This week has flown by! The Villain and I were in Lake Tahoe for the first part of the week and though it’s a little early in the season and they haven’t had much snow, we had at least one solid day of skiing and enjoyed a couple days off. There was a bunch of news from the travel and miles and points worlds I didn’t get a chance to blog about this week, so here’s a long list of things you don’t want to miss!
Quarter 1 Hotel Promotions:
- Marriott: Once again this appears to be for points, not free nights like the old Megabonus, so I’ll probably again sit this one out Loyalty Traveler has a full list of the various versions, at least what’s listed on FlyerTalk.
- IHG: You can now register for “Set Your Sights,” which appears fairly similar to the fall “Into the Nights,” except only the option to earn points, not nights (at least my offer). Since I already have the IHG credit card, I’d need to take advantage of the other four to get the 50,000 points. A total of four nights, two at different Crowne Plaza hotels, one with a bonus points package, and one stay at a Holiday Inn Resort or Club Vacations destination doesn’t seem too unreasonable.
My biggest concern would be the resort stay, since most of my paid travel is for business. The terms and conditions seem to indicate there’s a minimum of three nights at the participating hotels, none of which are on my radar, so on second glance it doesn’t look like I’ll be participating in this one. More likely I could stay at two Crowne Plazas, for two nights each, with one being a bonus package, and earn 22,000 points, which might be worth it if I could redeem for Points Break nights.
- Hyatt: Unlike the first two you’re unable to register for this one yet, and Hyatt hasn’t released many details, but check your email around January 12. I’m hoping I’m targeted for a great offer, because my goal for spring travel is to stay with Hyatt as much as possible to maximize my Diamond status and save up some Hyatt points.
Take two minutes and do this….
- Activate Quarter 1 bonuses on the Chase Freedom.
- Check your email to see if Club Carlson sent you a holiday gift. Bonus miles appear to be between 2,000 and 10,000, though we have yet to receive any emails.
- Sync your Bluebird cards to Amex Offers, as they’re now apparently eligible to receive statement credits as well.
- Transfer Amex Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios for a 40% bonus through January 31, via Miles 4 More.
- Enter the daily Milepoint 12 Days of Christmas giveaways.
- Refer your friends to Points Hound to receive 1,000 bonus points. As long as they sign up for an account by December 31, you and your friend will each earn 1,000 points after their first stay, which can be anytime in 2015. I love being able to earn airline miles through hotel stays with Points Hound. Here’s my link if you are a new user.
- Switch to paperless statements with Barclaycard and receive $25. If you have a Chase checking account and go paperless you’ll earn $5.
Other Travel News:
- IHG acquired Kimpton Hotels. I’m not sure whether to be bummed or pumped about this. I LOVE Kimpton and the Inner Circle benefits, so I’d be sad to see those go away eventually, but it will be nice to potentially be able to redeem the IHG free nights at Kimpton properties.
- Hyatt announced in 2015 70 Hyatt properties will shift categories on the award chart. Effective January 22, 48 hotels will go down a category and 22 will move up one category. Pizza in Motion has the full lists.
- Southwest extended it’s schedule through August 7. On February 26 it will open for travel through October 30. I was finally able to rebook our flights to Cabo this summer after having to postpone a birthday trip thanks to the hurricane and Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos shut down.
- Vanilla Reload’s are going away for good on April 1, 2015. This may mean nothing to you, and doesn’t affect me much, but is potentially devastating to some of the heavy hitters in manufactured spending.
- Through December 27th you can receive an immediate, in-store discount of $20 when you buy $300 in Visa or Mastercard giftcards. Official limit is two offers per household. Of course you can maximize this deal if you haven’t yet redeemed the Office Max Amex Sync Offer, or by using a card with an office supply store category bonus.
- The US Airways Premier World Mastercard is offering bonus points for every friend you refer who gets approved. This is a great card with an all-time high bonus right now, and I’m bummed The Villain wasn’t automatically approved in his last churn, and am kicking myself for trying the “Preferred” link which he wasn’t eligible for. Anyway, if you don’t have the card yet and want in on 50,000 US Airways miles, then even more when you refer your friends and family, I would love to refer you. Send me an email with your full name to email@example.com and I’ll send the link ASAP.