Best Bets – January, 22 2003

Best Bets – January, 22 2003
  1. Please don’t think we haven’t looked at other bonus offers. We have. But we keep coming back to this one. Do the math. Do the comparison and we think you’ll agree with us. What’s next, Hyatt? Gold Passport members will receive a free night after every two stays when paying with a MasterCard. That’s right, a MasterCard. As far as we know, this is that credit giant’s first foray into the world of points and miles. The rules are basically the same — there is no limit to the number of nights that can be earned. Qualifying stays must be completed by Feb. 28, 2003, and free nights must be redeemed from Nov. 1 to April 30, 2003. Current members must register. To do so, go to or call (800) 51 HYATT.
  2. You can still earn double credit when you book your flight at and fly by Apr. 4, 2003. With double credit you can earn a free flight in as few as four roundtrips. This one is headed to the frequent flyer marketing Hall of Fame. What is amazing is how long they have extended this bonus. Keep clicking and keep flying.
  3. A Continental feast. You just can’t beat a 25-percent bonus on points-to-miles transfers. And that’s what you’ll get through March 15 when you transfer a minimum of 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points into Continental OnePass miles. To sweeten the deal, the first 2,500 customers to make the move will net an additional 2,500 bonus miles. Register at quickly!
  4. Double up with Priority Club. Through March 31, you can earn double points or miles for every qualifying stay at a Six Continents hotel, beginning with your second. We’ll take double-stuff where we can find it, but what makes this promotion particularly intriguing is the wealth of property choices at your disposal. At last count, Six Continents had 3,300 locations at which to earn and redeem — not too shabby! Register at, and start staying.
  5. Continental strikes again. Continental has extended its triple segments/points promotion that allows OnePass members traveling on unrestricted fares to earn up to six segments/points per roundtrip toward 2004 Elite status. Through the promotion, a traveler could potentially achieve Silver Elite status with just five segments, or Platinum Elite status with just 15.
    See Inside Edition for more information, or hop on to www.continental.onepass. The promotion ends March 31.
  6. Northwest Airlines has teamed up with renowned ski resorts in North America to offer you great deals this ski season. Through Northwest, you can redeem WorldPerks miles to get low coach-class airfares to select ski destinations. With just 10,000 miles, you can purchase a roundtrip coach ticket from the lower 48 to select ski destinations for just $128; or pay $178 and 5,000 miles. Offer is valid between select origins in the 48 contiguous United States and Albuquerque, Anchorage, Aspen, Billings, Boise, Bozeman, Burlington, Calgary, Colorado Springs, Denver, Edmonton, Jackson Hole, Kalispell, Missoula, Reno, Salt Lake City, Steamboat Springs, Vail or Vancouver. Travel must be completed between Dec. 3 and April 4.
  7. Fifteen thousand miles is the bounty for those who successfully apply for the United Mileage Plus Signature Visa Card. This is by far the largest sign-up bonus that the Mileage Plus program has ever offered (we should know, our same card only earned a 5,000-mile bonus). From then on, new cardholders will earn one mile for every dollar charged. A free first-class upgrade and a $25 discount certificate are also included in the deal. The card is offered by First USA Bank. You can apply from the homepage of the United Web site at The card costs $60 annually. While sign-up bonuses don’t get much better, this is real cool: over-the-credit-limit fee: none. Only one little catch — the maximum number of miles you can earn with the United Mileage Plus Visa card is 10,000 miles in any single billing period, with a maximum of 60,000 miles per year unless you are a Premier member — then the sky is the limit. We asked them again about an ending date and they would simply smile and say — it is a promotion. We think that means that it could end at any time but then again, it could keep going and going and going!
  8. Small business owners can now take advantage of a new card presented by Amex’s Small Business Network and Delta SkyMiles. In addition to the benefits of the OPEN Small Business network, including negotiated savings from select vendors on computers, shipping and car rentals, new cardmembers will receive 10,000 bonus miles and 5,000 bonus base miles that apply toward elite status. This is currently the only credit card that allows qualifying elite miles from purchases. Each year upon renewal, the cardmember will receive one free companion domestic coach-class, roundtrip ticket certificate, good for one year on any published route in the contiguous 48 states. Ten thousand additional miles will be awarded if annual spending reaches $25,000 or more. The card carries an annual fee of $135. Cardmembers who already have a charge card from OPEN pay only $80. Interest on purchases is prime plus 9.99%, currently 14.74%. The price is steep but the benefits are deep. To apply, call (800) NOW-OPEN.
  9. Has to be the phone home bonus. With every major frequent flyer program announcing new residential long distance partners (either AT&T or Sprint), it’s now time to flip the switch on MCI and head for the new bonuses. While many of you will want to wait to see if there will be any larger signup bonuses — we suggest that with less competition in the game what you see is what you got. If you wait you’ll forget, so make this an early resolution … move your long distance and start the year with a nice unexpected mileage bonus. Why? A recent poll indicates that 19.2% of you forget to switch and end up not earning bonus miles for your long distance.
  10. Seeing double. OK, we think these two programs are both grand. Marriott and Hilton both have new PointSaver and PointExtender promotions lasting through May and June which allows members to save 33-40 percent off normal award redemption. If you really must know, Marriott’s PointSavers are 33 percent off while Hilton Point Stretchers are 40 percent off. These aren’t hotels in out of the way places either. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see great destinations and point savings all in one place — pHilton or Marriott. We highly recommend them if you have some idea where you want to go on Spring Break this year. More info? See AwardWatch

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