Award hacks, no-brainers, and what to do about Monday’s announcement


This week at Frequent Miler, we had some great hacks: from business class to Europe for 80K round trip to how to make those elusive AA flights appear on for flights to scoring a nice little upgrade on an award stay or saving $120 on a 1-night hotel stay, read up in the recap below. Finally, everyone wants to know what to do about the anticipation of Marriott Monday. See Greg’s take on the rumors — all this and more in the Frequent Miler week in review.

The last no-brainer. The low annual fee credit card that offers great value for everyone.

When a friend who knows nothing about miles/points/credit cards/travel hacking asks you for advice on the one best credit card to open, what’s your answer? Chase has killed the easy answer to the question, so Greg goes in search of the other no-brainer cards (not signup bonuses) that offer obvious value for everyone. The list isn’t as long as you might think.

Marriott chat upgrade success

Did you know that you could chat with your hotel via the Marriott app? It only took me a few minutes to get a response and a nice upgrade simply by chatting. At least one reader reports multiple successes via the same method. While it surely won’t work every time, it might be worth pulling up the app on your phone on check-in day and chatting up your hotel.

Business Class to Europe for 80,000 miles Round-Trip, And a Trick For Avoiding Fuel Surcharges

Korean Air Partner Awards
At the center of this maze lies your award booking…

John Klukas is back with another great award hacking post to show you how to get you and your family to Europe and back in the front end of the plane for just 80K round trip. Like most of the best sweet spots, this one will require a little time and effort — but you’ll save yourself a ton of miles in the process. Enter the labyrinth.

Is BA unable to see American Airlines award space?

Have you ever found American Airlines SAAver award space on, only to not find that space bookable when you get to It’s happened to the best of us, and it’s annoying when it does since BA is a great way to avoid the $75 close-in ticketing fee that AA is happy to collect…..but see below….

How to find AA award space on

Thanks to a tip from a reader, we now know that there indeed is a way to find that elusive AA space after all. I was pleasantly surprised when space showed up for me on the third or fourth try with this method. I played around a bit to see if the same might happen with other partners, but didn’t find any results beyond AA. Still, this is a trick I’ll certainly employ the next time I need to make this kind of booking.

Was I crazy in saying that the Arrival Premier can be interesting?

Last week, many readers thought I was too easy on the new Barcalys Arrival Premier. This week, I explained why it’s got potential by doing the math on earnings vs an SPG card in terms of Japan Airlines miles (and why it might be worth generating those miles). While I defintiely don’t think it’s a card for most people, I laid out the math that makes it still seem interesting to me.

Look to Greyhound for hotel deals (yes, Greyhound)

Did you know you can book hotels through Greyhound? That might not sound interesting if you like your points, status benefits, and elite credits. But in Greg’s case, it put an extra $120 in his pocket on a one-night stay, so I think he’ll gladly pony up $24.50 for breakfast….or find a delicious option nearby for even less.

The Marriott / SPG rumor mill. What’s real?

An old Teddy Roosevelet quote says, In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. But was Teddy ever crushed under the pressure of figuring out whether his Starpoints might become worthless on Monday? There have been a lot of rumors floating around over the past week about the coming announcement from Marriott and what may or may not happen on Monday. Greg runs down the play-by-play, from what we know for sure to some of the less reliable rumors and what you should do in response.


That’s it for this Frequent Miler week in review. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.

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