It’s the height of summer, and many airline and hotel companies are keen on luring eager travelers with big bonuses. Here are some highlights.
Become a Star Alliance mileage millionaire. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Star Alliance, travelers are invited to participate in a competition to win a million miles. One member from each of the alliance’s frequent-flier programs will be chosen. Upload a photo and enter by July 31 for a chance to win.
IHG offers double points and opens new Waikiki property. Hawaii-bound travelers will be pleased to know there’s a surprising, new hotel name on Waikiki: Holiday Inn Express. The hotel features the brand’s newest design concept and is its largest in North America (second largest in the world). Road warriors that rack up points traveling for business now have a new option for free hotel stays in Honolulu with the family. It joins the Holiday Inn, the only other IHG property on Waikiki, which is offering double points for stays this summer. Travelers can also bid on travel prizes in IHG’s Share Summer travel auctions.
Best Western continues summer gift card promo. Guests at any participating Best Western hotel can earn a $10 gift card for every night of an eligible stay between now and Sept. 4. This will include the brand’s newest hotels, the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower and the Aquarius Casino Resort in Las Vegas, which are joining Best Western’s BW Premier Collection and Best Western Rewards eligibility effective July 31. Be sure to register for this offer before any stay.
United MileagePlus changing award chart this fall. United is giving its fliers plenty of notice of upcoming changes to its MileagePlus award chart, which go into effect Nov. 1. Its standard awards are being rebranded “Everyday” awards, and they will have variable pricing. Luckily, United has chosen to still publish an award chart (unlike Delta SkyMiles), which guides travelers as to how many miles they may need for a desired award. Other changes include raising the cost of “saver” award tickets on many premium cabin redemptions and adding a “no-show” fee for travelers that don’t board a reserved flight, but still want their miles back. The cost of domestic round-trip “saver” tickets within the continental U.S. thankfully remains the same at 25,000 miles. Any reservation made between now and Nov. 1 (even for later travel) will use the current award chart so plan ahead!
Flying Blue announces new promo awards. Air France and KLM are well-known for the monthly frequent-flier discounts they make available on select routes. Reservations booked in July for travel this fall from New York and several Canadian cities to Europe can save as many as 50% of the miles required for an award reservation. No registration is required, and don’t forget that several credit card programs allow you to transfer miles into the Flying Blue program.
Earn 10% mileage bonus on Cathay Pacific flights. Book a ticket on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flights in premium economy, business or first class between now and Aug. 31 (travel can be after that date), and receive a 10% bonus on the Asia Miles you earn. Plus, summer travelers between North America and Hong Kong can sample the airline’s custom craft Betsy Beer (named after the airline’s first aircraft) in a special summertime promotion on U.S. routes. Extra miles and beer brewed to be enjoyed at high altitudes sounds like a nice bonus. Reservations must be made through the airline’s website or app, and no registration is necessary.
Marriott Hawaii offers bonus points. Between Aug. 20 and Nov. 12, travelers staying at any of Marriott’s properties on the islands, including the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the big island and Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu on Kauai (both are members of Autograph Collection), can earn bonus miles for their stay. Stay at least five nights at a Residence Inn, Marriott or Autograph Collection hotel and earn 10,000 bonus points. Stay at least three nights at a Courtyard property and earn 5,000 points. There is no registration code needed, but be sure to reserve your stay through a Marriott reservation channel by Aug. 30.
Sonesta launches biggest loyalty promo for 1 million points. Between now and Sept. 30, travelers can enter Sonesta’s online sweepstakes for 1 million Sonesta Travel Pass points and two first-class tickets to any Sonesta property in the U.S. and the Caribbean. All new and existing members of the program can enter, and members that book stays at Sonesta properties during the promotional period can earn an additional entry. First-prize winners will also share another pool of 1 million points to use at Royal Sonesta, Sonesta Hotels & Resorts and Sonesta ES Suites properties.
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