Best Uber Code, $49 Caribbean Flights, and American Award Chart News

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Reduced mileage award discounts for American AAdvantage co-brand credit card holders won’t offer discounts off the new 7500 mile each way discounted short haul awards that come into effect with the March 22 award chart devaluation until April 1. From American spokesperson Laura Nedbal,

    With the new award chart going live on March 22, introducing a lower redemption level for short haul flights (≤ 500 miles) = 15,000 roundtrip, we’re updating our RMAs. The current Reduced Mileage Awards (RMAs) for cardholders (7,500 and 5,000 RT discount) will run through March 31 based on the current award chart (marketing page Due to technical challenges, no RMAs will be available for short haul (≤ 500 miles) redemptions from 3/22-3/31.

    We’ll have more information on the RMAs for short haul awards later this month.

    We don’t yet know what reduced mileage awards for co-brand cardholders will look like for short haul redemptions going forward.

  • Norwegian will bring back their US-Caribbean flights for this winter. Flights between Baltimore, New York, and Boston and Guadeloupe and Martinique are available from $49 each way.

  • Individual referral codes for Uber (like mine) are generally giving out $15 first-ride credits currently. ‘Special deals’ like the new American Airlines-Uber partnership offer $20 first ride credits. Currently Chase, though, has a $30 first ride code. So if you haven’t ever used Uber before, sign up with that one.

  • Virgin Australia Velocity is whacking its award chart. It can do this because the Qantas award chart is so bad. Virgin Australia is a Starwood transfer partner though of course you’re supposed to live in specific countries to join.

  • United is offering a 25% bonus converting Marriott Rewards points to miles. Registration required, valid on transfers through March 31, and valid for up to 25,000 bonus miles. This makes Marriott’s air and hotel packages, already the best value redemption, even better — but otherwise (unless committed to burning otherwise-expiring Marriott Rewards points) I wouldn’t jump on it. (HT: One Mile at a Time)

  • Via Scott Mayerowitz, what it takes to turn around a cruise ship:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary, while refers to new earning levels “in the second half of 2016” I cannot get an answer from them on when we need to stop buying tickets which give us 100% mileage for economy. I’ve bought these almost monthly for 40 years but will be going to Alaska for full mileage, or if I must accept fare-based use JetBlue for its nonstops or Southwest for its changeability – I especially like that I can put together my own connections with a day or two layover often for cheaper, e.g. OKC-LAX $185, but OKC-DEN-LAX $135 due to otherwise hidden cheaper one-ways to connect.

    Do you have any read on when AA’s cut-off date is for giving full mileage credit? Do you think they’ll disclose this at any point or we’ll just notice we’re not getting full miles? I’m not giving them or anyone else a single dollar that doesn’t earn my full miles, until I must. Too bad others haven’t also drawn this line loud and clearly. Don’t call them miles if they’re points. Goodbye, AA!

  2. Thanks, please keep us posted.

    I will probably buy flights up until mid-year based on what they do have posted (“second half of 2016”).

    Correction on above I was referring to often-unbelievably cheap SW non-stops in connection markets, not “one-ways.” Examples: $36 LAX-DAL, $44 DEN-LAX, etc. But you gotta shop.

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