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Miles & Points: The Week’s Best Frequent-Flyer Deals (Week of July 12, 2013)

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.

Mercedes Buyers Get United Miles and a Discount

MileagePlus members with Premier status can save up to $5,000 when purchasing or leasing a new 2013 or 2014 Mercedes, and, through September 3, earn 25,000 bonus miles.

Mandarin Oriental Is New Virgin America Points Partner

Effective today, members of Virgin America’s Elevate program can earn points for stays at participating Mandarin Oriental hotels.

Summer Forecast: Full Flights, Discomfort Aplenty

With airlines flying almost 90 percent full in June, the outlook is for long lines and crowded planes. Welcome to the new normal.

Frontier Nixes Free In-Flight TV for Elites

Beginning in August, elite members of Frontier’s mileage program will no longer receive free DirectTV inflight. More downgrades could follow.

JetBlue Gets Fresh with Inflight Food

Beginning July 16, JetBlue will begin a two-month trial featuring fresh food for sale on its transcontinental flights. Better than the airport McDonald’s?

Carlson Devalues Loyalty Points By as Much as 44 Percent

Last week Carlson put in place a new points-to-miles conversion scheme that effectively devalues any points so used by as much as a jaw-dropping 44 percent.

Hilton’s Summer Promotion: Double, Triple Points

Between July 9 and September 30, HHonors members can earn triple points for weekend nights, or double points for weekday nights, at participating Hilton family hotels.

Up to 30% Bonus on Purchased American Miles

Through August 1, American AAdvantage members can earn up to 30% more miles when buying them from the airline. Your mileage may vary.

Win One of Six Trips for Two

Enter the Tic Tac “Shake It Up” sweepstakes by August 4 for a chance to win one of six grand prize trips, including white-water rafting, a chauffeured road trip, and a trip to Oahu.

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

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