Travel Credit Card Deals and Other Bits and Pieces: 6.19-6.26.16



Travel Credit Card Deals

Here are a few noteworthy developments in travel credit card deals. All updated links to the best credit card deals can be found here:

Best Credit Cards for Miles — Free Flights

Best Credit Cards for Points — Free Stays

Travel Credit Card Deals: 30,000 miles for Alaska Business

Both BofA Alaska credit cards (personal and business) offer a 30,000-mile bonus now. Many of us, present company included, are still hurting from that unannounced Emirates kill, but Mileage Plan has enough terrific values to give them another chance (or two). 🙂

Yes, you can apply for both. No, it’s risky to apply for two personal cards at the same time, so don’t be greedy and give them their annual fee for the business card. Let’s be fair every now and then. That also helps us stay safe.

Travel Credit Card Deals: Expired and Expiring

The AMEX Platinum Mercedes Benz 75,000-point bonus is gone. Back to the regular 50,000 points.

The Delta Gold and Platinum card offers are going away on July 6.

Interested in SkyMiles and still eligible for the bonus (remember the once-in-a-lifetime clause)? Well, if you are a natural-born procrastinator like me, apply now. Just fight your true nature and apply before the month’s end, or you will get caught in the holiday fever and forget the whole thing until it’s too late. I don’t know if it’s just me, but ever since the mAAssacre, Sky Pesos look more and more appealing, despite their true nature I must add.

The Gold card comes up with 50,000 miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 in 3 months and a waived $95 annual fee for the first year. The Platinum offers a 60,000-mile bonus and a $100 credit with the same spending requirement, but the $195 annual fee is not waived. And if you don’t mind a tiny little bit of work, you can have a $100 bonus for the gold

The Chase United 55,000-Mile Offer is expiring on June 30.

US Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express 30,000-Point Offer

I intend to review this card in a separate post because I think there is more to it than meets the eye, but with what I’ve seen so far, it’s a good card to have — even with the annual fee.

Travel Credit Card Deals: Wells Fargo Propel World Is Alive

About a couple weeks ago, the Wells Fargo application disappeared from the WF website, then one of the Doctor of Credit readers reverse-engineered the working link (which is why I love reading comments every bit as much as a good blog post).

Wells Fargo is a weird puppy. It offers a 40,000-point bonus after spending $3,000 in 3 months plus it covers $100 in annual “accidentals” with no annual fee for the first year. In addition, Wells Fargo credit cards give you a free phone insurance, although there are a few hoops to jump through, but nothing drastic (you must pay for your phone bill with the WF card, and you must use the card at least once during the month before you file the claim). Sounds like a decent card, right?

It is, if only Wells Fargo weren’t this awkward!

At first, they didn’t even offer credit cards to anyone except their own banking customers. Then they opened up to the general public, while making you jump through the hoops that don’t make any sense. About 2 years back, they approved my application conditioned on faxing them my 1099 for the two last years.

Well, OK, you’ve seen my score, all my other credit lines, and you still need a proof I won’t stiff you? No problem, can I fax only the pages with the relevant information? No they want me to fax them two COMPLETE tax returns. Can I make copies and send them by mail? No, they wouldn’t accept them by mail. Since I have the cheapest and simplest fax machine in the world, and use it maybe once or twice a year (in a good year), I got mad and decided the hell with them. Which, I admit, was foolish, as I lost a hard pull without showing anything for it, LOL.

If you already have a relationship with Wells Fargo, they probably won’t bother you with a 3rd degree.

Other Deals

JetBlue Mileage Run?

That would be a mileage run of a different kind. JetBlue will match your Virgin America Elevate Points in the following fashion.

500 – 5,000 5,000
5,001 – 10,000 10,000
10,001 – 30,000 30,000
30,001 – 50,000 50,000
50,001 and up 75,000

You would have to fly roundtrip on JetBlue at least once (“non-revenue flying is not eligible), but you would get a really nice bonus. Now, if only there were program that can transfer points to Virgin America… Wait, there are?

Transfer 100,000 AMEX MR or 40,000 SPG points into 50,000 Virgin Elevate points. Then book one JetBlue flight and grab  75,000 TrueBlue points. What say you? HT to berneigh from this Reddit Thread.

I don’t have MR points or enough SPG points to make it work, but I love JetBlue. To me, it’s always the most convenient way to get to the Caribbean from New York. In addition, TrueBlue points can easily be redeemed at around $0.015, which is a terrific deal in its own rights. And they have free in-flight internet, too.

35% Avios Bonus for Transferring Hotel Points

If you’re not interested in TrueBlue points, you might consider getting a 35% bonus for transferring SPG points to British Airways Avios. Most hotel programs qualify, but they all offer quite terrible transfer rates aside from SPG. The offer ends on July 5.

Why SPG? SPG already rewards you with a 25% bonus for transferring 20,000 points and more, so this additional 35% bonus will effectively make the exchange rate 1.69X if BA applies its bonus after the SPG bonus (which it did in the past). So transferring 20,000 SPG points will yield you 33,750 Avios. Not too shabby.

As it’s usually the case, every blogger has already written about it, but HT to Head for Points where I found it first.

T-Mobile on Fire

About a week ago, T-Mobile announced that its customers would have 1 hour of free Gogo connection on domestic flights. Now, they offer a free hi-speed 4G LTE connection throughout Europe for July and August. If you are a T-Mobile customer, you already have unlimited internet in 170 countries, but it can range from decent to unusable, depending on where you are. I’ll happily test the new speeds during my upcoming trip to Europe.

Comments? Questions? Please leave them in the designated area below.

Top Photo by: Simon Nowak


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