This week at Frequent Miler, that which was too good to be true came true after all at least once. Can it happen twice? If you believe that lightning can strike twice, you’ll want to check out the potential huge in in Marriott Travel packages, which will then send you to our post on investing in Starpoints. Sometimes, it all comes ‘around full circle. All that and more in this Frequent Miler week in review.
I’d be lying if I said that I was more than 50% confident that Iberia would honor this promo when I first posted it on Thursday (See: Crazy: 90,000 Avios for $183 (too good to last)). In fact, I questioned whether to even post it — as it turns out, I’m glad I did as some readers got in on the deal of the year at an amazing price. And as you’ll see in this post, Iberia has confirmed the details. As of the time of writing this last night, the deal is still on. It’s a bit more expensive than at first, but still a great deal. Even if you’re not interested in traveling to Europe, you can buy enough points to pay less than $70 all-in for a round trip American Airlines flight that’s 2,000 miles or less (adding up the distances of any connections). And that’s why I got in for a few: $70 RT will make it easy for us to visit family or vice versa. While many will bemoan the state of AA availability, it’s become reliable within a week or two of departure on the routes I need.
It’s tempting to consider buying Starpoints when it looks like this is the last time they’ll be offered at this price….but is it a good deal? Greg does the math so you don’t have to. I’m kidding — you should do the math. But he reminds us not to be tricked into a bad decision nonetheless.
Whether you’re looking to get to Europe, Australia, South America, Africa, or Asia, there is probably a Marriott Travel Package partner that can get you there round trip in business class (which is why these packages are the best use of purchased Starpoints). I’m leaning more and more heavily toward redeeming one of these in the coming days even though I had previously said there was no rush. I’m getting antsy as time passes and Marriott is playing the non-answer game. If I redeem, I’m going to do it for Alaska miles for the one reason I left out in this post: Alaska is the one valuable 120K partner that doesn’t have an alternative way to bulk up a balance quickly. BOA has gotten tougher on approvals with the 2/3/4 rule. Even if you qualify, the welcome bonus is only 30K – and Marriott points will be the only currency convertible to Alaska miles moving forward. There’s a risk of devaluation, but it’s a risk I’ll take.
Marriott Travel Packages have long been a great use of points. If this works out the way that Greg speculates it could here, it’s gonna be yuge for those who can take advantage. So “yuge” in fact that as noted above, I’m getting antsy about not knowing and starting to wonder whether or not we’ll get the advance notice we were expecting. My main struggle has been deciding if I want to give up the Marriott points in light of the potential huge win with off-the-charts properties. But if this huge win comes through, I’d be able to get strong value both out of the converted points and those stored in the floater certificate. Who doesn’t like a win-win?
Free Hyatt elite qualifying nights. Free nights in the Bahamas. Free nights in Atlantic City. Hey, two out of three ain’t bad. Kidding aside, there are some good reasons why you might want to consider doing a little status matching if you can get to Atlantic City and why you might want to think about a mattress run to Vegas with the free nights you could have available thanks to a match you have (hopefully) already done.
If you had and cancelled the Surpass in the past, before the announcement of the Ascend card, you’ll want to see this post about your potential eligibility to get the welcome bonus on the Ascend. While one bonus of 100K might not seem compelling at first, a couple playing in two player mode could put together 800K Hilton points in welcome bonuses over the four cards — assuming you can qualify for all of the offers. See this post for more.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for this week around the web and our weekly last chance deals.