This is a brief news recap from last week. For faster updates, follow Miles For Family on Twitter or check the feed on the right side of the blog.
1) New IHG Accelerate promo is up and you can register for it here The stay has to take place between September 1st and December 3rd. I’m on the fence as to whether I should pursue it or not. My husband’s offer was “weak sauce”, here is mine:
Basically, if you take out “5 nights” requirement and stay in NYC, I could earn 33,000 points bonus after two one-night stays at a Holiday Inn or its site brands. That’s not bad, but it’s not spectacular, especially when you take into account how expensive most of decent IHG properties have become over the last few years. I’ll have more on it on Monday, so stay tuned.
Regardless, I recommend you see what your offer is and go from there. If you are a new reader, I suggest you check out these two posts on things to be aware of if you decide to participate:
(Hat Tip Viewfromthewing)
2) There is a new promo from Wyndham program as well:More details here This is definitely a good deal if you can work it into your existing plans. Wyndham has some very nice properties that cost $250+ per night. So, if you stay overnight in two cheap Wyndham hotels, you can collect enough points to cover a one-night stay at a fancy place. I recommend you see this list of best Wyndham properties. Be aware, it’s a bit outdated at this point. If you plan to stay in expensive NYC in a near future, you should absolutely consider this deal. Also, check your Wyndham profile because you may have a targeted offer which will sweeten the deal further.
This promo could be worthy of a mattress run, aka checking in to hotel with no intention of actually spending the night. I’m probably going to pass on it, though, because I don’t live near any Wyndham hotels, and it just seems like too much trouble. Also, let’s say I get a hotel for $60 all-in. After two nights, I would still spend $120 for my “free” Wyndham night. It’s a good deal on some properties, but my goal is to travel as close to free as possible. I think I’ll reluctantly pass on this one. (Hat Tip OMAAT)
3) Speaking of Wyndham, Will at DoC has found a working link for 45k points offer on its co-branded credit card. Here it is It does seem to come out every few months, so I wouldn’t rush to apply unless you have solid plans for points.
4) If you live near Chase branch, definitely read about current promo for new checking and savings accounts. Bank accounts require some work, but the rewards are almost always worth it. You can never have too much cash, right?
5) On Monday I published a post on Asia Miles program and its new co-branded credit card. My reader DW made an interesting comment:
“I’ve read conflicting reports on how Cathay calculates the distance for 2 or more legs. The last article I read, I forget the blog, wrote that they use distance A -> C even though you are flying A->B->C. Going to confirm this when I get the time in a few days. If so, this would have huge value for me flying out of PDX.”
I’ve decided to investigate it further and found an online brochure that contains Asia Miles redemption rules. You can access it here
Interestingly, when you redeem miles on just one Cathay partner (as in ONLY American or Alaska Airlines), you don’t have to add up all the segments individually. The rules, however, are different for multi-carrier award. This is significant, and here is why. Let’s say you want to fly from New York to Rio de Janeiro and have to connect in Miami. When you add up the mileage for individual segments, it bumps you into Zone D, which requires 60k miles roundtrip.
However, if you check Asia Miles calculator, it shows a price of 45k miles. That’s because the distance between JFK and GIG airports (straight line) is 4,787 miles, which falls into Zone C. And you can even add a stopover in Miami at no cost.
Neat, huh? I’m not sure how this will work in practice, but the rules in the brochure are pretty clear. If you need to fly to South America and have some flexibility in your schedule, Asia Miles program may be the best deal out there.
6) Nancy shared a Facebook comment on her Wednesday post from someone who used to travel on Amtrak in the olden days (aka 23 years ago). This person really should write a book about her Amtrak adventures. Enjoy!
“I’ve done two cross country train trips on Amtrak, and swore never again! It was in college (1993/1994) and in coach, from College Station, TX to Omaha, NE (through Chicago) and from TX to Rochester, NY – 36 hours and 48 hours.
I could write a book about those trips – from the seven hour “layover” in the middle of nowhere when a woman died in the bathroom, Federal Agents storming the train in Dallas and arresting my seat mate I’d been chatting with for 24 hours (he pulled a gun and tried to run), to the mentally ill woman who decided that all of the black people on the train were trying to kill her. She would scream “This is my stop!” every hour or so and attempt to open the door, causing the train to stop. They finally locked her up in the handicapped accessible area downstairs.
Oh, and the old man who was wearing overalls and nothing else who kept opening them and trying to convince me to get off the train and come home with him. (Other passengers had to intervene, and then he was arrested when we got to Texas … )
I learned two things: train depots are rarely in a safe area of town, and some very dodgy people frequent the trains, with zero checks and security (at least back then.)”
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.