Loyalty alchemy. Turn Amtrak coal into United gold, and more…

One of the things that has long fascinated me about points and miles is the fact that great opportunities are sometimes opened up by the ability to convert points from one program to another.  When Marriott bought Starwood and made it possible to convert SPG points to Marriott at a 1 to 3 ratio, I totally geeked out about the many possibilities this raised.  For examples, see: Marriott SPG Complete Guide to Sweet Opportunities Marriott…

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Fairmont free night certificates are posting

Earlier this year, the Chase Fairmont Visa Signature card was discontinued (See: Bye bye Fairmont card. I hardly knew ya). Greg wrote about how to maximize value with credit card spend before this card was converted to the Chase Sapphire Preferred (See: Rocking Fairmont credit card free nights and elite benefits). Part of that strategy involved spending $12K to earn an additional free night certificate. Recently, several readers have posted questions inquiring as to the…

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Australia from $688 RT nonstop from Los Angeles

In today’s Thrifty Traveler Premium email, I noticed a nice deal to Australia — Qantas is offering direct flights nonstop on its new 787-9 from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia from $693 round trip. As I explored dates, I found some dates that are a few dollars less on Virgin Australia — from $688 round trip nonstop. Flights are available for ten or fifteen bucks more to Brisbane or Sydney, and you can find round trip fares out of Dallas and New York…

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Europe on major alliances from $400 round trip (from New York, Seattle, Chicago, & more)

Over the weekend, prices have dropped to as low as $400 on flights to Europe from as soon as next month through as far out as next summer on major alliance flights (which means a free checked bag and seat selection in most cases). The Points Guy has a number of examples; there are also some below (click the images to go to Google Flights). This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a sampling of…

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How much is Delta Silver status worth?

Silver status is Delta’s lowest elite tier.  To get Silver status, you need to fly 25,000 miles in a calendar year or fly 30 separate segments.  More accurately, you need to earn 25,000 MQMs (Medallion Qualifying Miles) or 30 MQSs.  MQMs can be earned from flying or from a few other sources such as MQM rollovers from the previous year, Delta Platinum or Delta Reserve credit card spend, etc.  But earning 25,000 MQMs or 30…

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Cheap points: $170 for $200 at Sears, earn 5X

PayPal Digital Gifts is selling $200 Sears gift cards for just $170, with a limit of 2 per customer. Purchases on eBay from PayPal Digital Gifts normally earn 5x points on a Chase Ink Cash (or Chase Ink Plus – no longer available). You could sell the gift cards for a small loss (or you could break even depending on your bulk reselling relationships), earning some cheap and easy Ultimate Rewards points. Alternatively, these could…

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Last Chance Deals: It’s raining Membership Rewards, 5K miles per rental, & save $100

Welcome to our weekly list of what’s ending this week as well as a collection of some of the best ongoing deals around. This past week, it felt like it was raining Membership Rewards points. See all of the bold print deals (indicates we added it this week) involving Membership Rewards: 6K for skiing, 10K for skiing or staying in New York, 5K/10K for shopping at Boxed.com, 5K for buying or renewing Amazon prime, 30K for…

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URs for the red carpet with the stars, the loyalty program you’re ignoring, and more

Welcome to the Frequent Miler Week in Review Around the Web where we recap some interesting reads from around the ‘net. This week, we have posts about a loyalty program you’re probably ignoring, bonus features that make ITA Matrix great, an evening with the stars, and more. Read on: The best hotel loyalty plan you might not be using I’m kind of a free agent when it comes to hotel loyalty — a fact that…

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Virgin Atlantic surprises and Southwest delights

This week at Frequent Miler, we started the week on eBay and Wyndham Rewards, but by the end of the week Southwest and Virgin Atlantic were the main things on our minds. Read on to find out why in this week in review at FM. Avoiding an eBay scammer Thanks to what I learned years ago from Greg regarding double dips, triple dips, and other Extreme Stacking techniques, my preferred method to earn miles without…

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