Marriott

Success! Topping Up Marriott Free Night Certificates Is Live And It Works!

When Marriott announced that they were moving to a dynamic award chart, it was mostly bad news.  One meaningful improvement they announced was that members would be able to add points to a free night certificate for higher value award stays.  This feature is now live and I successfully tested it this morning.  Thanks to my buddy Julian and this story by Doctor of Credit letting me know it was live. Marriott Free Night Certificates Marriott offers a variety of free night certificates, mostly from holding various Marriott co-branded credit […]

New Amex Offers! Save Up To $150 On Marriott Stays

One of the things I consistently preach is that a credit card needs to consistently justify its place in your wallet.  There are some pretty solid credit cards out with no annual fee (Bilt Rewards Mastercard) or very low annual fees (Chase Sapphire Preferred).  As well, there are cards with higher annual fees that make it very easy to cover the cost of the annual fee.  Capital One Venture X is a card that’s quickly earned a primary spot in my wallet.  While the card carries a $395 annual fee […]

Painful Spirit Airlines Fees And Everything Else I Learned Last Week On The Road

It was an interesting week on the road, for sure.  My original plan this past week involved four airplane flights, which changed into five (across four different airlines), and then ultimately four flights on three airlines.  This is the unfortunate cross-section of business travel, COVID and crazy airline schedules.  Amidst this was the realization that Spirit Airlines has some pretty oppressive fees. Flight schedules took another sharp turn against effective business travel.  For my date of travel I couldn’t get to my destination (Reno) until after 12pm no matter how […]

Recent Experience Shows How Marriott Properties Treat Award Bookings Differently Than Paid Bookings

Since Marriott acquired Starwood Preferred Guest a few years ago, the number of paid stays I’ve had with Marriott have been steadily dropping.  It didn’t start out intentional, but I did find myself booking fewer and fewer Marriott stays .  I don’t go out of my way to avoid Marriott.  But, I used to go out of my way to stay with SPG.  As the years have gone by, a number of changes have caused me to continue moving business elsewhere. Marriott has been fairly intentional in establishing a loyalty […]

Marriott’s New Brand Standard That Should Have Never Been Necessary

What’s the saying, one bad actor spoils it for everyone else?  There are over 5,600 Marriott hotels in the US and Canada.  There may be more than one bad apple, but only one hotel that recently made news for charging guests a 2% convenience fee to use a credit card.  I recall reading the original story and thinking how absurd it was.  I spent a number of years in the hotel industry.  We hated taking cash.  It was a necessary evil, but caused all sorts of problems.  Cash creates opportunities […]

Great For Families! Hyatt Residence Club Adding 9 Properties

Most hotels that are good for families are also good for other types of travelers.  With the exception of people looking for a secluded, romantic getaway at a boutique hotel, most hotels in vacation destinations meet the needs of most travelers.  Families usually have unique needs such as extra space, multiple bathrooms and connecting rooms.  That’s where properties like Hyatt Residence Clubs come in. Hyatt Residence Club is a small collection of vacation ownership (timeshare) properties.  What’s fairly unique is that these properties can also be booked using Hyatt points.  […]

DEAL: Costco Travel Is Having A Pretty Solid Travel Sale-Including A Big Discount For Hawaii

I’m a pretty big Costco fan, but I’ve only used their travel division to book a few cruises over the years.  Still, I’ve heard good things about the deals.  An e-mail popped up this morning about some travel deals Costco had.  I’ve got a million things going on but I was in the mood for a bit of research, so I took a few minutes out of my morning to dig into one of these deals.  Since I’ve still never been to Hawaii and I love a good Ritz-Carlton, I […]

Why It’s Time To Start Lowering Hotel Award Redemption Rates (Probably Not Why You Think)

As 2020 starts to wind down, there have been plenty of announcements from airline and hotel loyalty programs designed to keep members engaged.  The first salvo revolved around reducing the requirements needed to earn elite status.  This was at a time when it seemed like we might get back to some level or normalcy fairly quickly.  Heck, at that point I thought I’d be home for 3 or 4 weeks and then back on the road.  Little did I know then that I probably wouldn’t get on another plane this […]

Big Move: Hilton Extending Elite Status And Adds Flexibility To All Reservations

Hilton is the first of the big hotel chains to make a move, and in a big way. They’ve announced changes to their elite status program and reservation flexibility that are very positive for customers. Is it enough for them to steal business from their competitors? We’re months away from having that answer.