Jet Blue Plus anniversary bonus: awesome!

I was pleased to see this image in my inbox this morning:

Some may not know that the JetBlue Plus card comes with a variety of benefits: a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points, 6X the points when you pay for JetBlue plane tickets outright, as well as your first checked luggage free of charge. What some may not remember or realize is that you also get 5,000 points at each anniversary! As The Points Guy values these points at 1.2 cents/point, that means you are getting back $60 of worth back every year. So, essentially, after flying roundtrip only once per year this card because completely worth it.

I recently had the pleasure of booking a number of flights to/from Florida in the Fall and only spent around $30 in taxes + fees because of this card. I’m definitely keeping it for next year!

IHG Promotion to get 47,000 points for ~$50

As I am an avid reader of various blogs I was excited to find out about a promotion with Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) and Mastercard that could earn an entrant tens of thousands of IHG points for some time and effort on their part. So, I read the instructions at DeaslWeLike and followed suit. Apparently, each entry is sure to receive SOME kind of prize, with the lowest being 500 IHG points, so I became determined!

I spent time making 10 notecards with specific information about me on them and then mailed them away to get a prize. Hopefully within the next week I will receive emails allowing me to play their game and see what I have won.

I’ll keep you up-to-date.IMG_4920

US Airways and American Airlines’ mileage programs are merging soon

Yesterday I received two emails – one from American Airlines and one from US Airways. See if you can spot the difference in the headline picture:

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 2.24.42 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-14 at 2.25.02 PM

For those not paying attention, American Airlines and US Airways are merging into a single company soon and thus their accruing programs will be as well. As part of their lead-up to the merger they are starting to bind things together within the next 30 days. You can already buy tickets on either site with miles from that program (i.e. you can buy American Airlines tickets on US Airways website with US Airways miles) and soon enough the mileage programs will merge entirely. If you have accounts with both airlines, be sure to link them by following the instructions on this View from the Wing post – it is quick and easy to follow.

One of the important aspects of US Airways that will be disappearing soon is the World Elite Mastercard they offer: very soon you will not be able to sign up for it. In order to get last-minute sign-ups, they have increased the bonus to 50,000 miles with your first purchase and the $89 fee. Since I already have this card, I received a mailing explaining how mine will soon turn into the AAdvantage AviatorRed Mastercard sometime between April and June. Just some of the benefits that are changing are listed here:

  • Instead of the 5,000 mile discount offered by US Airways, the new card offers 10% back instead (better for some award tickets, worse for others).
  • No stopovers on award tickets (US Airways used to offer one stopover, effectively leading to two plane tickets for the price of one).
  • No more companion tickets (oh well).

There are a few more changes, but these are the ones that applied to me (and probably most people).

So, as we wait to hear more information about these changes, keep in mind it’s happening, people.

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard

The Points Guy has a very detailed post about if you should apply for the Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard – one that requires a good few minutes really understand and analyze to see if it is right for you. Instead of going in depth on that I’ll share my own experience with my Amtrak needs along the East Coast since most readers right now are in that region.

Many know that by traveling on Amtrak you earn “Guest Reward points” which are redeemable for travel on these trains. Within the Northeast Corridor (Washington, DC to Boston) it costs 4,000 points one-way for a free trip in coach, or 5,500 in business class (read: Acela). It usually takes a while to build up that number of points since $1 = 1 point.

This credit card comes with 12,000 points once you spend $500, meaning three free tickets along that same line and a free companion pass, meaning when you buy a ticket at full price you get a second for $0. The annual fee is $0.

For those reasons, I applied for and was accepted for the card. I will keep it over the long haul and it will increase my credit history over time since I never have to get rid of it. I can’t imagine buying anything but Amtrak tickets with it, but when I do I will get 2 points per $1 spent and a 5% reduction in redemption costs. I would recommend this card for anyone who travels along the Northeast corridor at least once every two months.