Northwest has an extensive network of partners, including airlines, hotels, car rentals and others. You may want to check beforehand, as not all cities are available for all rewards flights.
For example, the NWA chart claims a trip to Australia from the continental U.S. is 100,000 miles. What they don’t tell you is that this isn’t available from all cities.
If your hometown isn’t a hub or a mini-hub, you may (will) run in to some problems.
This has been my program of choice, but I’ll be switching to American because it offers much better service from my hometown.
Miles redemption flights start at 25,000 miles within the continental U.S.
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Airline Partners: Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, American Eagle, Big Sky Airlines, Cebu Pacific, China Southern, Continental Airlines, Copa Airlines, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Gulfstream International Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Malev Hungarian Airlines, Midwest Airlines
When NWA brags about ‘no blackout dates,’ be aware that this doesn’t extend to partner airlines.
Car Rental Partners: Alamo, Dollar, National, Thrifty
You can also get a free or discounted Emerald Club membership (National’s program) through WorldPerks. This can save you a few precious minutes when arriving at the airport.
Hotel Partners: Best Western, Choice Hotels International, Golden Circle, Golden Tulip, Goldpoints Plus, Guest Awards, Hilton Hhonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, JAL/Nikko Hotels, Mariott Rewards, Okura Hotels, Pan Pacific, Priority Club, Starwood Preferred Guest, World Hotels
Most of the above include several different major hotel brands. Different quantities of miles are awarded for different hotels. I just found out you can exceed the number of miles offered for any one particular chain in a calendar year, so it may be a good idea to pick out a few of the large chains to use if you travel frequently.
Rewards Network Dining for Miles. I can’t even begin to list the restaurants listed in this program. If you have a credit card registered with NWA (such as the U.S. Bank WorldPerks card) you automatically get 1 mile per dollar spent at member restaurants. If you register for Dining for Miles, you get 3 miles per dollar spent. Dine 12 or more times in a calendar year, and you can get 5 to 10 miles per dollar. In certain areas, you can earn more miles in a week of dining out than you can for your flight there and back. And this has been a great way to find out about local places, instead of going to Applebee’s or Outback every day.
By shopping on-line, through retailers such as Banana Republic and Overstock, you can earn more miles.
All in all it’s a great program, if it services your area.