Points and Miles Checklist: Things to Do in October

I’ve slacked off on writing my monthly things to do lists partly because I got lazy and partly because…there was nothing to do. That’s changed with the end of the year approaching. Lots of promotions, both targeted and public, are making the rounds. Plus, there is a slew of great credit card offers out there for us to take advantage of. Here are some items you might want to check off your points and miles to-do list this month:

Things to do list

Enter to win a $150 Club1 Hotels Credit

Through Sunday, I’m running a giveaway for a $150 Club1 Hotels credit. To enter for a chance to win, simply follow these instructions:

  • Sign up for a free 1-year Club1 Hotels membership.
  • Leave a comment in this post, letting me know at which hotel you plan on spending the $150 
  •  credit (make sure it’s a hotel listed on the Club1 website). 
  • The deadline for entries is October 9, 2016 at 8:30 PM (PT)/11:30 PM (ET).
  • Winners will be chosen via and announced on October 10 at 12:00 PM (PT).
  • Please respond within 3 days or I will have to pick a new winner.

If you’re unfamiliar with Club1 Hotels and the massive savings available, be sure to read my post about the 50%+ savings available at hotels like the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. 

❑ Plan Year-End Mattress and Mileage Runs

We’re only two months away from the end of the year, but it’s time to start thinking about airline and hotel elite status, how you’re going to keep or earn it, etc.. Do you have upcoming hotel stays that will help you meet elite status requirements? Do you need to book a few mattress runs to make the cut? The sooner you figure all of this out, the more points and cash you can save when it’s time to book your mattress and mileage runs.

❑ Get in on the 50,000 Mile Bonus From Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card

The sign-up bonus on the Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard has increased to 50,000 miles after $4,000 spent within 90 days. That’s an extra $105 worth of travel credits, so if you don’t have this card, I highly recommend you get in on this deal. If you have had this card in the past, you’ll be glad to know that Barclays allows you to get this card again, though it’s advisable you wait at least six months between applications.

❑ Start Earning and Transferring SPG Points to Marriott 

The first steps in the Starwood-Marriott merger were announced a few weeks ago and there some some positive aspects worth mentioning. Mainly, it’s the 1:3 ratio for Starpoints to Marriott transfers, which makes top-tier award redemptions much more accessible and could go much further when it comes to Air & Hotel packages.

❑ Claim Your Complimentary AAdvantage Gold Status 

Did you get a flyer in the mail offering you complimentary AAdvantage Gold status? My mom and brother got one but I didn’t. They’re so targeting the wrong audience for this. The flyer indicates that they must register for their free status upgrade at and enter the designated promo code by December 16, 2016. After a single trip, they’ll get upgraded to AAdvantage Gold status for three months. They can maintain this membership level through January 31, 2018 by earning 7,000 EQM’s during this period. American AAdvantage Gold elite status is actually not entirely useless and comes with the following benefits:

  • Complimentary auto-requested upgrades on flights 500 miles or less*
  • 24-hour upgrade window
  • 40% elite mileage bonus**
  • 50% off Main Cabin Extra Seats (complimentary at check-in)*
  • Complimentary Preferred Seats*
  • 1 free checked bag

❑ Fast Track to the Southwest Companion Pass

Since I manage my family’s frequent flyer accounts, I have separate emails set up to control all the spam that comes along with being on so many mailing lists. I checked my dad’s email a couple of days ago and noticed a fast track offer for earning the Southwest Companion Pass. All he has to do is complete five roundtrip revenue flights by October 31 to earn a Companion Pass through December 31, 2017. I’ve found some fares that would allow him to do this for less than $400. The hard part is going to be trying to convince him to fly back and forth to Vegas five times…

Anyway, this offer has been around for a while, so be sure to check your email periodically so see if you’ve been targeted.

❑ Earn 5X Points on Airfare via Amex Platinum Cards 

American Express has been lagging behind other credit card issuers in terms of card offerings, they lost their partnership with Costco, and angered many customers when they clawed back sign-up bonuses for various reasons. Then the Chase Sapphire Reserve came around, giving the American Express Platinum card some competition. Perhaps that’s why American Express announced an increased 5 points per $1 earning rate on airfare charged to their Platinum credit cards. This is great news for travel agents and people who can put these extra Membership Rewards points to good use.

❑ Check Amex Offers for Cash Back Deals

Amex Offers always has some great deals going on (I saved over $90 on online purchases just in July alone). I checked my Amex Offers a couple of days ago and found a pretty good one from Virgin Atlantic: A $200 statement credit for spending $1,000 or more on airfare by November 6, 2016. The statement credit is valid only on flights originating in the U.S. and bookings made via Virgin Atlantic’s US website. With the 5x point airfare bonus on the Amex Platinum cards, this could work out quite nicely for some of you with upcoming travel on Virgin Atlantic.

❑ Get a $75 Visa Gift Card at Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, And Curio Hotels 

Last month, Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection announced a Stay Two, Get One free promotion at participating Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, and Curio hotels. The promotion was so popular, they pulled it. However, you can still get a $75 Visa gift card for booking a hotel stay by October 31, 2016. The stay must be completed by February 28 and gift cards will be mailed out within 6 weeks. Aside from the $75 Visa gift card, booking a stay as part of this promotion will get you the following benefits:

  • Best available rate guarantee
  • Automatic room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, when available
  • Complimentary continental breakfast daily
  • $25 USD food or beverage credit
  • VIP Guest status
  • 3PM check-out upon request, when available

Anything you want to add to October’s to-do list?

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  1. I bid on a Kenya Safari with Luxury Travel Diary Auctions and won. I’m hoping that it’s going to be amazing and hassle free. I watched other auctions on their site for a couple weeks before bidding.

  2. Ariana – I have Barclays Arrival after I downgraded from AP. It’s been an year since I did that. Should I first cancel Arrival and then apply for AP? How long should I wait after canceling?

    • You should be able to get approved for AP since they’re separate products, but if you don’t mind cancelling and can go without that card, I would do that first before applying for AP. The waiting period is 6 months between applications.

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