Finnair 15% off Business Class Fares & Finnair Plus Silver Status After a Round Trip

Finnair is offering a 15% discount on business class fares when paying using American Express card. Also, residents of China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States will get an upgrade to Finnair Plus Silver status just after one return trip. Finnair Plus Silver status is equivalent of Oneworld Ruby. You need to register for this offer.

finnair-amex-offer

There are quite a few good business class offers from the countries where this offer is valid to Asia. Finnair is trying to fill their planes to Asia and apparently the business class demand must be somewhat soft at the moment. Recently SAS was offering status matches to their Eurobonus Gold status for residents of China and Hong Kong.

finnair-stockholm-narita-c-return

You can fly Stockholm to Narita and back in Finnair’s business class for about $3.4K. The price is most likely even cheaper during better sales and/or other destinations.

finnair-stockholm-narita-c-fare-breakdown

Conclusion

This offer sounds quite good but it is not that great after all. The Silver Finnair Plus status would require 40000 Finnair Plus points (kilometers) and the route above would earn 39848 points by itself. Of course other closer destinations than Tokyo would earn less.

2000 United Airlines Mileage Plus Miles + 2000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points + GoGo Pass for $59

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Milepoint is apparently having a premium membership drive and offering a nice package just for $59.

milepoint-offer

Here is a list of benefits & discounts that you will receive for $59.

milepoint-offer-list

Let’s say that if you value your Hyatt and United points at 1.5 cents each then the value of these two is greater than the price of $59 that Milepoint charges for their Premium membership. I have circled in red the benefits & discounts that I have found to be useful.

Conclusion

This is a very good offer that I will take advantage of as well. Buying 2000 Hyatt Gold Passport points and United Mileage Plus miles for just $59 is a very good deal.

Milepoint is a Flyertalk clone that was (surprisingly) founded by the founder of FlyerTalk (after selling the latter to Internet Brands).  For frequent traveler related information I have found the FlyerTalk to be far more useful than the Milepoint.

Install (Not Required) Priority Club Shopping Toolbar & Get 300 Points

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Edit: This offer doesn’t seem to work on all Priority Club accounts and most definitely not newly opened ones. I have no idea why it works for some (like mine) and not for others.

This is probably the easiest 300 Priority Club points that I have ever received. You will receive 300 Priority Club points for “installing” the toolbar and 300 extra points per stay until the end of 2012 that you make using it.

Edit: You can do this offer twice for total of 600 Priority Club points. Just use both of the following links: Link 1 & Link 2. Thanks Andrew for the tip. 

priority-club-toolbar

The deal here is that Priority Club wants you to install their own button to Google’s toolbar. You will get 300 Priority Club points simply for filling out your account information and neither actual downloading of this toolbar nor installation of Priority Club button is actually required.

priority-club-toolbar-detail

The points posted to my account instantaneously. I didn’t have Google toolbar installed on my laptop so I would have needed to download it first before getting the Priority Club button.

priority-club-toolbar-points

LoyaltyLobby reader Chadillac alerted me about this opportunity. You can always send me a message to john@loyaltylobby.com if I have missed any Priority Club or hotel related bonus point opportunity.

Conclcusion

Very easy way to get 300 Priority Club points. You never know when you would have use for few hundred extra points. Priority Club seems to have these extra point earning opportunities throughout the year.

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Update on Marriott Fall 2012 MegaBonus Choices

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This is an update to a post that I made about Marriott’sFall 2012 MegaBonus on July 31st, 2012. I now have the full list of promotions that people were targeted for. I have updated the original post to reflect these.

1. Free night certificate category 1-4 for every two paid stays. Max 3 free night certificates.

https://www.marriott.com/File_Blocks/MarriottRewards/PromotionCentral/Terms/2012/MB12/MB12A_terms_us.html

2. Free night certificate category 1-5 for every two paid stays. Max 2 free night certificates

https://www.marriott.com/File_Blocks/MarriottRewards/PromotionCentral/Terms/2012/MB12/MB12D_terms_us.html

3. 25000 bonus points after 15 paid nights + 15000 bonus after 20 nights. Maximum bonus 40000 points.

https://www.marriott.com/File_Blocks/MarriottRewards/PromotionCentral/Terms/2012/MB12/MB12H_terms_us.html

4. 35000 bonus points after 20 paid nights + 15000 bonus after 25 nights. Maximum bonus 50000 points.

https://www.marriott.com/File_Blocks/MarriottRewards/PromotionCentral/Terms/2012/MB12/MB12J_terms_us.html

European Union “Your Passenger Rights” Smartphone Application

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European Union has strict compensation and reaccommodation requirements for all flights within the European Union, by European Union carriers worldwide, and for other carrier flights out from the European Union countries. The airlines are supposed to adhere to these requirements by default, but that is rarely the case. Most of the time you need to know what your rights are under this legislation and request the proper compensation/treatment.

european-union-passenger-rights

Now, European Union has launched a handy smartphone application that is available for Apple IOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phone. The application stores the info on internal memory so you don’t need to have data access to pull up the appropriate information during the travels.

Conclusion

The airlines are supposed to hand you a paper with your passenger rights in a case of delay and have this information available at the boarding gates as well. I have rarely seen this happen in reality, however.

Last year, I had to do some same day ticketing with United while I was at the Frankfurt airport. United had canceled couple of flights that date and the ticketing line was rather long due to rebookings that United was doing the following day. United never informed these passengers that they were due 600 euros each in delay compensation.

Shangri-La Golden Circle Summer Offer: Double Points & Elite Qualifying Nights

Shangri-La has interesting promotion going on until September 30th, 2012. You will earn double Golden Circle points and elite qualifying nights at Shangri-La, Traders & Kerry hotels. If you are not a member yet, you will also earn 500 bonus Golden Circle points after your first stay.

shangri-la-golden-circle

Thing to note here is the fact that according to the terms and conditions of this promotion only NIGHTS are doubled and not stays.

shangri-la-golden-circle-levels

The Jade level normally requires 20 nights or 10 stays and the Diamond level 50 nights or 25 stays. During the promotional period the requirement is 10 nights or stays for jade and 25 nights or stays for Diamond.

Conclusion

I haven’t stayed at a Shangri-La hotel, Traders or Kerry hotel for a long time, but was considering Traders as one of the options when I was in Yangon recently. If you are staying at any of the Shangri-La group of hotels, it makes sense to sign up for the Golden Circle program and this promotion.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion:

  • The offer is valid from 1 July to 30 September 2012 at any Shangri-La hotel, resort, Traders hotel or Kerry hotel.
  • Golden Circle (GC) members who stay during the promotion period on Qualifying Room Rates are eligible to earn double qualifying nights and double GC Award Points.
  • Qualifying nights are room nights under Qualifying Room Rates excluding Long Stay Rate and Non-Qualifying Negotiated Rate that will count towards qualification for the next higher tier and renewal of the current tier Golden Circle membership status.
  • For Non-Qualifying Negotiated Rate, GC members are ineligible to earn double qualifying nights but are eligible to earn double GC Award Points during the promotion period.
  • For Long Stay Rate, GC members are ineligible to earn double qualifying nights and double GC Award Points during the promotion period.
  • Qualifying spending during the stay charged to the room account is eligible to earn double GC Award Points.
  • GC members are also eligible to earn double GC Award Points for any non-stay qualifying spending on food and beverage or at CHI, The Spa.
  • Double GC Award Points are awarded on Base Points earned during stay or non-stay transactions.
  • If GC members choose to earn airline miles instead of GC Award Points for stays during the promotion period, they are eligible to earn double qualifying nights only.
  • Five hundred (500) bonus GC Award Points will be credited to a new member who enrols online and who made a qualifying stay during the promotion period.
  • The 500 bonus GC Award Points will be credited to the new member’s account four to six weeks after the promotion period ends.
  • Golden Circle membership and GC Award Points are non-transferable. Multiple enrolments by a single person or duplicate enrolments by existing GC members will not be entitled to the 500 bonus GC Award Points.
  • GC members must quote their membership numbers at the time of room reservation and present their membership cards when paying the bill at the participating hotel restaurant or using the services of CHI, The Spa as a non-staying guest in order to earn double GC Award Points.
  • The offer is not valid in conjunction with any other offers and promotions.
  • Golden Circle reserves the right to amend any terms and conditions stated herein and may withdraw or discontinue the promotions at any time without prior notice.
  • Terms and conditions of the Golden Circle Programme apply.

Suite Upgrades for Marriott Rewards Platinum Members in Asia Pacific Region

Marriott Rewards Platinum members are now officially eligible for suite upgrades as a benefit of the status with the program. Many of the properties have upgraded Platinum members to suites previously as well, but it has not been an official benefit of the program before.

Sign up for our daily blog updates by email and follow us on TwitterFacebook to be notified about developments and promotions on Marriott’s program.

marriott-rewards-platinum-suite-upgrades

Complimentary suite upgrade, based on the availability, is valid at JW Marriott, Marriott, Renaissance, and Courtyard hotels in Australia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Japan and South Korea are exceptions. In these two countries the suite upgrades are offered at hotels discretion.

Most of the suite categories are included. Only ones excluded are presidential, chairman and signature suites. If your stay is longer than 3 days, the upgrade is subject to hotel’s discretion.

Tips on getting suites upgrades at Marriott properties

1. Print out the official Marriott announcement about this new benefit and carry it with you.

2. On the day of arrival check if you have been upgraded by logging into your Marriott Rewards account and pulling up your reservation.

3. If the upgraded room type is not shown, check the availability of suites by trying to make a booking.

4. At check in, if the upgrade hasn’t been processed, inquire about the suite availability.

5. Be flexible about the bedding/smoking preferences. Most of the suite type accommodations are for king bed.

6. The shorter the stay the more likely you will be upgraded.

Conclusion

This is a welcomed official benefit of being a Platinum member of the Marriott Rewards program, although it only applies to Asia Pacific region and excludes Japan & South Korea.

Based on my experience with other chains that have had this benefit, you may sometimes have to educate the front desk personnel about the benefits. Hotels in this region (Asia Pacific) tend to be better educated about the benefits and follow the program closer than let’s say hotels in North America.

I have had quite a few suite upgrades at Marriott hotels in Asia Pacific recently: Renaissance Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya Marriott, Renaissance Bangkok, JW Marriott Bangkok, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur, JW Marriott Beijing and Renaissance Beijing. These are links for videos of the suites. If you are not a subscriber on our YouTube channel, you can subscribe here.

The terms and conditions of this new benefits are:

  • Complimentary suite upgrades are subject to availability for Platinum Elite members staying at participating hotels located in Asia Pacific.
  • Participating hotel brands in Asia Pacific include: JW Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts and Courtyard by Marriott® Hotels. Hotel locations in Asia Pacific include: Australia, China (including Hong Kong S.A.R.), Guam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. In Japan and South Korea, suite upgrades may be limited and may be offered at the hotel’s discretion.
  • Complimentary Suite Upgrade: Generally, based on availability at check-in; in some cases, availability is determined later in the day. Limited to a Member’s personal guestroom. Upgrades include most available suite types, except Presidential Suites, Chairman Suites and other signature suites. For stays greater than 3 nights, suite upgrades are subject to the hotel’s discretion.
  • Rewards Program Terms and Conditions apply.

Combining Club Carlson Promotions

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There are often overlapping promotions with the hotels and airlines. Sometimes the terms and conditions indicate that the promotion is or isn’t combinable with other ones. It is not, however, always clear, whether people writing these terms and conditions actually know what is happening in reality.

club-carlson-apac-offer-10k-for-2-nights

Club Carlson currently has the Park Plaza version of their Ultimate Night Giveaway still going on until the August 28th, 2012. Then there is the bonus promotion of 10000 bonus points for stays of two nights or longer in the Asia Pacific region.

The terms of the latter promotion includes the following exclusion:

This Promotion may not be used in conjunction with any other package, promotion, discounts or bonus points programmes. Participating Hotels are subject to change without notice.

This is fairly typical copy paste that these chains tend to have on each of their promotions. Based on this and what you might hear if calling the customer service, you may come to conclusion that these two promotions are not combinable.

Wrong!

Park Plaza Jul 30, 2012 to Aug 1, 2012 – Park Plaza Food and Beverage Earning 20 Points per USD 330
Aug 3, 2012 Earn Park Plaza Points|Two Night Asia Pacific Stay 10,000 Point Bonus 10,000
Aug 3, 2012 Earn Park Plaza Points|Online Booking Gold Member Bonus Points 2,000
Aug 3, 2012 Earn Park Plaza Points|Park Plaza Ultimate Night Giveaway 50,000 Point Bonus 50,000
Aug 3, 2012 Earn Park Plaza Points|Gold 50% Room Points Bonus 856
Aug 3, 2012 Earn Park Plaza Points|Gold 50% Food and Beverage Points Bonus 165
Aug 3, 2012 Earn Park Plaza Jul 30, 2012 to Aug 1, 2012 – Park Plaza Points|Room Earning 20 Points per USD 1,712

Points posted for the both promotions exactly as I expected.

Conclusion

It always makes sense to sign up for all possible promotions.

Terms and conditions often include words that the promotion cannot be combine with other ones, but that is often not the case. Contacting customer service in advance of your stay to seek clarification is often fruitless as they go by the written rules of the promo.

Delayed Baggage Compensation: Case Korean Air

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It is inevitable that a checked bag gets delayed at times. I have had mine delayed numerous times over the years. The longest one that went missing was with Air Canada for 6 weeks. It sat the entire time in Air Canada’s facility in Montreal while I was on a around the world trip.

korean-air-bag-tags

This time I was going from Vancouver to Bangkok on Korean Air’s first class. The connection in Seoul was somewhat tight around 45 minutes, but thought that they would take care of first class passenger’s bag. My bag was actually within the size limit that I could have taken it to the cabin as well, but it was on the heavy side (way over the usual 7 kilograms limit) and I really didn’t wanted to drag it around. I decided that it was best to check it in. I could also test the Korean’s baggage handling.

Checking Bag in Vancouver

There was some confusion at the check in. The agent wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to check my bag only to Bangkok and not to my final destination that was Yangon. She thought that Yangon was just a domestic destination in Thailand and that I would need to claim my bag for customs purposes in Bangkok. Of course this is not the case. Yangon is in Myanmar and my bag would have gone there had I not asked the agent to short check it to Bangkok for my overnight connection. The agent printed out a new baggage tag with correct information.

BTW it always makes sense to have a look that the baggage tag is correct. I have spotted few mistakes over the years that would have separated me from my bag(s) for a while.

Arrival in Bangkok

korean-air-delayed-list

Airlines get a list of passengers that have misconnected bagson each of their flights. Good airlines tend to have person with a list with all the passengers names that have their bags delayed standing close to the baggage carousel . This was the case with the Korean Air as well. I was quite surprised that there were at least 10 passengers that had their bags left behind in Incheon or somewhere else in the route.

Property Irregularity Report

korean-air-pir

This is always the key. You need to get a complete Property Irregularity Report (PIR). It contains information about your bag, routing, temporarily and permanent address information. You can then use the PIR number to do a search on WorldTracer.

korean-air-pir-filled

Where’s where I made a mistake, but it didn’t have a negative effect this time. I accepted a hand written, although very official looking, form as the PIR for this incident. This form only used my luggage tag number and didn’t include the PIR number at all that I could have used to pull up the information on Korean Air’s website.

Delay Compensation

I love when airlines put money in my pocket but hate when I gave to “fight” for the compensation due. Korean Air belongs to the first group. My bag was coming on a flight just four hours later than my original 10PM flight. I would have the bag delivered to my hotel by 3AM.

For this inconvenience Korean Air handed me 6000 THB that is around $200. I think that it was a fair compensation for the slight delay and assured that I wouldn’t have negative feelings about inconvenience caused.

Delivery

korean-air-pir-display

Upon arriving to the hotel, I requested the front desk to call the Thai Airways baggage line. Thai is Korean’s ground handling agent in Bangkok and let them know my room number and make sure that their address to the hotel was correct.

korean-air-delay-tag

The bag had been delivered to the hotel around 3AM and I had it delivered once I woke up. Thai really packs these delayed bags securely and has number of seals that you need to break to get it open.

korean-air-bag-seals

Conclusion

Bags gets lost (rarely) and delayed (quite often). Good airlines have adequate processes in place to make sure that the process of informed about the delay and adequate compensation doled out, is handled without a fuss.

Using Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” to Save on Hotels

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Over the years, I have saved a lot by using Priceline for hotel bookings. As a matter of fact, Priceline got me hooked on hotel programs, when you were able to get a Hyatt hotel for $50 bucks and it would be a qualifying stay for both  promotional purposes and a stay credit as long as you had a minimal charge and used a MasterCard to settle the bill.

Those days are long gone, but there are still lots of opportunities to save on hotel stays using Priceline. I usually try first getting a decent deal by booking direct, but sometimes it just doesn’t produce the rates that I am happy to pay.

There are several websites that can provide tips and assistance on Priceline bookings. The two that provide the most information are BiddingForTravel (www.biddingfortravel.com) and BetterBidding (www.betterbidding.com). Both of these sites contain list of successful bids for various cities that bidders have successfully gotten on Priceline and other useful information about Priceline strategies etc.

My Bidding Experience for Vancouver BC

The other weekend I was in Vancouver. The rates at the downtown hotels were on the high side and I decided to give a Priceline a try.

First, I checked both the BetterBidding and BiddingForTravel to get an idea about the hotels that one might expect to receive and the price range. Both websites also provide a list and star rating of hotels that are available in each of the Priceline zones.

I was targeting a hotel in either of the two zones in downtown Vancouver. It didn’t matter if the hotel is in the downtown or entertainment district, but I needed something four stars according to the Priceline.

Priceline Zones

For Vancouver area Priceline has 11 different zones. These help with rebidding as only 4 of the zones has four star properties. I could rebid total of 8 times if I include the two downtown zones to get the best deal around.

You have to be very careful with the Priceline zones. Sometimes Priceline has a hotel that is exactly on the border of the zone.

Placing the First Bid

As always I want to get some cashback for my online purchases. There are several sites that offer cashback for Priceline. This time I decided to use TopCashBack that had 3% rebate for Priceline “Name Your Own Price” bookings.

Priceline is now offering three different kind of bookings; the traditional hotel booking that shows the name of the hotel and the price, the Name Your Own Price bidding, and Express Deals. You need to choose the “Name Your Own Price” tab for the best savings. I have not found the conventional prices on Priceline to be anything worthwhile, although I used them once for a Best Rate Guarantee with Marriott.

priceline-ll-1-name-your-own-price

When you choose the “Name Your Own Price”, you will be then presented with a “Lighbox” to enter the city and the dates.

priceline-ll-2-zone

I chose the Downtown Vancouver zone.

priceline-ll-3-star-level

Then you need to choose the star level of the hotel. I chose four stars. There is a box on the bottom next to the bid amount that “shows” the supposedly median price for a four star property in downtown Vancouver. Priceline basically just tries to get you to overbid. You can just completely disregard it.

priceline-ll-4-bid-amount

Based on the reports on both BetterBidding and BiddingForTravel, I decided to start at $76. There were fairly recent winning bids on the downtown zone for around $80 per night. The total price with the Priceline fees with this bid amount came to $95.30. The real tax rate in the Vancouver is 15.74%. The Priceline’s fee in this instance would have been in excess of $7.

priceline-ll-5-trip-protection-offer

You should always decline the “garbage” Trip Protection Offers that all the travel websites are offering. They are there to fatten their bottom line. You should, however, have comprehensive travel insurance.

priceline-ll-6-priceline-terms

It is good idea to familiarize yourself with the Priceline’s rules. Basically all these “Name Your Own Price” bookings are nonrefundable and noncancellable. Do NOT book through this service if your plans are not firm. I only use Priceline for same or next day bookings when I am already in the city. Then you need to fill out your credit card and address information.

priceline-ll-7-negotiating

You will then see a Priceline “negotiator” screen for few seconds while Priceline is trying to match hotel offers with the price that you bid.

priceline-ll-8-try-again-now

If your bid was not successful but  was close to a price that Priceline could offer, you are then presented an offer to up your bid to a certain amount, on this instance to $89, without having to choose any other options. You should always decline this offer as you can get the hotel at significantly less through the rebidding process.

priceline-ll-9-rebidding

As I pointed out earlier, there are numerous rebidding opportunities in the Vancouver area where there are no 4 star hotels offered by Priceline. I decided to up my bid by $1 at a time and just go through number of different zones.

priceline-ll-10-final-bid

After adding couple of different zones my bid had been upped to $79.

priceline-ll-11-working-on-your-request

This time I received a message that Priceline was working on my request. This is usually a sign that your offer has been accepted.

priceline-ll-12-winning-bid

My bid of $79 was accepted at the Renaissance Harbourside hotel. This suited me well because I am a Marriott Platinum member and the status benefits typically are extended to Priceline stays as well.

priceline-ll-13-renaissance

The lowest rate on Marriott website was 239 CAD for the night in question before the taxes.

How was my stay at the Renaissance?

It was not the most modern Marriott chain hotel and obviously they do have some sort of revenue problem if they need to dump rooms on Priceline for $79 per night during the height of the summer season.

I received probably the smallest room I have had so far this year, but all the Platinum benefits including welcome amenity and lounge access were extended. Cannot really complain considering the price I paid.

Conclusion

You should always keep in mind that there is an option of bidding hotel rooms through Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price”. The savings are usually significant enough to put up with the bidding process and the time it requires.

Priceline works remarkably well in North America but not so in some other countries.

Why Am I Hooked to Chain Hotels?

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Over the past eight years Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood hotels have been my home. When traveling, I have hard time staying at other brands due to benefits associated with the top tier statuses I have.

renaissance-club-benefits

Right now, I am here in Bangkok that has great number of very good hotels that are not associated with any of the five chains mentioned above, but I have very hard time trying any of them and here is why.

1. Upgrades

If I stick to any of the hotels, where I tend to stay here, I am almost always guaranteed a suite upgrade i.e. Renaissance, JW Marriott, InterContinental, Royal Orchid Sheraton, Plaza Athenee, Le Meridien, Westin, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, St Regis etc.  I have learned to bypass the Hilton properties here in Bangkok, where their elite treatment is the minimum required by the Hilton HHonors.

2. Lounge access

When traveling in the United States, I could care less about the lounge access, but here in Asia the lounges are actually worth something; the breakfast spread tend to be quite good, you often have afternoon tea and evening cocktails with some substantial food offerings as well.

3. Breakfast

I am not normally a breakfast person, but you can easily turn them into an early lunch like I did this morning. Quite a few of the hotels let you choose whether you prefer to have the breakfast in the lounge or in the hotel restaurant.

4. Early Check In/Late Check Out

Most of the chains guarantee you a 4PM check out that comes handy if you have a flight out in the evening. Hotels tend to charge a half day rate for late check outs if you are not an elite member.

5. Problem resolution

Few times a year the hotel stay doesn’t just go as smoothly as one would expect. It is just reassuring to know that the chain will back up their service promise even when the specific hotel has dropped the ball. I end up lodging a complaint four/five times a year and typically have resolution in couple of days if not sooner.

6. Points/Free Nights/Promotions

If you plan your hotel stays around the numerous promotions, it is rather easy to rack up lots of points and/or free night certificates. I essentially consider these as a rebate of the price I pay. For the most part the hotel chains are interchangeable for me. I can stay at a Marriott or Starwood property, but the chain that offers a better value proposition when points/promotions are factored in, gets my business.

When I don’t care about the benefits?

Sometimes I am arriving very late and then leaving very early in the morning. Unless there is a stellar promotion from one of the chains, I could practically care less about the hotel/brand as long as they have working and free wireless internet and the bed is comfortable. I might even use Priceline to get a rock bottom price for the night.

Conclusion

Having a top tier status with one or more of the global hotel chains can make your traveling a smoother if you take advantage of the associated benefits. I would love to try more independent hotels but the benefits package that I receive from the international chains if hard to beat.

Get 1000 Free Emirates Skywards Miles + Chance to Win Around the World Trip

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Emirates has teamed up with Le Club Accorhotels and Sofitel and giving you 1000 free Skywards miles for singing up for Le Club Accorhotels account and taking part for competition.

emirates-accor

You just need to go to www.sofitel80nights.com website and to participate to win an around the world ticket.

emirates-sofitel

You need to pick up 8 Sofitel hotels in various continents to come up with an itinerary.

emirates-sofitel-map

Once you have your itinerary ready, you need to register for the promotion. You will get 500 bonus miles for opening a Le Club Accorhotels account so you should do it first. Then choose Emirates as your loyalty program, fill out your Skywards number, and remember to include the promotion code EMSOF to get 500 Skywards miles.

emirates-accor-sweepstakes

This whole process should take less than 5 minutes of your time and is well worth the 1000 Skywards miles that you should receive. Who knows maybe you get lucky and win one of the prized as well?

Hyatt Gold Passport Autumn “Imagine the Possibilities” Promotion

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Hyatt Gold Passport just announced their “Imagine the Possibilities” autumn promotion that is valid from September 1st, to November 30th, 2012. Please note that the registration for this promotion will open on August 15th, 2012. You can register for this promotion here.

hyatt-gold-passport-imagine-the-possibilities

You will earn 5000 bonus Gold Passport points after 5 nights and then 10000 bonus points after every five nights for up to 35 nights during the promotion period. The maximum number of bonus points that you can earn is 65000. Hyatt credit card holders will get 20% bonus.

One way to look at this promotion is to think of earning 1000 bonus points per night for the first five nights and then 2000 bonus points per night for the next 30 nights during the promotional period.

Conclusion

It has been somewhat disappointing year for Hyatt Gold Passport bonus opportunities compared to recent past. 1000 to 2000 Gold Passport bonus points per night is not bad, but if you consider that G-bonuses and FFN (Faster Free Night) promotions have apparently been “retired”, it is nothing special.

Hotel Promotions Update (August 2012) Le Club Accorhotels, Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges, Club Carlson, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club, Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest & Wyndham Rewards

2 Comments

There are number of bonus points opportunities with number of hotel chains at the moment. Remember that you need to register for most of these promotions before your stay for the the bonus points/miles to post..

Le Club Accorhotels

There are current no global promotions for Le Club members. You can, however, earn 500 Air Canada Aeroplan or Delta Air Lines SkyMiles for singing up for Le Club membership.

le-club-accorhotels-aeroplan

Sign Up For Le Club Accorhotels Membership And Get 500 Air Canada Aeroplan Miles

accorhotels-delta

Le Club Accorhotels & Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Promotion – Get 500 Mile For Signing Up

Best Western Rewards

Best Western Rewards is offering a free night certificate after three stays. This promotion started on June 17th and ends on August 19th. You can only earn ONE free night certificate.

Best Western Rewards Summer Bonus Offer SUM12 – Free Night Voucher After Three Stays

best-western-aeroplan-offer

The alternate promo is 2000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles per stay for up to three stays. The bonus is 1750 miles per stay.

Best Western Rewards Aeroplan Bonus Offer – 2000 Miles Per Stay for up to 3 Stays

Best Western is also offering 1000 bonus points for stays in South America. You need to stay at least two different Best Western properties to be eligible for this.

Best Western Bonus Points Offer For South America 1000 Bonus Points

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson

The Big Night Giveaway promotions for Radisson/Radisson Blu, Country Inn & Suites, and Park Inn are now over. The Park Plaza version of this promotion is valid until August 28th, however. The 50K bonus point version is oversubscribed, but they have an offer for 15K bonus points for a stay up for now

club-carlson-park-plaza-stay-one-get-one

Club Carlson Park Plaza Ultimate Night Giveaway – Earn 50K Bonus Points

Radisson has an offer for Europe, Middle East and Africa for 3rd night free + 2000 bonus points when paid by American Express. This is valid until September 30th, 2012. There is a separate offer for double points at selected Club Carlson properties.

Radisson & Radisson Blu 3rd Night Free + 2000 Bonus Club Carlson Points

Club Carlson Double Points in Europe, Middle East & Africa at Participating Hotels

Club Carlson has a separate promotion for Asia Pacific region. You will receive 10000 bonus points for stays of 2 nights or longer.

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Club Carlson Asia Pacific Promotion “Two Nights. 10,000 Points” – 10K Bonus Points For Stays Of Two Nights Or Longer

If you are new to the Club Carlson, you can read about the various status levels with the program and the status match opportunities:

Club Carlson Red, Silver, Gold, & Concierge Status Levels Explained

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson Status Match

Choice Hotels – Choice Privileges

Choice is offering 8000 Choice Privileges points for every two stays that you can redeem for $50 gift cards with number of retailers. Note that the definition of a stay is TWO nights at select Choice properties. This promotion ends on August 15th, 2012.

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Choice Hotels Summer Promotion – Stay Two Separate Times & Earn $50 Gift Card

Hilton HHonors

Hilton’s 3rd quarter promotion is for double points for weekday stays and triple points for weekend ones. Please note that the number of properties that have opted out of this promo is rather long.

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Hilton HHonors 3rd Quarter “Triple Your Trip” 2012 Double or Triple Points Promotion

You can also get 2000 bonus Hilton HHonors points for your first Home2 Suites stay. This offer is valid until August 15th, 2012.

Hilton Home2 Suites Bonus Offer – 2000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points for First Stay

Hilton HHonors and Delta has teamed up offering triple Delta SkyMiles at selected Hilton family of hotels until September 20th, 2012.

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Triple Delta SkyMiles for Stays at Selected Hilton Family of Hotels

You can read about getting a status match with Hilton HHonors:

Hilton HHonors Gold & Diamond Status Match & Challenge & Fast Track Offer

Hilton HHonors Gold VIP Fast Track Offer Through MVP Program. Gold Status After Four Stays or Nine Nights During 90 period

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status for Visa Infinite Card Holders

It can make sense to use Virgin Atlantic as Double Dip partner and then transfer the miles back to Hilton. You can read more about this here:

Hilton HHonors Double Dip Strategy with Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club

Hyatt Gold Passport

Hyatt has teamed up with number of airlines; Air China, Air France-KLM, ANA, American Airlines, British Airways, China Eastern, Delta Air Lines, Etihad, Lufthansa, Qatar, Southwest, and United to offer up to five times the miles or points.

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Hyatt Gold Passport Summer 2012 Promotion for up to Five Times the Miles

Hyatt also offers status matches/trials. You can read more about them here:

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Status Match – Hyatt Diamond Trial Challenge As Of 2012

Sometimes it makes sense to use Hyatt Stay Certificate instead of paying. You can read about more of them here:

Hyatt Stay Certificates – Way to Save Money On Hyatt Stays

InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club

As always, Priority Club has number of promotions that you should sign for.

You should sign up for onetime bonuses that Priority Club also has. These were offers that were emailed to a number of Priority Club members and are supposedly “targeted”. With Priority Club these targeted offers are open for anybody, however.

Quarter 3 Stay bonuses

These started on July 1st and end on September 30th, 2012. You should sign up for an offer that you know that you can achieve

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Summer Bonus of up to 20K Priority Club Bonus Points

You will get 1000 bonus Priority Club bonus points per nights + 250 points per stay for booking online. This offer is valid until September 3rd, 2012.

5000 Bonus Air Canada Aeroplan Miles for a Stay

This is a nice bonus for a stay in Canada. You need to have the stays by December 30th, 2012 to be eligible for the bonus miles.

Priority Club Vacation Pay Offer

You can get a $75 prepaid MasterCard after a rebate for a two night weekend stay. This offer is valid until September 3rd, 2012.

$50 Travel MasterCard for Two Night Weekday Stay

This is similar to the weekend offer, but is valid for weekday stays. This offer is valid until August 2nd, 2012.

Priority Club $25 Gift Card Offer for Booking Directly Online

Priority Club is offering gift cards for bookings made online.

Priority Club Meeting Rewards Offer of Triple Points

Priority Club has an offer for meeting planners. You can get triple points for meetings.

2000 Bonus Points for Priority Club Surveys

You can get couple of thousand bonus points for completing bunch of short quizzes.

Marriott Rewards

Marriott summer promotion started on June 1st and is valid until August 31st. You needed to register by June 30th. There are number of variations of the offer.

Marriott Summer Promotion of Free Night Certificates or Bonus Marriott Rewards Points

Marriott also has a MegaMiles promotion from July 1st to October 31st, 2012 for triple airline miles with selected airlines. Note that you need to change your earning from points to miles before you can sign up for this.

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Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Promotion – Earn Triple Airline Miles

Marriott has already announced their fall 2012 MegaBonus that starts on September 15th, 2012

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Marriott Rewards Fall 2012 MegaBonus

Marriott also offers status matches or taste of Platinum/Gold. You can read more about the procedures of getting one here:

Marriott Rewards Gold & Platinum Status Match – Taste of Platinum & Gold Challenge

If you haven’t been targeted to any of the promotions or you would like to change to another one, you can follow the instructions to get the promotion fixed for you.

Changing Targeted Marriott Promotions

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Ritz-Carlton has exciting Extraordinary Returns promotion started on July 15th and ends on October 15th, 2012. You can get 30000 bonus points for a stay of 4 days or longer.

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Ritz-Carlton Rewards Extraordinary Returns – 30000 Bonus Points for a Four Night Stay

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood launched their much anticipated SPG Nice Choice promotion on May 1st that hasn’t gone down too well. You can read about the initial leakmy ability to confirm that the leaked information was real, and the strategy that you should take. Essentially, this is a double or triple Starpoints promotion that is very weak compared to free night promotions that SPG was running during 2010 and 2011. Note that you needed to choose what you would like to earn and when by June 30th, 2012.

Westin Kierland and Sheraton Wilde Horse Pass have exciting bonus points opportunity. Stay once at both properties and earn 10000 bonus Starpoints.

Stay at Westin Kierland & Sheraton Wild Horse Pass for 10000 Bonus Starpoints

You can get 1000 Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for booking a special (expensive) rate plan.

1000 Bonus Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for Sheraton Club Bookings

Starwood doesn’t offer straight status matches, but they can offer you a challenge:

Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum Status Match – Platinum Challenge

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham Rewards is offering quadruple points or miles starting from the second stay for up to four stays.

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Wyndham Rewards Summer 2012 Promotion for Quadruple Miles or Points

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