The Latest in Travel Rewards News

News on points, miles, credit cards, loyalty programs, airlines, hotels and more from NerdWallet writers.
Updated
Profile photo of Kevin Berry
Written by Kevin Berry
Lead Assigning Editor
Profile photo of Jeanette Margle
Edited by Jeanette Margle
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Profile photo of Meghan Coyle
Co-written by Meghan Coyle
Assistant Assigning Editor
Profile photo of JT Genter
Co-written by JT Genter
Profile photo of Sally French
Co-written by Sally French
Lead Writer/Spokesperson

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Sept. 14 - United and Emirates Partnership Unlocks More Flights between U.S. and Dubai

Two of the world’s biggest airlines, Emirates and United Airlines, have teamed up in a move that will add more flight options for travelers around the world by allowing the two separate carriers to sell seats on each other’s flights.

As part of the deal that was announced today, passengers flying on Emirates flights into Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston as of November 2022 will be able to connect onto United flights through the same ticket. The eight other U.S. airports served by Emirates — Boston, Dallas, LA, Miami, JFK, Orlando, Seattle and Washington D.C. — will have an interline arrangement in place.

In March 2023, United will launch its own, new nonstop flights between Newark Liberty International Airport and Dubai. Tickets are already on sale. Travelers continuing on past Dubai will then be able to connect through Emirates and another Dubai-based carrier, flydubai, to 100 other locations.

The news is significant given that Dubai is one of the busiest airports in the world, and serves as a connection point for more than 200 other destinations particularly in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

It’s also especially good news for loyalty program members, as Emirates Skywards members will soon earn miles when they travel on United operated flights. Likewise, United MileagePlus members flying on United’s New York/Newark to Dubai flight will be able to earn and redeem United miles when connecting to other flights on Emirates and flydubai. For members with lounge access, those benefits will become reciprocal, too.

Though, the news isn’t completely surprising to those who have been following the two companies closely. At the end of August, the two companies took to Twitter, with United inviting Emirates to “hang(ar) out on September 14.”

That said, the codeshare agreement isn’t a complete guarantee. That, as well as United’s new flight to Dubai, are subject to government approvals.

Sept. 7 - Act Fast: Southwest Promotion Provides Easy Way To Earn Companion Pass

A new promotion from Southwest Airlines could prove to be one of the easiest ways to get your hands on the coveted Southwest Companion Pass, which is essentially a buy-one-get-one deal on your Southwest flight.

To earn a Companion Pass under this latest promotion, here's what you need to do:

  1. Register for the promotion via your Rapid Rewards account on this page by Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022.

  2. Purchase either one round-trip or two one-way flights by Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022 for travel that must be completed between Sept. 6 and Nov. 17, 2022. Note that the flight taken between now and Nov. 17 cannot be booked on points. It must be paid for with actual dollars, LUV Vouchers, gift cards or travel funds.

Complete those steps, and you'll receive a Companion Pass good for travel between Jan. 4 and March 4, 2023.

When you hold a Southwest Companion Pass, you can choose a companion to fly with you on any paid or award flight for simply the cost of taxes and fees, which start at $5.60 one-way.

Under this promotion, you could book two of Southwest's ultra-cheap, $49-per-way fares and get your hands on a pass for less than $100. From there, you could use it to take a couple winter 2023 getaways and you could save hundreds of dollars (depending on how often you use it).

You might escape the snow with a Southwest flight to Hawaii, or you might opt to take a long weekend trip for Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, Jan. 16, 2023) or Presidents' Day (Monday, Feb. 20, 2023).

While the two-month duration of this pass isn't as generous as the nearly two-year duration you might get to hold the pass when attained through other methods, it might be a fair trade as this latest promotion provides a pretty easy way to earn the pass. Otherwise, you typically have to either take 100 one-way qualifying flights on Southwest in a year or earn 125,000 Companion Pass-qualifying points in a year, which is no small feat.

Sept. 1 - Air Canada Launches Aeroplan Award Chart Changes

Air Canada today introduced changes to its Aeroplan award pricing that include both increased and decreased rates on certain routes. The Aeroplan award pricing system is broken up into regions: North America, Atlantic, Pacific and South America. Flights within and connecting those regions are then priced based on distance.

U.S. travelers departing from or traveling to North America will find higher award prices — up to 10% — in premium classes on a number of distance bands that link the Atlantic and Pacific regions. There will be no changes to economy award pricing in these regions.

Award rates on routes between North America and South America, routes within South America, and routes between the Atlantic and Pacific regions have decreased across all fare classes — by as much as 33% in some cases.

For a more detailed look at these changes, see our earlier coverage here.

August 22 - Southwest Adds Ability To Purchase Upgraded Boarding Online

Maybe you forgot to check in to your Southwest flight early enough and got stuck with the dreaded C boarding group (which is basically code for middle seat), so you realize you’d rather pay for upgraded boarding. Perhaps you always pay for upgraded boarding at the gate, but don’t want to wait in a long line. Here’s some good news for you.

Southwest rolled out a consumer-friendly move this month when it added the ability to purchase upgraded boarding online — something that previously was only possible to purchase from an actual Southwest employee at the airport.

Now, you can get to Southwest’s boarding webpage on a computer or mobile device within 24 hours of takeoff, input your flight information, and be able to purchase an A1-A15 boarding position, if available. You can purchase upgraded boarding for yourself or others on your reservation.

Upgraded boarding starts at $30 per segment, though it might be more depending on the route and date.

That’s an especially welcome change for people who need to be first on the plane. Southwest has an unconventional boarding system where there are no assigned seats. Instead, you’re assigned a boarding position, so people with early boarding positions have their pick of the best seats.

It’s also a good news for general efficiency, as the travel industry still remains understaffed and airport lines are long. Making a task that previously required waiting in a line to speak to a human possible via technology is a welcome trend. Of course, you’ll still be able to purchase upgraded boardings with a real person at the airport if you’d prefer the human touch.

The earliest positions A1-A15 are reserved for people who booked Southwest Business Select fares, as well as those who paid to upgrade at the gate (or now, online). With Southwest elite status, you get priority boarding, though it’s not quite as good as the guaranteed A1-A15 position.

And, you might not even need to pay the $30 (or more) fee for upgraded boarding if you hold certain Southwest credit cards. Cardholders of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card and Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, are reimbursed for the purchase of up to four Upgraded Boardings every calendar year when purchased with that card.

Reimbursements are made via statement credit, and can take up to eight weeks to post. And yes, they apply to upgrade purchases made either in-person or through the new, online system.

August 12 - Choice Hotels Officially Acquires Radisson Hotels Americas

In a deal that’s been simmering for a couple of months now, Choice Hotels International has officially acquired Radisson Hotels Americas.

Nothing is changing just yet. Eventually, the Radisson Rewards Americas program will eventually boast 7,000 additional properties, with Choice Privileges adding Radisson Hotels Americas’ nine brands to a portfolio currently comprising 12 budget and mid-priced brands. This acquisition marks an expansion into the upscale accommodations market for Choice.

August 11 - Emirates Announces Major Updates to Fleet, In-Flight Services

Emirates announced today more than $2 billion worth of upgrades to its fleet and in-flight offerings. The overhaul includes a significant investment in refurbishing interiors across all fare classes on more than 120 planes.

Service updates will begin in August for first class, with business and economy following in September. The launch includes new menus that feature, among other additions, new vegan dishes like jackfruit biryani. On flights departing from Dubai, the airline will be serving greens sourced direct from Bustanica, a massive vertical farm co-founded by Emirates’ catering operation and a U.S. indoor farming company called Crop One.

First class passengers will also get unlimited Persian caviar paired with Dom Perignon champagne and a few new options on the airline’s first Movie Snack menu, including lobster rolls and salted popcorn.

July 28 - Southwest Removes Expiration Dates on Flight Credits

Southwest has changed an expiration policy in a win for passengers. The airline announced it is eliminating expiration dates on flight credits.

Any Southwest flight credits that are unexpired as of July 28, 2022, as well as those created on or after that date will no longer expire. There’s nothing you need to do — just use those credits anytime.

You typically receive Southwest flight credits anytime you cancel a flight, even if you purchased a nonrefundable “Wanna Get Away” fare. You can also earn them if you purchase a ticket that drops in price in the future — though those aren’t automatically granted. You need to ‘change’ your flight to the cheaper one through Southwest’s website to earn that.

To see if you have available flight credits:

Login to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account on Southwest’s website. Select “My Account” and then “Payments.” Near the bottom of the page, you’ll see a box listing any available flight credits.

You can also access them through the Check Travel Funds page and use your six-digit confirmation number, found in green at the top of your change/cancel email.

To use your flight credits toward your next airfare purchase, select “flight credit” on the payment screen at checkout. Each booking can be funded with up to three forms of payment per booking. Each flight credit counts as a form of payment, so you could even combine two or three flight credits to cover your next airfare if it’s more expensive than the original flight.

If you don’t want to use your flight credit on you, you might be able to give it to someone else. If you originally purchased a Business Select, Anytime or Wanna Get Away Plus fare, you’re eligible to transfer your flight credit to someone else, assuming they’re also a Rapid Rewards member.

And while the end of flight credit expiration dates is excellent news for travelers who don’t need the pressure to spend them immediately, it might still make sense to spend those flight credits as soon as possible given ongoing inflation. Airfares are getting more expensive (as are most other products), so a flight credit you have for a flight you canceled might not be enough to cover a future flight. If that’s the case, you’ll simply have to pay the rest out of pocket.

July 6 - Chase Sapphire Reserve Cardholders Can Get Marriott Gold Status

If you hold a Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card, you can now get Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for three months — or longer if you complete the status challenge. To enroll, you simply have to enter some personal details into this Bonvoy promotional page anytime between now and Sept. 30, 2022. In exchange, you will automatically receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for three months.

Plus, if you stay three qualifying paid nights within those three months as a temporary Gold Elite, Marriott will extend your Gold status through February 2024. Nights paid with points do not count towards the qualifying nights.

You’ll hold Gold status for the three months following the date of registration, so you might want to hold off until you’ve got a Marriott stay planned before registering, in order to stretch your status. Though, don’t wait too long. Marriott said registration requests typically take three business days to process.

Typically, you’d have to stay at a Marriott property 25 nights per year to earn Gold Elite status. Benefits of Marriott Gold Elite status include a 25% points-earning bonus and 2 p.m. late checkout plus room upgrades, when available. It’s not anywhere near as good as the benefits that come with Platinum or Titanium Elite status, including suite upgrades and lounge access (which includes complimentary breakfast). But considering how easy it is to register for the promotion, there’s little reason for Chase Sapphire Reserve® customers not to.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® entails a $550 annual fee. Holders of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, which has a $695 annual fee, have long been able to automatically claim Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status as a benefit. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

June 27 - Customers Who Rent Cars Through Lyft-Hertz Partnership Can Get $10 in Lyft Credit

Rideshare giant Lyft and rental car company Hertz have partnered up to get you a ride, whether you need a rental car or a Lyft.

The companies announced a new partnership and special offer this week that means new benefits for customers who book a Hertz rental car directly through the Lyft app. Here’s what you can get:

  • A $10 Lyft credit after you return your rental.

  • A free additional driver option added to your reservation at pickup, allowing you to avoid a fee that is usually about $13 per day.

For now, the deal only applies to rentals in Austin, Charlotte, New Orleans, Kansas City and Nashville, though Lyft said it intends to roll it out nationwide in the future. You’ll also have to be at least 22 years old with a valid driver’s license to rent a Hertz vehicle through Lyft.

If you’re under 22, you can still rent a Hertz vehicle, but you’ll have to book directly through them. Better yet, you can also get young driver fees waived by enrolling in the Hertz’s Gold Plus Rewards loyalty program and opting in to its limited-time college graduate promotion, which ends on June 30, 2022. Beyond that, young renters can also get Hertz underage driver fees waived by joining AAA.

Even if you aren’t in those cities doesn’t mean you can’t rent a car through Lyft. The company in 2019 launched Lyft Rentals, which allows you to book rental cars through its app. Cars are parked in Lyft–operated lots around major cities, often in both downtown areas and at airports. Many are operated through another rental car company, Sixt, though some are operated directly by Lyft. When you book one of those Lyft rentals, you’ll receive a $10 Lyft credit each way to get to and from the lot.

Plus, you can earn extra travel rewards by booking rides or rental cars through Lyft. Certain Chase credit cards offer bonus points for Lyft purchases. You can also opt to earn either bonus Delta SkyMiles or Hilton Honors points for your Lyft spending.

June 16 - T-Mobile Launches Travel Discounts Including Free International Data and Wi-Fi on Airplanes

It’s a good summer to be a T-Mobile customer, as the wireless provider today announced a bunch of freebies and discounts on travel. Some of the highlights are:

  • Free international data: Starting June 21, T-Mobile customers on either the Magenta MAX or Business Unlimited Ultimate plan will get 5GB of free high-speed data each month, at up to 5G speeds where available, in more than 210 countries and destinations.

  • Free in-flight Wi-Fi: T-Mobile will offer customers free in-flight Wi-Fi on select Delta, American and Alaska Airlines flights, starting June 21. T-Mobile also added that it expects to soon add free Wi-Fi to its customers flying with United Airlines, too.

  • Free AAA membership: Magenta, Magenta MAX and eligible small business plan holders can now get a year of free AAA membership, which means 24-hour roadside assistance as well as travel discounts on products including rental cars, and other extras like waived underage driver fees with Hertz.

  • Gas discounts at Shell: T-Mobile customers can get 25 cents off per gallon of gas purchased at Shell between June 21 and Labor Day via T-Mobile Tuesdays.

  • Priceline discounts: T-Mobile has partnered with Priceline to offer deals of up to 40% off for T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers.

To get in on the deals, T-Mobile customers should head to either t-mobiletravel.com or the T-Mobile Tuesdays app. There, you’ll enter your phone number to receive a code, which unlocks the benefits.

June 14 - Capital One Announces New Lounge Access Perks Across Multiple Cards

Capital One has announced new airport lounge access benefits for Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Miles for Business cardholders in a significant expansion of its partner lounge network.

In addition to the lounge benefits that Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card cardholders already get — access to Priority Pass and Capital One Lounges — cardholders will now get unlimited, free access to the Plaza Premium Lounges network, which includes the Air France Lounge in Montreal and multiple Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounges along with the network’s own Plaza Premium branded spots.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Miles for Business cardholders, who currently get two complimentary lounge visits annually, will now be able to use those visits to access the Plaza Premium Network as well as Capital One’s own lounges.

June 8 - IHG One Rewards Rolls Out New Benefits

New benefits of the revamped IHG One Rewards loyalty program are now available to members. IHG will now offer more options, like late checkout (if available) to all members and more perks to elite members.

The most notable new benefit is Milestone Rewards, which lets members choose a reward every 10 nights they stay, starting at 20 nights. The options include:

  • Bonus points.

  • Confirmable suite upgrades.

  • Food and beverage rewards, which are available to choose but you won’t be able to redeem until later in the year.

  • An annual lounge membership.

Other new benefits for elite members include an extra welcome amenity option for Diamond elites — free breakfast. Platinum and Diamond elites can now take advantage of complimentary room upgrades and early check-in (if available).

June 2 - American Express Adds New Way To Use Dining Credit on Gold Card

One of the best ways for some cardholders to offset the $250 annual fee on the American Express® Gold Card is using its $120 dining credit. But unless you regularly order from Grubhub or dine at The Cheesecake Factory or Shake Shack regularly, the dining credit might not be that easy to use. Terms apply.

American Express today announced that the statement credit, which is offered in increments of $10 per month, now covers purchases made with your American Express® Gold Card at Goldbelly, Wine.com and Milk Bar too. Terms apply.

Milk Bar, which is famous for its calorie-laden desserts including the Compost Cookie and bestselling birthday cake, has locations in major cities including New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Goldbelly is a company that lets you order food from some of the most famous restaurants all over the country directly to your doorstep. Get a taste of Texas by having brisket from Snow’s BBQ shipped to your home. And while its Provel cheese and thin cracker-like crust is polarizing, Imo’s Pizza can ship a slice of St. Louis to your home, even if you aren’t in Missouri.

The bad news is some now-former dining partners, including Ruth's Chris Steak House and Boxed, are no longer eligible to qualify for the statement credit.

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page.

June 2 - United Members Can Now Earn Miles Flying Semi-Private JSX

Flying semi-private on jet service JSX just got more appealing for United MileagePlus members.

The two companies have partnered up to now allow you to earn United MileagePlus miles when you fly with JSX. The fare class you book on JSX determines how many miles you’ll earn. Here’s how they break down:

  • Fare classes Y, B, E, M, V, S, D, and T earn 100% of the miles flown.

  • Fare classes W, G, and Q earn 75% of the miles flown.

  • Fare classes N, H, and P earn 50% of the miles flown.

And between now and Aug. 31, 2022, you can earn bonus miles, depending on your level of United elite status. Here’s what those bonus miles are:

  • MileagePlus general members: 5x miles.

  • Premier Silver: 7x miles.

  • Premier Gold: 8x miles.

  • Premier Platinum: 9x miles.

  • Premier 1K: 11x miles.

JSX is a private jet operator that offers a semi-private flight service. You’ll get your trip started in a private terminal, where you’ll typically encounter fewer lines (plus posher seating and even complimentary refreshments) than everyone else in the main terminal. You’ll board a relatively small aircraft, but you will share it with other passengers. That can be good for luxury-minded travelers who are still budget-conscious, as many fares cost less than $200 each way.

May 23 - Wyndham App Helps Travelers Plan and Book Road Trips

Wyndham unveiled a new feature in its app to make road trip planning easier and giving customers the ability to book multiple hotels at once. The Road Trip Planner can either show travelers Wyndham properties along their custom route or give inspiration for recommended routes. After travelers have decided on a trip, the Road Trip Planner lets road trippers book multiple hotels (with either points, cash or a combination of the two) and see all of their reservations on one screen.

In addition to the Road Trip Planner, Wyndham is offering another incentive to use its mobile app. Between May 26 and May 30, 2022, members can take advantage of Wyndham’s latest flash sale offer — 8,000 bonus points when they book two-nights or more through Wyndham’s mobile app. Travelers must tap the Mobile App Flash Sale offer on the app’s home screen to access the offer. A two-night minimum stay is required and stays must be completed by June 30, 2022. See our full list of hotel promotions for other offers.

April 26 - United Airlines Expands Partnership with Singapore Airlines

United has announced an expansion of its codeshare agreement with Singapore Airlines to include 19 new destinations. United’s passengers can now benefit from connections to cities in:

  • Brunei, Cambodia.

  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  • Perth, Australia.

  • Male, the Maldives.

  • Several destinations in Indonesia.

Similarly, Singapore’s customers can now connect through Los Angeles to Austin, Baltimore, Boise, Cleveland, Denver, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Reno and Sacramento.

The strengthening of this partnership will allow customers of both airlines to reach destinations more easily, particularly as demand for travel increases.

April 22 - Southwest Announces Bonus Earnings for Carbon Offset Spending

In honor of Earth Day, Southwest Airlines has announced a limited-time 20x earning rate for Rapid Rewards members when they buy carbon offset credits through the carrier’s offset program. Rapid Rewards members can take advantage of this earn rate through May 22, 2022, and though eligible earnings max out at 500 points, Southwest will match all carbon offset contributions 1:1.

April 20 - U.S. Airlines Announce an End to Mask Requirements for Passengers and Employees

A U.S. District Court judge this week struck down the federal mandate requiring passengers to wear masks on public transportation, including planes. The Biden administration subsequently announced that the mandate will no longer be enforced at U.S. airports by the Transportation Security Administration. Numerous airlines followed suit, issuing statements indicating that they will no longer require employees and passengers to wear masks onboard domestic flights or in terminals.

Several airlines noted that masks would still be required on certain international flights where the destination requires masking, so be sure to review policies before your next trip abroad.

The following U.S. airlines have made statements indicating that they will no longer require masks:

  • Alaska Airlines.

  • American Airlines.

  • Allegiant Airlines.

  • Delta Air Lines.

  • Frontier Airlines.

  • Hawaii’s Airlines.

  • JetBlue Airways.

  • United Airlines.

  • Southwest Airlines.

  • Spirit Airlines.

April 20 - New Delta Sky Club lounge opens at LAX

Photo courtesy of Meghan Coyle.

The Delta Air Lines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport just got a major upgrade. Delta passengers will now start using a consolidated lobby for check-in, an expanded security area and a brand new Sky Club lounge.

The spacious 30,000-square foot space can seat more than 500 guests, which will be key when Delta starts opening more gates at LAX in the coming weeks. Delta Sky Club visitors, in particular, will have one of the best views for watching the entire operation from outside on the Delta Sky Deck. The lounge overlooks the runway, Delta’s two terminals and the Hollywood hills. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign. The Sky Deck features a retractable roof and heaters, as well as an outdoor bar.

Indoors, the Sky Club has two buffet bars, an indoor beverage bar and plenty of spaces to eat, sit or work. Delta added a few soundproof phone booths, as well as showers with spa-like amenities available for those who need a refresh after a long flight.

Find out more about how to access the Delta Sky Club on your next trip and see our full review.

April 13 - IHG revamps loyalty program as IHG One Rewards

On the heels of an overhaul to the IHG credit cards, the hotel company behind 17 hotel brands including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn, has given a complete makeover to its loyalty rewards program.

IHG on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, announced its revamped loyalty program called IHG One Rewards. Among the biggest differences between the old IHG loyalty program and the new IHG One Rewards version:

  • A faster earn rate: A new tier and bonus point earning structure will allow members to earn more points faster and gain rewards sooner.

  • Free breakfast for elite members: If you hold Diamond Elite status or higher, you’re entitled to both free breakfast and a welcome amenity choice. This small gift varies by hotel but can include chocolate, wine or hotel points.

  • Milestone rewards: For every 10 nights you stay (starting at 20 nights), you’ll get extra goodies thrown in. Rewards vary by the milestone, but include points, food and beverage credits, upgrades, and lounge membership.

Additionally, IHG said it plans to roll out a major update to its app over the coming weeks, refreshing it as the IHG One Rewards mobile app. Like the existing app, it can be used to book and manage IHG stays. IHG says the revamped version will allow for a more streamlined booking process, more room for personalizations, and a faster, virtual check-in process.

Most of the benefits affect members who are chasing or have already earned IHG elite status, which can be attained through frequent IHG stays or by holding either the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee) and the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card ($0 annual fee).

For existing members, stays as of Jan. 1, 2022, will count toward status under the new IHG One Rewards. The new tier and bonus point earning structure starts on April 13, 2022, and will be reflected in all member accounts by April 17, 2022.

Other fresh benefits, like the milestone rewards, are expected to become available for members in early June 2022.

March 31 - Delta Makes Earning Toward Elite Status on Award Travel Permanent, Removes Earning Cap

Delta Air Lines flyers will continue to benefit from the ability to earn Medallion Status on award travel, as the airline announced today that the COVID-era policy will be a permanent feature of the SkyMiles program moving forward. The airline has also opened up earning potential by removing the 75,000-mile earning cap on all flights. This policy will apply retroactively to any flights taken since the start of 2022.

Both these moves are a boon to Delta loyalists, making it easier than ever to earn toward elite status with the airline.

March 30 - Cardless and LATAM Airlines Announce Forthcoming Co-Branded Card

LATAM Airlines and financial technology startup Cardless are partnering to bring U.S. consumers a new co-branded credit card. Known for its sleek, numberless card products and focus on mobile-enabled spending, Cardless has historically worked with entertainment, leisure and professional sports brands, making this venture with LATAM the company’s first foray into the co-branded airline card field.

More details on card benefits are to follow, but prospective cardholders will be able to apply online via their smartphone and receive a mobile card for immediate use within minutes. Based in Chile, LATAM services South American destinations from a number of U.S. hubs and partners with domestic carriers Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines on redemptions, earnings and elite benefits.

March 29 - Capital One and MLB Announce Partnership

Capital One and Major League Baseball this week announced a partnership agreement that makes Capital One the league’s official banking and credit card partner and the presenting sponsor of the World Series. The deal benefits Capital One cardholders (credit or debit) through access to exclusive tickets for events like All-Star Week and the MLB Postseason, including the World Series.

Furthermore, carriers of Capital One rewards cards can now redeem their rewards points for MLB game tickets and VIP experiences through the recently launched Capital One Entertainment ticketing portal. Additional perks like discounts on the MLB Shop and MLB.TV are coming down the line. Read more about using points and miles to book sports tickets here.

March 24 - Wanna Get Away Plus: Southwest’s 4th Fare Type Is Here

On Thursday, Southwest Airlines announced a new, fourth fare class called Wanna Get Away Plus.

With it comes some new features that you won’t find in the cheaper, Wanna Get Away fare class:

  • Transferable flight credits: This lets you make a one-time transfer of an eligible unused flight credit to another traveler for future use. Both of you must be Southwest Rapid Rewards program members to make the transfer happen. And you’re still bound by an expiration date, which is 12 months from the date the ticket was booked.

  • Same-day confirmed changes and same-day standby: If there’s an open seat on a different flight on the same calendar day as your original flight and it’s between the same cities, you can book a confirmed seat on the new flight at no additional cost — even if that flight is more expensive.

  • A higher earning rate: Get 8 Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent (versus 6 for the lowest fare class).

Fare classes on Southwest Airlines.

However, you can’t book under the new Southwest Wanna Get Away Plus fare class just yet. It’s set to launch in the second quarter of 2022.

Southwest also announced a few other Rapid Rewards loyalty program modifications:

  • More benefits for higher fare classes: Business Select and Anytime customers will also have access to the transferable flight credit benefit.

  • Anytime customers will also receive EarlyBird Check-In and Priority and Express lane access. This benefit was previously only available to Business Select passengers (Business Select might be considered by some as a sort of Southwest first class).

  • More benefits if you have elite status: A-List and A-List Preferred customers now gain the same-day confirmed change and same-day standby benefit, even with a Wanna Get Away fare.

March 22 - IHG Announces 20% Reward Night Discount for Chase Cardholders

Beginning March 22, 2022, and running through April 5, 2022, IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card and IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card cardholders will get a 20% discount on all Reward Night bookings. In order for a booking to qualify, the reservation must be made through an official IHG reservation site using one of these cards while logged into an IHG Rewards account. Stays booked beyond May 22, 2022, do not qualify.

If using IHG’s Points & Cash option for payment, rather than just points, the discount will be applied to the cash portion of the payment. IHG expects to open the discount up to additional IHG Rewards Club members as the promotion progresses.

The information related to the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Travel Cards from Our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Points
Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1.5%-5%

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Cashback

Intro offer

Up to $300

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
4.7
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-5x

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Enjoy $250 to use on Capital One Travel in your first cardholder year, plus earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening - that’s equal to $1,000 in travel.

Miles
See more travel cards
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.