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Recap: The Week’s Biggest Travel Stories and Best Deals

Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.

If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.

3 Ways to Earn Bonus Miles for Year-End Shopping

Three of the largest airline e-shopping portals are offering bonus miles for purchases at any of hundreds of participating online merchants.

The End Begins for Virgin America’s Loyalty Program

Starwood will disengage from Virgin America’s Elevate program next month, reminding members that the program’s future is limited.

Coming: a $20 Fine for Holding Your Phone While Driving

When Assembly Bill 1785 takes effect on January 1, simply holding your phone while driving in California will become a ticketable offense.

InterContinental Ups Award Prices at Almost 500 Hotels

Beginning on January 15, award prices will rise at 10 percent of InterContinental’s 5,000 hotels. Book now to lock in lower prices.

Free Museum Admission for Bank of America Cardholders

Bank of America cardholders can enjoy free entry to more than 150 museums and other institutions on the first full weekend of every month during 2017.

Hot Dog Alert: Papaya King Is Now in Las Vegas

Papaya King, the iconic New York purveyor of hot dogs since 1932, is now serving its classic franks and tropical fruit drinks on the Las Vegas Strip.

Americans Would Rather Work Than Travel

A new Bankrate study shows that more than half of American workers choose not to use all the paid vacation days they’re entitled to. Surprised?

Alaska Air, Delta to Cut Ties. Who’s the Biggest Loser?

On May 1, Alaska Air and Delta will end their longstanding frequent-flyer and code-sharing relationship. Here’s how the change will affect you.

Win a Cruise and 500,000 AAdvantage Miles

Enter this sweepstakes for a chance to win a $3,000 cruise voucher, and 500,000 American AAdvantage frequent-flyer miles.

Somebody has to win, right? Might as well be you.

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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