Here are some mini-points on some major deals out there that I haven’t had a chance to write a full post on this week.  However, in case you haven’t yet had a chance to read about some of these deals, here is a brief rundown on things that have caught my eye.

  • First and foremost, if you haven’t read Online Travel Review’s post on how to get to Hawaii in first class for $328, then go there now.  The basics are that due to the currency conversion rate from USD to Icelandic Krona, and a mileage purchase promotion from Icelandair, you can purchase 30,000 miles for $328 USD.  You can then use those miles to book through Icelandair on Alaska Airlines (one of their partners) to fly anywhere in the US, Canada, and Mexico in First Class.  That means Hawaii, Alaska, or wherever else Alaska Airlines serves in the US, Mexico, or Canada round trip for just $328!  Be aware, that Online Travel Review informs that the awards price out as round trip for that price though the Icelandair website does not specifically specify that.  I have to admit this feels like “too good to be true”.  However, I trust the legwork that Online Travel Review has done.  I’m not pulling the trigger on it myself right now (in part because I just already have way too many trips planned), but I am watching the deal very closely.  I encourage you to do the same.  I did randomly check Alaska award availability at the lowest level from IAH to Hawaii and found plenty of options, they just aren’t necessarily very direct.  ;)  Online Travel Review also reports that there is a $40ish dollar fuel surcharge that is assessed when you book your award, so that will inch the actual price a bit higher.  Still an amazing deal!

  • I am getting ready for a credit card churn, and have been debating about whether or not to include the current US Bank FlexPerks Reward Card offer in my churn.  Their current sign-up offer was tied to the number of medals the US got at the 2012 Olympics, so the offer turned out to be pretty solid – much better than the usual offer.  The offer valid through the end of August awards 33,150 FlexPoints after you spend $2,500 in the first five months.  That translates to $600 in airline tickets.  If you spend just a bit more on the card, you will actually have enough points for $800 in airline tickets.  They have an award chart that is a little different than many of the programs I regularly write about, so I encourage you to read this helpful post by Hack My Trip for more details on maximizing this offer.  I hadn’t written about the offer until now, since initially many folks were having trouble getting approved, but it seems that more approvals are now trickling through.  US Bank apparently is a bit particular about the number of credit inquiries that folks have.  That makes it tough for folks like me who get new cards on a pretty regular basis.  However, there have been enough approvals that I am now likely to give it a shot in the near future.

  • National Car Rental has brought back their promotion that awards a free rental day after every two paid midsize or larger rentals from August 20th – January 31st.  You can redeem your free days between September 10th and June 16, 2013 on up to a full sized car.  You do have to register for the promotion and a maximum of ten free rental days can be earned.  You can learn all the details from New Girl in the Air.
  • Last, and likely least, as you might have read from some other bloggers, a notice did go out that the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offer and related application links will be updating on Monday.  When we get these notices sometimes it means something major is changing with the offer, and sometimes it is something incredibly minor is changing isn’t even worth mentioning.  I had no plans to mention it at all until we knew more, but since it is coming up in many other blogs, I just want to say that I don’t think you should rush to do anything at this point.  I can’t imagine the actual sign-up bonus will be decreasing since that already happened this spring.  The minimum spending requirement may be changing, it may be getting a chip like some other Chase cards, it may now be made out of concrete, who knows.  ;)  What I do know is that more likely than not we will get some hints we can share sooner rather than later.  I promise to share any details I can before Monday.  Until then, I wouldn’t worry about it too much one way or the other.

Disclosure:  I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using my affiliate link.  In case you are super curious, the Sapphire Preferred link is mine, and the US Bank link is not.  As always, I only post about the best available offers I am aware of.  In the event you do use one of my affiliate links, thanks for your support!

Posted by Mommy Points | 25 Comments

25 Responses to “First Class to Hawaii for $328 RT, Up to $800 in Airline Tickets from US Bank, and more…”

  1. Benny says:

    I’d get it if it was made out of concrete as long as it had a huge bonus and low spend! :)

  2. Jeff says:

    Regarding the icelandair flight, nowhere on their site have I seen that these are round trip fares. How are you certain its not one way thus doubling the price?

  3. JAy says:

    Hi! Excited to check out the Alaska/Icelandair deal! What’s that search engine you used to look at availability? I know I can use the Alaska site, but that one you posted looks useful as well!

  4. Grant Thomas says:

    I just purchased 50,000 + 10,000 Bonus Points. Email from Chase because I used my CSP card:
    “A charge of ($USD) 641.13 was authorized at POINTS ICELANDAIR on 08/17/2012 12:53:44 AM EDT”. Anyone know if this will count for double points on my CSP?

  5. Lee says:

    I took a look at the Icelandair website and it doesn’t specify whether 30,000 miles is for a one-way or a roundtrip.

  6. Jared says:

    Hi Mommy Points readers…I wrote the post over at Online Travel Review. Thought I’d respond to some of the questions over here.

    Correct – it doesn’t say whether it’s one-way or roundtrip. I spoke with them a few times yesterday (agreed that it seemed too good to be true, though even if it were one-way, which it’s not, $650 for first class tix to Hawaii is still a great deal) and it’s definitely round trip. Most Alaska Airlines flights in the Pacific Northwest are short, so 20k isn’t crazy (it’s what United charges for short flights). I have no idea why they include Hawaii in the redemptions, but they do.

    Avios charges 25k for a Hawaii flight from the West Coast, so 20k is not completely ridiculous.

    Another data point: they only allow roundtrip redemptions on Icelandair. I can’t think of an airline that only allows roundtrip redemptions on their own flights but allows the far-more-permissive one-way redemptions on partners.

    Unfortunately, their phone center isn’t open 24 hours, but I encourage you to call them — they were super nice (if not 100% well versed in how to redeem on Alaska).

    Good luck!

  7. mommypoints says:

    @Benny, indeed. ;)
    @Jeff, I am trusting what Online Travel Review is reporting to be accurate….that said I am not yet pulling the trigger myself. We can all wait and hear some more reports from folks buying miles and then proceed, or not. ;)
    @Jay, I used the Alaska Airlines search tool.
    @Grant, congrats! Good job for using a card with no foreign transaction fees for that one! Let us know how the booking process goes and it would not surprise me if it counted as double points.
    @Lee, indeed. You have to either trust what Online Travel Review is saying, contact Icelandair yourself, or wait for more reports of folks trying to book. ;)
    @Jared, thanks for weighing in!!

  8. Al M. says:

    hmm am I the only one who noticed this, that the promo and all the related posts say 30k for a first class redemption… however the attached ‘proof’ image of flight search from IAH (where I’d be flying out of too if I were to make use of this) to HI is 75k miles… so what gives, am I missing something?

    • mommypoints says:

      That is the search results from Alaska. I isn’t proof of anything on the Icelandair side. 75k is the saver level for for Alaska that Icelandair theoretically would have access to. It should then cost you 30k Icelandair miles if all works as intended.

  9. Jeff says:

    I bought the points and called in to book.

    The rep was not able to find a single available Alaskan air flight from anywhere I asked her to check. Even though the flights were available on Alaskair website. It seems like they may have pulled all available flights.

    I asked her what kind of award program has zero award flights and she said “I don’t know, E-mail our Saga program department.”

  10. FloridaDO says:

    does this work with the alaska flights that are american airlines/codeshare?

  11. mommypoints says:

    @Jeff, that sounds strange. From OTR’s post it sounds like they are somewhat unfamiliar with booking flights on Alaska Air. Perhaps someone else who bought miles will come up some advice on this issue soon. Can’t really be possible that there are zero flights.
    @FloridaDO, no, just on Alaska metal.

    • mommypoints says:

      Also from looking at ORT’s original post on the Alaska deal in the comments section it looks like folks are being told about a “10 day hold” on new accounts, so keep that in mind. Another reason why I am watching this closely, but not jumping in myself right now.

  12. Corky Putt Putt says:

    I just went to register and it looks like frequent flier program sign-up is borked for the time being.

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  14. Jared says:

    HI all – to clarify a few points above:

    - They’ve been kind enough to waive the 10 day waiting period because of all of the calls about this deal. See, there are nice airlines out there.

    - If Alaska has W fares available in coach or A fares available in First, then Icelandair can book for you. People are having some trouble building connections from cities in the East and MIdwest because Alaska doesn’t time those flights to connect to Hawaii flights. You may have trouble finding availability there, and Icelandair may have trouble booking some of those connections (many are overnight).

    - They’re getting hammered in their little call center. This 20% bonus deal is good through September. Alaska has pretty good availability to Hawaii (especially from Portland and San Jose). You may need to wait a bit, but they’ve been very very helpful.

    Thanks everyone!

  15. Jeff says:

    Does anyone know what Icelandair policy is regarding changes to award tickets? Their site is extremely unclear.

  16. SC Parent says:

    @Jeff, the T&C when you sign up for a Sage Club account says that changes can be made to award tickets on IcelandAir flights *for a fee.* No mention of changes to partner awards.

  17. MillValleyMom says:

    OK, wow! What a morning. Here is my experience trying to get my family of 4 to Hawaii for Spring Break. Fortunately, we live in the Bay Area which had several options for flights out of OAK or SJC. I found 2 Coach and 2 1st class tickets from OAK to KOA, and then found 4 1st class tickets on the return from OGG to OAK. These priced out at 110,000 miles (50k for the two flights that have the outbound leg in economy & 60k for the 1st class round trips). I bought 50k points for myself and earned an additional 10k. I then transfered 42,000 miles to my husband, and he earned an additional 8,400 miles giving him 50,400 miles total – enough for the two tickets costing 50k miles. My account had 18k miles leftover after gifting him 42k, so I needed to purchase an additional 35k which earned a 7k bonus and gave me a total of 60k miles in my account. I called IcelandAir and immediately booked our flights. It took some time, and I panicked when she said they weren’t available, but somehow the agent was able to book them for me (even when ExpertFlyer was showing the availability had disappeared). I have booking confirmation numbers, but they won’t be able to ticket until Monday. I just checked my Visa bill and see 3 transactions from IcelandAir – $641.13 (initial purchase of 50k miles), $24.98 (fee to transfer miles to my husband’s account), and $453.79 (purchase of 35k miles). This totals $1,119.90 – which I believe means I just bought 4 tickets to Hawaii (mostly in First Class) for $280 each! Note, IcelandAir did say that there would be taxes totaling around $250 for the 4 tickets, but still I am very happy! Thanks Mommy Points for sharing and Online Travel Review for the amazing find!

    • mommypoints says:

      @MillValleyMom, yay yay yay! Thanks a million for sharing your story! Great job hanging in there. So happy for you.

  18. Jared says:

    @MillValleyMom – I am SO thrilled for you!

    Now go tell your friends to read MommyPoints and Online Travel Review :)

  19. David says:

    @MillValleyMom – thank you very much for detailing what you did. My home airport is PDX, so I am thinking seriously of taking a chance on this one. The thing that stinks the most of this deal is that my first trip to Europe (Fall 2010) was on a paid ticket to Iceland Air (flew out of Seattle) and I did not earn miles because I was a noob/moron at the time. Arrrgh.

    @MP – One question for you (and for MillValleyMom) – does it seem logical to transfer all of the points you purchase so you get 20% (the bonus when purchasing) and then another 20% (on all your purchased miles) for transferring them to the other account? it seems liek not transferring all of them to a second account means you aren’t getting all of the possible bonus (though MVM I think how you broke it down was smart). Did it seem like what I am proposing would work? Also, what would stop the recipient of the points from transferring them a second time to a third recipient for another 20% bonus? I know that is heading in an ethically questionable direction, just curious if either of you think it would work.

  20. MillValleyMom says:

    @jared of course!
    @David – Ugh! Yes, your way would have saved me a few more dollars! I think you could transfer and re-transfer, but this airline and their employees have been so generous and helpful that I wouldn’t feel comfortable exploiting their system like that. Good luck with your ticketing! I am beyond excited about this trip!

    • David says:

      @MVM – Thanks & agreed. My experience flying with them was also positive. Also, ethical quandaries aside, I suspect transferring miles more than once in an atempt to exploit the system may also violate their T&C’s.

  21. MillValleyMom says:

    btw, I hope I misheard the agent who said my taxes would be about $250 total for the 4 of us. It sounds like it should be $150 ($38.93 x 4). My taxes haven’t been charged to my Visa yet, but my confirmation e-mail from IcelandAir does have my AS Reservation number. I was able to pull up the flight information at Alaska Air and choose my seats, so it definitely looks like we will be beach bound in April. Thanks again for this great tip and congrats to you too @mommypoints for getting in on the deal as well. Now, off to find hotel rooms…

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