This week at Frequent Miler, we discussed a number of useful tools for maximizing the value of your points and miles: from program sweet spots to putting together hard-to-book awards and leveraging elite benefits and credit card perks for a free dinner and time-savings in Las Vegas, you can read all about tools you can use to play the game.
Some awards just seem impossible to book — but with some flexibility, they usually aren’t impossible at all. In this post, Greg shows how you can piece together some of those hard-to-find awards. This is actually how I plan 95% of my overseas trips. That’s partly by “necessity” — my wife won’t take a long-haul overseas flight just to go somewhere for a couple of days, so we are usually piecing together at least a couple of weeks worth of travel, which inevitably ends up in putting together a secondary trip-within-a-trip since “we’re already all the way over there”. That style has definitely influenced my outlook on awards, and it makes the planning process more fun.
Continuing in our award currency sweet spots series, this week we looked at Ultimate Rewards. This one is a favorite currency for many, and for good reason; sweet spots about for URs. See this post for some of the transfer partner sweet spots you should know about — but keep in mind that if you’re piecing together an award as in the post above, there are even more sweet spots to explore between regions outside of the US.
If you redeemed for Marriott travel packages around crunch time last year (i.e. right before the merger), you are likely running out of time to figure out what to do with it – attach it, convert it, un-attach it….or what? In this post, Greg lays out your options and the advantages (or lack thereof) depending on what you decide to do with it. Ultimately, it should be pretty easy to get at least another year out of your cert one way or another.
If you have credit-card-based hotel status like Hilton Gold or IHG Platinum and you’re thinking about heading to Vegas, you’ll want to see this post. Right now, it’s very easy to match your way to Caesars Diamond status, which is a pretty cool status indeed. This post outlines one of the better benefits: an annual $100 dining credit. In my case, we played the game in multi-player mode and got quite a sizable discount on a group dinner. We didn’t actually love the the meal we got, but I loved not paying full price for it. See this post for how you can save, too. See also: Caesars Diamond benefit: two free show tickets every month for more info on that other key (and pretty awesome) Diamond benefit.
Some call it Sin City, others Lost Wages: I call it a fun place to play for a weekend and enjoy some nice benefits without spending too much cash. See this post for some of the easy wins you can enjoy as a result of leveraging credit card perks, elite benefits, and status matching so you can live it up like a high roller without even placing a wager.
I’ve been using Juicy Miles a lot lately and I have mixed feelings about it: while it has certainly saved me some miles more than once, I’ve also stumbled on some shortcomings — occasional false positives or negatives and/or results that require some follow-up searches. Here, Greg updates our post on Juicy Miles after having the chance to use it and hear about the experiences of others. I’m really split on this one because it can be hard to keep up with the many award options out there, but the tool requires some advanced knowledge to recognize the occasional hiccup. See this post for more information about the tool so you can decide for yourself.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for this week in review around the web and our last chance deals.