Author Archives: Million Mile Secrets

5 Lesser-Known (but Valuable!) AMEX Platinum Perks for Big Travel With Small Money

The AMEX Platinum cards have terrific benefits, including the flexibility to use your AMEX Membership Rewards points to buy travel, or transfer them to airline programs.

You’ll get a $200 annual airline incidental fee credit on your selected airline.  Plus $200 per year to spend on Uber or UberEats, access to Centurion Lounges and 1,000+ Priority Pass Lounges, and free Hilton, Starwood, and Marriott Gold elite status.

But there are lesser-known, yet valuable, AMEX Platinum benefits too.

American Express Benefits You Might Not Even Know You Have

AMEX Platinum Cardholders Get Exclusive Perks at Resorts Like the Four Seasons Oahu Ko’Olina, Including Early Check-In, Late Check-Out, Room Upgrades, and Free Breakfast

Let’s check out the AMEX Platinum benefits you might not be familiar with!

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The Secret Way to Get $200 in Free Food With Your AMEX Platinum

American Express recently added new perks to The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, including monthly Uber credits up to $200 a year and 5X points on hotel bookings made through AMEX Travel.

If you’re in an area Uber serves, the Uber credit can save you lots of money on transportation, and help off-set the $550 annual fee.  You’ll get up to $15 in credit per month ($35 in December).

But did you know you’re not just limited to using the Uber credit on rides?  You can also apply the credit to meals purchased through UberEATS!

The Secret Way To Get 200 In Free Food With Your AMEX Platinum

Shhh! You Can Also Use the Monthly AMEX Platinum Uber Credit to Order Food Through UberEATS!

I’ll fill you in on how it works!

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Save Miles on Award Flights to South Africa Using AMEX & Starwood Points

Million Mile Secrets reader Aaron asked:

I have been looking to take the family to South Africa.  It appears ANA has the best mileage, but taxes and fees are terrible.  Do you have any thoughts?

Aaron is mostly correct.  ANA Mileage Club can save you tens of thousands of miles for flights to South Africa.  But it also adds fuel surcharges to most of its partners.

If you collect AMEX Membership Rewards or Starwood points, you can transfer them to ANA to book award flights.  Or move Marriott points to Starwood and then to ANA.

Using airline miles on award flights to South Africa is a great idea, because paid flights are expensive and rarely discounted.  But fuel surcharges can be very high.

ANA stopped collecting fuel surcharges on most of its own flights in Spring 2016, but it keeps adding them to most of its partners.

How To Book Award Flights To South Africa With ANA Miles

Planning a Trip to South Africa Like Million Mile Secrets Team Member Keith? You’ll Use Fewer Miles (but More Cash) Booking With ANA Miles

I’ll show you how to save miles and money, and pitfalls to avoid for award flights to South Africa.

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Earn Bonus Starwood Points for Broadway Show Tickets, Redeem for Unforgettable Experiences

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Did you know you can earn lots of Starwood points by booking your show tickets through Audience Rewards?  In some cases, you can earn up to ~18 points per $1!

And you can use the Starwood points you’ve earned for award stays at Starwood hotels, flights on ~30 airline partners, Cash & Points, and Nights & Flights.  And for once-in-a-lifetime experiences with a Starwood program called SPG Moments.

Earn Bonus Starwood Points For Broadway Show Tickets Redeem For Unforgettable Experiences

Earn Lots of Starwood Points by Booking Show Tickets, and Redeem Them for Unforgettable Experiences You Can’t Buy Elsewhere

I’ll show you how to earn more Starwood points with Audience Rewards, and get some great bargains with SPG Moments.

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Save Marriott Points on Free Stays in South Africa With Protea Hotels Category Changes

A few months ago, I told you about terrific Marriott award stays at Protea hotels in South Africa.

But now that Starwood and Marriott have announced their annual category changes, it’s time for an update.  Some of the deals will be even better!

These include luxury 5-star hotels, a location on a game reserve, and a waterfront hotel in Cape Town!

Marriott Category Change Protea Hotel

The Luxurious African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel in Johannesburg Is Going Down in Category on March 7, 2017 — From 20,000 Marriott Points to 15,000 Marriott Points

There are 20 Protea hotels in South Africa that are changing categories, including 9 we wrote about.  I’ll show you which of them are going to cost more and which are getting cheaper.

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Do You Know These Secret Ways To Book Cathay Pacific Award Flights?

Update:   Cathay Pacific has extended the transfer bonus until February 28, 2017!

In this post, Million Mile Secrets contributor Andy digs into the limited-time 30% transfer bonus from hotel points to Cathay Pacific!

Andy:   I explained how Cathay Pacific’s great redemption scheme and liberal routing rules allow folks to see more places on the same ticket.  And until December 31, 2016, you can get a 30% Asia Miles bonus for transferring your hotel points.

Specifically, folks with Starwood points can do very well!  Because you can transfer Starwood points to Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific) at a good ratio.

Do You Know These Secret Ways To Book Cathay Pacific Award Flights

Cathay Pacific Has Great Options for Seeing Multiple Places on the Same Award Ticket

Many folks have complained about how hard it is to redeem a Cathay Pacific award.  So Million Mile Secrets contributor Andy set out on a mission to find out if Cathay Pacific deserves this reputation.

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The Amazing Value of 5 Free Stopovers & 2 Open Jaws With Cathay Pacific Award Flights!

Update:   Cathay Pacific has extended the transfer bonus until February 28, 2017!

In this post, Million Mile Secrets contributor Andy digs into the limited-time 30% transfer bonus from hotel points to Cathay Pacific!

Andy:   You can get a great value out of Cathay Pacific miles if you know how to use them.  And because Cathay Pacific is currently offering a 30% bonus when you transfer hotel points to Asia Miles until December 31, 2016, you could get a terrific deal!

Cathay Pacific has some of the least restrictive routing rules among major airlines, and you can have up to 5 free stopovers on the same ticket.  You can even backtrack and stay in the same place twice if you want.  Try to do something like that on Delta or American Airlines!  😉

But Cathay Pacific might seem a little complicated compared to major US programs.

The Amazing Value Of 5 Free Stopovers 2 Open Jaws With Cathay Pacific Award Flights

The 30% Transfer Bonus to Asia Miles Can Take You More Places for Fewer Miles

I’ll explain how the charts work, how to build your itinerary, and how to get Big Travel for fewer miles than other airlines.

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Why This Obscure 30% Transfer Bonus = Big Travel

Update:   Cathay Pacific has extended the transfer bonus until February 28, 2017!

In this post, Million Mile Secrets contributor Andy digs into the limited-time 30% transfer bonus from hotel points to Cathay Pacific!

Andy:  Through December 31, 2016, Cathay Pacific is offering a 30% bonus for converting your hotel points to Asia Miles, their frequent flyer program.

Asia Miles is a unique and almost too-good-to-be-true program.  If you have only used US frequent flyer programs until now, you’ll be pleased to learn about its relaxed routing rules that allow backtracking and up to 5 free stopovers on one award ticket.

This 30% hotel transfer bonus is a great chance to stock up on Asia Miles.

Here are 2 examples of Big Travel:

  • 72,000 Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific miles) round-trip in Premium Economy from the West Coast to Hong Kong
  • 80,000 Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific miles) round-trip in Business Class from the East Coast to Europe

See my other posts about stretching your Cathay Pacific miles with 5 free stopovers & 2 open jaws on Cathay Pacific award flights.  And secret ways to book Cathay Pacific award flights.

Why This Obscure 30 Transfer Bonus Big Travel

Visit Vibrant and Dynamic Hong Kong From the West Coast for Only 72,000 Cathay Pacific Miles in Premium Economy Round-Trip

I’ll show you when transferring points is a good idea and help you decide if Asia Miles is a good program for you.
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Marriott Merger Loopholes: Penguins, Safaris, & More in South Africa!

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Two years ago, Marriott acquired an African chain, Protea Hotels.  I reported about great redemption bargains in Africa using Marriott and Starwood points.

Protea South Africa Hotels

Stay in Cape Town for Free Using Marriott or Starwood Points, and Make New Feathered Friends at Boulders Beach

Today, I’ll show you in detail how to use Marriott points to get great bargains in South Africa.

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What Do the Major Changes to the Virgin Atlantic Award Program Mean for You?

Virgin Atlantic is changing the way members earn and redeem miles, starting November 13, 2016

Earning miles and tier points for status is getting harder if you usually fly in coach on deeply discounted fares.  And getting an Upper Class (First Class) award flight is becoming more expensive, too.

However, some award flight prices for coach and Premium Economy are being significantly reduced, which is good news!

Virgin Atlantic Award Flights

Big Changes Are Coming to How You Earn and Redeem Virgin Atlantic Miles

I’ll show you how the changes affect your future Virgin Atlantic award flights, so you can decide whether you want to stick with the program or move on.

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