With the full extend of the Marriott / SPG / Ritz award chart now a known known, we closed out the week with plenty of Marriott on our mind. From first reactions to full analysis and related news you may have missed, see our Frequent Miler week in review:
If you’re sitting on a stash of Marriott or SPG points and you’ve been waiting for a good opportunity to flex them, this might be your moment. With the new category assignments out, we know where everything stands and there are some opporutnities to get better value now than later on some of the properties in the portfolio. See this post for a few choice spots – from the mountains to the tropics, from Europe to Asia. Several of these were properties that I’ve never heard of but look great.
Here’s the cliff notes: not really. I glanced at the chart the other day and thought, “that doesn’t look very good”. Greg ran the numbers to confirm it. Check out the post for info on the situations when you may still consider it.
The moment Marriott announced the new chart, Greg was crunching the numbers to figure out what it all means. Are hotels that cost 25K today going to cost 25K tomorrow? Are average costs going up? Answers to threse and more in Greg’s full analysis of the new landscape. This post is the summary, see the link within for the full detail in all its glory.
To cut to the chase, you want to book a package now if you have one on your mind. The new packages certainly don’t present the same value as the old. That said, I’m actually surprised that the new packages didn’t devalue more. I didn’t expect them to increase in value, so this one didn’t hit me as hard as some folks seem to take it. In fact, the devaluation was more mild than I expected and especially so with Airlines that currently award 85k miles.
As soon as we heard that Marriott was releasing its new chart, Greg broke the news with an immediate post to alert you to the new chart. This post is my first reactions the chart after having an hour to digest things on the surface while Greg was busy crunching the numbers.
Hyatt and Chase have totally revamped the co-branded credit card and the changes are really exciting – enough so as to cause me to totally reevaluate my hotel credit card strategy. With the ability to now spend your way to Globalist status, I’m very tempted to make my way back to Hyatt. Is it funny that it’s their credit card and not their hotels that is wooing me back?
Obviously, this week’s big news is the release of the new award chart. That said, we were working on answers to some of the pressing questions even before that chart was announced. See this post for answers to questions about the new credit card situation, minimum airline transfers, and more.
We received a number of reports from readers having difficulty booking travel packages, spending long amounts of time on the phone and enduring frustration with agents who didn’t know what they were talking about. Great wrote up simple instructions and I personally followed these instructions precisely and successfully booked a travel package in under 21 minutes from hello to hang up.
A survey I recently took indicated to me that Hilton might be considering some enhancements to its loyalty program. Subsequent posts by View from the Wing and several other bloggers indicate that Hilton is indeed planning enhancements and has even told some bloggers what they may be. I look forward to hearing whether it’s the rumored “Diamond+” tier or improvements to make top-tier help and Status more competitive.
Sometimes, you just can’t put a price on the joy of free. But the Altitude Reserve sure can help you try. With the continued expansion of mobile payments, this cards is one that people shouldn’t ignore. And this post is an example of how each decision in this game requires some thought.
That’s it for this week in review. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.