Le Club Accorhotels 500 Points for Free & Triple Points For Stays Including Weekend Night

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Earlier in the week I was writing about Le Club Accorhotels offer of instant Platinum status for Citi cardholders, but the offer appears to be open for anyone. Now, Le Club is offering 500 points just for inputting your Le Club number on to their Facebook page (no need to sign up for Facebook). You will also have a chance to win 1000000 points (one person) or 25000 (10 people).

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I just signed up for this and instantly received an email confirmation that I had been eligible for the 500 Le Club points, and that they would post to my account within 3 weeks after the end of the game. I am not in a hurry to get Le Club points, so if they post eventually, it’s all good.

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This offer also includes triple points for stays that include a weekend night that are booked from April 10to May 10, and consumed by June 10, 2012. You weekday nights will get triple points also IF your stay includes Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night.

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There is no separate code for signing up for this promotion. I would assume that signing up for the 500 points offer, which is available for the first 25000, will sign you up for the triple points offer as well.

Here are the terms and conditions that Accor has released about these two promotions:

New Starwood Preferred Guest Promotion “SPG: Nice Choice” Coming on May 1st

Starwood is teasing on their Twitter and Facebook feeds about the new promotion that will be open for registration on May 1st.

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The only hints that the Starwood has given out so far are that the promotions is:

ALL ABOUT YOU

CHOOSE WHEN, WHAT AND HOW YOU WANT TO EARN

So, the basic assumption is that this is a choice based promotion. Starwood has run something similar in the past where you can choose your preferred reward out of few choices. I cannot remember Starwood ever having a promotion where I could decide when I would earn.

I am probably not the only one who is eagerly waiting to learn more about this promotion. We should know in the next week or so.

In the past two summers Starwood has been running a promotion for a free hotel night after certain number of stays (3). The number of complimentary nights that one could earn has been unlimited.

In 2010 those nights were valid for weekend stays (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) at most Starwood hotels. In 2011 the promotion was for free nights at properties classified as resorts. These nights were valid 7 days a week.

Hilton HHonors Changing Award Categories of 447 Hotels

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Hilton just released a list of properties that will change award categories on April 30th, 2012. Off the 3800 Hilton affiliated properties 330 will move up by a category and 117 will move down by one. InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, and Starwood already had their category changes earlier this year.

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You have until April 30th, 2012 to book these properties that are moving up at old award or points & money levels. If you have an award reservation at a property that is moving down, you need to call after April 30th to have the number of points withdrawn for the award corrected.

Overall, this category change is not dramatic, but the number of properties moving up year after year does make the higher categories crowded.

You can access the PDF that Hilton released about this change here.

Properties moving down – 117

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Properties that will move down by a category are mainly category 3 and 4 Hampton Inns. There is very little movement on other brands/categories.

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Properties moving up – 330

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Close to half of the properties moving up are Hampton Inn, but other brands are well represented as well. Category 3, 4, and 5 have the highest number of properties moving up by a category, but even the category 6 has 28 properties moving to category 7.

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Here are the Frequently asked questions that Hilton has anticipated about this change:

Etihad Matching Other Airlines’ Gold Elites (or Higher) to Etihad Guest Gold

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Etihad, the national & smaller global airline out from UAE, has launched a status match campaign that is limited to first 1000 participants. Etihad is matching other airlines’ Gold members or higher to Etihad Guest Gold. This offer is valid until April 26th or when participant quota has been reached.

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Last week Etihad announced some not so good changes for its Etihad Guest frequent flier program. Unless you are flying full fare business or first class, the number of miles you will earn will go down.

The requirements of this status match campaign are very straightforward. You only need to email a copy of the frequent flier card and the miles statement to tiermatchuae@etihad.ae along with your Etihad Guest frequent flier number.

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There is also an offer of triple miles for business class and quadruple miles for first class for program participants. The details of this bonus offer are somewhat unclear. Apparently, they will send more detailed information for those that are matched to Gold.

I just applied for the tier match myself as I have been thinking of taking some Etihad operated flights in the not so distant future. I qualified for the Emirates Skywards Gold the other week, but haven’t received a new card yet. At least on the Emirates’ website you can just print a copy of the card. Then I printed out also my latest account statement as a PDF file, and sent a short email to the address above with my guest number and the two files as an attachment.  We’ll see how long it takes for Etihad to update my status to Gold. Based on my previous correspondence with Etihad over the email they have been able to react rather fast.

Le Club Accorhotels (Accor A Club) Platinum Status for Signing Up

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Please note that Accor has disabled this offer. Please sign up for our email alerts to get notified when this offer is available again.

Last month Accor changed the name of its loyalty program from Accor A Club to Le Club Accorhotels. Not sure why the name change? Personally, I don’t think that the new name is any better than the old one.

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Accor has run multiple promotions of getting the Platinum status with its loyalty program instantaneously. Typically these promotions last for a week or so. If you are planning, or even if you are not, to stay at Accor property, it makes sense to sign up for the program. The benefits are somewhat hit & miss, but then you really don’t have to “qualify” for the program in the first place.

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I signed up for the Platinum status last year and have had few Accor stays. The Mercure hotel in Nadi was not great, but the Novotel hotel in Lami Bay was actually nice. During my latest Accor hotel stay at the Hotel Muse, an MGallery collection hotel, in Bangkok I even received a Platinum gift that was a shirt.

This latest offer is targeted to Citi credit card holders, but in the usual Accor fashion it is open for anybody. You can sign up for the program and get the instant Platinum status by completing the form here. The promotional code should be embedded. If for some reason it is not, just use the following one CITIBANKRLPLAT2012.

American Airlines & Japan Airlines Economy Award Sale to Asia – 40K Return in Economy

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Personally, I am not a huge fan of using miles for economy class tickets, but sometimes it can make sense. American is currently offering an award sale for trips originating in United States (including Alaska but excluding Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, The Bahamas, and the Bermuda to Asia. You can fly economy return for only 40000 Advantage miles instead of the usual 70000. This offer is valid for travel completed between April 6 and May 31st, 2012.

Book a round-trip Economy Class award ticket on American Airlines or Japan Airlines between North America** and Asia with 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles (taxes and fees apply up to $271). This offer is valid for travel completed between April 6, 2012, and May 31, 2012.

*40% savings off the standard AAdvantage award mileage level of 70,000 miles for round-trip travel on Economy Class for oneworld® and other airlines to/from the United States and Asia.

Government taxes and fees apply. Award Processing charges of $75 per passenger will be applied to award bookings ticketing less than 21 days prior to departure.

**Hawaii is excluded from this offer. North America is defined as the U.S. (including Alaska), Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, The Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Award Special Terms and Conditions:
The North America to Asia award special is valid for round-trip travel in Economy Class on flights which are operated by American Airlines or Japan Airlines. Award inventory is subject to seat availability and capacity controls. Seats for award travel may not be available on all flights. Standard AAdvantage® award travel terms and conditions apply. AAdvantage flight awards are subject to, and the passenger is responsible for, the September 11th Security Fee, applicable departure taxes, federal inspection fees, passenger facility charges, and any other taxes and fees imposed by a government entity (U.S. or foreign), as well as any fees or surcharges (including fuel surcharges) imposed by the carrier.

American Airlines divides Asia normally to two zones for award travel purposes. This promotions should be valid for both Asia 1 (Japan, Korea, Mongolia) and Asia 2 (Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Saipan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam).

As long as you can fly the route entirely using American Airlines or Japan Airlines, the award should price at 40000 AAdvantage miles in economy class instead of the usual 70000 miles.

American Airlines only flies to Narita, Shanghai, and Beijing in Asia. Japan Airlines flies to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver in North America. If your final destination in Asia is outside of Shanghai or Beijing, you will have to rely on JAL’s award availability from Narita or Haneda airports onwards to your final destination.

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Note that you cannot book awards that include flights on JAL online. The only way to have them included to your award is to call American Airlines.

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Also, these awards are not pricing correctly online. I was able to do a reservation for economy award from Mexico City to Shanghai and return to Bermuda. The online incorrectly priced this at 35K miles per way when it should have been 20K. The American airline agent, with whom I spoke with, was able to price it correctly, however.

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These economy awards can offer tremendous value if you are originating/ending in an uncompetitive market.

American Airlines Offering Bonus Miles for New Miami-Barcelona Non-stop

Not only is American offering bonus miles for Madrid, but also for Barcelona as well. This bonus only applies for their new route between Miami and Barcelona. The bonus is higher for business and full’ish economy compared to discount ones. You are eligible for the bonus also if you are booked on Iberia or British Airways codeshares. It might be difficult to know exactly how their fare codes map with American Airlines ones for bonus purposes, however.

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You probably don’t need to have your origin or destination in Miami or Barcelona to qualify for the bonus, but rather have XXX-MIA-BCN-XXX. At least so have previous American promotions worked out, although this time they have the word “between” on the headline.

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Oneway trips are also eligible and there are no restrictions how many times you can earn the bonus. This offer expires on May 31st and registration prior to travel is required.

There are plenty of things to see and do around Barcelona. My favorite is the Salvador Dali museum in the city of Figueres. For some beach time, you can always take a train to Sitges.

Here’s the small print of this offer:

Terms and Conditions:
AAdvantage bonus mile offer is valid for round-trip travel (half the bonus shown will be awarded for one-way travel) on American Airlines marketed and operated nonstop flights between Miami (MIA) and Barcelona, Spain (BCN), April 3, 2012, through May 31, 2012. Includes travel on codeshare flights marketed by British Airways or Iberia (booked under the BA or IB flight number) and operated by American Airlines. Offer applies only to AAdvantage members who purchase and fly on purchased, published fare tickets. Bonus miles will be awarded based on the booking class purchased and do not count toward elite status qualification or Million Miler status. Registration prior to travel is required.

 

American Airlines Double Miles on Select Non-stop AA & Iberia Flights Between US and Madrid

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American Airlines appears be running non-stop promotions on number of routes from double elite qualifying miles to double redeemable miles or both. They just dropped an email regarding a double redeemable miles on number of direct/through routes between United States and Madrid. The bonus applies both to American and Iberia operates flights. Registration is required before travel.

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Madrid is a wonderful city to visit and the spring time is the best time to go there. The height of the summer is really hot, however, as the city is inland. Personally unless you like really high temperatures, I would avoid Madrid in July/August. I have been to Madrid number of times and I have been planning to go back sometime later in the year.

Note that you don’t have to originate from the three cities in the United States and your destination doesn’t need to be Madrid. You will only get double miles for the non-stop flights between the listed cities. If you fly LAX-DFW-MAD-ATH, your DFW-MAD flight will count for the double miles.

All Iberia flights between US, Puerto Rico, and Mexico earn at least 100% base and elite qualifying miles on a paid fare. On other flights it depends of the fare class. You can find more information about this on AA’s website.

Here’s the small print of this offer:

Terms and Conditions:
AAdvantage double mile offer is valid for nonstop travel on American Airlines or Iberia operated flights between Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) or New York/JFK and Madrid, Spain (MAD) from April 5, through May 31, 2012. Includes travel on codeshare flights marketed by American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia. Offer applies only to AAdvantage members who purchase and fly on published fare tickets. Bonus miles do not count toward elite status qualification or Million Miler status. Double miles will be calculated at 100% of the base miles earned. Registration prior to travel is required.

Flying Blue Avis Accelerator Is Back – Up To 50000 Bonus Miles for 6 Avis Rentals

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Word of warning. Avis run a similar promotion last year and it was very difficult for many to get the miles that they were due from Avis. If you decide to participate to this offer, make sure that you follow the Terms and conditions to the letter, and keep copies of reservations/receipts until you have the miles posted in to your account.

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To get the 50000 bonus miles you need to have 6 rentals each of 3 days or longer between April 1st and 30th of September 2012. The reservations need to have the Flying Blue AWD number that depends of your Flying Blue status and your Flying Blue number.

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Please note that you can probably get lower rates from Avis using various discount codes that are not eligible for this offer. Last year, I was looking to participate, but it just wouldn’t work for me. The rates were too high using the Flying Blue codes compared to other ones that I was eligible for. Obviously this depends where you rent and which discount codes you are eligible for.

If the rates are competitive using the Flying Blue discount codes, it makes sense to rent using them. Although Flying Blue charger very high fuel surcharges even on award tickets, the miles can come handy at time.

Here are the Terms and conditions of this offer:

Discover America Daily Getaways Announced for the 3rd Week April 23-27

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On Monday, I wrote about the Discover America Daily Getaways for the first two weeks. There were three deals that caught my eye, but probably not good enough to make me to participate, however.

On the third week I probably have to make some purchases. Last year, I ended up buying both Hilton HHonors and Wyndham Rewards points. Wyndham points have been sitting on my account since that, but I have been using and earning Hilton HHonors points all the time.

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Wyndham Rewards Points Monday April 23rd

Wyndham has five different packages for sale. You can buy one each. The beauty of Wyndham Rewards points is the transferability to airline miles.  30K Wyndham Rewards points transfers to 12K miles or equivalent in kilometers in number of programs; Amtrak, Czech Airlines, Delta, Hainan, Frontier, US Airways, United, Airberlin, Aeroplan, AeroMexico, China Eastern, American Airlines & Air China.

Packages available

16000 Wyndham Rewards points for $55 = price per point 0.0034 = price per mile 0.0086

28000 Wyndham Rewards points for $76 = price per point 0.0027 = price per mile 0.0068

32000 Wyndham Rewards points for $110 = price per point 0.0034 = price per mile 0.0086

50000 Wyndham Rewards points for $143 = price per point 0.0029 = price per mile 0.0072

48000 Wyndham Rewards points for $165 = price per point 0.0034 = price per mile 0.0086

Above calculations do not take into account 10% discount when paying using an American Express branded credit card, and the figures are rounded. The price per mile number is calculated when transferring in the block of 30K Wyndham Rewards points to 12K airline miles.

When airlines sell miles in their respective programs, the prices tend to fluctuate between 1.8 to 2 cents per mile during the sales. You really cannot buy miles cheaper than first buying the Wyndham Rewards points during the Discover America sale, and then transferring them to airline miles. Of course you can use them for hotel stays as well.

Quick look at my Wyndham Rewards account shows that I was able to snag 146K worth of packages during the last year’s sale.

Hilton HHonors Points Wednesday April 25th

This is the only other purchase that I made last year.

Packages available

150000 Hilton HHonors points for $825

250000 Hilton HHonors points for $1375

100000 Hilton HHonors points for $550

I would steer away from buying Hilton HHonors points unless you are a Diamond member and/or know how to use them properly. You can “buy” a very good deal if you are able to use the points at a place like Conrad Koh Samui where rates are in excess of $600 per night.

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Point Earnings When Promotions Are factored In

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The beauty of InterContinental Hotel’s Group Priority Club is the continuous and numerous promotions that they are running year-round. You can count on the fact that the number of points that you earn from various promotions, especially if you are mainly having short stays at the InterContinental hotels, far outweighs the number of basic points earned.

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Here is an example based on my six IHG stays of this year. Two of the stays were at the Crowne Plaza hotels (one night each) and the four at InterContinental’s. Two of my four IC stays were for two nights.

The number of base points earned is 9684 and points from Platinum/Royal Ambassador and other bonuses 40194. I would also need to factor in the prorated Ambassador Accelerator bonus of 20000 points for 15 IC nights. That would be additional 8000 bonus points. So, 9684 base points and 48194 bonus points and average of 7234 points per night. This is rather typical for Priority Club.

Of course the points are then best used for Point Breaks.  If you play the game right, it is basically pay for one & get one for free.

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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Status Match

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Alaska Airlines is one of the few US airlines that still do straight status matches for their mid-tier MVP Gold status. The main reason for me matching the United Airlines status that I have, is to get the 100% MV Gold redeemable bonus (RDM) for my Emirates flights. I would have earned the MVP Gold status anyway, but would have missed on the 100% RDM bonus during the qualification process.

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Back in January, I wrote about the partnership that Alaska and Emirates had signed up, and the ability to earn elite qualifying miles on Emirates flights on Alaska’s Mileage Plan. There are number of other carriers with the same agreement.

Redeeming on Emirates is not possible at this time using miles from Alaska’s program. This function is available later this year. You can redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles on number of partners of which many are Emirates’ competitors i.e. Air France and British Airways, however.

Personally, I don’t find any reason to keep collecting EQM’s and RDM’s on Emirates’ Skywards program beyond making the Gold status. The only reasonable use for Skywards miles are upgrades from economy to business or from business to first.

Even if you have no plans to set your foot on Alaska’s flight, like I don’t, it doesn’t make using their frequent flier program unwise. BTW there is absolutely nothing wrong with Alaska Airways. It is a thriving airline on the west coast of the United States. If you are flying up and down on the west coast, quite likely you will end up on Alaska’s plane at some point.

Here’s what you need to do to request a status match on Alaska’s program:

1.  Have equivalent status to MVP Gold in competing program. MVP Gold requires 50K EQM.

2. Open an Alaska Mileage Plan account online

3. Send an email to elite.flyer@alaskaair.com & mileage.plan@alaskaair.com and attach:

  • Copy of your frequent flyer card
  • Copy of your driver’s license
  • Copy of the online statement from competing airline

4. On the body of the email include your Alaska Mileage Plan number and request status match.

When I emailed the online statement from United, I first received an email that requested a copy of the frequent flier card and a driver’s license.  For some reason I also received an email that request like this cannot be processed by email, and to contact the Mileage Plan by phone. But, this process can be done entire online as well.

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After I had replied that I hadn’t received a current card from United yet, they have had quite a few issues sending them out, and included copies of my Continental and United cards from 2011 and detailed account statements from both airlines that showed all the activity, the status of my account was updated the following day to MVP Gold.

American Airlines Double Elite Qualifying Miles for DFW-BOS Promotion BOSEQ

American has had the west coast DEQM/RDM promotion going now for close to six months. Last month American launched a DEQM offer for DFW-LGA flights. Now they are extending the offer for non-stop flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Boston.

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This promotions required registration prior travel and is valid from April 3rd to June 30th, 2012. Please note that this offer only doubles the elite qualifying miles. You won’t earn more redeemable mikes by participating to this offer.

Here are the Terms and conditions of this offer:

Buy Priority Club Points & Get Up To 50% Bonus + Priority Club Platinum Status As Well

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InterContinental Hotels Group’s Priority Club is selling points by offering up to 50% bonus on purchased points until April 30th, 2012. The good news about buying points from Priority Club is that they count towards the Priority Club Gold or Platinum status. You can get instants Platinum status by buying 40K points +20K bonus points for a total of 60K Priority Club points for $460.

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There are cheaper ways to buy the points. During the Discover America sale you can buy Priority Club points at 10Kpoints for $60, if paid using American Express branded credit card.

You can buy Priority Club points for $60 per 10K year-round by doing Points & Cash redemptions and canceling the reservation afterwards. Priority Club doesn’t reverse the points transaction. What they are doing, is selling you the points and depositing them to your account, and then charging the full number of points required for the award. I have an example of this on my review of the InterContinental Fiji hotel. If you go overboard with this, they might have a look at your account, however.

I probably wouldn’t be buying these, but then I do have a Platinum/Royal Ambassador status with InterContinental Hotels Group/Priority Club. If you don’t have any points to start with and would like to get the Platinum status, this is the fastest way to do it. You can then play around with the Points & Cash redemptions to get more points if needed.

The best way to use Priority Club points are the Point Breaks hotels. I did write about the current offers last week, when the latest list was announced. These are only 5000 Priority Club points per night.

The Terms and Conditions of this offer:

Offer available for purchases made between March 30 and April 30, 2012 inclusive. Bonus points will be awarded upon completion of the transaction. Bonus points will be awarded to the recipient of the points purchase. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Only purchases made online are eligible for the bonus.

Price includes all applicable fees. GST/HST will be applied to purchases by Canadian residents. Purchased Points are not refundable and are applicable toward all Priority Club® Rewards awards. Members may purchase a maximum of 50,000 points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 50,000 points per year. Please allow 24-48 hours for miles to post to appear in the recipient’s account. All other Priority Club® Rewards Terms and Conditions apply.

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