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Category Archive for 'Hotel Deals'

Price Mistake For Suites At The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego; Get The Presidential Or Penthouse Suite From $171+/Night!

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Update: DEAD!


Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

On most nights from November 2017-March 2018 all of the rooms at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego are pricing at the same rate when you book the non-refundable advance purchase rate on Hyatt.com.

For example on 12/17 you can book the Presidential or the Penthouse suites for just $171+tax with the advance purchase rate instead of the $700-$1,000 nightly rates that those suites normally command!

The price will vary by night, but all rooms in the hotel will be the same price.

 

All rooms and suites in the hotel are pricing at the base room rate on most dates from November 2017-March 2018:

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Allow a few days in case the hotel decides not to honor this offer before booking non-refundable airfare.

Will you visit San Diego with this deal?

HT: EHD

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Get A 100% Bonus When Purchasing IHG Points; Lock In PointBreaks For $28.75/Night And Hotels In Israel From $57.50/Night

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

IHG: Get 100% bonus points through 2/17.

An IHG account is required, you can join here for free.

IHG normally sells points directly for 1.15 cents each. You can also transfer points from Chase, but that’s a criminal use of Chase points. Of course there’s a hack to buy their points at .7 cents each but with the current sale you can buy them directly for less than that without jumping through hoops. And that hack requires that you have points to start with.

IHG will double all the points you purchase, but to get the lowest rate (.575 cents per point) you’ll need to purchase at least 26K points which will be doubled to 52K points for $299. Of course you’ll also earn points on your credit card which will make the effective rate less than .575 cents per point.

You can purchase 60K points per member per year, so you can get up to 120K points with this promotion which would cost $690.

Note that IHG points require activity every 12 months, but you can just redeem for a hotel award and cancel it to extend the expiration for another 12 months.

IHG runs PointBreaks which allows you to book rooms at rotating hotels for just 5,000 points per night. That’s just $28.75 for a room if you buy points at .575 cents each. Those hotels rotate every couple of months.

Plus you don’t pay tax on award nights.

There are also good values to be had at high-end properties in NYC, London, Paris etc. For example an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora can go for as much as $1,000 with tax but costs just 60K points. That’s just $345 at .575 cents per point.

There are several IHG hotels in Israel. They won’t necessarily be a deal with this promotion, but they may be depending on the price of your desired travel dates.
Holiday Inn Ashkelon: 10K ($57.50 with this promo)
Crowne Plaza Jerusalem: 20K ($115)
Crowne Plaza Dead Sea: 25K ($143.75)
Crowne Plaza Eilat: 25K ($143.75)
Hotel Indigo Tel Aviv Diamond District: 25K ($143.75)
Crowne Plaza Haifa: 30K ($172.50)
Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv Beach: 30K ($172.50)
Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center: 30K ($172.50)
InterContinental David Tel Aviv: 40K ($230)

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IHG Pointbreaks Now Bookable For Stays Through April, Hotel Rooms From $31/Night

Monday, January 30th, 2017

IHG PointBreaks Linky

IHG Booking Linky

-The current list is valid for stays through 4/30/17.
-Hotels can sell out of discounted rooms quickly and only a limited amount of rooms are available per night.

You can book up to 2 reservations per hotel. There’s no limit to how long each of the stays can be.

You can stay in any PointBreaks hotel for 5,000 IHG points.

IHG sells 5,000 points for $67.50 (or less via targeted offers after you sign in). My account is targeted for a 75% bonus on purchases of 15K+. I can purchase 35K points for $250 or just $35.71 per 5K points.

If those points don’t post instantly you can call IHG to get a points loan based on your purchase confirmation number in order to quickly grab a room. Alternatively you can transfer 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG, though transfers are not instant. It’s a terrible use of Ultimate Rewards points (as they’re were more than twice that to brokers or when transferred to other airlines or hotels), but it allows you to start buying points for 0.7 cents each.

If you already have IHG points in your account then you can buy points on the cheap via making a cash and points booking.

Be sure to click on the rules during the checkout process to make sure that the room is fully refundable (almost all are):

-The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Meadowlands allows you to redeem 5K points and $70 for a night, just click “more options” and then select rewards nights. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 15K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 10K points for $70, or just $35 per 5K points.

-The Candlewood Suites Secaucus allows you to redeem 10K points and $99 for a night. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 25K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 15K points for $99, or just $33 per 5K points.

-The Crowne Plaza White Plains allows you to redeem 10K points and $125 for a night. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 30K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 20K points for $125, or just $31.25 per 5K points.

Where can you stay for 5K points?
The full current list is here, but here are a few samples:
-Candlewood Suites Disneyland Anaheim, CA
-Crowne Plaza Stamford, CT
-Crowne Plaza Edison, NJ
-Staybridge Suites Stroudsburg Poconos, PA

-Holiday Inn Express Pretoria, South Africa
-Holiday Inn Express Edmonton Airport, Canada
-Holiday Inn Frankfurt Airport, Germany
-Holiday Inn Nola-Naples, Italy
-Holiday Inn Panama Canal, Panama
-Holiday Inn Rosebank Johannesburg, South Africa
-Hotel Indigo Krakow, Poland
-Intercontinental Real Sando Dominigo, Dominican Republic
-Staybridge Suites Calgary Airport, Canada

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Here’s How To Use The JetBlue Deal For Free Airfare While Staying Longer Than 1 Night Or For Dirt Cheap Hotels And Rental Cars Without Flights!

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Update, 6:45PM: DEAD!
The $150 coupon now requires $2,000 of spending and the $250 coupon now requires $2,500 of spending.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
-Earn 5 points per dollar on the AMEX Platinum Card or 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.


JetBlue Vacations Linky

A few hours ago I posted a deal for $150 off $150 on JetBlue vacations.

You need to book a flight and hotel. You can also add a car rental.

-Use the following code for $150 off a domestic flight+hotel: VACATIONS150
-Use the following code for $250 off an international (Or Puerto Rico) flight+hotel: VACATIONS250

Valid for travel through 5/7/17.

If you’re booking for multiple people you should make separate reservations for everyone.

Note that some hotels are excluded.

You can use Google Flights to find routes and dates with the cheapest JetBlue flights.

Many commenters assumed that the best deals were only for 1 night, but that’s incorrect.

For example if you search from Newark-Boston from 1/30-1/31 you can get a flight+hotel for $0. You can just use this as a free one-way flight from Newark-Boston and throw away the hotel and return flight:

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If you search from Boston-Newark from 2/2-2/3 you can find a flight for $8.27. You can just use this as your return flight back to Newark and throw away the hotel and the actual return flight:

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Don’t want to fly anywhere?

Stay at the Sheraton Brooklyn and swim in their indoor pool for $57 by booking a flight from Boston-Newark and just skipping the flights:

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Looking for something more upscale?

Stay at the Waldorf Astoria NYC for $103.52 by booking a flight from Boston-Newark and just skipping the flights. If you have a JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard you’ll also get a $100 statement credit if you spend $100 after the code on a JetBlue Vacation, making the Waldorf just $3.52!

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This works in other cities as well. Just use Google Flights to find cheap round-trip flights to your city on JetBlue.

For example a flight from New Orleans to Fort Lauderdale yields the Hollywood Beach Golf Resort for $22.19:

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Or stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Miami South Beach for $102.21 by booking a flight from New Orleans to Fort Lauderdale and just skipping the flights. If you have a JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard you’ll also get a $100 statement credit if you spend $100 after the code on a JetBlue Vacation, making the Hilton just $2.21!

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Click “add a car” after adding a flight and hotel to get a rental car. Don’t need a flight from Long Beach to Las Vegas? Make sure the flight times only have you in Vegas for under 24 hours and just use the hotel and free car rental and throw away the flight. Only want the car rental? Just don’t checkin to the hotel.

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Post what deals you find!


Join the 79,200+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

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SMOKING HOT! Get Free Airfare, Rental Car, And Hotel With JetBlue Vacations!

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Update, 6:45PM: DEAD!
The $150 coupon now requires $2,000 of spending and the $250 coupon now requires $2,500 of spending.


Related: Here’s How To Use The JetBlue Deal For Free Airfare While Staying Longer Than 1 Night Or For Dirt Cheap Hotels And Rental Cars Without Flights!


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
-Earn 5 points per dollar on the AMEX Platinum Card or 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.


JetBlue Vacations Linky

-Use the following code for $150 off a domestic flight+hotel: VACATIONS150
-Use the following code for $250 off an international (Or Puerto Rico) flight+hotel: VACATIONS250

Valid for travel through 5/7/17.

If you’re booking for multiple people you should make separate reservations for everyone.

Note that some hotels are excluded.

You can use Google Flights to find routes and dates with the cheapest JetBlue flights.

For example I searched for 1 adult from Long Beach to Las Vegas from 1/31-2/1. After selecting flights and a room at a Harrah’s Las Vegas the total was $147.46.

Then I applied the $150 code on the payment page (above where you enter passenger names) and the price dropped to $0!

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I had to enter a credit card to checkout, but my confirmation screen and the confirmation email confirmed that the price paid was $0!

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If you choose a cheaper hotel you can even get your rental car for free as well!

JetBlue vacation packages also come with a free checked bag.

The same thing works for other cities.

Here is a $0 round-trip flight+hotel from LGA-Boston. There is no need to actually use the hotel if you don’t want to.

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Here is a $46.80 round-trip flight+hotel from Newark-Fort Lauderdale:

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And here is a $29 round-trip flight+hotel from Cleveland-Fort Lauderdale:

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Here is a $10 round-trip flight+hotel from JFK-Chicago:

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Last time something like this happened I booked a flight from Cleveland to Las Vegas for $0 and then booked additional cheap flights from Long Beach to Las Vegas in order to stay in the Bellagio for free, another flight to book a free Cirque du Soleil, another flight for a free rental car, etc. I didn’t actually use any of those cheap flights, but I was able to use all the free extras from booking those trips.

You can even use this deal if you just need a cheap one-way flight somewhere. Just book 2 round-trip packages (1 from your origin and 1 from your destination) and don’t use the return flights.

Additionally, if you have a JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard you’ll also get a $100 statement credit if you spend $100 after the code on a JetBlue Vacation.

Post what flights and hotels you book!

HT: 12HRS, via DDF


Join the 79,200+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

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IHG 2017 Category Changes

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Update: Today is the last day to book under the current award chart rates.


Originally posted on 12/28:

IHG’s 2017 category changes go into effect 1/15/17.

Hundreds of hotels are chaning categories and the vast majority are getting more expensive.

If you want to lock in lower rates but are short on points you can buy points from IHG here. Once you have 5,000 points in your account you can buy points via the method described here for $31 per 5K points.

Sample hotels getting more expensive (Book these now):
-Staybridge Suites Thornhill Toronto: Was 15K, now 20K
-Holiday Inn Tbilisi, Georgia: Was 15K, now 20K
-Holiday Inn Lisbon: Was 15K, now 25K
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fairbanks: Was 15K, now 25K
-Holiday Inn Amsterdam Area Towers: Was 20K, now 25K
-Crowne Plaza LAX: Was 25K, now 30K
-Holiday Inn Montreal Downtown: Was 25K, now 30K
-Holiday Inn Auckland: Was 25K, now 30K
-Holiday Inn JFK: Was 25K, now 35K
-Holiday Inn LGA: Was 25K, now 35K
-Holiday Inn Aruba Resort and Casino: Was 30K, now 35K
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kailua-Kona: Was 30K, now 40K
-Intercontinental Prague: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Canyon: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Manhattan-Financial District: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Cancun: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Old Sydney: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Niagara Falls: Was 35K, now 40K
-Intercontinental Porto, Portugal: Was 35K, now 45K
-Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City: Was 50K, now 60K
-Intercontinental Boston: Was 55K, now 60K
-Intercontinental Washington DC The Willard: Was 55K, now 60K
-Intercontinental Sydney: Was 55K, now 60K

Sample hotels getting less expensive (Wait until 1/15 to book these):
-Holiday Inn Helsinki : Was 25K, now 20K
-Holiday Inn London West: Was 30K, now 25K
-Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Center: Was 30K, now 25K

Which hotel’s category change will affect you the most?

HT: moe8555, via DDF

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Don’t Make This Mistake When Transferring Starpoints To Marriott Points

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Related posts (Read these first!):
-Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More
-Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points, Southwest Companion Pass Status, And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!
-Mileage Expiration And Points Transfer Chart For 54 Loyalty Programs, How To Keep Your Points From Expiring, And How To Bring Them Back To Life After They’ve Expired


A few months ago Marriott completed their buyout of Starwood and starting allowing members to transfer points back and forth at a surprisingly fair ratio of 1 Starpoint to 3 Marriott Rewards Points.

I noted in this post that transferring Marriott points to Starwood extends the life of your Starpoints, but transferring Starpoints to Marriott points does not extend the life of your Marriott points.

Marriott has a 24 month expiration policy. Here is a list of activity that Marriott considers as qualifying to extend the life of your points.
FT member “Astrophsx” notes that his last qualifying Marriott activity was on 10/6/14. He transferred Starpoints to Marriott on 10/15/16. On 11/23/16 Marriott expired those points.

After several hours of work he was able to get those points reinstated, but there are lessons worth learning here. If you have a Marriott account that had points expire, don’t transfer Starpoints there and let them sit or else they will be lost. In fact there’s no reason to leave any points sitting in a Marriott account as Starwood’s expiration extension policy is far friendlier.

There are plenty of good reasons to transfer Starpoints to Marriott such as during the recent lucrative United+7 nights transfer promo or for a Southwest companion pass, though you should wait until 2017 to transfer points to Southwest. But I don’t recommend keeping any points in the Marriott program until you’re ready to redeem them.

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United 25% Transfer Bonus: Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 31,250 United Miles, 75K SPG Into 152K Miles, Or 90K SPG Into 152K Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Update: Today is the last day for the 25% United transfer bonus!

You can buy Starpoints on sale here.

You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.


Originally posted on 10/14:

You can register here for 25% bonus when you transfer hotel points to United miles.

United just massively devalued their miles by eliminating stopovers and eliminating the ability to select your own award routing. Either you like what United.com shows you or you’ll need to pay more. But that’s not to say there isn’t still value left in the program.

-The promotion runs through 11/30. It is run by United, so you won’t see any mention of it on the hotel’s points site or during the transfer process.

-United will add 25% bonus miles for all transfers from hotel programs made between 10/12-11/30. (Transfers from Club Carlson will be multiplied by 40%, and transfers from Choice Privileges will be multiplied by 50%, all other chains will be multiplied by 25%.)

-You can earn up to 20K bonus miles with this promotion per United account.

-United will add the bonus miles by 1/31/17.

You won’t want to transfer Starpoints directly to United. While 20K Starwood points can transfer into 25K airline miles with dozens of airlines it only transfers into 12.5K United miles.

However you can transfer 56K Marriott Rewards points into 25K United miles. United will add 25% more miles, leaving you with 31,250 miles.

You can transfer 19K Starwood points into 57K Marriott Rewards points, which will give you 25K United miles and you’ll have 1,000 Marriott Rewards leftover. You can convert those leftover points back into 333 Starpoints. Effectively you can transfer 18,667 Starpoints into 31,250 United miles, an effective 56.3% bonus compared Starwood’s normal 25% bonus!

The maximum you can earn is 20K bonus United miles. You can transfer 56K Starpoints into 168K Marriott points which will earn 75K United miles before the bonus and 93,750 miles after the 25% bonus.

-Don’t forget that if you have Starwood Platinum Status you can match it to Marriott Platinum which will also get you United Silver status!

-An even better deal is with Marriott’s miles+nights packages. 90K Starpoints transfers into 270K Marriott Rewards points. That can be used for 152K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel with the 20K bonus miles from this United promotion. Even if you don’t use the 7 night hotel certificate being able to transfer 90K Starpoints into 152K United miles is an effective 68.9% transfer bonus!

-Alternatively about 83,333 Starpoints becomes 250K Marriott points which is enough for 130,000 United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel with the 20K bonus miles from this United promotion. Even if you don’t use the 7 night hotel certificate being able to transfer 83,333 Starpoints into 130K United miles is an effective 56% transfer bonus!

-The 7 night hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them. You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.

-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that. If you find an agent to do that you can effectively use 75K Starpoints for 152K United miles, an effective 102.7% transfer bonus.

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-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 152K United miles.

-If you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 152K United miles.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.

Will you be transferring Starpoints to United with this promotion?

HT: yelped, via DDF

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Get A 100% Bonus When Purchasing IHG Points; Lock In PointBreaks For $28.75/Night And Hotels In Israel From $57.50/Night

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

IHG: Get 100% bonus points through 12/2.

An IHG account is required, you can join here for free.

IHG normally sells points directly for 1.15 cents each. And you can transfer points from Chase, but that’s a criminal use of Chase points. Of course there’s a hack to buy their points at .7 cents each but with the current sale you can buy them directly for less than that without jumping through hoops. And that hack requires that you have points to start with.

You can purchase 60K points per member per year, so you can get up to 120K points with this promotion which would cost $690.

Note that IHG points require activity every 12 months, but you can just redeem for a hotel award and cancel it to extend the expiration for another 12 months.

IHG runs PointBreaks which allows you to book rooms at rotating hotels for just 5,000 points per night. That’s just $28.75 for a room if you buy points at .575 cents each. Those hotels rotate every couple of months.

Plus you don’t pay tax on award nights.

There are also good values to be had at high-end properties in NYC, London, Paris etc. For example an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora can go for as much as $1,000 with tax but costs just 60K points. That’s just $345 at .575 cents per point.

There are several IHG hotels in Israel. They won’t necessarily be a deal with this promotion, but they may be depending on the price of your desired travel dates.
Holiday Inn Ashkelon: 10K ($57.50 with this promo)
Crowne Plaza Jerusalem: 20K ($115)
Crowne Plaza Dead Sea: 25K ($143.75)
Crowne Plaza Eilat: 25K ($143.75)
Hotel Indigo Tel Aviv Diamond District: 25K ($143.75)
Crowne Plaza Haifa: 30K ($172.50)
Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv Beach: 30K ($172.50)
Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center: 30K ($172.50)
InterContinental David Tel Aviv: 40K ($230)

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Receive A 20% Bonus When Purchasing Fairmont eGift Cards

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Fairmont eGift Cards: US Dollars

Fairmont eGift Cards: Canadian Dollars

Until 4pm EST today you will receive a bonus Fairmont eGift card equal to 20% of your purchase.

You’ll only get 1 bonus eGift card and you can order up to $5,000 worth of eGift cards in one order, so the maximum bonus eGift card would be $1,000 per person.

You’ll need to add multiple gift cards to your cart if you want to max out this offer as an eGift card is limited to $2,000 in value.

You can purchase eGift cards in USD or CAD and the bonus eGift card will be in whichever currency that you purchased.

Only the eGift cards qualify for the bonus.

-eGift cards can be used at any Fairmont hotel or Willow Stream Spa to pay for rooms, as well as hotel owned/operated spa, dining, shopping, and food and beverage outlets. You can bring the eGift cards to the front desk at any time during your stay to apply them to your folio balance.
-You don’t need to be a guest to use the eGift card.
-eGift cards never expire.
-There’s no limit to how many eGift cards you can use on a stay.
-You can use part of an eGift card and retain the balance for future use.

Fairmont hotels have a relatively small footprint. You can view a map of their hotels here. The Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver is one of my favorites(though having a lifetime of free Fairmont suites helps) It has received awards for being the top rated luxury hotel in Canada.

Are you a buyer with this promotion? Where will you stay? Hit the comments!

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W Chicago Lakeshore For $67/Night!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

You can book the W Chicago Lakeshore on TripAdvisor for just $57+tax=$67 per night!

This is valid on many nights in November and December . Rooms are non-refundable.

Cheap rates are also available throuhgout the winter.

You can also book this directly from SPG where you’ll get SPG benefits for the stay, but the rate is a bit higher and it may go away before you can file a best rate guarantee.

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Post what dates you find and book!

HT: davidmal, via DDF and EHD

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Israel Hotel News: Goodbye To A Points Hotel, Welcome To Another, And A Points Anomaly

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

-Effective 12/31/16 the category 6 Hilton Eilat Queen of Sheba will leave Hilton.

You can use 40K points per night or 32K points per night on a 5 night stay until the end of the year.

That leaves the category 8 Hilton Tel Aviv and the category 10 Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem as the remaining Israeli hotels in the portfolio. The David Citadel opened as a Hilton in 1998 but left in 2001.

Speaking about the Waldorf, it’s worth noting that despite going up to a category 10, their pricing is unchanged at 80K points per night or 64K points per night on a 5 night stay for Hilton cardholders or elites. That still falls within the range of pricing for Hilton category 10, but I’d expect it to still go up to 95K per night at any time.

Not long ago Starwood had 13 properties that were all bargains with Starpoints. I stayed in many of them on a month-long trek across the holy land in August of 2007 spending just a couple thousand Starpoints per night to stay in Jerusalem, Haifa, Eilat, Tiberias, and the Dead Sea.

SPG was down to just the category 5 Sheraton Tel Aviv, but they have now added the category 5 Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel located in Zichron Yaakov between Caesarea and Haifa. SPG category 5 hotels cost 12-16K points per night or 9.6K-12.8K per night on a 5 night stay.

Starwood will also open the W Tel Aviv-Jaffa on 5/1/17. The category for that hotel has yet to be determined, but hopefully it will be a 6 (20K-25K points per night) and not a 7 (30-35K points per night)

You can also transfer Starpoints to Marriott to book the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel for 11.6K points per night or 9.3K points per night on a 5 night stay. Or 110K Starpoints can get you 152K United miles and 7 nights there.

Or you can transfer Starpoints to Marriott to book the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya for 16.6K points per night or 13.3K points per night on a 5 night stay. Or 140K Starpoints can get you 152K United miles and 7 nights there.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months

You can view other credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers from all banks.

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IHG Pointbreaks Now Bookable For Stays Through January, Hotel Rooms From $28/Night

Monday, October 31st, 2016

IHG PointBreaks Linky

IHG Booking Linky

-The current list is valid for stays through 1/31/17.
-Hotels can sell out of discounted rooms quickly and only a limited amount of rooms are available per night.

You can book up to 2 reservations per hotel. There’s no limit to how long each of the stays can be.

You can stay in any PointBreaks hotel for 5,000 IHG points.

IHG sells 5,000 points for $67.50 (or less via targeted offers after you sign in). My account is targeted for a 100% bonus on purchases of 21K+. I can purchase 60K points for just $345 or just $28.75 per 5K points.

If those points don’t post instantly you can call IHG to get a points loan based on your purchase confirmation number in order to quickly grab a room. Alternatively you can transfer 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG, though transfers are not instant. It’s a terrible use of Ultimate Rewards points (as they’re were more than twice that to brokers or when transferred to other airlines or hotels), but it allows you to start buying points for 0.7 cents each.

If you already have IHG points in your account then you can buy points on the cheap via making a cash and points booking.

Be sure to click on the rules during the checkout process to make sure that the room is fully refundable (almost all are):

-The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Meadowlands allows you to redeem 5K points and $70 for a night, just click “more options” and then select rewards nights. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 15K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 10K points for $70, or just $35 per 5K points.

-The Candlewood Suites Secaucus allows you to redeem 10K points and $99 for a night. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 25K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 15K points for $99, or just $33 per 5K points.

-The Crowne Plaza White Plains allows you to redeem 10K points and $125 for a night. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 30K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 20K points for $125, or just $31.25 per 5K points.

Where can you stay for 5K points?
The full current list is here, but here are a few samples:
-Holiday Inn Chicago North-Evanston, IL
-Crowne Plaza Monroe-South Brunswick, NJ
-Crowne Plaza Princeton, NJ
-Crowne Plaza Saddle Brook, NJ
-Hotel Indigo Cleveland-Beachwood, OH
-Crowne Plaza Portland-Lake Oswego, OR
-Crowne Plaza Suites Pittsbugh South, PA
-Crowne Plaza Grove City Outlets, PA

-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Oshawa Downtown-Toronto Area, CA
-InterContinental Cali, Colombia
-Holiday Inn Express Panama
-Holiday Inn Express Campo de Gibraltar, Spain
-Holiday Inn London-Luton Airport, UK
-Holiday Inn Montevideo, Uruguay

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Hyatt Continues To Devalue Their Program

Friday, October 28th, 2016

It wasn’t long ago that Hyatt was the most generous hotel chain around.

They offered “Faster Free Nights” promotions from 2002 through 2010 that offered a free night in any Hyatt after every 2 stays. In 2009 I was earning 13,500 United miles+6,000 Hyatt points+1 free night at any Hyatt in the world for every 2 stays that I made. I used faster free nights promotions to stay for dozens of nights in wonderful Park Hyatts in Sydney and Melbourne and Hyatts in Maui and Kauai .

In 2009 Hyatt only had 5 categories with their most expensive awards costing just 15K points. Today Hyatt has 7 award categories and the most expensive rooms now cost 30K. Suites in those categories have gone from 22K points to 48K points per night.

Hyatt also used to offer G bonuses where you would earn thousands of extra Hyatt points per stay, but over the years they continued to eliminate promotions like faster free nights, Platinum extras certificates, and G bonuses, while they made redemptions more expensive.

Hyatt remained a decent value, but it was no longer as lucrative as it had been.

Now Hyatt is changing the name of their “Gold Passport” program to “World of Hyatt.”

They even hired my 5 year old son to design their new program’s logo. Only took him a few minutes to crank it out:

You can read the full details of the program here.

They are not changing the redemption side of the program for now.

However instead of classy elite names like Platinum and Diamond the new elite levels will be Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist.
Could they possibly have chosen more awkward elite tier names?

They’ve added a lot of complexity to the program.

But worst of all Hyatt is eliminating the ability to qualify for elite status based on stays. All they care about now is the number of total nights or how much you spend.

Currently Hyatt cardholders get Platinum status. As of 3/1/17 they’ll be downgraded to Discoverist status which now has 2 elite levels on top of it. Discoverist only earns a 10% point bonus on paid stays, though current Hyatt cardholders will retain the old 15% bonus until 3/1/18. Hyatt also clarifies that Discoverists only receive the best room in the same category that you reserved. Discoverist retains Platinum’s 2pm late checkout benefit.

Explorist is a new tier between the old Diamond and Platinum levels. It requires 30 paid nights or $10,000 of Hyatt spending each year. Currently you can get top-tier Diamond status with 25 stays, so this level can be even harder to attain than the current Diamond level. However Explorists only get 2pm checkout and don’t get suite upgrades at checkin or in advance, so benefits are much less than current Diamond status. Explorists get a 20% point bonus on paid stays compared to 30% for current diamonds. Explorists don’t get club access, though they do get 4 certificates for club access that can be used on paid and award stays up to 1 year after the status is earned.

Globalist is the new top-tier status. It requires a whopping 60 paid nights or $20,000 of Hyatt spending each year, a massive increase from the current diamond status that can be earned with 25 stays. Once you have Globalist status you can retain it by staying 55 nights in subsequent years. Globalists retain diamond benefits like a 30% point bonus on paid stays, club access or breakfast in hotels without a club, and 4pm late checkout. Globalists do get a few new benefits, including a dedicated agent to help with reservations, upgrades to standard suites at checkin if available, waived resort fees on all stays, and waived parking fees on award stays. The biggest benefit is that they retain 4 suite upgrade certificates and that they’ll be able to be used on award stays. Globalists can also earn an additional suite upgrade certificate or 10K points for each additional 10 nights that they stay past 60 nights, up to 100 paid nights per year.

Hyatt will eliminate the welcome amenity which offers 1,000 points back per stay that current Diamond members earn. Because apparently it now makes sense to eliminate nice perks like this when making it significantly harder to attain top-tier status.

All elite levels will continue to get premium WiFi and all members will get free WiFi. All members also continue to get their resort fee waived on award stays.

Cash and points stays will continue to count as paid stays.

There are a few nice additions:

If you stay at 5 Hyatt brands (Hyatt Place, Andaz, Regency, Park, Grand, etc) after 3/1/17 you’ll get a free category 1-4 award night. If you stay at 10 brands you’ll get another night. Those award nights are valid for 1 year.

If you stay 30 nights in a year you’ll get a free category 1-4 award night, but it has to be used within 120 days.

If you stay 60 nights in a year you’ll get a free category 1-7 award night, but it has to be used within 120 days.

If you spend $50K on a Hyatt card in a calendar year you’ll get Explorist status. However the Hyatt card will no longer earn night and stay towards elite status as it does now to make earning Diamond easier. The card will offer no shortcuts to the new Globalist tier.

The MGM MLife matching will also be devalued. Under the new program Hyatt Discoverists will get MLife Pearl status while Hyatt Explorists and Globalists will get MLife Gold status. Currently Hyatt Platinums get MLife Gold status while Hyatt Diamonds get MLife Platinum status. If you have current Hyatt status you should call 800-323-7249 to match to a higher tier than will be possible next year.

If you have qualified for Platinum status this year you’ll be a Discoverist in 2017. If you had Diamond status this year and don’t requalify you’ll be an Explorist in 2017. If you requalified for diamond status this year you’ll be a Globalist in 2017. If you have enough nights or spending for a higher tier in the new program than the current program you’ll get the higher status in the new program.

One small “loophole” is that you’ll be able to qualify based on stays in January and February of 2017 before the new program starts. That means you can stay 25 times in those months and earn Globalist status that will be valid until 3/1/19. Plus if you have a Hyatt card if you spend $20K you’ll earn 2 stay credits and 5 night credit and if you spend another $20K you’ll earn another 3 stay credits and 5 night credits towards elite status.

Overall there are a few positives, but on the whole this is a massive devaluation of the Hyatt elite program, which is currently the best in the industry.

I will give kudos to Hyatt for giving a nice amount of advance notice to these changes though.

Hyatt has traditionally had a strong program because their footprint is far smaller than the other major chains. Frankly it’s surprising that they are announcing these changes before waiting to see what the new Marriott/SPG program looks like. Marriott/SPG has had a shockingly good start to their merger, so hopefully they give Hyatt a run for their money when those details come together in 2017/2018.

Color me happy that Hyatt wasn’t able to buy SPG.

Will these changes affect your hotel loyalty?

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Today Only: $100 Off $300+ Of Select Hotels On Travelocity; 2 Bedroom Apartment Suite In Jerusalem For $82/Night And Much More

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Travelocity Hotels Linky

-Use the following code for $100 off $300+ after selecting a hotel room: ONEBIGDAY100

-Book travel by 11:59pm PDT tonight (Coupon may expire earlier if supplies are exhausted).
-Travel must be completed by 12/31

Most chain hotels are excluded, but the code will work for Hyatt.

After selecting a room type click “pay now” and then click on “enter a coupon or promo code”:

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Sample deals with $100 off:

A 2 bedroom apartment suite at the Lev Yerusalayim will be just $82/night:

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Mamilla Jerusalem for $242/night:

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The awesome GHK for $307/night:

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And the excellent Andaz 5th Ave for $238/night:
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Post what deals you find!

HT: Could have been Dan, via DDF

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Hilton 2016 Category Changes; Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Going Up To Category 10

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Update: Today is the final day to lock in the current award rates!


Originally posted on 9/30:

Hilton 2016 Category Changes

Effective for awards bookings made on or after Wednesday, October 12th, 21 Hilton hotels will get more expensive and 33 hotels will get less expensive.

The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem will climb from a category 9 to a category 10, the highest category that Hilton has. That means an increase from 80K points to 95K points per night. If you have a Hilton credit card or elite status and stay 5 nights the cost will go up from 64K points to 76K points per night. If you have a Hilton AMEX and stay 4 nights the cost will go up from 65K to 75K points per night.

If you have Hilton points saved up, start making your plans now and make bookings before Yom Kippur. You can make bookings for stays up to a year in the future. Point stays are typically refundable until a couple of days prior to arrival.

You won’t be able to make date changes and keep the lower the rates once the category change goes into effect.

HT: Feivish, via DDF and Lucky

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HURRY! Intercontinental New York Barclay Hotel From Just $103/Night!

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Intercontinental New York Barclay Hotel

-Discounted prices valid for many dates in January and February 2017.

-For an extra fee of approximately $15 per night you can book the rooms with free cancellation up to the day before the stay.

Rooms that range from $350/night-$935/night are now just $135/night-$475/night.

For example:

-On 1/8, 1/15, 1/22, 1/29, 2/11, 2/19 or 2/26 a Superior King is $119+tax or $140+tax with free cancellations when you have an IHG membership which is free to sign up for.

-On 1/22 or 1/29 a Superior Queen is just $103+tax or $121+tax with free cancellations when you have an IHG membership which is free to sign up for.

HT: Hudi, via DDF and ultimallamada


Join the 74.8K+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

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Price Mistake? Ocean View Suite At The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Miami For Just $87/Night!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Update: DEAD!


Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Miami

-Valid for most dates from May 30 and later in 2017.

-Enter your dates and click on “View all 9 deals from $49”

-There is free cancellation until a few days prior to the stay.

-The Ocean View 1 Bedroom Suite is $49+tax for a total of $87 after tax and resort fees.
-The Oceanfront View 1 Bedroom Suite is $99+tax for a total of $143 after tax and resort fees.

Non-suites are selling for 4x as much as the suites!

HT: Welder, via DDF and EHD


Join the 74.8K+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

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HOT! Stay 2 Nights At Select Waldorf Astoria And Conrad Hotels And Get 1 Night Free, A $75 Gift Card, And A $25 Dining Credit; Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem For $165/Night!

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Update: “Due to the unexpected popularity of the Hilton free night offer, hotel inventory subject to this offer booked up much sooner than anticipated and is no longer available. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please note that the $75 USD gift card promotion is still available at Participating Hilton Hotels”


-Earn 3 points per dollar and get $300 in travel automatically refunded every calendar year with Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa Infinite Card.

 

If you use your Visa Signature or Visa Infinite card you can take advantage of some amazing stackable promotions:
-BOGO Night Offer
-$75 Gift Card Offer

You can look under the Visa logo on your credit card to see if it says Signature or Infinite. If it says nothing under the Visa logo then it doesn’t qualify. For example Sapphire Preferred is a Visa Signature and Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite card.

The offers specifically state that you can take advantage of one and also get the other offer:

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-Gift card offer: Book a hotel stay via the links above by 11/30, stay by 2/28/17, and pay with Visa Signature or Visa Infinite and you’ll get a $75 gift card. The $75 gift card will be mailed to you within 6 weeks after your stay. Back-to-back stays booked under the same name within 24 hours at the same hotel are considered one stay regardless of check-out and check-in activity.

That offer stacks with:

-BOGO Night offer: Book a 2+ night hotel stay via the links above by 12/31, stay by 3/31/17, and pay with Visa Signature or Visa Infinite and you’ll get the 2nd night’s room rate credited back to you automatically at checkout. Back-to-back stays booked under the same name within 24 hours at the same hotel are considered one stay regardless of check-out and check-in activity. There’s a maximum of one free night per room, per stay.

Additionally when you book via the links above you also get:
-Best available rate guarantee
-Automatic room upgrade upon arrival, when available
-Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, when available
-Complimentary continental breakfast daily
-$25 USD food or beverage credit
-VIP Guest status
-3PM check-out upon request, when available

For example a 2 night stay at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is $810.
-You’ll get 1 night credit back to you, making the total actually due at checkout just $405 for 2 nights.
-Additionally you’ll get a $75 Visa gift card mailed to you after your stay, making the effective total just $330 for 2 nights.
-Plus you’ll get a $25 USD food or beverage credit to use during your stay among the other benefits.

If you use a Sapphire Reserve Visa Infinite card you’ll also get $300 per year of travel spending automatically credited back to your card. Plus you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining, even on travel spending that is refunded to you!

If you haven’t yet used your annual Sapphire Reserve travel credit that means you can pay just $30 for 2 nights at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem!

 

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The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem opened in 2014 and is a gem, possibly the finest hotel in the whole country.

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With a breakfast like this, you may not even be hungry for dinner…

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HT: Baruch, via DDF


Join the 74.4K+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

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Today Only: $50 Off $200+ Of Select Hotels On Expedia; 2 Bedroom Apartment Suite In Jerusalem For $91/Night And Much More

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Expedia Hotels Linky

-Use the following code for 20% off after selecting a hotel room: EXPEDIA50SA

-Book travel by 11:59pm PDT tonight (Coupon may expire earlier if supplies are exhausted).
-Travel must be completed by 11/30.

Most chain hotels appear to excluded, but it does work for Hyatt.

After selecting a room type click “pay now” and then click on “enter a coupon or promo code”:

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And the price will drop by $50:

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A 2 bedroom apartment suite at the Lev Yerusalayim will be just $91/night:

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Park Hyatt Aviara in Southern California:

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Post what deals you find!

HT: davidmal, via DDF

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15% Off Hotels Worldwide From Global Tours

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Please note: This is a paid advertisement which is stickied as the top post, please scroll down for new posts.

-For bookings $1,000-$2,500 you will receive a discount of 10%
-For bookings $2,501 and up you will receive a discount of 15%

Please make sure to have your hotel and room choices selected before requesting the discount.

How it Works:

Search for hotels on www.expedia.com, www.orbitz.com, or on another major travel booking website. Once a suitable choice is found take a screenshot* including the hotel, room type, amount of people and pricing information and send an email to us at sales@globaltoursinc.com along with traveler’s names and contact info. Once verified we will deduct the applicable promo discount and respond for payment.

(*To take a screen shot press the “PrtScn” button on your keyboard and then paste the image into an email)

-Emails sent during business hours (EDT) will receive a response before the close of business day. Emails sent after business hours will receive a response before close of the next business day.

-Offer expires 9/5/16

-Some major hotel chains may be excluded.

-For any questions please email sales@globaltoursinc.com

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Save 35% On Select Starwood Resort Award Redemptions! Plus SPG Lowers Bora Bora Point Requirements By 33%!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Earn Starpoints on the Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX.
———————————————————————————————

Starwood is running a promotion that is discounting select ultra-premium resorts by 35%.

This recurring promotion is back and is now valid for stays through 2/28/17.

These resorts fall above the top end of normal SPG hotels and are normally prohibitively expensive. They’re still very pricey, but it’s somewhat more reasonable with this recurring promo.

Additionally the regular points rate for the base room at the Le Meridien Bora Bora has been lowered from 60K to 40K points per night and the regular points rate at the S. Regis Bora Bora has been lowered from 90K to 60K points per night. I haven’t made it to Bora Bora yet, but everyone who has comes back raving about its beauty.

Eligible SPG resorts:
Le Meridien Bora Bora. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
The S. Regis Bora Bora Resort Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
W Retreat and Spa Maldives. Normally 90K/night. Now 58,500/night or 46,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
W Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
Al Maha, Dubai, UAE. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
Mystique, Santorini, Greece. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.

You’ll need to call SPG to book these at the promo rate.

-The Vana Belle is a 30 minute walk from Chabad of Koh Samui. A kosher restaurant is located in the Chabad House.

-The base Garden Pool Villa at the S. Regis Bora Bora is a massive 2,700 sq ft with an ocean view and includes a private pool and outdoor shower. It used to be 90K points before it dropped to 60K points. With this promotion it will be 39K points or just 31,200 points with a 5 night stay.

-You can read more about the overwater bungalow at the absolutely incredible W Retreat Maldives in my trip report here.

Bear in mind that the discounted rates are for the base room only, you’ll have to call/email the hotel directly if you want to arrange a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow in places like Bora Bora or the Maldives.

When I last checked the prices for a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow with a private plunge pool the W Maldives wanted $180/night.

The Le Meridien Bora Bora wanted $220/night when I last checked the price of a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow. However they also said via email that as a Platinum member if there were any overwater bungalows for sale on the day of checkin they would refund the entire confirmed upgrade fee!

HT: Lucky

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Expedia Flash Sale: 20% Off Select Hotels; Mamilla Jerusalem For $280 And Much More

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Update: DEAD!


Expedia Hotels Linky

-Use the following code for 20% off after selecting a hotel room: 8DPOPUP10

This coupon expires at 5pm EDT today!

Travel must be completed by 10/31.

Most chain hotels appear to excluded, but it does work for Hyatt:

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And it also works for unaffiliated hotels, like the Mamilla Jerusalem:

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Post what deals you find!

HT: davidmal, via DDF

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The S. Regis Maldives May Be The Best SPG Redemption Of All Time!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Update, 8/9: The price for the overwater villa is now 90K points per night and the price for the beach villa is now 120K points per night.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-You can earn Starpoints on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.
-Earn 2,500 Bonus Starpoints For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Starwood Consumer Card
Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2016 Edition
Starwood’s 35th Transfer Partner Increases The Value Of Your Starpoints; Fly Roundtrip JFK-Los Angeles For Less Than 10K Or JFK-Europe For Less Than 20K SPG!


The S. Regis Maldives is a Starwood category 7 that opens on November 1st. Their photo gallery can be found here:

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Overwater villas cost more than $2,000 each at the property and all rooms have plunge pools. They’re not walled in like the completely private pool we had at the Le Meridien Khao Lak in 2010 as people can swim or snorkel by your villa in the Maldives, but I did enjoy the plunge pool at the W Maldives. I just wish it was kid-free and had glass bottom floors like the W 🙂

Note that it typically takes more than 24 hours to fly from the USA until you reach a resort in Maldives as you need to connect somewhere to reach Male (MLE) and then you’ll need to wait for a seaplane to bring you from the Male airport to your resort. That seaplane will also set you back some $700 with tax per person on top of your tickets to Male. You’re also limited to just 50 pounds per person including carry-on and checkin items and will pay a whopping $5/pound for excess baggage. It’s an exhausting and expensive trip, but the water is truly stunning there and the isolation and relaxation is impossible to describe.

Airlines serving Male include Aeroflot (3 days/week from SVO), Austrian (2 days/week seasonally from VIE), British Airways (3 days/week seasonably from LGW), Cathay Pacific (4 days/week from HKG), Emirates (daily from DXB), Etihad (daily from AUH), Qatar (daily from DOH), Singapore (daily from SIN), and Turkish (daily from Istanbul).

DDF member beastieb points out that using points at the S. Regis Maldives are quite a bargain.

I chatted with SPG, confirmed their point rate structure, and booked a stay:
Garden villa: 31.5K/night or 25.2K/night on a 5 night stay.
Overwater villa: 32.5K/night or 26K/night on a 5 night stay.
Beach villa: 60K/night or 48K/night on a 5 night stay.
Sunset overwater villa: 75K/night or 60K/night on a 5 night stay.
Overwater St Regis Suite: 90K/night or 72K/night on a 5 night stay.
2BR Family villa: 120K/night or 96K/night on a 5 night stay.

That can easily be a value of over 9 cents per Starpoint depending on your dates!

This hotel must be booked over the phone or via SPG chat.

Rooms at other Starwood category 7 properties are typically many times those rates as SPG allows hotels that only have suites to charge far more points than the standard award chart. According to SPG those hotels include the “St. Regis Resort Bora Bora, and Le Méridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora, French Polynesia; W Maldives, Maldives; Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, Key West, Florida; Mystique, Santorini, Greece; Pine Cliff Residences, Albuferia, Portugal; and Cala Di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Porto Cervo, Italy.”

I’d imagine that the S. Regis Maldives will eventually be added to that list, but perhaps we’ll get lucky and it will stay a bargain.

Of course this could all be a mistake and they might cancel reservations, so don’t book non-refundable airfare quite yet…

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IHG Pointbreaks Now Bookable For Stays Through October, Hotel Rooms From $24/Night

Monday, July 25th, 2016

IHG PointBreaks Linky

IHG Booking Linky

-The current list is valid for stays through 10/31
-Hotels can sell out of discounted rooms quickly and only a limited amount of rooms are available per night.

You can book up to 2 reservations per hotel. There’s no limit to how long each of the stays can be.

You can stay in any PointBreaks hotel for 5,000 IHG points.

If you already have IHG points in your account then you can buy points for less.

Be sure to click on the rules during the checkout process to make sure that the room is fully refundable (almost all are):

-The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Meadowlands allows you to redeem 5K points and $70 for a night, just click “more options” and then select rewards nights. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 15K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 10K points for $70, or just $35 per 5K points. IHG Cardholders pay 10K points and $59.50 and also get back 15K points when they cancel, so they pay just $29.75 per 5K points. IHG Cardholders also get 10% of their redeemed points credited back, lowering the effective cost of a 5K award to $26.78.

-The Candlewood Suites Secaucus allows you to redeem 10K points and $100 for a night. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 25K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 15K points for $100, or just $33.33 per 5K points. IHG Cardholders pay 10K points and $85 and also get back 25K points when they cancel, so they pay just $28.33 per 5K points. IHG Cardholders also get 10% of their redeemed points credited back, lowering the effective cost of a 5K award to $25.50.

-The Crowne Plaza White Plains allows you to redeem 10K points and $125 for a night. If you cancel that night you’ll get back 30K total points, so you’ll have effectively purchased 20K points for $125, or just $31.25 per 5K points. IHG Cardholders pay 10K points and $106.25 and also get back 30K points when they cancel, so they pay just $26.56 per 5K points. IHG Cardholders also get 10% of their redeemed points credited back, lowering the effective cost of a 5K award to $23.90.

If you don’t have points yet IHG sells 5,000 points for $67.50 (or less via targeted offers after you sign in). If those points don’t post instantly you can call IHG to get a points loan based on your purchase confirmation number in order to quickly grab a room. Alternatively you can transfer 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG, though transfers are not instant. It’s a terrible use of Ultimate Rewards points (as they’re were more than twice that to brokers or when transferred to other airlines or hotels), but it allows you to start buying points for 0.7 cents each.

You can also get 60K points for signing up for their credit card.  That’s not as strong as bonuses from cards with more valuable point currencies, though it does come with an annual certificate good for a free stay in any IHG hotel. Those are best utilized at Intercontinental hotels where a night can set you back 60K points or $800/night in places like Bora Bora. The card is free for the first year and then $49/year.  If you have a credit card you’ll also get 10% of your points back on award reservations!

Where can you stay for 5K points?
The full current list is here, but here are a few samples:
Staybridge Suites North Brunswick, NJ
-Holiday Inn Buffalo Airport, NY
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Oro Valley-Tucson, AZ
-Staybridge Suites Denver Tech Center, CO
-Candlewood Suites Overland Park, KS
-Staybridge Suites Baltimore BWI Airport, MD
-Staybridge Suites Detroit, MI
-Staybridge Suites Minneapolis, MN
-Holiday Inn Oklahoma City Airport, OK
-Candlewood Suites Pittsburgh, PA
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites San Antonio

-InterContinental Mendoza, Argentina
-Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park
-InterContinental Phnom Penh, Cambodia
-Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites London, Canada
-Holiday Inn Tampere – Central Station, Finland
-Holiday Inn Nola, Naples, Italy
-Crowne Plaza Panama-Holiday Inn Express Lisbon, Portugal
-Holiday Inn Moscow, Russia-Staybridge Suites S. Petersburg, Russia
-Holiday Inn Express Affoltern am Albis, Switzerland

HT: shulem92, via DDF

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Starwood: Book 2 Nights In Europe, Africa, Or The Middle East With Mastercard And Get 1 Night Free; Valid At Sheraton Tel Aviv!

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Starwood: Book 2 Nights In Europe, Africa, Or The Middle East With Mastercard And Get 1 Free

If you book a paid stay at participating SPG hotels in Europe, Africa, or the Middle East for 2 nights, you’ll get the 3rd night free.

Offer valid through 12/31/16.

This is not valid for point stays, which require 4 award nights to get the 5th night free.

Sometimes these promotions require a higher base rate that actually makes them more expensive than finding a deal, but I checked at the highly rated Sheraton Tel Aviv and the prices were pretty good.

For example from July 24-27 the rate on SPG.com for a deluxe room is $335 per night. With the promo link above the cost of each night dropped to $223 after accounting for the free night. A deluxe suite fell from $635 to $470.

From August 28-31 the 3 for 2 rate comes out to just $210 per night and the suite is $430 per night.

The category 5 Sheraton charges 12K Starpoints per night in low season and 16K points per night in high season.If you book a 5 night stay the effective cost per night can drop to as low as 9,600 Starpoints per night.

If you have Starwood Business AMEX you’ll also have free access to the Sheraton club lounge, there’s no need to pay for the stay with your card for lounge access. Post a comment if you try switching the method of payment at the hotel from Mastercard to your Starwood AMEX to earn double Starpoints.

Post what other deals you find!

HT: coralsnake, via DDF

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Ends Today: Get A 100% Bonus When Purchasing IHG Points; Lock In PointBreaks For $28.75/Night And Hotels In Israel From $57.50/Night

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

IHG: Get 100% bonus points through 6/3.

An IHG account is required, you can join here for free.

IHG normally sells points directly for 1.15 cents each. And you can transfer points from Chase, but that’s a criminal use of Chase points. Of course there’s a hack to buy their points at .7 cents each but with the current sale you can buy them directly for less than that without jumping through hoops. And that hack requires that you have points to start with.

You can purchase 60K points per member per year, so you can get up to 120K points with this promotion.

Note that IHG points require activity every 12 months, but you can just redeem for a hotel award and cancel it to extend the expiration for another 12 months.

IHG runs PointBreaks which allows you to book rooms at rotating hotels for just 5,000 points per night. That’s just $28.75 for a room if you buy points at .575 cents each. Those hotels rotate every couple of months.

Plus you don’t pay tax on award nights.

There are also good values to be had at high-end properties. For example an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora can go for as much as $1,000 with tax but costs just 60K points. That’s just $345 at .575 cents per point.

There are several IHG hotels in Israel. They won’t necessarily be a deal with this promotion, but they may be depending on the price of your desired travel dates.
Holiday Inn Ashkelon: 10K ($57.50 with this promo)
Crowne Plaza Jerusalem: 20K ($115)
Crowne Plaza Dead Sea: 25K ($143.75)
Crowne Plaza Eilat: 25K ($143.75)
Hotel Indigo Tel Aviv Diamond District: 25K ($143.75)
Crowne Plaza Haifa: 30K ($172.50)
Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv Beach: 30K ($172.50)
Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center: 30K ($172.50)
InterContinental David Tel Aviv: 40K ($230)

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Last Chance For Hilton American Express 100K and 75K Limited Time Offers

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Update: These offers are no longer available.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-Until May 4th, The Hilton HHonors™ Surpass® Card from American Express is offering 100K points for spending $3,000 within 3 months.  It offers 12 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 6 points per dollar at supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. The bonus is valid if you haven’t had this particular Hilton AMEX before.

It has a $75 annual fee and gives Gold elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder, which gets you free breakfast, including the most over-the-top breakfast I’ve had in my life at the Waldorf Jerusalem.  If you spend $40K/year you’ll get top-tier Diamond status, which gets confirmed room upgrades and space available suite upgrade at hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. You’ll also get discounted 4 night award stays and the 5th night free on award stays.


-Until May 4th, The Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express is offering 75K points for spending $1,000 within 3 months.  It offers 7 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 5 points per dollar at supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. The bonus is valid if you haven’t had this particular Hilton AMEX before.

It has no annual fee and offers Silver status for as long as you are a cardmember. You’ll also get discounted 4 night award stays and the 5th night free on award stays. If you spend $20K on the card you’ll also get Hilton Gold status.


-There’s no limited time offer for the Citi Hilton Reserve card, but it’s a great card as it gives 2 free nights at any Hilton in the world when you spend $2,500 in 4 months, including the excellent Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, the Conrad Maldives, the Grand Wailea Maui, or the Hilton Bora Bora Nui. The bonus is valid if you haven’t had this particular Citi Hilton card in the past 24 months.

It offers 10 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 5 points per dollar on airline and car rental spending, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere.

It has a $95 annual fee and gives Gold elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder. You’ll get the 5th night free on award stays.  You’ll also get an additional free night for spending $10K in a calendar year. This card has a $95 annual fee.


The Hilton award chart can be found here.

Rooms range from 5K to 95K points per night depending on which of the 10 categories it falls into. If you have any Hilton credit card you’ll have elite status which also get the 5th award night for free. There are also point and money awards which are a great way to stretch your points, though those awards are capacity controlled.

As long as a standard room is for sale you can use points for the room without capacity controls or blackout dates.

The awesome Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is a category 9 property requiring 80K points per night. As a Hilton cardholder the 5th award night is free, so the cost for a 5 night stay is 320K points or effectively 64K points per night.

Alternatively, AMEX Hilton cardholders can also book discounted 4 night award stays as follows:
Category 5: 130,000 points
Category 6: 160,000 points
Category 7: 190,000 points
Category 8: 220,000 points
Category 9: 260,000 points
Category 10: 300,000 points

These discounted 4 night awards are called AXON awards and can only be booked over the phone (800-920-5649), but will have the same availability as regular awards.

Hilton is a tough currency to love due to the high point requirements, but we absolutely loved our stay at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem last year and hope to stay there again. These limited time offers are all some of the richest that have ever been offered for these cards.

At the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well!

Gold and Diamond members get upgrades, food and drink amenities, late checkout, and other great benefits. Their Friday night Shabbos meals are pricey, but are well worth the expense (DDFers agree with that take as well), and the in-house restaurants are excellent as well.

With a breakfast like this, you may not even be hungry for dinner…

 

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Many, many more pictures when I get around to writing the trip report 😉


If you need more points for a discounted 4 night or 5 night stay you can also buy Hilton points at half price through June 3rd here.

You can purchase anywhere from 2K points for $10 to 160K points for $800, effectively 0.5 cents per point. If you need more points you can open additional Hilton accounts in your name and then combine the accounts by clicking here.

In other words if you have 240K Hilton points you could spend 3 nights in the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. With this deal you can buy an additional 20K points for $100 and have enough points for a 4 night stay for AMEX cardholders. Or you can buy an additional 80K points for $400 and have enough points for a 5 night stay if you are a Hilton cardholder or elite.

Even if you don’t have any points in can make sense to buy points.

The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem rooms range from $450-$650 per night (plus 18% VAT for locals). If you were to buy 80K points at 0.5 cents each that would make the effective cost per night $400.  If you have a Hilton AMEX you can stay for 4 nights for 260K points (65K points per night) that would make the effective cost per night $325. If you have Hilton elite status (it’s free with any Hilton card) they you can get the 5th award night for free, so 320K points (64K points per night) at the sale price of 0.5 cents each would make the effective cost per night just $320. No tax is owed on award stays.

Or for example a top-tier category 10 hotel like the Conrad Maldives goes for $700-$1,000 per night. It costs 95K points per night ($475/night with this sale), 300K points for 4 nights for Hilton AMEX cardholders ($375/night with this sale), or 380K points for 5 nights for Hilton elites ($380/night with this sale).


Do you have any Hilton cards or do you have plans to take advantage of these limited time offers? Which aspirational hotel do you have your eyes set on? Hit the comments!

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Daily Getaway For 5/3: 20% Off Marriott eGift Cards

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

With Daily Getaways you can purchase discounted travel packages, but you have to be really quick.  At 1pm EDT every weekday from now through 5/4 there is a new offering. The best deals will sell out in seconds, so you need to be waiting on the page at 12:59pm and refreshing the page.

There are 3 Marriott packages that will be available to purchase at 1pm:

1. $100 Marriott eGift Card For $80 (Limit 2)

2. $250 Marriott eGift Card For $200 (Limit 2)

3. $500 Marriott eGift Card For $400 (Limit 2)

-Marriott eGiftCards can be used like cash at over 4,000 participating properties, including any JW Marriott®, EDITIONSM, Autograph Collection®, Renaissance® Hotels, AC by MarriottSM, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard® by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites® by Marriott, SpringHill Suites® by Marriott, Residence Inn® by Marriott, TownePlace Suites® by Marriott, and Marriott Vacation ClubSM (rentals only), worldwide.

-Marriott eGiftCards may also be used at participating Ritz-Carlton® Hotels.

-eGiftCards do not expire.

It’s worth noting that you can even pay a catering bill at Marriott with gift cards.  I once attended a kosher catered wedding that was paid for with (discounted) Marriott gift cards 😀

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IHG Pointbreaks Now Bookable For Stays Through July, Hotel Rooms For Just $35/Night

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

IHG PointBreaks Linky

IHG Booking Linky

-The current list is valid for stays through 07/31
-Hotels can sell out of discounted rooms quickly and only a limited amount of rooms are available per night.

You can book up to 2 reservations per hotel. There’s no limit to how long each of the stays can be.

You can stay in any PointBreaks hotel for 5,000 IHG points.

If you already have 5,000 IHG points in your account then you can buy increments of 10,000 points for $70 as described below.

If you don’t have points yet IHG sells 5,000 points for $67.50. If those points don’t post instantly you can call IHG to get a points loan based on your purchase confirmation number in order to quickly grab a room. Alternatively you can transfer 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG, though transfers are not instant. It’s a terrible use of Ultimate Rewards points (as they’re were more than twice that to brokers or when transferred to other airlines or hotels), but it allows you to start buying points for 0.7 cents each.

You can also get 70K points for signing up for their credit card.  That’s not as strong as bonuses from cards with more valuable point currencies, though it does come with an annual certificate good for a free stay in any IHG hotel. Those are best utilized at Intercontinental hotels where a night can set you back 60K points or $800/night in places like Bora Bora. The card is free for the first year and then $49/year.  If you have a credit card you’ll also get 10% of your points back on award reservations!

After you have 5,000 points in your account there is a “trick” to buy additional points for 0.7 cents each. You can book any cancellable 15,000 point hotel stay using cash and points for $70+5,000 points.

All you need to do is search for reward points stays in any metro area and you should find a hotel for 5,000 points+$70 like the one below. The room is normally 15,000 points but with IHG points and cash option you can buy 10,000 points for $70 when making a reservation. Just select the 5,000 points+$70 option to complete this purchase.

The $70 that you pay is nonrefundable so when you cancel the hotel you will actually get back 15,000 points in your account. Effectively you are buying 10,000 IHG points with this method for $70 or 0.7 cents per points.

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Be sure to click on the rules during the checkout process to make sure that the room is fully refundable (almost all are):

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In other words the cost per each 5,000 point PointBreaks stay is just $35 once you already have 5,000 initial points in your account.

Where can you stay for $35?
The full list is here, but here are a few samples:
-The Crowne Plaza Fairfield, NJ will put you just 30 minutes away from Times Square.
-The Staybridge Suites Canton, OH is just 3 miles from the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. You can use 12K Iberia Avios, 15K AA miles, 15K BA Avios, or 20K United miles to fly round-trip nonstop from LGA or Newark to Akron/Canton or Cleveland.
-The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Philadelphia- Mt Laurel is just 20 minutes from the Liberty Bell.
-The Holiday Inn Eugene, OR is a good base to explore Oregon’s stunning Crate Lake and the Sea Lion Caves.
-The Candlewood Suites San Antonio Downtown is just 10 minutes away from the AT&T Center, where the Spurs will host the Cavs in June 😉
Locations abroad include the:
Crowne Plaza Antwerp, Belgium
-Holiday Inn Paris – Marne la Vallée, France
-Holiday Inn Milan – Assago, Italy
-Holiday Inn Express Luzern, Switzerland
-Crowne Plaza Johannesburg, South Africa

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Hilton Points On Sale For 0.5 Cents Each: Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem From $320/Night, Conrad Maldives From $375/Night

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Update: The Daily Getaways packages sold out quickly yesterday, but from today until 6/3 you can purchase points directly from Hilton for the same .5 cents per point rate that Daily Getaways offered.

You can purchase anywhere from 2K points for $10 to 160K points for $800. If you need more points you can open additional Hilton accounts in your name and then combine the accounts by clicking here.

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Originally posted on 4/20:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Daily Getaways Linky

With Daily Getaways you can purchase discounted travel packages, but you have to be really quick.  At 1pm EDT every weekday from now through 5/6 there is a new offering.

The best deals will sell out in seconds, so you need to be waiting on the page at 12:59pm and refreshing the page.  Be sure to have a Hilton number handy.

There are 3 Hilton packages that will be available to purchase at 1pm:

1. 100,000 points for $500

2. 150,000 points for $750

3. 250,000 points for $1,250

You can buy 1 of each package per Hilton account.  All packages effectively price points at 0.5 cents each. If you have multiple Hilton account numbers you can buy multiple of the same packages as well as long as you pay with another credit card. You can merge the accounts online.

There are some decent values to be had at some Hilton properties.

The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is easily the finest hotel you’ll find in Israel. Rooms range from $450-$650 per night (plus 18% VAT for locals).

If you were to buy 80K points at 0.5 cents each that would make the effective cost per night $400.  If you have a Hilton AMEX you can stay for 4 nights for 260K points (65K points per night) that would make the effective cost per night $325. If you have Hilton elite status (it’s free with any Hilton card) they you can get the 5th award night for free, so 320K points (64K points per night) at the sale price of 0.5 cents each would make the effective cost per night just $320. No tax is owed on award stays.

If you have Hilton Gold status (it’s free with select Hilton cards and with the Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN), you’ll also get free breakfast and room upgrades.

The Conrad Maldives goes for $700-$1,000 per night. It costs 95K points per night ($475/night with this sale), 300K points for 4 nights for Hilton AMEX cardholders ($375/night with this sale), or 380K points for 5 nights for Hilton elites ($380/night with this sale).

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-Until May 4th, The Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express is offering 75K points for spending $1,000 within 3 months.  It offers 7 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 5 points per dollar at supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. The bonus is valid if you haven’t had this particular Hilton AMEX before.

It has no annual fee and offers Silver status for as long as you are a cardmember. That gets you the ability to get the 5th night free on Hilton award stays. If you spend $20K on the card you’ll also get Hilton Gold status.

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-Until May 4th, The Hilton HHonors™ Surpass® Card from American Express is offering 100K points for spending $3,000 within 3 months.  It offers 12 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 6 points per dollar at supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. The bonus is valid if you haven’t had this particular Hilton AMEX before.

It has a $75 annual fee and gives Gold elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder. If you spend $40K/year you’ll get top-tier Diamond status.

—————————————————————————————

The Hilton award chart can be found here.

Rooms range from 5K to 95K points per night depending on which of the 10 categories it falls into. If you have any Hilton credit card you’ll have elite status which also get the 5th award night for free. There are also point and money awards which are a great way to stretch your points, though those awards are capacity controlled.

As long as a standard room is for sale you can use points for the room without capacity controls or blackout dates.

AMEX Hilton cardholders can also book discounted 4 night award stays as follows:
Category 5: 130,000 points
Category 6: 160,000 points
Category 7: 190,000 points
Category 8: 220,000 points
Category 9: 260,000 points
Category 10: 300,000 points

These discounted 4 night awards are called AXON awards and can only be booked over the phone (800-920-5649), but will have the same availability as regular awards.

At the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well!

Gold and Diamond members get free cocktail certificates good for use at any time during their stay, room upgrades, in-room food and drink amenities, late checkout, and other great benefits. Their Friday night Shabbos meals are pricey, but are well worth the expense (DDFers agree with that take as well), and the in-house restaurants are excellent as well.

 

With a breakfast like this, you may not even be hungry for dinner…

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Many, many more pictures when I get around to writing the trip report 😉

 

Will you be a buyer at these rates? What hotel redemption are you gunning for? Sound off in the comments!

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Daily Getaway For 4/21: Discounted Suites At The Venetian And Palazzo

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Daily Getaways Linky

With Daily Getaways you can purchase discounted travel packages, but you have to be really quick.  At 1pm EDT every weekday from now through 5/6 there is a new offering.

The best deals will sell out in seconds, so you need to be waiting on the page at 12:59pm and refreshing the page.

Today’s deals:

-2 consecutive nights in a Piazza View Suite at The Venetian: $495.

-2 consecutive nights in a Siena Suite at The Palazzo: $608.

-Within 10 days of purchase, you will receive a certificate via email to the email address provided at purchase.
-Rates include all taxes and resort fees.
-Must be 21 or older to redeem & stay.
-Travel is valid through 3/31/17
-2016 blackout dates include: May 1-2, May 10-12, May 23-24, May 28, June 7-8, August 7-9, August 13-15, August 26-27, September 3, September 26-27, October 4-5, October 14-15, October 17-18, October 23-25, November 1-2, November 14-16, November 29-30, December 30-31.

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Park Hyatt Aviara Deluxe Suite From $183+Tax Per Night!

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Park Hyatt Aviara Deluxe Suite From $183+Tax Per Night!

The Park Hyatt Aviara is a luxury hotel that is located in Carlsbad, CA, about 30 miles north of San Diego and 100 miles south of Los Angeles.

The Ralphs in La Jolla is 20 mies away and has a full service “kosher experience” with fresh made fried chicken, sushi, burgers, deli, and more.

You can grab a 1,140 sq ft deluxe suite that sleeps up to 5 guests from just $183 per night. Tax adds $22 per night and there is a $33 resort fee. The resort fee covers the golf driving range, tennis courts (including rackets and balls), recreation center, game room, resort pools, beach amenities (including chairs, umbrellas, towels, and toys), a DVD library, and WiFi.

The deluxe suite normally goes for several times that amount and it’s currently pricing out at the same price as a regular room that’s less than half the size of the deluxe suite!

There is a 2 night minimum stay and there are valid dates in April in May, though they are selling out quickly.

Bookings are nonrefundable.

Sample valid dates: May 8-10.

Make sure to book the deluxe suite for $183 and not the regular room!

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HT: EHD

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Round 4: Anbang Outbids Marriott For Control Of Starwood; Are You On #TeamMarriott or #TeamAnbang ?

Monday, March 28th, 2016

In November Marriott agreed to buy Starwood.

Starwood has some of the most loyal members in the industry and cried so much that Marriott came out and said to calm down as they weren’t going to kill that loyalty by devaluing the program.

But they were still going to convert the SPG loyalty program into Marriott, a far less generous elite stay program and points program.

On March 14th China based Anbang proposed a better offer and on March 18th Starwood accepted their deal. That would leave $400MM in Marriott’s pocket if they walked away.

They didn’t and on March 21st Marriott made a better offer. Starwood accepted that offer and agreed to pay Marriott $468MM if the offer fell through.

Today Anbang has once again outbid Marriott. We’ll know soon if Starwood accepts their new offer, but they likely will. Will Marriott take the breakup fee of $468MM and walk away this time?

It’s not often that I root for a Chinese based company to take over a US company, but I’m definitely rooting for that to happen this time. Some on DDF are taking a contrarian opinion. They’re afraid that similar to NYC based Blackstone’s raiding of the Hilton loyalty program that Anbang will devalue SPG.

That’s a possibility of course, though chains like Hilton, IHG, and Marriott have traditionally been far less generous than Starwood and Hyatt as they have a significantly larger hotel footprint. People need to stay in their hotels anyway, so there’s less reason to incentivize loyalty. SPG and Hyatt have fewer hotels and provide greater elite benefits to go out of the way to stay at their hotels. They have valuable point currencies and some of the most loyal customers in the industry. Would Anbang risk their massive investment in SPGs loyalty program by angering those loyal to it?

I’m betting they won’t, but even if there’s a 33% chance that they would, I believe that it’s lower than the chances that Marriott will devalue Starpoints when they get swallowed into the Marriott universe.

Additionally with the Anbang offer we would continue to have both the Starwood AMEX and the Chase Marriott cards. One of those cards will likely be axed in the case of a merger and both cards have unprecedented limited time offers as they try to build their book of business before a potential merger.

And as the airlines have shown, more consolidations just makes things worse for the consumer. Their loyalty programs could never have become as stingy and devalued as they are today without the massive consolidation that has happened in that industry.

I’m sitting on several million Starpoints, so I’m personally invested in the outcome of this battle. The great thing about Starwood is that it has built-in devaluation protection. If the points for hotel use isn’t worthwhile, there are dozens of airlines to transfer points to at favorable ratios. I’d rather keep them as flexible points, but I won’t hesitate to jump ship and convert them into miles if anything seems amiss.

What are your thoughts? Are you on #TeamMarriott or #TeamAnbang ?

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Starwood Agrees To Be Sold To The Chinese, Marriott Has 5 Days To Respond

Monday, March 21st, 2016

 

Update: Marriott has outbid Anbang for control of Starwood once again. Additionally Starwood has agreed to pay Marriott $468MM as a breakup fee if they accept a bid from another company in this ongoing bidding war.

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Originally posted on 3/18:

In a fantastic development for mileage junkies, Starwood has reversed course and has agreed to be sold to China’s Anbang consortium.

Marriott runs a far less generous loyalty program than Starwood and while they have promised to elevate their combined program to Starwood’s standards, there’s obviously reason for concern.

The Starwood AMEX and Chase Marriott cards are both running unprecedented signup bonuses as they look to expand their book of business before the merger, when one of the cards would likely go away. Frankly I’m surprised that AMEX didn’t make their own play to buy out Starwood just to stop the bleeding after losing Costco and JetBlue last year.

Of course this is all a play to get Marriott to cough up more cash for SPG. I’m rooting that they’ll take the $400MM breakup fee payment and walk away, though that’s probably unlikely at this point in the bidding war.

HT: damaxer91

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Marriott To Buy Starwood

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Update 2: I’m still traveling for another few days and haven’t slept in more than that thanks to polar bear and Aurora Borealis hunting, but I’d be remiss not to mention that there is a competing offer from a Chinese consortium now on the table for Starwood. Might this save Starwood as we know it from being swallowed up by Marriott?

Time will tell.

Now, do the Chinese also want to save Fairmont while they’re at it?

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Update 1: In somewhat promising news, Marriott claims they will preserve the best aspects of both programs and that a big factor to buy Starwood was for their loyalty program. Then again, Continental and United said before they would keep the best of both airlines and that we would like the changes that were coming, before devastating loyal members of both programs.

File this in the “time will tell” category. Mergers rarely work out well for consumers, so I’m not holding my breath. But I am hoping.

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Originally posted on 11/16/15:

In potentially devastating news for point junkies, Marriott has agreed to buy Starwood for $12.2 billion.

Apparently they beat out potential offers from suitors like Hyatt, IHG, and the Chinese government.

Pending government approval, the deal will close mid-2016.

With Marriott being the acquirer and the far larger program, it seems very likely that Marriott Rewards will be the surviving loyalty program

Starwood points are between 2-3 times as valuable as Marriott points and also transfer into airline miles at far higher ratios.

Starwood top-tier elite status is far more valuable than Marriott elite status and is much easier to attain.

I suppose that it’s possible that Marriott keeps the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program as a separate entity from Marriott Rewards, but it seems unlikely. The benefits of that would be not decimating the value in the SPG program and possibly being able to keep revenue streams from both AMEX and Chase. I’d be overjoyed, but I wouldn’t bet on that happening.

The likely route is that Marriott swallows Starwood and stops offering the Starwood AMEX. So this may be terrible news for AMEX as well. I’m almost surprised AMEX doesn’t jump into the fray and make an offer for Starwood just not to lose the huge co-brand Starwood business 😀

If Marriott announces plans to forcibly convert Starpoints into Marriott points at an equal ratio, that’s the day I cash in my chips and transfer out several million Starpoints into airline miles. There’s no way I’ll just sit back and be devalued while hoping there will be new value added to the Marriott program unless they explicitly say there will be.

Overall I see this as very ominous news. The only silver lining is that at least both Hyatt and Starwood’s programs won’t be destroyed like what was possible in a worst-case scenario when they were rumored to be merging.

HT: chuchem, via DDF

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Starwood Increases Point Purchase Limits+25% Off Starpoint Purchases; Save Up To 60% Off The Cost Of Starwood Hotels In Miami Beach By Purchasing Starpoints!

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Related: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!
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Starwood used to only allow a member to purchase 20K Starpoints per year. You can now purchase up to 30K Starpoints per year and you can receive 30K Starpoints per year as a gift purchase from another member.

Of course you can also buy more points for anyone living at your address and then transfer those points so that they’re all in the same account.

Starwood is offering 25% off purchases and gifts of 20K-30K Starpoints through 4/30.

20K Starpoints is on sale for $525 instead of $700.

30K Starpoints is on sale for $787.50 instead of $1,050.

In other words you would be buying Starpoints at a cost of 2.625 cents per Starpoint.

There’s no reason to buy them speculatively at those rates. But it can make sense if you have a specific redemption in mind.

 

Say you want to stay at the category 7 S. Regis Bal Harbour from March 16-18. It’s just a few minute walk to The Shul and tons of kosher eateries in Surfside.

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-The prepaid non-refundable SPG member exclusive rate comes out to $2,305.87 after tax or $1,152.94 per night.

-The refundable preferred rate comes out to $2,506.38 after tax or $1,253.19 per night.

-The refundable Starpoint rate is 60K for 2 nights. If you buy 60K Starpoints at 2.625 cents each that means you’ll have paid $1,575 or $787.50 per night.

-If you stay 5 nights the cost per night drops to 24K. If you buy 120K Starpoints for $3,150 that means you’ll have paid $630 per night.

-The refundable SPG Cash & Points rate is 30K plus $610.50 after tax or 15K plus $305.25 per night. If you buy 30K Starpoints at 2.625 cents each that means you’ll have paid $787.50 for the points plus $610.50 in cash+tax for a total of $1,398 for 2 nights or $699 per night.

-Starpoints can be an even better deal for upgraded rooms. At the S. Regis Bal Harbour you can redeem 31.5K points (or 15,750 points+$290) for a Grand luxe oceanfront roo. You can use 32.5K points (or 16,250 points+$315) for a Grand luxe oceanfront junior suite or Astor oceanfront junior suite. An Astor oceanfront junior suite goes for $1,561 after tax, so using 32.5K Starpoints is a great deal!

 

Too rich for your blood? Let’s take a look at the category 4, Four Points by Sheraton Miami Beach from March 18-20 for Shabbos. It’s a short walk from there to the kosher restaurants on 41st Street.

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-The prepaid non-refundable SPG member exclusive rate comes out to $950.87 after tax or $475.34 per night.

-The refundable preferred rate comes out to $1,023.72 after tax or $511.86 per night.

-The refundable Starpoint rate is 20K for 2 nights. If you buy 20K Starpoints at 2.625 cents each that means you’ll have paid $525 or $262.50 per night.

-If you stay 5 nights the cost per night drops to 8K. If you buy 40K Starpoints for $1,050 that means you’ll have paid $210 per night.

-You can also redeem 11.5K points for a Junior suite or 20K points for an executive suite.

 

These same principles apply at Starwood hotels across the globe.

Will you buy Starpoints at this rate and where will you use them? Hit the comments!

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Last Chance To Book IHG Hotels Before 2016 Category Changes

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

IHG’s 2016 category changes go into effect tomorrow.

Currently hotels range from just 5,000 points to 50,000 points per night.

Effective tomorrow new 55K and 60K categories are being added, but you can still lock in lower rates now.

You can buy points from IHG here, but once you have 5,000 points in your account you can buy points via the method described in this post for $35 per 5K points.

Sample hotels getting less expensive (Wait until tomorrow to book these):
-Holiday Inn Manaus, Brazil: Was 15K, now 10K
-Holiday Inn Express Madrid, Spain: Was 15K, now 10K
-Holiday Inn Johannesburg Airport, South Africa: Was 20K, now 15K
-Crowne Plaza Dead Sea, Israel: Was 30K, now 25K
-Crowne Plaza Eilat, Israel: Was 30K, now 25K
-Hotel Indigo Tel Aviv, Israel: Was 30K, now 25K
-Crowne Plaza Kathmandu, Nepal: Was 30K, now 25K
-Crowne Plaza Panama Airport: Was 30K, now 25K
-InterContinental Sao Paulo, Brazil: Was 40K, now 35K

Sample hotels getting more expensive (Book these tonight):
-InterContinental Melbourne, Australia: Was 50K, now 55K
-InterContinental Sydney, Australia: Was 50K, now 55K
-InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa: Was 50K, now 60K
-InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora: Was 50K, now 60K
-InterContinental Cannes, France: Was 50K, now 60K
-InterContinental Hong Kong: Was 50K, now 60K
-InterContinental Rome, Italy: Was 50K, now 55K
-Holiday Inn Resort Maldives, Was 35K, now 40K
-InterContinental Porto, Portugal: Was 30K, now 35K
-Holiday Inn Singapore: Was 35K, now 40K
-InterContinental Geneva, Switzerland: Was 35K, now 45K
-Crowne Plaza London-Kensington, UK: Was 45K, now 50K
-Crowne Plaza London-City, UK: Was 45K, now 50K

-Holiday Inn Express and Suites Hollywood Walk Of Fame, Los Angeles, CA: Was 35K, now 40K
-Crowne Plaza South Beach Z Ocean Hotel, Miami, FL: Was 45K, now 50K
-Holiday Inn Express and Suites Kona, Big Island, HI: Was 20K, now 30K
-InterContinental Boston, MA: Was 50K, now 55K
-The Venetian Las Vegas, NV: Was 50K, now 60K
-The Palazzo Las Vegas, NV: Was 50K, now 60K
-Hotel Indigo Brooklyn, NY: Was 35K, now 40K
-Holiday Inn Express LaGuardia, NY: Was 30K, now 40K
-Candlewood Suites New York City-Times Square, NY: Was 35K, now 40K
-InterContinental New York Times Square: Was 50K, now 60K
-Holiday Inn New York JFK: Was 20K, now 25K
-Holiday Inn Resort Klamath Falls, OR: Was 10K, now 15K

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Get An 80% Point Bonus When Purchasing Hilton Points

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Get An 80% Point Bonus When Purchasing Hilton Points through 02/08.
144,000 points would cost $800 (0.55 cents per point).

Hilton normally sells points for 1 cent each, which drops to .55 cents with this promotion.

If you need more points you can open another Hilton accounts in your name and then merge the accounts via this link.

As far as the potential value, take the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, probably the nicest hotel in the entire country. Rates can run $500 or more night (plus 18% VAT for locals). However it’s just 64K points per night with a 5 night stay for Hilton elites or 80K points per night without a 5 night stay.
When buying points for 0.55 cents each that’s $352 per night on a 5 night stay or $440 per night without a 5 night stay.

Hilton cardholders get Hilton Silver status and Hilton Reserve cardholders get Hilton Gold status (or top-tier Diamond status if they spend $40K/year on their credit card). Plus Hilton Reserve cardholders get 2 free nights as the signup bonus as well.

AMEX Platinum cardholders also get Hilton Gold status.

We had the pleasure of staying at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem last year where we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well!

 

With a breakfast like this you may not even be hungry for dinner…

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Many, many more pictures when I get around to writing the trip report 😉

Are you a buyer of Hilton points at this rate?

HT: D93, via DDF

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IHG Pointbreaks Now Bookable For Stays Through April, Hotel Rooms For Just $35/Night

Monday, January 25th, 2016

IHG Booking Linky

IHG PointBreaks Linky

-The current list is valid for stays through 04/30
-Hotels can sell out of discounted rooms quickly and only a limited amount of rooms are available per night.

You can book up to 2 reservations per hotel. There’s no limit to how long each of the stays can be.

You can stay in any PointBreaks hotel for 5,000 IHG points.

If you have time on your hands, you can manufacture lots of IHG points via this method through 02/22.

If you already have 5,000 IHG points in your account then you can buy increments of 10,000 points for $70 as described below.

If you don’t have points yet IHG sells 5,000 points for $67.50 (though it can be much less than that, so select an amount and then login via this link to check for targeted discounted point promotions).. If those points don’t post instantly you can call IHG to get a points loan based on your purchase confirmation number in order to quickly grab a room. Alternatively you can transfer 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG, though transfers are not instant. It’s a terrible use of Ultimate Rewards points (as they’re were more than twice that to brokers or when transferred to other airlines or hotels), but it allows you to start buying points for 0.7 cents each.

You can also get 60K points for signing up for their credit card.  Many DDF members have been able to send a secure message and get their 60K offers matched to an 80K+$50 cash back offer  That’s not as strong as bonuses from cards with more valuable point currencies, though it does come with an annual certificate good for a free stay in any IHG hotel. Those are best utilized at Intercontinental hotels where a night can set you back 50K points or $800/night in places like Bora Bora. The card is free for the first year and then $49/year.  If you have a credit card you’ll also get 10% of your points back on award reservations!

After you have 5,000 points in your account there is a “trick” to buy additional points for 0.7 cents each. You can book any cancellable 15,000 point hotel stay using cash and points for $70+5,000 points.

All you need to do is search for reward points stays in any metro area and you should find a hotel for 5,000 points+$70 like the one below. The room is normally 15,000 points but with IHG points and cash option you can buy 10,000 points for $70 when making a reservation. Just select the 5,000 points+$70 option to complete this purchase.

The $70 that you pay is nonrefundable so when you cancel the hotel you will actually get back 15,000 points in your account. Effectively you are buying 10,000 IHG points with this method for $70 or 0.7 cents per points.

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Be sure to click on the rules during the checkout process to make sure that the room is fully refundable (almost all are):

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In other words the cost per each 5,000 point PointBreaks stay is just $35 once you already have 5,000 initial points in your account.

Sample hotels for 5,000 points ($35) per night through 04/30:
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Colorado Springs, CO
-Crowne Plaza Stamford, CT
-Hotel Indigo Atlanta Airport, GA
-Crowne Plaza Chicago-Northbrook, IL
-Candlewood Suites West Springfield, MA
-Holiday Inn, Staten Island, NY
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Portland-Jantzen Beach, OR
-Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston IAH Airport, TX

-Holiday Inn Townsville, Australia
-Holiday Inn Express Sao Paulo, Brazil
-Holiday Inn Naples, Italy
-Crowne Plaza Vilnius, Lithuania
-Holiday Inn Panama Canal, Panama
-Holiday Inn Moscow-Vinogradovo, Russia
-Holiday Inn Johannesburg-Rosebank, South Africa
-Holiday Inn London LTN Airport, UK

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