Hello from Bolivia!
Travel Freely With Caroline is the all-new monthly newsletter giving you the most important points and miles news from the past month AND offering some serious travel inspiration from Caroline – both in terms of how to get somewhere with miles and a few tips on things to do.
The Big News
Marriott has announced the details of some major changes that will go into effect on September 14. In short, peak/off-peak pricing will go into effect, cash + points pricing will change, points advance will be devalued, and 5th night free will be changed. For full details on these changes, please see Frequent Miler’s post.
American Express has killed the gift card workaround to redeem airline fee credits. It used to be possible to trigger the airline fee credits for some airlines by purchasing gift cards. Now, you’ll have to redeem your airline fee credits for airline incidentals as intended.
Were you affected by the Equifax data breach? You probably were. And it’s now possible to file a claim. Most people will be eligible to get up to $125, but the payouts may be lower depending on how many people file.
If you transfer your Membership Rewards points to British Airways, you’re eligible for a 40% bonus until October 1, 2019. Normally, I would jump at this offer because I love BA Avios for short flights, but I already have a decent stash saved up.
There are two good new credit card offers out there this month:
- The IHG Premier Credit Card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 125,000 IHG points after spending $3,000 within the first three months of account opening. You’ll also get an annual free night certificate valid at hotels costing up to 40,000 points after your first year. This card has an $89 annual fee.
- The United Explorer Business Card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 100,000 United miles after making qualifying purchases. You’ll earn the first 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within three months and the second 50,000 miles after spending $25,000 on purchases within the first 6 months. If you can hit the second spend requirement, this is a great offer! This card has a $95 annual fee.
The Little Bites
You can get 500 points per stay when booking through Hyatt’s new app, valid on stays completed by September 30, 2019.
Citi has lost Garuda Indonesia as a transfer partner. Probably not a big loss for most, but we never like to see less options, especially since no other transferrable point currencies transfer to Garuda.
American Express has acquired Resy, the restaurant reservation service. You can earn 500 Membership Rewards points per booking (max 3) through September 30, 2019.
If you have an Alaska Credit Card, you’ll want to take note of some new benefits. You’ll now get 20% back on in-flight purchases made with your card and 50% off Alaska lounge day passes.
Travel With Caroline
I’ll be in Bolivia for about the next three weeks! I’m currently about 45 minutes south of La Paz working from a house with a bunch of other digital nomads as part of the Wifi Tribe (by the way, if you want to join, mention my name — Caroline Lupini). I’ll be working here during the week, and going on adventures with my new friends on the weekends. And then for my last few days in Bolivia I’ll be visiting Salar de Uyuni, otherwise known as the Salt Flats. Bolivia’s Salt Flats has been at the top of my bucket list for quite a while, so I’m very excited to finally be able to go!
I actually haven’t been on a plane since I explained how I was planning to travel to Peru in July’s newsletter, and I don’t have another flight coming up until early September! I end my Salt Flat tour in Northern Chile and will be flying from Calama, Chile (CJC) to Cusco, Peru (CUZ) via Lima to meet my mom for our annual September trip. The flight was only $127, so it wasn’t a good option to use miles.
If you want to check out more of my adventures, follow me on Instagram (@caroline.lupini).