Surprises from Marriott and Amex and some useful resources


This week we added a couple of resources to Frequent Miler in a page to track hotel promotions and a quick guide to getting an infant passport. But the week’s surprises came into play just yesterday – from Marriott’s latest release on current Travel Packages to an SPG approval….again. All that and more in our Frequent Miler Week in Review.

Marriott Travel Packages won’t turn into points, but will go into 1 month limbo

Marriott has finally given us half the story about what is going to happen with travel packages. It seems that they will remain as certificates — but if you haven’t assigned yours to a hotel by August 18th, you won’t be able to do so until September 18th. That’s pretty disappointing as it means you will not be able to use these to book SPG properties until everyone with points has had a month to make reservations first — which is surely going to make it harder to find 7 nights of availability. At least, that’s what I thought at first when I saw the news. But then I realized that’s not really true. Since Marriott allows you to make a reservation even without enough points in your account, I think you’ll be able to make a 7-night points reservation without enough points in your account — you’ll just have to wait until after September 18th to attach your certificate. The problem is that we still don’t know what level those certificates will be. See this post for more.

Is the Amex 5 Credit Card Limit Gone?

Greg accidentally applied for an Amex card….and the results were very interesting. Unfortunately, it didn’t lead to the pattern we’d hoped to uncover but rather more questions about how and why. At the very least, it seems that Amex’s credit card limit (note: charge cards do not count towards the limit) is flexible for some people. Or perhaps it’s just a glitch. It will be very interesting to see how this pans out.

Baby Steps: Getting a passport for an infant

Baby Rey is on the move — slowly dragging himself across the carpet at the moment, but working his way up to crossing new borders soon. We recently went through the process of getting him his first passport. If you have a little one and you’re not sure what you need to do to prepare for an international trip, see this post. Now to get him his first stamp….

Over 700K and slowing down. Should Ben go for 125K more?

Our newbie Ben has really had a pretty stellar year, raking in hundreds of thousands of miles and points while keeping things remarkably simple. A new opportunity is coming around the corner — should he strike while the iron is hot? Read and add your advice to the comments.

Find and search current hotel promotions

Do you have trouble remembering what this quarter’s offer is for Hilton and whether or not that Hyatt promo applied to Hyatt Regency properties or to Grand Hyatts? It can be hard to keep track — so we created a resource page that we will continue to fill out with current promos. Next up: the same thing for airline and rental car promos.

Up to 450K on the table and a short window of opportunity with Marriott & SPG

Despite the naysayers, Marriott has done a lot of things right in the merger with SPG — but simplification clearly isn’t their strong suit. Clearly, they should have consulted with Greg. See this post for a rundown of what the new credit card rules mean and how you can take advantage of short-term opportunities in order to flex up your point balances.

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.


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