Best frequent-flier promotions for August 2016

By |July 29th, 2016|@MagazineOnline, Airlines, Frequent Flyer Airline, Frequent Flyer Hotel, Frequent Flyer Programs, Hotel, Region - Europe, Region - North America, Travel Tips|Comments Off on Best frequent-flier promotions for August 2016
If you travel with your pets, Virgin Atlantic is ready

If you travel with your pets, Virgin Atlantic is ready to reward you. (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The clock is ticking on American’s loyalty program. Come Aug. 1, miles will be earned based upon dollars spent, not mileage flown. But there are still some great promotions out there to fill up your mileage balance.

United offers bonus miles for Marriott travel packages. Marriott Rewards offers a unique points redemption that gives members a stash of airline miles and free night redemptions to use as part of a bundled, but custom, vacation. The travel packages are not cheap points-wise, but they can offer exceptional value especially when bonus offers (like United’s) are in play. In an ongoing offer, United is offering as many as 12,000 bonus miles for booking one of these packages.

Use Southwest points to get TSA PreCheck. Southwest will cover your $85 fee for TSA PreCheck for a cost of 9,000 Rapid Rewards points. You still have to undergo the regular screening and background check during the application process. Do the math on whether those points might be better used for a flight, but zipping through security without removing shoes sure is convenient.

Transfer points to Aeroplan and score a big bonus. Aeroplan is ready to reward those that transfer points into its own coffers. Members can earn as many as 55,000 bonus points in its program when transferring points from hotel partners. The bonus is based upon the cumulative number of miles or points transferred, and they do not all have to come from the same program. If you have accounts with balances too small to redeem for an award, they could make great candidates to transfer to Aeroplan. This offer lasts until Aug. 15.

Etihad offers 25% transfer bonus from partners. Etihad will award a 25% bonus for transfers made into its loyalty program from various partners including hotel programs, Citi ThankYou points, and even Heathrow Rewards points. If you’re wondering why Etihad points can be valuable, just picture yourself in one of its first-class apartments while sipping champagne. Or think about all of the airline partners it has including American and Brussels Airlines, which often have cheaper award prices when redeeming through Etihad than through their own programs. The transfer bonus is available through July 31.

Five hundred bonus United miles for using Visa Checkout.If you have a United-branded credit card, you could be eligible for 500 bonus miles. All it takes is to enroll in theVisa Checkout program and spend at least $5 through the service within 15 days of signing up to earn 500 bonus miles. The offer lasts until Sept.30, and the purchase must be made with your enrolled credit card to be eligible.

Earn quadruple Flying Blue miles. After your second stay at any Hilton family hotel in Europe, the Middle East or Africa, earn quadruple Flying Blue miles. The joint program of Air France and KLM, among other airlines, regularly puts some of its award flights on sale, meaning it is even easier to redeem those miles. Register for this promotion and stay between now and Sept. 15.

Bonus Delta miles from Gilt Groupe. Make a purchase at online shopping retailer Gilt Groupe and earn some extra SkyMiles. Your first purchase of at least $50 qualifies you for 1,000 miles, plus receive one additional mile for each dollar spent. If you’re a Medallion member, you score the 1,000 bonus miles plus two miles per dollar spent. Be sure to enter your SkyMiles number when making a purchase.

Virgin Atlantic encourages you to bring Fido.If you travel with your pets, Virgin Atlantic is ready to reward you. Four-legged travelers and their tall companion on flights between London and most U.S. destinations earn 1,000 bonus miles per trip while a few other cities (San Francisco and Los Angeles, for example) earn 2,000 bonus miles. www.usatoday.com