Tag Archives: Award Travel

New Southwest Airlines Flight Rebooking Process (Updated April 2018)

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  On Friday, I was looking at my existing Southwest Airlines reservations and found a flight that went down by $45.  My weekly routine is to check all my existing Southwest Airlines flights every Tuesday morning – that is when Southwest Airlines sends out emails regarding airfare sales.  During my most recent flight rebooking, I noticed that the rebooking process got a (much needed) face lift.  Southwest Airlines is doing some Spring cleaning, because they recently updated their (previously broken) gift card balance checker.  For reference, here is what the old rebooking process looked like.  To get started, click on the Change / Cancel tab on the homepage, then enter your confirmation number, first name, last name, and click the Search button.

Continue reading

The #1 Essential Travel Skill

There are so many skills that are essential to traveling well, it’s mind boggling. Maybe your idea of essential is different than mine, but having just come off a three week trip to four different countries, I’m moving sleeping well to the top of the list. A while ago, I wrote about how to get a good night’s sleep in hotels, but the bottom line really is being able to fall asleep no matter where you are, even on planes. Sleep deprivation is a chronic problem for people, and especially for those of us who travel a lot. Here’s a great, helpful article I just read about a method developed during WW2 so that pilots could fall asleep within two minutes. The article’s approach is simple and well worth trying. Take a look at the article and see what you think. Are you already someone who can sleep anywhere and fall asleep quickly? If so, share your tips with us in the comments!

Poll: Would you Spend 450,000 Hyatt Points for a South African Safari Package?

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  I received this screenshot from a reader who participated in a Hyatt survey.  For this survey, Hyatt wanted to know if you would redeem 450,000 Hyatt points for a 5 night South African safari package ($3,500 retail value per person).  Personally, I do not have 450,000 Hyatt points or 450,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points, so this option is totally out of my league, but let’s give this redemption a look.  $3,500 / 450,000 points = 0.78 cents per point, which is pretty low for Hyatt points.  Also, 450,000 Hyatt points could get you 15 nights at top tier category 7 hotels (30,000 Hyatt points per night) or 18 nights at category 6 hotels (25,000 Hyatt points per night).  You could also get 90 nights at a budget category 1 hotel (only 5,000 Hyatt points per night).

Continue reading

Finally! Southwest Airlines Gift Card Balance Checker Now Working

Good afternoon everyone.  This might seem like a silly blog post, how hard could it be to check the balance of a Southwest Airlines gift card or egift card?  You would be surprised.  I first wrote about the broken Southwest Airlines gift card balance checker in November 2016.  At the time (and through all of 2017 and into early 2018), the Southwest Airlines gift card balance checker would return an error message stating that the security check solution (CAPTCHA code) was entered incorrectly.  Why didn’t I type the CAPTCHA code correctly?  How hard is that?  Strangely enough, the CAPTCHA code html website code hid the CAPTCHA code from view, so there was no way to enter the CAPTCHA code correctly, therefore, there was no way to verify you were not a robot, and no way to view your Southwest Airlines gift card balance.  Until now…

Continue reading

Keep, Cancel or Convert? American Express Hilton Ascend & SPG Business

Good morning everyone.  I hope you enjoyed my post from yesterday: Keep, Cancel or Convert? Chase Sapphire Reserve & Chase Ink Plus.  All this week, I am going to review my credit cards that had annual fees post in March.  As a reminder, here are all the credit cards and their annual fees.  In today’s post, I am going to cover both the American Express Hilton Honors Ascend Credit Card and the American Express SPG Business Credit Card.  Are they worth keeping, should I close them, or should I convert them to another credit card?

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – $450 (posted 4/1)
  • Chase Ink Plus Business – $95 (posted 4/1)
  • American Express Hilton Ascend – $95 (posted 4/3)
  • American Express SPG Business – $95 (posted 4/6)
  • Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business – $75 (posted 4/2)
  • Citi AT&T Access More – $95 (posted 4/4)
  • US Bank FlexPerks Gold – $85 (posted 4/3)
  • Wells Fargo Propel World – $175 (posted 3/31)

American Express Hilton Honors Ascend Credit Card

I’ve only had this credit card since January, before then, it was a Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Credit Card.  I received the annual free weekend night certificate for spending $10,000 on the credit card when it was a Citi credit card.  MSing on the Citi credit card was much easier than MSing on the new AMEX credit card.  I also dropped from a Hilton Honors Diamond Elite Member on April 2 when the new Hilton Honors program changes went live, which was terrible timing since I checked into the Hilton Garden Inn on Kauai on April 2 as a Hilton Honors Gold Elite Member.  Should I pay $95 to keep this credit card?  Having this credit card gives you Hilton Honors Gold Elite Status, but I can already get that for free with my American Express Platinum Business Charge Card.  I don’t pay for Hilton stays very often, so if I no longer had this credit card, I would miss out on earning extra bonus points for Hilton stays.

I have had my eyes on the new American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card that comes with 100,000 Hilton points, Hilton Honors Diamond Elite Status, a free weekend night certificate, and $250 Hilton resort credit.  The $450 annual fee is steep, but I think the card is wroth it for the first year.  I have a credit card App-O-Rama coming up, so I plan on applying for the new American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card.  If I do not get instantly approved, I plan on calling American Express and asking them to move my credit line from the American Express Hilton Honors Ascend Credit Card to the new card.  If that is not possible, I will downgrade to the no annual fee American Express Hilton Honors Credit Card and use that card for the occasional AMEX Offer.

Decision: American Express Hilton Honors Ascend Credit Card will be a sacrificial lamb when I apply for the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card.  Plan B is to downgrade to the no annual fee American Express Hilton Honors Credit Card.

Continue reading