Tag Archives: Hotel Loyalty Points

8 Buy Miles / Points Promos Ending Soon: Hilton (100%), American (55%), Avianca (125%), United (85%), IHG (75%), Radisson (25%), Hyatt (25%) & Etihad (20%)

Good afternoon everyone.  I was working on my Buy Miles & Points Page and found a few offers ending soon.  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 8 offers that end this month.  Up first, Hilton is offering a 100% bonus, when you purchase at least 10,000 Hilton Honors Points.  This offer expires today – February 19.

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How to Spend a Long Weekend in Carmel / Monterey, CA

Good morning everyone.  This past weekend, Laura and I did a mini road trip from the San Francisco Bay Area down to Carmel / Monterey.  If you fly into San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK), or San Jose (SJC), it is a 1.5 to 2 hour drive, depending on traffic.  Alternatively, you can fly directly into Monterey (MRY), but that airport has a smaller route network and more expensive flights.  I have been visiting Carmel / Monterey for 25+ years.  Every year for Thanksgiving week, my extended family would drive up from Southern California to Carmel / Monterey and I would spend time with my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.  As far as I can tell, not much has changed during that time in Carmel / Monterey.  Here are some of my favorite places to stay, eat and visit.

Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on Del Monte Golf Course

Laura and I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel twice in the last 3 years.  This hotel is a category 4 Hyatt which costs 15,000 World of Hyatt Points or you can use your Free Night Certificate from the Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card.  As of January 2020, there is minor construction on the main entrance road and outside the hotel lobby.  They are also refreshing the hotel rooms and we stayed in one of the refreshed rooms.  The hotel has plenty of parking (all free) and no resort charges.  It is very easy to get to various parts of Carmel / Monterey within a 10-15 minute drive.  I highly recommend this hotel and plan to come back next year after the construction and room renovations are complete.

Image source: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/california/hyatt-regency-monterey-hotel-and-spa-on-del-monte-golf-course/mrydm

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Caution: Marriott Bonvoy App Used My Points Instead of My Free Night Certificate

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  Yesterday, I was trying to use my Free Night Certificate from my JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Visa Infinite Credit Card to book a hotel in New York City and experienced some issues booking through the Marriott Bonvoy app.  My Ritz Carlton Free Night Certificate is good at Marriott properties that cost up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points and the property I wanted to stay at cost 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points.

When I used the Marriott Bonvoy app to book the hotel, I assumed the app would use my Ritz Carlton Free Night Certificate to pay for the 50,000 point redemption.  Unfortunately, the app used 50,000 points and I only realized it when I refreshed AwardWallet and saw that my account balance decreased by 50,000 points, but my Ritz Carlton Free Night Certificate was not used.  I immediately canceled the points booking and went through the Marriott website on my iPhone.  I repeated the same steps and when I got to the payment option, it defaulted to selecting my Ritz Carlton Free Night Certificate (the 50,000 point option was also shown).  I completed the booking on the website and refreshed AwardWallet to make sure my point balance did not change, but that my Ritz Carlton Free Night Certificate was used.

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What is the Best Hotel Credit Card Free Night Certificate?

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I was listening to the Frequent Miler On The Air podcast recently and they were discussing free night certificates.  As I mentioned in my Ask Me Anything (AMA): Hotel Edition post, I have quite a few hotel credit cards that come with free night certificates.  I wanted to compare the free night certificates and separate the standouts from the duds.  I used Frequent Miler’s Reasonable Redemption Values (RRV) for the hotel point values.  Some of these credit cards are available for new members, while some are no longer available (NLA), but you may be able to convert to them if you have the correct credit card.

I looked at the credit card’s annual fee and the category cap that the free night certificate is good for.  I also included Radisson Rewards anniversary points, even though they are points and not free night certificates.  I did not take into account any addition benefits other than the free night certificate (like elite status or the ability to earn an extra free night certificate).

This is how I read the chart: the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card (NLA) has an $85 annual fee and comes with a free night certificate worth up to 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points.  Each Marriott Bonvoy Point is worth 0.72 cents per point (CPP), so the free night certificate has a value of $180.  When I subtract the $95 annual fee, the credit card provides $95 in value on top of the annual fee.

Hotel Credit Card Name
(NLA = No Longer Available)
Annual
Fee
Category
Cap
RRV
CPP
Free Night Value True Value
(FNV – AF)
Marriott Credit Cards
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier (NLA) $85.00 25,000 0.72 $180.00 $95.00
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless $99.00 35,000 0.72 $252.00 $153.00
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Biz (NLA) $99.00 35,000 0.72 $252.00 $153.00
American Express Marriott Bonvoy Biz $125.00 35,000 0.72 $252.00 $127.00
American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant $450.00 50,000 0.72 $360.00 -$90.00
JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton (NLA) $450.00 50,000 0.72 $360.00 -$90.00
Radisson Rewards Credit Cards
US Bank Radisson Rewards (NLA) $50.00 25,000 0.38 $95.00 $45.00
US Bank Radisson Rewards Biz (NLA) $60.00 40,000 0.38 $152.00 $92.00
US Bank Radisson Rewards Premier $75.00 40,000 0.38 $152.00 $77.00
Hyatt Credit Cards
Chase Hyatt Hotels (NLA) $75.00 15,000 1.50 $225.00 $150.00
Chase World of Hyatt $95.00 15,000 1.50 $225.00 $130.00
IHG Credit Cards
Chase IHG Rewards Select (NLA) $49.00 40,000 0.57 $228.00 $179.00
Chase IHG Rewards Premier $89.00 40,000 0.57 $228.00 $139.00
Hilton Credit Cards
American Express Hilton Honors Aspire $450.00 95,000 0.45 $427.50 -$22.50
American Express Hilton Honors Aspire $450.00 120,000 0.45 $540.00 $90.00

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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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