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).
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.
Hilton Honors program updates went live last week. They say, as you can see from this email, that the new program elements and perks are based on feedback and will give Hilton travelers more of what they want. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t have any Hilton stays booked right now and Hilton is only my third most used hotel chain, but I am a Hilton Gold Elite Member, and I do have a stash of Hilton Honors points which I intend to keep from expiring, so I figured I should take a look at these changes.
Changes like these usually reward the more loyal customers who stay more often and spend more money. If you’re an infrequent customer and spend less with Hilton, you’ll receive even less in the way of benefits. I fall into the second category. Hilton’s confusing award chart as well as its point award devaluations have kept me away from the program these past few years. Hilton Diamond Elite Members likely see some of these changes as positive, though I get the sense more and more travelers are looking closely at Marriott/SPG since the merger.
A friend of mine recently asked me if her Hilton points will expire. That got me thinking that sometimes people don’t even realize that points do in fact expire. Also, keeping track of hotel points expiration dates can be tricky. It’s true that there are multiple ways of doing this and you’ve likely found one that works best for you. We often think of points as a currency and since currency doesn’t expire, we forget that points do! So the first answer I gave her was that YES, Hilton points do expire.
Hilton Hotels loyalty program is called Hilton Honors and the points expire when the account has had no eligible activity in a 12-month period. Of course, after telling this to my friend, I knew her next logical question would be, HOW do I keep my points from expiring? Good thing there are many ways to do this, so let’s refresh your memory on this topic, too. Here’s what I told her:
Eligible activity that will keep your Hilton Honors points from expiring include some obvious and some less obvious options, such as:
- Staying at a Hilton property on a points-earning eligible rate
- Putting spend on a co-branded Hilton credit card to earn points
- Participating in the Hilton Dining Program and have a qualifying dining expense
- Shopping online through the Hilton Honors Shopping Portal
- Transferring points to a Hilton Honors account from an external program, such as American Express Membership Rewards
- Purchasing points
- Earning points using programs such as e-Rewards or eMiles
- Using Hilton Honors points to shop at Amazon
Let’s take a closer look at some of these options. Continue reading
Good morning everyone. A few days ago, I received an email from Wyndham Rewards regarding timeshare presentation vacation packages. 2 years ago, I wrote about attending 2 timeshares in Hawaii and what gifts I received from sitting through those presentations. Right now, you can pick from 6 different cities and get a 3 day / 2 night stay for as low as $149. You can book through the website or call the number in the email (877-393-8405).