First Ever Ultimate Rewards Transfer Bonus on Cusp of Avios Devaluation

For the first time ever, Ultimate Rewards is offering a transfer bonus to one of their loyalty program partners: British Airways Avios. Through June 16, 2019 at 11:59 pm ET, you will earn 30% more points for Ultimate Rewards to British Airways transfers. That means 10,000 Ultimate Rewards translates to 13,000 Avios, and 20,000 Ultimate Rewards is 26,000 Avios.

The fact that there is an Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus is exciting news in itself.

40% Membership Rewards to Avios Transfer Bonus

Through November 15 you'll earn 40% bonus points when you transfer Membership Rewards to either British Airways or Iberia Avios.

That means 1,000 Membership Rewards = 1,400 Avios.

This deal typically comes around once a year and presents an excellent opportunity to save points on awards in and between various parts of the world.

Chase Cards You Can Get If Over 5/24

Update 12/6/18: The Chase 5/24 rule now applies to the cards listed below as well.
The general rule of thumb concerning Chase cards is that you won't be approved for them once you've opened five credit cards from ANY bank in the last 24 months.

Class Action Against BA: Avios or Cash Coming Your Way

If you redeemed British Airways Avios between November 9, 2006 and April 17, 2013, then listen up. You could be entitled from anywhere between 12,500 and 35,000 Avios, or a varying amount of US dollars if you'd prefer it.

British Airways claimed their "fuel surcharges" were meant to compensate for the cost of fuel, which, according to the plaintiffs in the class action brought against them, was not actually the case.

Q & A Email to a Friend: Amex Cards, Eligibility, & Application Advice

Last month my good friend and CPA wrote to me with various  questions regarding the hobby. He touches on a few pertinent topics that I think are worth sharing with you guys.

My response is in normal font and his original questions are in italics. Anything I added to the email to better explain something to you guys is in blue and in parentheses.

************************************************************************

Hey Vinnie!
Hope India was great. We're freezing our a$$es off in Maryland. The United States is miserably cold right now. Man.

Membership Rewards to Avios Transfer Rate Improves to 1:1

We've got good news for you to begin your Friday with today! American Express Membership Rewards now transfer to British Airways and Iberia Avios at an improved rate of 250:250.

Previously, the transfer rate was 250 Memberships to 200 Avios (1:0.8). Personally I'm quite excited about the change in ratio. I love distance-based Avios for booking short hops that otherwise wouldn't make sense to redeem miles for, but also for sweetspots like Iberia Business Class between Brazil and Spain that I flew at the end of May for just 42,500 points.

$400 Off British Airways Premium Cabins Today & Tomorrow

Through June 29, members of the AARP (anyone that can pay $12 today for a membership) can book roundtrip, transatlantic cash tickets on British Airways discounted up to $400. Departure date of the flight must be between the window of August 1, 2017 and January 8, 2018. No open-jaw flights are permitted. Origin and destination must be the same.

The discount depends on the cabin class booked.

And no, you don't have to be any specific age to join the AARP.

Six Ultra-Luxurious First Classes to Book with American Airlines Miles

“Redeeming American Airlines Miles” Series Index

Part 1 — 5 Ways to Stretch American Airlines Miles on Economy Redemptions
Part 2 — 6 Ultra-Luxurious First Classes to Book with American Airlines Miles (this post)
Part 3 — Where to Search Award Space for All Partners
Part 4 — Award Rules and How Many Miles You Need
Part 5 — Taxes, Fees, and Fuel Surcharges
Part 6 — Redeeming for Domestic Awards
Part 7 — Redeeming for Hawaii
Part 8 — Redeeming for East and Southeast Asia
Part 9 — Redeeming for Middle East and Indian Subcontinent
Part 10 — Redeeming

Miles With Free (or Almost Free) Change & Cancellation Fees

There are lots of obvious reasons why miles are better than cash, like the ability they give us to book mini palaces on planes that look like this...

Etihad First Class Apartment on an A380

...or the loose routing/stopover/open jaw rules of some programs that allow us to see more places on one trip.

But what about the smaller perks we often overlook? Like free or nearly free change and cancellation fees?

Big Trip Idea: Hawaii, Fiji, Aus, Philippines, Doha in 1st Class

Nothing cries out for a BIG trip idea like a few weeks with nowhere to be.

I'm considering going from Hawaii to Croatia from mid-February to mid-March.