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Airport Business Travel Frequent Flyer Money Travel Technology Travel Trends

Priority Pass vs. Lounge Pass: Which Is Better for Affordable Airport Lounge Access?

Airport lounges hold a sort of mystical appeal for the weary budget traveler. What oasis lies behind those discreet doors? What peaceful pleasures are bestowed upon those fortunate enough to cross that threshold? Well, for the most part you’ll find snacks, beverages, comfortable seating, and a generally quieter environment than the terminal gates and food courts. (And sometimes, really magical lounges even have showers.)

Airport lounges can be a much-needed respite, particularly for frequent flyers looking for a moment’s rest amidst a packed schedule and long flight delays or layovers. But access is usually limited to elite frequent flyers or travelers with the means (read: bank account) required to fork over hundreds of dollars a year for membership or elite status.

But if you only want to use a lounge a few to several times a year, there are economical third-party options available, usually in the form of a membership or a pay-as-you-go service. Lounge passes like Priority Pass can also be a great way to save money at the airport if you typically dine or drink on a long layover; pricey airport meals add up quickly. Let’s review two popular examples of these services to weigh the price and advantages of each.

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Priority Pass

One of the most popular lounge pass options out there, Priority Pass, is a membership service that provides lounge access at a meaningful discount over airline-affiliated lounges. The program offers three membership tiers:

  • Standard (for “occasional travelers”): $99 annual fee plus $32 per lounge visit
  • Standard Plus (for “regular travelers”): $249 annual fee; covers 10 visits, additional visits are $32 each
  • Prestige (for “frequent travelers”): $429, unlimited lounge visits

Right off the bat, the only Priority Pass tiers that really make sense are the Plus and Prestige. Let’s do some quick math: If you opt for the Standard tier and make five lounge visits in a year, your total cost (including the annual fee) would be $259. That’s $10 more than the Standard Plus tier for half as many lounge visits. In other words, Standard is not a good deal.

Fine, let’s say you purchase the Standard and make just three lounge visits instead of five: You’d spend $195 total, or roughly $65 per visit, which we’ll see later is still a substantial overpay for lounge access. Even if you’re using Standard minimally, it’s not a good deal.

Conversely, the Standard Plus option actually delivers decent value if you use it six or more times per year, and especially if you use the full 10. At six visits, the per-visit cost for the Standard Plus would be $41, going down to $25 per visit if you use the full 10. Just $41 is reasonable for a lounge visit, and $25 is relatively cheap, not to mention about how much you probably already spend on a sub-par airport meal in the busy terminal.

Long story short, for most travelers it’s Standard Plus or bust. (Note: Guests are $32 per visit, regardless of tier.)

As for what you get, Priority Pass grants access to 1,200 lounges. The options include a mix of independently-owned and airline-affiliated options, but if you aren’t picky there’s a good chance you’ll find something in your airport. That said, check before you sign up to make sure your most frequented airports and terminals have facilities covered by Priority Pass. In Boston, for example, Priority Pass only offered facilities in Terminals B, C, and E, and the Terminal B option isn’t lounge access at all: it’s a $28 discount at one of the post-security restaurants, instead. Priority Pass has relationships with several credit cards that offer this restaurant credit, but American Express notably reduced its agreement earlier this month.

Lounge Pass

On the other end of the spectrum we have Lounge Pass, a fairly a straightforward a la carte service that lets you book individual lounge visits. Lounge Pass says you can book these for as little as $19 per visit, but that will vary. The Lounge Pass network is smaller, with just 500 lounges available at 300 airports worldwide.

As for pricing, a quick search of Boston, again, delivered three options (and no odd restaurant discount situations) available for between $35 and $40 per visit. I found similar prices in Seattle ($40), Chicago O’Hare ($40), Dulles in Washington, D.C. ($50), and Newark ($38). Compare these prices to the per-visit cost of a Standard and it’s clear this is the better option for less-frequent travelers, especially considering many of the lounges are the same in both programs.

The Verdict

Priority Pass and Lounge Pass are both owned and operated by the same company, Collinson, which also provides various loyalty and customer experience services to major airlines, as well as to retailers, banks, and other businesses. In effect, these two options are simply different versions of the same product.

Priority Pass does throw in some window-dressing benefits, including vague “exclusive offers,” 24/7 membership support, and a mobile app with a digital membership card and the ability to pre-order take-out from airport restaurants. (But, aren’t the lounges supposed to have food?) These are certainly nice to have, but don’t add significant value to the program.

Ultimately, which version you prefer probably depends on how much money you’re willing to shell out in one purchase, and how often you use or surmise you’d need an airport lounge. Priority Pass is a good pay-ahead option if you fly more often, while Lounge Pass is more pay-as-you-need for less-frequent or non-business travelers.

What to Wear in the Airport

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Readers, have you ever booked an airport lounge for your travels? What service did you use? Comment below.

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Booking Strategy Budget Travel Frequent Flyer Miles & Points

The Best Frequent Flyer Programs for 2019, Ranked

WalletHub is out with a list of what it considers the Best Frequent Flyer Programs for 2019. Because the term “best” is usually relative to the traveler, lists of this kind can range from useful to clickbait. WalletHub’s version seems to be the former; it includes substantial data points and even an interactive calculator where travelers can enter their travel budget to find the best option for them.

The survey ranks the 10 largest domestic airlines based on 23 key metrics, ranging from the breadth of the airline’s route map to the ease of attaining elite status to the airline’s fees. The methodology is quite extensive, (which we’ll get to in a moment).

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The ‘Best’ Frequent Flyer Programs

As for that list, here are the WalletHub rankings.

  1. Delta SkyMiles (for the fourth straight year in WalletHub’s rankings)
  2. United Airlines
  3. JetBlue Airways
  4. Southwest Airlines
  5. Hawaiian Airlines
  6. Alaska Airlines
  7. American
  8. Frontier
  9. Sun Country
  10. Spirit

Digging Deeper into Frequent Flyer Programs

WalletHub helpfully silos its data into three of traveler types, based on average annual airfare spend: Light ($527 per year on airfare), Average ($3,880) and Frequent ($7,232). WalletHub also has a calculator that will list the top two programs for you, based on your personal spending habits:

There are a few data points that really jump out from WalletHub’s research. First, only three airlines (JetBlue, Frontier, and Hawaiian) are offering more rewards value in 2019 than in 2018, which is calculated as the value received per $100 spent. Hawaiian leads that category, returning $21.29 for Frequent travelers, $15.97 for Average travelers, and $10.64 (a statistical tie with Frontier) for Light travelers. Second, Delta and JetBlue are the only airlines whose miles don’t expire due to inactivity. Conversely, eight of the ten airlines have no blackout dates.

Third, and of no surprise to anyone playing the mileage game, “airline miles cost an average of 61 percent more than they’re worth when purchased rather than earned.” And another “no surprise” is that Spirit is the worst on this metric, with a 72 percent markup on its purchased frequent flyer miles. Southwest is the “best” option, with a 44 percent markup on purchase miles; JetBlue is another outlier, with “only” a 51 percent markup.

There’s a lot more information in the full report, so it’s worth reading whether you’re enrolled in a program or considering it.

Readers: What is your preferred frequent flier program? Or have you stayed out of the points/miles game?

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Booking Strategy

7 Ways to Double the Value of Your Miles and Points When You Travel

Travel rewards can be an excellent way to save money when you use miles and points correctly. The average credit card rewards point is worth one cent. But some cards, such as business rewards credit cards, offer more bang for your buck. With these suggestions, your rewards points can be worth at least twice the value. Let’s take a look to see how.

Transfer Your Points to an Airline

Inflight wi-fi cost

Two of the most valuable travel rewards cards you can own are the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Platinum Card from American Express. This is because you have the option to transfer your rewards points on a 1:1 basis to multiple airline and hotel travel programs. Your points can instantly double or triple in value when you transfer them to the right loyalty program.

Frequent flyer miles are usually more valuable than hotel rewards points. You should always try to redeem your reward miles when they are worth at least two cents each. For example, you only need 5,000 points for a $100 flight instead of 10,000 points.

Every airline has their own sweet spot with reward flights. You might find some of the best deals on discount airlines like Southwest Airlines (Chase transfer partner) and JetBlue (American Express transfer partner).

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Book First Class Flights Instead

You need more points to book a first class or business class flight, but your points can be worth more than staying in economy class. Some of the best first class award flights can be found with these airlines:

Don’t forget that you can also book first class or business class on domestic airlines like United to also avoid the fuel surcharge fees.

Depending on which rewards credit card you have, it’s possible to transfer your points on a 1:1 basis to these airlines. Or, you can also book partner flights through an alliance member of a 1:1 transfer partner.

In some cases, you might have to call the customer service number to book the award flight by phone instead of online. But, if you want a world-class experience in the flight and airport lounge, international first class flights are one of the best ways to redeem your miles.

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Avoid Fuel Surcharge on Long-Haul Flights

You might like to save your frequent flyer miles for long-distance flights. If you fly to Europe or Asia, you might have to pay a fuel surcharge even on award flights. To save some cash, redeem your points on the following airlines for long-haul flights:

Even if you don’t have award miles for one of the above airlines, you might be able to book partner flights through an alliance member to avoid the fuel surcharge too.

Once you arrive in Europe or Asia, you may want to fly between cities in the region. British Airways Avios are some of the most valuable points for short haul flights. You can book intra-Europe flights for 4,500 Avios to visit multiple countries and skip the steep fees that British Airways charges on their long-haul flights. Consider using an international travel credit card to save you even more.

Take Advantage of Free Hotel Night Certificates

Even if you only stay in a hotel one night a year, hotel rewards cards with free night certificates are one of the best travel deals. Most hotel nights cost at least $100 a night, while the credit card annual fee is less than $100. If you strategize, you can offset the annual fee by cashing in on a free night.

When you book a room that’s closer to the $200 or $300 nightly rate, this single benefit pays the annual fee. Plus, you can save you an extra $100 in the process. You can also enjoy a few special hotel perks and your loyalty points never expire (as long as your account is open).

One of the best hotel free night certificate options is the new World of Hyatt Credit Card. You have the chance to get two free hotel nights each year on top of Hyatt’s already generous rewards. The most expensive reward night only costs 30,000 points. Hyatt is also a 1:1 Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partner, so it’s even easier to maximize your rewards points.

Book Multi-Night Hotel Rewards Stays

When you plan on staying in a hotel for at least four nights, some hotels will give you a night free when you use rewards points for the entire stay. This benefit comes standard with some hotel loyalty programs, while others might require you to own their co-brand hotel rewards credit card.

Below are the multi-night rewards night policies of a few hotel loyalty programs:

  • Hilton Honors: 5th night free if you have Hilton Honors Silver status or above
  • IHG: 4th night free if you own the IHG Premier or IHG Traveler credit card
  • Marriott: 5th night free for all Marriott Rewards members

If you don’t want to be locked into one hotel rewards program, the Citi Prestige automatically pays the nightly rate for every 4th night on a 4+ night hotel stay you pay with cash. You only have to pay the fees and taxes for the 4th night. Plus, you can use this benefit each week of the year if you choose.

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Get 20 Percent Back on Hotel Purchases with the Capital One Venture Credit Card

While any credit card will book a hotel room, you might get the best deal with the Capital One Venture. Any room you book on Hotels.com with your Capital One Venture card will earn 10 points per $1 spent plus a credit to get your 11th Hotels.com night free.

Your other Venture purchases will earn 2 points per $1. You can redeem your Venture miles for travel statement credits or future award travel.

Pool Hilton Honors Points

If you’re traveling with a group, Hilton Honors has a cool feature to pool Hilton points with your family and friends. This can be an easy way to get the 5th night free or even pay with points instead of cash for a weekend trip.

You can also use your points for room upgrades, vacation packages, and all-inclusive resorts. Now that you don’t have to go solo in banking up your points for the ultimate Hilton stay, you can enjoy these memorable experiences sooner than ever.

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Summary

As you can see, there are many ways to maximize your rewards points. The key is to analyze your spending habits to figure out where you’ll earn the most. Then, consider what matters most to you in regards of redemption. Don’t worry, you don’t have to have a perfect credit score to qualify. The key is to strategize.

Airline awards are usually more valuable than hotel rewards, but there are excellent redemption options for flights and nights. For the ultimate flexibility, get a travel rewards card with 1:1 transfer partners. That way, you can spend your points as you please to always get the best deal.

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Read more from Johnny Jet at JohnnyJet.com or follow him on Twitter @JohnnyJet.

Categories
Miles & Points Miscellany

There’s a New No-Fee Credit Card for Earning Miles

Add the new AAdvantage MileUp Card from Citibank to the (very) short list of no-fee credit cards that earn airline miles. It offers one American Airlines mile per dollar charged, plus double miles for purchases at grocery stores or with American Airlines.

The MileUp Card, launching July 22, will offer a signup bonus of 10,000 miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 within three months of opening an account. This no-fee card is straightforward in its points-earning power—no checked bags or other American Airlines perks come with it.

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Similar no-fee cards that earn miles are the Delta Blue Skymiles Card from American Express, which earns one Delta mile per dollar charged. There’s also the Amex EveryDay Card, which earns one AmEx point per dollar that can be converted to a mile on a bunch of airlines.

Most other cards that earn airline miles—or credit that can be exchanged for airline miles—entail an annual fee of at least $70 a year. It may be waived the first year, but the fee kicks in after that.

My position on cards that earn airline miles is: Go for airline miles if you use them for upgrades and premium travel awards, and use the airline on which you would earn the most miles by flying. But if you more often fly coach, you’re better off with a card that earns up to two cents per dollar on all purchases—use cash to buy your air tickets, and regard any miles you earn as an extra benefit.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

Categories
Booking Strategy Frequent Flyer Money

Marriott Reveals New Unified Loyalty Program

When Marriott acquired Starwood in 2016, there was much speculation on how the merger would affect two very different loyalty programs. Since then, the Marriott and Starwood programs have operated independently, but as of yesterday, Marriott has announced that the programs, plus the Ritz-Carlton Rewards program, will officially merge into one mega-program beginning in August 2018.

The merger will create the largest hotel loyalty program on the market, giving its members a chance to earn points through any of the company’s 29 hotel brands under one program. With 6,500 hotels to choose from, Marriott members will not have any trouble finding a points-earning hotel anywhere in the world.

But what does that mean for members’ existing points?

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How Points Will Transfer

Starwood Preferred, Marriott Rewards, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will combine separate accounts into one, and points will be transferred at varying values. Starwood points, which have been valued higher per point than Marriott and Ritz-Carlton points, will be tripled. Non-elite members in the new program will begin earning 10 points per dollar spent at every brand, excluding Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Element, which will only earn five points on the dollar. Additional points can be earned across all brands for incidental purchases during a stay at any of the hotel brands in the new portfolio, which will make it even easier to earn elite status.

In addition to the three-to-one points transfer, Starwood and Marriott members will also be combining their elite programs with a new earning structure of five elite tiers: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum Premier, and Platinum Premier with Ambassador. Overall, the tiers will be much easier to reach for Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Rewards members. You can read the full tier chart and check out all the benefits here.

The new program will also be keeping Starwood’s airline transfer partners plus 10 more, for a total of 45 transfer partners. The one-to-one transfer ratio will remain to same.

What’s New

Marriott will also be introducing two new personal credit cards. The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card will earn members six points on the dollar spent at participating hotels and three points for every dollar spent on airfare and at U.S. restaurants. The Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card will also earn members six points per dollar at participating hotels, and two points per dollar spent on other eligible purchases.

Marriott is also promising members an improved digital and mobile experience with access to member-only rates at all 6,500 of its participating hotels from Marriott’s mobile apps. Members will also be able to use the apps to check in or out, receive alerts when the room is ready, chat directly with hotels, and use their smartphone as their room key.

Still to Come

Announcing the new program months before the August merge gives members across all three programs plenty of warning, but there are still a few things we don’t know. Over the next few months, Marriott will be releasing more information about when and how members can combine their accounts. And even though the new program will begin in August, Marriott hasn’t yet revealed the name of the new program.

For now, there is a sense of relief among the members across all three programs as they plan for the new points-earning opportunities of a unified program.

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Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.

Categories
Booking Strategy Budget Travel Frequent Flyer Health & Wellness

Recap: The Week’s Biggest Travel Stories and Best Deals

Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.

If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.

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Categories
Booking Strategy Frequent Flyer

Alaska Airlines to Add New Mileage Partner: Aer Lingus

When Aer Lingus launches its new service between Dublin and Seattle on May 18, it won’t be going it alone.

Aer Lingus has partnered with Seattle’s hometown carrier, Alaska Airlines, in an interline relationship designed to make it easier for Aer Lingus passengers to transfer to Alaska Air flights, and vice versa.

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But that’s just for the short term. Longer term, the agreement calls for reciprocal frequent-flyer program participation. That means members of Alaska’s Mileage Plan program will be able to earn and redeem miles for flights on Aer Lingus, and members of the Aer Lingus AerClub will be able to earn and redeem on Alaska Air flights.

Alaska’s Mileage Plan already has one of the most robust rosters of airline partners of any airline loyalty program, allowing program members to earn and redeem miles on 13 airlines serving over 900 destinations.

No dates for the loyalty program tie-up have been announced.

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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Categories
Airport Booking Strategy Budget Travel Frequent Flyer

Recap: The Week’s Biggest Travel Stories and Best Deals

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Booking Strategy Frequent Flyer

From Choice Hotels: A Free Night After 2 Stays

Over the past several years, Choice’s recurring promotional offer has been 8,000 points after two stays.

[st_content_ad]Sometimes it’s promoted as such: 8,000 points after two stays. More often though, the headline promotes either a free night or a gift card—both of which are available for 8,000 points.

For its latest promotion, the featured bonus is a free night. But what you’re really earning is 8,000 Choice Privileges points—enough to redeem for a gift card, or for a free night at one of 1,500 lower-priced hotels in the Choice network.

Offer Details

Between April 2 and May 25, Choice Privileges members can earn 8,000 points after two stays. Again, that’s enough points for a free night at more than 1,500 Choice hotels.

Qualifying stays must be booked at ChoiceHotels.com, via the Choice mobile app, or by calling 1-800-4CHOICE, although Diamond and Platinum members may book direct with the hotel, and corporate travelers may book through a travel agent or corporate booking system.

There’s no limit to the number of times the bonus may be earned.

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Registration is required.

Deal or No Deal

Earning enough points for a free night after two stays, even at a lower-end hotel, is a potentially high-value offer, especially if the qualifying stays are single nights at lower-priced properties.

That makes this one of the more lucrative of the current hotel promotions.

There’s no harm in being repetitious, if what’s being repeated is a good deal.

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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Categories
Booking Strategy Frequent Flyer Travel Scams

Delta Downgrades SkyMiles with New Award-Ticketing Rule

Effective immediately—or whenever it was that Delta posted the new rule to its website, with no notice to SkyMiles members—SkyMiles award tickets for travel that doesn’t begin or end in the U.S. or Canada must be booked at least three days in advance.

Here’s the verbiage Delta added to its site within the past few days:

Award Tickets that do not originate or end in the United States or Canada have a three-day advance purchase requirement. This includes routes like Paris (CDG) connecting through New York City (JFK) to Sao Paulo (GRU), or Shanghai (PVG) to/from Tokyo (NRT). No Exceptions. The advanced purchase applies to all Award bookings in the affected markets.

This is presumably a fraud-prevention measure; a disproportionate amount of illicit award-ticket activity involved overseas travel, particularly from Russia, China, and Africa.

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Whatever the motivation for the newly restrictive policy, its undeniable effect is to devalue the miles of any SkyMiles member who might ever wish to redeem his miles for travel beginning or ending outside the U.S. or Canada.

Not only will they be denied the convenience of close-in booking, but they’ll lose access to award availability, which often opens up close to the departure date as the airline releases unsold seats to award travelers.

Blame it on the overseas travel scammers?

Reader Reality Check

Will this new rule affect you?

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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Categories
Booking Strategy Budget Travel Frequent Flyer Money Travel Trends

Recap: The Week’s Biggest Travel Stories and Best Deals

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Categories
Booking Strategy Budget Travel Frequent Flyer

Delta Discounts Award Flights to Asia

Fly roundtrip to or from select Asian destinations for as few as 50,000 Delta miles in coach.

That’s the gist of Delta’s latest flash sale on SkyMiles award travel. And it is a flash sale, as in book quickly or you’ll lose out.

Offer Details

Through March 20, SkyMiles members may book roundtrip coach award tickets for travel between the U.S. and select cities in Asia for as few as 50,000 miles.

Travel at the discounted rates must take place by May 24.

There are numerous blackout dates for travel at the discounted rates, listed on the sale landing page.

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Deal or No Deal

Delta no longer publishes award charts, so there is no standard against which to judge the discounted prices. However, roundtrip coach award flights to Asia can be priced at 100,000 miles or more. So the discounts can be considerable.

Helpfully, in this award sale, Delta has given SkyMiles members some sample fares to compare the discounted mileage prices against.

More generally, the fact that Delta is now discounting award travel on a monthly basis is a positive for SkyMiles members. Although it may leave them wondering which are the “normal” prices: the discounted rates, or the non-discounted rates. With the almost certain prospect of more award sales to come, it certainly makes ponying up the so-called normal award price seem like an unnecessary extravagance.

Still, worth a look if you have Delta miles in hand and plan (or could plan) an Asia trip during the sale’s travel period.

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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Frequent Flyer

You Can Now Earn and Redeem United Miles for Gas

In the conviction that more earning and redemption opportunities are always better, travel-loyalty programs have cobbled together relationships with businesses of every imaginable stripe, allowing program members to pad their mileage accounts with mortgage loans, online shopping, vehicle purchases, and on, and on.

While there have been opportunities to earn miles for utilities, I can not recall a major airline or hotel program offering miles for gas purchased at the pump. United Airlines and gas retailer BP have changed that.

Beginning this week, Mileage Plus members can earn and redeem miles for gas purchases at participating BP stations.

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The earning rate varies as follows:

  • 1 mile for every gallon of fuel purchased
  • 2 miles for every gallon purchased with a linked credit or debit card
  • 3 miles for every gallon of premium gas purchased with a linked card

On the redemption side, 60 MileagePlus miles can be used to purchase 50 cents worth of gas, when purchased with a linked credit or debit card.

To participate, MileagePlus members will have to join BP Driver Rewards (free), and link the two accounts, and also link a credit or debit card to maximize earnings.

Deal or No Deal

Think slow and steady here. Even at the maximum three miles per gallon, that’s a paltry 45 miles for an average 15-gallon fill-up. Fill up twice a week and you’re earning 360 miles a month, or 4,320 miles a year.

That won’t get you Bali on a free ticket anytime soon.

The value proposition on the redemption side isn’t much stronger. Using 60 miles for 50 cents worth of gas amounts to getting less that 1 cent per mile in value. You could do better. Much better.

Still, these are miles earned for essentially doing nothing, exerting no extra energy and spending no extra money.

Reader Reality Check

Why not?

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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Booking Strategy Frequent Flyer Peer-to-Peer Travel Travel Trends

Now, Earn & Redeem Hyatt Points for Stays at 2,000 Homes

World of Hyatt members may now earn and redeem points for home-share stays.

Specifically, WOH members may earn and redeem points for stays made with Oasis, “a global leader in serviced home rental accommodations that offers more than 2,000 personally vetted homes across more than 20 destinations worldwide.”

Two items of interest here. First is the very fact that Hyatt sees fit to associate itself with a segment of the lodging business, home sharing, that currently threatens to destabilize the traditional hotel business. So this would appear to be an effort by Hyatt to get ahead of the curve.

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Second is the scale. Hyatt is by far the smallest of the major chains, with around 600 hotels in its network. The Oasis network, by contrast, boasts more than 2,000 available homes. It’s not like adding 2,000 more hotels to the Hyatt hotel chain, but it does expand Hyatt’s reach, in many cases into cities where Hyatt has no property.

For purposes of points earning and redemption, Oasis properties are treated just like another Hyatt brand. Earning rates, elite bonuses, and so on remain as normal.

To promote the tie-up, there’s a bonus offer in place for Oasis stays completed between March 1 and June 30: 1,000 bonus points per qualifying night.

Reader Reality Check

Is this of interest to you?

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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Booking Strategy Budget Travel Frequent Flyer Peer-to-Peer Travel

Recap: The Week’s Biggest Travel Stories and Best Deals

Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.

If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.

Wallet Watch: Southwest Raises Fees for Priority Boarding

$50 to jump to the head of the Southwest boarding queue? Hmmm.

Airbnb’s 10-Year Plan to Rock the Travel World

Airbnb wants your lodging dollar. The hotels will have something to say about that.

United Discounts Award Travel to 4 Hot Spots

Here’s how to save 20% on United award flights to four popular destinations.

Top 10 Most Popular Spring Break Destinations

Do you want to immerse yourself in spring break, or avoid it? Either way, these list of the most popular destinations will be helpful.

Coming to Caesars Palace: Daily Room Checks

When does “Do Not Disturb” not mean do not disturb? At a growing number of hotels, it turns out.

United Is Now Selling Wi-Fi Subscriptions – Deal or No Deal?

United is now selling monthly inflight Wi-Fi subscriptions. Should you buy?

New Hyatt Promotion Features 1,000 Bonus Points Per Night

Hyatt’s latest promotion is among the company’s more generous offers.

Wallet Watch: Price Hikes at Disney Parks

A visit to the happiest place on earth just got more expensive—by as much as 9 percent.

Here’s How You Can Win a 5-Night Trip to Cartagena, Colombia

Win a five-night trip for two to Cartagena, Colombia, including a $1,000 airfare credit, hotel, tours, Colombian cuisine cooking class.

Somebody has to win this trip, right? Might as well be you.

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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