My Presentations From Frequent Traveler University

I wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who took the time to come and hear me speak at Frequent Traveler University in Washington, DC this weekend.  It’s very rewarding for me to help educate others given all the help I’ve received over the years from folks who helped make me better at the miles and points game.  If you missed writing down some part of my presentations, decided to attend a different one or even couldn’t make it to DC, I’ve gone ahead and put all four of […]

Hilton HHonors Gifting Diamond Status To AAdvantage Executive Platinum Members

I really do need to pay better attention to my airline marketing e-mails.  Apparently, American Airlines is partnering with Hilton HHonors to target AAdvantage members for status.  I received an e-mail back at the end of September offering me instant Hilton HHonors Diamond status, their top tier: Usually this requires 30 stays, 60 nights or 120,000 base points, but I’m getting it for free until March, 2016.  I’m not sure why I was targeted for it but I wasn’t the only, which is the only reason I ended up figuring […]

Year-End Hotel Status Review

It was a long year of hotel nights.  And, while the dust remains to settle on the posting of my last hotel stay, I’m supposed to finish with enough nights to maintain my Hyatt Diamond status as well as Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum status at the 75-night level.  I was hoping to travel less this year. I ended up spending less total days away from home but taking more trips.  It was a pretty exhausting year of travel. I value both programs, but I thought I would include some analysis […]

Starwood Extends The Expiration On Their New Suite Night Awards. Why That Really Doesn’t Matter

Starwood Preferred Guest rolled out a bunch of changes to their program back in 2012, all of which were promising: Lifetime Gold And Platinum Status Suite Night Awards For Staying 50 Nights In a Year Personal Ambassador For Staying 100 Nights In a Year 4 Starpoints Per Dollar And A Guaranteed Early Check-in Benefit New Amenity Choices For Gold And Platinum Members. I was certainly excited about all of these.  I had begun to prefer Hyatt much more than Starwood, and these changes brought Starwood closer to Hyatt in my […]

American Express Giveth, Then Taketh Away. Check Your Reward Point Balance!

Reminder that voting closes tomorrow in my favorite picture airline ticket giveaway. I’ve had a Starwood Preferred Amex for a long time.  It’s one of my favorite award cards because Starpoints transfer to airlines very easily and Starwood also has a host of great international properties that we’ve enjoyed. I received a letter this month from American Express.  It seems that they credited my SPG account twice this month with the points I earned.  Sure enough, when I logged into my SPG account there was a second entry about 2 […]

Marriott’s Fall Promo Is Out: Mega Bonus Is Back (No Exclamation Point Needed)

Marriott has announced it’s fall promo.  They’re bringing back Mega Bonus, which will likely offer most members a chance at a couple free nights during the promo period. The promo period is a long one, running from September 15, 2013 all the way to January 15, 2014.  Since you only need 4 stays to max out this bonus (assuming you get the 2 free nights) it shouldn’t be too hard to achieve over the course of 4 months. Marriott has traditionally allowed people to change to different version of their […]

Starwood’s Fall Promo Is Out: Take Two Is Par For The Course

Starwood has announced it’s fall promo, Take Two.  Since it runs through virtually the end of the year, this will likely be the last promo of 2013 for Starwood Preferred Guest. From September 1st, 2013 until December 15, 2013 all SPG members will be able to earn double Starpoints at all participating properties. There’s also a component to earn bonus points based on the total nights you stay during the promo period.  You’ll earn 2500 bonus points for every 5 nights you stay, up to a total of 10,000 bonus […]

Recapping My Progress On Hotel Status At The Half-Year Mark

We’re halfway through 2013 so I figured I would check to see if I’ve made the expected progress on elite status for the first 6 months.  I’m a big fan of Hyatt and Starwood (in that order) and had hoped to keep top-tier status in both when the year started.  Both are smaller than mega-chains like Marriott, Hilton and Priority Club so having both Hyatt and Starwood gives me ample coverage in most cities I travel to. First up, Hyatt.  I got a surprise and delight just about a month […]

Starpoint Sale. Should You Buy?

Courtesy of View From The Wing, Starwood Preferred Guest is selling Starpoints at up to a 25% discount right now. Like all new things, I came to the hobby of collecting miles and points with a ton of excitement and not enough information.  But, I did have a goal.  This was probably a decade ago or better and I really wanted lifetime Gold status on American Airlines.  The problem?  I didn’t fly a whole heck of a lot. I learned about Starwood and the ultra-cool ability to transfer points to […]

What Makes a Moment? Video of My Wife Playing Tennis With Andre Agassi. Thanks, Starwood Preferred Guest!

I had one of my best point redemptions of all time last year when I redeemed a trunk load of Starwood Preferred Guest points for a tennis lesson with Andre Agassi at the US Open.  My wife was the lucky participant and we had an awesome experience. I got some video at the event but it was pretty bad.  While I was investigating a new SPG Moments auction earlier today I found a link to a video that shows Andre giving my wife (in green, looking awesome) a quick lesson […]