Travel Bargains to Consider
August 22 - September 5, 2019
THIS WEEK'S BIGGEST BARGAIN
National Car Rental: Best Car Rental Bonus Ever Returns With New Twists
Sometimes the classics are the best and that's certainly true for National's iconic ONE TWO FREE promotion. Even though car rentals aren't the force they once were and even though National has added complicating bells and whistles over the years, the core of the promotion remains the same: Two rentals of a midsize car (this year by February 29) earn a free rental day that you can use by June 15. The points-based system offers 300 points per qualifying rental. It takes 600 points for a freebie. This year's wrinkles: You'll receive 25 points for downloading the app and 75 more points when you book using the app. Renting in Europe or Latin America will each garner a one-time 300-point bonus. There's a 300-point bonus if you rent in three countries during this year's promo period. You'll even get a one-time bonus of 300 points for adding SiriusXM to your rental. There are plenty of other points-adding touchstones this year, too. One perk missing this year: Rentals from Enterprise, National's parent company, do not earn points. Advance registration is required, of course. Information: the EARN TO THE MAX
THIS WEEK'S OTHER BIG DEALS
La Compagnie: Five Years Old and Business Class Fares Are Lower Now
Full marks for La Compagnie, the French-owned all-business class operation that has survived to its fifth birthday, a rare achievement for an all-business carrier. It has a new parent firm, wisely switched to Paris/Orly from Paris/CDG and scrapped its London route. But there's a seasonal route to Nice now and planes and seats have improved with the switch to factory-fresh Airbus A321neo aircraft. But one thing that has remained the same: fares. In fact, fares are lower now than they were in early days. The current offer--Newark-Orly for $1,400 roundtrip--is lower than the $1,598 promoted during La Compagnie's first winter and $1,699 roundtrip as it celebrated its first birthday. Information: the OUI, PLEASE
InterContinental Hotels: Don't You Hate Mass-Customized Promotions?
Maybe you're paying more attention to InterContinental Hotels now that it has a blockbuster credit card acquisition bonus (see below). Or maybe you've been a player in IHG Rewards Club (nee Priority Club) for a while. Either way, the chain is out with a new promotion called Accelerate. It runs from September 1 through the end of the year, but what you can earn depends on the chain's notoriously bizarre algorithms. Some members are being offered as little as 1,000 bonus points per night. Some are being offered bonuses as high as 70,000 points based on a spread of activity. The only way you'll know your offer is to register
and find out. By the way, registering for the promotion also requires you to accept promotional E-mail from InterContinental.
American/Avis/Budget: 5,000 Advantage Miles for Three-Day Rentals
Depending on the season, American Airlines and Avis/Budget are awarding either a piker's purse of bonus miles (500 per rental) or treasure trove of as many as 5,000 miles. We've just veered back into treasure-trove territory. Until October 15, Avis and Budget will award you 2,500 AAdvantage miles for a three-day rental of a standard-size vehicle. Bump up to the premium classes (including larger SUVs and lux convertibles) and you can earn 5,000 miles for a three-day rental. Use code use AWD #K817127 on Avis rentals and BCD #U072437 for Budget rentals. This is essentially the same offer the firms have offered during this time period in the last two or three years. Information: the American 5,000 BONUS MILES
HOTEL POINTS & PRICE PROMOTIONS
Radisson: 25 Percent Off on Two-Night Stays in the Americas
Radisson's best properties are in Europe and Asia, which might explain this promotion: up to 25 percent off two-night stays in North and South America. The deal is valid for travel until November 3 when you book by September 2. The 25 percent offer is for members of the chain's rewards program and valid for stays from Sunday through Thursday. The promotion is also valid at Radisson's Park Inn and Country Inn properties, too. Information: SAVE UP TO 25%
Hotels: Maybe You'll Find Rate Savings With a Credit Card
Airline fares have been relatively flat in recent months, but hotel and resort rates continue to rise, precipitously in some destinations. Possible solution: hotel discounts offered by your credit card. Of course, all the specials below come with some caveats. Most hotels in the programs are in the luxury category. You must book directly at the card's special Web site. And you should always check that the rate you're paying is competitive with other offers.
American Express Platinum Cards
feature a Fine Hotels & Resort collection that covers more than 1,000 properties around the world. Bundled with the FHR rates are space-available room upgrades; check-in as early as noon based on availability and guaranteed
4 p.m. checkout; breakfast for two; free WiFi; and property-specific food and beverage credit or other amenity.
Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
from Chase says it offers daily breakfast for two, free WiFi, as-available upgrades and check-in/check-out privileges. The program covers about 900 lodgings worldwide and guests receive a unique additional amenity--free meals, golf or spa treatments, airport transfers--from each property.
cards claim to offer special rates at more than 900 properties. Perks include space-available upgrade; free WiFi; free breakfast for two; a $25 food and beverage credit; and late checkout.
Destination Hotels: Up to 35 Percent Off
You probably have never heard of Destination Hotels, a small firm that manages about three dozen upscale sun-and-ski hotels and resorts around the country. With its low profile and generic name, chances are you never even realized the firm existed until it was purchased last year by Hyatt. Destination joins World of Hyatt on August 20, but the chain has unleashed an interesting early-booking sale that predates the Hyatt debut. If you book by October 31, you can knock as much as 35 percent off nightly rates. Use the code COUNTDOWN to score the best deals. There are blackout dates and capacity controls, of course. The promotion claims the cheapest prices are available if you book by September 5. But if you can pick around the restrictions and the varying availability dates, there are some juicy deals. And a reminder: You won't receive Hyatt points until the Destination properties officially become part of the Hyatt loyalty program. Information: the WINTER BECKONS
World of Hyatt: 500-Point Bonuses at New Hyatt Properties
Hyatt is desperate to convince business travelers that it is growing even as it's being lapped by hotel chains that are already eight or ten times larger. Besides adding a bevy of small chains to World of Hyatt in recent months, Hyatt is trying to draw attention to new Hyatt-branded properties. At two dozen new hotels, Hyatt is dangling 500 additional bonus points per night. That includes properties in the United States (Poughkeepsie, New York; Anchorage; and Cupertino and San Jose, California), Europe (Venice, Milan and Vienna) and Asia (Chiba, Japan, and Beijing). Depending on hotel, the nightly bonus is valid through July, August or September. Information: the 500 REASONS TO STAY
Marriott Bonvoy: One Promotion That Won't Rule Them All
Marriott Bonvoy seems to have worked out most of the kinks in the merger of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. It's also adverting the program aggressively. One thing it's not doing: inventive, noteworthy promotions. The newest is extremely weak: a 1,500-point bonus on stays of two nights or more. That sure doesn't sound like Endless Earnings, the moniker Marriott has adopted for the summer promotion. You can earn on stays between July 2 and September 16 if you register in advance by September 2. Needless to say, this won't change your lodging choices, but it's better than a proverbial stick in the eye. Information: the ENDLESS EARNINGS
Best Western: The Annual $20 Kickback Summer Promotion
Best Western has once again rolled out its Rewards Rush promotion for summer stays. It's simple, modest, but, you know, better than a stick in the eye. When you stay at a Best Western before September 2, you will get a $20 Best Western gift card valid for stays within 120 days after issuance. You can only receive one $20 kickback during the promotional period. Advance Registration is required. INFORMATION: the LIMITED TIME OFFER
Omni Hotels: 20-25 Percent Discounts for AAA Members
Like many chains, Omni Hotels offers a discount for AAA members. The saving is usually modest--about 5 or 10 percent--but Omni is now breaking from the pack. Use the chain's prepaid AAA rates and the saving is 20 percent at hotels in San Diego, San Francisco and Atlanta. It's even more--25 percent--in Washington, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Providence, Montreal and Toronto. INFORMATION: the Omni AAA SPECIAL PROMOTION
Hilton Honors: Stay a Lot, Get a Lot of Low-Value Points
With the possible exception of Delta SkyMiles, no major frequency currency is worth less than Hilton Honors points. Which explains why Hilton basically offers double-point promotions on a year-round basis. The latest iteration offers double points starting with the second stay between May 6 and September 8. Then there's the added fillip: a stair-step accelerator offering 10,000 points on the 10th stay, 15,000 points on the 15th stay and 20,000 points on the 20th. What's it all mean? A lot of low-value points for a lot of Hilton stays in four months. Advance registration is required, of course. Information: the GO MORE, GET MORE POINTS
Marriott Rewards: 2,000 Bonus Points a Stay at Select Courtyards
I asked on Twitter recently how to tell the difference between the various Marriott-branded select-service brands when they all use similar bathroom amenities, soft goods and other material. Apparently Marriott Rewards also gets that it doesn't offer much differentiation these days. Its "solution?" A 2,000-point-per-stay bonus when you book select Courtyard by Marriott properties. Use code 53M to grab the extra points. No, that won't change your world, but never walk away from extra points. Information: the COURTYARD 2K EVERYDAY
GLOBAL AIRLINE DEALS TO CONSIDER
Finnair: A Free, Five-Day Stayover in Helsinki
As nice as Helsinki's airport in Vantaa is, Finnair can't rely solely on O&D traffic to the Finnish capital. It needs to operate Vantaa as an international hub and thus it offers extensive connections from the United States to Russia, Europe and even the Far East. And to bump up the airport's appeal as a connecting facility, Finnair has revamped and reintroduced its stay-along-the-way promotion. The new offer allows up to five days stayover in Finland. The airline has also collected a series of optional Finland travel experiences to help you fill your layover time. They include urban getaways, tours and trips in Finland's three largest cities (Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa) as well as Lapland-related options. Prices for the add-ons start at 12 euros. One caveat: You can only claim a stayover in one direction of a roundtrip, so plan carefully. Information: the STOP & BREATHE
SINGAPORE AIRLINES: Seats to Fill Up Front, Discounts Worth Noting
Singapore Airlines spent years essentially ignoring the U.S. market, but with its new emphasis on ultra-long-haul nonstops to Changi, it suddenly has lots
of seats to fill and not a large passenger base to tap. The solution: big discounts from a carrier not known for promotional prowess. Samples: LAX-Singapore nonstop for as little as $890 roundtrip in premium economy and LAX-Tokyo nonstop for as little as $2,990 roundtrip in business class. From San Francisco, nonstops to Singapore are selling for as little as $990 roundtrip in premium economy while business class nonstops to Hong Kong are pegged at $2,990 roundtrip. From New York/Kennedy, it's $990 in premium economy and $1,990 roundtrip in business class to Frankfurt. From Newark, the Singapore nonstop is selling for as little as $1,090 roundtrip in premium economy. And from its newest hub, Seattle, premium economy on the Singapore nonstop is $990 roundtrip. Onward connections to select Asia destinations are available for minimal add-on fares. Tickets must be purchased by August 31 for travel from late September until next summer. Information: the Singapore Airlines GREAT GETAWAY
Air New Zealand: We Still Want You to Go to the South Pacific Cheap
Sometimes it's fun to follow these extraordinary deals as airlines test and figure out how to fill an aircraft. As you surely know by now, Air New Zealand has regularly promoted cheap business class fares to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands using its nonstop flight from Los Angeles. The eye-opening initial price was just $1,998 roundtrip. The deal has been regularly revived at fares from $1,800 and $2,500 roundtrip. Now it's back at a higher price--$2,698 roundtrip--if you travel on select dates through May. The higher price is justified by the fact that Air New Zealand now operates the route with its latest lie-flat business class beds. But if the price bump puts business class out of your wheelhouse, Air New Zealand has a fantastic alternative: $1,398 in its well-liked premium economy. And if you're looking for deep discounts, it's $698 roundtrip in coach. The catch, as always, is that there's still one flight a week in each direction, departing late Saturday nights from LAX and late Friday nights from Rarotonga. Still, for a South Pacific trip at such a low price, those aren't tough conditions. Tickets must be purchased by August 30. You even earn frequent flyer miles. If you want background, Will Allen booked and flew Air New Zealand to Rarotonga 18 months ago. Read his report here
. Information: the Air New Zealand FLIGHTS TO COOK ISLAND
Amex Membership Rewards: 40 Percent Avios Transfer Bonuses
The allure of Avios as a frequent flyer currency has always eluded me, but I know several JoeSentMe members use it quite successfully. So this one's for you. Until October 1, American Express Membership Rewards offers a 40 percent bonus on transfers to Avios for the British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus plans. (All three carriers, like the Avios program, are owned by the International Airlines Group.) That means 1,400 Avios points for each 1,000 Membership Rewards points transferred. If you've figured out how to win with Avios, now's the time to bulk up--although transfers on spec are never a wise idea. Have a specific use for the transferred points in mind. The 40 percent bonus offer will appear when you log into your Amex account and click on Membership Rewards transfers. The minimum transfer is 1,000 Amex points.
Finnair: Cheap Business Class for a Year? How About Russia?
Finland remains what it has always been: a middle ground between Europe and Russia. And Vantaa Airport in Helsinki remains what it always has been: a fabulous place to change planes en route to Russia. See where I'm going with this? Finnair is offering great deals in business class over its Helsinki hub to Russia. Prices are valid for travel for the next year if you can hit the admittedly stiff (up to 60 days) advance-purchase restriction. Sample fares: Yekaterinburg for $2,295 roundtrip; Moscow for $2,294; and St. Petersburg for $2,299. Oddly, if you're headed to Helsinki, the nonstop roundtrip price is $3,481. Ticket are nonrefundable and no stopovers are permitted. Information: the Finnair FLIGHT OFFERS
KLM: Under-the-Radar Business Class Sale Rates Worldwide
Even though KLM kicks in most of the profit of the combined Air France/KLM, the Dutch side remains distinctly under the radar when it comes to publicity. In other words, prepare to fly over its Amsterdam/Schiphol hub if you're looking for business class bargains. From New York/JFK, sample prices include $2,059 roundtrip to Frankfurt, $3,148 to Accra, Ghana, and $2,716 to Delhi. From Miami, it's $2,353 to Barcelona roundtrip and $2,541 to Delhi. From San Francisco, it's $2,358 roundtrip to Madrid and $2,919 to Chennai, India. There are similar sale prices from all 12 of KLM's U.S. gateways. The KLM site offers a handy month-by-month bar chart of the fares and then day-by-day breakdown of availability. It's a slick way to find the lowest fares. Information: the KLM BEST OFFERS
Hainan Airlines: You're Not Going to China at These Insane Fares?
There are precious few bargains to Europe this summer, but if you're looking for someplace, how about China? Hainan Airlines is basically giving away seats to fill planes on its fast-expanding network. Best of all, Hainan Air doesn't just fly to Beijing and Shanghai, but also operates nonstop to places such as Xi'an, Chengdu, Changsha and Chongqing. Coach fares start as low as--wait for it--$376 roundtrip from Los Angeles to Shanghai. Business class seats start at just $2,319 roundtrip from Los Angeles, $2,710 from Chicago, $2,818 from Boston and $2,855 from New York/Kennedy. Seats at those prices are limited, of course, but they're available in decent numbers. Travel is valid through September 30. Information: the Hainan Airlines OFFERS
Etihad: Two-Day Free Stay in Abu Dhabi Through the End of the Year
Etihad Airways doesn't seem to have much of a future. It is dwarfed by its Dubai-based neighbor Emirates, its strategy of buying into weakened European airlines collapsed and the royal family that owns the carrier is losing patience with endless losses. Which is a long-winded way of explaining why Etihad is desperate to figure out an angle to get Americans to fly over Abu Dhabi. The current angle: free two-night stopover in Abu Dhabi, including lodging at several of the city's excellent hotels. The stayover needs to be booked by December 1 for travel until December 31. That offer is for coach flyers, by the way. Business and first class travelers and customers in Etihad's The Residence, the over-the-top private double cabin, have their own offer. Information: the Etihad STOPOVER IN 2019
Qatar Airways: Price-Fixed Business Class 'Sale' Apparently Permanent
Several times this year Qatar Airways has offered up putatively price-fixed business class sales to destinations around the world. Either it worked or Qatar Air's marketing team is out of ideas because the promotion has apparently become a comparatively permanent part of the carrier's fare structure. In case you've forgotten, Qatar claims that is has set a fixed-price business class fare structure: $2,450, $2,950, $3,450, $3,950 or $4,450 roundtrip. But, of course, there's much less there than meets the eye. Qatar falls back on "starting at" verbiage that means every ticket is, um, "market price." Still, there is a smattering of seats at each price point. Sample fares: $2,450 roundtrip on Atlanta or Miami to Delhi; $2,450 from New York/JFK to Tbilisi, Georgia; $2,950 on Los Angeles-Da Nang, Vietnam, or Chicago-Manila; $3,450 on DFW or Atlanta to Johannesburg or Miami-Hong Kong; and $3,950 between Philadelphia and Kathmandu. The best prices are available for midweek travel between July 29 and January 1. A seven-day minimum stay is required and there's a still, 90-day advance purchase requirement. And a reminder: All trips operate via Doha, Qatar Air's hub. Information: the Qatar Air BUCKET LIST EXPERIENCE
Alaska Airlines: Double Miles on Coast-to-Coast Flights Through 2019
Alaska Airlines continues to try to forge a new identity on the coast-to-coast flights it assumed in the Virgin America buy. Shorn of their white seats with 55-inch pitch and mood lighting, Alaska's flights are relying on a more-than-generous 41-inch pitch and lots of upgrades. Now another tactic: double miles on transcontinental flights until the end of the year. The only restriction: advance registration before your first transcon run. The double-miles offer is valid between San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco and East Coast airports from Boston to Fort Lauderdale. That includes New York (Kennedy and Newark) and Washington (BWI, Dulles and National) airports. The deal is also offered on routes where Alaska Air had flights before it purchased Virgin America. Information: the DOUBLE MILES COAST2COAST
British Airways: AARP Deal, Reduced Again, Extended Through 2020
British Airways isn't only hacking away at the quality of its in-flight product and its reputation as a premium carrier. It's also reducing the classic deals you can use to get discounts. Take its long-standing AARP deal. BA once offered as much as $400 off roundtrip. Now first and premium economy class discounts have been axed and we're left with $200 roundtrip off BA's outdated business class and $65 off its newly "densified" coach class. Also gone: the opportunity to twin the AARP discount with other BA promotions. Still, $65 or $200 off is better than a stick upside your head. And the current deal is now valid for travel until the end of 2020 if you book by January 31, 2020. The cost of entry: the $12 fee required to join AARP
. And you must enter through the AARP portal to score the discounts. Information: the EXCLUSIVE AARP MEMBERS
GROUND TRANSPORT BARGAINS
Marriott/Hertz: 2,000 Bonvoy Points for Multi-Day Rentals
With car rentals sagging in the face of widespread adoption of ride-sharing services, rental firms have been partnering up with airlines and hotels for big bonus offers. That's especially true of Hertz, which these days has a mediocre reputation thanks to repeated service glitches. If you can handle Hertz, it has teamed up with Marriott for a bushel of Bonvoy bonus points. On two-day rentals, you can earn 2,000 points. The deal is valid through the end of the year on rentals in North America, Puerto Rico, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Use discount codes CDP#154080 and PC#204918. The offer is valid through December 31.
United/Hertz: Worst-in-Class Providers Offer Really Big Bonuses
What do Hertz and United Airlines have in common? Lessee, both operations run poorly. A former top United exec was ousted as Hertz chief executive for doing a lousy job. And United once actually owned Hertz. Other than that? Both are desperate for new customers. The solution: gigantic bonuses for even two-day rentals. Until October 31, book a mid-size or larger Hertz car at United.com for at least two days and you'll receive a 1,500-mile bonus atop the 500-1,250 miles you'd normally earn as a member of MileagePlus. That means as many as 2,750 miles for rentals as short as two days. Sound familiar? It should. It's a re-introduction, extension and slight rejiggering of a promotion that the two companies have continually offered for about four years. Information: the BOOK YOUR CAR THROUGH UNITED.COM
National/Southwest: Quadruple Rapid Rewards for Weekly Rentals
Southwest Airlines and National Car Rental have teamed up to offer a bigger payoff for rentals if you need a vehicle. Instead of the standard 600 Rapid Rewards points, a two- or three-day National rental will earn 1,200 points. Rentals of 4-6 days will earn 1,800 points. Weekly or longer rentals will score 2,400 points. To score the points, use Contract ID code 5030510. Bonus points are valid on rentals until January 31, 2020, with one-day advance reservation. By the way, if this sounds familiar, it is exactly
the same deal that ran all of last year. Information: the RAPID REWARDS PROMOTIONS
CREDIT CARD ACQUISITION BONUSES
Chase/InterContinental: Big Acquisition Bonus, Big Spend Incentives
Chase and InterContinental Hotels seem desperate to get an IHG Reward Club Premier card in your wallet. The acquisition bonus is huge: 125,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Then there are the ongoing spending incentives: 25 points per dollar spent at IHG properties in the first years and 4 points per dollar spent on all other purchases. Spending bonuses are substantially reduced after the first year, but the card is a great one-year get for the $89 fee. The card also confers automatic Platinum Elite status in IHG Rewards. That doesn't offer much in the way of perks although it will get you an additional 5 points per dollar spent at IHG hotels. Information: the EARN 125,000
American Express: Lots More Points to Take a Hilton Card. But, Um...
American Express really wants you to take one of its four Hilton cards. And the lure, as always, is a bigger acquisition bonus: now from 90,000 to 150,000 Hilton Honors points. This is even more points than Amex has been dangling in recent months. The continuing problem? Hilton Honors points have little value, even in the ridiculously devalued travel world. Getting a half-cent return is often a victory in Honors, which is now completely revenue-based and ludicrously overpriced for everything but a standard room. (And sometimes not even then...) But if you find value in Hilton, at least one of these four cards will be useful and perhaps two should be on your radar. The no-fee Hilton Honors Amex will give you 90,000 points for $2,000 of spend in the first three months. The sweet spot is 130,000 points, available for Amex's two Hilton cards with a $95 annual fee. Some offers expire on August 28. Information: the Amex UPGRADE YOUR STAY
Chase/Southwest: The Bonus Alone Gets You Close to a Companion Pass
The most prized frequency "win" in the current frequency landscape is a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass. But it's not an easy win because only flying miles and credit card spend count toward the required 110,000 Rapids Rewards points. Which is why the Southwest Performance Business Credit Card, introduced this week by Chase Bank, is such an extraordinary "get." The acquisition bonus of 80,000 points counts toward the pass. To score the bonus, you'll need to spend $5,000 in the first 90 days you have the card. That's not a big hurdle, of course, but this might be: You don't qualify for the card if you have Chase's other
Southwest business card or have received a bonus for that card in the last 24 months. The annual fee is $199, for which you'll also receive 9,000 points each additional year you have the card, triple points for Southwest spend and double points for charges on various social media and communications services. You'll also earn some WiFi and boarding privileges. Information: the Chase EARN 80,000 POINTS
Credit Cards: The Big Acquisition Bonuses Keep on Coming
As we've discussed frequently in recent months, the smash-and-grab strategy may be the only way to "win" the increasingly rigged frequency game. As you know, that entails taking a credit card for the big acquisition bonus, charging just enough to earn it, then moving on to another card. If you've been "playing," here are three more high earners with modest requirements:
Bank of America/Sonesta Hotels
: The under-the-radar Sonesta chain is out with its first card and the offer from Bank of America is rich: 60,000 points for spending just $1,000 in the first 90 days. You can also earn 5,000 more points for adding an authorized user in the first 90 days and a 30,000-point bonus if you spend $7,500 over the course of the first year. The $75 annual fee is waived in the first year. What do Sonesta points buy? Some of its limited-service extended-stay hotels are available for as little as 15,000 points. It has excellent resorts in sun zones (Arizona, the Caribbean, Texas, Hilton Head, Latin America) and prices are mostly in the 25,000-50,000 points nightly range. (It also has hotels in Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco and Philadelphia.) Information: the Bank of America SONESTA WORLD MASTERCARD
: Marriott has both American Express and Chase pumping out cards under the Bonvoy brand. The latest is from Chase and is called the Marriott Bonvoy Bold. This one has no annual fee and you'll earn 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 in the first three months. Fly in the ointment: Chase and Amex collaborate and you may not get the card if you have one of several existing Bonvoy cards. If you care about ongoing earnings, the card offers three points per dollar on Marriott charges, two points for other travel charges and one point for everything else. Information: the 50,000 BONUS POINTS
: Citi ThankYou points are flexible, transferring to a wide variety of airline programs including JetBlue, Singapore, Air France/KLM and others. Citi's basic card in the category, Citi Premier, is now offering 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months. The card, with a $95 annual fee, offers three points per dollar on travel and gasoline charges, two points for restaurant and entertainment spend and one point on everything else. Information: the CITI PREMIER CARD
Hawaiian Airlines: 60,000- to 70,000-Mile Bonuses
Big credit card acquisition bonuses aren't just for the big airlines and the big banks. Hawaiian Airlines partners with Bank of Hawaii to promote the Hawaiian credit cards and the numbers are huge. You'll earn 60,000 miles for taking a personal card
and spending $2,000 in the first 90 days. The business card
offers 60,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. You'll earn another 10,000 miles if you also acquire an employee card and make a purchase on it. The $99 annual fee is waived for the first year if you choose the personal card. The fee does apply on the business card, however. You must apply by September 4.
Chase: Honest, Sapphire Preferred Is Better Than Capital One Venture
The decision of Capital One to get into the points-to-airline transfer game has rattled Chase Bank, whose Ultimate Rewards points are the gold standard of bank currency. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has suddenly upped its acquisition bonus to 60,000 points and it is clear that Chase wants to make sure you don't defect to the Capital One Venture card. How do we know? The promotion page for the acquisition bonus is literally a comparison chart between Chase and Capital One. You should
have a Sapphire Preferred card, so grab one now if you don't have one. Sixty thousand points is too good to pass up. The annual fee is $95, which Chase's chart admits isn't as good as Capital One's first-year fee waiver. Information: the EARN 60,000 BONUS POINTS
Chase: 80,000-Point Bonus to Take an Ink Business Card
As the airline frequent flyer programs get less generous, smart travelers are banking their miles with banks. Chase Ultimate Rewards points, for example, offer a 1:1 transfer to United, Southwest, several international airlines and some hotel chains, too. There seems to be less risk by banking points with Chase and moving them to your programs as the good deals--or award availability--warrant. One of the current stars in the wide Chase portfolio? The Ink Business Preferred Card. For the $95 annual fee, you'll receive an acquisition bonus of 80,000 points when you spend $5,000 during the first three months. You'll also earn three points per dollar spent on travel expenditures; shipping charges; payments for Internet, cable and phone services; and certain advertising purchases. Information: the 80,000 BONUS POINTS