“The juiciest awards await those ballsy enough to play chicken with the Frequent Flier Programs and wait them out for a last minute booking (within 24 hours of desired flight date). With goose eggs on both F and J availability on just about every key route Delhi to Cleveland in all three alliances 7-10 days out, magic happened once the witching hour of less then a day’s notice struck:
- EY F/J via AUH/JFK using AA
- CX F/J via HKG/JFK using AA
- SQ J via SIN/EWR using BD/CO
- AF J via CDG/ORD using AF/KL
- CO J via EWR or BOM/EWR using CO
- TG J via BKK/LAX using BD/UA”
I know last minute award bookings are a strategy for ‘outliers’ like me, but there is ample proof that it indeed works.”
Thanks, Steve, for the examples.
Priceline Last Minute Car Rentals Using Name Your Own Price
Steve’s last minute strategy is working with car rentals as well. I needed a few cars for our trip to Hawaii. I tried bidding more than a week in advance and was told $88 per day had a good chance of being accepted. I was thinking of renting the car, not making a monthly payment every day. I was bidding $22 mid size on Kona and Kauai.
When I hit the one week from rental date the prices fell more in line with my thinking. $22 per day was easily acceptable to Priceline by just waiting them out. Same can hold true for hotels as well.
Just out of curiosity, is anybody using the Priceline Name your own Price feature for flights? I haven’t heard or read about any successes with this lately. I know it is a pain not knowing your flight times, but if feasible to some, it could save some of our gang some money. Any successes to report in the comments section?
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49