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  • 😮 You can now transfer points to...

😮 You can now transfer points to...

See if you can guess 😉 Plus, Virgin is having a 50% award sale, and we'll loop you in to the journey of a miles and points novice

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 17 seconds

💡 Have you heard of JetBlue's "Best Fare Finder" tool on their website that helps travelers find the best deal by displaying a grid view of flight prices between selected airports? If not, check it out here.

Good morning, and happy Friday! Welcome back to Daily Drop, where we share all the latest and greatest travel hacks in less than 5 minutes a day.

Today has already been eventful… so here’s what’s up:

💳 Bilt adds a new transfer partner (and ditches another)

Remember two days ago when I told you about Alaska’s new program? 

And I mentioned some amazing ways to redeem miles? But complained at the end that no bank allows you to transfer points to them…?

Well, as it turns out… I might be the Nostradamus of travel hacking (but with a less-impressive beard and less-cool hats)…

A meme of Nostradamus predicting Alaska airlines news

As of RIGHT NOW, Alaska Airlines is now the newest transfer partner of Bilt Rewards, allowing you to transfer points between the two programs at a 1:1 ratio.

*commence rejoicing*

A black image with both Bilt and Alaska's logos

This is BIG NEWS, and just another reason to pick up the Bilt Mastercard®. Let me break this down for you:

  • Alaska allows for free stopovers in its partner hubs

  • Alaska has some of the best airline partners in the world

  • Alaska just revamped its award charts, which include predictable pricing and some GREAT sweet spots

  • Now, you can transfer points from a bank to unlock all of those things

On Wednesday, I gave you some examples of sweet spots on Alaska’s new award charts, like Qsuites for 15,000 miles or domestic U.S. flights for 4,500 miles.

So let’s look at a couple of other ones…

Let’s say you want to try out Cathay Pacific’s world-famous, luxurious business class.

If we consult the Asia Pacific chart, we see that flying from Hong Kong to Phuket, Thailand costs just 15,000 Alaska miles, since it clocks in at under 1,500 miles in distance.

Alaska's Asia Pacific Award chart

One of Alaska’s coolest partners is the newer Taiwanese airline, Starlux.

In fact, Alaska Miles is one of the only currencies you can use to book a seat on this amazing airline and experience one of the most futuristic new airline seats in the sky.

A photo of Starlux's business-class seat

If we refer to the same chart above, it would only cost 75,000 Alaska miles to fly from San Francisco to Taipei in that tasty, lie-flat bed. 😎

It’s not a CRAZY deal, but it’s on par with most of the best airline programs out there and with an airline that is otherwise much less accessible.

So here’s the bottom line…

Bilt has added a new transfer partner that no other bank currently offers.

Alaska has a fantastic program with valuable airline partners, and I could not be more excited that this program is now accessible with transferrable points that you can earn from everyday spending on the Bilt Mastercard®.

But I also have some bad news…

A gif of a character saying "oh no"

As one transfer partner is added, another is executed…

Effective June 2024, Bilt is removing American Airlines as a transfer partner… 😭

Until this point, Bilt was the only bank that offered access to AA miles with transferrable points, so this is definitely a loss for the points and miles world…

Thankfully, we have a few months’ notice before this goes into effect.

So, if you have a stash of Bilt points and can make use of AA miles, I’d consider transferring some points over before it’s too late.

👶 “My journey as a points and miles novice”

As you probably have guessed, I’ve been at this whole “travel” thing for a while now.

And while I can give you advice, recommendations, and try to educate you on the basics, it’s not nearly as valuable as hearing it first-hand from someone who is going through the journey for themselves.

Thankfully, someone on the Daily Drop team is in exactly this boat.

So without further ado, I’m going to pass the reigns over to McKay - our Content Specialist, who wrote an article about her introduction to the points and miles journey.

She’ll walk you through how she went from “zero credit cards, zero points” to having one of the BEST cards and well over 100,000 points - in just one year.

✈️ ANOTHER Virgin 50% award discount…

I think the universe has given me the literal biggest sign ever that I need to fly Virgin Atlantic soon…..

And that’s because we’ve talked about not one, not two, but now… A THIRD solid deal this week—and frankly, I’m exhausted.

Screenshot of Virgin's latest sale for 50% discount on award flights

Here are the deets for this completely DIFFERENT and totally UNRELATED 50% discount from the one I told you about yesterday… 🙄

  • Bookings must be made between March 14 and March 20, 2024

  • Valid for travel through June 30, 2024

  • Travel must be on Virgin Atlantic and not partner airlines

  • This applies to all cabin classes (yay!)

  • The number of points needed is reduced to 50%, but the taxes are not (boo)

  • There are select dates that are eligible for different routes

Fortunately, Virgin miles are easy to come by because they’re a transfer partner of every major bank.

Additionally, they still have that 70% bonus points sale going on if you need to top up your account to book said award fare.

And there are actually a ton of eligible routes from the U.K. to cities all over the U.S. 👇

Screenshot of eligible routes for the 50% discounted fare

These are just a few examples.

Overall, being able to use only half the points needed is a great deal in itself if you’re planning some travel within the next few months.

But yeah… to be clear, we’ve written about two DIFFERENT 50% discounts on back-to-back days, in case you missed that…

Which I guess is cool. Or not. 😅

All I have to say is we don’t control the deals, y’all… The other airlines just need to freaking step up their game at this point.

Current Transfer Bonuses

  • 15% bonus from MR points to Avianca LifeMiles (ends TODAY)

  • 30% bonus from Thank You points to Virgin Atlantic (ends March 16th)

  • 20-40% bonus from Capital One to Etihad Guest (ends March 31st)

  • 20% bonus from MR Points to Etihad Guest (ends April 4th)

That’s all for this week, folks!

I hope you didn’t mind the delayed send time today, but we wanted to make sure we got this Bilt/Alaska news to you as soon as the banks would let us… So I think it was worth it. 😉

I’m hanging out in Qatar for the day, but next time you hear from me I’ll be back on the beaches of Bali (with some new hacks to share with you all).

Have a wonderful weekend ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

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