Act Now If You Want Two Free Nights at a Swanky Hyatt Hotel

NOTE: The offer for two free nights is no longer available. Clicking on the link will take you to the current public offer.

News started to filter out this week that Chase was going to change the sign up bonus for the Hyatt Credit Card. The current offer is:

Earn 2 free nights at any Hyatt hotel or resort worldwide after you spend $2,000 on purchases with the Hyatt Credit Card in the first 3 months from account opening.

Before applying, remember the following disclaimer:

This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.

This sign up bonus is extremely valuable because it’s good at any Hyatt. You can read posts online of how people have stayed at the Park Hyatt in Sydney (it overlooks the Sydney Opera House), or the Park Hyatt Tokyo (it was featured in the film “Lost in Translation”) or the mega-Instagrammable Park Hyatt Maldives. You know, that place with those bungalows that stretch out into the never-ending blue sea.

If you were dreaming of a trip like that, you need to act NOW!!!!

Continue reading “Act Now If You Want Two Free Nights at a Swanky Hyatt Hotel”

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Why You Need To Take Advantage of AMEX Offers

If you have an American Express card and don’t take advantage of AMEX offers, you may be leaving hundreds of dollars a year on the table. AMEX Offers are targeted promotions on your American Express account. If you register for the offer, AMEX will give you money back, or extra points, when you use your card at that merchant. Common examples are to get $10 back when you spend $50 or double Membership Rewards points for purchases for the next 3 months. Since many AMEX cards come with an annual fee, taking advantage of these offers is a wonderful way to offset the cost of the card.

Continue reading “Why You Need To Take Advantage of AMEX Offers”

Credit Card Review: Citi Prestige

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I’ve talked about the American Express Everyday Preferred before, as it’s one of our wallet go-to cards. The Citi Prestige isn’t a card I use for everyday purchases but instead is more of a “special teams player,” wherein I will pull it out of the drawer when I make specific purchases for the benefits it provides.

The Citi Prestige is one of the premium credit cards on the market and you need to have good credit to be approved for one. It also carries a hefty $450 annual fee. I’m willing to pay the fee for this card because of the benefits I get from it: Continue reading “Credit Card Review: Citi Prestige”

Why I’m not going to bite at the 100,000 point AMEX Hilton Surpass card offer.

When I was at work this week, my travel news feed was full of these headlines.

Best ever offer on Amex Hilton cards: Up to 100k + free weekend night!
AMEX Hilton Cards Offering Highest Sign-Up Bonuses Ever
Limited Time: 100,000 Hilton Honors Points Available Via Bonus!

I was all ready to go ahead and write about why I was going to jump in on this offer, and why you should, too. Then I started looking at how I could use these points and upon closer inspection, the cracks in my logic started to show.

Hilton just recently revamped their program, including changing the name from Hilton HHonors to Hilton Honors, as well as the ways you can redeem points. Hilton previously had a clear system with 9 categories for their hotels and each category had a set range of points needed to redeem a free night. They have now gone to a variable point redemption model, where you can apply some or all of your points to get any room. However the amount of points needed to book a room can change based on the going rate. While this does increase your opportunity to use points, the value of your points is now a mystery.

I crunched the numbers for some Hilton brand hotels I’ve stayed at before, to give myself an idea of what type of value I could get from Hilton points. I searched for the same weekend in May and compared the points rate to the AAA rate I would usually book.

Lets go toward the top of my range. The Hilton Garden Inn Times Square.

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One night at this Hilton Garden Inn will cost you 70,000 points

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With the AAA rate, a 2 night stay after taxes is $686.55. If I used points, the stay would cost 140,000 points (that is well over the 100,000 sign up bonus offered). I would be getting $0.49  a point value (686.55/140000) x 100.

Maybe a value hotel would give more value. Here’s a hotel we stay at when visiting family, the Hampton Inn Linden.

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Rooms here are going for 30,000 points a night

A two night stay with AAA rate would be $287.73. With rooms costing 30,000 points a night, this would mean that you would be getting $0.47 a point (287.73 / 60000 x 100)

Hmmmmm, that’s almost the same as the first example.

Maybe a different hotel might give a better value. Here’s a hotel we are considering staying at later this year, the Palmer House – a Hilton Hotel in Chicago.

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Nights at Palmer House cost 60,000 points

Even with a stay costing 10,000 points a night less than the hotel in New York, the price for a 2 night stay would cost $824.93 or 120,000 points. This would be a value of $0.68 a point (824.93/120000 x 100). That is a much better value for the points than the other two examples.

With this value, I might have jumped at the offer for 100,000 points. However for the weekend we are looking at, the rooms are going for a much more reasonable price of $525 for two nights. This would only be a value of $0.43 a point. That’s even lower than the other examples.

I’d say the maximum value I’d get from this sign up bonus of 100,000 Hilton points would be $680 but I’d be more likely to find it worth a little less than $500. There are way too many other cards I could sign up for that would give more value. One thing you learn with miles and points is to go after good deals when they show up. With experience, you also learn that what is a good deal for other people might not be the best deal for you.

So I think I’m gonna let this one go. I have 1 or 2 other cards that I was already thinking about getting. Even though this is a compelling offer, I have a inkling that this will not be the last time we see a higher sign up bonus for this card. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. Your Mileage May Vary.

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