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- Mistake fares that were honored on many airlines including $5 on United, Delta for under $50, and a friendly Norweigan site called Widerøe that offered round trip flights to Europe for as low as $150.
- Huge online shopping mileage opportunities such as 21x at Sears, 35x at eBags, 21x at shoes.com, 18x at Neiman Marcus, 15x at North Face, and 60x at Magazines.com. On top of this there were several promos that easily gave thousands of additional bonus points for using certain online portals.
- Getting the last award night free thanks to the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature. This resulted in “buy one get one free” award nights on two night award stays!
- The IHG Rewards Big Win promo didn’t work for me, but I know some families that scored over 100,000 IHG points pretty easily via their Big Win offer. It is returning in early 2014 for those that missed out this time around.
- The Southwest Companion Pass is still the best value in family travel and is easily available via credit card sign-up bonus points, and all of the Southwest credit cards were available with 50,000 point sign-up bonuses toward the end of 2013. This allowed people to time the applications correctly to hit the companion pass in early 2014, thus giving them most of 2014 and all of 2015 to bring a “companion” on Southwest flights for free.
- The AviancaTaca LifeMiles program and some of their favorable geographical classifications
- Lots of targeted spending bonuses on cards such as the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature, US Airways MasterCard, and of course continuing to enjoy 5x on certain categories on the Chase Freedom® – $200 Bonus Cash Back and Ink Bold® Business Card cards.
- Introduction of the American Express Centurion Lounges in Las Vegas and DFW airports. I am especially partial to the DFW location due to the complimentary spa services!
- A targeted US Airways promotion that allowed US Airways MasterCard cardholders to get up to 50% of their redeemed miles back on a trip…this meant Europe round trip for as low as 15,000 miles!
- The Hyatt and MLife partnership that allows you to leverage Hyatt status for MLife status, as well as the opportunity to earn and redeem Hyatt points at Mlife properties in Vegas.
- Continued ease of getting credit card sign-up bonuses. I was pretty light on rewards card applications this year, but my husband got hundreds of thousand of easy miles and points by getting a few rewards credit cards!
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