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Tag: hotel status

How to use your hotel as an ATM when traveling

by on Mar.17, 2009, under Business Travel, Hotels

If you are traveling and have any kind of hotel status, your nearest ATM should be your hotel’s front desk. Almost all hotel loyalty programs let you cash checks for free, up to a couple hundred dollars, if you have some kind of hotel status. You just need to carry a check or two when you travel. This way you don’t have to worry about ATM fees and/or driving around looking for an ATM.

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Why are hotel points are more valuable than airline miles

by 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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I Love Marriott Rewards

by on Jan.04, 2009, under Hotels

I’ve been Marriott Platinum Elite since middle of 2005.  However in 2007 I only had something like 40 nights but they gave me Platinum status for 2008.  I thought it was some kind of fluke.  One needs 75 nights to maintain or become Platinum status with Marriott, possibly the toughest hotel status to gain.  In 2008 I had even less, 28 nights to be exact.  But lo and behold, I received my 2009 Marriott Platinum Membership card in the mail the other day.  Can someone explain this to me?  I’m not complaining though.  I just hope they don’t fix this glitch in their system.

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