Category Archives: Hotels + Points

Ask Me Anything (AMA): Hotel Edition

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  A few days ago, I wrote Ask Me Anything (AMA): Credit Card Edition.  I had some great reader questions and I am doing the second AMA, this time on hotels.  I like to describe myself as loyal to hotel loyalty programs, but not loyal to a specific hotel chain.  Here is a screenshot from AwardWallet of the hotel loyalty programs I belong to and their elite status:

Here is a quick rundown of how I have these hotel elite statuses:

  • Best Western Diamond Select – status match from Hilton Diamond (status match link)
  • Caesars Rewards Diamond – status match from Wyndham Rewards (Middle Ade Miles blog post)
  • Choice Hotels Member – I think I have only spent 2-3 nights at Choice hotels in the last 2-3 years
  • Hilton Diamond – free thanks to my American Express Hilton Aspire Credit Card (my blog post)
  • World of Hyatt Discoverist – free thanks to my old Chase Hyatt Hotel Credit Card
  • IHG Rewards Spire Elite – I spent a few thousand dollars at IHG in 2019 (mainly at the InterContinental Moorea for my pre-honeymoon)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite – I had a few different Marriott / SPG credit card elite nights stack in 2019
  • MGM Resorts Pearl – status match from World of Hyatt Discoverist (Doctor of Credit’s post)
  • Radisson Rewards Gold / Silver – I have 3 different US Bank Radisson Rewards Credit Cards that come with Gold or Silver elite status
  • Wyndham Rewards Diamond – status matched from Caesars Rewards Diamond (Middle Ade Miles blog post)

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How to View or Hide AwardWallet Airline Credits, Dining Credits & Hotel Free Night Certificates

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  Yesterday, I received an interesting comment on my post: My 5 New Year’s Travel Resolutions for 2020.  The commenter, MrDioji, asked: “How do you get Award Wallet to display airline and dining credits? Or do you manually add them?”  He was referring to this screenshot of my American Express balances in my AwardWallet account.  Instead of answering the question in the comments section, I thought it would be helpful to write a post about this topic to help other readers.  In this post, I will show you how to view or hide airline credits, dining credits, hotel free night certificates, and many other pieces of information.

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My 5 New Year’s Travel Resolutions for 2020

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you all had a great New Years!  With the beginning of the new year, I wanted to make a few travel resolutions for the coming year.  Here are my 5 New Year’s travel resolutions for 2020.  Feel free to share your own travel resolutions in the comments section.

1. Travel Somewhere Every Month

For the last several years, this has been my only travel resolution.  It could be a short weekend trip, a road trip, a cross country trip, or a long international trip.  I love to travel and take advantage of the 52 weekends every year (it helps that I work in San Francisco and can easily get to SFO or OAK in less than an hour).  I’ve got the first 3 months of the year covered:

  • January: Laura and I will do a short road trip down to Carmel / Monterey for a long weekend and use our Hyatt Free Night Certificates.
  • February: I will fly down to Orange County for Super Bowl Weekend with my family and then we will make a second trip to Orange County for my cousin’s wedding.
  • March: Laura and I are flying to Ireland for her Spring Break (she is an assistant principal).  Check out my post How to Book Aer Lingus Award Tickets with British Airways Avios (Call BA to Save $100+ on Taxes & Fees).

There are a few other trips planned the rest of the year, so my first travel resolution should be accomplished.  Here are the 4 other travel resolutions I have in mind for 2020:

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What was your Favorite Trip of 2019?

Good morning everyone, happy New Year’s Eve!  Since today is the last day of the year, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite trip of 2019 and ask my readers to share their favorite trips too.  Laura and I got married at the end of July 2019 and we couldn’t do a honeymoon afterward (work & school obligations), so we decided to do a pre-honeymoon to Tahiti and Moorea in June 2019.

I wanted to go to Bora Bora, but the ~$500 round trip flight per person from Tahiti to Bora Bora was a deal breaker.  We settled on Moorea (I call it the poor man’s Bora Bora) since it was easy to get to via a 45 minute car/passenger ferry from Tahiti.  We had a rental car, so we drove from the Faa’a International Airport in Tahiti (PPT), to the ferry, and then to the beautiful InterContinental Moorea.  There was no award nights available for the overwater bungalows, so I emailed the hotel to ask how much the overwater bungalows cost.  The hotel said that since I was an IHG Platinum Elite Member (now I am an IHG Spire Elite Member), they would upgrade me 1 hotel room level.  I paid for the standard overwater bungalow and when we checked in, we were upgraded to a premium overwater bungalow (same bungalows, just a better location and view).

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My Wildly Ambitious 2020 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions

Good afternoon everyone.  Generally, at the end of the year, I like to review my travel predictions for the past year and make new predictions for the coming year.  After a long streak of poor prediction performance (2018 prediction results, 2017 prediction results, and 2016 prediction results), I decided not to make any travel predictions for 2019.  But my predictions are coming our of retirement / hibernation today.  I really recommend reading the travel predictions that Stephen at Frequent Miler made, especially his top 5 predictions:

  1. Capital One To Add Virgin Atlantic As Travel Partner
  2. Amex Membership Rewards To Transfer To JetBlue On A 1:1 Basis
  3. Free Breakfast For IHG Spire Elite Members
  4. Citi To Allow Card Referrals
  5. Chase And/Or Amex To Increase Referral Limits

I am going to piggy back on his predictions and add a few of my own.  So without further ado, here are my travel predictions for 2020

My 2020 Airline Predictions

  • Alaska, American, Delta, or United will introduce a “Cash and Miles” payment option for award tickets.  Clarification: This is not to be confused with Delta’s “Pay with Points” option where you get 1 CPP for each Delta SkyMiles for paid flights.  I’m thinking more along the lines of the way British Airways and Avianca do it for award tickets.
  • Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Sun Country will announce a merger, but I’m not sure who will merge with who.

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