Tag Archives: Hotel Loyalty Points

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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My 5 New Year’s Travel Resolutions for 2020

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you all had a great New Years!  With the beginning of the new year, I wanted to make a few travel resolutions for the coming year.  Here are my 5 New Year’s travel resolutions for 2020.  Feel free to share your own travel resolutions in the comments section.

1. Travel Somewhere Every Month

For the last several years, this has been my only travel resolution.  It could be a short weekend trip, a road trip, a cross country trip, or a long international trip.  I love to travel and take advantage of the 52 weekends every year (it helps that I work in San Francisco and can easily get to SFO or OAK in less than an hour).  I’ve got the first 3 months of the year covered:

  • January: Laura and I will do a short road trip down to Carmel / Monterey for a long weekend and use our Hyatt Free Night Certificates.
  • February: I will fly down to Orange County for Super Bowl Weekend with my family and then we will make a second trip to Orange County for my cousin’s wedding.
  • March: Laura and I are flying to Ireland for her Spring Break (she is an assistant principal).  Check out my post How to Book Aer Lingus Award Tickets with British Airways Avios (Call BA to Save $100+ on Taxes & Fees).

There are a few other trips planned the rest of the year, so my first travel resolution should be accomplished.  Here are the 4 other travel resolutions I have in mind for 2020:

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My Wildly Ambitious 2020 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions

Good afternoon everyone.  Generally, at the end of the year, I like to review my travel predictions for the past year and make new predictions for the coming year.  After a long streak of poor prediction performance (2018 prediction results, 2017 prediction results, and 2016 prediction results), I decided not to make any travel predictions for 2019.  But my predictions are coming our of retirement / hibernation today.  I really recommend reading the travel predictions that Stephen at Frequent Miler made, especially his top 5 predictions:

  1. Capital One To Add Virgin Atlantic As Travel Partner
  2. Amex Membership Rewards To Transfer To JetBlue On A 1:1 Basis
  3. Free Breakfast For IHG Spire Elite Members
  4. Citi To Allow Card Referrals
  5. Chase And/Or Amex To Increase Referral Limits

I am going to piggy back on his predictions and add a few of my own.  So without further ado, here are my travel predictions for 2020

My 2020 Airline Predictions

  • Alaska, American, Delta, or United will introduce a “Cash and Miles” payment option for award tickets.  Clarification: This is not to be confused with Delta’s “Pay with Points” option where you get 1 CPP for each Delta SkyMiles for paid flights.  I’m thinking more along the lines of the way British Airways and Avianca do it for award tickets.
  • Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Sun Country will announce a merger, but I’m not sure who will merge with who.

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