•   
  •   
  •   

Travel Book now: United opens the Europe saver award floodgates

23:00  04 may  2021
23:00  04 may  2021 Source:   thepointsguy.com

12 Mistakes to Avoid When Redeeming Airline Miles, According to an Expert

  12 Mistakes to Avoid When Redeeming Airline Miles, According to an Expert Here's what not to do when redeeming airline miles for flights. © Provided by Travel + Leisure Getty Images © Provided by Travel + Leisure Here's what not to do when redeem 1. Not Redeeming Miles Before They Expire Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most airlines suspended mileage expiration for 2020 and 2021. They could reinstitute it next year, though, so it's important to check the expiration dates on your various mileage accounts now. Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United miles do not expire at all.

a bunch of luggage sitting on top of a chair © Provided by The Points Guy
MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect changes in award availability.

While we’re still waiting on some much-needed details, the European Commission has confirmed plans for the European Union to open to vaccinated Americans this summer, potentially making countries like France, Germany and Italy accessible to U.S. tourists for the first time since March 2020.

A handful of European countries have already begun opening up, including Greece and Iceland, with more expected to follow suit very soon.

Everything you need to know about maximizing Delta SkyMiles award tickets

  Everything you need to know about maximizing Delta SkyMiles award tickets Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. For as much as Delta has done to improve its on-time performance, up-level its business-class product with Delta One Suites and expand its Sky Club lounge network, the SkyMiles program has taken its fair share of knocks over the years. TPG values each …For as much as Delta has done to improve its on-time performance, up-level its business-class product with Delta One Suites and expand its Sky Club lounge network, the SkyMiles program has taken its fair share of knocks over the years. TPG values each SkyMile at a paltry 1.1 cents, ranking behind the 1.4 cents apiece assigned to American AAdvantage miles and the 1.

Still, there are many unknowns — namely, which countries will open when, and who will be able to enter. As a result, travelers are hesitant to lock in their summer 2021 flights, leaving tons of available inventory — and, at the moment, a glut of premium-cabin saver awards.

For the time being, United Airlines is offering tons of low-level business-class awards, making it possible to fly the carrier’s excellent Polaris product at the lowest possible rate. The “usual suspects” — like Newark (EWR) to London (LHR) — have saver awards open for months at a time, but I’m also seeing plenty of availability where it’s usually less likely to be found.

table: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

As I mentioned, you’ll find the greatest number of open seats on United’s East Coast-London flights, with at least four Polaris seats available on almost every summer date.

3 reasons I want to splurge on this aspirational hotel redemption — and 4 reasons I may pass

  3 reasons I want to splurge on this aspirational hotel redemption — and 4 reasons I may pass From the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi to the Park Hyatt Sydney, you can use hotel points to unlock many excellent hotels. One of the aspirational hotels high-up on many award travelers’ lists is Marriott’s Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa outside of Dubai. TPG contributor Ethan Steinberg went so far as to …TPG contributor Ethan Steinberg went so far as to say Al Maha Resort is the best value Marriott award redemption. TPG’s Ariana Arghandewal listed an upcoming trip to Al Maha as one of the reasons she finally caved and got the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex card.

graphical user interface, table: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

United’s other U.S. gateways have great availability to London Heathrow (LHR) as well, including Washington, D.C. (IAD), which is offering Polaris-equipped 777s every day.

timeline: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

Houston (IAH) also has nonstop Polaris availability to London on many summer dates — you’ll score a Polaris “pod” on these flights as well.

graphical user interface, application, table: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

Nonstop availability is also excellent from Denver (DEN), though some flights might be operated by United’s older 2-2-2 biz.

table: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

West Coast flyers might need to work in a stop for summer London flights, though there is a fair amount of nonstop Polaris availability for this fall.

table: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

Premium Plus is available here and there this summer as well — on some dates, even for less than the cost of an economy award.

2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards

  2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards Ruffalo accepted the award virtually from home, beating out fellow nominees Bill Camp, Daveed Diggs, Hugh Grant, and Ethan Hawke. 'Acting doesn't happen in a vacuum,' Ruffalo said in his acceptance speech. 'It happens between people. And in a magical place created by a director like Derek and a writer like Wally Lamb. Mental illness is a real thing, and I just think it's really important that we're honest and open about it and have no fear and have no shame.'Next, Anya Taylor-Joy won the award for Best Female Actor In A Television Or Limited Series for her role in The Queen's Gambit.

Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

London makes for an excellent connection point, too, with easy onward flights to a handful of Star Alliance cities throughout the EU.

table: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

It’s not just London, of course — you’ll also find saver business-class awards on United’s other European nonstops, including Denver to Frankfurt (FRA), which also has near-daily availability on Lufthansa’s A350 for 17,000 miles more.

table: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

From the East Coast, Newark to Dublin (DUB) has decent availability on the Boeing 787-10.

timeline: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

Nonstops to Zurich (ZRH) are open on many days, too, with a slight premium for flights operated by Swiss.

table: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

Even Newark-Milan (MXP) has some open saver space, though flights to Rome (FCO) will cost you considerably more.

chart, treemap chart: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

Unfortunately United’s latest additions are not available at the saver level — at least not in business class. For example, Newark to Dubrovnik (DBV) will cost you a whopping 155,000 miles each way.

From Sri Lanka to the Arctic: 35 amazing Mr & Mrs Smith hotels to book through IHG Rewards

  From Sri Lanka to the Arctic: 35 amazing Mr & Mrs Smith hotels to book through IHG Rewards When IHG Rewards announced a new partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith back in 2019, I didn’t get all that excited. After all, Mr & Mrs Smith is a chain of boutique luxury hotels with properties worldwide. So, I expected that even once you could earn and redeeming IHG Rewards points at select Mr & …However, some Mr & Mrs Smith hotels became bookable through IHG Rewards on Oct. 29, 2020. And now there are 319 Mr & Mrs Smith properties in 43 countries bookable through IHG Rewards. I recently spent time looking at each of these 319 properties. And some of these properties look amazing. Best of all, some Mr & Mrs Smith properties are surprisingly affordable.

treemap chart: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

The same goes for Washington, D.C. to Athens (ATH) — a redeye long enough where it could still make sense to redeem more miles for biz.

treemap chart: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

Chicago (ORD) is Reykjavik is another route that commands premium awards, though with less than six hours in the air, I’m not sure it’s worth the enormous splurge.

treemap chart: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

Although we don’t yet know when you’ll be able to visit some of these European destinations, redemptions offer extra flexibility, so it could be worth locking in some saver awards, especially if you already have miles in your United account.

While getting refunds for cash fares can often result in a battle — and, at best, a notable delay — award bookings can offer ultimate flexibility. Cancellations often bump your mileage balance back up instantly, and limited redeposit fees mean the costs of canceling a ticket are minimal (or even non-existent).

That’s certainly the case with United MileagePlus — every time I’ve canceled an award trip, for any reason, my miles instantly reappear in my account. And, if United cancels a flight or makes a significant schedule change, airline agents are typically able to “open up” awards for a different routing or date, making it possible to avoid losing a prized award to a high-demand destination.

How to fly to Puerto Rico from just 9,000 miles each way

  How to fly to Puerto Rico from just 9,000 miles each way While Puerto Rico had endured several natural disasters in the form of hurricanes and earthquakes in recent years, the island has remained resilient with the help of continuing recovery efforts. Resurgent tourism from U.S. mainland visitors has provided a much-needed boost to the local economy during the pandemic. Since no passport is required to enter …Since no passport is required to enter Puerto Rico for U.S. citizens — the island has been a popular hot spot for eager travelers looking for an outdoorsy tropical getaway. Hotels are holding steady with stable room occupancy rates, and restaurants continue to welcome tourists with delicious cuisine and open arms.

Best yet, while some of these saver seats are only available to United elite members and credit cardholders when booking via the MileagePlus program, the majority can actually be booked via partner programs, opening up some exciting deals.

American Express partners with ANA Mileage Club, for example, letting you book a round-trip business-class flight to Europe for 88,000 Membership Rewards points.

text: Screenshot courtesy of ANA. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of ANA.

For more on using credit card miles to book these flights, see:

  • Best ways to redeem Amex points on Star Alliance airlines
  • Best ways to redeem Capital One miles on Star Alliance airlines
  • The best ways to redeem Chase points on Star Alliance airlines
  • Best ways to redeem Citi ThankYou points on Star Alliance airlines

Before you book with a partner (and transfer points), though, there are couple of very important details to keep in mind. If United cancels a flight, and you’ve booked through MileagePlus, an agent may be able to open up award space to accommodate you at the same rate on a different date.

However, if you’ve booked that same United award through a partner, you’ll only have your pick of current saver availability — or the ability to request a refund to your account. If you’ve transferred points in to complete the booking, they’ll likely be stuck — you won’t be able to reverse a transaction from ANA back to American Express months down the line.

a bag of luggage sitting on top of a suitcase: You can use partner miles to book Polaris, too. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy You can use partner miles to book Polaris, too. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

In addition, not all transferable point programs process these transactions instantly. As an example, it can take up to 48 hours for Amex points to reach your ANA account. Since the Mileage Club program doesn’t allow holds, you’d need to simply hope that the award availability is still there when the miles finally arrive.

6 Memorial Day trips you can still book with points and miles

  6 Memorial Day trips you can still book with points and miles Memorial Day is right around the corner. For many of us, that means it’s time to break out the grills and celebrate spring with family and friends. But if you don’t have plans already, you might consider using the three-day weekend to travel — especially if you’re vaccinated. Although more Americans are starting to travel …Although more Americans are starting to travel again, and cash rates are spiking, we’re still seeing some last-minute award space to popular vacation spots. If you’re looking for a little bit of Memorial Day trip-spiration, here are some of your best options.

Unfortunately this incredible award availability doesn’t extend to many domestic and regional flights — United likely expects U.S. travelers to book flights closer to home in an effort to avoid getting stranded halfway across the world or navigate as many restrictions.

As a result, the carrier doesn’t have an incentive to open these up for award tickets. In fact, you’ll actually redeem more miles for many regional flights — such as United’s seasonal nonstop from Newark to Anchorage (ANC) — than you will a long-haul to Europe.

table: Screenshot courtesy of United. © The Points Guy Screenshot courtesy of United.

Another downside to limited domestic award space: If you need to connect to reach a long-haul United flight, your U.S. leg will almost certainly be in coach.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

--

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

See the Stars Who Have Worn Head-Turning Hats to the Kentucky Derby .
Giddy up! The 2021 Kentucky Derby is back in action on Saturday, May 1. Kelly Osbourne Debuts Purple Hair and a ‘New Outlook’ After Relapse: Pic Read article While the event, which takes place at the Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, has a star-studded history packed with over-the-top style, this year’s race is going to look a little different. The three charity galas that are normally attended by Hollywood’s biggest stars have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The formal red carpet was also cut from the races during the 2020 sporting event. Thankfully, years past were filled with darling dresses and stunning style that will surely give Us our fix of fabulous fashion! There have certainly been some pretty floral frocks and gorgeous suits worn to the event, but the Kentucky Derby is really all about the accessories. With that in mind, we’ve decided to take trip down memory lane and look back at the best, wildest and most absurd headwear stars have worn. Brooklyn Decker Is ‘Kinda Digging’ Her Natural Gray Hair Read article From Nicole Riche and Gabrielle Union to Queen Elizabeth II herself, A-listers always show up to the track with jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring hairstyles. In 2004, Jessica Simpson attended with her then-husband Nick Lachey and she went big for the occasion — literally! The reality star paired her lovely floral sundress with a huge bubblegum pink hat. Five years later, Kim Kardashian attended the Kentucky Derby.

usr: 1
This is interesting!