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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How to keep Hertz points alive (Points now expire after 18 months of inactivity)

When renting from Hertz you can choose to earn frequent flyer miles or Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points.  Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points can be used to book free rentals (but you still have to pay taxes and fees) starting at 550 per day for weekend rentals. Unfortunately for those of us who are infrequent Hertz renters, Hertz points expire after 18 months of inactivity (previously 24 months).  And, unlike many other programs, the only…

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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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Success: stacking 4th night free for 50% off

Later this year, the Citi Prestige 4th night free will essentially become dead to me. That’s because starting in September, you will no longer be able to make bookings through the Prestige Concierge but will rather have to book through ThankYou.com (or via the ThankYou portal’s phone number). This is a huge change as it will eliminate opportunities like an experiment I tried last year that I can finally confirm worked automatically — a stack of…

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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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New Citi application rule might be a net win

Last Friday, Doctor of Credit reported what looks like a pretty positive change in application terms on many Citi cards. Specifically, Citi ThankYou cards have received a slight wording change in the terms surrounding the Citi 24-month clock that may not make it possible to open more than one ThankYou card at a time. Note that we will need more datapoints to know how the new wording is being applied, so YMMV for the time being. The…

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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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Marriott’s Annual Devaluation: 120 Fewer Properties For Credit Card Nights

Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel

Marriott has announced its annual devaluation and while it’s not as bad as last year’s, it doesn’t make for happy reading if you have any 25,000 or 35,000 point certificates to use from your Marriott and/or SPG credit cards. That’s because there will be 120 fewer properties you can use those certificates at starting from next month. You can find the full list of 2019 category changes here, with those changes going into effect on…

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