This week around the web: the spoiling of low-hanging fruit through BankDirect that likely spells the end of one avenue to easy miles. Also, read about opportunities to scoop up while you can: from LATAM flights to book while they’re reasonable on miles to some quintuple-stacks that might amp up your game. Those and more in our week in review around the web.
I recently wrote about the low-hanging fruit waiting to be picked in terms of bank account bonuses. One opportunity I’ve long passed on is earning miles via BankDirect (though I’ll admit I only passed because I didn’t know about it until its most lucrative period was ending). This was still a decent play — until they recently contacted account holders to say that they will send a 1099 for the value of the miles and left out what the valuation will be. See this post from Miles Talk that has as much detail as we know, and therein lies the problem: unless the valuation of the miles is lower than we all expect, this will no longer be a worthwhile deal. RIP.
We all know that LATAM is leaving Oneworld. Unfortunately, I think the prospects of using miles for LATAM awards in the future are pretty grim given the generally weak value proposition from SkyTeam carriers. Andy and Lazy Traveler’s Handbook outlines the awards you should book during the final ~10-month window of opportunity. I’m personally supremely disappointed in not having yet visited the Galapagos (despite having spent 9 months living in Quito) and that disappointment compounds exponentially with the news of LATAM leaving Oneworld. I don’t see a trip to the Galapagos on my radar in the next year or two unfortunately. Read about the other places you don’t want to miss.
This post from Points Adventure just earned some easy miles for my family. On the recent 40K trip, my family members had a couple of paid flights on Air New Zealand. I had intended to get everyone signed up for mileage accounts to credit the flights and I just didn’t get around to it. Figuring the opportunity was lost with the trashed boarding passes, I hadn’t realized that mileage credit could potentially be claimed with just the ticket number and flight info. This is awesome to know for the future.
Who would have known that even your reservation is a gamble? This is really disappointing news from Hyatt — a hotel is leaving the program soon and Hyatt simply isn’t working to honor award reservations or find another way to accommodate guests. I imagine there are guests who planned trips to celebrate birthdays / anniversaries / bachelor or bachelorette parties / etc and I’m surprised that Hyatt will just leave them in the lurch on this. View from the Wing has the scoop.
Bethany Walsh at Bougie Miles has done some valuable legwork here in finding some really nice stacking opportunities through the SImplymiles program. This post is worth a read if your New Year’s resolution is to not leave miles on the table. Bethany’s key discovery is that you only need to be an AAdvantage credit card holder to sign up — but you aren’t limited to registering AAdvantage cards for offers. I’ve played around with this some myself and it might be a really interesting program.
That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.