Citi ThankYou Premier Card – 50,000 Point Signup Bonus for you

Citi ThankYou Premier’s Rare 50,000 Point Signup Bonus is Back

  • No annual fee the 1st year, and then $95.
  • Earn triple points on air & hotel (Prestige) but on all travel. – 1X points on All Other Purchases, 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment & 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations

50,000 point signup bonus after $4000 in purchases on the card within your 1st 3 months of account opening. What we have seen most of the time has been either a 30,000 point bonus or no signup bonus at all.

50,000 points transfer one-to-one to a variety of frequent flyer programs or can be spent directly at 1.25 cents apiece towards airfare on any airline or redeemed for 1 cent apiece for gift cards.

Citibank Points Transfer Partners

  • Oneworld: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Non-alliance: Etihad Airways Guest, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, jetBlue, Jet Airways JetPrivilege
  • Star Alliance: Avianca LifeMiles, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • SkyTeam: Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles, Air France-KLM

Singapore, Virgin & Air France are duplicated by both Chase and American Express, and Cathay Pacific & Etihad are duplicated by American Express

And My favorite choices are:

  • Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles for distance-based premium cabin awards on Cathay
  • Air France KLM Flying Blue for better availability on Air France than is offered to partners and Air France arguably has the best transatlantic business class now
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for ANA first and business class roundtrips to and from Japan
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer for better premium cabin award space than is offered to partners, upgrades from premium economy to business, and United domestic premium awards)
  • Etihad Guest for Etihad premium cabin awards, American Airlines awards at cheap prices

Citi Cards When Choosing to Apply:

  • Citibank doesn’t have a hard limit on the number of their cards you can have thoug how much credit they’ll make available for each person will vary.
  • After you apply for one card they’ll consider another application from you 8 days later, however you can’t apply over 2 cards in 65 days.
  • Citi offer the bonus on a new card account if you haven’t opened or closed a card in that product’s family in the past 24 months.
  • If you’ve opened a Citi Prestige card in the past 24 months you won’t be eligible for this bonus & get this bonus now you won’t be eligible for a Citi Prestige bonus.

 

 

 

Reveals Data Behind Sapphire Reserve Card

Reveals Data Behind Sapphire Reserve Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve

They do business in some form with 61 million American households – 50% & 97 million credit & debit card accounts.

Chase invested a ton in the new ‘it’ card in the rewards space. And they’ve got good numbers on how Chase Sapphire Reserve is doing.

While the average FICO score is 785 that means many cardholders have lower scores, just as they have higher scores.

Annual spend of $39,000 sounds high but equates to $3250/month, not low but not as intimidating.

90% of users are keeping the card after the 1st year. That’s an incredible retention rate. It does makes sense to me from a value proposition standpoint people who spend regularly on travel & dining make out well with the card even compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card‘s double points in those categories, and that’s without even valuing airport lounge access.

Chase is investing a lot in its digital experience because they believe a large portion of customers will leave a bank that doesn’t do a good job there & will choose a bank based on a superior mobile experience. Their data suggests 85% of wealthy use mobile apps. And not only is it important to attract & retain business but it lowers the bank’s costs as well.

With consumers’ mobile emphasis Chase is closing branches, operating smaller branches, they’re opening new branches to expand their footprint in to markets where they aren’t yet strong.

Chase used to view the branch as important to their client portfolio, it’s how they cross-sold customers so that a checking customer became a credit card customer & a mortgage customer.

They see digital as a tool here, and have had some initial success offering Chase Sapphire Reserve customers mortgages (Chase had the best deal for my mortgage in 2017, they had stackable promos for a discount & 100,000 points that were added sweeteners) and even turning cardholders into wealth management customers.

US airports have the most flight cancellations

US Airports with the Most Flight Cancellations

While airlines are trying to improve their on-time performance, including improving their operating rates.

Such as last year Delta went over 200 days without a single cancellation, something quite impressive for the airline industry. Despite Delta’s success, with bad weather as the main factor, thousands of flights cancelled in the US.

  1. Bad weather is the top reason for flight delays & cancellations.
  2. Flight delays are far more common than canceled flights.
  3. For the 1st time in 5 years, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) reports more flight cancellations than Chicago O’Hare International (ORD). December’s power outage at ATL contributed to the spike.
  4. New York’s LaGuardia reports the highest percentage of canceled flights in 2017. Winter Storm Stella was a contributing factor, causing the number of grounded flights to soar last March.
  5. Despite the rise in canceled flights for Atlanta, the airport was average, in terms of percentages — with 1.49 percent of scheduled departures calling it quits.

A study by InsureMyTrip breaks down which US airports have the most flight cancellations, and the study shows New York (LGA) has the highest amount of cancelled flights with an average of 3.23% of flights cancelled in 2017. Winter weather was a big cause to this, however other factors include the large amounts of regional flights into LaGuardia, which are usually the 1st flights to get cancelled. On the other hand, US Airports ranking high on the amount of flight cancellations last year include both Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), with 2.73% of flights cancelled, and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) with 2.7% of their flights cancelled in 2017.

Hilton Points – Ski Friendly Hotels Around the World

Use Hilton Points at Ski Friendly Hotels Around the World.

 

Since Hilton has properties basically everywhere, you can use your Hilton points to stay right next to some amazing ski destinations.

I haven’t always given Hilton the same amount of coverage as some of the other programs, but with the new Hilton cards like Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express & Hilton Honors American Express Business Card available with up to 100,000 point sign up bonuses,

So, let’s see where you can use Hilton points to stay at ski-friendly hotels around the world.

Ski Utah in Style

The most upscale of the Hilton ski properties can be found in Utah at the Waldorf Astoria Park City for 80,000 Hilton points per night. This large property is a ski-in resort via Canyons & get up the mountain you take the hotel’s Frostwood Gondola right from the property. A free hotel shuttle that will take you into Park City.

If you want a full-service ski resort, this should be a place on your list since you can use your Hilton points or a Hilton anniversary weekend award night to keep your points safely in your account.

Close to Several Colorado Mountains

I think the DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge may offer the best balance of price & location.

This hotel is right across from some of the Breckenridge lifts, and for a reasonable 60,000 Hilton points per night, you can book a room selling during the peak ski season for $500+ per night.

They even have standard rooms with 2 king beds, something I am not sure I have ever even seen before in a standard room

A brand new option for using Hilton points in Colorado can be found at the DoubleTree by Hilton Vail, it requires a ride on the hotel shuttle to get to the lifts & goes for a higher 80,000 Hilton points per night during the peak ski season.

Given the higher rates & award prices, it could make for a great weekend award night redemption if you want to stay at a Hilton in the Vail area.

If you want to stretch your Hilton points a little bit more, the Hampton Inn & Suites Silverthorne can be booked for just 40,000 points per night.

This hotel is located just off of I-70 & within striking distance of several popular mountains including Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper Mountain.

This hotel is right near the Summit County shuttle stop, so you could hitch a ride to the slopes & leave your car in the hotel’s parking lot.

The Hampton Inn & Suites Steamboat Springs can be booked for just 40,000 Hilton points per night and while it isn’t a fancy hotel, it gets solid online reviews.

The Hampton Inn Steamboat has its own shuttle that will take you to the mountain –  the free hot breakfast that can be found at all Hampton Inn properties.

North America – Explore skiing

Hilton has thousands of hotels around the world, so your can use Hilton Honors points all over the world.

You could choose to head to Japan & stay at the Hilton Niseko Village for around 40,000 points per night where you can ski up to the hotel, your runs try out their 2 heated swimming areas.

If you want to have Swiss skiing, you can stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in Davos for 40,000 – 50,000 Hilton points per night. This hotel is within walking distance to lots of shops, restaurants & buses that will take you to nearby Swiss ski mountains that are just minutes away.

And if you have enough Hilton Honors points in your account, your potential ski destinations are only limited by your imagination since there are Hilton properties near ski mountains samll & big all over the world.

Canadian Hilton Ski Properties

Hilton’s footprint extends beyond the US, and they have several ski-friendly properties north in Canada.

One of their mountainside locations can be found in Whistler Village at the Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa. This hotel is located almost as close to the base at Whistler as the Westin Whistler & book for 80,000 Hilton points per night.

If you prefer to head east to ski, there is a Homewood Suites by Hilton Mont Tremblant that can be booked for 40,000 – 60,000 Hilton points on most nights during ski season.

Based on photos & reviews, this property looks to not be in the overall nicest condition inside, but it gets consistently good marks for its location in Mont Tremblant.

Round Trip – East Coast Cities to Paris From $448

Round Trip – East Coast Cities to Paris From $448

There is a chance to go to Paris from $448 round-trip with full-service carriers.

We’re seeing the great prices on American, Air Canada & United for departures from April through June 2018, which is a perfect time to visit Paris before the tourists begin to swarm. To book a flight, simply search for dates that work for you on Google Flights & complete your booking directly with the airlines. Since these fares aren’t on low-cost airlines, you’ll get free checked bags, food, seat selection & more.

Airline: Air Canada, American,United

Cost: $448+ in economy (full-service carriers)

Dates: From April to June 2018

Routes: BWI/EWR/DCA/ORD/IAD/JFK to CDG

Pay : Chase Sapphire Reserve,  Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Citi Prestige (3x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)

Flight Washington to Paris on Air Canada in March for $455 round-trip:

Flight Chicago to Paris in April on United for $448 round-trip:

Flight Miam to Paris on American in May for $500 round-trip:

Flight New York to Paris on American in April for $483 round-trip:

Max the Purchase

Use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, like Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum Card (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), American Express Premier Rewards Gold or Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases).

Lyft Rewards Program – Up to 10% Back on Rides

Lyft Launches Rewards Program Offering Up to 10% Back on Rides

Uber has launched its credit card, it was only a matter of time before its main Lyft, ride-sharing rival,responded with something of its own.

Now, Lyft is launching a rewards program for business riders & offer up to 10% back on rides.

Sign up for a Lyft business profile first, if you don’t already have one, opt-in to the program via the app or through email. Lyft business profile allows for expensing to your company.

Next, you request a ride, make sure your app is set to “Business” mode, and from there everything will work the same as a normal Lyft ride, you’ll be able to earn Lyft credit.

The rewards are structured such as: For every 5 rides you take under your business profile, you’ll earn $5 in Lyft credit that will back into your personal account.

Note that each ride under your business profile will cost $10 or more to qualify.

If you took 5 rides at $10 each, for $50 total spent on Lyft & receive one $5 credit.

That’s a solid 10% return, but granted that percentage will drop the more your rides cost.

You’ll be capped at $100 in credits, although you’d have to take 100 rides to hit that cap.

To increase your earnings, make sure to use a travel rewards credit card such as Capital One Venture card & Chase Sapphire Reserve, which would earn you 2x or 3x points.

There isn’t any reason not to use your business profile for all your rides, therefore, you can earn credits.

 

One Way JetBlue Flash Sale With Fares From $37

  • Airline: JetBlue
  • Dates: March 13 — June 20, 2018
  • Cost: $37+ one-way, $74+ round-trip in economy
  • Routes: Domestic & international routes
  • Pay With:  Chase Sapphire Reserve, The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)

New York to Bermuda for $73 one-way in April:

Fort Lauderdale to Bridgetown, Barbados for $75 one-way in April:

Long Beach to Oakland for $75 round-trip in April:

Long Beach to Oakland for $37 one-way in May:

Reno to Long Beach for $43 one-way in May:

Long Beach to Oakland for 1,800 TrueBlue points + $5.60 one-way in May:

Boston to Atlanta for $114 round-trip in May:

Newark to Orlando for $95 round-trip in May:

Washington, DC to Charleston for $97 round-trip in May:

New York to Raleigh for $137 round-trip in April/May:

Fort Lauderdale to Nashville for $48 one-way in June:

New York to Washington, DC for $43 one-way in June:

Max the Purchase

Use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Platinum Card (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Premier Rewards Gold or Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on all travel purchases).

Delta Air Lines – Round Trip Premium Economy (Delta Premium Select) Chicago to Beijing from $755

  • Fare: Delta (DL) GLX0ZPPD CHI to BJS
  • Booking class: G (Premium Economy)
  • Day/Time restrictions: permitted Mon through Thu on each transpacific sector
  • Price: from ‎$755 (from $450 Base Fare + Taxes & Surcharges)
  • Minimum stay requirements: travel from turnaround must commence no earlier than 12 hours after arrival at turnaround
  • Maximum stay requirements: 12 months after departure
  • Seasonal restrictions: permitted 05MAR 18 through 29APR 18 on the outbound transpacific sector
  • Flight restrictions: All sectors must be on GA flights, including codeshares
  • Advanced reservation/Ticketing restrictions: reservations are required for all sectors
  • Transfers: unlimited transfers permitted
  • Blackout dates: do not apply
  • Travel restrictions: do not apply
  • Sales restrictions: tickets must be issued on/before 28FEB 18
  • Changes: charge $300 for reissue/revalidation
  • Cancellations: ticket is non-refundable
  • Stopovers: 2 stopovers permitted at $100 each

Price comprision:

Possible Routing:

Examples:

About Accruals:

Fare construction – useful to travel agents

 

SPG Buy & Gift Starpoints 35% Off Sale

SPG Buy & Gift Starpoints 35% Off Sale

End of date: March 16, 2018

You can purchase for your account or receive as a gift max of 30,000 Starpoints in a calendar year & The account that receives Starpoints must have been open for a minimum of 14 days.

Price:

Process:

It may take up to 24 hours to receive states for the points to post to your account.

Get an email receipt that the purchase has been completed & the points have been deposited to your SPG account.

So, Does it make sense to purchase Starpoints at this price?

Starwood has devalued the Starpoints by the yearly category creep. There can be some values left during special events, lower category properties & high season.

Also, you can buy Starpoints to convert them to Marriott Rewards points that are cheaper to purchase this way.

You can convert 20,000 Starpoints to 25,000 airline miles in most partner programs – not on United’s and some others.

However, this is a good way to purchase partner airline miles at reasonable price.

Even you can do better if you wait for a conversion bonus offer that airline programs often have.

You can also consider this is a way to purchase Marriott Rewards points at 0.76 cents each and use them towards Travel Packages

I would transfer points into accounts where purchasing miles is either not possible or quite expensive like Lufthansa Miles or Singapore Airlines & More – Lufthansa is only worth it because of the enhanced availability.

Terms & conditions apply:

  • Transactions must be completed between 9:00 AM ET February 1, 2018 and 11:59 PM ET March 16, 2018 to be eligible for the discount.
  • Purchased points do not count towards Preferred Guest, Gold Preferred Guest, or Platinum Preferred Guest Status.
  • Transactions are final & nonrefundable.
  • Other terms & conditions of the Starwood Preferred Guest Program apply.

Draw a conclusion:

  • This is the highest general discount that Starwood has ever sold Starpoints.
  • They had one Mystery Bonus late 2016 where some accounts had up to 50% off.

 

 

Round Trip – Air France/Delta/KLM Business Class Amsterdam, Netherlands to Orlando FL from €1179

  • Airlane: Air France (AF) ZXPRNL AMS to ORL
  • Booking class: Z
  • Price: from €‎1179(from €666 Base Fare + Taxes & Surcharges)
  • Seasonal restrictions: permitted 05MAR 18 through 29APR 18 on the outbound transpacific sector
  • Day/Time restrictions: outbound permitted Tue through Thu. Inbound permitted Mon through Wed
  • Advanced reservation/Ticketing restrictions: reservations are required for all sectors. Ticketing must be completed 14 days before departure
  • Minimum stay requirements: 7 days after departure
  • Maximum stay requirements: 3 months after departure
  • Flight restrictions: All sectors must be on DL/AF/AZ/KL/HA/AS/WS flights, including codeshares
  • Transfers: 2 transfers permitted n each direction
  • Blackout dates: do not apply
  • Travel restrictions: do not apply
  • Sales restrictions: do not apply
  • Changes: changes not permitted
  • Cancellations: ticket is non-refundable
  • Stopovers: stopovers not permittedPossible Routings:

Availability:

Fare construction – useful to travel agentsAbout Accruals:

The book of examples: