Tag Archives: Award Travel

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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More Membership Rewards Program Changes (AMEX Gold 4x Restaurants Worldwide & Loyalty Accounts of Authorized Users)

Good evening everyone.  I was checking my American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card statement and spotted some important changes to the American Express Membership Rewards program terms.  Doctor of Credit already wrote about the most exciting program change (American Express Gold Card Will Now Earn 4x at Restaurants Worldwide – Not Limited to USA), but I thought I would cover the other, less exciting, but still important changes.  There are 4 pages of changes and details, so I will go through each page of the changes.  Here are the main points from the first page:

  • Effective immediately, you will not be able to add authorized users and have your authorized users have their own Membership Rewards account (separate from the primary Membership Rewards account).
  • Starting on Thursday (June 6, 2019), the American Express Gold Card will now earn 4x at restaurants worldwide (instead of just restaurants in the United States).  All other card bonus categories and caps remain the same.
  • The Blue for Students Card will no longer earn Membership Rewards Points (I can’t even find any info on this card).  You should convert this credit card to an AMEX EveryDay Credit Card.
  • Effective September 1, 2019, you will need to pay your bill by the payment due date, otherwise you may forfeit any Membership Rewards Points earned that period.
  • Effective September 1, 2019, your authorized user will need to wait at least 90 days before you can link their airline/hotel loyalty account to the primary Membership Rewards account.  I believe this is American Express’s attempt to crack down on members selling their Membership Rewards Points by adding a buyer as an authorized user, then adding their airline/hotel loyalty account to the primary Membership Rewards account and then transferring Membership Rewards Points out of the primary account.
  • Effective September 28, 2019, authorized users that have their own Membership Rewards account will have until October 31, 2019, to redeem their accumulate Membership Rewards Points.  In addition, after September 28, 2019, all purchases made by authorized users will have their points post to the primary Membership Rewards account.

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3 Buy Miles/Points Promos Ending Soon: Avianca LifeMiles (100%), IHG (100%) & Hyatt (40%)

Good afternoon everyone.  I was working on my Buy Miles & Points Page and found 3 offers ending in the next few days.  Always check the math to make sure that buying miles & points makes sense for you.  Do not buy miles & points speculatively unless you have a use in mind.  With that said, here are 3 buy miles/points promos ending soon.  First up, Avianca LifeMiles is offering a 100% bonus, plus bonus miles based on the number of Avianca LifeMiles you purchases.  This offer expires on June 5.

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How to Book Aer Lingus Award Tickets with British Airways Avios (Call BA to Save $100+ on Taxes & Fees)

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  Yesterday, I was looking for a flight from San Francisco to Dublin and found this roundtrip, nonstop Aer Lingus flight for $895.36 in economy.  Aer Lingus is the only airline that flies this SFO-DUB route nonstop.  I wanted to see if there was award space on Aer Lingus (there was), award space on United Airlines (there was), award space on Iberia (nope), and award space on British Airways (yes, but not bookable online).  In this post, I will show you how I searched for award space, booked the award ticket using British Airways Avios, and saved hundreds of dollars in taxes/fees compared to booking the same flight using Aer Lingus Avios.

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