Weekly Review: October 22, 2016

I’m spending about a week in the US recovering between two big trips. I just got back from Laos and Cambodia, and soon Tiffany and I will be headed to Serbia and Azerbaijan on some unique airlines, which should be fun.

hanoi

On the miles & points front, we’ve continued to see credit cards get more and more competitive, both in terms of sign-up bonuses and return on spend. I’m also working on catching up on some trip reports, given the speed at which I’ve been taking international trips lately.

Here’s a recap of this week’s news:

Featured Stories

WOW: Amex Is Offering 2x Points At Small Businesses For The Rest Of 2016

amex-cards

Historically American Express has championed Small Business Saturday, where they try to encourage people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

In past years they’ve given cardmembers an incentive to do so. Unfortunately they didn’t last year, and while we know Small Business Saturday is returning this year, we don’t know if they’ll offer cardmembers any rewards for participating.

However, Amex has just announced a huge promotion encouraging people to shop at small businesses for the rest of the year.


My First Impression Of Aman Resorts

amantakaOver the past year and change, Ben has instilled in me a new level of appreciation for value and how to maximize it. Ben knows a good value, and it’s the reason he is able to travel so often and so well.

He has to some degree deterred my love of the Caribbean and a few particular resorts on the Mediterranean, citing high prices, mediocre service, and, most importantly, bad value. However, Ben isn’t cheap, and he is willing to shell out for peak experiences, especially ones that he deems worth it.

When we first met, we of course talked about where I had traveled, and he asked if I had ever been to an Aman. “An Aman?” I asked. I had heard of Aman but didn’t know much more than the name… In my defense, Amans are truly bespoke luxury and off the beaten path.


Introduction: Flying China’s Other 5-Star Airline

In late July, Xiamen Air announced that they’d launch flights between Seattle and Shenzhen (with connecting service to Xiamen) as of this September. This represented Xiamen Air’s first flight between the US and China, and only their second route between North America and China (they also fly from Vancouver to Xiamen).

I was keen to try Xiamen Air’s new route out of Seattle, to see where they fall on the spectrum of Chinese carriers. I figured it would be especially useful since Xiamen Air belongs to SkyTeam, so they’re a great airline for earning and redeeming SkyTeam miles (in my case, I decided to earn Korean Air SkyPass miles for my ticket).


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TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

The Best Garuda Indonesia First Class Roundtrip Fare I’ve Ever Seen
American Offering Bonus Miles For Travel To Australia & New Zealand
Pay For Your SPG Stays With An Amex And Earn 5,000 Bonus Starpoints
Pick Up Two Free Fairmont Room Upgrade Vouchers
My Thoughts On The Newest Lucrative Business Credit Card
Earn Up To 10% Cash Back At Amazon With New Amex Sign-Up Bonus
1,000 Free Aeroplan Miles In Less Than A Minute
Ranking Amex Small Business Card Sign-Up Bonuses
The SPG Business Amex Card’s Sign-Up Bonus Changes Tomorrow
Great Deal: Book Now To Get 30% Off JetBlue Flights
Virgin America Offering Double Points & Status Credits For First Class Bookings
Citi Prestige’s Fourth Night Free Is Still My Single Favorite Credit Card Perk
Which Amex Card Should You Now Use At Small Businesses?
Why This Is A Great Time To Status Match To Alaska Mileage Plan
Transfer Marriott Points To United With Up To A 25% Bonus
WOW: Amex Is Offering 2x Points At Small Businesses For The Rest Of 2016
Great Deal: Marriott Offering A 20% Bonus On Points Transfers To American

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

Beware The Phantom Award Space Menace
Cheap Business Class Tickets & The Amex Business Platinum 50% Off Benefit
Non Preoccuparti! The Best Use Of Alitalia Miles Hasn’t Changed
Why You Shouldn’t Transfer Citi ThankYou Points To JetBlue

TRAVEL With Lucky

Ukraine Airlines’ Buy On Board Food Menu Is The Funniest Thing You’ll See Today
Why You Should Think Twice Before Upgrading Your Flight With Optiontown
My First Impression Of Aman Resorts
My Thoughts On Visiting Luang Prabang, Laos
The Puzzling Process Of Paying To Upgrade On Vietnam Airlines

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

First Look: Delta’s Gorgeous New SkyClub At SeaTac Airport
ANA 777 First Class In 10 Pictures
Review: The Club At SEA Seattle Airport
Review: Norwegian Premium Class 787-9 London To Fort Lauderdale
Introduction: Flying China’s Other 5-Star Airline
Review: Four Points By Sheraton Seattle Airport South
ANA 787 Business Class In 10 Pictures
Review: United First Class 777 London To Los Angeles
Review: United Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: Sofitel London Heathrow Terminal 5

NEWS & Updates

Uh Oh: Turkish Airlines CEO Resigns… Good Luck To His Replacement!
Star Alliance Abandons Siem Reap
Does RwandAir Have Africa’s Best Business Class?
American Basic Economy Fares Are Coming In January 2017
Xiamen Air Wants To Fly Between Los Angeles and Xiamen
More Amex Platinum Card Changes Are Coming Over The Next Year
Iberia Is Introducing Premium Economy On Longhaul Flights
British Airways Will Link New Orleans And London In 2017
The New Business Travel Tool Is Here, But Is It Any Good?
Delta’s New Uniforms Are… Purple!
Marriott & SPG Credit Cards Add Reciprocal Points Earning Opportunities
Etihad Reduces San Francisco And Boosts Dallas
Will The DOJ Force Alaska To Cut Ties With American Or Delta?
Air India Now Operates The World’s Longest Routing (Sort Of)


I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

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