Weekly Review: September 23, 2017

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I spent the past few days flying around the US on American to check out some of their new lounges, and starting this coming week my international travel dry spell is ending, as my fall of (more or less) nonstop international travel will kick off. I’m really excited about that.

On the points & travel front, this week news broke that China would be changing their policies on using smartphones inflight, Uber’s London license got revoked, airberlin’s topbonus program made a bit of a comeback, Amex cardmembers began getting access to Lufthansa lounges, and much more.

With that out of the way, here’s a recap of this week on the blog:

Featured Stories

Earning The Southwest Companion Pass: Timing & FAQs

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card are offering bonuses of up to 60,000 Rapid Rewards points upon completing minimum spend, and we now know that those increased offers will end in about a week.

Reader Fotobrad posted a question about how to time earning those 110k points in Ask Lucky:

I’ve read about applying for both SW cards AFTER Oct. 1st, but BEFORE the offers for the 60K end on Oct 4th, and also about applying now, and delaying my account closing day for a couple of weeks. I’m confused. I would like to earn the pass for ’18 AND ’19. When should I apply???

There’s already some great advice over in the forum, but I figured I’d address the question here as well, as this can be a bit tricky.


Great Ways To Redeem British Airways Avios Without Paying Huge Fees

The $95 annual fee British Airways Visa Signature® Card is offering a sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 bonus Avios, depending on how much you spend.

Regardless of whether you plan on just completing $3,000 of spend to earn the 50,000 Avios, or whether you put $20,000 of spend on the card (which is the equivalent of earning six Avios per dollar spent on non-bonused spend for your first $20,000), this is a great sign-up bonus. I even applied for the card a few months ago, and have earned 100,000 bonus Avios. Keep in mind that this card isn’t subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, meaning a lot of people should be eligible for the bonus.

One piece of feedback I often get from readers regarding Avios is “yeah that’s a lot of points, but Avios are worthless and can only be redeemed with high fees.” While I share the general frustration, in this post I wanted to look at some great ways to redeem British Airways Avios without huge fees.


Spend Money On The Amex Platinum Card? Here’s How To Earn More Points

I’m a big fan of both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. I have the former and Ford has the latter, so together we spend $1,000 in annual fees to hold onto the cards, and I find that to be quite worthwhile, given the perks the cards offer.

While I find these cards to be worthwhile for the perks, these aren’t cards I spend much on. There are very simple adjustments you can make to maximize your rewards and earn lots more Amex Membership Rewards points.


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TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

Earning The Southwest Companion Pass: Timing & FAQs
New Sign-Up Bonuses On The Two Amex Blue Cash Cards
Great Deal: Buy A $100 iTunes Gift Card For $85
Last Chance To Register For A 140% Bonus On Purchased LifeMiles
Up For Grabs: $10 Off Blacklane Car Service Rides
Earn 10,000 Amex Points For A $300+ Mr. Porter Purchase
Free “Inspired” Status With Small Luxury Hotels Of The World
Awesome Deal: Seated App Gives You $15-20 In Gift Cards Per Meal For Dining Out
The Two Credit Cards That I Consider To Be Too Generous
Air New Zealand Won’t Honor Cheap Business Class Fares
Hours Remaining For The Barclaycard 50K Sign-Up Bonus
Having Issues Registering For The LifeMiles OMAAT Promotion?
Is The New Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Worth It?
Spend Money On The Amex Platinum Card? Here’s How To Earn More Points
Why It’s Cheaper To Buy Allegiant Tickets At The Airport
Why I (Sort Of) Respect American’s Ridiculous Upcharge For Avoiding Basic Economy
ACT FAST: Amazing Air New Zealand Business Class Fares From Australia To The US
The Only Credit Card That Offers An Uncapped Free Night Every Year

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

Should You Convert Hotel Points Into Avios With A 35% Bonus?
How To Book A Free Doha Stopover Hotel When Flying Qatar Airways
Is The British Airways Companion Voucher Worth It?
You Can Now Redeem Hilton Honors Points For Amazon Purchases (But Please Don’t)
Why Hilton’s Points Pooling Feature Is So Awesome
Great Ways To Redeem British Airways Avios Without Paying Huge Fees

TRAVEL With Lucky

Is CLEAR Worth It?
My Experience Upgrading On Virgin America
Booked: Asiana Business Class & Sichuan Business Class
American Customer Service Really Is This Bad, Even For Executive Platinum Members

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Review: Four Points By Sheraton Chicago O’Hare Airport
Mini-Review: Virgin America First Class Los Angeles To Chicago
Introduction: LAX-ORD-JFK-LAX

NEWS & Updates

Aman Is Opening A Hotel In New York City, But I’m Skeptical
Ouch: Uber’s London License Has Been Revoked
Turkish Airlines Is Also Considering Ordering 40 Airbus A350s?!
Turkish Airlines Is Ordering 40 Boeing 787s
Why Is President Trump Thanking American’s CEO But Not Others?
Shocker: Global Ghana Airlines & Goldstar Air Are Misleading Consumers
Chase Refer-A-Friend Is Now Available Through The Mobile App
La Compagnie Orders Two Airbus A321neos
Delta’s Big 2018 Transatlantic Expansion
A Look at Crystal’s First 777 “Air Cruise” Itinerary
This Asiana Business Class Advertisement Is A Hilarious FAIL
You Can Now Request A Metal Amex Business Platinum Card
Will American Fly Three Cabin A321s Between Boston & Los Angeles?
Wizz Air Now Lets You Book Tickets For Anonymous Passengers
United’s Latest “Safety Is Global” Video
Jealous: A Sports Team Chartered The Crystal 777 To Take Them To China
Access Lufthansa Lounges With Amex Platinum & Centurion Cards
Airberlin’s Topbonus Program Is Making A Bizarre Comeback
Air Canada 737 MAX 8 Seatmaps Revealed
Philippine Airlines Considering Flights From Vancouver To Chicago & Houston
The Creative Way Lufthansa Is Taking Over Airberlin’s Routes To The Caribbean
FINALLY: China Is Lifting Their Ban On Using Smartphones In-Flight
Brussels Airlines: An Example Of A European Airline Successfully Adapting
British Airways Is Adding Flights To The Seychelles In 2018
The Sneakily Brilliant Way Allegiant Air Uses Your Internet Searches Against You
Garuda Indonesia’s Jakarta To London Flight Will Finally Fly Nonstop
Want To Fly First Class For Free? Don’t Do This!!!
The Easiest Way To Try Emirates’ A380 First Class Will Soon Be No More
An Emirates A380 Had A Dangerously Low Go-Around In Moscow
Amex Is Expanding The Centurion Lounge DFW In A Surprising Way
Korean Air Is Discontinuing Flights To Houston As Of Next Month
Emirates Is Closing Their JFK Airport Lounge For The Rest Of The Year
Why Most Longhaul Flights From Auckland Will Divert Over The Coming Days


I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

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