Category Archives: Hotels Loyalty Programs

Priority Pass benefits with Amex Hilton Honors Ascend Card

One of the benefits of new Amex Hilton Honors Ascend Card is that you can enroll in Priority PassTMSelect.  Priority Pass Select membership provides access to airport lounges participating in the Priority Pass Select program. You must enroll your Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card in the Priority Pass™.

“With your Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card you will receive 10 complimentary lounge visits every calendar year. Once your 10 complimentary lounge visits are used, all subsequent lounge visits during the remainder of the same calendar year are subject to a fee of U.S. $27 per person per visit, which will be automatically charged to your Card. To check on your remaining complimentary visit balance, please contact Priority Pass directly. Any unused complimentary lounge visits will be forfeited at the end of each calendar year. Priority Pass Select membership automatically renews on the anniversary date of your enrollment in the Priority Pass Select program. Priority Pass membership may be cancelled by American Express if your Card is cancelled. Priority Pass Select lounge partners and locations are subject to change. To access a lounge, you must show your valid Priority Pass Select card and an airline ticket for travel on the same day for you and each of your guests. This benefit is limited to the Basic Card Member. Additional Card Members are not eligible for this benefit, however, a complimentary visit may be applied to a guest visit, including for Additional Card Members. If you have no complimentary visits available, the Basic Card Member and each guest will be charged $27 per person, per visit. In some lounges, Priority Pass Select member must be 21 years of age to enter without a parent or guardian. Amenities may vary among airport lounge locations. Lounge fees and rules of participating lounges are subject to change. Priority Pass Select membership is subject to the Priority Pass Conditions of Use. For complete Priority Pass terms and conditions and a listing of participating lounges, please visit www.prioritypass.com/select.”

To enroll: login into your Amex Online Account, navigate to https://global.americanexpress.com/card-benefits/detail/priority-pass-select, and click Enroll.

Once enrolled, you will receive your Priority Pass Select card directly from Priority Pass within 10-14 business days.

Priority Pass Select is specially designed for customers who receive their membership through a US Financial Institution. Priority Pass Select Members have access to over 1000 airport lounges around the world, including hundreds across North and South America and a true global spread across the rest of the world. If your Financial Institution offers Priority Pass as a benefit of your bank account or credit card, and you have yet to enroll, please refer to your benefits guide or contact your Financial Institution.

 

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Share or Transfer Hotel Points to Maximize Rewards

Share and Transfer Hotel Points to Maximize Rewards

Many Hotel Rewards programs allow you to transfer or share points, sometimes for free and sometimes at a cost. You can transfer between family members, domestic partners, household members, or in some cases anyone you choose!

That comes in handy when multiple members of your family have points on the accounts but no one has enough to book a stay you planned.

Here are some additional reasons to share or transfer hotel points:

  • To reach a specific redemption. A no-brainer, but trying to reach a particular redemption for an upcoming trip often involves juggling points between accounts.
  • Allows you to transfer rewards to an account that has elite status. Redeeming flights and stays through an account that has elite status can add a ton of value to your travel experience.
  • Pooling makes it easy to utilize small numbers of orphaned points. Family pooling enables you to collect rewards into a usable balance and burn them for travel and accommodation.
  • When you want to cancel a card or account and need to move the points before pulling the trigger. Travel goals change from year-to-year and the cards we need to achieve them change the goals.
  • Transferring points and miles is often the only way to keep them alive in this case.

Best Western

You can transfer points for free between Best Western accounts that share the same physical address. You must call the Best Western Rewards customer service team in order to arrange a transfer.

Redison Hotel Group

Elite members can transfer Redison Rewards points to anyone free of charge. Non-elite members may transfer to anyone in their own household so long as both accounts are at least one year old and the addresses have matched for 30 days.

You must call Redison Contact Phone to speak with a Member Services representative: U.S. and Canada+1 (888) 288 8889

Marriott

Marriot allows transferring points between a domestic partner or legal spouse for free. Transfers must be made just prior to an award redemption for the number of points needed to fulfill that specific redemption (rounded to the nearest 1,000 points), and you can only execute one redemption per transfer up to 50000 a year. You must call Marriott Rewards Program Guest Services at 1-801-468-4000.

You can take advantage of one of Marriott’s more generous policies by putting award reservations on hold before you have the points so that you don’t miss out on space while it’s available.

You also have an option to transfer points between Sheraton and Marriott.

SPG

You can transfer Starpoints to anyone in your household at no cost using a simple online form.

“SPG Members Who Reside at Same Address. In Starwood’s sole discretion, an SPG Member may be permitted to transfer Starpoints in 1000 point increments only from one SPG Member account to another SPG Member account under specific conditions. Generally, Starpoints may transfer if both SPG Members are active, consent to the transfer, and share the same residential mailing address that is not a P.O. Box, APO or SPO address for a minimum of 30 days prior to requesting the transfer. SPG Members may be required to provide proof of residency prior to Starwood transferring the Starpoints between the two accounts. Elite Preferred Guest Membership Status and the related benefits will not transfer to the recipient of the Starpoints.”

A great strategy here is to take advantage of SPG’s generous 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to one of its airline partners. You can simply combine points with someone in your household to end up on a multiple of 20,000 and claim your 25% bonus. You also can combine points in order to utilize Fifth Night Free benefit: Redeem Starpoints® for five Free Night Awards — we’ll pick up the last night. And that’s at any of our Category 3-7 hotels.

You also have an option to transfer points between Sheraton and Marriott.

Points transfers can take up to 5 days to process.

World of Hyatt

Hyatt allows points transfers between any accounts that are in good standing, but only allows transfers once every 30 days.

“…A single member may only participate in a point combining transaction (transferring or receiving of points) once every 30 days…”

The process is straightforward. Simply fill out this form or visit World of Hyatt’s new points sharing page.

Hilton Honors

Hilton now has one of the best points pooling options of any rewards program: you can combine points with up to 10 other members, sending as many as 500K points and receiving up to 2 million Honors points!

You can create your Hilton Honors Points Pool by inviting up to 10 Hilton Honors members by filling out this form.

IHG Rewards

There is no limit to the number of points IHG Rewards members can transfer to other members, but the cost is high and not an action we recommend. IHG points transfers are processed by Points.com. We’ve only listed IHG here, because they’re a standout among major loyalty programs as they charge for the transfers unlike, Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt, and Marriott.

“IHG® Rewards Club points can be transferred to another IHG® Rewards Club member in 1,000 point increments for $5 USD per 1,000 points. There is no limit to the number of points a member can transfer or receive…”

If you need to transfer IHG points, head over to transfer page on IHG’s website and sign into your account.

ChoiceWyndham

Those programs do not allow points transfer.

 

Hyatt Introduces 48-hour Cancellation Policy

Hyatt is changing its cancelation policy from 24 hours to 48 hours on all reservations made on or after On January 1, 2018. The news release published on 12/22/2017 and can be found here.

It brings Hyatt cancellation policy in line with other major hotel chains. The summary of the cancellation policies for major hotel chains can be found in Cancellation Policy for Hotel Stays Booked by Points blog.

Cancellation Policy for Hotel Stays Booked by Points

 

Each major hotel brand allows you to book a hotel room using its loyalty program points.  The cancellation policy is different from brand to brand and could be different from paid with cash reservations. The cancellation policy can also depend on whether the property is a hotel or resort.

Below is a summary of cancellation policy for hotel rooms booked with points:

Best Western: 72 hours. Cancel before 04:00 PM hotel time 3 days prior to avoid a charge.

Marriott & SPG: 48 -72 hours in advance for All Standard Rate + Award Reservations In North/Latin America & The Caribbean.

Hilton: 48 hours. 48 Hours advance notice required for Awards Reservations to avoid cancellation penalties.

Haytt: 48 Hours. Cancel reservation at least 48 hours in advance to avoid a cancellation fee.

IHG: 24 Hours. Canceling your reservation before 6:00 PM a day before will result in no charge. Canceling your reservation after 6:00 PM (local hotel time) on a day before, or failing to show, will result in a charge of 1 night per room to your credit card. Taxes may apply. Failing to call or show before check-out time after the first night of a reservation will result in cancellation of the remainder of your reservation. Points + Cash bookings are charged immediately, and cancellations are refunded in points only.

Wyndham: 24 Hours. TO AVOID BEING BILLED CANCEL BY 06:00 PM a day before; PENALTY AMOUNT of first night PER ROOM PLUS TAXES

Club Carlson: 0 Hours. Cancel by 6:00 PM hotel time on the day of arrival to avoid penalty. Late cancellations will result in a penalty of first night’s Gold Points®. Failure to cancel this reservation will result in a penalty of all Gold Points® for the entire stay.

Please check the particular cancellation policy at the time of booking as it might have changed from the date of publication.

Last Updated 12/22/2017

 

Marriott Hotels Gold Status Perks

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One of the benefits of  American Express Business Platinum card is Gold Status with Starwood Hotels, etc. (SPG). But because of Marriott and SPG merger, you can link accounts in those two programs to match status across both programs, effectively giving you Gold status in Marriott rewards program. You can read more on how to link SPG and Marriott accounts in SPG Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Rewards Points Transfer and Status Match post.

Marriott Gold Status comes with a variety of Perks that can be found on Marriott Gold Elite Benefits page.

The most valuable ones: free breakfast and guaranteed late checkout.  The forum on flyer talk blog keeps track of all domestic and International executive lounges open/closed/weekends statuses. Check it out before booking your Marriott reservation.

SPG Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Rewards Points Transfer and Status Match

linkigmarrittspgritzcarlton00Following merger of 2 Hotel giants: Star Wood Hotels  and Marriott, the rewards programs started its integration in September 2016 as well. Now you can Transfer Points between SPG, Marriott Rewards, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs. Members can transfer points between both programs at a 1:3 ratio — each StarPoint will be equivalent to three Marriott points. Transferred points should appear within a few hours, and you can move points back and forth as many times as you’d like.

Linking accounts is useful for:

  1. Transferring points between the programs. It also resets the points expiration date:
    SPG StarPoints 1 year after transfer
    Marriott Point 2 years after transfer (Marriott Points Expiration Policy)
  2. Status Match between the programs

To transfer point start by linking rewards programs on Marriott site: http://members.marriott.com/link-accounts/,  Select “SPG Members Start Here” and login into your SPG account
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To transfer points between the programs  (in this case from SPG to Marriott) perform the following:

  1. Log in in to your SPG Account
  2. Navigate to “Manage My account” / “Account Overview” and Select Redeem & Transfer points:
    linkigmarrittspgritzcarlton02
  3. Select “More Options”/”Transfer StarPoints to Reward Points”linkigmarrittspgritzcarlton03 linkigmarrittspgritzcarlton04
  4. Enter the number of points you would like to transfer  (in 1000 increment):linkigmarrittspgritzcarlton05
  5. The points get removed from your SPG account right away and will appear on Marriott Points account in the couple of hours (in my case it took about 30 min)

I suspect the transfer from Marriott Point to SPG StarPoints will take sthe same amount of time.

Convert SPG Starpoints to American Airline and earn additional 20% bonus miles

AmericanAirline_Starwood-Conversion-Bonus-LandingConvert your Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints® to American Airlines AAdvantage® miles and earn a 20% bonus from August 1 – September 14, 2016.

Plus, if you convert 20,000 points in one transaction, Starwood automatically adds a 5,000 bonus.

 Example