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Top Five Miles and Points Deals for October 2008

There are many, many promotions. But there are only a few really, really good ones.

In this monthly roundup, we highlight the five most lucrative offers currently available to members of airline and hotel loyalty programs.

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(Promotions are listed in alphabetical order.)

1. Alaska doubles the miles between Seattle and Minneapolis

Between October 26 and December 31, Alaska Mileage Plan members can earn double miles on newly launched flights between Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul. (Predictably, Minneapolis-based Northwest has matched this offer.)

Registration is required.

2. American miles for Blackberry, DirecTV service

Through December 31, American AAdvantage members can earn 4,000 bonus miles when activating a new BlackBerry and new wireless rate plan with Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon Wireless, or when upgrading an existing rate plan and upgrading to a new BlackBerry.

Also through December 31, AAdvantage members can earn 7,500 bonus miles by signing up for a new DirecTV satellite television account. Account must be maintained for at least 60 days; existing customers are not eligible.

3. Double elite-qualifying miles for Delta shuttle flights

Through December 15, SkyMiles members will earn double elite-qualifying miles on Delta and Delta Connection nonstop shuttle flight segments between New York (La Guardia) and Boston or Washington (National).

Registration is required.

4. Fall hotel stays are uncommonly rewarding

As reported in this recent roundup of no fewer than 10 promotions, most major hotel chains are offering significant bonus points and other incentives for stays through the end of the year.

If your travel plans include patronizing a hotel in the coming months, be sure to make it a rewarding stay!

5. Shopping bonuses at the Mileage Plus mall

Through December 22, members of United's Mileage Plus program will earn up to 2,000 bonus miles for purchases at the following 20 Mileage Plus Mall retailers: Art Select, Barnes and Noble, Bloomingdales, Clinique, Dell Home, GiftBaskets.com, Harry and David, Hickory Farms, Ice.com, Kiehl's, Kodak, Landsend.com, macys.com, Magazines.com, Nordstrom.com, Origins, Red Envelope, Sears, Sephora, and William Sonoma.

Bonuses are 1,000 bonus miles for spending $500 - $749; 1,500 for spending $750 - $999; and 2,000 for spending $1,000 or more.

This is just the first of what I expect to be many such airline mileage mall promotions in the run-up to Christmas.

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