New tools (a cool one to find flight awards, a useless one for hotels) reviewing redemptions in Hawaii and more

This week at Frequent Miler, we focused some attention on the redemption side of earning and burning your points. From a new tool that might save you time and miles to another that is wildly inaccurate (I’m looking at you, Hilton), we reviewed new options for your arsenal. See summaries of recent redemptions in Hawaii, why Greg’s going back to the iPhone, and more in this Frequent Miler week in review.

Juicy Miles: Finally, a Kayak-like tool for flight awards!

When I first saw this tool announced a while back, I thought it sounded awesome. But, like many readers, I was taken aback by a price that I thought would be hard for me to justify. After Greg published this review, I got a chance to explore Juicy Miles to offer them my own feedback and I’m thus far pretty impressed — both with the tool itself and with some of the coming enhancements. I like it. My main hangup remains that I’d like to see a price that makes it easier for people to subscribe long-term rather than signing up for a quick hit now and then. Still, between flat out time savings and at least one time per year when this tool catches an option I’d missed and saves me miles, it’s possible that my mind could change.

Grand Hyatt Kauai: a great guest of honor stay and great redemption

Navigating the lazy river at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

While we don’t primarily review flights and hotels, I do try to write about how we’re using points now and then so that readers get a sense for which redemptions may or may not be worth it. In the case of the Grand Hyatt Kauai, I would gladly pay 25K Hyatt points per night to stay again, especially if it were possible to get the assistance of a Globalist in making the booking. I’ve enjoyed very good stays at quite a few of the top Hyatt properties around the world and this might actually be my favorite thus far. Between the massive suite upgrade, the incredible ocean views, the awesome pools, and the generally beautiful condition of the property, I thought it was a solid use of points. Next time, I’ll take advantage of the free bike rental and self-service laundry….and stay for longer!

My full retreat back to iPhone-land

 

I wonder how many readers who took advantage of the incredible Google Fi promotion of late 2018 share Greg’s frustration with the Pixel 3. I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum on this one from Greg: overall, I really like my Pixel and have slowly been migrating it from a barely-used backup to my daily driver. On the other hand, Google Fi has frustrated me. I’ve now run into far more situations than is tolerable where my T-Mobile phone has had service and my Fi phone didn’t for no explicable reason. Once I complete this promo, I’ll test my T-Mobile SIM in the pixel. Assuming I don’t have the same coverage issues with a T-Mobile-only SIM, I’m leaning towards selling the gift cards and keeping the phone, though we’ve got some time yet before I have to make a decision.

Hilton’s junky new Points Explorer tool isn’t always accurate

Atlas Bar at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale

This tool sounded interesting to me, though it proved to be pretty wildly inaccurate with just a few test cases. As is pointed out in the comments, the more interesting angle might be the opposite: in finding times when cash rates are high yet hotels are capped at their “max” end (as appears to have been the case during the Super Bowl in Atlanta). Of course, that’s assuming that the maximum rates are accurate, which this post will show is far from true with the minimum rates.

Comparing Hyatt in Hawaii: Kauai vs Maui

After the great stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai noted above, I made my way to Maui or a return to the Andaz Maui and a first-time stay at the Hyatt Regency Maui. Spoiler alert: I liked the Grand Hyatt Kauai a lot more than either of these properties. That’s not to say that the Andaz or Hyatt Regency are bad properties; on the contrary, I list some of the strengths of each in this post. But if I were intent on using Hyatt points in Hawaii in the future, I’d head back to Kauai. See this post for the reasons — as well as the reasons why you might prefer the Andaz or Regency.


That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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