Photo: Index Open

After an unprecedented stretch of back-to-back loyalty promotions, there was some question as to the major hotel chains' interest in continuing the bonuses and free-night offers into the new year.

It's still too soon to tell how frequent, and how generous, next year's hotel offers will be. But encouragingly, Hilton's just-announced Any Weekend, Anywhere promotion will be in effect throughout 2011, albeit only for weekend stays....read more»

Photo: Index Open

If you're not earning frequent flyer miles for your Christmas shopping—at least for those purchases made at online retailers—you're not getting full value for your money.

Most of the larger airline and hotel loyalty programs have established extensive networks of online retailers—unofficially dubbed mileage malls—that award miles or points for purchases. And many of the retailers participating in those mileage malls are offering bonuses for purchases made through the end of the year.

To make your shopping—and mileage-earning—easier, here's a summary of the miles-for-shopping promotions on offer from the major airline and hotel programs:...read more»

British Airways aircraft front view (Photo: Airbus S.A.S. )

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British Airways isn't known for its award discounts.

So this new offer is both surprising, and surprisingly generous. (Annoyingly, and unnecessarily, the link requires logging in as an Executive Club member to view the promotion. So have your member info handy.)

Offer Details

Through December 13, members of British Airways' Executive Club program can book a World Traveler Plus award ticket for the same number of miles normally required for a World Traveler award ticket. Award travel can take place any time between January 1 and June 30, 2011....read more»

Woman with shopping bags on escalator (Photo: Index Open)

You know you're going to spend money on holiday gifts. Probably hundreds of dollars.

And you know that much of that spending will be at online retailers. Why slog through the mall when many of the same retailers sell the same merchandise on their websites?

Since many of the largest retailers award frequent flyer miles through the airlines' mileage malls, why would you not earn miles for those purchases?

If that's not a compelling argument, perhaps a sweetener, such as these bonuses from United, will make the case for combining holiday shopping and mileage-earning....read more»

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

US Airways' recurring 100 percent bonus for purchased miles has been among the year's most lucrative frequent flyer promotions.

With its new buy-miles offer, Delta has taken a page from US Airways' playbook, with similar but not identical results....read more»

Woman waiting for plane to depart (Photo: Index Open)

Got frequent flyer miles? Want to help a worthy non-profit organization? Airlines make it easy to donate miles to charities, and sometimes they'll even reward you for doing so....read more»

Credit Card: People Passing Card (Photo: iStockphoto/Marcus Clackson)

The Starwood Preferred Guest program and its affiliated American Express-issued credit card are justly celebrated for a generous transfer bonus: For every 20,000 points transferred into a participating airline program, the cardholder receives an extra 5,000 miles. So, for example, transferring 20,000 Starpoints into the American Airlines AAdvantage program nets 25,000 AAdvantage miles, a hefty 25 percent bonus.

While that sets a high standard for both value (the 25 percent bonus) and flexibility (transfers to more than 30 participating airline programs), a new limited-time offer from American Express trumps it, at least as far as value goes....read more»

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

Virgin America launched service between Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles on December 1, and will begin flying between Dallas and San Francisco five days later, on December 6.

To promote the new flights, Virgin America covered most of the traditional marketing bases.

On the community relations side, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson hosted a Willy Nelson concert at Dallas' Winspear Opera House.

For the food focused, there was an inaugural barbeque on the tarmac. Texas-style, presumably....read more»

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