We’re back with another edition of “News & Notes” today, with 5 more items that we hope you’ll find interesting:
1. Hyatt Worldwide Promotion
Hyatt announced a new worldwide bonus points promotion yesterday, which will run from September 15 through December 15, 2019. In short, earn triple points at Hyatt Place hotels, and double points at all other Hyatt hotels (including MLife and SLH properties), beginning with your second eligible stay during the promo period. We’ll be back with a full review article about this new promotion soon. In the meantime, if you want to learn more and register, head to the landing/registration page for the promotion here:
- World of Hyatt: Earn up to Triple Points with Bonus Journeys
2. How We’re Using the AAdvantage eShopping Promotion
Yesterday in “News & Notes,” we wrote about a new AAdvantage eShopping promotion – earn up to 2,000 bonus AA miles if you make 4 separate purchases of $75 or more through the AAdvantage shopping portal between now and September 16.
We strategized a bit about how to best use this promotion, and here’s what we’re going to do: We need additional spend on our Barclays AA co-branded cards in order to earn EQDs to re-qualify for Executive Platinum status. So, we’re going to use these cards to pay for $500 GCs from GiftCards.com (either Visa GCs or Mastercard GCs).
Quick math, each GC will cost $508.94 including purchase and shipping fees. Liquidation will cost us $9.81, assuming 2% online liquidation through Bravo (some will do better, but this is quick-and-easy for us). This brings the total cost to $18.75. We’ll earn 1,516 AA miles (507 through AA eShopping at 1x mile/dollar + 500 bonus AA miles + 509 on our credit card).
Bottom line, we’ll be effectively “buying” AA miles at 1.237 cents per mile. That’s right in line with our baseline value of 1.25 cents per AA mile. In essence, we’ll be “purchasing” about 6,000 AA miles each at a “fair” rate, while generating about $2,000 to close in on our big-spend thresholds to earn the bonus EQDs on our credit cards. It’s not a spectacular deal, but it’s a relatively painless way to get us closer to our big-spend bonuses.
Another way to look at it is that if you assume that our “cost” of generating $2,000 spend in a different way would be around 2%, then we’re each getting about $40 worth of “benefit” to doing this deal in addition to “purchasing” the miles.
Stephen Pepper of Frequent Miler/GC Galore posited a different approach – “maximize” the deal in percentage terms by purchasing a $75 GC. We might even suggest buying a $73 GC, since the purchase fee would be $1 less and in our experience the purchase fee “counts” for earning AA miles through the AA eShopping portal. Here’s a link to Stephen’s article:
- Frequent Miler: American Airlines Shopping Portal Bonus: Spend $75+ & Get 500 Bonus Miles (Limit 4) (Sept. 10, 2019)
3. LifeMiles Sale & Redemption Promos [Targeted?]
LifeMiles runs regular sales on its miles, and we’re seeing another one today. We received an email from LifeMiles this morning advertising an “additional bonus” of up to 130% on purchases of LifeMiles. The promotion is good for purchasing up to 200,000 LifeMiles, which would give you a total of 460,000 after the bonus is applied. We’ve posted the full chart above.
Purchasing LifeMiles with a 130% bonus brings the cost down to 1.43 cents per mile. If you have a specific immediate use in mind, that could represent good value. That said, we have our concerns about the financial stability of Aviance and LifeMiles these days, and we certainly wouldn’t purchase the miles speculatively. In addition, this isn’t a best-in-class promotion for LifeMiles, as there have recently been opportunities to buy miles with a bonus as high as 145%.
If you do purchase LifeMiles, remember that the purchase will code as airfare, which can bring the effective cost down even lower. Be sure to use a credit card that maximizes your return for airfare purchases, such as the 5x airfare category bonus on the Amex Platinum personal card or the Citi Prestige card.
We also noticed that our email contained a link to some discounted Star Alliance flights using LifeMiles. The promotion allows you to redeem LifeMiles on certain specified flight routes at a discount of “up to 31%” for flights from September 10 through October 18, 2019 (although most of the discounts are in the 10% range). If you’re interested in this LifeMiles redemption promotion, you can check out the details here:
4. An American in Syria
Our friend Stefan at Rapid Travel Chai is on a quest to visit every country in the world. Needless to say, Syria has been a bit of a challenge for Americans to visit of late. Tensions and travel restrictions are now easing, though, which allowed Stefan to visit a couple of weeks ago. His report on his experience of traveling to Syria is fascinating:
- Rapid Travel Chai: Syria Travel for US Citizens [August 2019 Update] (Sept. 5, 2019)
5. 1% Promo at Plastiq for Some
Plastiq has had a series of promotions over the past few weeks offering discounted fees on payments of 1.5% or 1%. It seems they’ve been targeting different people with different rounds of promotions. We’ve received some of these promotions ourselves and taken advantage of them.
Doctor of Credit reports that Plastiq has issued a new round of targeted offers for payments with a 1% fee:
- Doctor of Credit: [Targeted] Plastiq: Pay 1% Fee on up to Three Payments (Sept. 9, 2019)
Our accounts don’t seem to be targeted this time, but hopefully some of our readers can benefit from this new round of offers!
We hope you’re enjoying our new “News & Notes” series. We’ll plan to keep the news coming – and hopefully with this format we can provide you with more helpful tips and information than ever before!
If you have any additional insight or details on any of these topics, please let us know in the Comments! Thank you!
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