Product change for a couple of free Marriott nights, watch your IHG account, a Disney trick and more

Welcome to this week’s Frequent Miler week in review around the web, where we recap some great reads from around the ‘net. This week, we’ve got a nice hack to potentially stack an extra Marriott free night

2 Product Change / Conversion Options for JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Card

If you’re no longer interested in keeping a card, it’s always a good idea to consider a product change. Many card issuers will allow you to product change to a different type of card, though options are often limited to remaining within a card family. Before reading this post at Travel With Grant, I hadn’t realized that it was possible to product change from the Chase Ritz-Carlton card. This looks like a great hack to end up with multiple annual Marriott certificates — if you currently hold both cards, downgrading the Ritz card should lead to a couple of free nights. A married couple might be able to put together a nicely discounted vacation each year with multiple Marriott cards. You’re obviously on the hook for multiple annual fees, but if you’re able to take advantage of availability at one of the Top 5 Cat 5 Marriotts in the world (like the JW Marriott Phu Quoc, which has wide open availability right now) or one of the Best Marriotts in the US tp spend your free nights. I’m intrigued!


My IHG Rewards Club Account got Hacked and I have lost over 300,000 Points!

InterContinental New York Barclay

InterContinental New York Barclay (via ihg.com) – increasing from 60,000 points to 70,000

The Shutterwhale brings us another reminder to keep a close eye on your IHG balance. As long as IHG continues to secure accounts with just an email address and 4-digit PIN, these issues are going to pop up from time to time. I’m glad, like the Shutterwhale, I use Award Wallet to track my balances — increasing the likelihood that I would catch this kind of hack early. Most reports I’ve read indicate that IHG is good about investigating and resorting the points if you catch it early, but I’d rather they fix the system by securing accounts a bit better to begin with.


One weird trick when using bank points at Disney (and a call for datapoints)

Last week, I included a post on Disney since tripos to Disney have now entered my long-term radar. Discounted Disney gift cards are often a draw, though this post makes a great point that manufacturing points to use may create a better discount. The problem would have been the inability to shop around — but this post from As the Joe Flies points out a neat trick that I wouldn’t have known possible when it comes to getting maximize value for your bank points towards a Disney vacation.


Hyatt Elite Status Via Award Nights: When Mattress Running Makes Sense

The patio of my suite at the Park Hyatt Mallorca

Now that Hyatt award nights count toward elite status, it is possible to earn status through mattress running. Hyatt Globalist status certainly has its perks. Last year, I enjoyed a massive suite with one of my suite upgrades at the Park Hyatt Mallorca, a nice suite upgrade without using one of my tier suite upgrades at the Park Hyatt Saigon, a pretty substantial selection of food and drinks at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, and I’ve saved hundreds on parking over several stays in New York City. But would I blow 300,000 points mattress running to get this status back? Absolutely not. I certainly agree with Ariana at Point Chaser on that much. I’m not even sure if it would make sense under a status challenge should they bring one back — though I think it is likely that the status challenge would work the same as it does with Marriott or SPG — which is to say that award nights wouldn’t count.


Hotel “Urban Destination Charge” Fees Are Spreading, Costing Travelers Big

Ugh. When Gary Leff at View from the Wing wrote about this phenomenon six or seven weeks ago, I included it in the week in review. Now, Sriram at Travel Codex covers the spreading of this disease to other hotels. Here’s hoping we find a cure before this becomes an epidemic. It’s certainly worth keeping these fees in mind when you’re comparison shopping — you can’t just go by what a search engine says. I was recently shopping for a car and resolved that if a dealership tried to add in a “used car fee” or “preparation fee” of some sort, I was going to agree to it and tell them that I would have to add my “Thursday afternoon negotiation fee”, cancelling out their make-believe fees. Luckily, it didn’t come to that. Hopefully, this fee nonsense at hotels ends before it gets out of control.


That’s it for this week around the web — check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Dan
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Dan

Anyone think it’s possible to get two Marriott personal premier cards through the Ritz product change? Need a little help qualifying for plat next year, and if I could get 45 status nights rather than 30 (one biz, one personal already), that wold be amazing.

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

My bet is that two personal premier cards will not result in an extra 15 nights elite credit, but if you got the non-premier card (and already had the premier) I’d bet you would get the extra 10 nights.

Dan
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Dan

Hm, Grant’s post was the first time I learned of the non-premier card. I can’t even find the landing page other than through Grant’s post. But $45 for ten nights is certainly cheaper than any ‘meeting’ I’ve ever booked!

Dan
Guest
Dan

Thanks, Nick! I read through the T&C and it seems like it should work. I’ll probably pull the trigger on the Ritz card sometime this year – will let you know how it shakes out! Of course if the new super-premium card grants Plat status, it quickly becomes a non-issue.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Anything connected to the internet cannot be completely secured. Hello, Equifax. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before hackers take Willie Sutton’s advice to heart and directly target entities like AwardWallet. Willie was a famous serial thief of the pre-cyber era who, when asked why he kept robbing banks, replied “Because that’s where the money is”. Nowadays the loot’s in the cloud.

The Shutterwhale
Guest

Thanks for the mention 🙂 Now fingers crossed and getting those points returned!

Dave
Guest
Dave

Does anyone know if you can product change from the Marriott card to the Ritz Carlton? Or is it just Ritz Carlton to Marriott?