February 28, 2014
Notice the rhyming post title? Should I quit my blog and become a poet? No? OK, then read on for my miscellaneous ramblings…
Post time of day
Normally, I post early each morning (around 5:45 am EST). This week I changed things up a bit. My intent was to post each evening at 7PM, but then Delta threw a wrench in my plans and led me to post mid-day instead, as of Wednesday. My goal was to see if evening posts generate more social media conversations than morning posts. In the two days where I actually posted at 7PM, I didn’t see any difference. What about viewership? Google Analytics shows that my readership was up a bit this week, but I think that has more to do with a few controversial topics than time of day reporting. Anyway, thanks to many who voiced their preferences. The vast majority of my regular readers, who cared enough to say something, prefer morning posts. So, starting Monday I intend to go back to my old schedule. As always, current events or personal distractions may lead to occasional schedule change-ups.
United Silver status for 40K Marriott points
In my post “Keeping status” I described how I exchanged 40,000 Marriott points for another year of Marriott Platinum status. I did so partially just to see what would happen, but also because I wanted to keep United Silver status. Last year, Marriott and United teamed up with a program called RewardsPlus. With RewardsPlus, United elites with Premier Gold status (or higher) get free Marriott Gold status, and Marriott Platinum elites get free United Silver status. You do need to enroll to get these benefits. The websites are once again live:
I signed up a few days ago, and now my United account again shows my Silver status:
(Yes, I need to work on my Photoshop skills)
In the post “Pay bills online with debit and prepaid cards” I mentioned that I’ve used debit cards and prepaid cards to pay my mortgage online with Evolve Money. That was all well and good except for the fact that all of my payments went to principal instead of to my monthly payments. I tried calling to see if I could get the partial payments applied to my monthly payments, but was told no. I probably could have pushed harder, but I really wanted a solution I could control myself. So, I next tried paying my exact monthly payment amount all in one day (via several individual payments), and that worked. The payments were applied to my monthly payment rather than to principal. See the comments of my earlier post on this subject for more details or to ask questions.
Halfway to Diamond
I’ve been really enjoying my Hyatt Diamond status! My stays at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile and the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa were very nice. I love the fact that I was able to use suite upgrade certificates ahead of time to ensure that we stayed in suites! One very small hiccup: even though I received points for my Chicago stay, I wasn’t credited for the nights. That was a problem since I need to complete 12 nights to keep Diamond status through February 2015. Luckily, all it took was a few minutes on the phone with a nice Hyatt rep to get that cleared up. My account now correctly shows that I’ve completed 7 qualifying nights so far. I’ll complete 3 more this weekend at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (also in a suite) and then I’ll only have 2 more nights to go. For more on the Hyatt Diamond Trial, see:
- Chasing Diamond
- Chasing Diamond: Suite Upgrade Awards
- Chasing Diamond: Q&A
- Luxury travel via Penny Points