Toasting over dinner by the sea (iStockphoto.com/Brian Pamphilon)

In a recent blog post, I lamented the decline in the lucrative miles-for-dining bonuses that were once a fixture of the travel rewards landscape.

As if to prove me wrong, American and US Airways are offering 500 bonus miles for dines at Rewards Network restaurants where program members have not previously earned miles.

Offer Details

The bonus is 500 miles, and both offers require that a dining survey be completed within 30 days, but the two offers differ slightly in the minimum spend requirement and the promotion end date, as follows:...read more»

Delta aircraft tail (Photo: Delta)

Remember that new Delta policy scheduled to take effect in August, the one that would require a Friday or Saturday night stay when booking low-priced SkyMiles awards within 21 days of departure?

The one that appeared on Delta's website with no warning or explanation?

Well, it appears there no more.

Nothing, zilch, nada.

In response to my email query to the airline, a Delta spokesperson offered the following:...read more»

Man pushing luggage towards security (Photo: Index Open)

Last year was a bonanza for bonus elite-qualifying miles (EQMs), with double-EQM promotions in place at several major carriers for fully six months.

So far, this has been a leaner year for EQM bonuses.

US Airways' first offer awarded double EQMs for all flights, for two months, but ended June 15.

American, Delta, and United are fighting it out with triple EQMs for flights between New York and Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

And Delta and American are using double EQMs to boost traffic from Nashville, Raleigh, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.

The latest EQM promotion is again from US Airways....read more»

Planes taking off behind pink sky (Photo: Index Open)

In mid-June, I heard from a reader that Delta was offering significant bonuses—up to 50,000 redeemable miles plus double elite-qualifying miles (EQMs)—for flights from a handful of selected cities.

The specifics were murky, but the bonuses were big, and worth looking into.

As I normally do in such situations, I checked Delta's website, assuming that such significant bonuses would be aggressively touted. But on the page listing the airline's current flight bonuses, no such promotions were to be found. So I sent an email to Delta requesting confirmation and details....read more»

Hotel bed with rose petals (Photo: Index Open)

As I've noted elsewhere, this has been the Summer of Free Nights for members of hotel loyalty programs.

There are currently promotions built around free nights (stay twice to earn a free night, for example) available from Best Western, Carlson, Marriott, Omni, and Starwood.

Hilton had its own free-night offer—a rather ungenerous one night after four qualifying stays or 10 nights—which ended on June 30. For its follow-up promotion, it has chosen to break ranks with the free-nighters....read more»

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

Among this morning's emails was a note from a longtime Delta loyalist that included the following: "Did you hear, Delta plans to require Friday or Saturday night stays for their cheaper awards? Skypesos indeed!"

While the note came from a reliable source, I was skeptical. Why would Delta be indulging in such gratuitous nastiness, especially now, when the airline is running a goodwill deficit?

But sure enough, on Delta's website, in the "Award Travel Rules & Conditions" section, is this:...read more»

Man shopping online with credit card (Photo: Index Open)

There's plenty of room for argument when it comes to the best airline mileage program, the best hotel program, the best frequent flyer promotion, and so on. But when it comes to travel rewards credit cards, the heated discussions typically resolve into a chorus of harmonized voices singing the praises of a single contender: the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card issued by American Express.

There are two keys to the card's outsized popularity.

First, the Starwood Preferred Guest points earned by using the card can be converted into miles in more than 30 airline programs, including those of Aeroplan, Alaska, American, British Airways, Continental, Delta, Hawaiian, United, and US Airways....read more»

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