Gift Card Discounts, Cheap Flights To Europe And My Stephen King Opinion On Loyalty Points

Here’s what I’m reading about in the world of miles and points:

Cheap Flights of the Day: 

I like the $500 fares to Brussels, since it’s an easy place to jump off to a bunch of other European cities via train.

If you’re looking a long weekend somewhere warm, Miami is on sale through the fall.

In Case You Missed It: 

IHG Has A New Bonus Promotion

The President of American Airlines Is Leaving To Take The Same Role At United

Just as an aside, if you’re the DOJ, do you wonder for just a minute why American would have no problem with someone so high up in the company jumping to a competitor with all those juicy “trade secrets”?  You know, since the airlines don’t collude, and all that.

Auction Ending Soon: 2 nights at an upscale hotel in Paris for roughly $200

Totally cool!  Rappel down the outside of a hotel.

It was just a couple of weeks ago when we discovered that American had started shifting the prices on AAnytime awards in some markets.  There was no announcement, and not much of a confirmation from American, but sure enough, prices were moving in areas they had previously said they wouldn’t.  So far, it’s been very confined and mostly just for premium cabin travel.  But, it’s a disconcerting slippery slope from here.  There’s some more analysis now on the “where and when” you’ll find the changes.  It seems to be rudimentary at this point, focusing on flights that are generally in higher demand as opposed to using an algorithm to raise and lower prices base on actual demand.  I guess that’s better than a formulaic approach, but it’s not a good road for American to head down, at least as far as their loyalty members are concerned. Shareholders will likely appreciate it.

1,000 bonus United miles and 21 miles per dollar.

American Airlines will donate miles to charity if you submit a travel tip.  You can pick from a list of 7 charities.

Hyatt Centric Waikiki is now available to book!

A new agreement between the US and Mexico may lead to lower fares.

Argentina eliminates their visa reciprocity fee for US passport holders.  This surprises me a bit since we didn’t eliminate our fee for folks from Argentina to visit the US.  But, hey, it’s a plus!

$5 off any gift card order of $75 or more.  That’s on top of any savings you already get.  It might not seem like much, but those dollars add up quickly on larger purchases.

Charles McCool puts together his thoughts on IHG versus SPG in terms of the value of their points.  It’s an interesting read, though some might question his logic of calling me his favorite points guru.  😛

Charles comes to the right conclusions, that SPG points are worth a lot more than IHG, and that we should look for higher priced SPG properties to get our best value out of that program.  To that, I’d add one other caveat.  I wouldn’t want to be “too deep” in SPG points right now.  When the Marriott merger is complete, it’s almost a certainty those points will be worth less than they are today.

Stephen King fans might remember the Trashcan Man from The Stand.  He sums up some of my feelings on the merger:

“The A-bomb, it’s a big one, the A-bomb, the big fire, my life for you!”

In honor of him, my recommendation for Starpoints is…Burn, baby, burn!

Cheap Flights To Europe

From My Personal Collection Of Stephen King Novels

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