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Priority Club just released their latest list of Point Breaks hotels that you can book for only 5000 points per night.

point-breaks-october

There are few InterContinental hotels on the list. The new InterContinental Doha on the PB list is right in the city center. The new InterContinental Danang in Vietnam is also on the Point Breaks. It has been on my list to visit.

You can access the list of Point Breaks hotels that you can find also below by going priorityclub.com/pointbreaks.

My tips booking Point Breaks hotels:

1. Book NOW if you see something that you can use. Hotels often drop off the list soon.

2. Make separate bookings for each night of your stay. If you later need to drop off dates, this will allow you to do that.

Here’s the complete list of Point Breaks hotels that is valid until December 10, 2012.

Please note that I will update this post once I have the United States and Canada Point Breaks available as well.

Conclusion

Point Breaks are the best value hotel awards that are out there. The only problem is sometimes the rather short booking window because the desirable locations are booked solid fast.

Please note that the list below is the list of hotels that were originally available as Point Breaks. Once the Point Breaks inventory is exhausted, you can book them at the normal award levels.

Europe

Africa

EGYPT
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SAHARA OASIS PORT GHALIB RESOR

Middle East

BAHRAIN
INTERCONTINENTAL BAHRAIN

JORDAN
INTERCONTINENTAL AQABA (RESORT AQABA)

QATAR
INTERCONTINENTAL DOHA – THE CITY

Asia

CHINA-PEOPLES REPUBLIC
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL MAANSHAN
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SHANGHAI XIAYANG LAKE
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL ZHONGSHAN WING ON CITY
HOLIDAY INN MUDANJIANG
HOLIDAY INN SHENYANG ZHONGSHAN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BEIJING AIRPORT ZONE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS TIANJIN DONGLI
INTERCONTINENTAL TANGSHAN

INDIA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NEW DELHI ROHINI

INDONESIA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SEMARANG

VIETNAM
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL WEST HANOI RESIDENCES
INTERCONTINENTAL DANANG SUN PENINSULA RESORT

Mexico

CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NUEVO LAREDO
HOLIDAY INN SALAMANCA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS TOLUCA GALERIAS METEPEC
HOTEL INDIGO VERACRUZ BOCA DEL RIO
INTERCONTINENTAL PRESIDENTE SANTA FE MEXICO

Canada

ALBERTA
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES LLOYDMINSTER

BRITISH COLUMBIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SURREY

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
HOLIDAY INN STEPHENVILLE

ONTARIO
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL HAMILTON HOTEL & CONF CENTER
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES NEW LISKEARD

QUEBEC
HOLIDAY INN MONTREAL-LONGUEUIL

Central & South America

ARGENTINA
HOLIDAY INN BUENOS AIRES EZEIZA AIRPORT

BRAZIL
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL CURITIBA, BRAZIL

COLOMBIA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SUITES TEQUENDAMA BOGOTA

COSTA RICA
HOTEL INDIGO SAN JOSE FORUM COSTA RICA

HONDURAS
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SAN PEDRO SULA

PARAGUAY
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL ASUNCION

VENEZUELA
INTERCONTINENTAL MARACAIBO

Oceania

FIJI ISLANDS
HOLIDAY INN SUVA

NEW ZEALAND
HOLIDAY INN ROTORUA

United States

ALABAMA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES ENTERPRISE

ARKANSAS
CANDLEWOOD SUITES NORTH LITTLE ROCK

ARIZONA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES NOGALES

CALIFORNIA
HOLIDAY INN SAN JOSE – AIRPORT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BRENTWOOD
HOTEL INDIGO SAN DIEGO DEL MAR

COLORADO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GUNNISON
STAYBRIDGE SUITES DENVER TECH CENTER

CONNECTICUT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES STAMFORD

DELAWARE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES WILMINGTON-NEWARK

FLORIDA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES MELBOURNE/VIERA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ARCADIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SEBRING

GEORGIA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES MACON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS FAYETTEVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MILLEDGEVILLE

IOWA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES OMAHA AIRPORT

IDAHO
CANDLEWOOD SUITES IDAHO FALLS

ILLINOIS
HOLIDAY INN CHICAGO MATTESON CONF CTR
CANDLEWOOD SUITES AURORA-NAPERVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES JACKSONVILLE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES SPRINGFIELD-SOUTH

INDIANA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES CRAWFORDSVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BLUFFTON
STAYBRIDGE SUITES ELKHART NORTH

KANSAS
CANDLEWOOD SUITES WICHITA-NORTHEAST

KENTUCKY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BOWLING GREEN

LOUISIANA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES NEW IBERIA
HOTEL INDIGO BATON ROUGE DOWNTOWN

MASSACHUSETTS
HOLIDAY INN FITCHBURG – WATERPARK
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BROCKTON – BOSTON

MARYLAND
HOLIDAY INN SALISBURY DOWNTOWN AREA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS LA PLATA

MICHIGAN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GRAND RAPIDS – SOUTH
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES FARMINGTON HILLS – NOVI

MISSOURI
CANDLEWOOD SUITES JEFFERSON CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SALEM

MISSISSIPPI
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GREENVILLE

MONTANA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES GREAT FALLS

NORTH CAROLINA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS WILLIAMSTON

NORTH DAKOTA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES WILLISTON

NEBRASKA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES LINCOLN

NEW JERSEY
STAYBRIDGE SUITES NORTH BRUNSWICK
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL PARAMUS

NEW MEXICO
CANDLEWOOD SUITES ROSWELL NEW MEXICO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SILVER CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES
STAYBRIDGE SUITES ALBUQUERQUE – AIRPORT

NEW YORK
CANDLEWOOD SUITES SYRACUSE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS OWEGO

OHIO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CLEVELAND DOWNTOWN
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL CINCINNATI NORTH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS WILMINGTON

OKLAHOMA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES MCALESTER
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES PRYOR

OREGON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS PORTLAND EAST – TROUTDALE

PENNSYLVANIA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL PHILADELPHIA – VALLEY FORGE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES ALLENTOWN WEST

SOUTH CAROLINA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES GREENVILLE I-85 WOODRUFF ROAD

TENNESSEE
CANDLEWOOD SUITES KNOXVILLE AIRPORT-ALCOA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HURRICANE MILLS (WAVERLY)

TEXAS
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL HOUSTON GALLERIA AREA
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES SAN ANTONIO NORTHWEST
HOTEL INDIGO WACO – BAYLOR
CANDLEWOOD SUITES BELTWAY 8/WESTHEIMER ROAD
CANDLEWOOD SUITES MOUNT PLEASANT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CROCKETT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CLEVELAND
STAYBRIDGE SUITES DFW AIRPORT NORTH

VIRGINIA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES FREDERICKSBURG
HOLIDAY INN UNIVERSITY-BLACKSBURG
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS KILMARNOCK
STAYBRIDGE SUITES QUANTICO-STAFFORD

WASHINGTON
CANDLEWOOD SUITES OLYMPIA/LACEY

WISCONSIN
CANDLEWOOD SUITES WAUSAU-RIB MOUNTAIN

WEST VIRGINIA
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES CHARLESTON WEST

WYOMING
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GILLETTE

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United Airlines just emailed me an apparently targeted offer for 50% bonus on some partner activities that are credited to my Mileage Plus account.

united-airlines-mile-up-offer

You will get 50% bonus for using United’s online mall, renting cars, staying hotels and number of other partners. The maximum bonus that you can earn is capped at 25K miles. Note that this offer doesn’t apply for hotel points to miles conversions.

united-airlines-mile-up-sign-up

You can try the following link to see if you are eligible for this or other variation of this offer.

Conclusion

This offer is most likely targeted to some United accounts. You can always try to register for promotion TB4M59. I might take advantage of this offer if some other hotel related bonus offer for United miles comes around.

Here are the terms and conditions of this United offer:

1. Eligibility: This offer is valid only for original recipients of this offer and is non-transferable. Offer valid only for MileagePlus® members residing in the 50 United States.
2. Registration: To qualify for this offer, members must register and complete qualifying transactions to earn miles with a qualified MileagePlus partner. Registration must be completed prior to any qualifying transaction. Register anytime between now and November 15, 2012. The registration period will conclude at 11:59 p.m. (CST) on November 15, 2012.
3. Transaction Qualifications:
a. Partner transactions must be completed between now and 11:59 p.m. (CST) on December 31, 2012 and post by February 28, 2013 into member’s account in order to qualify for this offer. Retroactive claims will qualify only if posted on or prior to February 28, 2013. MileagePlus will not be responsible for technical failures or delays that would result in partner posting being ineligible for this promotion.
b. Some partners require membership in their program in order to earn MileagePlus award miles. Partners may also require members to opt to earn MileagePlus miles over other loyalty currencies. Miles earned from transactions with the following MileagePlus partners do not qualify for the Mile Up promotion – airline partners, United Vacations, United Cruises and Fidelity. The additional 5000 mile acquisition bonus awarded after six months, by Gexa, in conjunction with their UATENK bonus do not qualify for the Mile Up promotion. Miles accrued for using a MileagePlus credit card do not count towards the MileUp bonus and award miles. All hotel points-to-miles transfers, including any associated hotel points-to-miles transfer bonuses are also excluded from this promotion. In addition, miles from Hyatt one-time Thank-You bonuses are excluded. For a complete list of MileagePlus partners, visit mileageplus.com. MileagePlus partners are independent entities, and United® is not responsible for the nature or quality of products or services provided by those partners, nor for any solicitation efforts by those partners.
c. Only qualifying miles credited to a member’s account will count toward the bonus mile offer. Any debits to a member’s account as a result of retail transactions that have been returned will negate previously credited miles.
4. Posting of Mile Up Bonus Miles:
a. Transactions must be credited to the MileagePlus account number of the registered member in order to qualify.
b. Each member is allowed to earn a maximum of 25,000 bonus award miles from the Mile Up promotion.
c. Bonus miles may take up to 6-8 weeks after a qualifying partner transaction to post to a member’s account.
d. Registered MileagePlus members must comply with all terms and conditions of this promotion to earn bonus award miles – no partial credit will be awarded.
5. This offer is not combinable with other MileagePlus offers. This is a MileagePlus sponsored promotion and not sponsored by other Partners.
6. Miles accrued, awards, and benefits issued are subject to change and are subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus program. Please allow 6-8 weeks for miles to post to your account. United may change the MileagePlus program including, but not limited to, rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers or terminate the MileagePlus program at any time and without notice. Bonus award miles, award miles and any other miles earned through non-flight activity do not count or qualify for Premier® status unless expressly stated otherwise. United and its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products and services of other participating companies and partners. Taxes and fees related to award travel are the responsibility of the member. United and MileagePlus are registered service marks. For complete details about the MileagePlus program, go to www.united.com.
8. Offer subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.

See additional MileagePlus terms and conditions.

TB4M59

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United is the last carrier to announce their bonus offer for fall/winter 2012 transatlantic trips between the United States and London Heathrow. There are identical offers from American Airlines, British Airways, and Delta.

united-airlines-transatlantic-fall-winter-2012-bonus

This offer is valid for tickets issued after October 4th for travel between October 4 and January 31, 2012. You need to register for this promotion prior to your travel. Only first, business, and flexible economy class fares are eligible for these bonus miles.

Bonus miles earned

1. 1st trip = 15K bonus miles

2. 2nd trip = 35K bonus miles

3. 3rd and subsequent trips = 50K bonus miles per trip

If you haven’t been ticketed in first or business class, you have to be very careful about the booking class that for economy must be either Y or B.

Conclusion

The transatlantic carriers are offering very attractive mileage promotions for first, business, and high economy fares at the moment. Is the traffic becoming soft?

Here are the terms and conditions of this United offer:

  • To qualify, register on united.com before travel, then purchase and complete paid qualifying roundtrips between the U.S. and London Heathrow on flights marketed and operated by United.
  • Offer valid on paid qualifying roundtrips in United Global First, United BusinessFirst and full-fare Economy fares (F, A, J, C, D, Z, P, Y and B booking classes).
  • Offer valid on tickets purchased between October 4, 2012, and January 31, 2013, with travel completed between October 4, 2012, and January 31, 2013.
  • MileagePlus members can earn 15,000 bonus award miles for the first qualifying roundtrip, 35,000 bonus award miles for the second qualifying roundtrip and 50,000 bonus award miles for each additional roundtrip.
  • There is no limit to the number of bonus miles that may be earned with this promotion.
  • Bonus award miles do not count toward Premier® status, and do not apply to class-of-service, Premier bonus miles or promotional Premier qualifying miles.
  • Offer is not valid on United-marketed codeshare flights operated by other carriers.
  • Offer is not valid on government fares.
  • Roundtrip is defined as travel from an origin city to a destination city with return travel beginning in the destination city back to the origin city. Open jaw and circle trip itineraries do not qualify.
  • Bonus is not combinable with other non-combinable bonus offers.
  • Bonus will be posted to the member’s MileagePlus account six to eight weeks after the end of the promotion period.
  • Electronic ticket purchase is required. Tickets purchased in the U.S. through United Reservations are subject to a $25 ticketing fee and tickets purchased at airport ticket counters are subject to a $30 ticketing fee. Fees are subject to change.
  • Offer is subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.
  • Miles accrued, awards issued and bonus offers are subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus program. For complete details about the program, visit united.com/mileageplus.

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What would be better than getting cashback rebates for travel related bookings that you would be taking regardless? Sounds too good to be true? Actually, it is not. You are really leaving money on the table if you are not taking advantage of various cashback options for hotel stays and airline bookings.

Different type of cashback malls

1. Straight cashback malls

These are my personal choice as you normally get the cashback deposited directly to your PayPal account. It is easy to compare the cashback options because the payout is represented in percentage of the price. You just choose the cashback mall that is offering the highest payout at the time you do the booking/purchase.

ebates-cashback-mall

My favorites on this category are FatCash, BigCrumbs, eBates, MrRebates, TopCashback, Quidco & Upromise. There are number of others as well.

2. Airline/hotel related malls

There are few hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott that are offering a cashback mall where most of the major US airlines like Delta, United, American, and US Airways (and pretty much all the others) do have one. These tend to be run by Cartera.

aadvantage-eshopping-mall

I normally only use these when they are offering a bonus for a bonus miles for hitting a certain thresholds. These are normally offered during the holidays and back to school periods.

3. Credit card/bank related malls

Credit card companies and banks have opened their own cashback malls as well. Citi, Chase, Discover, Bank of America etc. all have their own cashback malls.

bank-of-america-worldpoints-mall

I used Citi’s Thank You Points-mall a lot when they were offering fixed price air awards. Now that the payout is only 1.33 cents per point on air fare, it hasn’t been that competitive.

Comparing cashback payouts

You can always just go through one provider or follow my advice and just open an account with all of them. You should then the cashback mall that offers the highest payout. The cashback amount varies vendor to vendor and can change sometimes weekly.

cashback-holic-comparison-tool

There are various sites for checking out the cashback amounts. You can visit Evreward, RewardsDB, CashbackHolic, CashbackMonitor and NerdWallet. The latter is specialized for the credit card and bank cashback malls.

None of these is perfect, however. You should always check UK based Quidco as well that has offered very good cashback rates as of late and is excluded from most of these comparison sites due to its location.

Tracking transactions

There are sometimes problem with tracking the cashback from making the booking to getting the payout. I have made a simple Excel sheet that I use for this purpose. I record the date of the booking, the date of the stay (in case of hotels), the name of the merchant, name of the cashback mall, the confirmation number, and the expected cashback amount or percentage of rebate.

It is really essential that you do this if you make number of bookings as it might get confusing really fast which mall you used and when. Also, the cashback amount/percentage can change. It is essential that you have recorded the amount that you should get based on the cashback rate at the time of booking/purchase.

Getting paid

The de facto payment form for the first set of sites is PayPal. Some sites pay out quarterly, some monthly, some require you to request a payment before it is processed and some may require you to have a minimum withdrawal amount of $10.

The airline/hotel related malls just deposit the miles/points that you have earned from your purchases to your account. The same goes for bank/credit card related ones as well.

Example booking an InterContinental Hotel

The cashback amount on IHG group of hotels varies a lot between the sites. I have come to realize that I really need to check them all when I am making bookings.

Last week MrRebates was offering 6%

cashback-mrrebates-holiday-inn

eBates 4.5%

cashback-ebates-holiday-inn

TopCashBack 6%

cashback-topcashback-holiday-inn

And Quidco whopping 12%

cashback-quidco-holiday-inn

The booking was made using the cashback link on Quidco’s website.

Conclusion

Hotels tend to offer attractive cashback rates as they are trying to get more bookings through their websites and not having to pay 10% travel agent commissions. I have earned thousands of dollars cashback through these sites over the past ten years I have been using them.

It doesn’t matter if you are not located in the United States as these sites are paying out to PayPal account. Similarly, nothing prevents you taking advantage of sometimes generous rates that Quidco, based in the UK, is offering.

Note that LoyaltyLobby may get a referral fee if you join and use the cashback sites mentioned above.

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You used to be able to pull up 360 days of stay activity at priorityclub.com, but recently this was changed to only 180 days that is annoying. For Royal Ambassador qualification purposes, you have to know the number of nights that you have stayed at the IHG properties in the past year.

priority-club-website-180-days-activity

You now have again the ability to pull up the full 360 days of your IHG stays on their mobile website that I can access on my Samsung S3. You won’t get points breakdown, but rather long list of hotels and dates.

priority-club-mobile-website-360

You can try accessing this site at: http://m.ihg.com/hotels/priorityclub/us/en/home.html.

priority-club-mobile-front-page

If you get a site like above, you can then access your stay history as well.

Conclusion

This is a welcomed workaround for accessing past 12 months of your stay history. It really should be available on Priority Club’s main website as well with a breakdown on number of points earned.

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There was lot of news about the Kingfisher Airlines earlier this year when they had some of the planes repoed at foreign airports, airline was suspended from IATA’s clearing house, the joining of Oneworld was cancelled, and most of the route network was scrapped. There really hasn’t been any good Kingfisher Airlines related news this year.

kingfisher-flights-grounded

The airline has been back in the news in the past week when airline employees started a strike for non-payment of wages since March of this year that resulted the grounding of its fleet until the October 3rd first and then extended to 12th of this month. We’ll see if the airline is going to take off ever again.

BBC reported that the airline had only been operating with seven aircraft as of late and, according to the CNBC, the airline had more 1.4 billion dollars in debt.

The Indian government has eased the foreign ownership rule of the airline sector. Now, a foreign entity can own up to 49% of an Indian airline. There have been rumors that one of the Middle Eastern airlines would invest money in to kingfisher.

Conclusion

The situation with Kingfisher Airline has gone from bad to worse. Unless something drastic happens, I doubt that the airline would resume operations. Why would any foreign carrier invest in to this bankrupt airline?

According to Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic, “The easiest way to become a millionaire is to start off a billionaire and go into the airline business”. It is unfortunate that the founder of Kingfisher airlines and beer tycoon, Vijay Mallya, had to learn it the hard way.

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LoyaltyLobby turned one last month when I was in Easter Islands to check out the Moai statues. The idea behind LoyaltyLobby had been on back of my head already for couple of years before I got the site up and running.

First Post on LoyaltyLobby in September 2011
First Post on LoyaltyLobby in September 2011

Travel blogs

Quite a few of the “travel” blogs have turned nothing more than blogs soliciting credit card sign ups and lifting travel related bits and pieces off of FlyerTalk and other travel related websites. Also, most of these folks really don’t travel that much, don’t really know the programs based on their own experience, and are generally lacking the most basic common sense.

My point was to make LoyaltyLobby one stop destination for correct, timely, and actionable information about hotel and airline loyalty programs and promotions without the fluff and hyperboles.

And, I can guarantee that you won’t see a photo of me on the entire site.  Narcissism isn’t my cup of tea.

How do I know what I know?

This is the easy part. I have been travelling pretty much non-stop since the early 2000’s and haven’t had a “home” since 2004. I have mostly spent my nights at Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood properties and have hundreds of stays in each one of them. I have also flown from anywhere between 200K to 300K miles per year on wide number of airlines.

So, for years I have been taking advantage of these programs to maximize, not their revenue out of me, but rather my comfort and miles/points in the process.

Loyalty programs to participate

I have always encouraged my friends to take advantage on number of airline and hotel loyalty programs. It makes absolutely no sense to be “blindly” loyal to any one of them. If you are blindly loyal, I can ensure that you are missing the point. None of these loyalty programs are loyal to you. They are in place to make switching from one hotel or airline program to another more difficult and to extract extra revenue out from you.

Being blindly loyal to any one program also makes you to pay far more than necessary.

I love the fact that I am able to select from number of programs & chains when I am selecting the hotel where I am going to stay at. None of the hotel programs really have a worldwide presence. Good luck finding a Marriott property in Maldives, French Polynesia, or Seychelles for that matter. This same lack of properties does apply for all these “global” chains in various cities/countries around the world.

Conclusion

So, I hope that you have enjoyed the first year of LoyaltyLobby as much as I have done. I can promise that I continue writing about the issues that I encounter during my travels on my dry and witty way.

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American Airlines has had almost monthly promotions for buying miles. Thing to remember is that you can only buy or be gifted maximum of 40K American Airlines AAdvantage miles on a calendar year.

american-airlines-buy-miles-october-offer

The current offer is for maximum of 10K bonus miles for buying 36K to 40K AAdvantage miles. If you buy the minimum required to get the maximum bonus, the price of a mile under this offer is 2.4 cents each.

american-airlines-buy-miles-october-price-for-36k

Conclusion

This is not the best offer for buying American Airlines AAdvantage miles that have been out there lately. If you do, however, need a number of miles to make that international business/first class trip to happen, it can make sense.

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There are quite a few offers for transatlantic travel this fall and winter. This offer from British Airways is valid for travel between October 1 and January 31, 2012. The offer is valid for flights marketed and operated by British Airways, Iberia, American Airlines, and OpenSkies. This offer is valid for Executive Club members in the United States and Canada.

british-airways-executive-club-fall-2012-transatlantic-bonus

The only drawback is the fare class eligibility. The bonus is eligible for first, business, premium economy, and full fare economy fares. You will earn 15K bonus Avios for first round trip, 35K bonus Avios for the second one, and 50K for the third and subsequent round trips during the promotional period. Note that the travel must start in the United States or Canada and you need to register for this offer before travel.

british-airways-executive-club-fall-2012-transatlantic-bonus-airlines

Conclusion

There are quite a few promotions going on for the transatlantic travel this fall/winter that are only eligible for full fare travel.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Avios bonus for US and Canadian Executive Club members on qualifying, round-trip transatlantic flights operated and marketed by British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia or OpenSkies booked in flexible/non-restricted Economy or higher fares for travel completed by January 31, 2013. Pre-travel registration required.
1. To be eligible for this promotion, British Airways Executive Club members at least 18 years of age who are locally enrolled and residing in the United States or Canada must (i) register for the promotion between September 27, 2012 and January 31, 2013, inclusive, at ba.com; if you are not a current member, you must enroll in Executive Club and register; and (ii) after registering sufficiently in advance of outbound travel, book and then complete qualifying flights by January 31, 2013. British Airways (“BA”) reserves the right to verify the eligibility of members. By taking part in this promotion, members confirm that they accept the terms and conditions of the offer.
2. Existing bookings made prior to the promotional period do not qualify and this offer cannot be applied retroactively.
3. Member must purchase and fly on a full-fare, transatlantic round-trip ticket for travel beginning and ending in the United States or Canada for flights that are operated and marketed by British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia or OpenSkies, in the following booking classes (which are unrestricted or have limited restrictions):
(i) on British Airways operated flights, includes fares booked in First Class, Club World Business Class, World Traveller Plus Premium Economy or flexible/non-restricted World Traveller Economy Class: F, A, J, C, D, R, I, W, E, T, Y, B or H;
(ii) on American Airlines operated flights, includes fares booked in First Class, Business Class or flexible/non-restricted Economy Class: F, A, J, R, D, I, Y, B or H;
(iii) on Iberia operated flights, includes fares booked in Business Class or flexible/non-restricted Economy Class: J, C, D, R, I or Y;
(iv) on OpenSkies operated flights, includes fares booked in Biz Bed/Business, Prem Plus/Premium Economy and flexible/non-restricted Eco/Economy: J, C, D, R, I, W, E, T, Y, B or H.
This promotion does not apply to flights marketed or operated by franchises, including Comair, Iberia Express, and Sun-Air, or any other code share partners or oneworld© Alliance members.
4. It is the member’s responsibility to ensure that the booking/selling class of the fare purchased qualifies for this promotion. Please confirm prior to purchase. For bookings on ba.com, simply click on the flight number hyperlink on the “Choose your flights” page and refer to the booking/selling classes listed above in 3. (Discount Economy class fares, including those booked/sold in K, M, L, V, S, N, Q, O, or G fare classes, do not qualify for this offer.)
5. Member will earn the following bonus on qualifying, round-trip transatlantic flights booked in flexible/non-restricted Economy and higher fare classes taken during the promotional period:
– 15,000 bonus Avios points for first round-trip purchased and flown as an Executive Club member on a qualifying ticket
– 35,000 bonus Avios points for second round-trip purchased and flown as an Executive Club member on a qualifying ticket
– 50,000 bonus Avios points for third (and each subsequent) round-trip purchased and flown as an Executive Club member on a qualifying ticket
6. Members must quote their Executive Club membership number when booking their qualifying flights and again at check-in for each flight flown during the promotional period.
7. The following are not qualifying flights and this promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any offer, promotion, or deal, including, but not limited to: (i) redemption bookings; (ii) travel agent or airline industry discounted fares, Consolidator or Wholesale fares, group discount fares, child/infant fares or senior citizen fares, whether or not booked in one of the qualifying booking classes; (iii) bookings made with vouchers or coupons (e.g. shareholder’s discount coupon); or (iv) tickets upgraded from any class.
8. Qualifying flights are subject to availability and capacity control in the booking classes eligible for this promotion at the time of booking. BA does not accept any responsibility in the event that members are unable to book qualifying flights.
9. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for bonus Avios to be credited to your Executive Club account.
10. British Airways is not liable for the reproduction of this offer or indirect access via third party websites of these terms and where such reproduction misstates or omits any of the information or terms and conditions connected with this promotion.
11. Member must pay all applicable taxes, fees, and carrier charges.
12. BA reserves the right to cancel or amend the terms and conditions of this offer, without notice, at any time.
13. Subject to the full terms and conditions of the Executive Club Programme.
14. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
15. Other significant restrictions apply.

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5 Comments

Starwood’s “Better By The Night”4th quarter promotion is quite confusing. There are now 4 different points/miles earning opportunities embedded. I just went and registered for all of these and thought that it would be a good idea to write a piece explaining each of the components.

spg-better-by-the-night-promos

1. Double points for one or two nights stays and triple points for stays of three nights or longer

This is the easiest part. You will get double or triple BASE points depending on the length of your stay.

2. Online (250 points) or iPhone (500 points) booking bonus

You will receive 250 bonus Starpoints for making the booking through SPG.com or 500 bonus Starpoints by booking using the SPG iPhone app.

3. FourSquare check in (250 points) bonus

If you link your SPG & FourSquare accounts and do virtual check in while staying in the property, you will receive additional 250 Starpoints per stay.

4. Air Canada Aeroplan bonus (1000 miles per stay) miles

You will receive 1000 Aeroplan miles per stay for up to five stays. This is in addition to the above bonuses and you don’t have to credit towards miles.

You can do registrations for the first three simultaneously but you need to remember to link your SPG and FourSquare accounts.

The Aeroplan offer requires a separate registration. You need your SPG and Aeroplan account numbers.

Here’s what SPG Platinum members can expect to earn on a $150 night that is booked at SPG.com:

300 Base points (2 points per dollar spend)

150 Platinum Bonus points (50% bonus)

500 Platinum Amenity points

300 Double points for the Better by the Night promotion

250 SPG.com online booking bonus

250 FourSquare check in bonus

1000 Aeroplan miles

= 1750 Starpoints + 1000 Aeroplan miles

If you use SPG branded Amex card to pay and use the iPhone app to book, you can earn even more points

Conclusion

At first, the SPG’s “Better By The Night” promotion appears underwhelming. It is actually quite ok if you can take advantage of all the side promotions.

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8 Comments

Hilton has one of the more dysfunctional hotel websites as of late. I probably need to log in from anywhere 4 to 5 times when trying to complete a reservation. Now, Hilton has at least revamped the graphic layout the site, but I am not sure if they have touched the back end at all.

hilton-revamped-website

When I was going through my past reservations earlier today, I realized that it was not only showing the rates that I had paid but also the rates that the hotels were reimbursed by Hilton HHonors for award stays. It appears that Hilton has now corrected the error, but I wrote down some values.

hilton-mistake

Here’s what I found out:

Conrad Bali $36.30

Conrad Singapore 45.81 SGD

Conrad Macao 268 HKD

Conrad Hong Kong 256.82

Hilton Moorea FP 32 USD

Hilton Colombo Residence 38.08 USD

W/A Rome Cavalieri 40 Euros

W/A Shanghai on the Bund $35

As you can see, most of the basic reimbursements from the Hilton HHonors to the properties are about $40. This is inline what I have seen in some other hotels as well i.e. InterContinental Hotels Group.

Conclusion

Hotels get reimbursed very little for award stays unless the hotel is at capacity when they get close to the ADR (Average Daily Rate). Considering at what rates these programs are selling points to consumers and companies, the reimbursement to properties is very low.

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2 Comments

Choice Hotels has a promotion for Southwest Rapid Rewards points. You can earn 1200 points per stay instead of the usual 600 between October 1 and November 15, 2012.

choice-hotels-southwest-1200-rapid-rewards

I just received an email from Southwest regarding this offer but there is no information available about this on Choice’s own website. There doesn’t seem to be a requirement to register for this promotion.

Here’s the link to the Southwest webpage regarding this offer. Make sure that you read the list of countries where Choice hotels are not participating.

1200 Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth $20 when used for Wanna Getaway fares, $12 when used for Anytime fares, and $10 when used for Business select fares.

Conclusion

This is a nice $20 rebate in form of Southwest Rapid Rewards points if you are collecting Southwest rewards and staying at Choice hotels during the promotional period.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Available to Members of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Program. Earn double points with arrival between October 1, 2012 through November 15, 2012 when paying an eligible rate, as defined at ChoiceHotels.com at any Choice Hotels franchised property in the U.S., Canada, Europe (excluding Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden), the Middle East, Mexico, Central America, Australasia (including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and Fiji), or the Caribbean. Valid Rapid Rewards account number must be provided when completing the reservation or upon check-in for the stay to be eligible.  Allow six to eight weeks for points to post to your account. Standard amount of Rapid Rewards Points is 600 per stay; a stay is defined as any number of consecutive nights at one hotel, regardless of check-ins or check-outs. For program details and eligible rates, visit ChoiceHotels.com. All Rapid Rewards rules and regulations apply.

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4 Comments

Hilton HHonors 4th quarter “1,000 Reasons” promotion starts on November 1 and ends on December 31, 2012. I already wrote about this promotion couple of days ago. Hilton was supposed to unveil this promotion on October 17, but the website is already up and running. You need to register for this promotion to be eligible for the bonus points.

hilton-hhonors-4th-q-1000-reasons

You will earn 1000 bonus Hilton HHonors points per Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights. You won’t earn any bonus for Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Note that there is a list of non-participating properties for this promotion. Make sure that your stay is not at any of them. Cancel and rebook if needed.

Conclusion

This is bit of a letdown compared to the promotion that Hilton HHonors had for the same period of last year; free night certificate for every four stays. Of course, bonus points are better than nothing, but you should have a look at what other hotel chains are offering for the same period and act accordingly.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer

Offer valid for eligible stays completed between November 1 and December 31, 2012 (“Promotion Period”) at any participating hotel in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio click here for hotels who have chosen to not participate. Hilton HHonors™ members must first register at www.HHonors.com/1000Reasons prior to check-out of first stay within the Promotion Period. Registered HHonors members will receive the Bonus Points only for nights completed during the Promotion Period regardless of a check-in date before the Promotion Period begins or a check-out date after the Promotion Period ends. Registered HHonors members will earn 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points for each night stayed between Thursday and Monday nights during the Promotion Period. There is no limit to the total amount of Bonus Points that may be earned during the Promotion Period. Bonus Points do not count toward elite tier qualification. Please allow six to eight weeks from completion of your stay for points to appear in your HHonors account. Offer is not transferable, is not valid for groups and cannot be combined with other select offers. Hilton HHonors™ membership, earning of Points & Miles™ and redemption of points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.

Here are the frequently asked questions about this promotion:

What is the name of the Hilton HHonors™ promotion for the fourth quarter of 2012?
‘1,000 Reasons’

What is the promotion?
Registered HHonors members will receive 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points for each qualifying Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night of their stay completed during the Promotion Period.

What is the Promotion Period for the ‘1,000 Reasons’ promotion?
1 November through 31 December, 2012 (‘Promotion Period’)

What is an eligible stay?
An eligible stay is defined in the HHonors Terms & Conditions under Accrual of Points number 3. Click here to read more http://hhonors1.hilton.com/en_US/hh/terms.do#accrual_of_points

What type of points will HHonors members be issued for this promotion?
HHonors members will have the opportunity to earn 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points. Standard HHonors program terms and conditions apply. There is no limit to the total amount of Bonus Points that can be earned during the Promotional Period.

Is there a limit to the number of Bonus Points earned for an eligible stay??
For the 1,000 Reasons promotion there is no cap on the points you can earn for the stay; however, Standard HHonors program Terms and Conditions apply.

How do HHonors members register for the promotion?
HHonors members can access our registration page through www.HHonors.com/1000reasons

Do I have to register for this promotion?
Yes. To participate, HHonors members must register for the promotion at www.HHonors.com/1000reasons.

When I register for this promotion, can I use my user name and password to register?
Yes. You can use either your Hilton HHonors™ number or user name when you log in and subsequently enter either your PIN or password, just like you do when you log on with your account to make a reservation.

I am not an HHonors member; can I participate in this promotion?
Yes. You can join the HHonors program for free, register for the promotion and immediately be eligible to participate. Simply visit www.HHonors.com/1000reasons and follow the steps to join HHonors and register for the promotion simultaneously.

What are the Terms and Conditions of the promotion?
To make sure everyone has the most up-to-date Terms and Conditions, we have posted them on the website www.HHonors.com/1000reasons.

Which Hilton Worldwide brands are participating in the promotion?
All Hilton Worldwide brands are participating in the promotion: Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Embassy Suites, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Grand Vacations, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites and Hampton. However, some hotels have chosen not to participate, you can view the list of non-participating hotels by visiting www.HHonors.com/1000reasons

Are all rates eligible for this promotion?
No. A list of ineligible rates can be found under the HHonors Terms and Conditions: Accrual of Points number 3. Click here to read more http://hhonors1.hilton.com/en_US/hh/terms.do#accrual_of_points.

What if I already have a reservation, is it eligible for the promotion?
Yes, as long as the member is registered for the promotion prior to check-out of the stay and the reservation is for an eligible stay then regardless of when a reservation was booked, any nights within the Promotion Period will receive the promotion bonus.

If I check-in before 1 November, 2012 or check-out after 31 December, 2012, do I still earn 1,000 Bonus Points for each night stayed between Thursday and Monday nights?
Registered HHonors members will receive 1,000 Bonus Points each Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night stay completed during the Promotion Period, regardless of a check-in date before the Promotion Period begins or a check-out date after the Promotion Period ends.

If I have two rooms at the same time with my family, do both of those rooms count toward my promotion bonus if I am paying for them both?
No. You will receive a maximum of 1,000 Bonus Points each night stayed between Thursday and Monday nights completed during the Promotion Period, regardless of the number of rooms in your reservation(s).

When will the Bonus Points post to my HHonors account?
Please allow 6-8 weeks from the completion of your stay for the Bonus Points to appear in your HHonors account.

Do Reward Stays count towards this promotion?
Members may earn Bonus Points for incidental charges at participating hotels within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio during a Reward Stay, provided such charges are deemed eligible folio charges. This does not apply to incidental charges for stays at Hampton, Home2 Suites or Homewood Suites. For a complete explanation see number 14 under Accrual of Points under the HHonors Terms and Conditions or by clicking here.

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0 Comments

There has been a lot of disappointment about Hilton not running a point related promotion this month. They do, however, have four airline related ones going on this month and continuing all the way up to December. The next chainwide promotion “1,000 Reasons” starts on November 1, 2012.

If you are NOT interested about airline miles at all, you should take advantage of the promotion that Hilton has with Virgin Atlantic. Five stays would earn you total of 20K Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles that you can transfer back to 40K Hilton HHonors points.

You can continue earning BMI Diamond Club miles until October 27, 2012. You warn 1000 miles per stay regardless of the Hilton brand and for up to 3 days. You can transfer BMI Miles to British Airways Executive Club. BMI Diamond Club will close on December 31, 2012.

You can earn 250 Delta MQM’s and double SkyMiles for stays of 2 nights or longer between October 1 and December 15, 2012. This offer is available only at select hotels.

hilton-hhonors-delta-skymiles-4th-q-2012-promotion

250 Delta MQM’s and Double Miles for Stays of 2 Nights or Longer at Select Hilton Family of Hotels

Hilton is offering maximum of 15K bonus Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for 5 stays. You can always transfer the bonus + base miles back to Hilton HHonors for total of 40K HH points. This promotion is valid until December 31, 2012

hilton-hhonors-virgin-atlantic-4th-quarter-offer

Hilton HHonors Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Bonus Offer – 15K Bonus Miles for 5 Stays

Hilton has a promotion with Miles & More (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian etc) for up to quadruple miles until December 31, 2012.

hilton-hhonors-miles-more-quadruple-miles-4th-q-2012

Hilton HHonors Miles & More Promotion for Up To Quadruple Miles

You can earn 4000 bonus Emirates Skywards miles on your second stay. This offer is valid until December 31, 2012.

hilton-hhonors-4th-q-2012-emirates-skywards

Hilton HHonors Emirates Skywards Promotion – 4000 Bonus Miles on Your Second Stay

Conclusion

If you are to do five stays during the promotional period, I would take advantage of the promotion with Virgin Atlantic and transfer the points back to Hilton HHonors once they have posted. The promotions with Emirates and Miles & More are good, if you are member of those programs and collect their miles. The Delta promotion is not really worthwhile unless you are in need of some MQM’s (Medallion Qualifying Miles).

For multiple night stays, you should consider crediting the stays to BMI Diamond Club until 27th of October. You will earn 1000 miles per night for up to 4 nights.