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Let’s see what’s new and exciting in 2017!
If you’re just getting started in miles and points hobby, these 10 deals are an excellent way to get Big Travel with Small Money. For example, cheap award flights to Europe in coach or Business Class. Or a 4th night free on paid hotel stays.
Here are the best travel deals for 2017!
Best Travel Deals 2017
Link: Hot Deals
Whether you’re new to miles & points or a veteran, prefer coach or Business Class travel, or just want to save money, these deals offer something for everybody!
Before signing-up for any credit card deals, it’s important to consider your travel goals to decide which miles & points are best to collect for your trip!
1. Friend or Loved One Flies With You for (Almost) Free With Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass is still my favorite travel deal.
And you can easily earn the Companion Pass right now because of the current sign-up bonuses on the 3 Southwest cards. It’s possible to qualify for the Companion Pass by signing up for 2 of the Chase Southwest cards (1 personal and 1 small business) and meeting the minimum spending requirements!
You must earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year to get this amazing travel deal. Just be sure to avoid these 3 common mistakes!
Until March 31, 2017, it’s also possible to earn the Companion Pass using hotel points. You can read about team member Harlan’s personal experience redeeming Marriott points for the Companion Pass, 120,000 Southwest points, and a 7-night hotel certificate!
2. Two Nights at ANY Hyatt Hotel
Link: Chase Hyatt
With this card, you’ll also earn 5,000 bonus Hyatt points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months of opening your account.
This card has a $75 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year. But many folks keep this card year after year because you get a free night at any category 1 to 4 Hyatt on your card anniversary.
3. 4th Hotel Night Free Perk With Citi Prestige
Link: Citi Prestige® Card
The Citi Prestige has an amazing perk, which can save you lots of money if you book paid hotel stays.
Note: Beginning July 23, 2017, the 4th night free perk will refund the average cost of a 4-night stay, NOT including taxes.
Team member Keith used this perk to save more than $1,650 on hotel stays in 2016! This easily offsets the card’s $450 annual fee!
You can make this deal even better by stacking it with other discounts. And it’s a great option for folks who book business travel and get reimbursed by an employer.
There’s no limit to the number of times you can use this perk. And you’ll receive points, stay credits, and elite status perks at the hotel, just as you would if you booked directly!
Remember, you can also save on airfare with the Citi Prestige $250 annual airline fee credit or use your Citi ThankYou points at 1.6 cents each toward paid flights on American Airlines (or international partners) through July 23, 2017. And golfers get 3 (or more) free rounds of golf per year through July 23, 2017!
4. Get Big Travel With Starwood Points
Starwood points are extremely valuable because there are LOTS of terrific ways to use them like:
- Inexpensive hotel stays using the Cash + Points perk
- 5th night free at Starwood Category 3 to 7 hotels
- 5 nights and 2 airline tickets to Disney World
Starwood hotels include:
- Design Hotels
- Four Points
- Le Meridien
- St Regis
- The Luxury Collection
- Tribute Portfolio
You can stretch your Starwood points by booking a Nights & Flights package, which gets you one of these options:
- 5 nights at a Starwood Category 3 hotel and 50,000 airline miles for 60,000 Starwood points
- 5 nights at a Starwood Category 4 hotel and 50,000 airline miles for 70,000 Starwood points
And now is a great time earn Starwood points with the limited time best ever sign-up bonuses!
With the personal AMEX Starwood card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And 10,000 more Starwood points for spending another $2,000 on purchases within the first 6 months.
And with the AMEX Starwood small business card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And 10,000 more Starwood points for spending another $3,000 on purchases within the first 6 months.
Note: American Express only allows folks to get the sign-up bonus ONCE per person, per lifetime on ALL their cards.
5. Fly to Brussels for Cheap and Then Explore Europe
A round-trip award flight from New York (JFK) to Brussels costs:
- 21,972 Etihad miles in coach
- 36,620 Etihad miles in Business Class
- 60,000 United Airlines miles in coach
- 115,000 United Airlines miles in Business Class (on United Airlines)
- 140,000 United Airlines miles in Business Class (on partner airlines)
This is an incredible deal. Even if your final destination is not Brussels, you can use the cheap award flight as a springboard to explore other parts of Europe!
Note: With Brussels Airlines you must book a round-trip ticket. You can NOT book individual one-ways. And you must book your flight at least 14 days before your travel dates.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to finding available award seats on Brussels airlines. But keep in mind, you’ll have to call Etihad to book this way.
6. $300 Travel Credit Every Calendar Year With the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Link: Chase Sapphire Reserve
The most popular travel card in 2016 was the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Besides earning my favorite flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points, the card also comes with a $300 annual credit for travel purchases.
The credit starts working as soon as you get the card and covers purchases like:
- Hotels & Motels (including Airbnb)
- Car rental agencies
- Cruise lines
- Travel agencies
- Discount travel sites
- Passenger trains
- Taxis (including Uber and Lyft)
- Toll bridges & highways
- Parking lots & garages
You will receive a new $300 travel credit each calendar year.
In addition to the $300 travel credit, the Sapphire Reserve is a fantastic travel card because you can earn a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after meeting minimum spending requirements. That’s worth at least $750 in paid travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
And you also have the option to transfer the points you earn to terrific airline and hotel partners.
If you act quickly, it’s possible to earn a 100,000-point sign-up bonus when you apply for the Sapphire Reserve in-branch.
7. Avoid Blackout Dates & Get 50% of Your AMEX Points Back for Flights With the Business Platinum
You’ll get 50% of your points back for ANY Business or First Class ticket you purchase using Pay With Points. I think this is the best way to book JetBlue Mint Business Class flights!
Using Pay With Points gives folks a flexible option to book flights without blackout dates. Plus, you’ll earn airline miles on your paid flight because it’s essentially the same as paying with cash.
8. Save Miles With Short-Haul Alaska Airlines Award Flights
For example, a one-way flight between San Francisco and Portland costs 5,000 Alaska Airlines miles. It’s also possible to book a one-way flight with a stopover for the same cost as a regular one-way flight, as long as the stopover doesn’t bump you into a higher distance tier.
This is a great deal for folks who collect Alaska Airlines miles or Virgin America points. Remember, you can convert Virgin America points to Alaska Airlines miles at a 1 : 1.3 ratio.
You can find good deals on longer distance award flights too!
|Distance Flown||Old Price of Award Ticket||New Price of Award Ticket|
|Less than 700 miles (intra state)||7,500 Alaska Airlines miles||5,000 Alaska Airlines miles|
|Less than 700 miles||12,500 Alaska Airlines miles||5,000 Alaska Airlines miles|
|701 to 1,400 miles||12,500 Alaska Airlines miles||7,500 Alaska Airlines miles|
|1,401 to 2,100 miles||12,500 Alaska Airlines miles||10,000 Alaska Airlines miles|
|More than 2,100 miles||12,500 Alaska Airlines miles||12,500 Alaska Airlines miles|
If you need help finding the flight distance between any two cities, check out my post about how to quickly find flight distance & duration with Great Circle Mapper!
9. Discounted Award Flights to Europe & Hawaii Using Singapore Airlines Miles
Singapore Airlines miles are easy to earn because they’re a partner of all 4 transferable points programs:
Starting March 23, 2017, Singapore Airlines award flights between New York and Frankfurt will cost:
- 22,500 Singapore Airlines miles in coach
- 65,000 Singapore Airlines miles in Business Class
- 76,000 Singapore Airlines miles in First Class suites
Singapore Airlines recently announced the upcoming removal of the 15% online booking discount. But you’ll no longer pay fuel surcharges!
And if you’re traveling to Hawaii, consider using Singapore Airlines miles to book United Airlines award flights. You’ll save 10,000 to 20,000 miles compared to booking directly with United Airlines miles!
Round-trip award flights from the US to Hawaii cost:
- 35,000 Singapore Airlines miles in coach
- 60,000 Singapore Airlines miles in Business Class
Booking directly through United Airlines would cost you:
- 45,000 United Airlines Airlines miles in coach
- 80,000 United Airlines miles in Business Class
Note: You’ll have to call Singapore Airlines at 800-742-3333 to book this way.
10. Round-Trip Flights to Ireland for 26,000 Points!
And British Airways is a transfer partner of 3 of the 4 major flexible points programs:
- American Express Membership Rewards (5:4 ratio)
- Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1 ratio)
- Starwood Preferred Guest (1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer)
Aer Lingus uses a distance based award chart. You can book round-trip award flights to Dublin from these 6 cities for 26,000 British Airways Avios points in coach during the off-season:
- New York (JFK)
- Washington, DC
Off-peak times include almost 8 months out of the year. And during peak travel times, you’ll pay 40,000 British Airways Avios points for a round-trip flight. This is still a great travel deal because United Airlines charged 60,000 miles for a similar award flight.
For folks looking to get Big Travel with Small Money in 2017, there are lots of excellent travel deals!
Some top deals carried over from my list from last year, like the Southwest Companion Pass! But others are new like:
- AMEX Starwood limited-time best-ever 35,000-point sign-up bonuses
- $300 annual travel credit with the Chase Sapphire Reserve
- AMEX Business Platinum Pay With Points perk
What’s your favorite travel deal?