What was the 2022 Deal of the Year?

23

All year long we have written about great deals — from hot credit card bonuses to award alert messages, stacking opportunities, ways to earn elite status without flying, and more. What was the best of the best in 2022? This week on Frequent Miler on the Air, we discuss the best of the best and a few of the rest.

Elsewhere on the blog this week, we’ve updated a number of key resources, laid out a strategy for dealing with Fine Hotels & Resorts credits, shared how to fix your Marriott elite nights when they don’t post right, and more. Watch, listen, or read on for more from this week at Frequent Miler.


00:50 Giant Mailbag
3:55 What crazy thing…did Southwest Airlines do this week?
11:10 Mattress running the numbers: Caution on those end-of-year mattress runs
15:45 Awards we booked this week: Alaska one-way with a stopover on a domestic award
18:50 Main Event: What is the 2022 Deal of the Year?
19:40 Amex Offer for 6% back at Belk
25:16 Capital One Shopping offers for 24-30% back
29:25 Brussels to New York in business class for 25.5K Avianca LifeMiles
30:40 Amex Business Platinum No Lifetime Language offers
33:45 Amex Business Checking 60K offer
36:15 Cruise line status matches
39:58 Ritz-Carlton Visa becomes more valuable for the same annual fee
42:38 United offered business class to many parts of the world for 60K miles one-way
47:00 Narrowing it down and crowning a winner
1:04:09 Question of the Week: What are your elite status plans for 2023?

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This week on the Frequent Miler blog…

Frequent Miler’s 2022 State of the Business Report

One of the things I love about working for Greg is his transparency. This post gives readers a peek behind the curtain to see how things are going at the blog. As someone on “the inside” of the blog, I have to say that I think we’ve had more fun in 2022 than ever before (it turns out that Tim has good jokes!), so the fact that it’s also been a great year for the blog is just icing on a cake we were already enjoying. But if the business doing well was the icing on the cake, the cherry on top was reading the comments of this post and seeing how many readers are rooting for us to succeed. It’s great doing something you love. When others also enjoy you doing what you love to do — well, can it get any better than that? I can’t imagine how.

Year-end strategy for Fine Hotels & Resorts credits

Today (12/31/22) is the last day to use your 2022 Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection credits on consumer Platinum cards. Personally, I’ve spent the past 24hrs making multiple reservations for 2023. I don’t know for sure which ones I will keep, but I figure that by having multiple, I won’t get the credit clawed back if I cancel one. Yes, I’ll have to float some extra cost temporarily, but hopefully this increases the odds that I’ll keep the credit.

How to Fix Missing Amex Marriott Brilliant Elite Nights

If you opened the Marriott Brilliant card this year and you’re due another 10 elite nights that haven’t yet posted, Tim has the fix. You probably expected that any hope you might have of getting the situation resolved would involve hours on the phone with Marriott and immeasurable frustration — and without this tip, it probably would. Thanks to a reader reaching out and Tim publishing this advice, you should be able to get it resolved in a few minutes with minimal effort.

Yes, you can travel cheaper and better with award travel

Partner awards can unlock great ways to save miles on luxury flights.

Beginners are often overwhelmed at the number of things to “figure out” in this hobby: how to search for awards, how to transfer points, how to book partner awards, etc. There’s no doubt that the first dip into this pool can be intimidating, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding endeavor. This post is meant as a beginning primer to let beginners know that you, too, can figure this stuff out with a little time, patience, and study.

Alaska “simplifies” award chart, but some awards still feature old pricing

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

Alaska promised to unify partners under a single award chart this year. They’ve now sorta done that in the weakest, least transparent way possible. I’m really disappointed that they didn’t just pick an award chart and stick to it but rather they published a bunch of “estimated” starting prices that aren’t even the real starting prices and can easily be thrown out the window since awards can cost any price they want to charge according to the  way the chart was written. There are still opportunities to get great value out of Mileage Plan, but the clock is ticking.

Southwest offering reimbursement for “reasonable” expenses

Southwest absolutely melted down over the holiday week. As they finally begin to recover from the collapse of their systems, they are offering to reimburse people for expenses incurred due to their failures. We don’t yet know what they will consider to be reasonable, but if you were affected by the cancellations, you’ll want to submit receipts for expenses you had to cover as a result.

Complete guide to Avios: British Airways, Qatar, Iberia, and Aer Lingus

Avios have some great uses and this updated guide has more information as to the best of those uses and what you need to know about moving Avios between the various airlines that use them.

Best ways to get to South America using miles (economy and premium cabins)

Seeing a World Cup qualifying match vs Brazil in Quito was a blast.

This post underwent numerous updates since it was last published in 2020, with some new sweet spots added, adjustments made to existing ones, and new transfer partner information added. If you’re looking to take an adventure to South America, there are a number of ways to get there for a reasonable number of miles.

American Express Membership Rewards Complete Guide

Another resource that was fully updated this week was our American Express Membership Rewards Complete Guide, where you’ll find everything you need to know about Amex points. You’ll find other useful guides like this one on our Resources page. If you’re invested in the Amex ecosystem, you’ll want to bookmark this one to come back to it later.


That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Don’t miss the year-ending last chance deals and those that end at the beginning of 2023.

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slaven

while the Carnival match is still doable, the choices are ridiculously limited. for example, there are 0 to choose from in June / July and only 2 in August.

Mark

My deal of the year this year is actually a deal from 2 years ago that just keeps on giving: The Hilton no-fee card upgrade to Aspire. I wasn’t charged any fees for the last 2 years, and just last week was charged only $95. Probably next December they will charge the full price, but for now it is quite the deal.

Biggie F

Very interesting … I upgraded almost 2 months ago and a month later was charged something like $22. I have been wondering when the other show is going to drop, but maybe not for a while. Maybe a few months from now will upgrade my other one!

Mark

That thing 2 years ago was no ordinary upgrade. It was covered here:
https://frequentmiler.com/targeted-no-fee-hilton-aspire-upgrade-offer/

Biggie F

Ahh… well, still seems to be a good deal if timed right. About to get my second $250 airline credit, and since I still haven’t had to pay the $450, this tells me I will get another one in 2024 off the same upgrade.

Lee

Greg, play the AA status game? And, to think you could have been gifted EP and you declined.

Lee

Technically, the Marriott free night certificates can only be applied to a standard room and not to a suite. For someone who wants certainty about a suite, the free night certificates are of little to no value. Yes, a person can book a standard room using the certificate and HOPE the property will permit a paid upgrade upon check-in. But, in the end, this uncertainty makes the Marriott (Ritz Carlton) credit cards non-starters . . . at least for those who are similarly situated.

Mary Jane

Isn’t the AMEX 500k-600k Resy offer the best of 2022…or was that 2021?

Andrew

2021 but yeah that was freaking amazing.

Harry

Yeah, and I got in on that! 2021 should go down in the record books as best year ever including Brex and Simply Miles AA deal to name a few more. However, came with some pain from other directions. This year my vote is the 230K Business Platinum + checking. Spend is more manageable than the targeted 250K bus plat deal.

Lee

For me, 2020 was a blockbuster. For those who remember, Amex had a referral bonus of an uncapped additional 3X. I got it. My wife got it. All bona fide purchases and payments. Prepaid much. We racked up into the seven figures.

Mantis

NLL are a nice option, but 150k on $15k spend is only 10x on your spend (or actually 11-11.5x), but still that’s not anything special by SUB standards, plus a big $700 AF and a bunch of annoying and easily overvalued coupon book benefits.

I’m gonna say a recent offer, the CIC/CIU 90k UR on $6k spend and no AF, is the deal of the year.

DMoney

I am glad someone else is also looking at return on spend as a critical metric.

Mantis

Could you get free cruises repeatedly? But in any case, I know that you know that you can get CIC/CIU repeatedly 😉 In any case, getting NLL repeatedly means heavy duty MS almost certainly required, so if you only want to be an MS focused blog then sure, NLL for people who do nothing but process VGCs is probably the deal of the year, for the other 99.99% of the population not so much.

slaven

how got 6?

Lee

To be fair, there are some readers who can achieve the spending requirement with bona fide business spending. I can easily do a Business Platinum every three months. And, I have to believe there are many business owners who are in the same situation.

LarryInNYC

Would love to see the list of the other 8 deals.

Lukas

FYI, I have five (5) AMEX Platinum business cards, four of which I opened on 3/16, 6/2, 9/8 and 12/8 of this year.