Daydream believin’, earn Alaska miles on rent, top Hiltons and more [Week in Review]


If the Ides of March have you in a funky haze, maybe it’s a day for a daydream with the Pointsyeah Daydream explorer. If you need more Alaska miles to make that dream a reality, Bilt Rewards could print your ticket to ride. Read on for those topics, the best uses of your Hilton Free Night Certificates, what to do with your Turkish miles and more in this Frequent Miler week in review.

This week on the Frequent Miler blog…

Which award search tool is best?

a person using a laptop

The award search scene is strong, with a number of terrific tools on the market that can help you save a massive amount of time on award searches. In this completely overhauled post, Greg has summarized all of the various tools we have been using to find awards and provides valuable information about their coverage, strenghts, and limitations.

A new breed of award discovery tools

As someone who has been in the game now for a decent chunk of time, I’ve adjusted my trip planning accordingly. I know that when we travel internationally, we want lie-flat business class on the long hauls. I also know that finding four seats in business class will be either very difficult or very expensive or both if I am set on dates or destinations. These days, I am much more open to finding something interesting that lines up with interesting award availability — therefore, the PointsYeah Daydream Explorer is totally my jam. Greg showed how you could use this tool to find business class to Europe in the summertime for a family of four — which I’ve done each of the last couple of years without this tool, but I look forward to doing some more Daydreaming and making that task a little easier.

Hyatt/SLH partnership ending 5/15/24; important things to know

a sign on a wall

We have long expected that the Hyatt / SLH partnership would wind down sometime soon and on last week’s Frequent Miler on the Air podcast, we mentioned that the end of the partnership could come at any time and would likely come without warning. Unfortunately, it has come: SLH properties are no longer bookable through Hyatt for stays after May 15th. While existing reservations will be honored, you won’t be able to count on free breakfast or upgrades and will not earn Hyatt elite credit for those stays after 5/15/24.

Bilt losing American Airlines as transfer partner in June

Bilt American Airlines breaking up

The news broke this week that Bilt is set to lose a transfer partner for the first time when American Airlines exits the program in June 2024. Since American Airlines does not partner with any other transferable currencies, this was a unique partner that helped Bilt stand out from the crowd. Still, given the way that Bilt has grown partnerships and scaled promotions far beyond expectations, the loss of an individual partner feels less significant than it may have been years ago. Of course, helping to blunt the sting here is the fact that…..

Bilt adds Alaska Airlines as transfer partner, will offer 3x on rent payments

Bilt also announced this week that they are adding Alaska Airlines as a 1:1 transfer partner! That’s a great add given that Alaska’s award chart changes, while painful for those on the west coast, arguably make the program more broadly useful. And those west coast residents facing increased award pricing might take heart in the fact that it will this year be possible to use their Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card to pay rent through Bilt Rewards and earn three Alaska Airlines miles per dollar on rent (on up to $50,000 in rent payments per year). It’s pretty incredible to me that Bilt is offering the chance to earn such a great return on rent and that they have somehow partnered here to get Bank of America or Alaska or some combination of the two to offer that kind of return on rent.

New Alaska Award Charts Are Going Live…Slowly

an airplane flying over the earth

Alaska’s 2024 award chart changes are underway, with some awards now pricing according to the new chart and others set to change by the end of the month. Alaska loses a few incredible sweet spots in this award chart change, but most of those were unicorn awards that were awfully tough to find available. The new chart is arguably better for a broader segment of people – and that will be especially true when Alaska adds the ability to mix partners on a single award. For those of us on the east coast, the new pricing to Europe / Middle East / Africa, particularly when you consider the ability to add a free stopover on a one-way, looks pretty good.

Podcast: Where to find hidden award flights | Frequent Miler on the Air Ep246

Podcast Ep246

The Main Event of this week’s Frequent Miler on the Air podcast focuses on where to look to find flights that you might not know are available, but we discussed a number of other topics and tools this week, share a crazy Turkish Miles & Smiles / United Airlines story (and someone has already commented on Youtube who had the same wild experience!), and a lot more. This was a long episode, but you can always check the timestamps to jump to (or return to) the parts that interest you and/or listen to it sped up on your favorite podcast platform.

SiriusXM to be removed from eligible services for Amex Digital Entertainment Credit

a hand holding a credit card

I’m including this short post as a heads up for any weekly newsletter subscribers who have been charging their Sirius subscription to an Amex Platinum card: you’ll no longer get credited for Sirius as part of the Digital Entertainment Credit (assuming you are enrolled) as of May 8, 2024.

Best uses for Turkish Miles & Smiles miles (2024)

a man wearing a hat and glasses standing next to a model airplane

Turkish Miles & Smiles dramatically changed its value proposition with its award chart devaluation in February 2024, but it isn’t quite all doom and gloom — there are still at least a few instances where Turkish miles can still be useful. That is particularly true for domestic United flights, most especially to/from Alaska and Hawaii. I used that sweet spot to fly to and from Hawaii just last month and I’ll gladly do it again since the increase on those awards was so small.

Best SLH properties to book before the Hyatt partnership ends – Ask Us Anything – Ep 65

Ask Us Anything Episode 65

On our most recent monthly Ask Us Anything, we fielded numerous questions about Marriott, our favorite SLH hotels (so long to those for now! hopefully they become bookable with Hilton free night certificates!), our thoughts about the new Wells Fargo card and a lot more. Catch the replay here and don’t forget to mark your calendar for the first Wednesday of every month at 9pm Eastern.

60+ best places to use a Hilton Free Night Certificate worldwide

a glass window with a logo on it

Tim has made some updates to his post about the best places to use your Hilton Free Night Certificates. Personally, I’m hopeful that he has to expand this significantly sooner rather than later: here’s hoping that Hilton integrates SLH into its booking channel and makes it possible to use Free Night Certificates at some of the great SLH properties around the world.

Delta’s Enhanced Companion Certificates

Delta Air Lines Greg in Delta One

Greg made a small update here to include information about a newly-issued Delta Companion Certificate to show how it can be used more broadly — including for travel to/from Hawaii and the Caribbean. Keep in mind that older certificates did not gain any powers — this only applies to newly-issued certificates.

Current point transfer bonuses

Point Transfer Bonuses

We recently converted this long-standing resource page into a post so that we can republish it now and then and remind you that it’s here. This is a good page to bookmark or check with before you transfer points as we’ve long worked to keep it regularly updated when new transfer bonuses come out.

Free Checked Bags via Credit Card Complete Guide

Suitcase airport baggage luggage checked fees

We very frequently get questions about the rules for getting free checked bags from airline credit cards. Which airline requires that you pay for the flight with the card to get the free bags? How many days before your flight do you need to be approved to get the benefit? Find answers to questions like those in this resource.

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But the 3x earning for. rent will have 2.9 %. fee so not free