I figured I’d post a quick reminder of the travel deals/opportunites that are coming to an end on or before December 31, 2013, which is this coming Tuesday:
20% transfer bonus from AmEx Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios through December 31, 2013
Since October, American Express Membership Rewards has been offering a 20% bonus for transfers to British Airways Executive Club. This is hardly the biggest bonus we’ve seen — this year alone we’ve seen a 30% transfer bonus and a 35% transfer bonus, and last year we even saw a 50% transfer bonus.
While I suspect we’ll see another transfer bonus soon, there’s usually a gap between when these bonuses are offered, so if you’re short on Avios it could make sense to make a speculative transfer. Like I’ve always said, British Airways Avios aren’t the most aspirational points currency, but they’re extremely practical. I redeem more of them than any other currency, as they’re great for short distance awards given the distance based award chart they have. The opposite is true for most other airlines, which have region based award charts.
Avianca 100% bonus on the purchase of Lifemiles through December 30, 2013
You only have a few more days to purchase Lifemiles for just 1.5 cents each. Through this promotion you can purchase a maximum of 75,000 Lifemiles before the 100% bonus (for a total of 150,000 miles), and you’re capped at 150,000 miles per calendar year. So it could make sense to pick up some miles now, since the annual limit is about to reset.
Lifemiles are simultaneously my favorite and least favorite points currency. The things I love about Lifemiles include:
- They allow one-way awards at half the cost of a roundtrip
- They don’t impose fuel surcharges on award redemptions
- They have competitive redemption rates (you can find their Star Alliance award chart here)
- They don’t block any partner award space, unlike US Airways
- As long as you have 40% of the miles needed for a redemption, you can purchase the remaining miles at the time you issue your ticket for as little as 1.56 cents per mile
And then there are things I hate with a passion about Lifemiles:
- Their call center is HORRIBLE, so if your redemption requires servicing over the phone, you might as well forget about it
- They don’t allow mixed cabin awards, meaning if you book a business class award all segments have to be in business class
- They have a history of devaluing their program without notice, as I posted about here and here, so I’d only recommend buying miles with a short term use in mind
Use your American Express Platinum $200 airline fee credit before December 31, 2013
If you have an American Express Platinum Card you get a $200 annual airline fee credit per calendar year. If you haven’t yet redeemed your airline fee credit, you’ll want to do so ASAP. What’s awesome about these airline fee credits is that in most cases they can be used to purchase airline gift cards, which to me are good as cash. The American Express forum on FlyerTalk has individual threads dedicated to reimbursement reports for each airline, including Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, United, and US Airways. As you can see, these credits can be used for a wide variety of things, from lounge memberships, to cancellation fees, to status challenge fees, to (in many cases) gift cards.
Air France first class at the old award rates through December 31, 2013
I recently flew Air France first class and was really impressed by their product, between the amazing service and food aboard the A380 from Los Angeles to Paris, to their incredible first class lounge in Paris.
Air France devalued their FlyingBlue award chart back in June, whereby the cost of first class one-way between the US and Europe went from 125,000 miles to 162,500 miles (and a lot of other award prices went up as well). However, they offered to honor the old award rates through December 31, 2013, when booking through their call center. So you have a few more days to lock in awards at their old rates, if you’re so inclined. As a reminder, FlyingBlue is transfer partners with both American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.
10% discount on purchase of Hyatt gift cards through December 31, 2013
Hyatt is offering a 10% discount on the purchase of up to $2,000 worth of Hyatt gift cards/checks when using promotion code GPGIFT at checkout. This is separate from the 10% discount you can get on the purchase of gift cards through a Milepoint Premium membership, which can be purchased for $49.95 and doesn’t expire at the end of the year.
There ya have it, those are the top deals I can think of that are expiring soon!