The secret to wedded bliss: two for one

Welcome to this week’s recap of the top stories here at Frequent Miler:

Use companion tickets for business and first class flights

CX-First-Class-Picture02

When I was a kid, my uncle Angel asked me if I knew what marriage meant. When I shrugged my eight-year-old shoulders and raised my brow, he shared with me the secret of wedded bliss: “It means a 50 cent hot dog costs you a dollar, ’cause you gotta buy one for her, too.” A while back, the Daily Mail wrote a piece on husbands who fly first class while their wives fly in economy. In my family, that wouldn’t fly. But what if uncle Angel was wrong? Here, we explain how to get two hot dogs seats on the plane for the price of one. Whomever your companion may be, may they fly next to you for free.

Everything you need to know about Travel Companion Tickets

Couple b

Hot dogs and wedded bliss aside, most of us traveling for leisure prefer to bring company along for the ride. Companion tickets can be both some of the most coveted and confusing benefits of a number of credit cards and airline programs. Here, we introduce a new resource page that will serve as our complete guide to companion tickets and will be continuously updated as new benefits roll out and as we learn more about existing companion fare possibilities.

Live in Hawaii to maximize value from Delta companion certificates (and 10 other tips)

Delta SkyMiles Cards ZoomWell, if living in Hawaii is what it takes to maximize the benefit of the Delta companion certificates, then sign me up! I mean….it’s for the good of the blog, right? Hmm….upon further consideration, maybe this was the secret to wedded bliss……

Is it still possible to book Marriott 5-night Travel Packages?

Swimming pool at the Rennaisance Bangkok. The lounge is also nice -- and as of my last stay in late 2015, Gold & Platinum Elite members received a free 15-minute head and shoulders massage!

Backing up a few days, we actually started out the week exploring whether or not it was possible to still book a Marriott 5-night travel package that includes airline miles and a 5-night hotel certificate.  Few people have found success in booking these packages that were apparently intended for Vacation Club owners, though the fact that a some have done it leads me to believe that it isn’t impossible even if highly unlikely.

Can you convert a Marriott 7 Night Travel Package to a 5 Night Package?

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Marriott Rewards Sweet Spot

When we found out that there might be a way to book a 5-night package, Greg dared to dream the impossible dream………alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Greg made some calls around the globe and literally couldn’t find anyone in the world who could (would?) convert his 7-night package to a 5-night package. That said, there are a couple of reports from about 14 months ago that claimed success in this realm. Again, I’m not convinced that this is impossible, but it does seem highly unlikely. If I had a 7-night certificate and was holding out hope for a conversion, my play might this: Wait until the certificate nears its expiration and then try to get the certificate extended a year. That should bring its validity into 2019 — when Marriott, Ritz, and Starwood will merge loyalty programs. At that point, I think there is a higher likelihood of either getting an agent who doesn’t know not to help or finding a former Starwood property where you’ll be happy to use 7 nights.

e-Rewards shuts down accounts. Rewards lost. (developing)

e-rewards shuts down accounts

You know those online opinion panels you’re always being invited to join in order to earn miles? I wonder if they will invite all of the people whose accounts they closed and zeroed out to join the eRewards Stole my Rewards panel. Then they could offer people the chance to earn back the rewards they had already poured hours of time into earning, one survey at a time. In all seriousness, what a mess — I hope that readers with legitimate accounts are able to get this sorted out with e-Rewards. One reminder out of this is that we never know when a small shopping portal or survey reward company may pull these kinds of shenanigans, so it’s never a good idea to hoard a large balance in such programs. I know I’ll be cashing out some balances at the end of this month.

An awesome new “everywhere” card hits the scene

everywhere card

One of the reasons I love to travel is because I love to see the diversity of the world — diversity in people, landscape, culture, wildlife, climate, etc. And just as I accept that not all places or people are the same, I also understand that not everyone is looking to maximize miles and points — for some, cash is king. For those who prefer a cash reward to an “ultimate reward” and those who are fresh out of label paper and looking to simplify their lives, the card of your king has arrived.

e-Rewards talks back and offers a smidgen of hope

e-Rewards talks

Surprisingly, e-Rewards reached out to Greg about the article he wrote on the shut-downs that affected many readers. Not surprisingly, e-Rewards kept things decidedly vague, but they have at least publicly committed to taking a second look at closed accounts. If you were affected by these shut downs, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on the comments of these posts for any further updates from fellow readers as this story develops.

Build your own business class fare sale with vacation packages

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Sometimes, great deals are hiding in plain sight. Believe it or not, sometimes booking a vacation package — even if you intend to throw away the hotel or car reservation — can result in substantial savings over booking separately. Particularly for readers in non-major markets that rarely see discounts and promotions, this post may help you save thousands over booking airfare separately.

Can you get a second Amex bonus with a second business?

Can you get a second Amex bonus under a second business?

One of the most frustrating limitations in credit card sign up bonuses is Amex’s once-per-lifetime rule. But we’ve seen some softening in that rule with mail offers that don’t include the once-per-lifetime language. Here, we explore whether it’s one sign up bonus per human or business entity. If you’ve wondered whether the two businesses you own are both eligible for a sign up bonus on a card, you’ll want to check this one out.

The music never dies. Richard Branson says he’ll start a new Virgin America.

If you started an airline, sold it ten years later, and pocketed $786 million in the sale, would you do it again?  Yup, me too. Besides, he and Greg talked about it last October. In fact, I’m pretty sure this photo was taken when Greg offered to be the VP of Loyalty Programs for the new Virgin USA airline. I heard he suggested a slightly more rewarding co-branded credit card. Maybe it was just too soon for Richard.

Richard Branson chokes Frequent Miler

Well, that’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Keep your eye out for some of our favorite articles from around the web and this week’s last chance deals.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

Comments

  1. Nick – I’m really enjoying your contributions to the blog. I’ve always been a fan of FM but I’m finding myself disappointed now when I open the blog and see Greg’s name up top (no offense Greg – at least you made a good hire)….and Uncle Angel had it right.

  2. I like Nick’s posts too and the personal slant—more Uncle Angel please!—is a nice touch.

    (Request: add words like “weekly update” to posts like this)

  3. Same here; the quality of supporting posts has gone way up – it was clear that Shawn was focused on his own blog and not as committed. I’m sure nick will get too big for his bridges one day and move on but until then keep it coming.

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