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Miles and Points Recap: 35% Bonus on Transfers to Avios (no SPG), New BoA Rules on Card Approvals, Fall Foliage and More

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) You can get a 35% bonus on conversions to Avios points from certain loyalty programs through October 31st. One notable exception: SPG. Unless you are topping off an account, the only option that makes sense when redeeming speculatively  is Marriott travel package:

Keep in mind, SPG points transfer to Marriott on 1:3 basis. It’s not a spectacular deal, but if you think you may need Avios and Marriott stays in a near future, it could be worth considering. True, Avios program has lost its luster when it comes to domestic AA flights, mainly due to lack of saver availability. Still, it can be a good deal under the right circumstances. 

2) DoC blog has a post on new (unofficial) Bank of America approval rules on credit cards. It looks like you won’t get approved for more than three BoA cards per year. This really isn’t a big deal, and not something most of you should worry about. It’s meant for Alaska Mileage Plan lovers who used to help themselves to as many as twelve Alaska co-branded cards per year. Yes, twelve! Unless you fall into this category, you are fine.

This sort of thing is definitely unsustainable in the long run, and I don’t blame BoA one bit. I don’t want to use the term “abuse” because the definition is often in the eye of the beholder. File this one in the category of “hogs getting slaughtered”, but not before flying in Emirates first-class via miles a few times. So “hogs” really have no reason to be upset.

3) Just a reminder that the increased offers on Hilton Amex Surpass and Southwest co-branded cards are set to expire on October 4th. As always, it doesn’t mean you should drop everything and apply for one of them right NOW. But do consider it if your plans match up.

4) Don’t forget to check Amex offers in your profile. Some decent ones I found: a discount on Five Guys (my husband is a fan!), Doubletree etc.

5) Redeem Singapore miles on Alaska Airlines at some amazingly low prices by Travelcodex. This is a new development, so some details are still not clear. See the award chart via this link  The best value (to me) lies in Alaska operated flights from Zone 2 to Hawaii, a route that costs 11.5k miles one way. I’m still a bit confused on whether Singapore will charge miles per segment, so that’s the main  unknown at this point.

I would say the biggest winners are folks who actively collect Citi Thank You points, and love to vacation in Hawaii. Up until now, the cheapest way to get to Hawaii was via Korean SkyPass program or Avios, and Citi  doesn’t partner with either one. I will have more on this development once the details become more clear.

6) The sign-up bonus on Amex Delta co-branded cards has been increased again. Find more info in my Hot Deals page. This happens on a semi-regualr basis, so I wouldn’t rush to apply just because. That said, if you value Delta miles, you may want to consider it.

7) 4 fabulous fall foliage Midwest road trips   One of the things I miss about my home country of Belarus is seeing beautiful leaf colors during fall months. In Florida, we are in a perpetual summer state, with not much variation between seasons.

8) I just wanted to share something with you, though it’s probably a bit corny. As many of you know, I take Zumba classes (mostly to keep myself physically active). Some of my instructors are originally from Puerto Rico and they are, hands down, the best dancers. There is something about that Latin blood!

Anyway, few days ago, one of them said she wanted to put on a song that is dear to her heart, and I figured it would probably be about Puerto Rico. Sure enough, it was. She was singing her heart out in Spanish, barely holding it together. I looked at another gal, who also has family in Puerto Rico, and she is dancing and crying. So I started crying. Music can sure do that to you. It doesn’t matter whether you are from Puerto Rico or Belarus, and whether you speak Spanish, English or Russian.

I think we see so many images of suffering, sometimes we become desensitized to it all. I know I’m guilty of that. But all of those people in the Caribbean are someone’s uncle, mother, daughter etc. We had a rough week here in Florida due to Irma, but it’s nothing compared to what folks in Puerto Rico, Dominica, St. Martin and other affected islands are going through as we speak. Let’s help them in whatever way we can.

Visiting beautiful El Yunque national park (Puerto Rico) with my daughter in 2009

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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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