How to find cheap business class flights, Amex wants to buy you dinner and IHG giving out points for expired certs (Saturday Selection)


The best cities for cheap business class flights, American Express and Resy want to pay for dinner, The Cosmopolitan joins MGM Rewards and IHG awarding points for expired free night certificates. All that and more in this week’s Saturday Selection, our weekly round-up of interesting tidbits from around the interwebs (links to each article are embedded in the titles).

American Express and Resy want to buy you dinner

a close-up of a man's hand holding a pen
Next time you go out for dinner, let Amex pick up the tab

Everyone has a friend with “alligator arms,” right? Big appetite, but when the check comes around, their arms are just…a…little…too…short to reach the check? That sure as heck ain’t American Express and Resy (the dining reservation service owned by Amex). They’ve launched a new “Tastemakers” program and, throughout the month of August, Amex and Resy will be covering the check for approximately 3,200 diners every Wednesday night. There are 25 participating restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. and Amex will be picking up the tab for up to six people per table and $99 per person. Dave Grossman from MilesTalk has the full details above. And, yes, I will add the lobster to my steak, thank you.

Best cities for cheap business class flights

Party of 5 in Cathay Pacific business class from MNL-HKG
The FM Team in Cathay Pacific business class from Manila-Hong Kong…two great cities for business class availability

One of the most frequent questions we get here at Frequent Miler is some variation of “Ok, I have these miles, now how do I find a business class award to…” We’ve spent a lot of time on this topic: just in the last couple months Nick and Greg covered it on the podcast, we did a full survey of award search tools and Greg spotlighted hard-to-find first class awards. One great habit to learn is finding out which hubs serve which airlines and markets you’re looking for and then search those nonstop flights first, later building connecting flights around direct flights you find. For instance, Nick will often search for flights from NYC, Washington DC or Boston to Europe or Asia. Then, he’ll build in a connecting flight from his home airport of Albany. Thrifty Traveler gets granular on this idea, focusing on the cities with the best fares and availability for business class travel and how to look for them as well. It’s a great post to learn how to start thinking about routes when planning international business class trips.

The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas set to join MGM Rewards in February

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Chandelier Bar at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

MGM recently went through its own take on “The Bachelorette.” First, it dumped Hyatt, its longstanding partner (and with whom the famed “status merry-go-round” passed). Before that body was even cold, MGM found a new recipient for its rose in Marriott Bonvoy, announcing a partnership that they expect to be full of love for “at least the next twenty years.” All Hyatt could do was look on and ask “wait, you guys know each other?” The Cosmopolitan, long the favorite casino of discerning LA hipsters, was sold in 2021, with MGM buying its operating rights. This created an odd triangle where MGM owned the rights to Cosmo, Cosmo was affiliated with Marriott’s Bonvoy program, but MGM itself was partnered with Hyatt. Got that? Now that MGM and Marriott have come out into the open, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief and The Cosmo will be joining MGM rewards starting February of next year.

Is IHG awarding points for expired free night certificates?

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There are three constants in life: death, Nick Reyes disliking a broadly-accepted comfort food and hotel programs not being forthright about what they will or won’t do to compensate folks for expired free night certificates (the kind that come with cards like the Hilton Aspire, IHG Premier and Marriott Boundless, among others). Each program seems to have every-changing, but unsaid and secret, parameters for when they’ll throw a points bone to a member who has an expired cert. Hyatt will provide points for expired awards that it issues, but not the ones issued by Chase (and only after they’re expired). Depending on the Marriott rep you talk to, they either never do it, only do it within two weeks of expiry or only do it after it’s expired. Except for one brief period at the end of last year, we all thought that IHG was the one paragon of consistency, steadfastly refusing to ever do anything to quell its members grief over forgetting to use a free night certificate (FNC). Grant over at Travel with Grant shared an interesting story the other day. When he called IHG about an expired FNC that he mistakenly didn’t use, the rep gave him 25,000 points without him even having to ask! Normally, we might just write this off to Grant being a nice guy or having a silver tongue, but we’ve heard a couple of similar data points from other folks in our Frequent Miler Insiders group. Has IHG finally turned a corner to being comfortably opaque with expiring FNCs?

Simple trick to get better Amex Offers

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Why confirm the same card hat you’ve had for years? Better Amex Offers!

Amex Offers are card-linked offers that are targeted not only to customers, but to specific cards within a customer’s portfolio. Most are banal and uninspiring, but probably 10-15% can provide solid value, especially to travel-oriented companies like hotels, flights and rental cards (which is why we keep a searchable list of current offers here). Problem is, how people are targeted for the best offers remains a mystery and, indeed, it often can feel like the ones you want are the ones you never get. There are several tips for getting more and better offers, including adding all existing offers to your cards so that you can get new ones (Amex limits each card to 100 available offers at a time). Miles Earn and Burn has another good one: reconfirming cards that you already have. In the midst of the confirmation process, Amex will show you an offer that’s pretty good, and often one that’s not already on the account. I haven’t had much luck with this one personally, but some folks swear by it. So, it’s worth giving Amex a chance to see if they can wow you with your staid, old cards.

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Tom A

My tip for AmEx is that I maintain TWO online accounts, one for “never use” cards (like AU cards) and load ALL of the junk offers I don’t intend to use onto those junk cards, leaving me a much smaller and easier to review list of offers added to my active cards that I might, or intend to, use. My junk cards have over 300 offers on them right now that I never have to look at.

Cal Gonzalez

GM .. Also wondering, what does RECONFIRMING actually mean ? What is the process ?? Thank you


Thanks for the IHG tip, I just had a FNC expire and will call and hope for an offer.

Regarding Amex offers: “reconfirming cards that you already have. In the midst of the confirmation process…”

Is this simply looking at offers on Amex cards that you have been ignoring because you don’t use them? I’m not sure what “reconfirming” means.

Jay P

+1(ish). Called with an expiring cert and was offered 25k. But it was because I’d used it to book a hotel that ended up not opening in time for our stay and not notifying us. So I arm twisted a little and got the full 40k from a manager. But still, the 25k offer came very quick so it seems to be pretty standard.

Mary Jane

I was asking IHG to extend certificates and i was pleasantly surprised when IHG offered 25,000 pts for expiring certificates!


Hey Tim, thanks for linking to my IHG post. I think the main reason I received the 25k points for my IHG FNC is because I accidentally used the newly issued FNC instead of the just about to expire FNC. The IHG rep felt sorry for my mistake and gave me 25k points for my expiring FNC.