Good morning everyone, happy New Year’s Eve! Since today is the last day of the year, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite trip of 2019 and ask my readers to share their favorite trips too. Laura and I got married at the end of July 2019 and we couldn’t do a honeymoon afterward (work & school obligations), so we decided to do a pre-honeymoon to Tahiti and Moorea in June 2019.
I wanted to go to Bora Bora, but the ~$500 round trip flight per person from Tahiti to Bora Bora was a deal breaker. We settled on Moorea (I call it the poor man’s Bora Bora) since it was easy to get to via a 45 minute car/passenger ferry from Tahiti. We had a rental car, so we drove from the Faa’a International Airport in Tahiti (PPT), to the ferry, and then to the beautiful InterContinental Moorea. There was no award nights available for the overwater bungalows, so I emailed the hotel to ask how much the overwater bungalows cost. The hotel said that since I was an IHG Platinum Elite Member (now I am an IHG Spire Elite Member), they would upgrade me 1 hotel room level. I paid for the standard overwater bungalow and when we checked in, we were upgraded to a premium overwater bungalow (same bungalows, just a better location and view).
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:
Capital One To Add Virgin Atlantic As Travel Partner
Amex Membership Rewards To Transfer To JetBlue On A 1:1 Basis
Free Breakfast For IHG Spire Elite Members
Citi To Allow Card Referrals
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.
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 6 offers that end in December. Up first, Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 30% discount, when you purchase at least 2,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points. This offer expires on December 22.
Good morning everyone. As we approach the end of the year, I decided to take a look at my credit card spreadsheet and see how much my wife and I paid in annual fees this year. I removed all the no annual fee credit cards and here are the 26 credit cards that have annual fees (sorted alphabetically). I will break down this list into cards that I am 99% sure that I will cancel, 99% sure that I will keep, and the 50/50 cards that I might keep or cancel. Read through this post and let me know if you agree or disagree with my thinking.
Good afternoon everyone. A few weeks ago, I received an email from IHG stating that I had reached IHG Spire Elite Status which required 75 qualified nights or 75,000 qualifying points. This was surprising to me since I haven’t spent that many nights at IHG hotels this year (only 16 nights in 2019), but I did have a few expensive hotel stays this year (82,768 qualifying points in 2019). In the email, it stated 3 key Spire Elite benefits:
100% bonus earning on top of base points (IHG Platinum Elite members get a 50% bonus)
Complimentary room upgrades (this is the same as IHG Platinum Elite members)
Exclusive annual choice benefit
The last bullet was the one that caught my attention. I had the option to choose between 25,000 IHG Points or gift someone IHG Platinum Elite Status. I clicked on the Choose Now button in the email and signed into my IHG account.