I dropped the ball last month and didn’t put a points and miles checklist together, but to be fair, there wasn’t a whole lot happening. Things are picking up in May, with some status match opportunities, bonus point promotions, and free point giveaways. You’ll probably get through this list fast, but here are some things you can do to earn more points and miles in May:
❑ Earn Bonus Miles on American Airlines Flights to Australia. If you’re traveling to Australia on a paid American Airlines fare through May 31, 2016, be sure to register to earn up 90,000 AAdvantage miles. Registration is open through May 31, 2016.
❑ Keep Your IHG Points from Expiring. Starting this month, IHG points will expire after 12 months of inactivity. You can always keep your IHG Points active by obtaining the IHG Rewards Club credit card, which has one of the lowest annual fees of any rewards card and a generous annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG hotel worldwide. You can always keep IHG points active by earning, redeeming, or buying more.
❑ Look into IHG, Hyatt, and Marriott Member Rates. Over the past few weeks, all IHG and Marriott introduced member-only rates, something Hilton and Hyatt have been offering (if only intermittently) for some time. In my experience, the rates are in fact lower than the best available rates, though in the case of Hilton, occasionally AARP/AAA rates were lower. So if you’re in the process of booking hotels, be sure to check both member rates and compare them to AARP/AAA.
❑ Free Elite Status with Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Sick of staying at cookie-cutter hotels everywhere you go? Is a lack of elite benefits stopping you from booking non-chain hotels? Then there might be a solution. Small Luxury Hotels of the World is offering free mid-tier elite status to certain American Express, Discover, and Diner’s Club cardholders. This “Loved” status level gets you access to complimentary breakfast for two, room upgrades and late check-out based on availability. Small Luxury Hotels of the World is a collection of 520 hotels across 80 countries and if you book your stay through their website, you can get access to some great perks like the third night free. A few recognizable hotel chains are part of the SLH portfolio, including some Viceroy and Shangri-La properties.
❑ Claim 700 FREE American AAdvantage Miles. American Airlines is giving away 350,000 AAdvantage miles to 35 lucky winners, and everyone gets 350 miles just for entering. While 350 miles won’t get you beyond your front door, it’s an easy bonus that requires just a quick form to be filled out, with basic information and a quick mention of a “milestone trip.” You can earn another 350 miles by sharing this milestone with friends via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
❑ Take Advantage of the JetBlue Mosaic Status Challenge. Up for a (status) challenge? Through May 31, 2016 JetBlue is offering members a status challenge to earn Mosaic status. Normally, earning Mosaic status requires 30 segments plus 12,000 base flight points OR earning 15,000 base flight points per calendar year. As part of the status challenge, members can earn Mosaic status after earning 3,750 base points during a 90 day period. This status is good through December 31, 2017.
❑ Book Summer Travel to Europe. Are you headed to Europe this summer? While it’s wise to book these trips well in advance, you can also find decent last-minute award availability. I recently checked fares to Croatia on Air Berlin, an American AAdvantage partner, and found upwards of6 open seats in economy class available on several late-May flights. That works out well if your schedule is tied to that of a University, many of which will be wrapping up the semester by mid-May. If you’re looking to book a family trip or are traveling on your own and have some flexibility, these dates may work out well for you. It’s not just Air Berlin – many Star Alliance partners have decent award space to Europe this time of year.
❑ Register for Summer Hotel Promotions. While you’re booking your summer airfare, be sure to register for the various hotel promotions going on right now.
- Club Carlson – Up to 50,000 Bonus Points
- Hilton HHonors Unlimited Bonus
- Hyatt Stay More Earn More
- IHG Share Forever
- Marriott MegaBonus
- Starwood Triple Up
Anything else you think should be added to the May checklist?
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