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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.

How to Fly for (Almost) Free Using Credit Card Points

Free flights just for using your credit card? Yes, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. Here’s how to do it.

Uber Changes Course, Adds Tipping Option to App

Uber this week did the unthinkable: The world’s dominant rideshare company reversed its long-held no-tipping policy. Great for drivers; less so for riders.

Amex Adds New Perk to $550 Platinum Rewards Card

American Express has added a new perk to its Platinum travel rewards card: a discount on premium-class international tickets.

From Delta: “Even More Ways to Use Miles”

The latest mileage-redemption options from Delta confirm the airline’s plan to peg the value of its loyalty currency at a paltry 1 cent per mile.

Marriott Imposes New Customer-Unfriendly Cancellation Policy

Marriott’s new cancellation policy shows that the company isn’t afraid to use its market power to put its own interests ahead of its customers’.

U.S. Carriers Fare Badly in Latest Global Airline Survey

In the latest Skytrax survey of the world’s best airlines, the highest-rated U.S. airline only managed to rank 32nd among the top 100.

Ritz-Carlton Reveals Plans to Upgrade the Cruising Experience

Imagine a floating Ritz-Carlton resort. That’s the idea behind the luxe hotel company’s new cruise line, set to launch in 2019.

The End of Virgin America’s Elevate Program – What You Need to Know

On January 1, 2018, Virgin America’s Elevate program will be discontinued, with points transferred to Alaska. Here’s what happens between now and then.

Win a 4-Day Trip to Jamaica for 2 (Don’t Forget the Sunscreen)

Enter to win a four-day trip to Jamaica for two, including air, three nights at Jewel Dunn’s River Resort & Spa in Mammee Bay, meals, and VIP lounge access.

Somebody has to win this trip, 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.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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