Category Archives: Hotels + Points

Track Hotel Free Night Certificates & Credit Card Annual Fees with my Spreadsheet

Good afternoon everyone.  Last month, I was reading an article by Nick at Frequent Miler called Almost #Bonvoyed: a cautionary tale on free night certs.  In that post, Nick shared that after cancelling a Marriott stay booked with a free night certificate, the free night certificate did not automatically redeposit into his Marriott account.  He had to track down the cancelled reservation and call Marriott to get the free night certificate redeposited into his Marriott account.  Bonvoy!  Toward the end of the article, Nick stated, “You shouldn’t need a spreadsheet to track the history of your Marriott free night certs — but the reality is that you do need to stay organized with them.”

That’s when the idea hit me, I should create a spreadsheet to track my Marriott category 1-5 free night certificates… as well as my Hilton free weekend night certificates, Hyatt category 1-4 free night certificates, IHG 40k free night certificates, and Radisson Rewards anniversary points.  Here is my Hotel Free Night Certificate Tracker, maybe it will help you stay organized too.

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Warning! US Bank Radisson Rewards Credit Cards Charge 3% Foreign Transaction Fees (FOREX)

Good morning everyone.  I guess today is the day that I bash US Bank and Radisson Rewards.  Earlier this morning, I wrote Problem Solved! Missing US Bank Radisson Rewards Credit Card Anniversary Points Posted.  In today’s post, I will tell you to be careful using your US Bank Radisson Rewards Credit Cards internationally and for international purchases because you will be hit with a 2-3% foreign transaction fee (FOREX).

The only reason I am using my (dusty) US Bank Radisson Rewards Credit Cards is because I received a targeted spending offer from US Bank / Radisson Rewards in early May.  Doctor of Credit has more details, but the bonus is simple: spend $500 in May, June, and July to earn 20,000 bonus Radisson Rewards points.  That was a pretty simple targeted spending promotion, so I brought both of my US Bank Radisson Rewards Credit Cards with me to Tahiti and used them a few times.  Unfortunately, I forgot that US Bank / Radisson Rewards charges foreign transaction fees on international purchases, so I racked up a few FOREX fees on my trip :(

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Problem Solved! Missing US Bank Radisson Rewards Credit Card Anniversary Points Posted

Good morning everyone.  A few months ago, I wrote PSA: Make Sure to Convert / Upgrade to US Bank Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Credit Card.  In that post, I shared my experience upgrading from the no annual fee to the US Bank Radisson Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card ($50 annual fee).  A few days before I wrote that post, I received this email from US Bank on March 28 informing me of the cardmember anniversary.  The last bullet point in the email mentioned the 25,000 anniversary points, which was my whole reason for upgrading.  Unfortunately, the 25,000 anniversary points never posted to my Radisson Rewards account, so I had to track them down.

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Hotel Review: Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park

Sheraton, the SPG-turned-Marriott hospitality brand, definitely isn’t the crown jewel of the Marriott fleet — especially in the U.S. In fact, most travelers would say that it doesn’t even come close to the likes of JW Marriott or even a W or a Westin. That may be the case, but there are a few Sheraton properties that definitely deserve a shoutout and one of them is located right in the heart of Sydney.  While the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park isn’t the world’s most impressive property, it just might be one of the most impressive Sheraton properties out there. Here’s my experience with this property, and why you should probably give it a chance next time you’re in Sydney.

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AMEX Hilton Aspire Credit Card Retention Offer: 10,000 Points After Spending $2,000 in 3 Months

Good morning everyone.  2 months ago, I wrote Keep, Cancel or Convert? American Express Hilton Aspire Credit Card ($450 Annual Fee).  In that post, I shared that I was offered a retention offer by the American Express rep: earn 10,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 in 3 months. 10,000 Hilton Honors points is worth about $50 to me and I was planning on keeping the credit card anyways, so I accepted the offer.  A few minutes after the call, I received the following email from American Express.  Unfortunately, the email did not mention any of the retention offer details, but I decided to spend $2,000 on the credit card anyway.

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