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Point Me to the Miles

Navigating the Path to Great Travel

Archive for the category “FREE Miles/Points”

500 FREE MILES from Le Club Accorhotels!

I’ve been asked a number of times how one can rack up so many miles.  My best answer is start with this post, but it can also be useful to get in on a miles/points giveway.

Le Club Accorhotels is currently offering 500 miles for signing up for their loyalty program, via Air Canada and Delta.

If you already have a Le Club Accor account, you are still eligible for this bonus.  You will just need either switch your earning to Aeroplan or Delta, or create an entirely new Le Club Accor account.

To take advantage of this great offer, follow these easy steps between now and August 31st:

FOR AEROPLAN MILES:
1. Sign up to become a Le Club Accorhotels member by clicking this link to join, or here for existing members.
2. In your Le Club Accorhotels membership profile, select “Aeroplan” as your preferred loyalty program.
3. Enter your Aeroplan number.

FOR DELTA MILES:
1. Sign up to become a Le Club Accorhotels member by clicking this link to join, or here for existing members.
2. In your Le Club Accorhotels membership profile, select “SkyMiles” as your preferred loyalty program.
3. Enter your SkyMiles number.

Enjoy!

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4,500 FREE Gold Points for Club Carlson Sign-Up

Offer:
First-time members of the Club Carlson program (Radisson, Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn) can receive a sign-up bonus of 4,500 Club Carlson points.  To be eligible, simply use promo code ERWD2012, when signing up using this link.

Terms & Conditions:
Per the terms and conditions, this is for first time members, though I have no idea if you could sign up with a different address…?  Not that I would ever try that of course.

The offer is valid through May 31, and the points should post within 6-8 weeks.

Analysis
:
What, you say are 4,500 Club Carlson points worth?  In short, about half-way to a free stay, as a Category 1 property (like a Country Inn & Suites) will run you 9,000 points.  For more expensive properties, like the Radisson Blue Chicago, award redemptions are up to 50,000 points per night.  In large or fairly aspirational markets, this beats the heck out of paying a couple hundred dollars in cash.

Award Charts:

Their standard award chart is included as a reference below:

Standard Award Chart

They also have a Points + Cash Award Chart:

Cash and Points Award Chart

So whether  you are looking to cap off points for an award redemption, or just trying to be frugal the next time you go on vacation, this is is a good step along that path.

 

Nod of the proverbial cap to The Points Guy.

Get in on 1,000 FREE British Midland Miles While You Still Can

British Midland, International (BMI) a favorite loyalty program for Star Alliance award redemptions, was finally acquired last month by IAG, the owner of Oneworld Alliance alirlines British Airways and Iberia.  The announcement of IAG’s proposal last December proved quite controversial, as many including Virgin Atlantic owner Richard Branson are afraid the move will increase British Airways’ monopoly of Heathrow Airport–among the busiest in the world.

Politics and economics aside, this means the transition of British Midland Dividend Miles into highly criticized British Airways Avios seems inevitable. Currently BMI is giving away 1,000  for new account sign-ups:

BMI Sign-Up Bonus

British Airways household accounts can be combined for up to seven members residing at the same address.  So theoretically earn up to 7,000 miles through this way.  Then, as As Ben of One Mile at a Time suggests, ONCE they transfer over  to Avios you could then combine miles for a short-haul, one-way award ticket.

Anyway, I would get in on  FREE miles with BMI, while you still can!

Tip of the hat to One Mile at a Time.

350 FREE Priority Club Points

Similar to the promotion that United ran recently, Priority Club (Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge, Candlehood Properties) is giving away free Priority Club just for becoming a member of the e-Rewards program.

e-Rewards Priority Club Sign-Up Bonus

You can sign-up, via this link, where you will be prompted to enter your Priority Club number and address.  Once that is completed e-Rewards will guide you through selecting your preferences.

e-Rewards is a membership program which gives out rewards for completing surveys on targeted areas of interest, which you specify.  I should mention that e-Rewards is a “by-invitation-only” program–but don’t let the stop you, you may still be able to sign up.  I got in on it when I emailed them telling them I had lost my membership number and they promptly “re-instated” … err instated my account.

You earn points within their own program, but they are completely transferable to about a dozen airlines (the major US Carriers, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates) and of course Priority Club) amongst a host of others general loyalty programs.

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Is It Worth Asking For More?

A few weeks back, I wrote about how usually it never hurts to ask for points, especially if you leverage your business and loyalty.

Fresh off of receiving 50,000 Club Carlson Gold Points for the Radisson Big Night Giveaway promotion, I checked and noticed that the promotion was still live(ie 50,000 had not yet registered).  So I set up a new Club Carlson account with a completely different address, signed up for the promotion, (again) and booked a 1-night stay at the Radisson Hotel Dallas East.

I suppose this is where I should point out another lesson: sometimes you can get too greedy.  Instead of booking another pre-paid rate as I had done before, I booked a double points rate, hoping to reap greater points earnings.

My “stay” came and went, yet I noticed no activity in my account.  I got hopeful a few days later when I noticed a charge to my credit card, but I saw no sign of any points posting.

So 10 days after my phantom hotel stay, I called up Radisson to request my missing points.  The customer service rep at least seemed very courteous and helpful.  I provided her the confirmation number, and informed her  that the stay was for the Radisson Big Night Giveaway promotion, even though I did not physically check in.

She kindly informed me that she would need to look into the situation with corporate, but they would get back to me within 48 hours.

A day later, I logged into my Club Carlson account and was slightly dumbfounded.  I was not sure whether to be ecstatic  or upset about their “points adjustment”:

On one hand, I paid a full rate, so I should get the full benefit (50,000 Gold Points) of the promotion, based on my “stay.”  On the other hand, I think maybe I should be satisfied.  I realize I have gamed this promotion further than was originally intended, and still gained (again) for doing so.  As the saying goes I got something, which is always better than a kick in the groin.

While points junkies sometimes get a bad rap for really pushing the envelope *cough cough Mr. Pickles and your US mint coins cough.*  There are a fair number of us–I like to think myself included, who are careful not to take things too far so we don’t completely abuse the system for others.

So, should I call them up again and ask for the full amount of points offered in the promotion, or would I just be pushing my luck?

Top Guest and Free Miles!

Edit:  For the sake of ethics, I do not encourage “phantom” check-ins despite the Terms & Conditions stating that you must be “at or near” the locations.

It is always a good deal to be able to acquire miles and hotel points on the cheap, as in previous posts on the Hilton HHonors Instant Gold/40,000 point promotion and Radisson Hotels Big Night Giveaway.  It is an exceptionally great deal when you can get them from free, as in the case of Top Guest.

But before I delve into Top Guest, I should address the point of collecting miles cheaply, let alone free.  When I share that I am a recovering lost points junkie, I am often asked how many these newly minted points it takes put to them to good use.

I believe in putting my points to use for truly aspirational awards, which I otherwise would not be able to afford.  I got into this whole game trying to upgrade my way into first class, and my main plan with my miles has always been to get me to the front of the plane.  While some would argue that coach, or even business class is good enough, I think the added benefit to mileage cost ratio is fair enough, quite fair in fact, to justify first-class award redemptions.

Thus, to get the added benefits every point and mile helps.  Sure a 1,000 miles here and there may not seem like much, but over time it adds up.  My engineering background has taught me to see the power of minor, incremental accrual over an extended period of time.

Top Guest, enables one to earn miles and points for check-ins via social media, such as, FourSquare, Twitter, Facebook. If by chance you do not have either you can sign up here for FourSquare or here for Top Guest.

To begin earning points, you will need to link to your Four Square account from within your Top Guest account. You will need to manually enter your account number for each eligible, participating program.
Eligible programs for earning miles/points via Top Guest can be found here.  All of these apparently have a 50 point sign-up bonus for linking to Top Guest.

Eligible airports for earning United/Continental miles can be found here:

“Connect with Facebook or Foursquare and you’ll get 50 reward miles each time you share your location at or near select United® and Continental® airports. Plus, you’ll receive special offers within minutes for nearby airport retailers, car rental agencies and restaurants.”

Now you are on your way to earn valuable miles and points simply by checking in using Four Square.  It is important to note that the stipulations also state you can be at or near eligible airports.  I live a good 15-20 minutes from my home airport, but 95% of the time I have had no problem checking in “remotely” on my smart phone from the comfort of my own home.

Tip of the hat goes to Gary Leff from the View From the Wing blog (a great read, by the way) who has written an excellent post on this subject.

In conclusion, 500 miles a day may seem like chump change in the mileage game.  But complete Top Guest check-ins on a daily base, and in multiple loyalty programs you can accrue 18,000 points over a year.  You are earning MULTIPLE hotel award stays every year–how amazing is that?!  So start the Top Guest action right away!!

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