Breaking up with Marriott/SPG, a sneaky deval trick, travel packages now and more


This week at Frequent Miler, Greg began a ~2 week vacation, and we haven’t yet broken the perpetual point machine. Read on for this week’s recap — from why I’m breaking up with my Marriott/SPG cards to sneaky moves from Hilton (changing policy) and Marriott (changing an award chart with some funny business). Read on for this week’s recap.

New details on Marriott & Ritz cards: no more elite credit per $3K spend, free night changes, more

Chase released the new details on the Ritz card and Marriott Business card. It was mostly exactly was we expected. It’s a shame to see the elite night with every $3K spend go away on the Marriott Business card — not because it made sense to do a lot of spend, but it would be a low-cost way to earn a few nights if you were just short of status. The free night certificate with the Ritz card caused me to take a more critical glance at that benefit, and it more or less firms my resolve that my Marriott/SPG portfolio is getting dumped. That said, the Ritz card could be the keeper of the bunch. See the post for why.

Hilton’s sleight of hand: watch your cancellation deadline

Can the hotel change your cancellation deadline without telling you? That’s basically what happened to me — I called in on the cancellation deadline date in my email, but Hilton had changed to show an earlier cancellation deadline. I hadn’t received a call or email. As has been my experience with Hilton service since becoming a Diamond member on a match a couple of years ago, it was taken care of swiftly — but I’m glad I had kept my original confirmation email (from a year ago!) with the cancellation deadline info just in case I had to fight this one out.

Sending the Marriott and SPG cards off into the sunset

Adios. Hasta la vista. I’m breaking up with Marriott and SPG. I have too many hotel credit cards and Marriott just doesn’t excite me. With resort fees and destination fees tacked on to free night awards, the value proposition on the free nights awarded with the cards wanes. While I intend to have Marriott Platinum status next year, I don’t see myself continuing it consider the other options on the market. The final, non-logical reason that didn’t make it into the post: I just don’t like the mid-tier brands as much as I do the offerings from Hilton and Hyatt. Am I silly to walk away from 5 nights for $475?

Ritz Card: Act now for free airport lounge access for friends and family

As you saw above, we found out more about the future of the Ritz card, though I agree with Greg that the current AU and lounge pass access seems overly generouls and ripe for change when the programs merge. If you have friends or family who would benefit from lounge access, make a move on this soon.

Greg’s Travel Package Advice

Is now the time to jump? Which category should you get? If you’ve been wondering what to do about Marriott Travel Packages, you want to see this post where Greg lays out simple and clear advice, as well as links to answer the questions he knew would come up. The bottom line is this: if you’re sitting on a lot of Marriott/SPG points, you should be looking at a travel package….or two.

Marriott’s Sleight Of Hand: Category Changes Worse Than Advertised

I have to admit, whoever it is that came up with Marriott’s master plan on this devaluation probably deserves a promotion – or a small raise at least. Not only did they do a masterful job of hiding the deval, they even convinced so convinced some of their members it was business as usual to have them arguing against Stephen’d premise in this post. See what Stephen uncovered about how Marriott did it and what it means. Hint: it’s not that the devaluation is catastrophic, it’s just that it’s not nearly as good as it looked on paper.

That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.

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