Showing posts from August, 2020

AA one-ups United's permanent elimination of change fees, Delta copies

As expected, the two other legacy U.S. carriers (American Airlines and Delta Airlines) were quick to copy United's unprecedented announcement yesterday of the permanent elimination of change fees for domestic flights, which could save you upwards of $200.  But AA has surprisingly one-upped United in their policy, while Delta's new no change fee policy is a mere mirror of United's.  Let's take a look at the two new no change fee policies. American Airlines Short-haul international flights AA has lagged against their competitors when it comes to favorable rules, so it's very surprising to see them excel on their new no change fee policy.  Not only does their new policy apply to all domestic flights (with the exception of Basic Economy), but also to short-haul international flights, which they've listed as  Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.  As with United, all fare types with the exception of Basic Economy are covered. Cha

United Airlines PERMANENTLY eliminates domestic flight change fees!!

Wow, just wow.  And you heard it right: United Airlines is permanently removing change fees on domestic flights , effective immediately!  Prior to all the COVID-19 pandemic travel waivers, United had charged $200 to change flights on top of any fare difference.  So eliminating change fees would save you $200, although a fare difference would still apply.  Although the permanent policy applies to only domestic flights, international flights will still have no change fees at least through December 31, 2020 as a part of the COVID-19 pandemic travel waiver.  There are a few restrictions to note with their new policy: This is valid for standard economy, premium economy, business class, and first class tickets (Basic Economy tickets are excluded) This is only valid for tickets for travel within the United States, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, but excluding Guam.  International flights will still be bound by pre-pandemic rules of $200 change fees. There will be no limit t

New Marriott Bonvoy status match/challenge to Gold and Platinum elite

In an effort to keep up with their competition as the public slowly eases back into traveling, Marriott Bonvoy is offering a status match to their Gold and Platinum elite tier levels.  If you hold mid or top tier elite status with World of Hyatt, Hilton, IHG, or Accor, then you'll be eligible for a status match that is actually a challenge.  Once successfully matched, you'll be granted Gold or Platinum elite status for 90 days, in which you must complete at least 5 paid nights for Gold and 15 paid nights for Platinum in order to retain the status through February 2022.  Normally, Gold requires 25 nights a year and Platinum 50 nights a year.  The following elite members from the other hotel loyalty programs are eligible for a status match: Hilton Honors Gold/Diamond get matched to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum. World of Hyatt Explorist gets matched to Marriott Bonvoy Gold. Globalist gets matched to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum. Accor Live Limitless Gold get matched to Marriott Bonvoy G

Office Depot online offering $10 off $100 Visa gift card, no processing fees!

Office Depot is selling $100 physical Visa gift cards  online for $90 total ($10 discount) with no processing fees!  Visa gift cards can be used online and anywhere in the U.S. where Visa debit cards are accepted.  These physical Visa gift cards are also shipped for free, and there is a limit of 1 per customer. Offer valid from 08/20/2020 to 08/26/2020 Maximum discount allowed is subject to a maximum sum of $10 per customer Link to the deal Even though the offer is good through 8/26/2020, I would be surprised if it lasted longer than today since it's based on availability.  Since the gift cards are sold though and not Office Depot, you won't be earning 5X points/cashback if you use your ChaseInk Cash/Plus or Amex SimplyCash Plus.  Still, it's a 10% discount on what's straight up cash, and normally $100 Visa gift cards come with a $5.95 processing fee ($105.95 total), which is being waived. My favorite uses of Visa gift cards are at Costco in-store and f

Japan Airlines to increase services to the U.S.

It has not been prime time for overseas carriers flying to the U.S., with all carriers still scaling back their operations as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll.  Flights to Asia have been particularly hit hard, with the U.S. Department of Transportation still only allowing 4 weekly flights to China for both Chinese and U.S. carriers.  In light of all the recent cutbacks, which also include the UK, Thailand, and Vietnam, Japan Airlines (JAL) is actually increasing flights to the U.S. with their September 2020 schedule. Under "normal conditions" pre-pandemic, JAL flew to nine U.S. destinations: Boston Chicago Dallas Fort Worth Honolulu Los Angeles New York San Diego San Francisco Seattle In August 2020, Seattle and San Diego were off the schedule, and the other 7 destinations saw no more than 2x weekly flights with the exception of Honolulu and Chicago.  With the September 2020 schedule adjustments, JAL plans to increase frequency to their contiguous U.S. destina

Southwest credit cards with increased 65,000 sign up bonuses

Southwest has just increased the sign-up bonuses for all 3 of their consumer credit cards to 65,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months.  The cards normally have a 40k sign-up bonus, so this marks a significant increase.  Southwest Rapid Rewards can be redeemed for Southwest flights at a rate of around 1.4 cents per point, so the 65k sign-up offer is worth about $910.  Let's take a look at the 3 cards and which may be the best for you. As you can see, the sign-up bonus is the same for all 3 cards, and the earnings of 2x on Southwest purchases and 1x on all other purchases is also the same.  But given the different annual fees and benefits, it can be difficult to choose which is the best for you based on your spending and flying with Southwest. Plus Credit Card The Plus card has the lowest annual fee of $69, which is partially offset by the 3,000-point anniversary bonus (~$42 valuation).  This card is best if you don't plan on keeping the card

American Airlines to pause mileage expiration, reinstate previously expired miles

American Airlines has remained one of the only major U.S. carriers with miles that expire as competitors Southwest, United, Jetblue, and Delta have all done away with mileage expiration.  Activity, whether in the form of flying, redeeming, co-branded credit card usage, compensation, online shopping portal, etc., is required once every 18 months to prevent your miles from expiring.  But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AA paused all mileage expiration until June 30, 2020.  But on July 1, miles began to expire again, even though passenger traffic is still at a phenomenal low.  After over a month, it looks like AA had another change of heart as they are no pausing the expiration of miles until the end of the calendar year (December 31, 2020) according to serial leaker JonNYC (H/T).  In addition, miles that expired after July 1 will be reinstated without a fee. .. (at a later date) to offset the price paid. AAdvantage is working on plans to communicate to members, pause the mileage expiration