Best Bets – November, 25 2003

Best Bets – November, 25 2003
  1. Hotel Rewards by iDine has quietly been offering the best mileage-earning opportunity for frequent guests in the industry since May 1.

    Just register a credit card, and every dollar you spend on that card at a participating hotel earns miles.

    How many? Try five miles per dollar with nine major airline programs. To put that in perspective: If an iDine customer stays three nights at a participating hotel at $200 a night, he’ll spend $600 dollars, and earn 3,000 miles.

    By comparison, a member of a major hotel chain who’s just after miles might earn two miles per dollar. For a comparable stay, that’s just 1,200 miles. And now, through the end of the year, Delta SkyMiles members get a full 15 miles per dollar spent. As an added bonus, members who combine their stay with a qualified dine at a participating restaurant nearby will net an additional 500 bonus miles.

    There’s no cap to the number of miles you can earn.

    Call (877) 491-3463 to register, or visit online at

  2. You can still earn double credit when you book your flight at and fly by Dec. 31, 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. Unfortunately, all good things must end, and this bonus, which has lasted for seven years, truly will end as of 2003.
  3. “Stay Twice, Earn A Free Night.” A good Choice.Through the end of the year, members of Choice Privileges can earn a free night after just two stays at any Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion or MainStay Suites in the U.S. What’s more, the number of free nights you can earn are unlimited. And try this on for size — there’s not date restrictions on when you can use your free night. It could be years down the road. Visit for all the juicy details. The deal is that you are actually earning enoght bonus points for the free night. But ‘choices exist’ and you may want bonus miles or gift certificates. Extremely rewarding and plenty of choices to boot.
  4. It’s fall promotion time again for hotel programs, and that means big bonuses for you.

    Through the end of the year, Hilton HHonors members can opt to earn a 50-percent bonus on HHonors base points in lieu of airline miles; Hyatt brings back its “Faster Free Nights,” allowing members to earn a free night after every two stays paid with a MasterCard; Marriott is offering double points for stays paid with a Visa card; Priority Club is offering double points or double miles for every qualifying stay; and Starwood has announced that three nights earn a free weekend night.

  5. Until Dec. 15, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles based on the number of segments flown. Five segments net 5,000 miles; 10 segments, 15,000 miles; 15 segments, 30,000 miles; 25 segments, 55,000 miles; and 35 or more segments, 100,000 miles. Keep in mind that these are segments, so even a direct roundtrip will count as two. One hundred thousand miles for 18 roundtrips? Not bad. Visit for details.
  6. Bring a friend for free! Through the end of the year, use your MasterCard to pay for an economy-class ticket on SWISS from the U.S. to any SWISS destination and you’ll earn a free companion ticket. Call (800) 568-0308 and refer to code G*LCN5W4, or visit online at to take advantage of this offer.
  7. Denver-based Frontier Airlines has been doing battle with United for a while now, and they’re not about to give up. Enter the “Quick Ascent” promotion — an elite-status match with a twist. Just email your most recent statement showing your elite status in another program for 2003 to or fax a statement to (720) 374-4375 — you’ll automatically receive Ascent status in the EarlyReturns program for 2003.

    What’s more, through the end of January, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus miles for each of your first three flights on Frontier, for a total of 15,000 miles.

  8. And you thought earning miles from car rentals was passe (or at least very slow). From now until the end of the year, British Airways Executive Club members can earn up to 6,000 miles by renting a car with Avis. Members who register at will get an additional 500 miles on their second rental, 1,000 miles on the fourth, and 1,500 miles on their sixth. Blue members, use code B335100; Silver and Gold members, use B335300.
  9. Mileage run mania! Still looking for that extra push over the top to reach elite status for 2004? Two programs have made it easier.

    America West is offering Silver Elite status in exchange for two roundtrips before Dec. 31 on their new nonstop coast-to-coast service. Fly from Los Angeles International to New York/JFK and Boston Logan International or San Francisco International to JFK. Register online at

    And United can cut your mileage run in half, if you’re willing to pay the price. For $100, Mileage Plus members can earn double elite qualifying miles on all paid United flights through Dec. 15. Register online at

  10. The holidays are about sharing, so why not share your mileage addiction with a few friends? Until Jan. 31, United Mileage Plus members can earn 5,000 bonus miles if they refer a new member to the program and he or she takes a qualifying flight (your friend will get the same bonus, by the way). Earn up to 20,000 miles for referring four friends. Visit for details.

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