Why Hotels Love Resort Charges & Why You Should Hate Them?

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Resort fees, also sometimes called “facility” or “service” charges, are spreading like a cancer to properties that are no resorts, and are becoming more difficult to avoid.

Here are eight reasons why hotels love “scamming” using resort charges:

1. Able to advertise a lower headline price and bury the extra charge to tax section.

2. Preferential display when searched using the price on hotel search engines.

3. Save on some taxes on municipalities that don’t collect taxes on “resort” charges.

4. Collect resort charge on award stays.

5. Collect resort charge on third party bookings i.e. Expedia, Hotwire, Booking.com, Priceline etc.

6. No need to pay for travel agent commission for amount of the resort fee.

7. No need to award points for the frequent guest program for the resort fee portion.

8. No need to pay franchise fees for the resort charge portion.

Here are three examples how these charges are displayed:

Westin Las Vegas Resort Charge
Westin Las Vegas Resort Charge

Westin Las Vegas the old Maxim hotel that was closed for couple of years. The property charges a “service” fee of $11.50 that is buried to the itemized rate display.

St Regis Puerto Rico Resort Charge
St Regis Puerto Rico Resort Charge

St Regis Puerto Rico. The resort charge is displayed on the search and the wording that the base rate excluded the resort fee of $60 per night that is included in the full price.

Hyatt Regency Palm Springs Resort Charge
Hyatt Regency Palm Springs Resort Charge

Hyatt has hidden the resort charge to rate details. The price breakdown that is shown only includes the taxes but shows the total with the resort charge included.

What do you might get for these resort charges?

Water bottle, free internet, usage of wellness facilities, free local and 800-phone calls, use of pool or then none of these might be included. If you happen to be an elite member with the hotel, most of these would be covered by your elite benefits regardless.

Conclusion

Resort charges are nothing else than a clever way for hotels to advertise a lower headline price and hide the accommodation charge that is not a tax to the tax breakdown. I absolutely hate hotels that do this. Then there are hotels like Westin Las Vegas or Hyatt Palm Springs that are not resorts and have started to charge service/resort fees.

You can always request for the resort charges to be waived or discounted on the basis that you didn’t use the services or that they are part of the elite level benefit package. Quite often the hotels are willing to waive these fees rather than argue with the customer.

Earn 1800 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points at National Car Rental

You can now earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points at National Car Rental. You will earn 1800 Rapid Rewards points for rentals of three days or longer. This offer is valid from August 23 to November 25, 2012.

raoid-rewards-national

The terms and conditions indicate that you would need to use Southwest Contract ID 5030346 to get the discount and the triple points, but I am not 100% sure if this is really the same. You do need to provide your Southwest frequent flier number at the time of rental for the points to post.

1800 Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth $30 when used for Wanna Getaway fares, $18 when used for Anytime fares, and $15 when used for Business select fares.

Conclusion

This is welcomed addition to the Southwest Rapid Rewards members that can now collect points at National Car Rental as well. Remember to sign up for the Emerald Isle service that speeds up the rental process considerably.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updated and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Southwest or National Car Rental promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Priority Club Promotions for August 2012

The beauty of Priority Club is the onslaught of ongoing overlapping promotions that you can triple/quadruple dip.  You can take your points earnings to a new level by making sure that you have sign up for all the offers. You can read about my average Priority Club point earnings when all the promotions are factored in here. I have also written about different type of Priority Club promotions here and what you can expect to earn for your first stay if you sign up for an account here. Remember to sign up for all the other Priority Club one time bonuses that I have listed here.

Just a word of warning. Some of these promotions may require an address to be in a specific country/area like United States. I take absolutely no guarantees what will post to your Priority Club account.  They may also conflict with a promotion that you have already signed up for and just return an error message.

Quarter 3 Stay bonuses

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

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.

Priority Club “Sweetheart Deal” $100 Visa Prepaid Debit Card for Each 3 Night Stay within 90 Day of Wedding

Priority Club is offering a $100 rebate for every stay of 3 nights or longer within 90 days of your wedding, This promotion is valid until the end of 2012.

Priority Club $25 Gift Card Offer for Booking Directly Online

You can get up to five codes that you can redeem for various gift card by booking online or mobile on any of IHG branded websites.

Priority Club Meeting Rewards Offer of Triple Points

You can get triple Priority Club points for meetings by switching your account to Priority Club Meetings Reward member.

If you have feedback on any of these promotions or if I have missed any current promotion that should be included on the list, you can leave a comment below or send me an email to john@loyaltylobby.com.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updates and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Priority Club promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Priority Club Targeted One Time Bonuses August 2012

This is a monthly update of Priority Club one time promotions that are valid. These are all combinable with other promotions as long as they are not conflicting. If the code doesn’t work for you, you have signed up for the same or variant of the same promotion previously. You can read more about different Priority Club promotions here and about what you might expect to earn for a new account here.

priority-club-one-time-bonuses-august-2012

These nine promotions and the surveys/tool bar/quizzes should work for all. The Elite member next stay bonuses probably require a Gold or higher status with Priority Club, however. The weekend 5K bonus points may require an address in the United States.

Priority Club Surveys for 2000 Points or More

There are number of surveys that you can do in number of different languages for a quick 2000 Priority Club points, if you haven’t done any of them earlier. This is a quick way to get some points. My points posted immediately.

Sign Up For Priority Club Shopping Emails & Get 500 Points

You can get 500 Priority Club points for just signing up for the shopping email.

Priority Club Welcome Survey for 1000 Bonus Points

Not sure what is going on with this promotion, but you can try to see if it works for you.

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

You can get easy 300 points by installing a Priority Club shopping toolbar.

You can register for the following promotions at priorityclub.com/register. You need to have the email address associated with the Priority Club OR the Priority Club account number available AND the four digit code associated with the promotion.

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102 1000 Bonus Points

This is most lucrative of the offers. You will get additional 1000 Priority Club points per stay for 90 days after your sign up.  Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

1000 Bonus Points for 60 Days – 8108 1000 Bonus Points

You will receive 1000 bonus Priority Club points per stay for the next 60 days after registering for this promotion. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221 3000 Bonus Points

This works for sure if you are a Platinum member, but could work for Gold’s as well. Doesn’t hurt to sign up, right? You will get 3000 bonus Priority Club points for your next stay. You will need to have the stay within 90 days after signing up. You can only earn this once.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 7489 3000 Bonus Points NEW

This is another 3000 bonus points for an elite member. It posts for sure if you are Platinum but might work for a Gold account as well. You need to do the stay within 90 days of registering for this offer.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120 – 1500 Bonus Points

You will get 1500 Priority Club bonus points for one stay after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days.

New Member Bonus – 3107 1500 Bonus Points

This is a new member bonus, but works for existing members as well. You will get onetime 1500 Priority Club bonus points after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days after registration.

Next Stay Bonus – 5109 1500 Bonus Points

This should be open for elite and non-elite members. You will get onetime bonus of 1500 Priority club points after a paid stay. The stay must be within 90 days after registration.

Weekend Stay Bonus – 3136 5000 Bonus Points

This should be open for all. You will get 5000 Priority Club bonus points for a two night weekend stay. Weekend is typically defined Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights. The stay must occur before the end of 2012. This promotion may require your Priority Club access to be in the United States. The promotion did post for me after a while. This promotion can be done several times.

Platinum 5000 Bonus – 3168 – 5000 Bonus Points

Not sure exactly how this works, but here’s the info about this offer: We’re pleased you have continued to stay with us and are now even closer to earning exclusive Platinum Elite benefits and 5,000 bonus points. All you need to do is register and stay with us 5 more nights before 30th November 2012. It would be our pleasure to reward your loyalty with exclusive Platinum Elite benefits. Keep staying with us and you’ll soon be there. We look forward to helping you make it to the top: Platinum Elite status!

If you have feedback on any of these promotions or if I have missed any current promotion that should be included on the list, you can leave a comment below or send me an email to john@loyaltylobby.com.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updates and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Priority Club promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Accor Hotels Private Sale Up To 50% Discounts of BAR

Accor hotels tend to run a private sale every few months. These rates are not available at all hotels and Sofitel hotels are never participating. Rates are also prepaid, non-cancellable and non-refundable. Book only if your dates are FIRM. You can, however, save quite a few bucks taking advantage of these rates. Some of these offers are only available until August 28. You can access the web page listing all these sales here.

accor-private-sale-august-2012-1

accor-private-sale-august-2012-2

accor-private-sale-august-2012-3

accor-private-sale-august-2012-4

Conclusion

If you have some Accor hotel stays coming up where the plans are firm, it pays to check the private sale rates as well. The instant Le Club Accorhotels Platinum status is still available as well.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updated and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Le Club Accorhotels promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Choice Hotels Fall 2012 Promotion for Maximum of 8000 Bonus Points for Every Two Stays

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Choice Hotels is about to kick in their fall 2012 bonus point promotion “Take two trips, earn one free night”. You will receive total of 8000 Choice Privileges points for every two stays or at minimum 5000 bonus points. This promotion is valid from august 30th to November 14th, 2012. You need to register for this promotion prior to your stay.

choice-fall-2012-promotion

Note that a stay is defined as a stay of 2 days or longer at Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, or MainStay Suites.

  • Register now at ChoiceHotels.com to earn unlimited free nights
  • Book at ChoiceHotels.com or 800.4CHOICE and after your second qualifying stay with arrival between August 30 and November 14, 2012you’ll receive enough Choice Privileges® points to redeem for a FREE night at over 1,500 hotels
  • Elite Diamond and Elite Platinum members can book through ChoiceHotels.com, 800.4CHOICE, direct at a hotel, or a travel management company, however if booked through ChoiceHotels.com, these members will receive 100 additional Choice Privileges points with every qualifying stay
  • Stays at Econo Lodge®, Rodeway Inn®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel® or MainStay Suites® hotels must be a minimum of two consecutive nights

Conclusion

This is pretty much the staple of Choice promotions lately. The difference is the fact that you will earn at the minimum 5000 bonus points of every two stays.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updated and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Choice hotels promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

The terms of this promotion:

Free night is based on an 8,000 point Choice Privileges® reward night level. Member must register at ChoiceHotels.com before arrival and book their stays at ChoiceHotels.com or 800.4CHOICE at qualifying rates. Members may also book at a travel management company. Choice Privileges member number must be provided upon check-in. After a second qualifying stay with arrival between 8/30/12 and 11/14/12, you will be awarded a minimum of 5,000 and maximum of 8,000 points, depending on how many points were earned from your two (2) separate qualified stays. These bonus points will allow redemption for a free night at the 8,000 reward night level at over 1,500 hotels. A free night at most Choice Privileges locations requires more than 8,000 points. Choice Privileges Diamond and Platinum members who book through ChoiceHotels.com will receive an additional 100 Choice Privileges bonus points with every qualified stay during the promotional period. For Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Quality®, Sleep Inn®, Clarion®, Cambria Suites® or Ascend Hotel Collection™ hotels, a trip is defined as a stay that is any number of consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs. For Econo Lodge®, Rodeway Inn®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, or MainStay Suites® hotels, a trip is defined as a stay that is two (2) or more consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs. Allow 72 hours from check-out for points to post. You must maintain an address in the U.S. (including U.S. territories) or Canada to be eligible for this promotion. For Choice Privileges program details, eligible rates, eligible countries and point redemption rules, visit choiceprivileges.com.

Best Western Rewards Fall 2012 Promotion Double or Triple Points

Best Western has just come with their fall 2012 bonus points promotion that is somewhat tricky. Non-elite members will get double points for their 2nd and 4th stay during the promotional period of September 23 and November 18, 2012. You will get triple points if your stays were booked at bestwestern.com. You will get 1000 bonus points for the first two stays paid using Best Western branded credit card during the promotional period. Elite members will get double/triple points for their 6th and 8th stay as well.

best-western-fall-2012-bonus-points-promotion

You cannot access the page (bestwestern.com/fall) for complete list of countries that participate to this promotion. You can, however, access the details of this promotion by logging into your Best Western Crown Club account, choose My Account, and then “Register For Special Offers” tab.

Conclusion

Seems that the hotel companies are getting better at giving more advance notice about their future promotions.

Thing to note here is that only the 2nd, 4th, 6th (for elite member), & 8th (for elite member) stay will be double/tripled. All the other stays are getting the usual points.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updated and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Best Western promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion:

BWR members earn double points on their 2nd qlfd stay between 9/23 and 11/18/12 – (Sep 23, 2012 – Nov 19, 2012) – Promo Code: FALL12 – Best Western Rewards® members (Member(s)) residing in any participating country (visit bestwestern.com/fall for a complete list of countries) who REGISTER for the 2012 FALL PROMOTION (Promotion) and COMPLETE AT LEAST TWO (2) QUALIFIED STAYS* at any Best Western branded hotel worldwide between September 23, 2012 and November 18, 2012 (Promotion Period), will be awarded double Best Western Rewards points for their 2nd qualified stay or triple points if the reservation was booked through bestwestern.com. Members residing outside of one of the participating countries?, who register for the Promotion and complete at least 2 qualified stays at any Best Western branded hotel in a participating country? during the Promotion Period, will earn double points after their 2nd qualified stay or triple points if the reservation was booked through bestwestern.com. Best Western Rewards enrollment and Promotion registration required during the Promotion Period. Bonus Offer: Use your Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® credit card to pay for your first two (2) qualified stays and earn 1,000 bonus Best Western Rewards points. Maximum of one (1) credit card bonus reward per Member during the Promotion Period. A qualified stay for the purpose of this Promotion is defined as one or more consecutive nights at the same Best Western branded hotel at a rate eligible for earning points or airline/partner rewards through Best Western Rewards. Only one (1) check-in/check-out permitted per qualified stay. Double/triple points only awarded for every 2nd qualified stay (e.g., 2nd, 4th 6th, 8th qualified stay) subject to the following restrictions. Non-Elite members may earn up to two (2) double and/or triple point bonuses (on completion of their 2nd and 4th qualifying stays only). Elite members may earn up to four (4) double and/or triple point bonuses (on completion of their 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th qualified stays only). Earning preference must be set to points for each stay to earn double/triple bonus points. Qualified stays with a check-in or check-out date that overlaps the beginning or ending of the Promotion Period will be counted towards the Promotion. In such case, double/triple points will be calculated based on the average daily rate for the entire qualified stay. Other restrictions may apply. Offer not valid with any other promotion or discount. Promotion is subject to cancellation or change without notice. Double and triple point bonuses are calculated against the standard Best Western Rewards earning structure for points. Allow up to 4 weeks after the completed qualified stays for posting of Best Western Rewards double or triple point bonuses. Allow up to 4-6 weeks after the Promotion Period for posting of Best Western Rewards MasterCard® bonus points. All Best Western Rewards program rules apply. See www.bestwesternrewards.com for additional program terms. Best Western and the Best Western marks are service marks or registered service marks of Best Western International, Inc. ©2012 Best Western International, Inc. All rights reserved. Each Best Western® branded hotel is independently owned and operated.

Air France-KLM Flying Blue Promo Awards (50% Discount) Are Out For September – October 2012

Air France and KLM’s Flying Blue program releases a list of promotional destinations every couple of months that are redeemable for half the usual number of miles. They just announced the latest list of destinations that are bookable from August 29, 2012 for September/October travel. You can access the list here.

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012

Thing to note is that you can book these also as one way.  These are not only for originating from Europe as all the destinations are valid for both directions.  Awards allow the origin/destination in Europe to be in zones 1, 2, and 3, basically meaning that these awards are valid from/to anywhere in Europe. Destinations within Europe are for listed city pairs only.

Thing to remember is that Flying Blue charges rather hefty taxes and fees for award tickets. The fees are mainly fuel surcharges (YQ) that they collect. As a result, it rarely makes sense to redeem for an economy class ticket. Also, there are no changes or cancellations of any kind allowed on promo tickets. You either use it or lose it.

You can sign up for the Flying Blue account and have a look at the availability. I would suggest first trying to find availability for the long haul flights and work the connecting fights, if needed, separately.

The following list includes some destinations that are still left from the previous list.

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-europe-1

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-europe-2

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-north-america

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-south-america

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-caribbean

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-africa-middle-east-1

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-africa-middle-east-2

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-asia-pacific

Conclusion

These promotional Flying Blue awards represent quite good value, but the high fuel surcharges that both Air France and KLM collect make redeeming for anything else than business class most of the time bad proposition.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updated and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Air France-KLM Flying Blue promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Here are the terms and conditions of these promotional awards.

  • Reservations must be made exclusively on www.airfrance.com or www.klm.com (except for bookings for children, infants and minors, who are not authorised to book an award on the website).
  • In the event that a technical problem occurs when reserving the promotional fare or if the reservation cannot be finalised, the Flying Blue member must log on to the site and repeat the procedure.
  • This award ticket may only be used on connecting flights into or out of the Europe 1, Europe 2 and Europe 3 zones if the connections are to long-haul flights.
    For European flight promotions, connecting flights within Europe are not included.
  • These promotional Promo Award@ may not be modified, cancelled or refunded.
  • Promo Award@ are available for one-way tickets and round trips.
  • Discounts (SkyTeam scale applicable) apply to the award ticket price only (SkyTeam scale is valid). Applicable taxes and fees are paid by the Flying Blue member.
  • Flex Award are not included in the Promo Award@ offer.
  • Business Elite and Economy Elite bookings are available exclusively to Flying Blue Elite members (Platinum, Gold and Silver). These Elite travel classes provide extra award seats on routes to the United States, the Carribean and Indian Ocean, Africa and Asia.

American Airlines Transatlantic Bonus Offer for up to 180K AAdvantage Miles

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American Airlines has very generous bonus offer for fall 2012 transatlantic travel in business and first class. You can earn 40K to 45K bonus miles per round trip for up to four trips from September 1st to December 16, 2012.

american-airlines-ba-ib-transatlantic-offer

This offer applies for AAdvantage members whose address in file with the AA is in:

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vatican City State.

Most notably Ireland and the United Kingdom are not included in this offer. You need to register for this offer AASKY prior to travel but there are no ticketing date requirements. This offer is valid for flights marketed and operated by American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia between Europe and United States/Canada.

Conclusion

This is a fantastic offer for business class travel that is originating from Europe. The only requirement is the business/first class travel and to make sure that the ticketed are classes are qualifying ones.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updated and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting American Airlines promotion or bonus miles opportunity around.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

*Includes First Class or Business Class fares booked in F, A, J, R, D or I on American Airlines operated flights; First Class or Club World fares booked in F, A, J, R, C, D or I on British Airways operated flights; fares in Business Class booked in J, C, D, R or I on Iberia operated flights.

**Refers to AAdvantage award travel in Economy Class within Europe on one of our participating airlines. View award chart

Offer applies only to AAdvantage members with an address on file with AAdvantage Marketing Programs in one of these countries: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican City State.

Registration prior to travel is required. AAdvantage bonus mile offer is valid on American Airlines, British Airways and/or Iberia marketed and operated nonstop flights for return travel between Europe, the UK, Ireland and the U.S. or Canada from September 1, 2012, through December 16 2012. Members must purchase and fly on eligible published-fare tickets. Flights operated or marketed by any other codeshare partners are not eligible for this promotion. A return trip is defined as travel in the same purchased booking class for both the departure and the return transatlantic flight segments. Bonus miles do not count towards elite status qualification or Million Miler status. Bonus miles will be awarded based on the booking class purchased. All government imposed taxes and fees associated with the award ticket are the responsibility of the AAdvantage member and/or passenger, and depend on the itinerary. American Airlines, AAdvantage and AA.com are marks of American Airlines, Inc. Schedules subject to change without notice. American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage program rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers at any time without notice, and to end the AAdvantage program with six months notice. oneworld is a mark of the oneworld Alliance, LLC.

Some Travel Woes in Santiago de Chile

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For the past week, I have been in Santiago de Chile. I have been here two times previously for two to three days at a time.  And I really like the city. It is different from the other big cities of South America such as Buenos Aires, Lima, or Sao Paulo.

Santiago de Chile Skyline From the Grand Hyatt Hotel
Santiago de Chile Skyline From the Grand Hyatt Hotel

I don’t normally write trip reports of the cities that I visit, but do review the hotels. I have written few travel tips in the past about the taxis and what do when you get sick while traveling.

So far I have had couple unpleasant instances here in Santiago.

1. Taxi demanding double the agreed fare

I had a day trip from Santiago to Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Next time, I need to spend couple of days at each of them.

Street in Valparaiso
Street in Valparaiso

Most of the buses back to Santiago on a Sunday night were sold out and only one of the last ones still had seats available. This resulted rather late arrival to the city when the metro was already closed. As I was travelling with a Spanish-speaking friend, he negotiated a fare to the hotel of 10K CLP ($20). The taxi didn’t want to use a meter, but I thought that this would be within couple of pesos of the metered fare so I accepted it.

My friend was living along the route back to the Hyatt so we dropped him off first. Then, after getting to the Hyatt, he was demanding double the fare that we had agreed to. The driver got really verbal and was trying to prevent me from leaving the taxi. I just left him with the price that we had agreed upon starting the trip and told the hotel security to get rid of him.

This wasn’t very nice but I would imagine that the drivers do to get away with a behavior like this and excess demands from most of the non-local passengers. So, it is, unfortunately, profitable behavior for them.

 2. Mobile phone snatched on a way back to hotel

The nightlife is pretty good and starts late here in Santiago. We went to have drinks quite late on a Tuesday night and were walking back to the Crowne Plaza hotel in the center of Santiago. I had my Samsung Nexus S in my pocket and decided to check something using it. Suddenly a guy runs past and just snatches the phone.

Bar In Barrio Bellavista Santiago de Chile
Bar In Barrio Bellavista Santiago de Chile

He was quite a fast runner and we were not able to catch him. This was the first time of all my travels that someone just steals something from me on the street.

I have a travel insurance that covers situation like this. So, yesterday afternoon I went to a police station to have a report filed and to get a copy of it for insurance purposes. There were some others there who had had their laptop stolen.

Luckily, I only lost a phone that was close to 20 months old and needed to be replaced anyway. I had been waiting for it to break down or me mistakenly leaving it somewhere. It didn’t come to my mind that I would lose it this way, however. I had a look at the phones that were available here in Santiago but the prices were very high. Probably need to wait until I am back in Bangkok next week before buying a new one.

Conclusion

Theft and taxi problems that I have encountered are quite rare considering the amount of traveling that I do. When they do occur, you just need to consider it the price of traveling.

SPG Better By The Night Online & iPhone Booking Bonuses

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As a part of their fall 2012 Better By The Night promotion, Starwood is also trying to drive more traffic for bookings through their website and an iPhone app.

spg-better-by-the-night-booking-bonuses

You will receive 250 bonus Starpoints for bookings made through SPG.com and 500 Starpoints for bookings made through the Starwood iPhone app. There is no Starwood app for Android phones.

This booking bonus applies to all Starwood family of hotels that participate to SPG. The list of properties that opted out of the double/triple Starpoints is not applicable for this booking bonus promotion. You do, however, need to register for the promotion for the booking bonuses to kick in as well.

Booking made through these channels are eligible for the bonus Starpoints as long as the stay is within the promotional period. There is no need to redo the reservations as long as you have made the bookings using either the SPG.com or the iPhone app.

Conclusion

For cheaper stays this booking bonus will yield more bonus Starpoints than the doubling/tripling the base points.

Also, all the properties that are SPG participating will get this bonus regardless whether the property has opted out of the Better By The Night promotion. This would indicate that the Starwood, not the properties, is picking up the tab for the bonus points issued.

It is quite interesting that Starwood doesn’t have an app for Android phones out there yet. I have used several iPhones in the past, but prefer the open environment of the Android software and the customization it offers over the iPhone os.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updated and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. I will always make a post when there is exciting SPG promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Here’s the part of the Better By The Night terms and conditions that is applicable for the booking bonuses:

Web/Mobile App Booking Bonuses: Registered members are eligible to receive 250 bonus Starpoints for completed stays during the promotion period that were booked through spg.com or any Starwood hotel-branded website, including mobile web pages. Registered members are eligible to earn 500 bonus Starpoints for completed stays (during the promotion period) that were booked through SPG’s mobile app for iPhone®. Bookings made prior to the promotion period are eligible, but only eligible stays consumed during the promotion period will receive bonuses. Registered members may earn a maximum of 500 bonus Starpoints per booking. Booking bonuses will post to the registered member’s account after the end of the promotion period. Booking bonuses are eligible at all properties that participate in the SPG program, regardless of whether the property is participating in the SPG Better by the Night promotion.

SPG Better By The Night Autumn 2012 Promotion for Double or Triple Starpoints

6 Comments

SPG just announced their fall 2012 Better By The Night promotion. The promotion starts on October 1st and ends on December 20th, 2012. You will receive double Starpoints for stays of 1 to 2 days and triple Starpoints for stays of 3 nights or longer at properties that haven’t opted out.

spg-better-by-the-night

According to the terms and conditions the bonus Starpoints would post 2 to 4 weeks after your stay. Based on my personal experience with past Starwood promotions they will have a weekly sweep for bonus points.

Note that Starwood will only double or triple the BASE POINTS earned for your stay. Elite bonuses such as 50% bonus for Platinum members or 4th Starpoint for those that have stayed at more than 75 nights in 2011 or 2012 are not eligible for doubling or tripling.

It is unheard of Sarwood to announce a promotion more than five weeks before its starting date, but that is just what they did.

The registration for this promotion is not open yet and starts sometime in September. You need to register for the promotion by November 30th, 2012 and all the stays that are eligible for the promotion will get the bonus Starpoints from October 1st.

There are separate booking bonuses that I will cover on next post. Stawood has a list of frequently asked questions about this promotion here.

Conclusion

It is always nice to have continuous promotions. This promotion will work well for those that have stays at more expensive Starwood locations that haven’t opted out.

Just be careful to read carefully the list of properties that are not participating to this promotion as you won’t get double or triple bonus points for those stays. Properties pay for these bonus points and have an option to opt out. If they feel that the business is strong enough and that offering additional bonuses won’t bring in any more business, they feel no need to offer additional incentives for SPG members.

I will take the bonus points, but this promotion is not going to move any stays to SPG properties that I wouldn’t have done regardless.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updated and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. I will always make a post when there is exciting SPG promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Below is a list of hotels and resorts that are NOT participating in the Better by the Night promotion.

Australia

Lilianfels Resort, Blue Mountains
Echoes Resort, Blue Mountains

Austria

Four Points by Sheraton Panoramahaus Dornbirn

Bangladesh

The Westin Dhaka

Brazil

Sheraton Sao Paulo WTC Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton Curitiba

Canada

The Westin Ottawa

China

The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel Beijing
Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel
Sheraton Dongguan Hotel
Sheraton Changsha Hotel
The Westin Guangzhou
Sheraton Urumqi Hotel
Sheraton Guangzhou Hotel
Aloft Beijing, Haidian
Sheraton Shunde Hotel
Le Méridien Shimei Bay Beach Resort & Spa
Aloft Nanhai, Foshan
Four Points by Sheraton Luohe
The Westin Pazhou

Colombia

Sheraton Bogota Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton Medellin
Four Points by Sheraton Cali

Germany

Sheraton Munich Airport Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton Munich Olympiapark
Four Points by Sheraton Munich Central
Le Méridien Munich
Sheraton Munich Westpark Hotel
The Westin Bellevue, Dresden
The Westin Grand Munich
The Westin Leipzig
Le Méridien Stuttgart
Sheraton Hanover Pelikan Hotel
Sheraton Munich Arabellapark Hotel

Greece

Sheraton Rhodes Resort

Hong Kong

Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers

Hungary

Le Méridien Budapest

India

ITC Maurya, New Delhi
The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi
ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad
ITC Sonar, Kolkata
Le Méridien Pune
The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa

Italy

Sheraton Firenze Hotel & Conference Center

Japan

Kobe Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers
The Westin Osaka
Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Tokyo

Jordan

Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel & Towers

Kuwait

Sheraton Kuwait Hotel & Towers
Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait

Lebanon

Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun

Malaysia

Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort
Four Points by Sheraton Langkawi Resort

Pakistan

Sheraton Karachi Hotel

Russia

Sheraton Palace Hotel, Moscow

Saudia Arabia

Sheraton Jeddah Hotel
Sheraton Riyadh Hotel & Towers
Sheraton Dammam Hotel & Towers
Le Méridien Medina

Singapore

The St. Regis Singapore

South Korea

The Westin Chosun, Seoul
Sheraton Incheon Hotel

Taiwan

Sheraton Taipei Hotel
Le Méridien Taipei

Turkey

W Istanbul
Sheraton Istanbul Ataköy Hotel

United Arab Emirates

Le Méridien Abu Dhabi
Aloft Abu Dhabi
Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort
Grosvenor House, Dubai
Al Sondos Suites by Le Méridien
Le Méridien Dubai
Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa
The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
Le Méridien Fairway

United Kingdom

The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel

United States

California
Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel
The Westin Palo Alto
Palace Hotel, San Francisco
Sheraton Sunnyvale Hotel
Sheraton Anaheim Hotel
Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs
The Westin Verasa Napa
Four Points by Sheraton San Jose Downtown

Colorado
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain

Florida
Walt Disney World Dolphin
Walt Disney World Swan
Four Points by Sheraton Destin-Fort Walton Beach
The Westin Tampa Bay

Georgia
The St. Regis Atlanta

Hawaii
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach
Sheraton Waikiki

Illinois
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago
The Westin Chicago River North
The Westin Chicago North Shore
W Chicago-Lakeshore
W Chicago-City Center
The Tremont Chicago Hotel at Magnificent Mile

Kentucky
Sheraton Louisville Riverside Hotel

Louisiana
Sheraton Metairie – New Orleans Hotel

Michigan
The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit

Minnesota
The Westin Edina Galleria

Missouri
Four Points by Sheraton Kansas City Airport

New Jersey
The Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village

New York
The Manhattan at Times Square
W New York-Union Square
Le Parker Méridien New York
W New York

Pennsylvania
Sheraton Great Valley Hotel
Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel

South Carolina
Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel

Tennessee
Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House Hotel

Texas
The Westin Galleria Houston
Aloft Las Colinas
The Westin Houston, Memorial City
Aloft Plano
W Austin
Aloft Frisco

Utah
Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel

Virginia
The Westin Washington Dulles Airport

Washington
The Westin Bellevue
Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle Center

Yemen

Sheraton Sana’a Hotel

These are the terms and conditions of this promotion:

Text Message Reminders: SPG® members who reside in the U.S. or U.K. can opt to receive a text message reminder to register for the promotion when the registration window opens. Submit keyword “BBTN” to 44264 in the U.S to opt in. Submit keyword “BBTN” to 447950080934 in the U.K. to opt in. Opted–in members will receive three text messages from Starwood for this campaign. One message will be sent right after opting in, asking you to respond with keyword “YES” to verify that you would like to receive the reminder text. Once you do so, you will also get a text confirming that you have been opted in. Then, when the promotion is live, you will get the reminder text with registration information. Message and data rates apply. Supported carriers in the U.S. are AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, Nextel, Boost, U.S. Cellular and Alltel. Supported carriers in the U.K are Three, O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Virgin and Vodafone. If your mobile operator is not participating, you may not receive a reply to your message. To receive help information, text “BBTN HELP” to short code 44264 in the U.S or text “BBTN HELP” to 447950080934 located in the U.K. You may also opt out at any time by sending “BBTN STOP” to 44264 in the U.S. or by sending “BBTN STOP” to 447950080934 if located in the U.K. We will not share or use your mobile number for any other purpose. We will only use information you provide to transmit your text message.

Registration: Members must register online at spg.com/betterbythenight by November 30, 2012, midnight ET. Registered members can earn bonus Starpoints® with every eligible stay between October 1, 2012, and December 20, 2012 (the “promotion period”), at more than 1,000 participating properties. A list of non-participating properties can be found at spg.com/betterbythenight and is subject to change.

Earning: Registered members will earn double Starpoints on eligible one-or two-night stays at participating properties during the promotion period. Registered members will earn triple Starpoints on eligible stays of three or more nights at participating properties during the promotion period. Members who earn double Starpoints will earn an additional two Starpoints per eligible US$1 spent (for a total of four Starpoints per dollar). Members who earn triple Starpoints will earn an additional four Starpoints per eligible US$1 spent (for a total of six Starpoints per dollar). Elite-level extra Starpoint earnings and other bonuses will not be doubled or tripled. Only the base 2-Starpoints-per-dollar earnings are double or tripled. The triple Starpoints for stays of three consecutive nights or more are in lieu of, not in addition to, double Starpoints. There is no limit to the number of bonus Starpoints that can be earned during the promotion period.

Bonusing: Bonus Starpoints will post to the registered member’s account within 2–4 weeks after the qualifying stay posts.

Web/Mobile App Booking Bonuses: Registered members are eligible to receive 250 bonus Starpoints for completed stays during the promotion period that were booked through spg.com or any Starwood hotel-branded website, including mobile web pages. Registered members are eligible to earn 500 bonus Starpoints for completed stays (during the promotion period) that were booked through SPG’s mobile app for iPhone®. Bookings made prior to the promotion period are eligible, but only eligible stays consumed during the promotion period will receive bonuses. Registered members may earn a maximum of 500 bonus Starpoints per booking. Booking bonuses will post to the registered member’s account after the end of the promotion period. Booking bonuses are eligible at all properties that participate in the SPG program, regardless of whether the property is participating in the SPG Better by the Night promotion.

Eligible Stays: An eligible stay is defined as one or more consecutive nights paying an eligible rate in the same hotel regardless of the number of check-ins or checkouts that occur and post to the member’s Starwood Preferred Guest®account. Eligible stays with at least one night in the earning period will receive a bonus. An eligible rate is any rate that is eligible to earn Starpoints in the Starwood Preferred Guest program. A listing of SPG-participating hotels and resorts and a description of eligible stays and eligible rates can be found at spg.com under program terms and conditions. See Section 1.4 for the complete definition of eligible rates, but note that certain prepaid rooms where the booking is made through a third party (including but not limited to travelocity.com, expedia.com and orbitz.com) are not Eligible Rates and do not earn Starpoints or qualify toward promotional earnings.

Qualifications and Starwood Terms: All promotions are subject to the Starwood Preferred Guest program terms and conditions, which are subject to change without notice and can be found at spg.com. Offer is applicable to individual members only and not to groups. Not responsible for omissions or typographical errors. Starwood reserves the right to discontinue this offer at any time. To update your communication preferences or learn about our privacy practices, view our Privacy Statement on spg.com/privacy, or access our privacy information line by calling 1-877-782-0071 in the U.S. and Canada or +353-21-4930474 in all other countries. Starpoints, SPG, Preferred Guest, Sheraton, Four Points, W, Aloft, The Luxury Collection, Le Méridien, Element, Sheraton, St. Regis and their respective logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates. Void where prohibited by law. ©2012 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All rights reserved.

iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

Hyatt August Edition of the 48 Hour Sale – C48AUG

Hyatt is having their monthly 48 hour sale where you can save 15% to 30% off of best available rates (BAR). Sometimes you can save quite a bit of money and sometimes you cannot. These rates are valid at selected US, Canada, and Caribbean hotels between August 28th and December 5th, 2012. The promotional dates for individual properties may vary. You need to book this offer by 11:59PM CDT on August 22nd, 2012.

hyatt-48-hour-august

Sometimes it is actually better to book an AAA rate that might include some extras like a complimentary breakfast. AAA rates are also normally not prepaid and cancellable.

Offer valid for bookings only between 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday August 21st and 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday August 22nd Central Daylight Time, for travel between Tuesday August 28, 2012 and Wednesday December 5, 2012 at participating Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Park Hyatt and Andaz properties in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. Reservations are subject to availability and must be made in advance. Full non-refundable prepayment required at time of booking. Offer is for a limited time only. Simply request offer code C48AUG when you book your reservation and pay the 48 Hour Sale rate. Discount is off the Hyatt Daily Rate for the room type requested at time of booking. Rate is per room, per night, excluding service charges, taxes and other incidental expenses. Rate is based on double occupancy. Additional guests may be subject to additional hotel charges. Additional charges apply to room-type upgrades. A limited number of rooms are allocated to this promotion. Full, non-refundable, Prepayment due at time of reservation. No changes, amendments or cancellations allowed. Changing to a different property is considered a cancel and re-book, and is non-refundable. Canceled reservations and no shows will forfeit the full prepayment. Promotional blackout periods may apply due to seasonal periods or special events, and normal arrival/departure restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, minimum length of stay and day of week restrictions. Offer may not be combined with other offers or discounts. Hyatt reserves the right to alter or withdraw this program at any time without notice. Hyatt Hotels & Resorts® encompasses hotels managed, franchised or leased by subsidiaries and affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. The trademarks Hyatt®, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts®, Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House™ and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2012 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

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