Triangle Trip

Tag: Hotels

SPG finally posted Rollover Nights from 2009!

by on Feb.05, 2010, under Hotels

SPG has finally followed Delta’s lead (see Captain G’s previous post) and posted last year’s rollover nights to this year (2010). As you can see that I am a super loyal SPG member. I have already re-qualified for Starwood Platinum for 2011.

Looks like SPG was kind enough to also roll over hotel stays from 2009 to 2010; in addition to just hotel nights. Rollover stays is a hidden benefit which was not originally advertised.

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Prediction: SPG rollover nights is on the way but may take away other perks

by on Aug.18, 2009, under Hotels

While I rarely fill out surveys, I recently completed one for Starwood Preferred Guests; it asked many leading questions that strongly implied:

1.  SPG will be implementing rollover nights – if you’ve already achieved status this calendar year, the extra stays/nights will be applied toward next year’s status. This is in response to Marriott’s Elite Rollover Nights program. SPG will probably roll this out in October.

2.  If SPG doesn’t implement Rollover Nights, they will definitely be implementing some kind of point acceleration program, again sometime in October. They typically do this every year.

3.  SPG may remove the 500 point bonus reward for Platinum members. Currently, when SPG Platinum members check in, they can choose one of three rewards: an extra 500 points added to their account, a $10 credit for the minibar, or a free movie. The leading questions on the survey led me to believe they may take away the 500 bonus points.

Without the 500 point bonus reward program, there is no real incentive to be, or become a Platinum status SPG. Platinum and Gold members accrue the same amount of bonus points and get access to the SPG Club Lounges where available. The 500 bonus points you get at check-in as a Platinum member gives you 1/6 of the way to earning a free night at a category 1 hotel (3000 points per night for week days and 2000 points for weekends). I really hope SPG doesn’t take away the 500 bonus point reward program; otherwise, or I’ll have to consider another chain.

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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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