How to justify the Prestige, uncapped nights not unrestricted, best Virgin Atlantic award chart, and more


This week at Frequent Miler brought in a number of vastly different posts. From a useful Virgin Atlantic award chart to the reason you should consider the Rewards+ and from what to watch out for when searching to the restriction on unrestricted free nights, find it all in our Frequent Miler week in review. Read on for this week’s recap.

Citi Rewards+ is a great companion to Premier or Prestige

Citi Rewards+

When the Citi Rewards+ card launched, I got a good laugh out of the notion of buying my bananas one at a time to rake in extra rewards thanks to this card’s ridiculous “unique” earning structure. But it turns out it is more than the butt of your 1,000x jokes: it is a great way to more easily justify the Premier or even the hefty fee on the Prestige card. See this post for more.

Complete Guide to Travel Companion Tickets

From the famed Southwest Companion Pass to the Amtrak Companion ticket and everything in between, this newly-updated guide has the key details on every typeo of companion ticket you need to know more about.

Is it a waste to use a Cat 1-4 certificate on a Cat 3 property?

In this game, it can be hard to accept less than the “best” use. In my case, I’m using a Category 1-4 free night certificate at a Category 3 property. While some would say I’m giving up 3,000 points in value, I looked at it as gaining value since it locked me into staying at a much more points-reasonable hotel (and room rates are north of $400/nt). Even if it’s not eeking out maximum point value that night, it’s keeping the maximum number of points in my pocket for that stay.

Which credit card should you use to pay your cell phone bill?

I have to admit, I’m somewhat surprised by how many readers (both here and via our Frequent Miler Insiders group) said that they use an Ink Cash (or older Ink Plus) card to earn 5x and forgo insurance. However, I shouldn’t have been. As someone who is not particularly accident prone and used to buy phones that cost around $200 or less, that solution made the most sense to me for years. But with a baby at home and some broken phones in the household history, as well as pricey devices, cell phone insurance makes sense. Which card should you use to get it? I say a Wells Fargo Card. What do you say?

Business class for 44K: pick from 3 continents [Sweet-spot spotlight]

Photo of their new business class from Royal Air Maroc’s instagram page.

This week’s spotlight was on Etihad Guest, both an Amex transfer partner and Citi transfer partner. Putting together just 44K miles is enough to fly business class on their partner Royal Air Maroc from the United States to the destination of your choice, with options spanning 3 continents. See this post for more on your options and what to expect in terms of surcharges.

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, Autograph Collection Review

As others have said, I’m glad that Greg took one for the team on this one. I had squeezed in a few nights for this property later this year, but it looks like this review will be saving me some points. The rooms look nice, but I don’t think that’ll be enough to justify getting so far out of the way.

Final IHG Free Night Certificates Only Usable 9 Nights Beyond Expiration

Free night certificates from the old IHG Rewards Club credit card (the one with the $49 annual fee that was discontinued in 2018) that are issued before May 1, 2019 are uncapped. However, those issued May 2018 or later aren’t unrestricted. While these certificates have long had a 1-year expiration period, they have historically been usable beyond the expiration date as long as you booked before the certificate expired. Unfortunately, IHG has put an end to that. Certificates issued in May 2018 or later are only usable for reservations that are at most 9 days beyond the expiration date of the certificate. See this post for more. My current certificate expires next month and I’m feeling slightly wasteful in actually using it next month since I was at the tail end of those that still look be bookable beyond end date….

United search tool doesn’t include “all airports” (even when it says it does)

A reader comment yesterday led me to see that this may actually be “fixed”, though other reader comments indicate that the problem comes and goes. The key take-away is this: If you usually use airport code “NYC” to search all New York airports or “LON” to search all London airports, etc, you may be missing out on key relevant results. Again, a search yesterday indicated that this may have been fixed, but I’m not sure I’d count on that for all of my future searches.

Virgin Atlantic award chart (U.S.-centric)

While Virgin Atlantic has an award chart, it is isn’t focused on award travel to and from the United States. Greg made a Virgin Atlantic chart that is. Better yet, it doesn’t just show mileage prices, but also  estimates as to what you’ll pay in taxes & fees. That’s really helpful when you’re comparison shopping for the best awards. Honestly, VIrgin’s fees are a bit too rich for my blood, but if they have the flights you want, you’ll need to bookmark this page.

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

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