Being able to plan your vacations far in advance provides you the best opportunity to get the most value from your hard-earned points and miles. Most airlines allow you to book about 11 months in advance of your travel and with hotels you can expect almost a year (or more) in all cases. I’ve identified Read full post »
Hilton is one of the easiest rewards programs to earn free nights with. Most people scoff when I say that because of their inflated award chart. However, as a non-elite member, it takes just $333 – $6,333 worth of spending to earn a free night at a Category 1 – 10 hotel. Factor in extra Read full post »
In what is perhaps the biggest travel related news story of the year, Marriott and Starwood announced this morning that Marriott would be acquiring Starwood for $12.2 billion. This was a huge surprise. Everyone knew Starwood was looking to be acquired by the end of the year. As of last week, it looked like Hyatt Read full post »
When we started planning our trip to Italy this year, I went through a period of travel rewards sticker-shock. Not for the flights, which cost just 80,000 American AAdvantage miles and $109, but for the hotels! In each big city we planned to visit, our favorite hotel chains were asking for a whole lot of Read full post »
Last year, Hyatt introduced the ability to book Cash + Points reservations. I find Hyatt’s Cash + Points award chart extremely attractive: When you book a Cash + Points reservation with Hyatt, the stay is treated as a regular paid stay for points/elite night credit earning purposes. In other words, you earn points, elite night Read full post »
We may have an upcoming bad devaluation in our future with SPG. I’m leery of anybody buying the Starwood chain. When Delta acquired Northwest and United bought Continental, or in the latest acquisition of US Airways by American, the combining of awards programs did not cause any major devaluation of our points holdings. All the Read full post »
I’ve been a big fan of my Hyatt Diamond status for the past year and a half and have been working towards requalification all year. With two months to go to the end of 2015 and only three or four more hotel stays planned through the end of the year, it was beginning to be Read full post »
The Marriott Rewards program is frequently neglected by points and miles collectors mainly due to its inflated award chart. It certainly has its positive attributes, including the fact that members can earn top-tier elite status purely on credit card spending. If you have an upcoming Marriott stay, be sure to take these steps to maximize Read full post »
There is no official way to convert the free night certificate awarded through the IHG Rewards Club Visa to points, but if the end result is making sure you can get the room you want and not having to pay anything out-of-pocket, it is possible. Here’s our scenario: Sara and I are headed to Bordeaux Read full post »
One of the most valuable features Hyatt added to their Gold Passport program this year was the Guest of Honor award. It’s both a great promotional tool for Hyatt (a way to make a positive impression on those who aren’t elite or otherwise loyal to the brand) as well as a way for Hyatt Diamond Read full post »
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