Mini Points: MileagePlus Card Improvement, SMD5 Update, and More!

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Here are a few quick updates from the miles and points world:

  • Chase has introduced a new benefit to the United MileagePlus Explorer card by eliminating the foreign transaction fees effective June 1.  Most of my Chase Rewards credit cards already had no foreign transaction fee, but it is still nice to see it disappear for this card as well.  Makes total sense that a travel rewards card would want to appeal to those who travel outside of the US from time to time.  Thumbs up, Chase!
  • If you are interested in attending Star MegaDo 5, they are re-opening booking today at noon Central There are approximately 40 seats left in coach, two in the “Tommy Class” emergency exit row, and a single business class seat.  There were some IT issues that caused booking to get prematurely shut-down on Monday, but those kinks have reportedly been worked out.  At the rates seats were selling before the IT shut-down, I would not be shocked at all if it went to “sold out” status today.
  • Miles Professor has a good post on getting a 5x offer for the Citi ThankYou Card by going into a bank branch instead of relying on what is available online.  I am so rarely in physical banks that this is a good reminder that it can pay to shop around…assuming of course you live close to a branch and have the time to do so.
  • Southwest is starting up new nonstop service from Houston’s Hobby Airport to Washington Reagan on August 4th. Houston to to DC can be a pricey route, so I am happy to seen additional options.  They are offering introductory $149 fares each way, which does not seem like an great deal to me, but it is less than the route sometimes goes for.  These fares must be purchased from May 20 through May 24, 2013, 11:59 pm for the respective time zone of the originating city.  Valid for travel August 4 through November 1, 2013 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Saturdays.

Happy Wednesday!

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  1. According to the email I got today from Chase, the foreign transaction fees are not eliminated until June 1st.

    • Robert, sorry I haven’t circled back to the comments. Email I got left that out, but got it added in now. Thanks!

  2. Hmm… does this mean that those of us who currently have the mileage plus explorer card can cancel the card and then reapply to get the sign-up bonus again since they added this “no foreign transaction fee” new benefit?

  3. Wow, thanks for the heads up re united foreign transaction fees!
    Question…if you have a free united club card ( yearly) what would u consider the best value ..I travel iah..lga frequently and tend to use lga….am I missing value by not waiting and using it in OGG ?

  4. @MP Your blog is the one I check for the most reliable posts on anything. Anything at all… !

    Typically you have the overall details right, when the other blogs have only the basic details correct. So I was surprised when I saw that you posted that the United card had dropped the transaction fee, without mentioning that it would be another 12 days before it was history.

    My post was not a put down, as I hope you know, but just an update. I’m off to Spain in a week, and will be using the Chase Sapphire on everything “travel”, and the AMEX PRG for everything else. But after the 1st I will now consider the United card as well. 😀

  5. In passing along info on Citi Thank You Points 5x, you should read the last few weeks’ posts in the Card Abuse thread on FT regarding crackdown and shutdown cases imposed by Citi.

  6. Rich, most welcome!
    Karen, I don’t believe there is a United Club at OGG, so don’t save it for that. 😉 Personally I would use it at the United Club in IAH at Terminal E.
    Interested Reader, I have heard that – good offer!
    Robert, oh no, it just wasn’t on the announcement email I got. Should have dug deeper, but quickly mentioned it. You are right about waiting a few more days before it goes into effect. Always appreciate folks helping me update the posts when necessary! No doubt I miss things from time to time. 😉
    Sam, I have heard some about that, but do need to play catch-up with the latest.

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