Using points for Richard Branson’s private island, incredible SNL Alaska Airlines skit and why Air France business class awards are cheaper (Saturday Selection)


Richard Branson’s private island is again available on points, why cheaper Air France business awards mean more profit for the airline and the best SNL skit I’ve seen in ages…at the expense of Alaska Airlines. 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).

SNL Alaska Airlines parody ad: “You Didn’t Die and You Got a Cool Story”

“On other airlines you can watch movies. On Alaska, you’re in the movie.” This is one of a half-dozen or so laugh-out-loud lines from Saturday Night Live’s recent parody of an Alaska Airlines ad that promotes two new slogans: “Still better than Spirit” and “You didn’t die and you got a cool story.” Alaska’s had a tough couple of months, between losing a section of the cabin mid-flight on one flight and having a mushroom-influenced, off-duty pilot try to shut off the engines on another. While I’m normally not a huge fan of contemporary SNL, I gotta say, I thought this was hilarious and on point. My wife was laughing so hard she was crying. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a watch.

Hang out on Richard Branson’s private island for “only” 2 million points

Sir Richard Branson and Sir Greg the Frequent Miler welcoming one and all to Necker Island

One of the highlights of Greg the Frequent Miler’s worldwide travels was when he earned 1.2 million Virgin points in order to book a week on Richard Branson’s private island, Necker Island, during which he got to hang-out with Sir Virgin himself. Since Greg’s trip, Necker Island redemptions went away, came back again and now cost a whopping 2 million Virgin points for a week. Even when you’re paying with funny-money, that’s a chunk of change. But, I know what you’re thinking: is it really worth all that bling? Back in the halcyon days of 2016, when Greg made his foray into the heart of the Virgin empire for a mere 1.2 million points, his answer was an unequivocable “yes.” Not everyone agrees, though. Last year, a Head for Points contributor paid $8,000/night to check out the island and called it “a piss-up that offers no more than a budget holiday to Spain.”

Air France’s lower prices on business class awards increase profits?

a man wearing a face mask and a hat
Air France business class has actually gotten less expensive over the last year

If we had to choose just one SkyTeam rewards program, Air France/KLM Flying Blue would probably be the unanimous choice for everyone on the FM Team. Flying Blue has had a great last couple of years, lowering its pricing on saver business class awards to Europe by 10%, adding free stopovers on award flights and upping the frequency of its transfer bonuses, including two opportunities at a previously unheard of 100%+ bonus (from Bilt). What’s driving all of these seemingly customer-friendly improvements? US credit card revenue and the desire to compete with other airline programs for points transfers from Amex, Chase, Citi, Capital One and Bilt. Gary at View from the Wing breaks down a fascinating interview with Ben Lipsey, the person who runs Flying Blue. It shows how the push to compete for US credit card bling, combined with the introduction of award comparison tools like and PointsYeah, have created pressure on Flying Blue to make its mileage redemptions more competitive for consumers…even though many of them may rarely, if ever, fly KLM or Flying Blue. Both Gary’s post and the full Ben Lipsey interview are worth a read.

Why you should change your credit card due date (and how to do it)

a group of credit cards

As I write this, I can see the rolled eyes. “Can it get more boring? A post about changing the statement closing date on your credit card?” Yes, this Thrifty Traveler post gets in the weeds a bit and, no, it’s not terribly exciting. That said, we’ve talked with plenty of readers over the years about various reasons for changing the due date on your credit cards. It can be a great idea, both for keeping credit card payment dates simple and organized (like Kyle mentions above) or if you’re trying go next level and manage the statement closing dates on Southwest cards in order to smooth the path to a two year Companion Pass. Thrifty Traveler does a great job of compiling the ways to change your statement closing date across multiple issuers, making it a good resource post for the bookmark list.

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At a valuation of 1.5 cents per point, 2,000,000 Virgin points costs a value of $30,000 for a one-week stay. Insane.


Mr. Beast just went to Necker Island as his 150 million dollar island on his latest video.


That great skit — LOL!
Also, did you see that a flight over the Pacific might have set a new land-speed record? Wow!


I changed due dates on all of my 17 Chase cards to the same date so that I transfer my UR points to the main card on the same day.


Head for points review is rough to say the least. But Paying cash vs paying with points is most likely going to offer two very different experiences as far value is concerned IMO. But hey maybe it was just a bad experience. The experience you had Greg was a positive one. MPD has had good experiences. Personally, I Missed the opportunity few years back deciding whether to pull the trigger or not… played the waiting game and then covid hit… And then it went all down hill from there with limited/ no availability and now 2 million points. With the VA 30% transfer bonuses makes it a better value. So it’s more like 1.5 million points. None the less it’s a lot of points. But at the end of the day it’s also just points… Additonally, It’s possible this maybe out of reach one day using points. Its a decent deal if you compare the cash price vs the points price for the week. Put the cherry on top, and get a Picture like you have Greg with Richard flipping you the bird!!! ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS!! Lol Doubt I’ll get one sadly. Haha. I’m booked and headed this summer. Ill see for myself if its just “a piss-up that offers no more than a budget holiday to Spain.”


While changing due dates in a month is useful for a variety of reasons, are there any tips on how to change annual dates on a card (even if it involves paying a full year up-front) to align free-night awards across multiple cards, P1+P2, etc.? For example, if P1’s annual date is March, and P2 is Dec, could one offer to pay Amex or Chase a pro-rated fee to move the P2 card annual date to March?