More transfer partners = VERY GOOD

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🤓 Travel Trivia Tuesday: Do you know which country covers the most time zones on the planet? It may not be what you think… Keep reading to find out.

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🤓 Travel Trivia Tuesday: Do you know which country covers the most time zones on the planet? It may not be what you think… Keep reading to find out.

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the newsletter that woke up late today and is just now getting its coffee (sorry for the delay, folks).

We’ve got a lot to cover today, so let’s get to the good stuff:

  • 🔁 The biggest list of transfer partners just got bigger

  • ✈️ The best airline in South America (and why you should care about it)

  • 🤓 Travel Trivia Tuesday

🔁 The biggest list of transfer partners just got bigger

💡 In case you’re new around here and need a refresher on how transferrable points work, we’ve got a whole guide that breaks it down for you, so check it out after you read the newsletter.

Transferring points to airlines and hotels is, BY FAR, the best way to maximize the value of your credit card points.

Every bank has a different list of transfer partners, some of which are better than others.

The bank with the largest list of partners (this bank) just got better by adding Qatar Airways, one of the world’s best airlines, to its roster.

Welcome to the party, pal

This is great. Qatar Airways uses Avios as its points program, similar to British Airways, Iberia, and others.

I personally think this is one of the best-value ways to use points, and Qatar is a program I use often.

Later this year, I’m flying from Montreal to Cape Town, South Africa, on Qatar Airways. Despite flying a distance of over 11,000 miles, this ticket only cost 47,500 Avios through Qatar.

Cape Town is quite far, so booking this trip on a single ticket from Canada for so few points is a big win in my book, especially since I could just transfer them instantly from this credit card.

I often also find it easy to book a nice long layover of around 24 hours when flying through Qatar. I love Doha and think it’s a great city for a quick break between long-haul flights.

The downtown (and old town) are just minutes from the airport, and Doha is a surprisingly affordable city to explore.

I personally booked a room for my overnight layover at the Hampton Inn in Doha’s old town for just 15,000 Hilton Honors points, which is pretty much as good as it gets for cheap Hilton hotels.

Anyway, we often see transfer bonuses from the big banks to Qatar and British Airways, so you can milk even more value from your points by transferring them at the right time.

Overall, this is great news, and I salute this bank for not settling for its existing (awesome) list of transfer partners and continuing to beef it up.

✈️ The best airline in South America (and why you should care about it)

As you know, I recently finished up a two-week trip through Brazil and Paraguay. During my time down south, there was one airline I flew quite a few times…

The reasons I flew them so much were:

  1. They’re one of the largest airlines on the continent

  2. It’s very easy to fly them with points and miles

What I didn’t anticipate was what an awesome experience it would be to fly with them.

So, I wanted to share my experience and how I booked my flights with points in case you find yourself down in their neck of the woods.

I’m talking about GOL Airlines, which you’ve probably never heard of. 👇

GOL is a Brazilian low-cost airline with its main hub in Sao Paolo (GRU) airport, though they fly ALL over South America.

Here are some of the reasons I loved flying them:

1. They partner with multiple points programs, making it one of the best and easiest ways to fly around the continent with your points.

I booked my tickets with Aeroplan points, though their primary partnership is with KLM and Air France, meaning you can book their flights with Flying Blue miles.

Since both Aeroplan points and Flying Blue miles are accessible by transferring points from pretty much every major U.S. bank (often with a nice transfer bonus), I can’t think of a better or more convenient option for traveling around the continent.

Well, we know which program they’re most proud to associate with…

2. It is a SICK airline.

After my five flights on GOL on this one trip, I was VERY impressed with the quality of the planes, seats, and overall product they offered.

For one, the planes (even the slightly older ones) are all super comfortable. 

Similar to airlines like Southwest, there is no business class or premium seat— they’re all the same (though a few rows at the front of the plane have a bit of extra legroom).

However, even in the back of the plane, I had plenty of cushioning and legroom. Honestly, It was one of the best economy seats I’ve ever flown.

Additionally, most flights had some form of Wifi available, including free messaging on WhatsApp, Messenger, or iMessage, which is SUPER uncommon outside of North America, especially for budget airlines.

If all that wasn’t enough, every flight (even the 45-minute hops) came with a free snack and drink, with the international flights including slightly more substantial food.

3. They have lounges… and they’re great!!!

If you pay for a “premium” ticket with GOL, you’ll get access to their lounges, in addition to getting those extra-legroom seats at the front of the plane.

However, you lucky ducks can get into these lounges without needing to pay for a premium ticket at all… 😮

That’s because all of GOL’s lounges are part of the Priority Pass lounge network.

In case you don’t know, TONS of our favorite credit cards offer unlimited access to Priority Pass lounges worldwide as a perk, including these ones.

That’s exactly how I accessed the GOL lounges (which exist in both the Domestic and International Terminals at GRU airport, where most of their flights transit through).

Overall, I was so impressed and surprised by how great this airline is in every way. 

As I said, I flew with them five times on my two-week trip, and each flight left on time, and most of them arrived early… in addition to all of the great aspects I’ve mentioned today.

Flying into Florianopolis, Brazil on GOL

So if you want to travel through Brazil and Paraguay like me, or you want to hit up Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, or all of the above, I HIGHLY recommend using your points to travel with GOL—I know I will next time I’m down there.

🤓 Travel Trivia Tuesday

Don’t get mad at me for this, but this one uses the term “country” fairly broadly… 😅

Correct answer: France… if you include all of its territories

France and its territories span a total of TWELVE time zones around the world. Most people don’t realize just how expansive this list of territories is, as seen in the map below:

So it makes sense why France takes the cake regarding the number of time zones, even if we’re talking about more than just mainland France as we know it… Still, pretty cool, eh?

That’s all for today, folks! I know today was quite the hefty newsletter, but I just love it when I have pleasantly surprising travel experiences like I did with GOL, and I wanted to share it with you.

Have you ever been to South America?

Tell us where!

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

Take care and see you tomorrow, my loves ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W

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