Photo: Index Open

I can't recall another frequent flyer promotion that offered double miles for credit card use, but only if the cardholder redeems a set number of miles. That, however, is the rather quirky premise of Delta's new Bounce Back promotion.

Offer Details

Between July 1 and September 30, Delta SkyMiles credit card holders will earn double miles for all eligible charges to their cards, except for purchases of Delta tickets, which will earn triple miles.

To qualify to earn the credit card bonuses, SkyMiles members must redeem at least 10,000 miles during the promotion more»

Photo: JetBlue

The current shuttle wars were ignited by Delta's triple-mile promotion for flights between New York and Boston, Washington, D.C., and its newest Shuttle destination, Chicago.

American responded by matching the Delta bonuses on its New York-Boston and New York-Chicago routes, and United did the same for its New York-Chicago flights.

That left two airlines with significant exposure to the Delta promotion on one or more important routes: JetBlue and US more»

Man pushing luggage towards security (Photo: Index Open)

Traveling between New York and Chicago this summer? Earn triple miles from either of the three largest more»

Dining couple (Photo: Fort Lauderdale CVB)

There was a time when members of most major airline programs could expect to routinely earn a hefty 10 miles—and sometimes more, with periodic promotions—for every dollar spent at participating Rewards Network restaurants through their programs' miles-for-dining features.

Perhaps such generosity was unsustainable over the long term. In any case, active members—those who complete at least 12 qualifying dines during a calendar year—now earn just five miles per dollar spent, and the opportunities to earn more miles are less frequent, less lucrative, and more demanding.

The current bonus offer, which has just been extended through the end of the year, is a case in more»

Credit card on keyboard (Photo: Index Open)

Airline credit cards have turned up the heat lately in an effort to distinguish themselves from competing cards—both other airline cards and cards outside the airline space—and to give consumers more reasons to use their cards more often.

Most recently, Continental relaunched its cards to feature special perks at more than 650 hotels, the ability of cardholders to redeem Continental miles for hotel stays and car rentals, and primary Collision Damage Waiver coverage (versus the secondary coverage typically offered). Next year, cardholders who are elite OnePass members will be eligible for upgrades when traveling on award tickets, just as they would be when flying on paid tickets.

And Delta, beginning June 1, began exempting holders of its Gold, Platinum, or Reserve SkyMiles credit cards from the first-checked-bag fee when flying Delta and Delta Express.

The Citibank-issued cards linked to American's AAdvantage program haven't been in the headlines lately, but the cards have long featured a benefit that can represent real extra value, to cardholders and general program members alike: discounted award more»

Spirit Airlines aircraft tail (Photo: Spirit Airlines)

In the aftermath of Spirit's six-day strike that ended on Friday, June 18, the airline launched a two-pronged effort to make amends with travelers disaffected by the flight cancellations, and by Spirit's handling of the disruptions.

Offer Details

Ripped from Spirit's own press release:

To thank its customers for their support and loyalty, Spirit is offering customers a coupon for $50 off their next flight and 5,000 FREE SPIRIT bonus miles. Spirit is offering customers a coupon to save $50 off their next round-trip purchase for travel from June 18, 2010 through November 17, 2010. Customers can visit to accept their coupon and book their reservation by 11:59 PM ET on June 18, 2010, and for their 5,000 FREE SPIRIT bonus miles.

That $50 discount coupon is long gone. It was only on offer for 36 hours or so, guaranteeing minimal take-up.

From the announcement's wording, you might think that the 5,000 bonus miles had disappeared at the same time. They didn' more»

American tail fin with airport in background (Photo: Clark County Department of Aviation)

American doesn't run a shuttle service between New York and Boston or between New York and Chicago. But it does operate plenty of flights on both routes.

So when Delta launched a triple-mile promotion for its shuttle flights between New York and Boston, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, American had a choice: match Delta on the Boston and Chicago flights, or lose some of its customers to Delta.

Not surprisingly, American chose to fend off Delta with a promotion of its more»

Man with bags walking down empty road (Photo: iStockphoto/Johnny Habell)

It has become semi-standard practice among major hotel programs to periodically offer discounted award nights at selected properties. Naturally, the hotels offered at the cheaper rates aren't generally the snazziest, or in the most desirable locations—they're on the list, after all, at least in part because they have plenty of empty rooms to give away.

Still, they're priced so low that the values can be compelling.

This summer, InterContinental's Priority Club program is offering low-priced award nights, dubbed PointBreaks, at more than 100 more»

Hotel room door slightly open (Photo: iStockphoto/MBCheatham)

Converting hotel points to airline miles is something I don't often discuss in these posts, because such transfers are mostly not worth discussing.

It's like buying airline miles: You can do it, and it might make sense in rare circumstances, but it's normally a bad deal.

Sometimes, however, a special offer changes the equation enough to make point conversions worth considering.

American's new transfer bonus aims to do just more»

Photo: PhotoDisc

Elite promotions are always a double-edged sword.

From the airlines' standpoint, more elite members means more customers with an extra-compelling reason to fly. And more perks translates into more loyalty, which in turn translates into more ticket revenue.

For travelers who stand to qualify for elite status as a result of the extra miles or easier qualification requirements, elite promotions mean an easier route to upgrades and other elite benefits.

So far, it's win-win.

But for program members who already hold elite status, opening the door to more elite members means a dilution of the benefits they earned the hard way. In particular, there are a limited number of elite upgrades to go around, so more competition means everyone gets somewhat more»