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Tag: hyatt

Why are hotel points are more valuable than airline miles

by Captain G on Mar.09, 2009, under Airlines, Hotels, Travel Partners

Following up to my previous post regarding depreciation of airline mile, I am sure you have seen tons of posts about which is the best credit card to earn airline miles or hotel points or getting cash back. Since 2006, airlines have adjusted blackout dates, limited the number of seats available for redemption and increased the number of miles required for a free ticket. Furthermore, most airlines are charging customers for ticket redemption. For example, I had to pay $150 plus 60,000 miles to redeem a ticket on Delta with less than a week advance booking. If you use the old method of one penny (USD 0.01 per mile), my ticket cost me $750 ($150 + $600). In addition, I had to pay for taxes and fuel surcharge. Despite the fact that my ticket was a last minute purchase and would have been around the same price, I don’t think airline miles are as valuable compared to hotel point.

Hotels unlike airlines have relaxed their redemption policies. Many hotels have adjusted their redemption requirements for 2009. Starwood never had blackout dates which makes them one of the best hotel programs. Marriott recently jumped on the same bandwagon by eliminating blackout dates. Since January 2009, hotels have been on a promotion spree and issuing bonus points to loyal customers. Starwood and Hyatt properties have multiple generous bonus offers that goes on to mid-April. Hotels also have generous cancellation policies. Here are the promotions:  Hyatt and Starwood. Most hotels allow you to book a room and cancel on the same day before 6PM without any penalties. Airlines however charges you a fee to redeposit miles.

If you are a frequent travel to international destinations like myself, hotel points will come in very handy. Most American hotels in international destinations are clean compared to local hotel chains – i.e., Thistle in the UK can be great if it’s new or a hole in the wall if it’s in an old building. American hotels are also consistent with service and generally cost more. Redeeming hotel points at international destinations gives you the best bang for the buck. You can always find a cheap fare to London (i.e., American and United has $200 round trip fares almost every week) but you will rarely find a hotel deal at a Marriott or Hyatt in central London.

In summary, we recommend banking hotel points which is going up in value vs. banking airline miles that is facing inflation pressure. The more airline miles you have with an airline, the more money you will end up spending on them.

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How you should make hotel reservations (Best Practicies)

by Captain G on Feb.26, 2009, under Hotels

As someone who has spent too many nights at hotels and at one hotel for extended periods, I would like to share the following best practices with you:

1.  If you’re going to be at the same hotel for an extended period of time, always make multiple bookings for weeks in the future. For example, you will be at the Marriott for the next two months, make your bookings from Monday to Thursday/Friday for eight weeks straight. 99% of the major hotels do not have early deparature charges, cancellation fees or require deposits for making extended room reservations. Just make sure you call to cancel ahead of time.

2.  In the event that you forgot the cancel, most hotels are very forgiving and apply credit to your next night/stay. If you missed the cancellation window and don’t want the hotel to charge your card, simply call the front desk and tell them your flight was delayed. It works every time.

3.  Always use your client’s rate. Generally the client you are working for or a company near by the hotel has a preferred rate with the hotel chain. Call the chain to find out if there are discounts available for you. For example, you are doing work for Cisco in San Jose and you want to stay at the Hilton on Santa Clara Blvd. Call the Hilton and tell them you would the Cisco rate. Most hotels would honor your rate even though you are not an employee. I am also sure my audience can come up with creative ways at check-in to secure the rate if an employee ID is required ;-)

    Enjoy your stays at the hotels. Hope everyone’s capitalizing on the SPG & Hyatt bonus promotions.

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