This was a big week in the world of travel rewards! Here is the Travel Miles 101 roundup of essential travel rewards news you need to know for the week ending 11/20/2015:
- Marriott agrees to purchase Starwood Hotels: This deal, which is expected to close in mid-2016 will create the world’s largest hotel chain. It is still unclear how this will impact Starwood points, so we will have to wait and see as it develops. Here is an article from The Points Guy with additional details and thoughts.
- American Airlines announced changes to their awards program for 2016. As expected, there are some significant devaluations, but for those of us booking economy award tickets it isn’t as bad as anticipated. Impressively, they even added a new award tier for flights under 500 miles in distance — those flights will cost 7,500 AA miles one-way, which is exactly what British Airways will charge for flights under 650 miles in distance once their devaluation kicks in. For full details, read The Point Guy’s article on the new award chart.
- Million Mile Secrets: Don’t Pay Fuel Surcharges, Save Money When You Book Award Tickets – This is a solid look at how to avoid fuel surcharges with multiple airlines and miles.
- Frugal Travel Guy: Better Ways to Book Award Tickets on Delta – We don’t pay enough attention to Delta awards because they are notoriously difficult to book at the ‘saver’ level, but this article gives you some quick tips on how to use partner miles to save big.
- Frequent Miler: Bet You Didn’t Know: 24 Hour Cancellation Policies for Award Tickets – Important info on airlines that allow 24 hour cancellation of award tickets without a fee.
- Travel Codex: Minor but Important Changes to Ultimate Rewards Transfer Rules – Chase modified how you can transfer points to their partner airlines/hotels. Previously you could transfer to an account held by your “spouse/domestic partner,” but now the person must be an authorized user on your account.
- The Points Guy: Maximizing Marriott’s Hotel + Air Packages – Marriott has lucrative Hotel + Air packages available and we highly recommend you become familiar with them.
- Travel is Free: Alaska Airline Miles Routing Rules – Alaska Airlines has some of the most generous routing rules on award tickets and this article gives you a great overview on how to take advantage of them.
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