How We Saved $500 On A Hotel Night By Using Points

I don’t write about every time I book a hotel or flight because most times it’s pretty boring stuff. But there are occasionally those times when I manage to get such a great deal that I have to tell someone. I mean, this is why Sharon and I started the blog in the first place – because our friends kept asking how we were able to do all of the travel things we did without being independently wealthy.

This was a time when I booked one of those rooms.

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Why You Need To Diversify Your Miles and Points Portfolio

As you may have read, we had a blowout trip through the American Southwest in 2017. For us, a fifteen night trip is an amazingly long time to be away from home. We could have stayed at the same hotel chain properties and worked our way towards some low level of status. However, it was much better for us to pick the best hotel for us in each location and use the most sensible form of payment, be it paying cash or using points. The same thing went for the flights, which were booked with a combination of cash and airline miles.

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This was possible because I had a stash of points in several hotel programs as well as had transferrable credit card points. Some of the rooms I paid for because the hotels either weren’t part of any point program or there was a promotion that made paying with cash a much better value than using points.

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Credit Card Offer Of The Year, Worst Flight In America, Spending 3,000,000 Marriott (Bonvoy), Rewards & More

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

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Merge Your Marriott And Starwood Accounts Now, Before The Launch Of Bonvoy

I know, yet another article about the merger of Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz Carlton Rewards into the single Marriott Bonvoy program. The official date of the conversion is February 13th. Much of the discussion had been focused on the Marriott and SPG credit cards from Chase and AMEX and whether you should sign up for one card or another before they are no longer available.  However, I received a message from a reader about our post on merging accounts asking a question I didn’t know the answer to: If you haven’t done so by now, is it mandatory to merge your accounts?

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Am I Crazy To Pay 60,000 Marriott Points For A New York Hotel?

One lesson to learn when using points is to pick your spots. If you take the time to learn the sweet spots of each program, you can take advantage of them when it makes sense and maximize the value you get for your points. I try my best to follow this guide and we’ve been able to travel to some amazing places, but we’ve also saved a bunch of money on everyday redemptions at ordinary hotels. That’s why I’m wondering if I’m crazy to be considering this redemption using our Marriott points.

One of the current “values” is booking Marriott/SPG hotels that are currently category 7 but will go up to category 8. These hotels currently cost 60,000 points for a night but when the program is relaunched, reportedly under the name Bonvoy, there will be a new category 8. Marriott also will be introducing off-peak, standard and peak pricing at the same time. When that happens, these hotels will cost between 70,000 and 100,000 points PER NIGHT! While there’s not a set date for the increase to happen, the Marriott website is now saying March 2019. The great thing is that you can book a room for any available date before the change so it makes sense to lock in that dream vacation now while you can. I’d imagine that these updates will happen whenever in March that Marriott decides they’re ready to dump more changes on their IT department because the last ones worked out so well {insert sarcasm here}

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