Tag Archives: Award Travel

New AwardWallet Plus Feature: Receive Alerts for Incoming Miles & Points with Balance Watch [Winners Selected]

Updated 8pm PT on 3/15/19: Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.  I wish I could give everyone codes, but I only have so many codes available.  Here are the winners: Mike Saint, Bill Pisor, LAURAPDX, Brandon, Priscilla Ennis, Seth, Will, Stephanie Woods, iwantmoremiles, and Jim F.  I will email the winners the codes.  Thank you.


Good afternoon everyone.  A year ago, I wrote AwardWallet Feature I Wish Existed: Keep Checking for Account Balance Changes.  In that post, I wished there was a way for AwardWallet to constantly check a specific airline / hotel account to see when miles or points posted.  This is super important if you transfer points from a transferable points currency (Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi Thank You Points, Capital One Points, or Marriott Bonvoy) in the hopes of booking an award flight before the award space disappears.  Some transfers are instant, while others may take several hours or several days.

I am happy to report that AwardWallet took my idea and added the feature to AwardWallet.  Here is a blog post describing Balance Watch and how the feature works:

“Balance Watch will monitor a loyalty account to let you know as soon as your points arrive. Once activated, AwardWallet will check your balance up to twenty-four times per day and send you a desktop, mobile, and email notification as soon as a change is detected.”

Image source: https://awardwallet.com/blog/balance-watch/

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Keep Airline Miles from Expiring with Conversions from Radisson Rewards (or Hilton / Hyatt / IHG / Marriott / Wyndham)

Good morning everyone.  A few days ago, I got an email from Radisson Rewards about transferring Radisson Rewards Points into airline miles.  I figured it would be a bad deal in terms of the value you get from Radisson Rewards Points, but thought it might be useful if you have airline frequent flyer miles expiring soon and need some activity to reset the expiration date.  I went through the transfer process to convert 2,000 Radisson Rewards Points into 200 American Airlines miles.  Trust me, I know this is a terrible exchange, but it is a very efficient way to keep airline miles from expiring (and I don’t put much value on 2,000 Radisson Rewards Points).  I then went even further down the rabbit hole and looked at other hotel programs (Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Wyndham) to see if they offered better value in terms of resetting airline mile expiration dates than Radisson Rewards.  Here are my results…

To get started with the conversion of Radisson Rewards Points into airline miles, I started here.  As you can see, 2,000 Radisson Rewards Points = 200 airline miles.  The transfer ratio is the same regardless of how many Radisson Rewards Points you want to transfer.  10 Radisson Rewards Points = 1 airline mile.  According to Frequent Miler’s Reasonable Redemption Values (RRV), 1 Radisson Reward Point is equal to 0.38 cents per point (CPP), which would make 1 airline mile worth 3.8 CPP (which is unrealistically high).  But look at it a different way.  2,000 Radisson Rewards Points would be worth $7.60 (2,000 x $0.0038 = $7.60).  In reality, I get 40,000 Radisson Rewards Points every year when I pay the $60 annual fee on my US Bank Radisson Rewards Business Credit Card, so that comes out to a 0.15 CPP value ($60 / 40,000 = $0.0015).  The new calculation would make 2,000 Radisson Rewards Points worth only $3.00 (2,000 x $0.0015 = $3.00).  So would you redeem $3.00 in Radisson Rewards Points to reset your frequent flyer miles expiration date?

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3 Buy Miles/Points Promos Ending in March: Avianca LifeMiles (100%), Alaska (40%) & United (70K Bonus Miles)

Good afternoon everyone.  I was working on my Buy Miles & Points Page and found a few offers ending this month.  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 this month.  First up, Avianca LifeMiles is offering a 100% bonus on all miles purchased.  This offer expires on March 14.

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Come Say Hi to Me at FTU Seattle this Weekend (March 9-10)

Good morning everyone.  I am heading to Seattle this weekend for a fun-filled FTU (Frequent Traveler University).  If you are heading to the travel conference, say hi if you see me.  I will be wearing my Travel with Grant shirt on Saturday and Sunday.  It is always fun to meet TWG readers and catch up with old friends.  If this is your first FTU, try to meet and talk to as many people as possible.  Preferably, try to find people that live in the same state or region as you do, since you can swap MS stories and share local tips & tricks.  Even though I am not giving any presentations, feel free to ask me any travel, bank account, or credit card related question.  If I do not know the answer, I will probably know how you should ask.  Here’s to good weather, great conversations, and a fun weekend talking about miles, points, and travel!

Getting an International Driving Permit (IDP) at AAA was Very Quick & Easy

Good afternoon everyone.  I will be in Tahiti & Moorea in a few months and booked a rental car for my trip.  After I booked the rental car, I decided to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) from AAA (Automobile Association of America).  I was worried the process was going to be similar to a trip to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), but I am happy to say that the process was 100x more pleasant.

According to the AAA website, “Your IDP is a valid form of identification in 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information. It translates your identification information into 10 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Most countries highly recommend an International Driving Permit.”  In addition, “Many countries require an IDP to drive legally. Fines for driving without an IDP can be quite costly. Check countries requirements before travel. ”  For $20, the IDP seemed like a no brainer (the cost is $20 whether you are a AAA member or not).  Here is how to get your IDP quickly and easily from AAA.

Image source: https://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpf.html

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