Author Archives: Scott Grimmer

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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20% Discount on JetBlue Award Redemptions

Book any JetBlue award by 11:59 PM ET tomorrow (July 25, 2014) for travel from September 2 to October 31, 2014, and you’ll get 20% of the points back in November or December 2014.

If you have Fall travel planned but not booked, this is a nice rebate.

You can transfer 250 Membership Rewards to 200 JetBlue points if you’re short of the award you want. With this 20% rebate on awards, that may make sense.

The highest value award is for Mint Class between New York and Los Angeles and, starting October 26, New York and San Francisco. You can get a fully flat bed in a fully enclosed Mint Suite for 34,800 TrueBlue points, plus you’d get 6,960 TrueBlue points back for use on a future flight.

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I wrote extensively about the amenities and price that make Mint “By Far The Best Deal on Domestic Business Class” so check out that post for far more information on why I’d take advantage of this rebate to book Mint Class.

  • What are the full terms and conditions of the 20% rebate?

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My Interview at Airline Miles Experts

Check out my interview at Airline Miles Experts.

It’s short and gives some insight into me, the blog, and my travel mindset. Excerpt:

With many airlines struggling financially, do you think that they will eventually scale back their rewards card offerings?

If so, we should take advantage of the awesome current values now.

If not, we should take advantage now and later.

I sure hope programs aren’t scaled back, but whether they are or not does not change my strategy of maximizing them in the present.



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How Long to Transfer From ThankYou Points to Singapore Miles

On Monday, Citi announced that ThankYou Points are now transferable to seven airlines. You can transfer Citi ThankYou Points from the Citi ThankYou® Premier, Citi Prestige®, or Citi Chairman card a 1:1 ratio to:

  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Etihad Guest
  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchard Plus

You can also transfer 1,000 ThankYou Points to 1,500 Hilton HHonors points.

I singled out Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles as the best of the bunch on Monday for these reasons. (Give me a little time to look further into the other programs to find some sweet spots.)

I wanted to test the transfer time from ThankYou Points to Singapore miles, so folks can plan ahead for future Singapore redemptions.

My transfer took less than 36 hours to post to my Singapore Airlines account.

  • What was the process to transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Singapore miles?
  • What time did I transfer the points and when did they arrive as Singapore miles?
  • How does the ThankYou Points transfer compare to Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards transfers to Singapore miles?

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Free First Class 2014: You Can Earn Miles Doing Anything

This is the ninth 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 already talked about the big ways to earn miles:

To me, these represent the best ways to earn the most miles, but you can earn miles doing almost anything.

I’ll highlight a few ways in this post, and the rest I’ll tell you where to find.

  • How can you earn 50,000 miles by opening a brokerage account?
  • What constantly updated forum tells you the best mileage earning opportunities?

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Free First Class 2014: Manufactured Spending

This is the eighth 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.

One of the major ways to earn more frequent flyer miles is to “manufacture spending,” which is buying cash-like things with credit cards and then cashing them out.

Manufacturing spending increases the amount of money you spend on credit cards, which means you can clear more sign up and category bonuses.

Manufacturing spending is risky and advanced. I very rarely manufacture spending, and I only manufacture enough to clear mega sign up bonuses I couldn’t otherwise clear on cards with high minimum spending requirements.

I’ll run through a few of the major recent opportunities like Amazon Payments, Bluebird, Gift Cards with PINs, and Kiva and point you in the right direction to learn more ways to manufacture spending.

  • What are the main ways to manufacture spending?
  • What are the risks?

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Citi ThankYou Points Now Transferable to Seven Airlines

Citi ThankYou Points are now transferable to seven airline and one hotel program. Folks who have a Citi ThankYou® Premier, Citi Prestige®, or Citi Chairman card can transfer Citi ThankYou Points at a 1:1 ratio to:

  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Etihad Guest
  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchard Plus

You can also transfer 1,000 ThankYou Points to 1,500 Hilton HHonors points.

This is an incredible step forward for Citi ThankYou Points and puts them in the ranks of the big three transferable points programs.

Certainly I would like to see more and better partners added to the transfer possibilities, specifically Citi’s partner American Airlines, but this is a great start and there is value with Citi’s current transfer partners.

  • What is the best Citi ThankYou Points transfer partner?
  • How can you get ThankYou Points?
  • How can you transfer ThankYou Points?
  • What are the other ThankYou Points redemption options?

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