Bits ‘n Pieces for August 13, 2013

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Plane makes an emergency landing in a Wawa parking lot.

  • Frequent Miler covers targeted offers for the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa of 70,000 points with fee waiver and 140,000 points without fee waiver. I’d prefer the fee waived version of the card (rather than buying incremental Marriott points at over half a cent apiece, unless using those points as part of a travel package). It’s a great card for regular Marriott guests who don’t stay enough to earn Gold status, and it’s made from some pretty serious metal.

  • Alaska Airlines is offering a 40% bonus on purchased miles through September 30. That prices miles at about 2.1 cents apiece. You can buy up to 40,000 miles (plus bonus) per transaction, and can make as many transactions as you wish, though several charged to the same credit card within 30 days may flag the transaction as possible fraud. The points are processed by so no credit card category bonuses for the spending. This could be a good opportunity to top off a Mileage Plan account, such as for one-way awards in first class on Emirates and Cathay Pacific. (HT: Lucky).

  • IHG Rewards (the loyalty program formerly known as Priority Club) has a targeted offer of 100% bonus on purchased points. You go here and are prompted to enter your account information to determine whether they’ll offer you the 100% bonus or the regular purchase offer (the bonus shows up in red if you’re eligible). With the bonus you buy points at $0.00575 per point, which is the best price I’ve seen for these points and a bit less than the $0.007 you can buy points at by making and cancelling cash and points reservations. Still, Priority Club is my least favorite hotel program for redemptions (no guarantee of most elite benefits on award stays) and I wouldn’t stock up on points without a specific near-term reservation in mind.

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Are there any sweet spots in the Alaska redemption chart that makes it worthwhile to buy points at 2.1cts rather than the current promos for USAir, AA, and Lifemiles?

    Also, trying to figure out whether I should transfer my SPG into JMB (JAL) for some PG awards that I don’t know will still exist by the time they show up in my JMB account. Don’t have unlimited SPG points but no one else can redeem on PG.

  2. Maybe it’s just a fluke, but we always get elite benefits on award stays through IHG program. But than again, we are not frequent travelers. It’s also my favorite hotel program currently, because of points break scheme, perfect for family.

  3. @ Erik I have never heard of that, but it’s possible. Most likely an exception, rather than the rule. It’s almost never a good deal, when you redeem points for 3rd party hotels. Are you by any chance referring to the time, when you could transfer IHG points to Amtrak on 1:1 basis, through Than you could get gift cards to Hyatt through Amtrak. That was a mistake, which sadly I found out about a tad too late.

  4. IHG has had some incredible deals lately on purchasing points. 120K points for $680 is a great deal, we are going to Vancouver this will come in handy… I’m so happy I ran into this hobby!

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