Tag Archives: SPG

Hilton, SPG & IHG are Currently Running Point Promotions (IHG Promo Expires Tomorrow)

Whether or not you buy hotel points when promotions are running, it’s good to know about your options. We all like to travel more, for less! Topping up accounts for an upcoming stay can serve us well when we can get more value from the cost of the stays than we spend on buying those points. I use up my SPG points and Hyatt points way faster than I drink my flat whites, so I keep a list of hotel point promos handy to see if they’ll work for me. Currently, three of the four major hotel chains are running their buy points promotions. Depending on your travel plans, these might be worth checking out.

Starwood Offer: Expires March 16, 2018

I find I can never have enough SPG points. They are extra valuable because when you transfer them to airlines rather than use them for hotel stays, for every 20,000 points transferred, you get an extra 5,000 points. That’s an inexpensive way to buy airline miles. Many people, given their allegiance to Marriott, use these points for Marriott stays as well. They transfer to Marriott in a 1:3 ratio. That’s another good value for these points. Starwood is currently running a 35% off promotion so you can buy the maximum amount of points for $682. And don’t forget, you can gift Starwood points as well. The 35% offer seems to be their standard offer. Starwood has a yearly purchase limit of 30,000 points per account. The offer runs through March 16, 2018.


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Are you Making Any Speculative Marriott or SPG Bookings Before the March 6 Devaluation?

On March 6, 2018, both Marriott and SPG have many properties going up in cost if you’re using points to book them. When we get advance notices like this, I wonder how many people book stays speculatively, knowing they might cancel them. I took a look at the lists of properties going up and found a few that I’ve enjoyed staying at and would return to, so this made me frown. Some even by 60-70%. That’s a lot! But I don’t have any visits to these locations planned right now. You’d think after all these years using points to stay at hotels, we’d get used to these unfavorable changes. I’m still sorting through properties and deciding if there are any to book now before they go up in price. Are you making any bookings before March 6 knowing they can be canceled at a later date? And at which properties? Has this worked out for you in the past? Let me know in the comments below.

Hotel Review: Sheraton Presidente San Salvador Hotel (Great Location, Lounge & Breakfast)

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  After a quick stop in Guatemala City with a 1 night stay at the Courtyard Marriott Guatemala City and a fun afternoon trip to the Guatemala City Zoo, we flew from Guatemala City (GUA) to San Salvador (SAL), the capital of El Salvador.  We stayed at the Sheraton Presidente San Salvador Hotel using 4,000 SPG Points (it would have been only 3,000 SPG Points if we stayed on the weekend).

The property is beautiful, with lots of palm trees and country flags near the hotel entrance.  The hotel is ~45 minutes away from the airport, so we asked the hotel to organize a taxi for us (cost was $30).  After we checked out, we used Uber to get back to the airport for ~$21. Checking into the hotel was easy and we were upgraded to a nice room on the club floor thanks to my friend’s SPG Platinum Elite Status.  We had access to the Club Lounge (great food and snacks) and free breakfast in the restaurant.

Sheraton Presidente San Salvador Exterior. Image source: https://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1597&language=en_US

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My Unlikely, But Entertaining 2018 Travel Predictions

Greetings from Uyuni airport in Bolivia.  I have a few minutes before my flight, so I wanted to get this post published.  Sorry for the delay in posting this list, my crystal ball was in the shop for a tuneup. As you can tell from my 2017 travel predictions, I am wrong 99% of the time, so take these predictions with a grain of salt (that I took from the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia).  Here are some of my highly unlikely, but entertaining travel predictions for 2018.  Enjoy!

Airlines

  • After the Virgin America merger, Alaska Airlines will add new routes to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean
  • Delta Airlines will introduce cash and miles award tickets, then American Airlines and United Airlines will follow suit
  • Southwest Airlines will increase their Transfarency by automatically keeping track of travel funds in each account
  • JetBlue will add new routes along the West Coast and maybe to Hawaii
  • Singapore Airlines will allow you to book United Airlines awards online
  • British Airways will bring back the 4,500 Avios award price in the United States

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Singapore Airlines Award Booking Tip: Add Redemption Nominee to Account

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  By the time you read this post, I will be flying down to La Paz, Bolivia for the start of my Central / South America trip.  A few weeks ago, I booked a flight for my brother to Maui, Hawaii.  The flight is in mid April and the cost of the ticket was kind of pricey ($500+), but luckily I found United Airlines award space for the flights he wanted.  Unfortunately, United Airlines charges 45,000 miles + $11.20 in taxes/fees for a roundtrip flight in economy.  Luckily, Singapore Airlines only charges 35,000 miles for the same roundtrip flight in economy to Hawaii.  In this post, I will show you how I easily booked an award ticket for my brother using Singapore Airlines miles and how adding him as a redemption nominee made the process even easier.

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