Here are some of the quick-hitters from this past week in “rewards travel land.”
US Airways Downgrades
We all knew this was coming eventually. There’s no way that US Airways could keep letting us fly non-peak to Europe in business class for 60,000 miles (55k miles if you have the US Air card, and your itinerary is solely on US metal). Seth from Wandering Aramean blogged about this change a couple of days ago. A sad day indeed. You can see the new charts on his blog.
There is still some value to be found with US Airways Dividend miles (think South America), but this is a huge blow in my mind. I’ve blogged before about the goodness of US Airways and their off-peak chart.
The timing of the changes seem strange with all the merger talks, but this was a day that was already coming. The devaluing and changes of award charts is a normality, but it still doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. Deep breath.
SPG Crossover Awards with Delta
Starwood Preferred Guest and Delta have teamed together to bring you “Crossover Rewards.”
Starting March 1st, Starwood elites will earn Starpoints (worst named loyalty point) and extra benefits when flying Delta. Also, Delta Diamond and Platinum members will receive miles when they stay at Starwood properties. Now that’s a crossover, but I’m not sure it’s up to Allen Iverson standards.
Here are the details from the Starwood Preferred Guest website:
Benefits when you fly.
SPG Platinum and Gold members earn 1 Starpoint for every dollar spent on eligible Delta flights. Plus, SPG Platinum members enjoy elite benefits when traveling with Delta, such as priority check-in, Priority Boarding and first checked bag free.
Benefits when you stay.
SkyMiles Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion® members earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on eligible room rates at over 1,100 Starwood hotels and resorts globally. Plus, SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members receive additional SPG benefits at Starwood hotels and resorts — 4 p.m. late checkout, access to the SPG elite check-in line, complimentary in-room Internet access and an upgrade to an enhanced room at check-in, when available.
I’m SPG Gold, so that means I would earn some extra SPG points for Delta flights that I purchased with $$$. I don’t spend $$$ on Delta, so this is a moot promo for me. Delta barely flies out of Austin anymore, and I prefer to use miles & points when I fly.
However, it’s nice to see a hotel and airline working together to add benefits to their elite members. I respect that.
William Paid & Delta
I received an email from Noobtraveler reader, Ed, this past week about earning 500 Delta miles through William Paid. William Paid is a service that lets you use your rewards credit card to pay your rent. I blogged about it here.
I have never used William Paid, and would recommend paying your rent with Bluebird. But, if you’re already using WilliamPaid then you might as well earn an extra 500 Delta SkyMiles. Btw – 500 SkyMiles isn’t much at all.
— Geoff Whitmore