Travel

Category Archives for Travel.

25K, 35K, and 50K Marriott hotel opportunities before and after March 5 2019

We’ve previously reported that Marriott’s annual category changes have been announced and will take effect on March 5, 2019 (Marriott’s Annual Devaluation: 120 Fewer Properties For Credit Card Nights).  Every year, Marriott adjusts the point prices of many of their hotels by changing the category to which they’re assigned.  For example, category 5 hotels cost 35K points per night, standard.  So, to reprice a hotel upward, Marriott changes the category from 5 to 6 and…

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Hong Kong for ~$350 RT from many US cities

There are currently some phenomenal fares available on Air Canada for round trip economy class travel to Hong Kong that includes seat selection and a checked bag, with flights from the West Coast from $341 and from the East Coast from $354 and cities in the middle of the country (like Chicago or Houston) for twenty or thirty bucks more. Those are terrific fares. I’ve flown Air Canada round trip from New York to Hong Kong in…

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Phantom Menace: An award search time suck

Yesterday, I ran into what momentarily felt like a cool discovery: the British Airways website was showing saver-level availability on an American Airlines flight I wanted to book despite the fact that American showed no saver space available. Unfortunately, it turned out to be phantom space — award seats that appear to be available online but aren’t actually available to book in real life. At least, they were phantomish (more detail below). The key takeaway was…

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18-25% off award stays at some IHG hotels in NYC

IHG is offering a discount on award stays at some of its New York City properties, ranging from 18% to 25% off the number of points required for a free night at those properties. This one is valid for stays booked and completed by April 30th. It doesn’t result in amazing deals, but might work out to be decent enough if cash rates are high during your dates. The Deal Discount on award stays at the following IHG properties…

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Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort Review

My wife and I just returned from a 5 night stay at the Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort.  We had a great trip (which I’ll post about separately), but I have mixed feelings about the Westin.  Overall, if we return to Grand Cayman, I’d prefer to try another resort next time or, better yet, see if we can find a reasonable vacation rental / airbnb type of thing.  Our primary complaint with the…

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Hyatt’s 2019 Category Changes Announced: Some Good, Some Bad But Mostly Fair

Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach

Hyatt has announced a wide-ranging set of category changes for 2019 with about a third of their properties moving up or down a category. The changes are fairly even overall, although some popular sweet spots are being lost while new ones are being gained. You can find a full list of the category changes here, with these going into effect on March 18, 2019. In total, 259 properties will be changing which represents about a third…

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Lock in current Marriott rates w/ Points Advance after all

In this morning’s post about last-minute things to do in preparation for the full launch of Marriott Bonvoy, I noted that you should probably make reservations for upcoming stays now under the expectation that there may be IT issues for a few days this week (See: Bon Voyage, Marriott. Last-mintue checklist before Bonvoy.). However, I noted that you couldn’t lock in a good deal via points advance on the hotels going up in price on March 5th…

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Hilton devaluation? 120K “standard” rooms at new Maldives property

Has Hilton devalued its nonexistent award chart? If the new Waldorf-Astoria property opening this year in the Maldives is an indication, it might. “Standard” rooms at this property are now available for booking — for 120,000 Hilton points per night. While that’s exciting on the one hand in the sense that it’s a great value compared to paid rates (and considering how often you can buy Hilton points cheaply), on the other hand it’s a huge increase…

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Bon Voyage, Marriott. Last-minute checklist before Bonvoy

Bon Voyage, Marriott Rewards. Hello, Bonvoy. Marriott Rewards as we know it will cease to exist on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. In its place, we’ll get Marriott Bonvoy, the new loyalty program covering the combined Marriott, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs. Here’s how you can prepare. Screen shot everything A great ongoing piece of advice for your life is to screen shot everything. By that, I mean to take pictures of key web pages.…

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