Best Credit Cards

Miles and Points, Merrie Monarch

1. There is a new non-affiliate offer for Blue Cash Preferred from American Express It comes with $200 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in 3 months. Annual fee is NOT waived. This is better than my link, though, check CardMatch tool first. You may get an offer of $250. (h/t Doctorofcredit)

2. According to Deals We Like blog, US Airways MasterCard may no longer be available to new applicants after March 31st, if not sooner. I have my personal referral link in the page “Best credit card deals for family,” or feel free to apply on US Airways website. Either way, I do recommend you get it before it’s too late.

I also got this email from Barclay’s about conversion of my card:

As part of the integration of US Airways and American Airlines, your current
US Airways Dividend Miles® MasterCard® will be replaced with an AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard®.¹ Your new card will arrive between April 1 and July 15, 2015. Until your new AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard® arrives, please continue to use your current US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard.” 

The benefit I look forward to the most is the ability to get 10% of redeemed miles back.

3. I’ve mentioned this offer last August, and it looks like TD Easy RewardsSM Credit Card once again comes with $200 sign-up bonus through March 31st. You have to spend $500 within 90 days in order to get it. You’ll also receive 5% cash back at supermarkets, gas stations and on dining, cable, phone and utility bills for 6 months..

This is a good deal for those looking for a decent cash back sign-up bonus, as well as those who are into MS. Don’t overdo it with the gift cards, since there are reports of TD bank freezing accounts for abuse.

The caveat: It’s only available to those who have a banking relationship with TD Bank, and reside in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C.

This offer pays me referral. (h/t Doctorofcredit)

4. Get up to 5,000 IHG points when joining their dining program. That’s enough for 1 night at a PointBreaks hotel! (h/t Millionmilesecrets)

5. Discover It Miles card now pays me referral. I’ve written about it in my Monday’s post in case you haven’t heard about the offer. Personally, I will pass on it since there is no sign-up bonus, but it could be of interest to some.

6. Get free 1,000 Club Carlson points after registering your Twitter account for their new promo. Details here (h/t Mommypoints)

7A monster (of kosher variety) post on Dansdeals on all the ways to get to Hawaii via various airline programs.

On my mind

If you’ve ever been to the islands of Hawaii, you might be familiar  with Merrie Monarch festival that takes place in Hilo, Big Island. This year, it’s set to begin on April 5th and end on April 11th. It’s a huge event that includes hula competition and other festivities. Many Hawaiians  fly in, and the area gets packed for several days.

About 12 years ago, we booked award tickets to Maui and wanted to do  a day trip to one of the  other islands. But which one? Through my research, I’ve discovered that we would be on Maui while the Merrie Monarch festival was taking place in Hilo. Naturally, I wanted to go. But I also wanted to visit Kauai. Which one to choose? Well, if it was up to me, we would have done both, but my husband wouldn’t even consider it.

So, I decided to go with whatever itinerary had the most convenient flights, and Kauai day trip won. We  ended up taking a private plane tour of the island. Why not helicopter? Plane was cheaper and safer. CIMG0817 But mostly, because it was cheaper.

CIMG0831

View from the wing.

We actually liked it so much that we came back to Kauai several years later for a weeklong vacation. But we never made it to the Merrie Monarch festival. It only happens on certain dates, and planning is a bit tricky, especially now that we’ve got kids and have to fit it around spring break dates.

I look back and wish we would have just suffered through the slightly inconvenient schedule in order to see this important cultural celebration.  I recommend you also make an extra effort to attend special events in the area you vacation in.

Well, assuming you want to go, of course. There is nothing wrong with doing nothing on your vacation! I’m not a “culture police” guilting people into stuff they have no desire to do. And no, I’m not suggesting you fly to Hilo from Maui for few hours with your small kids.

But if something looks appealing and locals rave about it, just go. Spend the extra money, you never know if you’ll be back to that area.

P.S. If you are crazy enough to do a day trip and plan to be in Hawaii around that time, you can redeem AAdvantage miles on Hawaiian Airlines for only 5K one-way. I checked, and some days still have availability, and you won’t pay a close-in booking fee if you do it now. Go for it, so I can live vicariously through your adventures!

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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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4 thoughts on “Miles and Points, Merrie Monarch

  1. Hello. I have a question for your about the US Airways card.
    With the pending merge with AA, I applied to this card at the beginning of the year and already got the miles on my US Airways account. Since it will be turned into an Aviator card wouldn’t it be better to cancel it before that happens so you can get another bonus with the Aviator one? What is your take on it? Thank you in advance.

    • Sebastian, from what I’ve understood, it’s only possible to convert to Aviator card. It won’t be offered to new applicants, so you are not foregoing a sign-up bonus. Barclay’s made an agreement to let existing US Airways card owners to keep earning AAdvantage miles.
      You may, however, want to consider applying for Citi AAdvantage card. I have a non-affiliate link in my page of bonuses. The reason: Once US Airways card is no longer available for new applications (looks like April 14th), the pressure will be off Citi.
      So it’s possible that the sign-up bonus will decrease as well. Right now, the banks are competing like crazy to get as many new customers as possible, since both will be earning AAdvantage miles.

      • Got you. So it may be better to keep it at least until the annual fee is due.
        I applied for the Citi Business Platinum Select AAdvantage (Mastercard) in 1/31/15.
        And I previously applied for the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage (Mastercard) in 1/25/14.
        What is the minimum you have to wait to reapply for these Citi cards?
        Any other suggestion? Thank you for your great advice.

      • Sebastian, no problem, I’m happy to help! The new Citi rule states that the card needs to be closed for at least 18 months before you are eligible for the same bonus. So my advice is to keep track of dates of closure. Obviously, closing it so soon after opening may raise a red flag, so I recommend you wait a bit. As far as other cards to recommend, it really depends. Take a look at my page “Best credit card deals for family” and see if anything looks appealing. It depends on how much minimum spend you can handle as well as your goals. Email me or comment if you have any further questions.

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