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1. Negative Changes to Flying Blue Promo Awards
Flying Blue, the loyalty program of KLM and Air France, announced a couple of sour changes yesterday.
1. Flying Blue Turns Into Revenue-Based Program
The loyalty program will no longer award travelers miles based on the distance they fly. The number of miles you earn will now depend on how much you paid for your seat.
2. Award Flights Are No Longer Priced by Zone
Folks used to be able to fly to anywhere in Europe from the US for the same amount of miles. But now, the amount you pay will depend on your route. This is a huge bummer, because it makes the generous Promo Awards Flying Blue publishes each month a lot less valuable.
For example, with this month’s Promo Awards, you can fly from Chicago to Paris for 11,000 miles one-way in coach. Before this change, that promotional discount would take you to anywhere in the zone Flying Blue considered to be Europe, which included places like Morocco and Israel. But now, it only applies to the specified route. You’ll have to pay thousands of extra miles if you want to go any farther!
Fortunately, it’s pretty cheap to hop around Europe once you’re there. So you can use these promo awards for an inexpensive transatlantic flight to Paris, and then use one of Europe’s budget airlines to get to where you actually want to go!
Note: You can check out the new Flying Blue “Miles Price Estimator” at the bottom of their Reward Tickets page to see how many miles you’ll need to reach your destination.
2. Hyatt Place Tightens Up Their Free Breakfast Policy
Beginning November 1, 2018, only loyalty members who book directly through Hyatt will receive free breakfast at Hyatt Place hotels.
This shouldn’t affect too many folks, because booking directly with Hyatt is often the best plan of action, anyway! You earn points, get elite night credits, and have your elite status recognized by booking direct. You will NOT receive those things when you book through a third party website like Hotels.com or Orbitz.
So if you do find yourself booking a Hyatt Place via a third party website, remember to factor in the price of your independently purchased breakfast before reserving your room!
3. Buy Hotels.com Gift Card at a Discount
Beginning tonight, June 4, 2018, at 9:00 pm Eastern Time, Amazon Prime members can buy a $50 Hotels.com gift card for $42.50. That’s a savings of 15%, which isn’t too shabby!
Booking through Hotels.com is a good idea for folks who want to stay at boutique hotels where you can’t redeem hotel points. Or anywhere that doesn’t have a loyalty program.
That way you can still earn rewards through the Hotels.com program! For every 10th night you book through Hotels.com, you’ll get the average cost of the previous 9 nights deducted from your bill!
Plus, folks with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card can earn 10 Venture miles per $1 you spend on Hotels.com bookings. To earn the bonus, you must book your stay through a special Hotels.com link and pay with your card. This offer is valid for bookings made by January 31, 2020.
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4. Plastiq Making Changes to Visa Personal Cards
Plastiq is coding lots of personal Visa credit cards as cash advances! And sometimes, they’re limiting folks to 20% of their credit limit. Here’s what you need to know:
- Plastiq is limiting Chase personal Visa card payments to 20% of the credit limit
- Plastiq is coding Bank of America and Citi Visa transactions as cash advances
If you use Capital One Visa cards or if you’re using Mastercard, you shouldn’t notice any abnormalities.
Plastiq claims this is a temporary change, and they’re working with Visa to fix the issue. So depending on which card you use with Plastiq, it could best to wait until everything is back to normal. Cash advance fees are NOT cheap! And you don’t earn ANY rewards on cash advances.