x points categories for the third quarter, two new bonuses were introduced on transferrable points, Priority Pass added a new restaurant at LAX, and more.
With that out of the way, here’s a recap of this week on the blog:
It’s been nearly 6 years since Ben last put together a series on the best ways to use American Express Membership Rewards points by region. Since late 2012, we’ve seen a lot of changes to award charts so it was definitely time for a refresh.
In our latest points valuation, we have Amex Membership Rewards points listed at 1.7 cents each. To be clear, how you choose to redeem your Amex points will dictate the cents per point value you’ll get.
If you’re booking international first class awards, you can expect to get much more value. Even many business class awards will exceed 1.7 cents per point in value. Economy awards are where you really have to put in some thought. With cheap economy fares, it might make sense to pay cash for a ticket — if it fits your budget — and save your points for later.
The Amex Membership Rewards program really provides a great one-two punch. You can use a combo of cards to earn points quickly — on top of the welcome bonus — and the airline partners provide some great ways to book award flights.
Ford and I spent much of last week on the island of Santorini. While the primary focus of this blog is always airlines and hotels, occasionally I also like to share my thoughts on destinations. Here are a few of my (random) thoughts based on our time in Santorini.
It kind of blows my mind that this is the case, but prior to this trip I had never been to Greece as an adult. I remember as a kid I took a cruise with my parents that had a couple of stops in Greece, and I remember it being beautiful. However, other than that I don’t think I’ve ever been. I’m not sure why that’s the case, exactly. It’s probably because a lot of my travels are decided on based on airlines and hotels, and there aren’t that many great airlines flying to Greece, or that many great points hotels.
Having finally visited, I can’t believe I hadn’t ever really visited, because there are so many things to love.
A couple of days ago I wrote a post with four reasons it could make sense to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rather than the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, even if you think the Reserve may make sense for you in the long run.
While I think a lot of people are familiar with the benefits of the two types of cards, in this post I wanted to quantify a bit better when it could make sense to have one card over the other.
Obviously there’s no math that everyone will agree on, though hopefully at least sharing the framework of how I crunch the numbers will be useful for some.
TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos
Excellent Air France & KLM Business Class Fares From The US To Asia
Is This Business Class Fare Worth It?
Good Qatar Business Class Fares From The US To Asia!
It’s Back: Buy Starpoints For 35% Off
Traveling Through Dubai? Get Free Ice Cream From Emirates!
Register Now For Chase Freedom Third Quarter 2018 Bonus
Buy Cathay Pacific Miles For 1.67 Cents Each
Great New Amex Offer For Stays At All SPG Brands
7 Reasons To Get The IHG Premier Credit Card
Buy United Miles For 1.67 Cents Each
Chase Freedom Q3 2018 5x Points Categories Revealed
Amex Will Now Tell You If You’re Eligible For Welcome Bonus Before Submitting Application
American’s Best Promotion Of The Year On Purchased Miles
3 Ways To Know If The Chase Sapphire Reserve Is Right For You
IHG Is Selling Points For 0.5 Cents Each
Review: The Hyatt Credit Card
4 Reasons To Apply For Sapphire Preferred Over Sapphire Reserve
New Amex Offer Can Save You Money On Best Western Stays
TRICKS: Redeeming Miles
Best Ways To Use Amex Membership Rewards Points To See The U.S. Including Hawaii 
Last Chance: Transfer Amex Points To Flying Blue With 25% Bonus
Best Ways To Use Amex Membership Rewards Points By Region: Introduction 
You Can Now Book Emirates Awards On Japan Airlines’ Website
Amex Offering 25% Bonus On Hawaiian Mileage Transfers
Aeroplan Miles Can Once Again Be Redeemed On Avianca
Citi ThankYou 15% Bonus On Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Points Transfers
TRAVEL With Ben (Lucky)
Wait, Do United Premiers REALLY Get Economy Plus Seating On Basic Economy Tickets?
The Sad Decline Of Etihad
We Got A Free Dinner In Santorini, And I Don’t Know Why
Having A Great Time In (Touristy) Santorini
Does It Make Sense To Rent Flex-Fuel Cars?
REVIEWS & Trip Reports
Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge Shanghai Airport
Review: Vietnam Airlines Business Class A350 Ho Chi Minh City To Shanghai
Mystique Santorini (Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel): 8 Things To Know
Review: Vietnam Airlines Lounge Ho Chi Minh City Airport
Review: Vietnam Airlines Business Class 787 London To Ho Chi Minh City
NEWS & Updates
Flying To SFO This Summer? Leave Yourself Extra Time
Sichuan Airlines Wants To Start Flying To Boston
Bankrupt Alitalia Introduces New Employee Uniforms… Again
Virgin Atlantic’s Impressive Refurbishment Of Airberlin’s Old A330s
United’s Houston Polaris Lounge Opening June 29, 2018
RwandAir Orders Two A330neos (Intended For New York Flights)
Delta Is Ending Flights To Hong Kong
Ugh: Protestors Torch Air Niugini Plane
WestJet Will Install Business Class Seats On 737s
TAP Air Portugal To Start Flying To San Francisco In 2019
“Halal Richard Branson” Wants To Start UK’s First Sharia-Compliant Airline
Emirates Is Reducing Cabin Crew Staffing… Again
Oh Boy: Delta’s New Uniforms Are Causing Problems Already
Virgin Australia’s CEO Resigns: What’s Next For The Airline?
Scoot Is Leasing A Singapore Airlines 777 – But Is It Good Or Bad News For Passengers?
Qatar Airways Qsuites Coming To Sydney July 2018
Amex Is Opening A Centurion Lounge (With Spa) At LAX In 2019
Two More Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses Join Priority Pass!
An Empty Lufthansa A340 Has Caught Fire At Frankfurt Airport
So How Did Kim Jong-un Fly To Singapore To Meet President Trump?
New: Capital One Venture Card TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry Credit
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Rebranding As An Andaz
LEVEL Is Moving From OAK To SFO
New: LAX Priority Pass Restaurant
I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!