**Daily Giveaway** — Each day, Monday through Friday of this week we’re giving away a $50 gift card to TheHotelCard.com ($250 total!).
To win a gift card we need three things:
- First Name, Last Initial, Home Airport (Example: John Q, SAN)
- A travel tip you have to share (Example: Pack your socks inside of your shoes to save space)
- A suggestion for a topic you’d like to read about (Example: Using Points / Miles for Free Rental Cars)
Post these three in the comments of the post for a chance to win. Enter as many times as you like, just make sure you provide a unique tip and topic to read about. Winners will be announced the following day during deal of the day. (Friday’s winners will be announced during the Sunday Success Story)
A little over a month ago I was headed to San Francisco for few meetings. A nice trip, but typical. Fly out, go to hotel, dinner meeting, meetings next day in the office, and head home … but the flight out (in a middle seat in coach) was a bit special.
Being on Delta I was on Wi-Fi and paying attention to twitter … and saw this (Thank you Mommy Points):
I clicked, read it, and got on IM. The following is what occurred:
(5:15:29 PM) Howie: wanna go to brussels for a long weekend in the next 2 months?
(5:15:47 PM) Sara: yes
(5:15:56 PM) Howie: you’ll find the days off if I book it?
(5:15:59 PM) Howie: $250 round trip
(5:16:06 PM) Sara: yup
(5:16:10 PM) Howie: ok i’m looking
(5:16:10 PM) Sara: i’ll have to take unpaid
(5:16:11 PM) Sara: but whatevs
(5:16:29 PM) Howie: leave wed or thurs back on mon ok?
(5:16:36 PM) Sara: yup
(5:18:45 PM) Howie: march 21 26th i think
(5:18:51 PM) Howie: trying …
(5:38:14 PM) Sara: alrighty
(5:49:08 PM) Howie: confirmed
(5:50:33 PM) Howie: now to figure out hotels!
(5:50:55 PM) Howie: i’ll book the sheraton to hold it for now so we have something
(5:54:07 PM) Howie: you excited?!?!?!
(5:56:28 PM) Sara: yes!
(5:56:34 PM) Sara: i’m always excited about europe
(5:57:18 PM) Howie:
(5:57:26 PM) Howie: i’m asking my ambassador to give us ideas.
(5:57:29 PM) Howie: lets see what she comes up with
(6:12:51 PM) Howie: confirmed to go up the day before leaving at 320p out of sav
I booked the trip through vayama with my Chase Sapphire PreferredSM card (no foreign transaction fee thank you very much just in case), and we were on our way from New York (LaGuardia) through Montreal to Brussels on Air Canada. Add in an award ticket from Savannah to New York, and an overnight at my brothers house and we have our trip foundation set.
I then checked SPG.com and found cash & points availability for the Sheraton Brussels. Based on reviews and location for 16,000 points and $240, we were set.
Trip booked, vacation secured … what do we do now? Well, we’re going to do a day trip to Bruges and a day trip on the Chunnel to London (we’ve both been individually, but never together. We’ve also got a friend we’ll visit).
Other than the 4 hours I spent in meetings last year with a customer I have no idea what to do. Chocolate? Beer? Food? Generic tour? I’ve got some advice from my SPG Ambassador (Thank you T.D.). What do y’all recommend for a foodie (me) and a pop culture geek (sara)?
We did a similar trip last year, with the $150 Delta Mistake fare (booked from Delta’s old Business Elite lounge in ATL) and lucked out … but would like to do a little more planning on this trip.
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