Northwest Airlines has an extensive network of partners in its miles program, WorldPerks. But it doesn’t matter how many partners an airline has if they make it extremely difficult for a person to book a rewards ticket. WorldPerks was my major airline partner for quite some time. They make it easy to earn with frequent promotions, earning bonus miles from hotel and car rental partners. Unfortunately, I was never able to use the miles. In fact, I was told by the telemarketer when I attempted to book a rewards ticket that she didn’t have time to look up locations where I could use my miles to travel. Funny, I would think that was the booking agent who works for the WorldPerks department’s JOB. I guess that’s why all of the Northwest employees were recently required to take customer service training classes.
I’m happy to say my miles are finally being put to good use – bringing my cousin home from Guam, where she is stationed with the U.S. Air Force, to visit her family for Christmas.
Before you go all in with this program, you may want to check your destination 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. I wanted to take that very trip, but after talking to the above referenced customer service agent, found that it is not possible to EVER book a rewards ticket from Little Rock, Arkansas (my home town) to Sydney, Australia. If your hometown isn’t a hub or a mini-hub, you will run in to some problems.
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.
While Northwest claims to have no blackout dates on rewards flights, some of the partner airlines do. Keep that in mind when booking rewards travel.
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.
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. Some hotels have a certain number of miles you can earn 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.
Other Ways to Earn
Northwest participates in the Rewards Network Dining for Miles program, of which I am a big fan. By shopping on-line, through retailers such as Banana Republic and Overstock, you can earn even more miles.
Miles redemption flights start at 25,000 miles within the continental U.S.
WorldPerks Visa Platinum Card
WorldPerks® Visa® Platinum Card issued by US Bank allows you to earn 5 miles for each dollar spent in certain restaurants and 1 mile for each dollar spent on all other purchases. Use it to redeem Northwest flights or flights offered by the partner airlines.