Point & Center: Save 10,000 Miles on Delta Awards, Annual Fee Waiver on Chase British Airways Visa & Free Wifi at Marriott Hotels!

Lots going on in the points and miles world. Let’s get to it:

1) Save 10,000 Delta SkyMiles on Award Redemptions - In a rare, positive moment for Delta SkyMiles, Delta has announced a special promotion that through November 2nd, you can save 4,000 to 10,000 miles on a roundtrip award with Delta. Here is the chart showing the discounted prices:

DeltaPromo

 

It is important to note that all travel must be between December 3rd, 2014 and February 18th, 2015 and as stated earlier, these flights must be booked by November 2nd. Additionally, the discount only applies to economy travel and obviously not on all awards (such as Europe or Asia) as you can see in the chart above. Lastly, flights to Brazil, Argentina, and Chile require a 7-day minimum stay.

This isn’t the most exciting promotion but if you were looking to book one of these awards (and can find saver space for it…good luck) then I obviously recommending book them before November 2nd. Just remember all travel has to be roundtrip!

2) Chase British Airways Visa Annual Fee Waiver - I saw this on several blogs yesterday but the Chase British Airways Visa is now available with the $95 annual fee waived for the first year. The signup bonus is still the standard 50,000 Avios after spending $2,000 in 3 months which is a good offer.

That said, I’m not as enthusiastic about this new offer as others. Sure its nice the annual fee is waived for the first year but I would much rather prefer a higher signup bonus in the terms of Avios. There used to be a 100,000 Avios offer from Chase annually though one for 2014 doesn’t seem likely now. I would even settle for a bonus of 75,000 Avios if it meant paying the $95 annual fee upfront. I personally plan to skip this offer &  wait and see if the Avios signup bonus increases. As I said on Twitter, I’m still holding out hope for a 100k offer at some point in 2015.

3) Free Wifi at Marriott Hotels & Resorts - Marriott announced today they will provide free internet to Marriott Rewards members who book their stay at a Marriott or Ritz Carlton hotel solely through a Marriott website or reservation center. This is an effort by Marriott to avoid having guests book through the Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline’s of the world and avoid paying them a commission. You must be enrolled as a Marriott Rewards member and have your rewards number attached to the reservation.

From a consumer standpoint, this is an awesome benefit and I will definitely be incentivized to book my stays through Marriott directly. In the event you do see a much cheaper rate on a site like Expedia, you could always file a Best Rate Guarantee with Marriott to get the lower rate + another 25% off. In order to file a Best Rate Guarantee though, you must book the room through Marriott so make sure it is refundable just in case for any reason the claim is not approved. However, this way you will still be entitled to the free internet since you booked through Marriott so this could be a win-win if you get another 25% off the room + free internet.

Quick Deal: 12% Off Frontier Flights with Promo Code LOWFARES

It feels like everytime I write about Frontier Airlines they are offering some sort of discount and this time is no exception, as they are offering 12% off most of their flights. There are of course restrictions around dates of travel but otherwise this is valid for both one-ways and roundtrips and all routes serviced by Frontier. You will want to use promo code LOWFARES when you book flights online at frontier.com.

Frontier12

Here are the key details to know:

  • Flights must be booked by 11:59 EST on October 30th
  • Valid travel dates are from November 6th to February 11th, a little over 3 months.
  • Not valid for Friday or Sunday travel
  • There are unfortunately blackout dates around the holidays. They are as follows: Nov. 21-26; Nov. 29- Dec. 1; Dec 19-24; Dec. 26-28 2014; Jan. 3-4, 2015. Interestingly, MLK weekend is not restricted so you could return on the Monday of that weekend using this promotion.

It is important to note that now Frontier charges for carry-on bags and seat reservations, similar to Spirit. I don’t consider them on the same level (I think Spirit is much worse at nickel & diming you) but Andrea flew them last month from PDX-DEN-LGA and it was a perfectly fine experience. She was able to use a prior discount code from Frontier (these happen with enough regularity) and the flights, even including the carry-on baggage fee, were $75 to $100 cheaper then United or other carriers. And with Frontier aggressively expanding on the east coast with more flights out of NY and Washington DC, it’s worth taking a look to see if this promo could help even if you are not based in Denver or the West Coast.

 

Just Say No to the New TravElite Credit Card

I receive a lot of “credit card spam” in the mail but I always open each envelope just in case I find something worthwhile. Going through this spam mail this weekend, I noticed a new credit card I never heard of called the TravElite card in some fancy packaging. I opened it to find out that it offered 3x points on airfare and hotel purchases (hmm better than the Sapphire Preferred) and 1.5x points on everything else (hmm just like Mileage Plus Club Card). It also offered a $100 airline fee credit annually  and a $100 credit for Global Entry. There was a $99 annual fee (not waived) but all those perks certainly got my attention.

TravElite Card Mailer

TravElite Card Mailer

With my hopes high, I dug a little more into the card. It was an American Express card but issued by the First National Bank of Omaha which I’ve never heard of. My first thought was maybe this smaller bank was issuing a premium credit card to compete with the big banks in the industry so this was good news since I could always use a card that is not from the Chase, American Express & Citibanks of the world. The next question was how is the rewards program since that is what ultimately matters.

Alas, this is where I started seeing the downfall of this card. Per both the mailer and their website, “You can check your point balance and redeem points for rewards like travel, gift cards, merchandise or cash back as a credit to your account.” No mention of transferring points to any frequent flier programs so this looks like your ordinary cash back credit card. I couldn’t find any information related to the rate of cashback but I think it is safe to assume its $.01 per point. While a setback, if this card had a large signup bonus it might be worth it for the first year and than I could just cancel it.

Ah the final nail in the coffin – there was no signup bonus. Without a signup bonus, the most value you could extract from this card would be $100 in the first year and that assumes you need to still apply for Global Entry (since the $100 airline fee credit offset sets the annual fee). Going forward, this would be an awful card to put any spending on since you’d be paying a $99 annual fee for the right to earn 1.5% cashback on all purchases outside of airfare and hotels. You’d be much better off with the no annual fee, 2% cash back Fidelity Amex with a $50 signup bonus or even the Barclay Arrival Plus.

If it wasn’t clear already, this is an awful credit card to signup for. I personally look for at least $300 in value for opening a credit card and that is usually covered by the large signup bonus associated with most cards. This card doesn’t offer one so ,if you see this offer in your mailbox don’t fall for the snazzy packaging and safely send it to your paper shredder.

Point & Center: Use Marriott Points at Atlantis, No More 7,500 AA Miles at Cadillac & $300-$400 Airfare to Europe

*For my new readers, Point & Center is a weekly series (with a witty play on words) that rounds up some of the biggest news in the points and miles space. These posts are generally well-received though some argue my witty play on words is not. You be the judge.*

Here’s a quick recap of what happened in the points & miles world this week.

1. Use Marriott Points at Atlantis Resorts in the Bahamas – I received an email this week from Marriott letting me know that I can now book certain rooms at Atlantis with Marriott Rewards Points. I’ll be the first to admit out of all the major hotel loyalty programs I care least about Marriott – before getting the 140,000 point Ritz credit card I never earned any Marriott points – so it is certainly nice to have a more “inspirational property” available for redemption for Marriott members. That said, I don’t think the values are great as the base level rooms cost 35,000 points. Here is a summary of the points cost per room depending on what tower you are in.

Atlantis

I’ve seen prices for the Beach & Coral Tower hover around $199/night except during prime season or holidays. Outside of times when the room rates are exceptionally higher, I would not use points as I would only be getting $.0057 cents a point when the room rate is around $200. On a different note, if you do pay cash for your room you will only receive Marriott points on the room rate only. In most cases with other hotels chains (and Marriott’s other hotels), you receive points on anything that posts to your hotel bill before checkout. With food and drink quite being quite expensive at Atlantis, this restriction will cost you a fair amount of Marriott points.

2. No More Free & Easy 7,500 American Airline Miles for Test Driving a Cadillac - I posted about this last week but per View From The Wing, Cadillac is no longer allowing any new registrations for its promotion in which customers that test a Cadillac could received 7,500 American Airline miles. If you registered for the promotion but haven’t taken the test drive yet, you should still go forward with it as you will still receive the miles for the promotion.

Cadillac ending this promotion most likely means they have scheduled enough test drives to cover the amount of miles they purchased from AA. The bigger takeaway from all of this is the old mantra of if you snooze, you lose. If you’ve ever seen a mistake fare (scroll to the bottom for the list of fares I’ve taken advantage of) or a promotion “too good to be true”, you know it has a limited shelf life. Especially nowadays, when there is much more attention on some of these deals as blogs, websites and forums are reaching more people, quicker than ever. In this case, there was no downside to registering so hopefully you registered for it and it was not one of the things you decided “to put off”.

3. Wow Air Still Has Cheap Fares to Iceland, London & Copenhagen - I wrote about this deal earlier and suggested to book your flights as soon as possible as I assumed Wow Air only released a handful of seats at the low prices ($99 to London, $300 roundtrip to Iceland etc..) and then would have much higher fares. Well, I’m happy to report I am still seeing some extraordinary airfares to Europe between $319 – $400 roundtrip which is still phenomenal for summer travel to Europe. Here are some fares I pulled at 11pm EST on 10/25. 

WowAir10_25 WowAir10_25Fare2WowAir10_25Fare3

I’ve seen several people disregard this sale because Wow Air is ” just like Spirit”  and they won’t get suckered into all the extra fees. I think this is a bad assumption to make. Even including a fee for a seat reservation and carry-on luggage that’s only an additional $32 to $43 each way so you might be looking at $350-$400 roundtrip with fees included. At these prices, it would be a waste to use miles for Europe. Remember the highlight of a vacation is the destination itself - I’ve read Iceland is absolutely stunning in the summer and at these prices, I’m finding it very difficult to pass up.

Welcome Million Mile Secrets Readers!

Welcome New Readers! This morning Daraius at Million Mile Secrets posted my interview on his site in which I discuss a little bit about myself and my obsession background with points & miles. I’ve been fully immersed into our amazing hobby since 2011 and I’ve taken some amazing trips around the world that would otherwise be impossible without points & miles.

Eiffel Tower - May 2014

Eiffel Tower – May 2014

My wife & I at Formal Night on Celebrity Millennium Alaskan Cruise - June 2014

My wife & I at Formal Night on Celebrity Millennium Alaskan Cruise – June 2014

Here is a quick summary about what you will see on my site:

  • Consulting Service - This is a staple of what I do and what really makes PointsCentric stand out from other blogs. For a nominal fee, I work with clients to create customized guides on how to earn points and miles for their dream vacation. I don’t simply just tell you to apply for a credit card – I correspond with clients on weekly/monthly basis (as decided by the client) via email or on the phone to make sure everything is going well and to be there for any question, comment, concern or change that comes along. Please check out my Consulting page for more detail.
  • Award Booking Service - Compared to my peers, I have some of the lowest rates in the business. While many people who are well-versed in miles do not need an Award Booking Service, I offer it for clients and readers who simply don’t want to waste time and figure out all the nuisances of an frequent flyer program. I personally enjoy the challenge and in the event, I can’t get anything booked for you, there is no fee due. Please check out my Award Booking Service page for more detail.
  • Unlike many blogs, there are NO affiliate links anywhere on this blog. I believe that in order to offer a truly independent view in my consulting services, I can’t be incentivized to recommend certain credit cards because it offers me a higher commission. This is similar to the belief in fee-only financial planners – those based on commissions inherently have bias and are undoubtedly influenced to push certain products over others (I know caused I work for a commission only financial planner in my college days).
  • There are also no revenue-generating ads on this site. The only ads are the ones occasionally put in automatically by WordPress on the bottom of a page. I don’t like seeing ads on other website so I chose not to clutter my site with them either. I don’t need to earn $.04 a day cluttering my site with useless ads if it turns off readers.

I hope you’ll check out my site and become a follower either via Twitter, Instagram, Feedly, and/or Email (signup box is in the right sidebar, make sure to check for a confirmation email!). I love engaging with my readers so I make sure to answer every email or comment posted. I will also be attending the #westcoastDO in November so I would love to meet any fellow miles & points nuts enthusiasts in person. Feel free to email me or leave me any questions or comments!