Good morning everyone, I apologize for my lack of blog posts recently, but I’ve found myself in somewhat of a miles and points funk. Usually, I’m in an upbeat, positive mood, but lately, I’ve found it hard to get excited about the miles and points game. It seems that everything that I once loved has changed for the worse (that might be a tad dramatic). Let me share what’s on my mind so you can see where I’m coming from. Let’s start with hotels first.
I recently spent 100,000 Radisson Rewards points for 2 nights at the Radisson Blu Crete, and I’m not impressed by the new Radisson Rewards program. Since the free night certificates for spending $10,000 (and $20,000 and $30,000) on the US Bank Club Carlson credit cards are only valid at hotels in the US, it’s not worth spending money on those credit cards. I tried to rally my fellow readers and travel blogger friends by sharing my dissa-point-ment with US Bank and Radisson Rewards on Twitter, but I got no response from either company. I plan on keeping both of my Club Carlson credit cards just for the 40,000 points on my cardmember anniversary.
Moving on to Hilton, I loved using my 2 Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Credit Cards and earning free weekend night certificates after spending $10,000 on each credit card. MSing on Citi credit cards is so much easier than MSing on American Express credit and charge cards (thanks a lot RATs). I already closed one of the converted American Express Hilton Aspire Credit Cards and I plan to keep the other credit card open for 2-3 more months to use during my Hilton stays in Kauai, Portland and San Diego. At that point, I will probably downgrade to no annual fee American Express Hilton Honors Credit Card.
Moving on to SPG, since the program is merging into Marriott Rewards in the next year or so, my small stash of SPG points is almost worthless. Part of me wants to keep my American Express SPG Business Credit Card and see what happens with the conversion, but the other side of me doesn’t want to pay American Express the annual fee on this credit card. I’ll probably end up closing that credit card and transferring my credit line over to my American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card (the best thing to come out of American Express in a long time).
Marriott, Hyatt, and IHG fall into the same bucket for me. They are all transferable partners from Chase Ultimate Rewards, but transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to Marriott and IHG is a waste of valuable points. I actually really like the Chase IHG Credit Card and the IHG program. I try to complete the easiest set of Accelerate offers every time they run a promotion (I already finished the current challenge) and I like getting 10% of my redeemed IHG points back. Let’s not forget about the best free night certificate currently available either. As of right now, IHG is my favorite hotel chain. OMG, I can’t believe I just said that. I do also have the Chase Hyatt Credit Credit Card but I rarely stay at Hyatt hotels. As soon as I see a decent category 1-4 Hyatt hotel, I try to use my free night certificate. As for my Chase Marriott Rewards Credit Card, I haven’t received my free night certificate yet since I converted from my JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Card, but my strategy will be the same. As soon as I see a decent category 1-5 Marriott hotel, I try to use my free night certificate. I plan on keeping all 3 Chase hotel cards for now.
Lastly, I’m sitting on enough Wyndham Rewards points for 3 free nights, but all I see when I search for hotels are cheap Ramada, Super 8, Howard Johnson, and Travelodge hotels when I search on Hotel Hustle, and it makes me a little sick to think about using my free nights at one of those brands. Hopefully some nice Wyndham properties come along soon.
I’m sorry for being such a downer but I don’t see much excitement with any of these hotel programs (with the exception of IHG). Maybe I’m wrong, maybe everyone else is happy with the current state of hotel programs. If you are, try to cheer me up with something exciting regarding hotel programs. Thanks for reading and have a great day.