15,000 Bonus US Airways Miles for Spending $1,500

Loyal reader Drew sent along an amazing targeted offer he received to continue spending on his US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®.

If he spends $500 per month on his card in August, September, and October, he’ll get 15,000 bonus miles!

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That means for a total of $1,500 in spending, he will earn 16,500 miles, which is 11 US Airways miles per dollar!

The email came to Drew with the subject “Earn 15,000 miles with your card!” Check your email for a similar offer if you have a US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®.

Most of us got the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® for its 40,000 bonus miles with no minimum spending requirement. Check out all the places you can go with just that sign up bonus.

Barclaycard seems to recognize that fact and offers frequent promotions to encourage us to get in the habit of regular spending on the card. These offers are targeted, but it seems like everyone eventually gets targeted for one or more:

  • Earn 20% bonus miles (1.2 miles per dollar) on all purchases between July 1 and August 31, 2014.
  • Earn 2x-10x US Airways miles in select categories from January 1 – March 31, 2014. I was offered 5x in grocery stores, movie theaters, and utility bills.
  • Frequent offers to spend $750 per month for three consecutive months and earn 15,000 bonus miles. (The same offer Drew got, but Drew’s spending requirement is smaller.)

It looks like Barclaycard is pulling out all the stops to keep people engaged with the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®, which will only be open to new customers until the US Airways and American Airlines loyalty programs combine early next year. Don’t miss out on getting the card and its 40,000 bonus miles.

  • Should Drew take advantage of his bonus offer?
  • How can you get targeted for the same offer?

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Free Giveaway Friday: Pair of United Club Passes Exp. Oct. 2015

Generous email subscriber Donn donated a pair of United Club passes that expire October 31, 2015 to one MileValue reader.

Here are the United Club locations to check whether you’ll be able to use a pass on your next trip.

If you can use the passes by October 31, 2015, there are two ways to enter to win them!

  1. Comment on this post. (Are you one of the people who receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts? Click the post title in the email and comment on the blog instead of replying to the email.)
  2. Retweet this tweet:

You can enter both ways.

I’ll pick a winner on Monday, email the winner, and send the passes out to the winner.

Best of luck!

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LifeMiles Devalues Its Award Chart Effective October 15th

A few days ago, LifeMiles joined United and Delta in announcing an award chart devaluation, which will take place on October 15, 2014.

Bookings made until October 14, for travel until mid-2015 will cost the current mileage prices. Bookings made October 15 or later will cost more miles.

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While not as catastrophic as United’s February 1 devaluation, this devaluation is still not good news and significantly impacts the value of what had been one of the best award charts in the world.

LifeMiles have historically been an extremely useful mileage currency for two main reasons:

  1. the miles could be bought cheaply
  2. the award chart had several sweet spots compared to other Star Alliance carriers

The upcoming award chart changes erode much of LifeMiles’ value, but in the brave new world of other award chart devaluations, there are still a few bright spots on the LifeMiles chart.

A few months ago I talked about how to earn 1.52 LifeMiles per dollar on all purchases. If you have been racking up Arrival miles with plans to convert them to LifeMiles, read on to see if you are at risk of losing major value on October 15.

  • What changes did LifeMiles make on its new chart?
  • What flights can be booked with LifeMiles?
  • When is buying LifeMiles still a good idea?

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Free First Class 2014: United MileagePlus Basics

This is the fourteenth post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flyer miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

I’ve covered how to earn miles and the redemption options for miles. Now I’m giving the basics on several major airline programs where you can quickly collect miles for amazing trips. Today: the United MileagePlus program.

Why Collect United Miles?

United miles are easy to collect in bunches. There are big sign up bonuses available on a half dozen cards that earn United miles or Ultimate Rewards, which can be transferred to United miles. When the miles are so easy to earn, it makes fancy trips or family trips easier to book.

United is part of the biggest and best alliance–the Star Alliance–with the most award space. I find better award space on United’s partners to most parts of the world than I do on any other airline alliance.

United never collects fuel surcharges on awards. The ability to book flights on all of the Star Alliance without fuel surcharges is incredible. Delta, US Airways, and American Airlines–United’s three major award program competitors–all collect fuel surcharges on some awards.

  • What airlines can you fly with United miles?
  • What are the routing rules for United awards (stopovers, open jaws, free one ways)?
  • What are the special features of the MileagePlus program?
  • How can you book a United award?

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Save Singapore Miles with Hidden City Ticketing

Singapore Airlines’ award chart has some phenomenal sweet spots, which I’ve covered extensively:

Yesterday I published comparison tables of United’s award chart for United flights versus Singapore’s award chart for United flights.

While compiling those charts, I saw that Singapore has an incredible sweet spot from the United States to the Middle East. Look at these prices (economy/business/first one way):

  • Singapore charges 27.5k/65k/85k to Europe
  • Singapore charges 37.5k/57.5k/75k to the Middle East
  • United charges 30k/57.5k/80k to Europe
  • United charges 42.5k/70k/90k to the Middle East

In case you need to brush up on your geography, the Middle East is quite a bit farther away than Europe, but Singapore charges fewer miles for a Business Class or First Class award to the Middle East than to Europe.

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United flies to four destinations in the Middle East:

  • Washington-Dulles to Dubai to Doha
  • Washington-Dulles to Kuwait to Bahrain

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We can use the Singapore sweet spot to book United’s Middle East flights cheaply in Business Class or First Class or to save miles on awards between the United States and Europe.

Singapore miles are extremely easy to get since you can transfer all of the major transferable points to Singapore KrisFlyer miles, and Singapore doesn’t collect fuel surcharges on United flights.

The major transferable points are:

How do you book Singapore awards?
What are the out-of-pocket costs?
How can you use the cheap award price to the Middle East to save miles to Europe?
How can you add a one way in United First Class to Hawaii onto this award for only 2,500 miles?

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Free First Class 2014: American Airlines AAdvantage Basics

This is the thirteenth post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flyer miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

I’ve covered how to earn miles and the redemption options for miles. Now I want to give the basics on several major airline programs where you can quickly collect miles for amazing trips. I’ll start with the American Airlines AAdvantage program.

Why Collect American Airlines Miles?

American Airlines miles are the best miles for ultra-luxury redemptions like Cathay Pacific First Class, Etihad First Class, or Qantas First Class.

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Cathay Pacific First Class booked with American Airlines miles

American Airlines has very cheap off peak awards. If you are willing to go to Europe in the fall, winter, or spring in economy, you can pay only 20,000 miles each way. There are also great off peak economy awards to Japan, Korea, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

American Airlines (and US Airways, which have merged legally but will maintain separate loyalty programs and award charts until early 2015,) has not devalued its award charts for years. United and Delta greatly increased the miles price of premium cabin awards in 2014, but at least for bookings through late 2015, you can lock in American Airlines’ very low prices for business and first class awards, compared to its American competitors.

  • What airlines can you fly with American Airlines miles?
  • What are the routing rules for American Airlines awards (stopovers, open jaws, free one ways)?
  • What are the special features of the AAdvantage program (off peak awards)?
  • How can you book an American Airlines award?

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Save 1,000s of Miles Booking United Flights with Singapore Miles

I’ve created comparison charts of how many mile a certain award costs with United MileagePlus miles versus the same award with Singapore KrisFlyer miles. Why?

  • Singapore Airlines miles can be used to book all the same Saver award space that United releases to its non-elite members without any fuel surcharges. That makes it a relevant comparison.
  • For many routes, the Singapore KrisFlyer program charges fewer miles to book a United flight than United charges to book the same flight. That makes it a profitable comparison.
  • Singapore miles are extremely easy to get since you can transfer all of the major transferable points to Singapore KrisFlyer miles. That makes it a useful comparison.

The major transferable points are:

I’ve compiled three charts to show whether Singapore miles or United miles are cheaper to any given destination that United serves in economy, business, and first class.

  • For which destinations are United miles cheaper?
  • For which destinations are Singapore miles cheaper?
  • What about fuel surcharges?

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IHG Rewards PointBreaks List Means $35 Hotels Until 9/30/14

There are several posts on the new PointBreaks list, which allows us to book hotel rooms through September 30, 2014 for $35 per night.

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Stay at the InterContinental Panama for $35

Even if you’ve read those, read this. I’ve honed my strategy for getting $35 or less per night rooms quite a bit, and I want to share it, so everyone can have access to the best practices.

Plus I’ve stayed in PointBreaks hotels several times in the last two years, so I want to say a word on their quality.

This post will tell you how to book any hotel on the list of IHG Reward Club’s PointBreaks hotels for at most $35 per night, even the ones that ordinarily cost $200 or more per night like InterContinental hotels.

  • What’s my strategy to make the most of PointBreaks?
  • What are the top properties on the newest PointBreaks list?
  • What change to PointBreaks rules has changed my booking strategy?
  • How can but IHG Rewards points 16% cheaper for a limited time?

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Gold Mine First Class Award Space from United States to Asia

There is excellent award space in Japan Airlines First Class between San Francisco and Tokyo for most of the next 11 months. This is space you can cheaply book with American Airlines or US Airways miles, and you can use the space wherever you live in the United States to access anywhere in Asia.

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Starting December 1, 2014, Japan Airlines (JAL) is changing the aircraft on its San Francisco to Tokyo-Haneda route to a 777-300ER, which features a fully flat Business Class bed and eight enclosed suites in First Class.

Award space is wide open on the route in First Class, with many days from December 1, 2014 through late June 2015 showing two available award seats in First Class.

  • What is the award space picture?
  • What are the connection options in San Francisco and at Haneda?
  • How many miles will awards cost with US Airways, American Airlines, and British Airways miles?
  • How does the JAL Suite look?

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Free First Class 2014: Airline Hubs, Alliances, and Search Engines

This is the twelfth post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flyer miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

You can always book awards using one airline’s miles on its own flights or on that airline’s alliance partners.

Below is a list of each alliances’ members and those members’ hubs and codes. Knowing these lists or at least where to find them will make you a much savvier flyer.

Carriers are in alphabetical order except American carriers are listed first. Each entry includes the airlines name and its hubs.

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US Airways Losing Two Key Partners This Week (BOOK NOW)

Three months ago I wrote that US Airways would be losing five of its Star Alliance partners over the course of 2014. The final two of those five bite the dust this Thursday!

July 31, 2014 is the last day to use US Airways miles to book Turkish Airlines and Singapore Airlines flights.

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Turkish has seven routes from the United States to Istanbul

Note that the flights need only be booked by July 31. You can book US Airways awards up to about 335 days in advance. That means you can fly US Airways awards containing Turkish or Singapore flights until about July 1, 2015.

Many of us are loaded up with US Airways miles because The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® is currently offering 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase. Check out all the places you can go with just the card’s sign up bonus.

Now is a great time to use US Airways miles on Turkish’s six routes from the United States to Europe or Singapore’s flights to and within Asia.

  • What are the current restrictions on booking Turkish and Singapore flights with US Airways miles?
  • What if you want to change your US Airways award that has Turkish or Singapore flights later?
  • How is Turkish and Singapore award space?

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Free First Class 2014: Airline Mile Redemption Basics

This is the eleventh post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flyer miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

The beginners posts on redeeming miles and points are done. The series moves to the more important, and more interesting, question of redeeming miles and points.

I think earning miles is less interesting because it is relatively easy to open the credit cards with the best sign up bonuses and meet their spending requirements. Plus I offer a free service telling you which cards are best to open for your trip goals.

Redeeming miles and points offers so many interesting choices and actually turns your dream trip into a plane ticket or hotel stay. (Of course, you can skip all the posts on redeeming miles and outsource the work to my Award Booking Service for $125 per person.)

I’ve never put in one places all the options for redeeming miles and points, so that beginners can understand where there miles and points can take them.

  • How do you hotel redemptions work?
  • Why do I always plan hotels last when booking a trip with points?
  • What cabins can you book with frequent flyer miles?
  • Why are some miles way better for domestic trips and some way better for international trips?
  • Should you use your miles for awards or upgrades? What’s the difference?
  • What else besides flights can you redeem miles for?
  • What are stopovers, open jaws, and free one ways?

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Southwest 40% Bonus on Purchased Points, Worth It?

Until July 31, 2014, you get a 40% bonus when purchasing Southwest Rapid Rewards points.

You can buy points here and the bonus is automatically coded into the purchase.

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With the 40% bonus, the all in price is 1.96 cents per point, and you can buy in increments of 1,400 points.

  • Is buying Southwest Rapid Rewards for 1.96 cents each a good deal?

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Free Giveaway Friday: 75 Award Wallet Upgrade Codes

50 new codes at 7:20 PM ET

I’m going to give away 75 six-month upgrade codes to Award Wallet Plus today.

I use Award Wallet to track all my airline mile, hotel point, and credit card point balances; my loyalty program passwords; and any extras (like companion passes and free night certificates) in one place. Here’s an Award Wallet tutorial I wrote.

Award Wallet Plus is better than the free version in these ways:

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I get free upgrade codes for referring people to Award Wallet, so if you haven’t joined click this link to join: awardwallet.com.

I may update the codes later in the day, so follow me on Twitter where I always announce new codes.

Click Continue Reading for the 75 Free Upgrade Codes

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Free First Class 2014: Don’t Let Your Miles Expire

This is the tenth post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flyer miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

The section of the beginners’ guide on earning miles is over, but before I turn to redeeming miles, I want to discuss something crucial that a lot of people muck up:

Don’t let your miles and points expire unused.

What’s the point of earning them if you don’t get to take that dream trip? Too many people have been turned off from the hobby because they let some miles expire and become too frustrated with the whole game to continue. Luckily it’s incredibly easy to keep all of your miles and points safe and ready for your next trip.

  • When do miles and points expire?
  • Will closing a credit card cost you the miles or points you earned?
  • What is my set-it-and-forget-it trick to keep balances active?
  • What service lets you know when your miles are about to expire?

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