Just a quick Public Service Announcement that as of Decemeber 15th, 2015 award prices for Aeroplan awards will be going up. This chart shows some of the more important increases for travel originating in the US (full chart Here).
In this chart a black dot represents an increase in the price of an award and an orange dot represents a decrease in price. As one might expect, there are more black dots than orange dots. It’s all black dots from North America and Canada, while if your are traveling from Africa to New Zealand, then good news, first class and coach tickets just got a little cheaper!
Hate is a strong word and so I reserve it for use only on truly egregious programs. Despite being granted Hilton Diamond status this week via the widely reported status match opportunity, I find myself with nothing but hard feelings about the hotel chain.
Them giving me status is not what’s rubbing me the wrong way, or the fact that Paris never returns my calls (just kidding!), it’s their loyalty program. Like many of you, I save points up with the hope of redeeming them for out-sized value. I get excited about aspirational products and experiences and if an airline/hotel/program can’t offer that then I simply put my spending on a 2% cash back card.
Traveling the world is awesome. It’s so awesome that it’s worth a little suffering for and that suffering usually comes in the form of jetlag (unless you are flying coach, in which case it comes in the form of a tiny, upright seat, followed by jetlag).
I tend to travel back and forth between the U.S. and Asia at least a few times a year and I find that the full 12-hour timezone flip is the worst for jet lag. I’ve been doing this long enough to have picked up a few tricks that will help you karate-chop jet lag in the throat so you can get out and enjoy your destination!
Babies! First of all, let me congratulate all of you who were able to get the US Airways Mastercard while that sexy 50,000 mile bonus was still strutting around the internet. We can all congratulate each other once again when we are flying first class and drinking champagne with those sweet miles! But there is more to this card than just miles…
There is also the companion pass! Which is not as glamorous as your award redemptions will be, but is a useful little slip of paper. What the companion certificate does is allow you to book up to 2 additional passengers on a paid US Airways ticket for $99 per person.
So let’s say you are planning to go to Hawaii to investigate Donald Trump’s claim that he was born on planet Earth. Then you are out of luck, as the certificate is only good for travel to the 48 contiguous states and Canada (plus there’s no way he is from Earth). If, however, you wanted to go with your two bestest buddies to Los Angeles to eat some tacos and get a medical marijuana prescription, then this little certificate is great!
The time had come for our next adventure and it was starting, as all good adventures do, with a flight in Cathay Pacific first class, booked with my AAdvantage miles. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that flying Cathay First is an experience that will change everything you thought you knew about flying. It is so unlike everything that I have previously associated with the trans-Pacific flight experience, and in all the most delightful ways. Some people like flying, some people don’t mind it, but I have generally hated it for most of my life. This has not stopped me from flying a great deal, but all I had known of flying before my foray into travel hacking was suffering. And Cathay first removes the suffering and replaces it with caviar.
It’s not that often that credit card companies are willing to shower you with miles for next to nothing, but that is exactly what is currently happening with the Barclays US Airways credit card. The sign up bonus is 50,000 US Airways Dividend miles after first purchase and paying the annual fee of $89. So for $89 and a $0.50 Amazon gift certificate to yourself, you can top up your Dividend miles balance by a cool 50,000 miles.