How merchants code, road trip companion, 14 nights in the Maldives, and more

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This week around the web, bookmark a handy list of merchant category codes, check out a tool that might be helpful for your next road trip, think about how the new rules of travel may affect your upcoming trips, and more.

Detailed List of Merchant Category Codes (MCC) For Visa & Mastercard (PDF)

Doctor of Credit reports some potentially useful documents for those drilling down on the details in terms of how various merchant transactions code. This kind of info is always good to have so you don’t make a mistake that costs you rewards or miss a chance to earn some you didn’t expect.

The One Must-Have App For Every Roadtrip

I read this article by Shelli at Point me to the Plane and thought, “Do I need something other than Google Maps?”. I’m not entirely convinced that there was a problem for this app to solve, but at the same time I thought that it was worth including here as surely many readers will be leaning on summer road trips as travel restrictions ease. I could see some instances where perhaps info about which upcoming exist has a playground or a dog park could be particularly useful for some and the recent app reviews look pretty good.

The Maldives May Require 14 Day Minimum Stays and More… Would You Still Go?

I spent just 3 or 4 nights at the Sheraton Maldives a few years back and I don’t think I’d go much more than 5.

Uh, nah. Dave at Miles Talk covers the news that the Maldives may institute a 14 day minimum stay. For the sake of his honeymoon, I hope that changes (that Waldorf sure does look snazzy!). Regular readers will know that I’m a palm-trees-and-sunshine kind of guy. While some would probably get bored and go stir crazy with 14 days at an isolated resort, I’d be fine with the idea of spending 14 days looking at a tropical paradise. It’s the cost in terms of cash or points that would turn me off here: I don’t think I’d want to spend 14 days worth of the type of points or cash required to stay in the Maldives. That said, I met an FTU speaker a couple of years ago who had spent 30 nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives for his honeymoon. He said he had such a unique experience because spending a month there meant that they really got to know staff members and it started to feel more like “home”. I’ll admit that the idea sounded kind of intriguing at the time, but these days I’ll pass. On top of the cost of staying for 14 nights, can you imagine if you somehow caught the virus on day 12 or 13 and had to be quarantined at the resort (and pay for your stay) for another two weeks or more? Better have your travel insured sorted before you leave home. More broadly, this is a glance at how drastically travels may change with requirements and restrictions we never would have previously imagined. The flip side of this is that, if places like the Maldives can survive the corresponding drop in traffic, I wonder what kind of positive effect there may be to the natural beauty and environment of places like this.

Air Canada Says it Will Refuse Refunds to U.S. Travelers

I’m disappointed in Air Canada’s response here and Thrifty Traveler covers it well. I’ve said before that I understand the difficult position in which travel companies find themselves at the moment, but the bottom line is that they accepted money for a service they were unable to provide – they should not be able to indefinitely keep that. The DOT’s stance on this has been clear; I hope they enforce that stated stance. I think that Air Canada’s offer to convert travel funds to points or to vouchers that won’t expire is smart (and I’d probably even take them up on the conversion to points), but they should either offer enough value to entice more customers to want to accept those options or give customers their money back.

HAWAIIAN HOTEL CHECKED ONE BIG THING OFF OF ITS TO-DO LIST DURING THE SHUTDOWN

No, I didn’t see this guy at a hotel in Hawaii. I found him in the bathroom of a room in South Africa (it was the middle of the night – thank goodness I’d turned on the light!).

Your Mileage May Vary shares the story of how a closed hotel took advantage of the opportunity to completely fumigate without having to affect guest stays. I hadn’t really considered the opportunity here for hotels that were in a good financial position to utilize an unprecedented opportunity to tackle projects like this without any interference to guest stays (obviously many guest reservations were canceled due to the pandemic, but at least in this case most of those guests likely would have cancelled anyway due to Hawaii’s quarantine requirements). On the other end of the spectrum, the Intercontinental Moorea announced that it is closing permanently this week, surely a massive blow to the people who were employed there. Clearly not all hotels are in the fortunate position to approach the shut down like this one.


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

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