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1) New IHG PointBreaks list is up. If you like something, make sure to book it without delay.
2) According to Doctorofcredit, Cathay Pacific credit card has a new offer that comes with 35k miles after spending $2,500. The annual fee is waived. Personally, I think the expired 50k miles offer is better, even with $95 annual fee. But it does depend on your goals.
3) Capital One Venture Rewards card now earns 10 points per dollar on Hotels.com when you book and pay through a special link.
This isn’t a game changer for those who mostly use hotel points, but good news regardless. This card has been on our Hot Deals page ever since they increased the bonus to 50,000 points (good towards $500 off travel or $500 in gift cards). It does pay us commission if you want to support the site.
Unfortunately, getting approved for this card can be a challenge. That said, if you are relatively new to the hobby and don’t have a lot of recent inquiries, you should have a good shot. Is the bonus worth it? I would say so, unless you don’t like getting $500 off travel purchases. (hat tip TPG)
4) Things to keep in mind when canceling/product changing a Citi card by Milenomics. If you haven’t yet subscribed to that blog, you really should.
5) 2018 guide to the Singapore KrisFlyer program by TravelCodex. If you want to fly United to Hawaii, Singapore program (a partner) is definitely worth investigating. One-way tickets run at 12,000-17,500 miles, depending on where you originate. Keep in mind, low-level awards on United.com ( 22,500 miles) have to be available. If you have a United credit card, you get access to additional award space, and Singapore program won’t be able to see it.
6) Speaking of Hawaii, my reader Seth has shared his experience on dealing with Cathay Pacific program, and I hope it helps someone:
“We were looking at going to Hawaii around next Christmas and believe it or not we found the exact flights we wanted on AA! There are lots of AA haters, but I can’t complain between this and their generally good availability to NZ. In contrast, pickings were very slim with all of the other programs.
So I had this brilliant idea: use our stash of 100K newly acquired Cathay Pacific miles (from our Synchrony Bank cards) instead of AA – at least for one direction. The cost would be slightly higher (25K with Cathay vs. 20K-22.5K with American + 10% Citi rebate), but it would be great to cash them out immediately without having to worry about the Cathay miles expiring 3 years from now.
But then I hit a snag. The distance from NY to Kauai is a shade over 5K miles and therefore costs 40K Cathay miles each way (rather than 25K). Darn! Upon further investigation, it turns out that Maui and the Big Island are <5K miles (and therefore 25K) while Kauai and Oahu are >5K miles (and therefore 40K). Good info for next time.
When I call international partner airlines, I usually feed them specific flight segments, assuming they’re going to be incompetent/confused/not know about the partnership. In this case, I didn’t. I was curious to see what they’d find. And they saw exactly what I did on AA.com. There was no hold time and their English was really good.
That’s the good news. The bad news was that it was kind of difficult to get started with Cathay Pacific Miles. When I opened my credit card I was assigned an Asia Miles account number, and I had a really hard time accessing my account online. I’m not sure why there was a problem, but it took a number of calls to get it sorted.
From there I wanted to explore partner availability – to better understand if/how I’d be able to use these miles. You can’t search online, so I sent a request via their website form. I was disappointed that it took a few days for them to get back to me. But once I was communicating with a real person via email, I asked if they could send me a phone number so I could ask more detailed questions (e.g. holds, routings, mileage requirements, etc).
They sent me the following link, which did the trick:
What I wanted to relay is how easy it was to book award tickets with Cathay. Yes – it was a pain to get our accounts set up and to find an 800 number for award bookings (since you can’t book partners online). But once I had the number, agents answered quickly and were highly competent and helpful.”
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.