Hello from Mexico City!
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
There’s both good and bag big news when it comes to British Airways. First, the good: Chase announced their first ever transfer bonus (30%) to British Airways, which could be a sign of good things to come. But, British Airways has also announced a devaluation. We’re still waiting on full details from British Airways, but Seat31B was able to piece together a partial award chart. British Airways is one of our favorite airlines for short-distance award flights because they use a distance-based award chart instead of a zone-based chart like most airlines use, and these short flights are going to be quite a bit more expensive starting on May 30.
There are a few new credit card offers out there worth noting. The personal Southwest cards have an increased sign-up bonus of 60,000 Southwest points until June 10. This is 10,000 points more than the usual bonus, but it might make sense to wait to apply depending on how much travel you have left this year. The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the best ways to save miles and cash on flights for over a year, and you’ll have to earn 110,000 Southwest Points to qualify for the pass. To maximize your use of the pass, you’ll want to earn it early on in the year, so waiting until 2020 might be a better choice. To find out more about the Southwest Companion Pass, read our updated guide. And don’t forget to consider your 5/24 status!
The AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard also has an increased sign-up bonus of 75,000 American Airlines miles. This is a great way to earn a bunch of American Airlines miles, but if you’re under 5/24, there are generally better card options available. Our favorite starter card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
For all of the best credit card offers for May 2019, check out this post.
If you use Lyft (frequently or infrequently), make sure to register for their new partnership with Hilton Honors. It’s free and a super easy way to earn bonus Hilton points for every ride you take!
The Little Bites
Hawaiian Airlines also announced a devaluation. Never a fun thing to see, but overall Hawaiian’s program isn’t one of our favorites or most accessible.
Capital One has added JetBlue as a new transfer partner with an introductory 50% transfer bonus. After the transfer bonus ends, the rates to transfer are not very favorable.
If you have status with American Airlines or Hyatt, you’ll benefit from their newly announced partnership.
Travel With Caroline
As I mentioned at the top of this article, I’m in Mexico! Mexico City to be exact, and so far I’m loving it!
Fare sales pop up to Mexico City on a pretty regular basis, so I was tracking flight prices for my ideal dates on Google Flights for a few months to see what I could find. One day in March, I got a notification that flight prices had dropped to only $215 round trip from Detroit, so I jumped on my phone and booked my flight right away! The price was great, and I didn’t mind paying cash at all, but I could have booked this flight with Ultimate Rewards points for only 14,334 points since I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and my points are worth 1.5 cents each when booked through the portal. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, points are worth 1.25 cents each, so 17,200 points would have been required. Either way, it was a steal!
The next best option to book my flights would have been with either British Airways or American Airlines miles, costing 14,500 or 15,000 miles, respectively, each way.
This trip is mainly focused on learning some Spanish. I’ve been saying it’s something I want to do for years, and it is time to put my money where my mouth is! I’m here for three weeks, and I’m enrolled in a 30-hour-per-week intensive Spanish course for two weeks. During the first week I’m here (right now!), I’m planning to go on a couple of food tours and climb the Itza Volcano with friends. If you want to check out more of my adventures in Mexico City, follow me on Instagram (@caroline.lupini).