This week brings a couple of slick tricks for getting deal alerts as fast as possible, the other side of that retire-to-hotels story, all the options to consider against the Chase 10x hotels offer, and more. Read on for our Frequent Miler week in review around the web.
I suspect that many readers are familiar with Extreme Hotel Deals, and you may even have them set up for Twitter alerts (like I do). But are you getting all of their deals? Are you getting them via text message? If not, Brian McAdam has outlined some smart tricks in this excellent post that I intend to use to get other email alerts via text message as well. I’ll add two valuable tips to enhancing EHD deals: First, thanks to Hilton’s variable pricing model, some of the deals they post on Hilton hotels actually are bookable on points at reduced rates. Second: luxury hotel mistake rates listed by EHD are sometimes available through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. I had to cancel, but I had booked a Four Seasons last year for a rate of $56 for one night that I grabbed through FHR to include breakfast for 2, a $100 spa credit, and a guaranteed 4pm late checkout. That’s only helpful for some of the more luxurious properties, but FHR is my first stop when they post a property that I expect might be listed there. Thanks to setting myself up for text alerts thanks to Brian’s post, I’ll hopefully get a few more opportunities to grab these this year.
If you missed this week’s viral story about a man who floated the idea of retiring to a Holiday Inn instead of a senior center, catch that story here. Then proceed to USA Today for the take on the other side. While I am (hopefully) quite a few years off from making this type of decision, I have to admit that hotel living has a certain appeal to me. In fact, anyone who has played in our hobby for a reasonable amount of time has probably at least thought out loud to themselves that staying in hotels full time doesn’t have to be much more expensive than traditional long-term lodging…and somebody else makes the bed and breakfast. I’m curious: are any readers actively considering retiring to hotels?
Tension appears to be mounting between retailers and banks over credit card interchange fees. I’m seeing more and more signs at local businesses advertising increased prices to cover these fees, which I initially took to be a convenient excuse to charge more. However, as outlined by Fortune magazine in this article, Kroger is putting its money where its mouth is and banning Visa credit cards at another of its chains, this time Smith’s locations in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone about what an absolute trainwreck Marriott has made of the transition to Bonvoy. Ironically, I’ve stayed at Marriott hotels more in 2019 than in the past 5 years combined. That hasn’t been because of how wonderfully they’re running the transition, but rather because I nabbed status via a credit card last year and I can’t deny the size of the footprint. But really, I’m including this post from One Mile at a Time for a more important reason: because it points out the relationship between the business of blogging and the content that gets run. One thing I enjoy about my favorite bloggers is knowing when I’m hearing their individual voices and honest opinions. Much respect to both Lucky and Richard in that regard here.
Yesterday, Chase began sending out an offer to earn extra points when booking hotels through the Ultimate Rewards portal, which was widely reported by many blogs. This excellent post from God Save the Points gives the most complete analysis I’ve seen as to whether or not it’s worth pursuing this promo. There are a lot of variables: Do you need elite status benefits? Are the UR points worth more than the total points earned if booking directly and paying with a hotel credit card? Are you better off using a Venture card via Hotels.com if you don’t care about elite benefits? This post covers all of that and more and shows that the “right” answer isn’t so obvious or easy.
That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.