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Miles and Points, Plagiarism

1. If you had any AirTran credits, by now they should have transferred to your Southwest account. If you never linked your Southwest profile, a new account was probably created. If you call Southwest, they should be able to merge them.

2. Citi Hilton Reserve Visa (non-affiliate offer) still comes with a $100 credit. The link is in my list of hotel points’ bonuses, since  it never expired. Always check the updated info before applying for credit cards or email me, so I can make sure you are getting the best offer.

3. If you have a certain type of iPhone, you may be able to easily collect 4,000 United miles by downloading Softcard app.

4. Some changes to ANA award chart are coming next April. Not a big deal for most families, except that 22,000 miles roundtrip award to Caribbean (on United metal) will be gone. Under the new chart North America, Alaska, Canada and Mexico will be in one zone, and roundtrip economy ticket will cost 25,000 miles, plus include 1 free stopover.

So, potentially, you will be able to tack on a free one-way from Alaska to your home airport, and fly to Cancun, all for 25K miles. Not bad. I will write a post on it when more  details are known.

5. All 4 versions of Chase Southwest credit card now come with 50,000 points sign-up bonus. The only one that pays me is the personal version with $99 annual fee and you can read more on it in bonuses page.  This is a good time to go for Companion pass, just make sure you hit your spending on personal and business cards in 2015. That way, you will get 2 full years of travel out of it. I have seen some reports of people being approved for 2 personal versions at one time, though YMMV

Several good offers from Chase have popped up recently: Chase British Airways Signature card with a waived first year  fee and now this Southwest bonus. You may be wondering which one to go with. As always, it depends on your goals. If you don’t have any plans for Rapid Rewards points or Avios (British Airways currency), get Chase IHG MasterCard. Oh, and it doesn’t pay me!

6. A minor correction: For some reason I thought US Bank Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card comes with $85 annual fee. It’s actually $75. Not a big deal, but still. It’s an amazing card,  pays me no commission, and you should consider applying for it at some point.

On my mind

Plagiarism is a serious accusation in the blogging world. It’s an issue I had the unfortunate privilege of dealing with. Imagine being  a brand new blogger, and out of the blue, you are accused of plagiarism. I don’t want to rehash the whole thing, and I don’t have any beef with the person who accused me.

My point is: It can easily happen to anyone when you least expect it. That’s why my view on plagiarism is this: Innocent until proven guilty. Of course, if someone blatantly copied my post word for word and presented it  as his/her own, I would have to say something. This industry is a bit tricky, because you may think you are copying a public announcement from rewards program, but end up inadvertently passing off someone’s hours of hard work as your own. That’s why when in doubt, it’s best to just link to the original post.

But most of the time, things are not quite so black and white. This is especially true for the “miles and points” hobby, where the number of blogs is probably approaching a million by now. Needless to say, I don’t read all of them. In fact, I can’t keep up with the major blogs. I can’t give credit if I haven’t read it. It rhymes!

We all cover the same deals. It’s inevitable that someone will repeat another blogger at some point. I try very hard to create original content, but it’s still based on the same news items and occasionally overlaps another blogger’s post. Competition is fierce, and everyone tries to cover as much as they can to beat another guy to the punch. Since I’m not a full-time blogger, I can only write in the evenings, so many times, the deal has been covered by the time I hit “publish.”

Another issue is the fact that some of my posts sit in the draft section because there are more pressing items I need to cover at the moment. It’s fresh content which I’m proud of, but by the time I get to putting it on my blog, someone has posted something very similar. The problem is: I’ve spent several hours working on my material. Should I just delete it? Plus, I don’t know if my readers saw another person’s post. So what I try to do is change it up a bit, and hat tip when appropriate.

Personally, I go out of my way to hat tip, but only if I found that info on that particular blog post. If I discovered the deal myself, I don’t feel obligated to give credit. Quite  a few times I felt that I deserved a hat tip, but didn’t get it. I won’t name names, of course, but you know who you are. I’ve noticed that small bloggers get shafted the most in this area.

The truth is, most of our info is found on Flyertalk. What bloggers do is put it in a more digestible form, making it easy to read and comprehend. Our work is journalistic in nature and based on the current events. That makes it  a challenge for someone like myself, writing at night, and hoping that no one accuses me of plagiarism in the morning.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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