Hyatt

Today is the last day of the fourth week of five weeks of discounted travel packages called Daily Getaways. Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will usually sell out in a few minutes. I’m writing about all the awesome ones

Today’s deals are discounted stay packages of Hyatt Gold Passport Points:

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These will be the toughest hotel-point packages to get get, since the quantities are miniscule. I’d guess you have a second or two right at 1 PM ET to snap them up.

  • How good are the deals?
  • What are the best ways to use Hyatt points?
  • What hotels are covered?

Each package has some name like “2 Nights in an Elite Hyatt Hotel For $330.” Ignore that name. You are simply buying a quantity of Hyatt points that you can use for anything Hyatt points can be used for.

You can buy one of each package, but I can’t imagine a human will be quick enough to get one of each package before each size sells out.

Best Uses of Hyatt Points

Hyatt points are best used for stays at Hyatt hotels brands including:

  • Park Hyatt
  • Grand Hyatt
  • Hyatt Regency
  • Hyatt
  • Hyatt Place
  • Hyatt House
  • Andaz

Free Nights

Hyatt hotels are divided into seven categories to determine their award prices. Free nights range from 5,000 to 30,000 points per night.

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At the cheapest price of 1.04 cents per point, the categories range from $52 to $312. Club rooms are about 30% more and suites are about 60% more.

Whether these are good deals depends on the retail price of the hotel you want, your subjective value of the room, and whether you can get it on Priceline for cheaper.

I think $52 for Category 1 Hyatt is a very good value. This Category includes a lot of Hyatt Places, and I really enjoy the Hyatt Place concept.

I am not in the habit of spending $312 per night for hotel rooms, but that is a huge discount off the list price of Category 7 properties, which tend to go for closer to $1,000 per night at peak times.

Also keep in mind that Free Nights will not incur taxes, which are often another 10% on top of the list price for paid nights.

Cash & Points

The Cash & Points chart allows you to use half the points needed for a free night plus a cash co-pay.

Three big differences between Cash & Points stays versus Free Nights:

  1. Free Night stays are always available as long as a standard room is for sale. Cash & Points stays are capacity-controlled.
  2. Free Night stays are NOT elite-qualifying. Cash & Points stays are elite-qualifying.

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When deciding between Free Nights and Cash & Points, I use Free Nights as the starting point. Then I look at how many points I would save by booking a Cash & Points night.

The cash I’d have to spend is the cost of “buying” those saved points.

For example, on a Category 6 hotel like the Andaz Maui at Wailea, you save 12,500 points by booking with Cash & Points at a cost of $150 or 1.2 cents per point. If you’d like to buy 12,500 points for 1.2 cents cents each, book the Cash & Points option.

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Andaz Wailea at Maui at Cocktail O’Clock
Upgrades

On paid stays, you can use points to upgrade. Three thousand points upgrade one night to a Club room. Six thousand points upgrade one night to a suite.

At these prices, that means upgrading to a suite for as little as $56 per night on a paid stay.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 8.39.45 PMWho Will Get the Most Value from Hyatt Points

People who value stays at luxury properties.

If you think $250 is a steal for the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa or Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, if you think $300 is a pittance for the Park Hyatt Sydney or the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome, then this deal is for you.

If you take paid stays at nice properties and want to upgrade for under $60 to a suite, then this deal is for you.

But if you wouldn’t dream of paying $300 for a night at a hotel and don’t take paid stays (so the cheap upgrades are useless to you), this deal is not for you.

My Plan

I am sitting this one out. Hotels are not a big part of my lodging strategy, and I will be busy at 1 ET.

Will This Deal Sell Out?

This deal will sell out in the first few seconds.

What Cards to Use to Purchase Daily Getaways

Last year, Daily Getaways purchases coded as purchases from a travel agency with multiple cards.

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I expect that to be the case in 2016 also. If it is, you should purchase with an Arrival Plus, Citi ThankYou Premier, or Sapphire Preferred.

  • You can redeem Arrival miles from the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® to eliminate the cost of your package if your purchase is greater than $100.
  • You can earn 3x ThankYou Points per dollar by purchasing the packages with a Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.
  • You can earn 2x Ultimate Rewards per dollar by purchasing the packages with a Chase Sapphire Preferred.

While I can not directly link to the current Chase Sapphire Preferred or Arrival Plus card offers, you may find them by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

Purchasing the Packages

To maximize your chances of getting in on the deal, I recommend using a site like whattimeisit.com to figure out the official time. The sale starts at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT. Keep refreshing the deal page until you see the BUY NOW button replace the SEE DETAILS button.

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This is what happens if you try to purchase something where all quantities are already in someone’s cart.

This doesn’t mean the deal is sold out. If someone doesn’t complete his purchase, that quantity will immediately become available for someone else. Keep checking until the dreaded “Sold Out” appears.

The sale starts at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT.

Do you plan to buy Alamo Gift Certificates? Post your successful or failed attempt in the comments, so we can gauge how quick you had to be to snag a deal.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

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Hyatt Points + Cash awards are now bookable online. These awards let you use only half the number of points needed for a free night award in exchange for a cash co-pay. They can be a high value way to stretch your points. They can also be a bad deal.

Here are seven things you need to know about Hyatt Points + Cash awards.

1. Their Cost

Hyatt divides its hotels into seven categories, roughly based on price. Here is a chart that shows the prices of booking free nights in a Suite, a Club room, and a Standard room at each of the seven categories.

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cpp = cents per point

The last two columns are about Points + Cash stays, which can only be used to book a standard room. You’ll notice that the number of points needed for a Points + Cash stay is exactly half the points needed for a free night. The co-pay varies from $50 to $300.

I conceptualize Points + Cash stays as booking a free night and then buying back half the points used for that free night for the price of the cash co-pay. The last column shows the “price” of “buying back” points during Points + Cash stays. The worst deals by far are for Category 1 and 7 hotels. You’ll basically never want to book Points + Cash stays at those properties. Categories 2-6 offer much better deals, with Category 6 offering the best deals.

2. Capacity Controls

Any time a standard room is for sale at a Hyatt property, it should be bookable with points as a free night. However, Points + Cash stays are only offered at the discretion of the hotel (ie capacity controlled.) That’s a huge difference.

3. Points + Cash Stays are “Paid Stays”

You earn stay credits toward status on Points + Cash stays. You earn points on the Cash portion of Points + Cash stays. Hyatt Diamonds can use Suite Upgrades on Points + Cash stays.

None of those things are true for free night awards.

4. You Pay Taxes and Resort Fees on Points + Cash Stays

You pay the often punitive hotel taxes on the Cash portion of Points + Cash stays. You also pay resort fees if you are staying at a resort.

You don’t pay either on free night awards.

These two factors make free nights a better deal compared to Points + Cash awards than the chart above showed. However since these vary by hotel, they can’t be added to the chart.

5. How to Book Points + Cash Stays Online

Perform a search on hyatt.com. Then check “Show Hyatt Gold Passport Points & Awards” above the search results.

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Now the hotels will display with their points price for a free night.Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 2.32.10 PMSelect a hotel. If a Points + Cash tab appears, it has availability for the nights you searched.
Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 2.32.37 PMIf only a Redeem Points tab appears, there is no Points + Cash availability.Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 2.34.56 PM

6. Night-by-Night Searching Technique

Imagine you want to enjoy a weeklong stay at a particular hotel on Cash + Points. You search the weeklong stay and don’t get the Points + Cash tab, meaning there is no space for the entire week.

Search night-by-night to see if you can find space on any days. Then you can book those days with Points + Cash and the other nights as free nights.

7. Currency Fluctuations Can Make Points + Cash a Better Deal

The Park Hyatt Vienna is a Category 6 hotel that costs 25,000 points for a free night or 12,500 points + $150 for a Points + Cash stay. Except that the $150 is priced in local currency at 127 euros, which is currently less than $136.
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The cash component is priced in the hotel’s currency and doesn’t update as often as currency values fluctuate. This can work for or against you. In this case because the dollar has gone up against the euro recently, it works for you.

By the way, this hotel is 470 euros ($502) per night on May 1, 2016 on a refundable rate like the free night and Points + Cash rates. That means you’d get 2.01 cents per point of value from a free night and 2.93 cents per point of value from a Points + Cash award. Easy choice.Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 2.37.51 PM

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

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I don’t spend much time in hotels (here’s a breakdown of where I’m sleeping as I travel 365 days this year), but I’ve been looking at booking some upcoming hotel stays. I carry several co-branded credit cards, but as I’ve crunched the numbers, my Citi Prestige® Card has come out as a better option for paying the hotel stay in almost all cases.

That’s especially true if I’m looking at a four night hotel stay, since the Citi Prestige® Card offers the fourth night free on paid hotel stays, which is an ~25% rebate (more if you’re doing it right.)

But even on a one night stay at a chain hotel where I have the hotel’s credit card, the Citi Prestige® Card‘s 3x hotel category bonus is usually a better option. Since I value ThankYou Points at 1.8 cents each, getting three points per dollar is like a 5.4% return for me. I can either use the points for 1.33 cents off flights or transfer them to 11 types of miles.

Let’s take a look at some major chain and non-chain hotels to see the return from using a co-branded card versus the Citi Prestige® Card. In parentheses is the card I’d use for a stay at that hotel chain. If there is nothing in parentheses, I’d use the Prestige. Here are there rankings by number of affiliated hotels according to Wikipedia:

1. Wyndham (Wyndham card for American properties)
2. Choice (Choice card for American properties)
3. IHG
4. Hilton
5. Marriott
9. Club Carlson
10. Starwood (maybe SPG Card for American properties depending on how you use ThankYou Points)
15. Hyatt (SPG Business Card for American properties)
Non-chain hotels

1. Wyndham

The Wyndham card offers 5x points per dollar on Wyndham stays at the following brands:

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I value Wyndham points at 1.33 cents each now that you can book any Wyndham property for 15,000 points per night. That’s a 6.65 cents per dollar return from the Wyndham card versus 5.4% from the Prestige.

But the Wyndham card has a 3% foreign transaction fee that the Prestige doesn’t have, so only use the Wyndham card at American properties, not abroad where the Prestige offers more value.

2. Choice

The Choice card offers 15x points per dollar on Choice stays at the following brands:

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I value Choice points at 0.5 cents each. That’s 7.5% back.

But the Choice card has a 3% foreign transaction fee that the Prestige doesn’t have, so only use the Choice card at American properties, not abroad where the Prestige offers more value.

3. IHG

The IHG card offers 5x points per dollar on IHG stays at the following brands:

  • Candlewood Suites
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Hotel Indigo
  • InterContinental
  • Staybridge Suites

I value IHG points at 0.7 cents each. That’s 3.5% back.

I’d prefer to get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back.

4. Hilton

The Hilton Reserve offers 10x points per dollar on Hilton stays at the following brands:

  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
  • Embassy Suites
  • Curio, A Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hampton Inn
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton
  • Canopy by Hilton
  • Hilton Grand Vacations

I value Hilton points at 0.4 cents each. That’s 4% back.

I’d prefer to get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back.

5. Marriott

The Marriott card offers 5x points per dollar on Marriott stays at 18 brands including Marriotts and Ritz-Carltons.

I value Marriott points at 0.4 cents each. That’s 2% back.

I’d prefer to get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back.

9. Club Carlson

The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card offers 10x points per dollar on Club Carlson stays at the following brands:

  • Country Inns & Suites
  • Hotel Missoni
  • Park Inn
  • Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts
  • Quorvus Collection
  • Radisson Hotels
  • Radisson Blu
  • Radisson Red

I value Club Carlson points at 0.4 cents each. That’s 4% back.

I’d prefer to get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back.

10. Starwood

The SPG card offers 2x points per dollar on SPG stays at the following brands:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.47.17 PM

I value Starpoints at 2.5 cents each. That’s 5% back.

I’d prefer to get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back. But if you use ThankYou Points like cash toward American Airlines flights, they are worth 1.6 cents each, so you’d only get 4.8% back.

In any case, the SPG card has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, so definitely use the Prestige at Starwood properties aborad.

15. Hyatt

The Hyatt card offers 3x points per dollar on stays at the following brands:

  • Park Hyatt
  • Andaz
  • Grand Hyatt
  • Hyatt Regency
  • Hyatt
  • HYATT CENTRIC
  • Hyatt Place
  • Hyatt House
  • Hyatt Zilara
  • Hyatt Ziva
  • Hyatt Residence Club

I value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each. That’s 4.5% back.

However you can actually do better by using any American Express OPEN Business card, which offers 5% off Hyatt stays. The best would be the SPG Business card because you’d get 5% off plus 1 Starpoint per dollar (another 2.5%) for 7.5% back total.

Non-Chain Hotels

Definitely get 3x points by paying with the Citi Prestige® Card, which I value at 5.4% back.

Bottom Line

The Citi Prestige® Card is always the best card to book hotel stays of four nights with the fourth night free, and is often the best hotel card to book any stay.

The only hotel credit cards that offer a better return at their own hotels are the Wyndham and Choice cards, and those only offer a better return at American properties because of their foreign transaction fees.

Check out my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like $250 in airfare or airline fee credits per calendar year, access to Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee.

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

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Updated June 4: Hilton has moved up its free wifi to today from its originally announced date of August 1.

Hilton, Hyatt, SPG, Marriott, IHG, and Fairmont all offer free internet in their hotels worldwide if you meet certain easy conditions. Finally the great hotels of the world are catching up with a standard benefit of hostels for the last decade. 😉

Hilton now offers free wifi as of June 4, 2015 to all Hilton HHonors members who book their stay through a Hilton-controlled channel (like hilton.com, the Hilton app, or by contacting the hotel itself.) Join Hilton HHonors free here. Diamonds will get premium internet. All other members will get basic internet. Hilton operates the following brands:

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Hyatt offers free wifi in lobbies and guest rooms worldwide since February 1, 2015. This applies no matter how you book your room–yes even if you use Priceline–and even if you are not a member of the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program. Hyatt operates the following brands:

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SPG offers free internet access since February 2, 2015. The free internet is only available to SPG members who book their stay through SPG.com or other SPG owned channels (ie the SPG app or sheraton.com.) Join SPG for free here. SPG operates the following brands:

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Marriott offers free internet access since January 15, 2015. The free internet is only available to Marriott Rewards members who book their stay through marriott.com or other Marriott owned channels (ie by phone or directly with the hotel.) Join Marriott Rewards for free here. Marriott operates the following brands:

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IHG has long offered free internet to IHG Rewards club members no matter how their stay is booked. Join IHG Rewards for free here. IHG operates the following brands:

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Fairmont has long offered free internet to Fairmont President’s Club members no matter how their stay is booked. Join Fairmont President’s Club for free here. Fairmont operates the following brands:

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This is great news for travelers. In the United States, I never bought internet from hotels anymore, opting to tether my laptop to my phone, but abroad I was often stuck paying 10 to 15 euros per day at hotels. I look forward to free internet at hotels worldwide for the rest of my life.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

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Until May 31, 2015, you can buy between 10,000 and 55,000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points and get a 40% bonus on the number of points you purchase.

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Hyatt points normally cost 2.4 cents each. With the 40% bonus, the price drops to 1.71 cents per point.

The bonus only kicks in on purchases of 10,000 or more points, and the maximum Hyatt points you can buy is 55,000 per account per calendar year.

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If you buy 55,000 Hyatt points before May 31, you’ll receive 77,000 points for $1,320.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 3.27.20 PMSeventy-seven thousand Hyatt points is enough for 15 nights at a Category 1 hotel or three nights at a Category 6 hotel.

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When to Buy (Math)

Is buying Hyatt points for 1.71 cents each a good deal?

I would not buy Hyatt points speculatively for 1.71 cents each because I value them at 1.2 cents each. But if you have an immediate high value redemption in mind, buying points can be a good deal.

Check which category your dream Hyatt is in. Here are the Category 7 properties. Use the dropdown to change category.

Then consult the Hyatt award chart to see how many points you’d need to book that hotel for a night. Search the dates you’d like to stay to see the paid price. If buying the points makes sense, there is award space on your dates, and you are ready to redeem now, buy the points.

If you value top tier properties at their retail value, you can get a lot of deals, but it will cost over $500 during this sale to book a Category 7 property like the Park Hyatt New York for one night. That might be less than the retail price on some nights, but I would never pay $500 for one night in a hotel.

Buy Hyatt Points with These Credit Cards

Hyatt points purchases are processed by points.com, so the purchases will not code as a bonus “travel” or “hotel” purchase on any credit card. You will not earn category bonuses from the purchase of Hyatt points.

That means you should make the purchase with whatever card you need to meet a minimum spending requirement on.

For me, that’s the Citi Prestige® Card, which I got for its 40,000 bonus points after $4,000 in spending in the first three months, its $250 Air Travel Credit that refunded my first $250 of airfare and award taxes this year, and its unrivaled airport lounge access.

Bottom Line

You can buy 14,000 to 77,000 Hyatt points for 1.71 cents each. That’s too high to buy speculatively, but there are a lot of immediate awards you can book where that price offers great value.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

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Monday begins the third week of five weeks of discounted travel packages from the US Travel Association called Daily Getaways. Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will often sell out in a few minutes. Every weekend I’ll preview the deals for the next week, and the morning of interesting deals, I’ll have a full write up.

Here’s that overview of the third week of deals that start Monday. I see value on a few days, though I only plan to purchase Friday.

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Monday April 6: $30 for a one-day rental or $1,115 for Avis Chairman’s Club Membership

The $30 one-day Premium rental is “valid at any participating Avis location in the U.S. (excluding the New York Metro area), Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.” For more expensive rental locations, this is a good deal, but I don’t have any upcoming rentals that I haven’t already booked, so I will sit this one out.

You can use up to seven one-day rental certificates on a single rental, and rental certificates like this are extra awesome because they mean that you don’t have to pay percentage taxes on your car rental, though you do have to pay flat fee taxes like “facility charges.”

The $1,115 for Avis Chairman’s Club sounds absurd. This is what it is:

  • Through April 30, 2016, enjoy streamlined travel and personalized service from the airport to your car and back with Meet-and-Greet service and Personal Return Valet service. An Avis representative will meet you and escort you directly to your waiting car and, on your return, he or she will take you right to your departure terminal.
  • Making an unexpected trip? Don’t worry, Avis will always have a car for you, even if you don’t have a reservation. Avis provides exclusive service to Chairman’s Club members, including guaranteed car availability and complimentary upgrades (subject to availability) to the best car available when you reserve an intermediate-level car or higher.
  • We’ll even deliver a car anywhere within 25 miles of participating Avis locations. It’s one of the most seamless and exclusive car rental experience available – and it’s only for Avis Chairman’s Club members. Thanks to a dedicated Avis Chairman’s Club desk and first-rate vehicles, you can always enjoy the ride with Chairman’s Club.
  • Membership benefits available at participating locations in the U.S. and Canada.

But if you use Avis enough to get use out of this, you should already have this status. This is my general theory on status, which is why I don’t buy it outright or through mileage runs.

Purchase Link: One-day car rental only $30

Purchase Link: 1 Avis® Chairman’s Club Membership: $1,115

Tuesday April 7: One- and Two-Night Stays at Omni Hotels & Resorts

Purchase these packages for one- and two-night stays at Omni Hotels & Resorts. You can only buy one of each package, so there’s no way to stay longer than two consecutive nights with this deal. Each package has a short list of properties at which you can redeem your stay for a Friday or Saturday check in by December 30.

Purchase Link: One Night for $238. For stays at:

Omni Berkshire Place, New York, NY
Omni Nashville Hotel, Nashville, TN
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, FL
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Austin, TX
Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Bedford, PA
The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC
The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, VA
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, CA
Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, CA
Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, Scottsdale, AZ
Omni Tucson National Resort, Tucson, AZ

Purchase Link: Two Nights for $338. For stays at:

Omni Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL
Omni San Francisco Hotel, San Francisco, CA
Omni La Mansion del Rio, San Antonio, TX
Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC
Omni San Diego Hotel, San Diego, CA
Omni Parker House, Boston, MA
Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, Los Angeles, CA
Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, ChampionsGate, FL
Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, NH
Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort, Hilton Head, SC

Purchase Link: Two Nights for $245. For stays at:

Omni Royal Crescent Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, Atlanta, GA
Omni Interlocken Hotel, Denver/Broomfield, CO
Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas, Irving/Dallas, TX
Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas, TX
Omni Fort Worth Hotel, Fort Worth, TX
Omni Houston Hotel, Houston, TX
Omni Austin Hotel Downtown, Austin, TX
Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA
Omni Providence Hotel, Providence, RI
Omni Richmond Hotel, Richmond, VA

Purchase Link: Two Nights for $162. For stays at:

Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark, Austin, TX
Omni Majestic Hotel, St. Louis, MO
Omni Charlotte Hotel, Charlotte, NC
Omni Charlottesville Hotel, Charlottesville, VA
Omni Houston Hotel at Westside, Houston, TX
Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, New Haven, CT
Omni Jacksonville Hotel, Jacksonville, FL
Omni Severin Hotel, Indianapolis, IN
Omni Dallas Hotel at Park West, Dallas, TX
Omni Corpus Christi Hotel, Corpus Christi, TX
Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade, San Antonio, TX

Unfortunately this deal says there are blackouts, but it doesn’t list them. See if the weekend you want is cheaper with these certificates. It probably is, but I’m sitting out this deal.

Wednesday April 7: Stays at Loews Properties

There are extremely expensive suites and more modestly priced stays that must be completed by June 30, 2016.

Purchase Link:  Ocean View Suite at Loews Miami Beach: 2-Nights for $1000

Purchase Link:  $1000 for 2-Nights in a Suite: Loews Regency in New York City

Purchase Link:  Ocean View Suite at Loews Santa Monica: 2-Nights for $950

Purchase Link: 2-Nights at a Four Diamond Loews Resort: $325. Included resorts:

Loews Miami Beach Resort,* Miami Beach, FL
Loews Don Cesar Resort,* St. Pete Beach, FL
Loews Royal Pacific Resort* at Universal Orlando®
Loews Coronado Bay Resort,* Coronado Bay, CA

Purchase Link: 2-Nights at a Luxury Loews Hotel: $275

Loews Annapolis Hotel, Annapolis, MD
Loews Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, GA
Loews Boston Back Bay Hotel, Boston, MA
The New Loews Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL
Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel, Rosemont, IL
Loews Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood, CA
Loews Madison Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Loews Minneapolis Hotel, Minneapolis, MN
Loews New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA
Loews Regency Hotel, New York, NY
Loews Santa Monica Hotel, Santa Monica, CA
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, Nashville, TN
Loews Ventana Canyon, Tucson, AZ
Loews Hotel Vogue, Montreal, Canada

Again there are unspecified blackout dates.

Thursday April 9: MGM Properties in Vegas Packages

These are expensive, ranging from $475 to $1,780. They include dinners, shows, massages, rooms, and more. These are cheap if you value all those things at retail value, but you can do Vegas a lot cheaper.

Friday April 10: Hyatt Points for 1.04 Cent Each

You can buy one of each package, four total. Hyatt points can be used on this award chart.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 2.59.01 PM

At these prices, Category 1 Hyatts would go for $52 and Category 7 Hyatts, like the Andaz Maui, would go for $312.

IMG_20140211_112230

This is about the highest price I would pay to speculatively buy Hyatt points. You can certainly get many properties for under their retail price by purchasing at these prices, but you’re not going to get super cheap hotels.

Bottom Line for Week 2

The star is Hyatt points for 1.04 cents each.

Some folks will see value from $30 car rentals on Monday, discounted Omni and Loews properties on Tuesday and Wednesday, or Vegas packages on Thursday.

This week doesn’t have any must-have deals, but for different travel styles, there are clear winners.

Look for a full post Friday from me by 9 AM ET about the Hyatt sale, and mark your calendar for any deal that piques your interest.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

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Update 2/18/15: According to a Mommy Points/Hyatt Concierge conversation on Twitter, you can get the Hyatt card now and register for the promo by March 31, and you’ll get a 20% rebate on all awards. You’ll even retroactively get 20% back on the awards between now and when you register. Sweet!

If you were a Hyatt credit card holder as of January 31, 2015, you can get a 20% rebate on the points needed for award stays completed by July 31, 2015 by registering for this promotion.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 12.16.26 PM

The 20% rebate on the points needed for award stays applies to free nights, points + cash nights, suite upgrades, and dining and spa redemptions. The 20% rebate does not apply to other redemptions of points like exchanging them for airline miles or car rentals. Here’s the chart before the 20% rebate. Now Category 1 hotels drop to 4,000 points per night at Category 7 drops to 24,000.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 12.35.46 PM

Three thoughts on the promotion:

  1. Thanks, Hyatt and Chase!
  2. You have to have all the points already in your account for a full-priced stay because this is not a 20% discount at the time of booking, it is a 20% rebate that posts 4-6 weeks after your completed stay. A 20% discount would be a little nicer, but the 20% rebate keeps us more engaged because we’ll end up with points in our account instead of zeroing out the balance.
  3. This makes points + cash nights a worse deal.

While free night awards are available whenever a standard room is for sale, points + cash nights are capacity controlled award nights where you pay half the points of free night plus a cash copay. I think of that cash copay as re-purchasing half my points as compared to a free night award. The cost to re-purchase points on a points + cash stay is 1.2 to 2 cents per point, with the best deals at Category 3-6 properties.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 12.39.44 PM

This rebate is a 20% rebate on the points needed for free nights and points + cash stays, but no rebate on the cash copay. That makes the cost to re-purchase your points higher. During the promotion, it will range from 1.5 to 2.5 cents. I’ve never made a points + cash booking with Hyatt points anyway–only free nights–and this promotion makes me less likely to make a points + cash booking for a stay before July 31.

I’m registered for the promotion. I don’t have a lot of Hyatt points, but I do have a lot of Chase Ultimate Rewards, which transfer 1:1 instantly to Hyatt points. I’ll consider this promotion if I need a hotel stay, though I generally prefer airbnb and using points from my Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card, which offers 85,000 bonus points after spending $2,500 on the card in the first 90 days and the last night free on all award stays of 2+ nights.

Full Terms and Conditions:

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 12.16.49 PM

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

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2

Until December 10, 2014, you can purchase Hyatt Gold Passport points for 1.85 cents each.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 11.17.09 AM

The sale offers a 30% bonus on the number of miles you receive for all purchases of at least 5,000 points, and you can purchase up to 55,000 points per calendar year. (If you purchases 55,000 points, you’d receive 71,500 points after the bonus.)

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 11.17.22 AMSince the bonus is constant, and the price of Gold Passport points is constant at 2.4 cents each, you pay 1.85 cents each for any purchase of at least 5,000 points (6,500 after bonus.)

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 11.17.32 AM

In general, I’d value Hyatt points at 1.2 cents, so as usual, this sale is not the time to stock up on points. However, there are a lot of uses, for which buying points now and then immediately redeeming them makes great sense.

  • Under what circumstances, should you buy Hyatt points for 1.85 cents?
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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

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Today is the third day of the third week of five weeks of discounted travel packages sponsored by the US Travel Association and American Express called Daily Getaways. Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will usually sell out in a few minutes. I’m writing about all the awesome ones

Today’s deals are discounted stay packages of Hyatt Gold Passport Points:

These will be the toughest hotel-point packages to get get, since the quantities are miniscule. I’d guess you have a second or two right at 1 PM ET to snap them up.

  • How good are the deals?
  • What are the best ways to use Hyatt points?
  • What hotels are covered?
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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

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8

I love staying at Hyatt properties. One of my recent favorites is the Andaz Maui at Wailea. (See my review here.) So I got to thinking about which are the best credit cards to get more free stays at Hyatts worldwide.

IMG_20140210_181705
Sunset at the Andaz

The surprising answer is that the best card for most people is not the Hyatt Card.

The best cards for most people are actually the The Ink Plus and The Ink Bold, which are both business cards. The best personal card is either the Hyatt Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred, depending on your goals.

I’ll break down the best cards to earn Hyatt stays by sign up bonus, spending bonuses, best card for paying Hyatt bills, and flexibility.

CKANbanner_300x250_v6b

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

9

This is the fifth installment of a round-the-world trip report that started here. We pick up in Macau, China.

I like Las Vegas in small doses, so I’ve always wanted to check out Macau, one of China’s two special autonomous regions (the other is Hong Kong). Macau is famous for being the biggest gambling destination in the world with revenues about seven times larger than the Las Vegas Strip’s in 2013.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 11.32.27 PM
Macau and Hong Kong, 37 Miles Apart

I had heard that comparing Macau to Vegas was a mistake because while there’s a lot to do in Vegas from shopping to shows to just people watching, Macau is just gambling. I had even heard you could see Macau and get sick of it in a day.

That meant this was the perfect trip for me to go to Macau because I only had 20 hours in Hong Kong as part of an American Airlines award, and Macau is a short ferry ride away from Hong Kong International Airport.

I still haven’t spent time in Hong Kong itself, and I want to save it for a trip when I have several days to explore.

The day before heading to Macau, I had booked myself one night at the Grand Hyatt Macau, which usually goes for around $300 per night. The hotel is a Category 4 property, so I booked my night for free with 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points, the majority of which I had transferred instantly from Ultimate Rewards.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 9.57.43 PM

I landed at 2:20 PM in Hong Kong, and I was feeling pretty good since I had slept eight hours on my flight from JFK in Cathay Pacific First Class.

I headed toward the ferry counters, which are well signed and before immigration. There are two ferry terminals in Macau, both of which are served from HKG for about $40. One terminal is called Macau on the north end (the Macau Peninsula) and the other, Taipa, is on the south end (on the island of Taipa.) Taipa was closer to my hotel, but I would have taken the first ferry to either because a cab from one ferry terminal to the other is only about $10.

I booked my ferry ticket for a 4 PM departure and boarded the one hour ferry to Taipa Ferry Terminal on Macau.

IMG_0072

How was the Grand Hyatt Macau? Is Macau worth a visit?

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

34

I just got back home from two nights at the Andaz Maui at Wailea.

It’s a beautiful, luxurious, attentive resort with breathtaking sunset views.

IMG_20140210_181705

It’s also very expensive, poorly located for the activities that interested me on Maui, and charges a $30 mandatory valet fee per day if you come with a car.

IMG_20140211_112230

What are my thoughts on the service, food, room, value, and more (with tons of pictures)?

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

2013 was a year of several major devaluation announcements including:

  • United (kicks in February 1, 2014)
  • Southwest (kicks in March 31, 2014)
  • Delta (already kicked in on current award bookings for travel that starts February 1, 2014 or later)
  • Hyatt (kicks in January 7, 2014)
  • Ultimate Rewards (with three major transfer partners devaluing–United, Southwest, and Hyatt–the program took a major hit through no fault of its own)

But the more things change, the more they stay the same. We’re still getting outsized value from our miles and points and traveling the world in style for next to nothing.

What’s my outlook for 2014 and what’s my strategy for earning and burning the major points’ currencies?

United

For the umpteenth time: if you want to book a United award for travel in 2014–especially if you want to fly in a premium cabin and especially if you want that flight operated by a partner airline–book the award by January 31, 2014. Or have my Award Booking Service book the award by January 31, 2014. On February 1, prices go way up for some awards.

But even after February 1, I will be acquiring United miles.

My points strategy is logical, not emotional. Sure, I think United devalued its most aspirational awards way too much, but I’m not going to sanctimoniously boycott a program that still offers great value on some awards.

United miles are still great for economy awards because the Star Alliance is the largest route network with the best award space.

United miles still offer solid value for business class awards on United’s own planes, and United has a solid route network to Europe, South America, Australia, Asia, and Africa. It’s not complete, but it’s good. I also happen to think United BusinessFirst (as its business class is called) is very, very good.

United miles offer a very poor value for international first class awards on partner airlines.

For the award space and the fair prices on economy and business class awards on United metal, I will still be a United collector. If you’re thinking of ditching United miles, ask yourself: What other Star Alliance miles will you collect?

US Airways miles are a great alternative, but only for the next three months, since US Airways joins oneworld in March. TACA miles are great to buy, but hard to earn cheaply otherwise. Lufthansa, Singapore, ANA, and Air Canada miles all impose fuel surcharges too often to be your go-to Star Alliance mile.

I’m certainly not going to miss out on collecting miles with the largest alliance, and United is still the best choice for Star Alliance miles even after its devaluation. Add in the fact that after 2014’s devaluation, we’re probably safe from a new devaluation for several years and the ease of earning United miles through Chase credit cards that earn United miles or Ultimate Rewards, and United will still be one of my major focuses in 2014.

Click this banner for a comparison chart of United and Ultimate Rewards earning cards:

CKANbanner_300x250_v6b

Delta

For me, the Delta devaluation has already kicked in. Delta increased award prices for travel starting February 1, 2014, no matter when you book it, and I don’t plan to travel before the higher prices kick in.

Delta miles were already the least valuable among the four legacy carriers in the US, and the devaluation made them even less valuable for international business class travel.

The primary value from Delta miles now comes from partner economy awards, since they will price at the Saver level.

Above I said we were probably safe from another United devaluation for several years, but I will not say the same about Delta. This is the airline that just announced two major devaluations in only three months.

I don’t think the chances are large, but I could see farther devaluation of Delta miles in 2014. The worst devaluation possibilities would be more fuel surcharge collection including on Delta metal or a move to a revenue-based award program.

Delta miles should mainly be collected by people who have already gotten the major credit cards of Delta’s competitors or people who want to go where Delta partners have the best availability, like Australia on Virgin Australia.

American Airlines

I am predicting bad news from the AAdvantage program in 2014.

We know that at some point the New American will have to replace the Old American’s and US Airways’ award charts with a single chart. The best case scenario would be adopting the Old American’s chart. But with Delta and United both making business and first class awards much more expensive, I would expect American to do the same to its award chart whenever the New American releases a singled, unified chart.

This is a real shame because I have said that American Airlines miles are the best miles for ultra-luxury redemptions.

We don’t know when that new chart will be announced, we don’t know what it will look like, and we don’t know how much notice we’ll be given to burn miles at the old rate.

Given what we know and what we don’t, I think the best strategy is to focus heavily on earning American Airlines miles in the near term while they are the most valuable mile. For now, you can use those super-valuable American miles at the current rates. If there is a big devaluation, hopefully you’ll get enough notice to burn as many miles as you want at the current rates.

US Airways

Everything I said about American miles goes for US Airways miles since the two airlines have already legally merged. There are two US Airways-specific additions:

  1. US Airways leaves Star Alliance March 30, 2014. If you want to go somewhere in 2014 or early 2015 that is better served by Star Alliance than oneworld, book your US Airways miles before March 30.
  2. The US Airways Premier World MasterCard will disappear in the very near future, and with it, the chance to earn 30k US Airways miles (or 30k American Airlines miles if you hold them until the two types of miles are combinable.) Don’t miss out!

British Airways

My outlook for 2014 for Avios: no changes.

The big devaluations we’ve seen in 2013 were airlines trying to make premium cabin awards much more expensive. But British Airways already charges 3x the economy award price for a first class award, so they don’t need to make changes there.

Most people should maintain their existing British Airways collection and redemption strategy.

The exception is that people who would love to redeem for short, direct US Airways flights with their Avios should start collecting more Avios now in anticipation of US Airways joining oneworld March 31, 2014.

Bank Points

The banks are getting aggressive in promoting their proprietary bank points. Part of the reason must be that advertising “NO BLACKOUT DATES” to consumers who don’t understand miles is resonating. And part of it is that the banks don’t have to pay the airlines or hotels for providing the credit card rewards on bank point cards.

2013 has seen some big sign up bonuses in the bank point area like:

I summarized and compared all the cards and offers in Comparison Table of Fixed-Value Bank Point Cards.

I hope 2014 is another big year for these card offerings. Bank point cards are ideal rewards cards to earn free flights in economy without having to search for award space!

Families, people who can only fly at peak times, or economy lovers should all be heavily involved with bank points. First class connoisseurs should avoid collecting bank points.

Hyatt

We’ve seen the Hyatt devaluation for 2014. I expect that in late 2014, we’ll see an announcement that for 2015 some hotels are moving up a category on the chart, a few are moving down, and that the number of points needed for each category is staying the same.

Starwood Preferred Guest

We saw a devaluation of Cash & Points awards in early 2013. But otherwise, the SPG program maintained almost all of its value and its spot as the clear #1 most valuable point.

The real danger to Starpoints’ value now comes from two fronts. Starwood could increase the points needed for free night awards or Nights & Flight awards, which would hurt the point’s value.

Or American/US Airways/New American could devalue its chart substantially, cutting out the two best airline transfer partners of SPG points.

I’m optimistic that any devaluations either from Starwood or airline partners will be minor and that SPG points will maintain their spot as the most valuable points. Or maybe I’m just hoping that since I just got the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express and still haven’t spent all my bonus points.

Big spenders and folks looking for a lot of flexibility to use points for hotels or flights should be collecting Starpoints in 2014.

Hilton

The biggest bloodbath, even worse than United’s, was Hilton’s 2013 devaluation. I can’t imagine that Hilton would possibly devalue again next year after nearly doubling the points needed for a top tier hotel this year.

My strategy with Hilton points will remain the same.

  1. Mostly avoid them.
  2. Use the few I do have or accumulate on low category bargains like the DoubleTree in Kuala Lumpur.
  3. Get the Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card with two free weekend nights at Hiltons worldwide after spending $2,500 in the first four months if I want to stay at a fancy Hilton property.

Club Carlson

The Club Carlson program has one benefit that is far more generous than any other program. If you have the Club Carlson Visa, you get your last night free on any award of two or more nights. That’s a 50% discount on two-night stays.

The history of loyalty programs is that when they offer a benefit that is far better than their competitors offer, that benefit quickly disappears. I am predicting this benefit disappears at some point, though I hope it lasts through 2014 since I have the card.

Folks who want to hop around Europe from Radisson to Radisson on two-night stays should collect Club Carlson points.

IHG Rewards

For me, IHG Rewards was all about PointBreaks. Then The Big Win came along and I suddenly had a lot of points with IHG Rewards and more reason to follow the program.

I still don’t follow it closely enough to make a confident prediction for 2014. I do think that PointBreaks are for more generous than any other competitors’ promotions, but I think PointBreaks will survive 2014 largely in tact. I think PointBreaks are like Black Friday headline deals–loss leaders that generate a lot of excitement and publicity without costing too much.

Your Predictions

What are your predictions for 2014 for your favorite programs? Where do you disagree with me? Put it the comment section, so we can look back in a year at who had the best crystal ball.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

2

Hyatt has announced its new 2014 award chart for bookings made January 7, 2014 or later. Categories 1-4 maintain their prices. Categories 5-6 go up in price, and a new, more expensive, Category 7 is introduced. Some hotels are going up or down one category.

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 10.13.58 PM

What are the changes to Hyatt award chart for 2014? How can you beat the changes? What credit card is made more valuable by the announcement? Which are made less valuable?

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

cc-reward-320x50

16

The Chase Hyatt Credit Card no longer has an annual fee the first year, a $75 savings.

The Hyatt card has my 11th favorite sign up bonus from Chase, but it’s a solid card to hold forever, and one that I have. The big draw is the sign up bonus of two free nights at almost any Hyatt worldwide after spending $1,000 in the first three months. In fact, I just booked my two free nights today.

What 10 Chase cards have better sign up bonuses? What are the other perks and drawbacks of the card? Where did I use my free nights?

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months that you can transfer to United miles, Singapore miles, Southwest points, British Airways miles, or use for 1.5 cents each toward any flight, hotel, or car rentals.

Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.

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