But you have to sign up to receive text messages from the program.

Here is what you can expect from the Aeroplan Text Message Service

  • No more than 2 or 3 text messages per month.
  • Up-to-the-minute opportunities to earn more miles.
  • Program news and information.
  • If you’re willing to do this, here’s how to sign up.

    You can unsubscribe from text messages after the miles post in 3-4 weeks.

    Last year I called Aeroplan the most devalued program in North America.

    First there was the gutting of their award chart on July 15, 2011. For instance, my favorite award — first class to most of Asia — went from 120,000 miles to 175,000 miles (a 46% increase in one shot). Australia awards went from 75,000 to 80,000 in coach; 100,000 to 135,000 in business (35% increase), and 140,000 to 185,000 in first (32% increase).

    Then the cost of redeeming awards went up hundreds of dollars through the imposition of fuel surcharges on many of their partners effective November 2011.

    And then they increased award prices again. Remember that first class Asia award that two years ago cost 120,000 miles? It now costs 210,000 miles. First class to Australia? 220,000.

    So I guess these days, every mile counts.


    I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

    The Citi Thank You Points program — which long ago used to be one of my favorites — breathed some new life into the offering today with the introduction of airline mileage transfer partners.

    Earlier today I listed (7) airlines that you can transfer points to:

    • Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles
    • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
    • Etihad Guest
    • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
    • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
    • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
    • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus

    Those are the seven listed as partner programs.

    But The Miles Professor points out that the help topic page lists an 8th frequent flyer program you can transfer to: Malaysia Airlines Enrich.

    Is Malaysia a transfer partner or aren’t they? I do not know why the discrepancy.

    Reader Daniel asked earlier for a link to a strong credit card offer for earning Thank You points. The best offer I’m currently aware of is for The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card:

    • 20,000 points after $2000 in purchases within the first 3 months
    • 30,000 points after another $3000 in purchases within the first 3 months of the second year as a cardmember
    • Earns 3 points per dollar on dining and entertainment and 2 points per dollar on airfare and hotels.
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • First year annual fee waived, $125 after that

    Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.


    Hilton is offering double points on Monday through Thursday nights, and trip points for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights between August 1 and October 31. Registration is required.

    Because this is Hilton, there will be a ton of hotels that have chosen not to participate. As of now we don’t know which those are.

    In fact, the promotion’s FAQ is still from last year’s version of the offer as I write this. So they aren’t quite ready with this one year, but we know what the next promotion will be.

    This isn’t a huge promotion, it isn’t one that will shift any of my business for sure, but it’s roughly in line with what we’ve seen from other hotel chains of late when rooms are reasonably full and they don’t need to spend big marketing dollars to do that.

    On the other hand, Hilton really should be offering double points now that they charge double points for so many hotel redemptions.


    Two-plus years ago there was much speculation about Citi introduces points transfer partners to the Thank You Points program.

    A year and a half ago they introduces transfers to Hilton HHonors. And that was it.

    Now they’ve gone ahead and done it! Read More…

    News and notes from around the interweb:


    Delta miles are great (yes, they really are!) for:

    Last month I highlighted Virgin Australia’s amazing award availability between the U.S. and Australia. Specifically, I showed just how many dates you’d find at least four business class seats on the Los Angeles – Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne routes.

    Sadly wide-open availability is no longer the case. Read More…

    In this post I am going to offer some possible insight into what’s going on with Delta Skymiles — award availability, and the future of redemption — based on conversations with several different knowledgeable people regarding the transition to a revenue-based program and the agreements they have in place with their partners.

    None of those people shared the full picture, so it’s possible that this is slightly off but nonetheless I believe it’s at a minimum directionally-correct. Read More…

    I much liked Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. (What a cast! with Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Owen Wilson, and Jeff Goldblum in supporting roles.)

    So, too, apparently did a number of TripAdvisor reviewers. (HT: Jenny F.)

    For an interwar period property, I like complaints such as “No free wifi.”

    TripAdvisor warns that the hotel is unbookable:

    Without the warning this could have become TripAdvisor’s Tuscan Whole Milk.

    One word of caution — milk, even when frozen into a baseball-bat shape, is nigh worthless as a baseball bat, merely shattering into cloudy fragments at the first strike of a baseball.


    Since Avianca’s LifeMiles joined Star Alliance, it has been one of the most lucrative frequent flyer programs in the world.

    They’ve announced a new award chart starting October 15th, and have now released the details of the chart. Are there some great hidden gems? Are the increases bad? Will they change how to play this program? Read More…

    I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has made changes to its benefits effective today.

    I spoke with the Sapphire team and they let me know that it would take some time before the changes all propagated across various websites and other materials, but that the changes are now in effect.

    What Stays the Same

    The core benefits of the card most people are familiar with all remain in place.

    • A signup bonus of 40,000 points after $3000 in purchases within 3 months. Plus another 5000 points for adding a no fee authorized user to the account and making a purchase within 3 months.
    • Double points on travel and dining spend.
    • Points transfer to several loyalty currencies.
      • Airlines: United, British Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Southwest
      • Hotels: Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, IHG Rewards
      • Ground: Amtrak

    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • $0 annual fee the first year, $95 thereafter.

    What Goes Away

    As speculated when Chase pulled the benefit from its marketing materials, Chase is eliminating the 7% annual bonus on points earned in the previous year. New cardholders will no longer receive this benefit.

    For someone who spends $3000 a month on the card, so $36,000 a year, the benefit has been worth ~ 2500 points annually.

    Existing cardholders will receive the 7% bonus on points earned in 2014 and also 2015 (these points are paid out early in the following calendar year). So existing cardholders will still get their 7% bonus posting at the beginning of 2016.

    If you took my advice you have this benefit already locked in for the next year and a half.

    I don’t like to lose this, but do love the amount of notice they’re giving.

    What’s New That We Get

    Effective today, for both new and existing cardholders,

    1. Trip cancellation/trip interruption benefit increases in value from a $5000 maximum payout to a $10,000 maximum.
    2. Rental car collision damage benefit becomes primary.

    I’m really happy about this second item.

    I rent cars frequently so it’s meaningful to me. Most premium cards come with secondary collision, meaning they will pay what your own insurance doesn’t. That usually means they’ll cover your deductible.

    Primary means that if you damage the rental vehicle, if you paid for the rental with your card then the card’s coverage is primary — it comes before any other insurance. In many cases your insurance carrier doesn’t even need to know.

    The only other personal cards I’m aware of which come with this benefit are Diners Club, United Explorer (and legacy Presidential Plus cards), Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa and Chase Palladium. Which other cards am I forgetting?

    Chase Ink Plus Business Card and Chase Ink Bold Business Card offer primary collision damage coverage when renting for business purposes, something not uncommon with small business cards, but the benefit is rare for personal cards.

    Changes: Good or Bad?

    I do really like that they’re changing up meaningful benefits, rather than merely taking away benefits — evaluating how to best spend their marketing dollars on cardmembers.

    Net-net I’d come out ahead with this, but whether the changes are good or bad for you depends on your spend volume on the card and your travel patterns (how much value you’d get out of the improved coverages).

    Take that $36,000 a year in spend and those points are worth and spend those points are worth $40-$50. Based on what rental companies charge for collision damage waivers, you break even renting a car for three days. If you don’t actually buy that coverage now, you don’t value it at the price those companies charge. So let’s say that you certainly come out ahead if you rent cars 10 days a year or more.

    Of course, those who already have the card, get the best of both worlds for awhile.

    Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.


    I only just signed up for Global Entry in April of last year.

    And yet I just had to update my passport number in my Global Entry profile. I almost forgot to do it, so it seemed like — though this will be obvious to some, and too obscure for others — worth sharing.

    I’ve loved having Global Entry.

    • Re-entering the U.S. is quick and easy. Not only do I skip the immigration queue (which can be quite long arriving at Washington Dulles around 3pm), but also the customs queue too (it gets really long in Miami, since everyone really is smuggling in drugs).
    • I get TSA PreCheck every time. I used to get it most of the time flying American where my elite status flagged me as unlikely to be a threat. But now I get it all the time flying American, and also other airlines since I add my ‘Known Traveler’ number to my reservations.

    It saves time every week. And I got the signup fee rebated with my American Express Platinum card.

    You’d think though that a government system designed to track and analyze you well enough to know you aren’t a threat would know when the government issued a new passport to you. You wouldn’t have to tell the government the passport number it just gave you. But you do.

    • You have to log on to GOES (“Global Online Enrollment System”)

    • You created a username and password when applying for Global Entry. Both of those are, fortunately, recoverable.

    • Choose ‘Update Documents’ on the left hand side of the screen. It actually took me quite awhile to figure out that I didn’t want ‘Change Profile’ or ‘Manage Membership’. That’s where you’re able to change your passport details or your drivers license details as-needed.

    You need to keep your details up to date. And you’re also going to need to re-apply any time within a year of your Global Entry expiring. So you’ll return to the GOES website. That’s the function ‘Manage Membership’ will be used for. They may or may not make you do an interview again.


    As you may know I’m giving away 75,000 Hyatt points. Read More…

    Reader Jeff asks a question that may be too subject for me to answer definitely, what do you think?

    What is the best place in the world to live in to take advantage of not just miles/points, but to have relatively close access to great travel destinations?

    Criteria:

    – best proximity to desirable travel areas. I realize this is incredibly subjective, but, in general, most people would put Europe and SE Asia high on the list of desirable travel destinations.. Places with good climates, reasonably safe, etc.

    – major hub for an airline alliance

    – a nice place to live

    He goes on to speculate that outside of New York and Washington DC (with Star Alliance hubs and short travel time to all of the Americas and Western Europe) you’d rule out both North and South America entirely.

    He guesses,

    I think you have to go with a city in or near Europe. Fankfurt? What about Istanbul? Europe at your doorstep, interesting Mid-East locations, and Southeast Asia is 10-11 hours away. Not close, but not extreme. Turkish gives you Star Alliance access. And Istanbul is a pretty cool city.

    It’s a fun question but there’s so many subjective elements that goes into it, what started off as a best city for connecting started adding on other criteria.

    I can answer best cities for connectivity, for fares, for award availability but once you layer on climate preferences, food preferences, etc. it becomes hard to offer an objective answer.

    If you had to pick one place for non-stop convenience to the world it would probably be in the Middle East. I’d pick the UAE, which gives you access to Dubai and Abu Dhabi as hubs within driving distance of each other. There aren’t many places you can’t reach easily.

    There are other reasons you might not want to live there. But from a pure flight convenience standpoint…

    Los Angeles and San Francisco appeal to different sorts of folks but both offer great access to Asia. (I suppose LAX is reason enough to rule out Los Angeles, though, despite having become such a great food mecca.)

    Chicago is good for Asia and Europe, but I’d hate to live there (cold). I’ve been happy for years in DC but I don’t like the cold even here, I do love the ethnic food though!

    What’s the best place for a traveler to position themselves? And what criteria should be used? Certainly cost should factor in too, and that would rule out New York and even much of the U.S. I would think.


    News and notes from around the interweb:


    Avis has been just about to launch a revamped loyalty program for a long time. Years, in fact. Now they’re finally talking about it publicly so it’s probably actually close.

    There are currently 4 levels to the Avis program: Preferred, First, Presidents Club, and Chairmans Club.

    The only real benefits (like guaranteed rentals and meaningful upgrades) come with Presidents and Chairmans Club but you cannot earn those based on renting with Avis. Presidents Club is given to customers with legacy Continental Presidential Plus MasterCards and to American Express Centurion cardholders. A certain number of Presidents Club and Chairmans Club memberships are given to large corporate contracts.

    For most, the best you can do presently is Avis First which lets you earn free rental days.

    Avis is in my experience the most generous awarding miles. I prefer National for picking your own car — though Avis now has this at some locations. And while you cannot earn miles and free rental days, Avis can be most rewarding for a non-status member.

    They’re re-thinking their loyalty program. I do not know the final direction they’ve chosen. But in order to start from scratch they are going to expire free rental days quickly to ease their transition.

    Two-Day Weekend Rewards Changes 
    Q.   When will my Weekend Rewards expire? 
    A.   Weekend Rewards expire per the expiration date provided in the email fulfillment.

    To view your Weekend Rewards, log in to avisfirst.com and visit the Coupon Details page.

    Weekend Rewards issued after July 6, 2014 will expire on January 15, 2015.

    Q.   Why will Weekend Rewards issued after July 6th expire with less than 6 months? 
    A.   Based on member feedback, our loyalty program will come with a whole new level of rewards.

    More details will be provided in the coming months.

    Q.   What enhancements will be made to the Avis First program? 
    A.   Enhancements to the loyalty program will be communicated in the coming months. We look forward to providing you with a whole new level of rewards that will elevate your travel.

    Earn any free weekend rentals and those will expire January 15 — no matter when you use them. The replacement had better be good.


    DFW Airport is getting a banh mi shop.

    It’s called Banh Shop and is slated to open later this month in terminal D (the ‘international’ terminal which does house some domestic flights) near gate 31.

    And here’s the weird thing… Read More…

    News and notes from around the interweb:


    A fake security screener probed passengers at the San Francisco airport.

    A man suspected of being drunk posed as a security screener at San Francisco International Airport long enough to direct a couple of women into a private booth for pat downs before real security staffers caught on to him, authorities said Wednesday.

    ..Two other airport law enforcement sources tell us the incident started when the man entered the security area wearing khaki pants, a blue polo shirt and blue rubber gloves — an outfit that might have been mistaken for those worn by screeners with the private Covenant security firm.

    The man, apparently without saying much, steered a woman into one of the private screening booths used to pat down selected passengers, our sources say. What happened inside isn’t known, because the woman soon disappeared to catch a flight.

    Since the women haven’t been found in order to file a complaint for the actual touching, the only present charge is public drunkenness.

    You see, the touching is only ok when airport security does it.

    The groper, though, likely knows that Washington DC is part of the United States.

    Of course when the screeners go beyond procedure, that’s excused as As they say, a few bad apples who in no way undermine the hard work that thousands of men and women at the TSA do to keep us safe, day in and day out.


    I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

    Your Credit Card May Entitle You to Rental Car Elite Status

    Reader johnf shared in the comments that one of unique benefits of MasterCard for their ‘World Elite’ level cards is rental car status.

    In fact, World Elite MasterCard rental car benefits entitle you to status with 3 rental companies.

    You might even be able to really round things out, since Hertz will status match.

    Some Cards That Qualify for this Free Status

    All you need to qualify for these offers is a World Elite MasterCard. Here are some common rewards cards issued in that flavor.

    Back in May the Barclaycard Arrival Plus became a World Elite MasterCard. This is a no fee the first year World Elite MasterCard and comes with 40,000 points after $3000 spend within 3 months.

    Recently my US Airways Premier World MasterCard® got upgraded to a World Elite MasterCard. I believe this is because I spent over $25,000 this year on the card.

    I think this is the best card to get for many people which can be a World Elite MasterCard, since there’s a 40,000 mile signup bonus without any minimum spend requirement. But it appears that you have to put quite a bit of spend on it before it becomes ‘World Elite’.

    The Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard is World Elite from the get-go, but there’s pretty limited uses for their miles (here are the 8 best).

    The Citi American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard is one that many readers have (signed up when the bonus was 100,000 miles), and qualifies.

    Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.


    I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

    Mommy Points reports that there is a Chase Freedom card currently offering:

    • 15,000 points after you spend $500 in the first three months
    • 2500 points for adding an authorized user to the card and spending within three months

    Now up until June 30th the signup bonus on this card was 5000 points more than this.

    But the standard public offer dropped to just 10,000 points plus 2500 for an authorized user on July 1. So she’s flagging that there’s an offer available that’s 5000 points better. (It is not my link, and offers no referral credit to me.)

    Chase Freedom is one of the very best cards with no annual fee.

    The quarterly 5x category bonuses on the card are an opportunity to earn an additional 24,000 points per year from your spend.

    And if you pair the card with a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Ink Plus Business Card, or Chase Ink Bold Business Card, then you can move the points over from Freedom to one of those cards — and the points become transferrable to airline miles or hotel points.

    So the best value is Freedom plus a premium Chase card.

    (Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.)


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    View from the Wing is a project of Miles and Points Consulting, LLC. This site is for entertainment purpose only. The owner of this site is not an investment advisor, financial planner, nor legal or tax professional and articles here are of an opinion and general nature and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances.

    Advertiser Disclosure: Many (but not all) of the credit card offers on the site are from banks from which we receive compensation if you are approved. Compensation does not impact the placement of cards other than in banner advertising (we do not currently control the banner advertising on this blog). We don’t include all US credit card offers available on this site. Instead, I write primarily about cards which earn airline miles, hotel points, and some cash back (or have points that can be converted into the same).

    Editorial Note: The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine and not provided by any bank including (but not limited to) American Express, Chase, Citibank, US Bank, Barclaycard or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.