Miles and Points Recap: Merril Visa, Best Fairmont Hotels, New IHG PointBreaks List, Hilton Program Changes and More

This is a news recap from last week, tailored to regular families. For faster updates, follow Miles For Family on Twitter or check the feed on the right side of the blog.

1) Redeeming Merrill points: A Guide This is an excellent post for those of you who got Merrill + card. I consider it a smoking hot sign-up bonus, so you should definitely consider pulling the trigger. There have been several reports of people getting the bonus without issues, even though they don’t have Merrill Lynch account. Here is a working non-affiliate link for the card.

2) I know a few of my readers got Fairmont card before it was killed, so you may want to read this post Optimal Strategy: Best Fairmont Hotels to Use Free Night Certificates  Nice analysis and breakdown by season. As always, go where you want to go, not where the property is the most expensive. Still, it’s nice to see this type of analysis if you are looking for inspiration. (Thanks to Doctorofcredit for bringing this post to my attention!)

3) New IHG PointBreaks list is now live. Unfortunately, it looks like most of the properties I’ve highlighted have already dropped off the list. Nope, not my fault, I’m just a messenger, y’all! Besides, mine is a little blog. The opposite of yuuge.

4) The public application links on Chase United credit card (personal and business) now come with 50,000 miles bonus (instead of standard 30,000 miles). Personal version does pay us commission (see this post for details). Of course, there are usually better targeted links available if you try to make a dummy reservation on or  log into your Mileage Plus account. But this is the highest publicly available offer at the moment.

5) Hilton program is about to implement some major changes at the end of February, read about them in my yesterday’s post.

6) Last call for 3-nights’ sign-up bonus on Chase Ritz-Carlton card. The application link still works for now, but could die at any moment. Apply here  (non-affiliate link) Read my post on this card first, though. (hat tip to DoC)

7) Reduced mileage awards list on American Airlines. Available only to those with certain co-branded AAdvantage cards. (hat tip TPG)

8) New list of Air France Flying Blue promo awards, valid for April 1st-May 31st, 2017 travel period. Some decent deals for those who live in Detroit and Boston. Remember, fuel surcharges for flights originating in US are fairly mild.

9) 10 Amazing Spring Break Destinations in California for Families by Tripswithtykes. I’m looking forward to exploring California next year, so I’m bookmarking this post.

10) Just wanted to include a quick plug for our new and improved Miles for Family Facebook page. Please, “Like” the page and share it with your friends. Thanks in advance!

11) I wanted to share one last update on my GoFundMe campaign. Thanks to my readers, we’ve raised over $600!!! I went ahead and forwarded all the money to the family. I was going to include a screenshot of the transfer, but decided to leave it out. If anyone wants to see it, let me know and I’ll email it to you.

Thank you again, I’m extremely grateful for your generosity! The mother of the girl wanted me to thank you as well. I’ll keep the GoFund me page active and will post updates there from now on, and will forward any additional money that may be donated.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Click here to view various credit cards and available sign-up bonuses


Author: Leana

Leana is the 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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