Hilton Readying For An Early 2014 IPO?

You cannot have escape the news that Blackstone is readying to ditch its Hilton investment and is preparing for an early 2014 IPO. This has been all over the financial press and tv channels in the past couple of days. There are good articles about this on WSJ (here) and NYT (here).

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Blackstone is a private equity firm that took Hilton private back in 2007 and saddled the hotel company with debt. This is the method for “private equity” firms to basically make the firms to pay for their takeovers.

Marriott Forcing Password Changes – Accounts & Passwords Hacked?

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Last week, I wrote about the email that I had received from Marriott Regarding my Marriott Rewards account with a suggestion that I should change my password (you can read the article here). Today, when I was trying to log into my account, I was presented with the screen below.

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Marriott was forcing me to change the password that I had on file with them. The text below makes no sense at all. To ensure more “secure” passwords, Marriott doesn’t allow any special characters such as *, &, %, _, – etc.

SPG Promotion: Get 500 Bonus Points Per Stay Using Chinese SPG Android App

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SPG is offering 500 bonus points for bookings made using the brand new SPG Chinese Android app.

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There is no need to register for this offer, but you need to make the reservations using the SPG’s Chinese Android app and stay between August 7 and September 7, 2013 December 31, 2013. You can earn the bonus unlimited number of times.

Lion Air Hits Cows

There was an accident earlier this year, when the Lion Air plane that was trying to land the Denpasar airport in Bali overshoot the runaway and land on shallow water. There was no casualties.

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This times Lion Air flight from Jakarta to Gorntalo hit three cows killing one that had somehow found their way to the runway. You can read more about this on Bloomberg’s website here.

Lufthansa Miles&More Bonus Offer: 3,000 Miles For Swarovski Purchases In Switzerland

Miles&More members can get 3,000 award miles for any purchase made at all participating Swarovski boutique shops in Switzerland until August 31, 2013.

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The beauty of this offer is that there is no minimum purchase requirement and all purchases should qualify. There are some inexpensive items available at Swarovski shops as well. You can access this offer on Miles&More website here

American Airlines Buy AA Miles Offer: Get Up To 2,000 Bonus Miles & 25% Off Discount

American Airlines has a new buyAAmiles campaign for miles purchases until August 15, 2013. You can get up to 30% bonus on purchased miles. You can access this offer on AA’s website here.

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You can buy up to 60,000 America Airlines miles, but the bonus miles of 2,000 maxes out at a purchase level of 20,000 miles. To get the maximum discount of 25% you must, however, buy 60,000 miles.

Hotel Promotion Codes (Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, Etc)

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Many of us occasionally use OTA’s (online travels) such as Expedia or Orbitz to book hotel accommodations. Sometimes they offer better pricing or availability compared to direct bookings with the hotel. Also, they often carry smaller hotels that don’t have very good online booking process or there aren’t any benefits booking directly.

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Here’s I compiled a list of discount code for various OTA’s that should be valid. Some may require minimum stay, certain USD amount, minimum hotel quality etc. to qualify for the discount.

Whine Wednesdays: Hotels Pushing Car Services Or Affiliated Taxis

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Couple of weeks ago, I was in Vilnius and staying at the Radisson Blu Astorija (it is really spelled with J) hotel in the city center. I had a flight our at very early hour and and asked the reception about the price to the airport on a regular metered taxi.

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(Taxi company on the photo is not the one I used)

I would usually just hail a taxi on the street, but you really cannot do this in Vilnius unless you are Lithuanian. The taxis in this Baltic country are very good at ripping off non-locals.

IHG Rewards Club: Bonus Points Packages In Greater China (08/01-10/31)

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IHG Rewards Club has new bonus point package deals out for Greater China market (China, Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan) for stays between August 1 and October 31, 2013.

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Note that these bonus points packages are not free and are usually very bad deal as you are essentially paying an arm and leg for the bonus points. These may make sense if you are living on an expense account and nobody audits your travel expenses.

American Airlines Back In AwardWallet

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American Airlines and AwardWallet announced yesterday that you can again monitor your AAdvantage account balances using the AwardWallet service.

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There are several services that you can use to monitor your miles/points balances from number of programs and AwardWallet is one of them.

iPrefer Program Sign Up Promotion: Get 500 Free Points

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Preferred Hotels Group has iPrefer frequent guest program that is going through some changes at the moment and will unveil their new points based program in about weeks time. I already wrote about these coming changes here and here.

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Now, iPrefer is offering 500 points for those that sign up for the program by August 12, 2013. You can access this offer on iPrefer’s web page here.

Marriott Rewards Fall 2013 MegaBonus September 15 – January 15

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Marriott Rewards just launched their fall 2013 MegaBonus that is valid for stays between September 15 and January 15, 2014. You need to register for this promotion by November 15, 2013 (Marriott usually allows late registrations by contacting customer service).

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Here are the options for the Marriott Rewards Fall 2013 MegaBonus:

US Airways Status Match: Dividend Miles Silver, Gold or Platinum Trial Preferred Status Now Valid February 2015

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US Airways doesn’t do straight status matches like i.e. Delta and United, but they are offering something similar for a price and you don’t need to have status with any airline to get started with. I wrote about this offer earlier this year, but decided to do an update now that the status is valid all the way to February 2015 for successfully completed challenges. You can access this offer on US Airways web site here.

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You need to decide at what level you would like to start your Trial Preferred. Silver costs $200, Gold $400, and Platinum $600. You will get the status for 90 days during which you need to complete:

Marriott Rewards “Welcome Back To More Rewards” Promotion (Targeted)

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Seem that Hyatt and SPG are not the only two trying to woo rewards members that have not had stays for a while. Now, Marriott has sent the following “Welcome Back To More Rewards” offer to members that have not had stays for some time.

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If you received this offer, you have been auto-enrolled for getting a free night category 1-4 certificate for every two stays during the sign up month + following three months. The maximum number of certificates that you can earn is maxed at two.

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