Monday, August 27, 2012

I am not on the road often, how do I get Hotel Elite by doing Match and challenge?

If you are not on the road often, most likely it’s hard for you to gain Hotel Elite status. I am not the person on the road often, however, I got some Elite status by doing two things, Match and Challenge.

1. Why Elite?

Before we get into detail of how to gain Elite, let us take a look at an example benefits of Hyatt Elite Diamond. Below are a few benefits or privileges lured me most.

§  Achieve rewards even faster with a 30% point bonus when choosing points

§  Receive exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge featuring complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy daily complimentary full breakfast in hotels without a club lounge

§  Treat yourself to a suite upgrade at the time of reservation four times annually on paid room nights

§  Stay connected with complimentary in-room Internet access

§  Expedite check-in at a dedicated area for elite members

§  Ensure a room is always available with our 48-hour guarantee

§  Extend your stay until 4:00 p.m. with a late check out request

And you are right, more points, free Internet/breakfast and upgrade to suite. There are quite a lot of credit cards to get you instant elite status as long as you hold the card, such as Citi/AMEX Hilton, Chase Priority Club card, you can search in Million Mile secret here. Also, I gained my Hilton Gold status by the trick below

2. Match

Each hotel has different level of Elite, the above example is the top level of Diamond and it is hard to get and match, but you can email the hotel company with your other hotel elite status to see what level they can offer you. Sometimes, it’s a surprise. for example, Club Carson matched me Gold with just an email and I gained 30% more points.
Go to each loyaty program to see the match results and you can search for the forum to see what they have to offer

3. Challenge

Some hotels, like SPG and Hyatt will not match your elite from other hotels, instead they are willing to do a challenge.
I enrolled Hyatt trial for a 12 nights within 60 days to their top level Diamond and my elite reflected Diamond within 24 hours. I plan to complete the challenge as I do have a 12 nights in Sept in Tokyo, Japan on my radar. However, here is the trick, upon receiving Diamond status, you are entitled for 4 stays suite upgrade, some people can’t complete the challenge but they use this trial Diamond to get their Suite upgrade in that timeframe. I am not a big fan “abusing” it, but I don’t think Hyatt does care about it anyway.

Call to action

If you like to become elite and enjoy those benefits, you don't have to be on the road quite often, follow the simple steps below
  1. Get Hilton Gold above #2
  2. email those hotels to match your Hilton Gold by sending them a screen shot
  3. complete the challenge if you could if the hotels can't match your Hilton elite. I will consider Mattress Run if it justifies the benefits.

Friday, August 24, 2012

FYI:Barclay US Airway Churner

I had my 2nd Barclay US Airway card decline, not only that, they closed down my 1st one. take a look at here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

25000 Club Carlson points and 35% off sale

Link of 35% off

Link of 25000 points offer

By Oct 14, if you register this offer and stay 2 consecutive nights by combining the 35% off sale (by 11/24 and 2000 bonus points), you will end up with: 25000+2000=27000 Club Carlson  points which can redeem 3 nights for their 9000 points hotel night. J
PS: I've accumulated 100k points from last round 140k promotion, i plan to use it in my year-end FL vacation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

48 hours sale: UA 40% off buying miles

link is here, you can buy up to 100k miles for $2257.50, it's still pricey, however if you want to fly FirstClass, for example to Asia, the cheapest quota is nearly $7000+. If you have 35k miles in your account and you buy 100k, it's a smoking deal.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I am back and $328 first-class Hawaii trip is being planned

I just came back from 7-days cruise from Alaska, I will post a trip report later, in a nutshell, it’s an amazing trip.
Essentially, when people come back from vacation, they really are in vacation mood for a while and I am working on understanding this $328 first-class Hawaii trip now, since I live in Seattle area. J

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

AMEX 75,000 or SPG 30,000, this is a question

Until 8/9 (tomorrow) Only.
AMEX business Gold charge card is back, it came in Feb and June as one-day-deal, so I anticipate it will be back every a few months. However, SPG 30,000 is rare and only need $5000 within 6 months. Your call, my friends.

BTW, if you do have SPG card and you can actually get 5000 points referal bonus by following this link to refer your friends/partners. If you don't have SPG card and I have my personal SPG card(SPG business card is on my next app-o-rama) link posted here, I am grateful if you use it.

Update: 8/9, I have my SPG bumped to 30,000 points with a little effort as AMEX's policy's it's what it's. I will post an article about "how to communicate to call center agents" in the future to share my experience.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

SPG 30,000 is back until Sept 4

Please refer here for the personal and business cards links. If you applied earlier for the 25k ones, you can send a SM to AMEX to dump the offer. Normally, Chase is willing to match the offer, however, AMEX/Citi to me is much harder.

In a nut shell, I had redeemed 20+ free nights via SPG, their Cash+Points are particular valuable, 30,000 points can get you 10 free nights in their low-end hotels (3k per night). when you double-up with their business card, you are looking at 20 free nights which potentially saves you 20x$80=$1600. wow!!!

Update: 8/8 I've SM'ed AMEX to bump the 5000 points for my wife and failed. One of my peer told me he got his 5000 bumped by yelling at AMEX. LOL. YMMV......