IHG Rewards Club “Surprise And Delight” Gold & Platinum Elite Recognition Program

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Two weeks ago, I wrote (you can read the piece here) about an after stay survey that was probing what Platinum elite amenity I had chosen at check-in. The problem was that I was not offered anything. Many LoyaltyLobby readers commented about their own experiences that good number of properties had been offering either points or food and beverage amenity.

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I posed this question to my contact at the IHG corporate and can now confirm the following:

Bali Hyatt Renovation Confirmed: Closing November 14 For 24 Months

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Bali Hyatt based in Sanur is closing on November 14, 2013, for renovations lasting 24 for months. The hotel is expected to open again in late 2015 as Hyatt Regency Bali.

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I wrote back in April (read more here) that the hotel would close in August and undergo renovations lasting 18 months. This information came from the on property management. Seems that they need to do more fixing than originally planned.

Marriott Rewards Offer: Silver Status & Free Night Certificate After Two Stays (Targeted)

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LoyaltyLobby reader forwarded me an email about an offer that he had received from Marriott that appears to be targeted.

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The reader would receive instant Silver status after registering for this offer and could keep it until 2015 by having one stay by the end of November. He could also receive a free night certificate (category 1-4) by having two stay by the same date.

Starwood Launching Destination Websites: Starwood Indonesia & 30% Introduction Discount

Starwood has just launched its first destination website in South East Asia www.starwoodhotelsindonesia.com and is offering 30% discount for stays until February 28, 2014, that are booked by September 22.

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These discounted rates should only come up on searches done only on this specific website, but seems that you can use SET/Corporate Account number 411004 to bring up these discounted rates on other SPG websites.

Delta SkyMiles Changes: Awards Holds Gone & Miles Required Business Awards Up

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Delta SkyMiles made an announcement earlier today that awards holds were going away starting on September 9, 2013, and that the number of miles required award travel in international business class would go up for travel after June 1, 2014. Delta didn’t, however, have the updated award charts up on its website at the time of announcement.

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I just went through all the regions and the changes are only for business class awards at low level. There are markets that don’t have any changes. It would have been easier had Delta just announced the changes and not tried to hide them on award charts.

American Airlines Gold, Platinum & Executive Platinum Fast Track Offer (Open For All Non-status Members)

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American Airlines has just released an excellent fast track offer for Gold, Platinum or Executive Platinum status that is open for all non-status AAdvantage members. If you are not member yet, you can just sign up for AAdvantage and register for this offer.

Edit 6PM EST: AA already discontinued the first sign up page. I now have new link up that is still working. Edit: 10PM EST: Seems that AA has now discontinued all the offers listed below.

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You need to register for this offer by August 27, 2013, and then fly between September 1 and December 31, 2013, on American Airlines or select partners (American Eagle, American Connection carrier, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qantas). American Airline codeshare flights on other partners should qualify under this offer as well.

Delta SkyMiles Negative Changes: Hold Gone & Miles Required For Business Class Awards Going Up

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Delta has made the following announcement this morning on FlyerTalk about changes to its Business Class awards for travel after June 1, 2014, and for award holds after September 9, 2013. You can access this announcement here.

Edit: I now have an updated post with more information and the awards that are going up in number of miles required. You can access it here

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The changes are not up on the Delta’s website yet, but FlyerTalk member Wiirachay compiled a list (you can access the post here) of changes using award searches on Delta.com and the results are below:

Whine Wednesdays: Madness With SIM Cards

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It was relatively expensive in the past to buy a temporarily prepaid SIM card and have data access on it as well. The prices, however, have come tremendously down in the past couple of years and I always buy a local SIM card if I am in the country for more than 24 hours.

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There really should be a better regional or global solution for mobile data roaming. At the current prices, it usually doesn’t make any sense to roam using your home carrier’s SIM in a foreign country. The data roaming charges would usually kill you.

Delta Airlines SkyMiles Shopping Bonus: Up To 5,000 Miles

Two days ago, I wrote about an offer from Delta’s SkyMiles Shopping for up to 2,500 bonus miles (you can access it here). There is, however, a better offer around as well for 500 bonus miles for every $150 spend for up to 5,000 bonus miles. The purchases must be done by August 31, 2013.

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This offer was apparently targeted for Delta Amex holders, but there is nothing on the terms and conditions that would exclude others.

United Airlines August Buy Miles Offer: 25% Discount (Targeted)

United just sent out targeted offers that may have variable bonus amounts for select MileagePlus members. The offer that I received had the maximum discount of 25% for buying more than 10,000 miles.

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Note that, as this is targeted offer, there is no direct link to the offer. (Not that anybody should buy at this price anyway.)

Choice Privileges US Airways Dividend Miles Promotion: Double Miles Until September 23

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Choice Privileges has a new promotion for US Airways Dividend Miles members that can earn double airlines miles (250 base + 250 bonus) for stays between August 12 and September 23, 2013.

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There is no need to register for this promotion, but you need to choose US Airways Dividend Miles as your earning preference or present your frequent flier card at the time of check in. You can access this offer on Choice’s website here.

U.S. Justice Department Sues To Block American & US Airways Merger

There was an interesting development on the though to be smooth merger with American Airlines and US Airways today. The United States Justice Department, six attorney generals and the district of Columbia filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block the merger claiming that it would lessen the competition and lead to higher air fares to passengers. You can read more about this on Reuter’s website here and Department of Justice website here.

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This was unexpected development after the mergers between United/Continental and Delta/Northwest were not objected. The Justice Department cited on their release US Airways Executives:

Marriott Gift Card Promotions: What Is The Best Deal?

Marriott currently has three promotions going on for buying with gift cards; one with Amtrak (read more here), another one with United (read more here), and also one with Southwest (read more here).

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LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email to get my opinion what would be the best deal.

Property Reflag: Case Radisson Hotel Orlando – International Drive

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LoyaltyLobby reader forwarded me an email that he had received from Club Carlson about his future award reservation at the Radisson Hotel Orlando – International Drive that had left the Radisson chain to become Allure Resort & Spa.

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This Club Carlson property was very popular destination for redeeming points, as it used to be only 9,000 points per night, although this was raised to 28,000 per night during the last devaluation round.

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