Tag Archives: Free Stuff

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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How to Renew your Global Entry Card & Membership Online ($100 Fee Every 5 Years)

Good morning everyone.  A few years ago, I wrote how to sign up for Global Entry, and now I am writing about how to renew your Global Entry membership (most of the process is the same).  I didn’t know my Global Entry membership was expiring in November 2019 until I received this email from Global Entry with the cryptic subject line “Program Expiry”.  I have several credit cards that reimburse the $100 fee for Global Entry (including my Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card), so it was a no brainer to renew my Global Entry membership.  To get started, I went to the Trusted Travel Program website.

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American Express Membership Rewards Points Post Fast for AMEX Card Referrals

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great Fourth of July Weekend.  I spent the week in Orange County, CA and the weekend in Boulder, CO at a wedding.  While I was down in Orange County visiting my family, I went out to dinner with my grandparents.  My grandpa used his Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card to pay for dinner (3x on restaurant purchases).  My grandpa has been an American Express customer for 30+ years and is a mini travel hacker, so after dinner, I told him that he should get the American Express Gold Card because it offers 4x on restaurants and grocery stores (2 of his most frequent expenses).

Later that week, I was over at his house and he asked me to help him get the new American Express Gold Card.  He asked me to send him a link for the card, so I logged into my American Express online account, copied my referral link, and emailed it to him.  According to the referral page, you can earn 10,000 Membership Rewards Points for each referral, up to a maximum of 55,000 Membership Rewards Points per year.  The referral points should post within 8-12 weeks, but in my experience, the referral points posted within 3 days.  I sent my grandpa the referral link on July 2 and he applied and was approved for the card on the same day.

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3 Buy Miles/Points Promos Ending June 30: Alaska (30%), American (10%) & Virgin Atlantic (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 on June 30.  First up, Alaska Airlines is offering a 30% discount, when you purchase at least 20,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles.  This offer expires on June 30.

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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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