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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Have You Used Your Credit Card Travel Credits? When Do They Reset?

January 1st is a day that most frequent travelers hate to see. It’s when all the airline miles flew and hotel nights stayed over the past year reset to zero and they have to start all over again to try to reach status for the next year. Since I don’t worry about status, the start of the new year means that my travel credits have reset and I have some money to spend. Or do I?

If you have a premium travel credit card (or five of them), hopefully, you’re aware of the travel credits offered by these cards. Travel credits, ranging anywhere from $100 to $325, help to offset the lofty annual fees these cards charge. The trick is that you have to use the credits or they expire. To make things more difficult, the charges that are eligible for reimbursement and the procedures to get the credits are different for every card. Another difference between these cards is if the credits go by your membership year or the calendar year.

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Sign Up Now For Marriott’s Fall/Winter Megabonus Promotion

Marriott has just completed the merger of the Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz Carlton Rewards programs. While the merger of the three programs, which will not be complete until sometime in 2019, has suffered a series of technical issues, the programs are all now working with one currency under the same umbrella.

With the hard work of merging programs behind them, Marriott has just rolled out their newest Megabonus promotion. I’m sad to say that it wasn’t worth the wait.

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How To Avoid Extra Credit Card Fees During International Travel

Going on an international trip is very exciting but it can also be very expensive. Using a credit card to pay for purchases when traveling internationally is often the best way to get a good exchange rate and the rate your bank gets will be better than the one you’ll get on your own if you exchange cash. Using a card also means that you don’t have to carry around a bunch of cash with you. However, many cards will add on a “foreign transaction fee” to any transactions made with anything except your home currency. Here’s an easy way to keep from paying that extra 2-3 percent on all of your purchases while away.

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The Credit Cards That Will Pay For Your Global Entry Or TSA PreCheck Application Fee (Updated June, 2018)

Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer decision for any frequent traveler to sign up for this program. The $100 non-refundable application fee is a small price to pay in order to blow past the long immigration lines when returning to the United States. Your Global Entry status is then good for five years. So that’s $20 a year. Where else can you buy VIP treatment for twenty bucks?

What makes this an even better deal is when you’re approved for Global Entry, you also get a Known Traveler Number (KTN), giving you access to TSA Pre✓® lanes at domestic airports. This program charges an $85 membership fee if you apply for it separately, so it only costs an extra $15 to get expedited entry when entering the U.S. on international flights (as well as some cruise ports and land crossings). You could just apply for TSA Pre-Check instead of Global Entry but the process is similar and if you’re getting reimbursed, why not go for the better deal?

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