Best Bets – December, 17 2003

Best Bets – December, 17 2003
  1. The new Emirates/Standard Chartered Skywards credit cards may only be available in Qatar, but it earns mention in these hallowed pages for the richness of its introductory offer.

    Successful applicants for the Gold card will receive 25,000 Skywards miles, exchangeable for a free return ticket to Delhi, Mumbai, Karachi, Beirut and many other destinations. Successful applicants for the Standard card will receive 10,000 miles, which is equivalent to a free return ticket to Bahrain, Oman or the UAE.

    A free roundtrip for getting a credit card? Not too shabby.

  2. In recognition of reaching the 10-million-member mark, ANA Mileage Club is offering a 20-percent reduction on all ANA international and domestic flights. That’s a lot of members, and a lot of discounted miles. An economy-class award from the U.S. to Japan, for example, will be reduced from 50,000 miles to 40,000 miles. The offer lasts until Nov. 14. Call the AMC Award Reservation Desk at (800) 262-4653 or visit online at
  3. Hyatt’s Faster Free Nights — one of the more generous of all hotel promotions — continues through the month of February. Earn a free night after every two stays at any Hyatt worldwide when you pay for each stay with your MasterCard — tough to beat! Faster Free Nights awards can only be redeemed through April 30, 2004 and are not transferable. To qualify, you must be a Gold Passport member, sign up for the promotion, provide your Gold Passport account number at reservation/check-in, be a registered guest, pay an eligible rate, and make full payment on a valid MasterCard card for each separate stay. Eligible rate is a hotel published rack rate except third-party rates such as, and To register, visit or phone (800) 514-9288. Fine Print: One free night will be awarded for every two (2) stays between October 15, 2003 and February 29, 2004 at participating Hyatt Hotels worldwide as long as your check-in date is on or before February 29, 2004. Stays at Hawthorn Suites do not apply. Only one credit will be given per member, per stay, regardless of the number of rooms. Stay means one or more consecutive nights at any participating hotel, whether or not you check out and back in during such period. Back-to-back stays at a single Hyatt are considered one stay. Award stays do not qualify. There are some tricly rules for award use mid-week, so check those rules out. These special awards are better used for weekends.
  4. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan almost always has at least one award sale going on. But right now, there are two! Through March 16, fly Alaska Air or Horizon Air between Los Angeles and select Horizon destinations for only 13,000 miles — a savings of 7,000 miles off the regular 20,000- mile Mileage Plan Coach Saver awards. Or, until Feb. 13, travel between Los Angeles and Reno for only 13,000 miles. All saver award rules apply. Book your award travel online at and receive 1,000 bonus miles.
  5. Northwest WorldPerks members can now earn up to 25,000 miles with the “Make a Mile” promotion. Register online at, successfully apply for a WorldPerks Visa card, then pick a challenge — earn three, five, or 10 partner credits, and earn between 5,000 and 25,000 miles. Promotion ends on Feb. 29. Use code 8309 when registering.
  6. Since May 1, Hotel Rewards by iDine has quietly been offering the best mileage-earning opportunity for frequent guests in the industry.

    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. 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

  7. Frontier Airlines is allowing members to redeem EarlyReturns miles for a trip to Mexico in December, January or February for only 15,000 miles. But act quickly — the number of seats are limited. If you miss out on the Mexico for 15,000 miles offer, they’ll get you to Mexico for 25,000 miles on any flight with any available seat. Call (866) 263-2759 or email Frontier at
  8. It’s a unique, novel plan, and we applaud Spanair Plus for it: Silver and Gold elite members can now be advanced up to 30 percent of the points needed to reach a flight award. The points will be deducted as members accumulate points later.
  9. United Mileage Plus is offering Diners Club card members a 30-percent bonus for all Club Rewards points converted into Mileage Plus miles before Jan. 15. You’ll earn 1,300 Mileage Plus miles for every 2,000 Club Rewards points you transfer. Transfer 40,000 Club Rewards points, you will end up with 26,000 miles — enough for a roundtrip domestic Saver Award ticket on United. To redeem your points, call (800) 234-4034 or redeem online to transfer a minimum of 2,000 Club Rewards points.

    More of United. The holidays are over but not your ability to earn more miles and share with 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 (you friend will get the same bonus, by the way). Earn up to 20,000 miles for referring four friends. Visit for details.

  10. This last one isn’t exactly a bonus, but it is a customer-friendly move worthy of being called a “Best Bet.”

    Faced with thousands of customers whose miles were about to expire, South African Airways Voyager pushed the expiration date to Jan. 31 from Dec. 31. In addition, the program cut the usual number of miles required to extend the expiration date for a year by half — from 5,000 to 2,500 miles.

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