A nifty deal alert hack, Kroger banning Visa, Chase 10x hotels alternatives, and more

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.

How to Save Big with Extreme Hotel Deals

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.

Maybe it’s not so golden: Seniors might not want a Holiday Inn retirement life, experts say

Holiday Inn Express London Hammersmith

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?

Kroger Bans Visa Cards at 250 Additional Stores

Visa, it’s everywhere you want to be…..except maybe your local grocery store.

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.

Marriott Bonvoy Still Failing At Basics

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.

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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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Regarding the senior living hotel idea…the expert says you will be isolated and not get any care at a hotel. But I think you might. I tend to get really good personal service at those small hotels. Like Garden Inns Hamptons, So you stay there a lot…everyone knows you. You become very familiar to them. You buy them some things. Meals, tips holiday gifts. Obviously they are not going to provide nursing care for you. But I think for sure they will watch over you and some kinda extras will come your way… I think it could work for the right senior. Now if you could get a rate at a Conrad…with a lounge…! I’ve seen them really go the extra mile for some of their long term guests. Special food, reserved seating etc. I’m sure much more is being provided behind the scenes too. Dang, I’m not even a long term guest and I get all kinds of special treatment for sure at Odaiba Hilton Conrad Tokyo and Conrad Hong Kong. It’s my plan:). I want to live in the Hong Kong Conrad.


I want to live in the Cathay Pacific first class lounge.



Thanks very much for the shout-out on the Extreme Hotel Deals post. I love your two additional tips; genius. Do you happen to know if the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection also sometimes works? If you don’t know, I’ll be sure to try it.

Thanks again,



I was staying at the JW Marriott in Hanoi this week, and I had this same discussion with a friend who is at an Air B&B in Hanoi.
For $150 per night I had a room for two, upgraded to a really nice suite, breakfast buffet for 2, “high tea” for 2,5 hours in the afternoon, plus free booze and a spread that amounted to a full dinner and dessert cakes from 5:30-9:30.

Throw in the fact the executive lounge offers free soda, coffee and something to much on all day, I’d say that’s easily worth 4500 per month.

I doubt I’d be able to get my four dogs in there though.


Many many hotels, especially fancy ones, have people living in them. Nothing new


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