Author Archives: Shelli

About Shelli

Shelli Stein is a health and fitness entrepreneur who travels the world in search of culture, food, and fun! Besides contributing to Travel with Grant, you can find her at Joy in Movement.

Which of Hyatt’s New Properties Excite You Most?

Some rumors stay rumors and some materialize. In the case of Hyatt’s acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality, I’m thrilled the rumor materialized. Bringing Two Roads Hospitality under the World of Hyatt umbrella adds 23 new markets and potentially 85 properties. Any increase in Hyatt’s footprint is a good thing. More opportunities to both redeem and earn Hyatt points are always welcome.

I wasn’t living under a rock yesterday when this news broke, but I was preoccupied with drinking coffee and talking with baristas in one of my favorite cities thereby creating another Bean Around the World post for TWG readers. I’m late to the announcement party, but in this case better late than never.

Even though the integration of these new properties won’t happen until 2019, I’m looking ahead and was actually surprised when I looked at the list of properties being added to the Hyatt portfolio how many I’ve either stayed at, knew about, or would be interested in visiting. I may even have to get my skis out of storage for some of these fun locations!

It will be interesting to watch this unfold, see which properties do become Hyatt properties, how elite benefits will be honored, and the points award charts for some of these unique properties. For me, one major disappointment in this acquisition is that even though Hyatt’s expansion with Small Luxury Hotels increases its scope in Europe, this acquisition does not. Come on Hyatt, show Europe more love!

Do any of the properties Hyatt’s bringing on board through this acquisition peak your interest? Any you’ve already stayed at you’d recommend?

Are You A Typical Rideshare Customer?

A new survey of rideshare passengers just came out, and I have to say some of the findings surprised me. The survey, done by Bellhop, Rideguru, and our very own rideshare man-in-the-know, Harry Campbell, The Rideshare Guy, wanted to know whether people felt if and how ridesharing was improving their quality of life.

The survey refers to rideshare as “mobility options”, which is a new term for me as it relates to ridesharing. The survey included both taxi or other services in the same general category of mobility options. Of course, surveys are always a bit suspect because it depends on how questions are worded and how terms are defined. In this case I wish some of the survey terms such as “better life” were more clearly defined. However, taking all this into consideration, if you use ridesharing services it’s interesting to see if you fit into the same categories as the respondents or not. And if like me you rarely use these services but are curious about the business end of them, the survey and article is a quick and easy read and a good glimpse into rideshare customer experience.

How To Get Free American Airlines Miles from AwardWallet

Do you use AwardWallet? of course you do! But did you know that if you have an AwardWallet account you can earn American Airlines miles for free? Well not exactly free, because it will take a minute of your time. But it’s as close to free as can be. This is the perfect way to either top up your American miles quickly, or extend the expiration of your AAdvantage account. Continue reading

Got Citi Thank You Points? Here’s How to Book Flights!

Turns out I’ve accumulated a rather large stash of Citi Thank You Points, and have recently decided to start spending them on flights. I don’t put much spend on my Citi Prestige Credit Card EXCEPT for using the card at hotels for the 4th night free hotel benefit. Since I’ve been using that perk for a few years now, I was pleasantly surprised when I logged into my Citi Thank You account and saw my accumulated total of Citi Thank You Points.

Citi Thank You Points are earned through credit cards issued by Citibank and can be redeemed for a variety of rewards. I’ve looked at using points at hotels, but I’ve decided that redeeming them for flights makes more sense. This meant I had to learn to use the site to book flights. When I learn something new, I like to share it with you all too, so this post focuses on redeeming Citi Thank You Points for flights.

I consider Citi Thank You Points to be almost the same as cash. I say almost because, on some occasions, tickets might cost slightly less on sites like Kayak, Expedia, or Travelocity. It’s always good to check the other OTAs to compare prices. And remember, using your Citi Thank You Points does earn you frequent flyer miles for the tickets you book, so I’ll show you below how to filter for specific airlines.

How much are Citi Thank You Points worth?

The value of Citi Thank You Points toward flights depends on which Citi credit cards you have:

  • Citi Thank You Credit Card & Citi Thank You Preferred Credit Card: 1 cent per point
  • Citi Thank You Premier Credit Card: 1.25 cents per point
  • Citi Prestige Credit Card: 1.25 cents per point

Continue reading

Best Options for Keeping American Airlines Miles From Expiring

My cousin called me yesterday afternoon to ask a question about her American Airlines miles expiring. She has a stash of miles expiring in a few months and didn’t even know that miles expire. I gave her a short answer because I was heading home from the mall to get ready for dinner. But it got me thinking, that maybe I hadn’t given her the best advice or even all the options, so I did some research and here’s what I’d tell her now.

Yup, your miles will expire if you don’t have activity in your account every 18 months. If you have no plans to fly to keep your account active, there are plenty of options. My cousin could:

  1. Apply for a Citibank credit card linked to American Airlines miles.
  2. Make a hotel reservation or car rental with an AAdvantage hotel or car rental partner. As long as her American Airlines frequent flyer number is linked to the reservation, she’ll get activity in her account and keep her miles alive.
  3. Link a credit card to the American Airlines dining program.  She can link American Airlines and then get miles when she eats at select restaurants.
  4. Shop online using the AAdvantage shopping portal.
  5. Buy or gift miles, redeem for a magazine subscription, or donate miles to any of American Airline’s partner charities.

Continue reading