Which Points & Credit Cards for Which Airlines, Hotel Free Night Expiration Dates & AA Miles to Hawaii

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transfer partners free hotel night expiration

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Your Questions Answered

For the past week I have been asking readers to send in their questions so I can answer them. Here are the related posts:

If you want to get your question answered, simply head over to this post and leave the question in a comment. I am working to get through most of them this week.

Question 1

Our first question comes from Mel:

Hello Shawn, I’m looking to book flights using my AA miles to Hawaii for next summer. Which transfer partner will give me the best value (least miles needed)? How should I search and Book? Do I need an account with that transfer partner? We’re a family of 4 so will travel economy in order to stretch the miles.
Thanks so much for taking our questions!

transfer partners free hotel night expiration
Hyatt Regency Maui

Unfortunately American Airlines does not have any transfer partners. While SPG points do transfer to American Airlines 1:1 with a 5,000 mile bonus if you transfer in 20,000 point increments, once you have AAdvantage miles they aren’t going to transfer anywhere else.

Thankfully American Airlines AAdvantage miles can be used to book flights on AA and their partners. In addition to their own flights, American Airlines also partners with Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines for flights to the islands.

As for price, American isn’t nearly as good a value as it was when you could get a free one-way. American AAdvantage charges 17,500 miles each way during the off-peak time and 22,500 each way during the peak season. You can find their award chart here.

When trying to book your tickets, both Hawaiian and Alaska award space (in addition to American) are searchable on the American Airlines website. To find available flights simply go here and search for your route and dates.  If you are looking to use other miles to Hawaii, Travel is Free has the complete list of Cheapest Way to Get to Hawaii Using Miles! (It was published last year, but almost all of the information is still relevant.)

Question 2

Our second question comes from Jill:

Thanks for offering this opportunity to ask questions. Is there a database or article available that lists airlines and the credit cards associated with them that earn points for that particular airline? I am interested in CC that earn points for American Airlines and Delta.

transfer partners free hotel night expiration

Jill I think I can help you with this one. It can be tough to figure out which points transfer where and in what denominations. Thankfully Frequent Miler has created the Transfer Partner Master List. This is a great place to start, so you can see which flexible points currencies transfer to the airline you are looking for.

Once you know what points to look for, you can search for cards that earn the points/miles you are looking for. For example, Delta is a transfer partner of Diner’s Club, Membership Rewards & SPG. Once you know that, search for cards that earn those currencies.

Now to answer your question more specifically:

Delta : Amex branded Delta cards, Amex SPG card, Any Amex Membership Rewards earning card (Platinum, Everyday, Gold, etc.) and Diner’s Club.

American: Amex SPG, any Citi AAdvantage branded card.

Question 3

Our third question comes from Bob:

My wife and I have several Hilton weekend night certs (from Reserve) and several IHG free nights( from anniversary bonus and the last promotion). What is the expiration policy on these? Do these expire if not used in a year or does a reservation need to be made within a year with the actual stay being sometime later than one year? Thanks.

transfer partners free hotel night expiration
I used my free night last year at the Intercontinental Hong Kong. It is a fantastic property and my room was going for more than $500 per night!

As I wrote earlier this month, I almost made a mistake with my Hyatt free night certificate! For some reason I had thought all I needed to do was book by the expiration date, when in fact the stay needed to be completed by then.

Both the Hilton HHonors and IHG free night certificates need to be used within 12 months of issuance as well. (Or at least officially they do.) I know of several people who have been able to call in and book stays with their HHonors certificates past the expiration date. This is sort of a situation where the best I can tell you is YMMV.

As for IHG, their free night can be booked online and the system allows you to book after the certificates expiration date. The only catch with this is if you need to cancel for some reason after the expiration date, but before your stay, then the certificate will be lost!

Conclusion

I still have a few more questions left to answer and I’ll be trying to get to a few each day. If you want your question answered then please leave a comment here. Also, feel free to chime in with your experiences and opinions about any of these questions in the comments! Have a great weekend!


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