Monday, February 24, 2014

amex ascend card offer free millenium hotel stay

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card let you travel in comfort and earn miles from you everyday spending.

amex krisflyer ascend card offer many Benefits :
- One complimentary night with Millennium Hotels and Resorts each year at one of over 80 properties worldwide.this attractive perk worth $400,as the hotel rooms are usually priced at US$480/night.
when you redeem the Millennium hotel voucher, you can use the promo code PASCEND for subsequent nights booking for up to 20% discount from best available rate.

 enjoy privileges for complimentary M&C Loyalty Club Gold status.

you can get four complimentary lounge access vouchers to SATS Premier  in Singapore changi airport T2 and Plaza Premium Lounge worldwide such as KLIA,toronto and HK airport.

 Receive a bonus of 5,000 KrisFlyer miles the very first time your charge to your Card

- Earn 1 KrisFlyer mile for every $1.20 spent
- Double miles with Singapore Airlines and partners
- Monthly KrisFlyer miles accelerator

Sign-up now and choose between the following offers:

Full Fee Offer
- Pay an annual fee of S$256.80
- Earn 15,000 Bonus KrisFlyer miles when you spend S$5,000 in the first 3 months upon Card approval OR Earn 35,000 Bonus KrisFlyer miles when you spend S$10,000 and above in the first 3 months upon Card approval

First Year Fee Waiver Offer
- Get First Year Fee Waiver worth S$256.80
- Earn 3,000 Bonus KrisFlyer miles when you spend S$3,000 in the first 3 months upon Card approval OR Earn 6,000 Bonus KrisFlyer miles when you spend S$5,000 and above in the first 3 months upon Card approval

how to book citi thank you companion ticket

Citi Premier Card holder enjoy exclusive travel benefits,one of them is a Free domestic companion ticket each year.You can  book Companion tickets via the Spirit Incentives,or call the Citi Prestige Concierge on the number on the back of your card.
 You get 2 tickets for the price of 1,but the tickets offered by spirit companion program are the lowest published fare,which is more expensive than you could normally get.

 If you can buy a ticket for $300, you can call and probably will have to pay $500 for that same ticket, but will also get the free companion you can save $100.

below are two example of how much money can a traveller save when using companion tickets.

example one: I called 1-866-428-4078(between 9-6 EST) and booked a Delta flight on the days I wanted. The departure time was a little later than I would have liked but return was what I was looking for. Price was 1 ticket, 2 taxes and a $20 booking fee which is the same as when I last booked on Orbitz. Saved $298 vs buying 2 tickets for same flights. 2 tickets on$726.40 my cost $428.73. So it pays to call.

example two:I just mapped out a RT to Seattle for April and am saving approx $275.
JFK --> SEA 4/20/12 flight 1643
SEA --> JFK 4/22/12 +1night flight 1642
1 person on 319.40
2 people on (double) $638.80

On Spirit Incentives same flights for 2 people using companion ticket -->$361.60

   If you have further questions or would like to make a reservation via the phone, please call Spirit Incentives at 1-866-204-5444.

 Companion tickets must be booked through Spirit Incentives.Cardholder must be one of the travelers in the itinerary. Minimum 4-day advance purchase is required. Companion travel is equal to the full value of the lowest available economy fare offered by Spirit Incentives. Cardholder is responsible for all fees, taxes and charges incurred in connection with companion travel.

Monday, February 17, 2014

korean air AKL ICN trip report

We left hotel around 7:00am in the morning to AKL airport,New Zealand airport was small compare to most industrial countries’ gateway airport and Korean airline check in counter was pretty empty for all classes. We finished all procedures and arrived Air New Zealand lounge in just less than 20 minutes. The lounge was packed with so many people, I couldn’t’ even find a place to take pictures.


This was not our first time to this airport, few years ago, we took Air New Zealand from Los Angeles to Sydney, but our connecting flight was delayed by 9 hours due to weather and no smoking area in the airport…Maybe they got too many complaints and finally opened up a smoking area for us now. However, the cigarette price in New Zealand was the most expensive one I have ever seen, it’s even expensive then New York City, London, 14NZD per PACK.

Korean airline was parked at the furthest gate in the airport, Gate 15th, it was a long walk from Air New Zealand lounge. Boarding was on time and business class was not full, only 7 or 8 people in total. It was still older version B777, seat was
not a flat bed, but monitor was very big

Soon after took off, purser came to introduced herself and to my surprise,  she knew how to speak Chinese. I really liked Korean Air because of their Korean traditional cruise, bibimbap, the spicy sauce tasted so good, I ended up bought several boxes.

Since it was a day flight, it’s hard to fall in sleep, thanks to the great entertainment system to keep me busy and most importantly, I hadn’t watch any movies for few months.What impressed me the most was their Duty free shopping book, it was so big and so many to choose from, price was low and most stuff was indeed “duty free”. Like most Asian airlines, the on board service was always excellent, but this Korean air lie-flat seat was one of the most uncomfortable seat I had ever been on.

Flight landed in Seoul on time, there was one more flight back to Shanghai the same day, but since I wanted to stay one night, I did not choose that one when I booked my flight. Shuttle to Hyatt was packed with full of transit passengers, we had to stand in the shuttle, glad it was not long. We went to Regency Club for the cocktail hours, there was no seat anymore, too many people. Since I wanted to go to Casino, I just ate my dinner in the lounge.

Only foreigner or Korean with resident permit of foreign countries could go to Casino in Korea, so the only quite place was actually Casino. I stayed until 3:00 am.

Korean Air had a check in counter inside the Hyatt hotel, but the funny thing was, they only checked your bag to a specific counter in the airport where you need re check again! Flight back to shanghai was short, but I still had a chance to eat bibimbap one more time. We landed in PVG around noon, after 3 weeks of vacation, we finally back home.

easy way of accuring airline miles

1 Flying miles: I credit all UA and US flight distance greater than 400 miles to UA program, so does LH trans-Atlantic flight because of elite 100% bonus. For distance shorter than 400 miles, and all other star Alliance flights,
All oneword flying miles credit to AA program and All Skyteam miles credit to NW(Delta after merge).

2 Rental Car: I credit all Airport rental 2 or more days to Delta program since Avis/Budget offer big bonus for airport locations. For 1 day airport rental 5000 miles for Delta is a good option. For Non Airport rental, 1700 miles BMI diamond club for Hertz or 1000 miles for Virgin Atlantic for Avis . I may also credit to Hertz #1 points depends on price of the rental. In addition, National has a promotion which gives you 1 free rental day after 2 rentals, so I may also rental from them during the promotion period.

3 Shopping: I rarely credit my shopping miles to any airline programs unless there is very special promotion such as delta airlines Mom and Dad few months ago. I acutally credit them to Marriott Rewards program because with Marriott Travel package award, the points can be transferred to airline miles on 1:1 basis. The earning for shopping with Marriott points are generally better than Airline miles. Also, Cashback sometimes is a option too, use to check which program/cashback give u the best value.

4 Credit Card: I do not use any Airline Credit Cards, but I have them because of signup bonus and cancel them before annual fee due. However, American Airline Mastercard/Business is worth to keep because quarterly discounted award redemption pays the annual fee. All my Credit card purchase points go to Citi Thankyounetwork Program, but that is a different story. I have Citi Amex Platinum with Thankyou network, Premier Pass Elite with Thankyou Network and Citi Professional with Thankyounetwork. I also have SPG and Hilton Amex cards as a backup, but rarely use them other than staying at those hotels and postal office for Hilton card
5 Hotel Stays: I credit my hotel stays to hotel program except with Hilton Double dipping, the airlines miles part credit to BMI diamond Club.

Most my miles come from above five catergories, all other catogories are not primary sources and only getting them on promotional basis.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

best value to Redeem your hotel points

Here are some best ways to spend your hotel points

Cash + Points at any properties
Weekday or weekend nights at cat 1 or 2 properties.
Fifth nights free when you redeem at cat 3, 4, 5hotels.
Nights and flight awards, which you redeem 60000 SPG points and get 50K miles+ 5 free night at Cat 3 hotel or 70000 SPG points and get 50K miles+ 5 free nights at cat 4 hotels.
Transfer to Airline miles at 1:1 basis + 5000 bonus for every 20000 points transferred. However, this is only good when there is additional bonus on top of 5000 bonus, like BA did 30% more.

Redeem points at any Cat 7 hotel is a waste, unless you have tons of points and no where to spend them, don’t use them for cat 7 hotels.

Going Global Award (available for Silver member or above only): 175000 for 6 nights at Level 6 properties, 150000 for 6 nights at level 5 properties.
AXON (available for American Express Hilton Card member only): 125,000 for 4 nights at Level 5, 6 properties
Points Stretcher Award: Award at 40% off.

Travel package: 235,000,250,000, 270,000 points for up to 120,000 frequent flyer miles or 80 mileage credits, and 25% off Hertz car rental and 7 night at Category 1-5, 6,7 properties.
Point saver award at all participating properties and Ritz-Carlton Properties
Redemption at Level 1 or 2 properties.

Priority Club:
Point Breaks: 5000 points per night
Some High Price Intercontinental, Crown Plaza, Holiday inn and Holiday inn Express

Redemption at level 1,2 are the best value, 3 is Ok too.
Fast Free night promotion

Radisson Gold Passpot:
Cash + points, However, Carlson Hotel group has a bad reputation of crediting points, I have heard lots of complain on missing credits, so not a program I would suggest.

All other Hotel programs are either not Points based like Fairmont, Swisshotel, Shangri-La, or pretty straight forward redemption like choice hotel, sofitel(new program launching on Sep 15th).

NO good credit card rewards program in china

I am about to go to China for an indefinite period, so I think I should get a credit card in China to earn some rewards like I do in the states.

I was in shock when I saw the earning ratio for credit cards. the "best" I found for airline program is you get 1 km for every 11yuan( 1.6USD) charged to the credit card and you get no signup bonus or very little like 1000km. In addition, most miles program have fixed expiration date and the redemption rate is horrible. For Air China program, a RT award ticket for flight less than 800km is 14000km, so I need to charge more than 20,000USD to get a free ticket I can buy for 40 USD. Unbelievable.

The only one card has so so earning rate is Priority Club Gold Credit card issued by SPD bank(上海浦东发展银行), you earn 10000 bonus after signup and 1 point for every 4yuan(.60 USD) charge to the card or double points on all Intercontinental hotels Group purchase. With point breaks award, I can get a free night for approx 3000USD. Well, better than nothing.

award travel JFK-NRT(stopover)-PEK using AA miles

I just made an award ticket reservation in Business class to China for 10 days later using my AA miles, coming back in November. Business Class Seats are still pretty easy to find on all Japan Airlines US Gateway from JFK, ORD, SFO and LAX.

YYZ-LGA(stopover), JFK-NRT(stopover)-PEK-NRT-JFK(open jaw)

Total cost 90000 AA miles+157 in taxes and fees, not bad.

Plus, I booked 2 nights at Park Hyatt Tokyo using my Hyatt promotional free night award in my account. Great place to spend my awards and use my 72 hours shore pass for Chinese Passport.

I used Qantas Airways website to search award availability for oneworld partners, but they don't show JL and CX flight, so I use British Airways website to search now. Although it doesn't show everying, but it does offer more partners availability than Qantas Website.

I have not found any discrepancies between BA webiste and AA call center yet. After u did ur research and call AA to book, it will be much easier for u and agent.

Another reason I am using AA miles for this trip is ability to change without a fee even AFTER my trip starts as long as I keep the the same routing and carrier.

With UA and US or BD award, you can not change anything once ur trip starts unless you are using UA miles and the remaining is on UA only

With CO, NW and DL miles, you can change anytime you want, but every change requires a fee unless you are top elite of respective programs