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SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards

Sunday, February 19th, 2017, 12:16 pm

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Consumer 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Business 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Read more about these limited time card offers offering 40% more points than normal in this post.

By signing up for both cards and meeting the spend thresholds you can earn at least 83K Starpoints that can be used for hotel stays, experiences, or transferred into over 100,000 airline miles.

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View all of the redemption possibilities after the jump:

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SPG-Uber Partnership Earnings Devalued; Which Card To Use For Uber.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, 10:57 am

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-If you’re new to Uber you can signup via this referral link.
-$25 Off An UberBlack Ride In NYC!


In 2015 Uber started awarding Starpoints for Uber rides.

After staying in a Starwood hotel you could enroll here and earn 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Uber all year long and up to 4 Starpoints per dollar spent on Uber while you stay at a Starwood hotel.

The best part is that the program even pays out on free rides. A $65 ride from the airport still earned Starpoints despite the ride being free.

Effective 2/1/17 that will go down to 1 Starpoint per $2 spent on Uber all year long and 2 Starpoints per dollar spent on Uber while you stay at a Starwood hotel. For February only though they will offer 5 Starpoints per dollar spent on Uber while you stay at a Starwood hotel.

Of course these points are on top of points earned from credit card spending.

Which card should you use?

-The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card offers 1.5% cash back everywhere and offers $15 in Uber credit for every 9 rides that you take through 3/31/17

-Cards offering 2 points per dollar spent on Uber include Chase Sapphire PreferredPremier Rewards Gold Card from American ExpressPlatinum Card® from American ExpressThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, and the The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

-The Amex EveryDay Credit Card earns 2.2 points per dollar spent on Uber if you make 20 transactions/month.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN normally offers 2.3 points per dollar spent on Uber, but if you signup with the current limited time signup offer you will earn 3.3 points per dollar spent.

-The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card earns 2.5 points per dollar spent on Uber if you make 30 transactions/month.

-The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3 points per dollar spent and Uber qualifies for automatic travel refunds.

-The Chase Freedom card offers 5 points per dollar this quarter.

HT: eliteflyer, via DDF

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, 10:54 am

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.

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-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

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

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016, 1:09 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

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

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016, 12:19 pm

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…

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!

Sunday, April 17th, 2016, 1:46 pm

Bear with me as I’m still catching on the news from last week while I was flying with my son on an incredible trip on the upper deck of a 747.
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Last week Starwood added its 35th airline transfer partner, Virgin America. Ironically both Starwood and Virgin America will cease to exist in a couple years from now having been snapped up by Marriott and Alaska, but there is value still to be had in the meantime.
It’s also great to see SPG still adding partners to its portfolio. Last December it added Aegean, which is excellent for awards to Israel.

Now it’s adding Virgin America as a partner at the standard 20K Starpoints=25K Virgin America points ratio. Click here to transfer Starpoints into airline miles.

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.

Virgin America has hybrid award redemption system. You can redeem for flights on Virgin America based on the cost of the flight.

Here’s a look at what your points will be worth for various one-way Virgin flights (Prices were researched on 4/16 and will fluctuate). Note that Starpoint rates listed below are assuming that you maximize the 25% point bonus for transferring Starpoints in blocks of 20,000 points (which you may or may not be able to do depending on the number of passengers, so you may have leftover miles):
1. Los Angeles-Las Vegas on 5/11 is $43.10 or 1,417 Virgin points (about 1,134 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.65 cents per Virgin point (43.10-5.60/1,417) and 3.31 cents per Starpoint.
2. LGA to Dallas on 5/11 is $78.10 or 3,126 Virgin points (about 2,500 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.32 cents per Virgin point and 2.9 cents per Starpoint.
3. JFK to Maui on 5/11 is $244.50 or 10,762 Virgin points (about 8,610 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.22 cents per Virgin point and 2.78 cents per Starpoint.
4. JFK to Los Angeles on 5/11 is $138.10 or 6,056 Virgin points (about 4,844 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.19 cents per Virgin point and 2.74 cents per Starpoint.
5. Los Angeles-Orlando on 5/11 is $93.10 or 3,859 Virgin points (about 3,087 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.27 cents per Virgin point and 2.84 cents per Starpoint.

The exact point requirements will vary based on the price of the Virgin flights, but those are some pretty sweet values!

You can also redeem points on partner airlines.
Those include Hawaiian, Singapore, and Virgin Australia with low or no fuel surcharges and Emirates or Virgin Atlantic with high fuel surcharges.

For example:
-A roundtrip from JFK nonstop to Frankfurt on Singapore is just 20K Virgin miles (about 16K SPG) in coach.
-A roundtrip from JFK nonstop to Honolulu on Hawaiian is 35K Virgin miles (about 28K SPG) in coach or 80K Virgin miles (about 64K SPG) in business.
-A roundtrip from JFK nonstop to London on Virgin Atlantic is 15K Virgin miles+$475 (about 12K SPG) in coach, 25K Virgin miles+$790 (20K SPG) in premium economy, or 35K Virgin miles+$1,150 (about 28K SPG) in upper class, Virgin’s version of business class with an on-board bar with access to their highly-rated clubhouse lounges.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles nonstop to London on Virgin Atlantic is 25K Virgin miles+$475 (20K SPG) in coach, 30K Virgin miles+$790 (about 24K SPG) in premium economy, or 50K Virgin miles+$1,150 (40K SPG) in upper class.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles or San Francisco nonstop to any of the Hawaiian islands on Hawaiian is 20K Virgin miles (about 16K SPG) in coach or 50K Virgin miles (40K SPG) in business.
-A roundtrip from San Francisco to Hong Kong or Seoul on Singapore is just 40K Virgin miles (about 32K SPG) in coach.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles to Tokyo on Singapore is just 40K Virgin miles (about 32K SPG) in coach.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles to Sydney on Virgin Australia is just 40K Virgin miles (about 32K SPG) in coach, 60K Virgin miles (about 48K SPG) in premium economy, or 80K Virgin miles (about 64K SPG) in business class.

Starwood To Offer Free In-Room Internet To All SPG Members; A Roundup Of Current Starwood Elite Status Benefits And How To Earn Status

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014, 10:52 am

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Effective 02/02/15 all SPG members will receive free WiFi in their Starwood hotel rooms.

Non-elite members will get standard level internet access for free, while SPG Gold and Platinum members will get premium level internet access for free.  Delta and Emirates elites will also get premium level internet access for free via Crossover rewards.

Only stays booked via SPG.com will qualify for free internet access.

Currently Fairmont and IHG give all members free in-room internet access and Marriott will as well as of 01/15/15.

So what are the benefits of each Starwood elite status level?

1. Starwood Preferred (base) members get free standard internet. Anyone can signup free on SPG.com

2. Starwood Preferred Plus status is an unpublished elite status level that is given for free to anyone with a Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. It’s also offered to AAA and AARP members.

Preferred Plus members get 4pm confirmed late checkout and room upgrades when available.

3. Starwood Gold status is given for free if you have Platinum Card® from American Express or if you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on the Starwood AMEX or if you spend 25 paid or award nights or have 10 stays in Starwood hotels in a calendar year. You can get lifetime gold status by accumulating 5 years of Starwood elite status and 250 nights in Starwood hotels.  Some people have been able to get free Gold status for a year by calling up and telling a rep that they want to start staying in more Starwood hotels, but YMMV on that one.

Gold members get free premium level internet access, a 250 Starpoint amenity on paid and award stays, 4pm confirmed late checkout, and room upgrades when available. They also get 3 Starpoints per dollar spent on paid stays and 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Delta flights.

4. Starwood Platinum requires 50 paid or award nights or 25 stays in Starwood hotels in a calendar year. Having the Starwood credit card gives you 5 nights and 2 stays towards meeting that and having 2 Starwood credit cards gives you 10 nights and 4 stays towards meeting that. You can get lifetime Platinum status by accumulating 10 years of Starwood Platinum elite status and 500 nights in Starwood hotels.

Platinum members get free premium level internet access, a 500 Starpoint amenity on paid and award stays, 4pm confirmed late checkout, and suite upgrades when available. They also get 3 Starpoints per dollar spent on paid stays, 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Delta flights, and Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades, and first checked bag free when flying Delta.

Platinums who stay 50 nights also get 10 confirmed suite upgrade awards. Platinums who stay 75 nights get 4 Starpoints per dollar spent on paid stays and the ability to stay for a full 24 hours in a hotel room regardless of when they checkin.

HT: chucksterace, via DDF

Update Your SPG.com Stay Preferences And Get 500 Free Starpoints

Sunday, November 30th, 2014, 2:02 pm

Update: Today is the final day to register for this promotion!  Once registered you’ll have until 12/15 to update your stay preferences.

I updated my preferences on 11/10 and the points posted for my birthday on 11/26.

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Originally posted on 11/10:

Register for Starwood’s latest promotion (double or triple points on paid stays) here and you’ll also be registered for 500 free Starpoints just for updating your stay preferences.

After registering, just click here to update any of your stay preferences.

Starwood points officially expire after 12 months of inactivity, though it’s actually only enforced after 18 months. So 500 points will extend the validity of your account for 18 months.  Though Starwood is one of the best about reactivating expired points when you ask nicely (British Airways is surprisingly nice as well).

HT: Marco Polo, via DDF

Trip Notes Hodgepodge: United Upgrade Quirks, Infant Travel Drama, Farewell CLE D, Wrigley SPG Suite, And Chicago BBQ Competition

Sunday, June 8th, 2014, 6:38 pm

-Find dozens of trip notes like this one by clicking on the “Trip Notes” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.

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I flew to Kansas City once and to Chicago twice in the past 3 weeks, here are some of my trip notes:

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More after the jump:

Click here to keep reading this post!

SPG Spin To Win Game

Friday, September 13th, 2013, 10:25 am

SPG Spin To Win Game

This has been around for a couple weeks but I never got around to posting it.

You can play daily through 10/10.

I’ve played many times and have yet to win a thing but DDF members have reported winning 500 Starpoints, 1,000 Starpoints, 5,000 Starpoints, and even a free night at any (excluding category 7) Starwood hotel. One DDF member notes that he has successfully employed the multiple browser method to get even more daily spins but that’s more effort than it’s worth considering my luck so far.

By playing you’ll also be entered to win 250K Starpoints (which can transferred into 312.5K airline miles) though that will come with a tax bill of course as it’s worth more than $600.

Post a comment if you get anything!

HT: Feivish, via DDF

Starwood Advertises Just How Bad A Deal SPG Flights Is

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012, 9:42 pm

Back in 2008 Starwood made a big deal about the introduction of SPG Flights.  I panned it as a poor value.

Apparently not everyone got the memo though.  SPG is bragging how someone spent a whopping 870,000 Starwood points to fly from Los Angeles to Rome in business class.

With that many Starpoints he could have transferred them into nearly 1.1 million airline miles on dozens of different airlines.  A business class ticket to Europe using Flying Blue starts at 50,000 miles, using USAirways miles starts at 60,000 miles, or using AAdvantage miles is 100,000 miles.  A first class ticket to Europe using AAdvantage miles is 125,000 miles.  Or a round-the-world first class award on American or any OneWorld partners that allows for 16 flights runs between 180K-330K miles. Heck you can fly to Dubai in an A380 suite on Emirates with your own shower onboard for 217,500 miles, so he could have booked 5 such tickets with 870K Starpoints.

Or you can get even better deals at Starwood hotels.  It’s very easy to get a value of 2.5 cents per Starpoint with hotel redemptions, in fact you can even get a value of 10 times that.

Instead someone burned it all on 2 business class tickets.  What a shame.

HT: Chaikel, via DDF

SPG Hot Shows: Use Your Starpoints For Premium Seats To Hot Concerts!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009, 12:00 am

Update: Round 2 starts at 11am eastern today (07/08)! You must be a Starwood AMEX cardholder or a Starwood Platinum member to book tickets!

Originally posted on 06/29:

Related: Starwood AMEX Linky

www.spg.com/hotshows

Offer Details Linky

Redeem 5,000 or 10,000 Starpoints for a pair of premium concert seats.

The sale starts at noon 11am eastern.

Why do I get the feeling that ebay is going to see a whole bunch of new concert listings later today?

SPG You Choose Promo!

Thursday, September 18th, 2008, 1:14 am

Starwood Consumer AMEX

Starwood Business AMEX

www.spg.com/youchoose

-Starwood’s Q4 promo is now up and there are a lot of options to choose from,but you can only pick one!
-Registration is required by 11/15. Valid for stays in any Starwood hotel between 10/01/08-12/31/08
-Important: All rewards are retroactive except the double stays toward elite status. So you can wait until 11/15 to decide which reward suits you best before registering and being locked to your decision as long as you dont want to go for the elite status reward.

Available rewards:
-Double stay credits towards Starwood Elite status. (No limit)
-Double Starpoints on all stays. (No limit)
-Every 2 stays=2,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 10,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 2 stays=$25 Amazon GC. (Limit $125 in free Amazon GC’s)
-Every 4 nights=2,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 10,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 4 nights=$25 Amazon GC. (Limit $125 in free Amazon GC’s)
-Every 4 stays=free weekend night. (Limit 2 free weekend nights at up to a Category 5 hotel)
-Every 6 stays=9,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 36,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 8 nights=free weekend night. (Limit 2 free weekend nights at up to a Category 5 hotel)
-Every 10 stays=25,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 100,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 12 nights=9,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 36,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 20 nights=25,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 100,000 bonus Starpoints)

Curious to see what other people are picking? Just click on the question mark by each reward to find out what percentage of people picked that promo!

Get 250 Starpoints For Telling Starwood What You Think Of SPG Flights!

Thursday, September 4th, 2008, 12:37 am

Survey Linky

SPG Flights: Yawwwwn…

Thursday, September 4th, 2008, 12:23 am

www.spgflights.com

So the big news this week is that Starwood has added a 7th primary method of using Starpoints: SPG flights.

The problem is that Starpoints are already so valuable due to the other 6 methods that SPG flights is simply unattractive.

The premise of SPG flights is that you can search for any flight directly from spgflights.com and book it with Starpoints. Starwood then pays the airline for the flight and therefore you will earn miles for the flight.

Sample award prices:

Ticket Price Starpoints
up to $150 10,000
$150-$215 15,000
$215-$280 20,000
$280-$345 25,000
$345-$410 30,000
$410-$475 35,000
$475-$540 40,000
$540-$605 45,000
$605-$670 50,000
$670-$735 55,000
$735-$800 60,000
$800-$865 65,000
$865-$930 70,000
$930-$995 75,000
$995-$1060 80,000
Higher prices (examples)
$2,880-$3,140 235,000
$4,960-$5,220 395,000
$9,900-$10,160 775,000



Fatal flaw? SPG flights values starpoints between 1.2-1.5 cents.
Using the other primary Starpoint redemption methods (Unrestricted Hotel Stays, Restricted Cash And Points Hotel Stays, Hotel Room Upgrades, Nights and Flights, 5th Night Free, and of course transferring Starpoints into miles on dozens of airlines with a with an unbeatable 25%-250% bonus) you should be able to do far better than that.

Launching Friday: A Revamped SPG.com!

Thursday, July 19th, 2007, 1:37 am

Starwood is revamping their website, and if all goes well it will go live on Friday!

I have confirmed that the new website will integrate the new Cash & Points option!

2 Days Left Until Southwest’s Companion Pass Becomes Much Harder To Obtain, Here’s How You Can Take Advantage Before It’s Too Late!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017, 12:25 pm

Update: There are just 2 days left to transfer hotel points to Southwest in order for them to help you earn a Companion Pass valid through 12/31/18!

Originally posted on 2/22:

On 1/1/17 Southwest stealthily changed their program rules without advance warning, removing hotel point transfers as a method to earn Southwest Companion Pass.

After an apparently controversial campaign to write to Southwest, file DoT complaints, and raise awareness of the change on social media, Southwest agreed to give a 3 month grace period to transfer hotel points and have them qualify to earn Companion Pass status. Southwest has posted about their change of heart here.

You can read Southwest’s response to people who filed DoT complaints here.

If you earn 110K Southwest points by 12/31/17 you’ll earn Southwest Companion Pass status that will be valid until 12/31/18. 

With a Southwest Companion Pass you’ll get to bring a companion with you for free on all Southwest paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and Southwest tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest. There is no limit to how many times you can use the companion pass.

Southwest still offers 2 free checked bags. Plus you can cancel revenue tickets with no charge and use the funds for a future flight. Point reservations can be cancelled for free with the points redeposited back to your account!

Until 3/31/17 Southwest will count hotel point transfers towards companion pass status. After that date they will no longer count.


It’s worth noting that points earned from Southwest credit cards will continue to count towards companion pass status, even after 3/31.

You can currently earn 50K points from both the Southwest Consumer Plus and Southwest Consumer Premier cards. You can also earn 60K points from the Southwest Business Premier card. However all are those cards fall under Chase’s 5/24 guidelines which makes them hard to get if you have been approved for 5 consumer cards within the past 24 months.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

After clicking on the Southwest Consumer Plus 50K card offer you can scroll down to find the offers for Southwest Consumer and Business Premier cards as well.


Hotel transfers made by 3/31 will combine with points earned from Southwest credit cards and paid flights to earn companion pass status by earning 110K points by 12/31/17.

In other words if you earn 60K points from hotel transfers by 3/31 and earn 50K points from opening a credit card in April you will still earn Companion Pass status.

Notes about transfers:
-Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards don’t count towards Companion Pass.
-You can’t transfer Starwood points directly to Southwest, but you can transfer Starwood points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio and then transfer Marriott points to Southwest.
-You can transfer 50K Chase points to 50K Hyatt and 50K Hyatt points into 30K Southwest points and those points will count for Companion Pass status.
-You can transfer Chase points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
-You can transfer points to another Marriott member to complete an award.
-You can transfer points to another Starwood member living at your address.

If you use the regular Marriott Rewards transfer chart you would need 310K Marriott Rewards points to transfer 110K Southwest points.

However you can get a much better deal with Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would give you 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

A transfer of 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott Rewards points will make that happen.

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

-It will take 2-3 days for the points to reach Southwest and your Southwest account will be updated to Companion Pass status within a few days of the transfer.
-The 7 night electronic 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.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get a higher hotel category certificate.
-The 120K Southwest points transfer is the best value, but you can save points with a lower package if you don’t need 110K points for the Companion Pass.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.
-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.

You can view hotels by category and tier via the “find” button on this page.

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-120K Southwest points will net between $1,800-$2,400 of free flights. Thanks to the companion pass you can bring someone along for free, which will mean you can use those points for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights. Plus of course you’ll get a 7 night category 1-5 hotel stay. Not a bad deal for 90K Starpoints!

-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

-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 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

There is also a 5 night hotel+points option that can save you some Marriott points, but officially that’s only available for Marriott timeshare owners. 5 nights and 120K Southwest points would cost 235K Marriott points. That’s 35K fewer Marriott points than are required for the 7 night package. On rare occasions some reps will book the 5 night packages for non-timeshare owners.


Still short on points?

You can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year here with a current 30% discount. Points cost 3.5 cents each. You may be able to buy points for less than that on the grey market.

For example 20K Starpoints are on sale for $490 instead of $700 or 30K Starpoints are on sale for $735 instead of $1,050. That’s a cost of 2.45 cents per Starpoints instead of the regular 3.5 cents per Starpoint.

Of course you also earn miles for the purchase, which makes the real cost even less.

If you have a Starwood AMEX and buy 30K Starpoints for $735 you will earn 1,470 Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll pay $735 for 31,470 Starpoints, or 2.33 cents per Starpoint.

If you already have most of the Starpoints and will utilize the companion pass then buying some points is a no-brainer.

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with a Starwood account of someone else from your household. You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

Even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 86,000 Starpoints using 3 accounts for $2,107. With the Starwood AMEX you’ll also earn 4,214 Starpoints for the purchase, leaving you with 90,214 Starpoints.

Of course you won’t need to spend that much if you already have some Starpoints or Marriott points.

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award and that will make your 120K Southwest points good for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights when you bring along a free companion.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-Until 4/5 only, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-Until 4/5 only, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-If you have the Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN you can call to have your Starwood account upgraded to Gold status which will then be matched to Marriott Gold as well!

-The Chase Marriott card offers 107,500 Rewards points (also transferable to 35,833 Starpoints) for spending $5,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.


Will you try to obtain Companion Pass status before the hotel point transfer opportunity ends?

Chase Marriott Visa Highest Bonus Ever: Earn 107,500 Rewards Points!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017, 10:13 am

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. 

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

For a limited time, Chase is offering 100,000 bonus rewards points for signing up for a Chase Marriott card and spending $5,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll get 7,500 bonus rewards points for adding a free additional user card, making for a 107,500 point signup bonus.

You’ll also get a free Marriott category 1-5 every year upon your account anniversary.

There is an $85 annual fee.

Chase’s 5/24 guidelines apply to this card. You can get this bonus if you haven’t received a bonus on this card in the past 24 months.

3 Marriott points transfer into 1 Starpoint, so if you want you can convert the 112,500 points you’ll have for signing up for the card and spending $5,000 into 37,500 Starwood Starpoints.

This card offers 5 points per dollar at Marriott and SPG hotels, 2 points per dollar on airfare, car rentals, and restaurant, and 1 point per dollar elsewhere.

Note that aside from the signup bonus, you’ll be better off spending on the Starwood AMEX card as 1 Starpoint can be converted into 3 Marriott points. The Starwood AMEX offers 2 Starpoints per dollar at Marriott and SPG hotels, which can be converted into 6 Marriott points. Other purchases can be converted into 3 Marriott points per dollar.

#HelloBeautiful #GoodMorning from #Paradise #StRegisMaldives #Mavic #Drone

A post shared by @dansdeals on

To read about using these points and converting between Marriott points and Starpoints and more, please see these posts:

-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!

-SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards

-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered

The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition

Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!

Yoshop March Sale: Up To 50% Off

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 10:00 pm

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

Yoshop has new products on sale. Shipping is free.
-Fidget Toy Triangle Hand Spinner Finger Gyro: $1.99 code: DSYSCBGS
-JACKLY 45 in 1 Screwdriver Professional Repair Tool Kit: $5.99 code: DSYS6089
-CURREN Men Quartz Water Resistance Watch: $6 code: DSYS8023
-Teclast Sleeping Monitor Smart Wristband: $7 code: DSYSH10
-Convoy Waterproof LED Flashlight Torch Light: $10.99 code: DSYSCYS3
-Teclast Sleeping Heart Rate Monitor Smart Wristband: $13 code: DSYSTH30
-Lenovo Heart Rate Monitor Smart Wristband: $19 code: DSYSLNSW
-Sricam 720P Wireless Security IP Camera: $22.99 code: DSYSSP012
-SCISHION TV Box Android 5.1 Smart Media Player: $27.99 code: DSYSSSV88
-Motospeed Gaming Mechanical Keyboard: $41.99 code: DSYSCK104

Non-Iron Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts From Just $25.85/Shirt Shipped! Plus Earn Bonus Avios!

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 7:00 pm

Update: DEAD!


Step 1: Click on this link to view the Charles Tyrwhitt UK store, you can close the tab as soon as it loads.

Step 2: Click on this link and then proceed to the 3 shirts for £55 sale that will be on the page.

Shipping to the US is a flat £13.95, so if you order 3 shirts it will be £68.95 ($86.26) or 6 shirts will be £123.95 ($155.07) shipped. 6 shirts will be just $25.85/shirt including shipping!

You may need to redo the steps above in an incognito browser if you don’t get that prices as listed in the post.

amazon

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Be sure to use a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees such as the Starwood AMEX.

Plus if you enter your BA Executive Club number in the “About You” section while checking out you’ll also earn 8 Avios per pound spent until 3/31! The Avios will post to your account within 1 month.

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HT: Eliyohu, via DDF

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, 12:42 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX currently have limited time offers to earn 35,000 signup points each with no fee for the first year. You can also use your Starpoints to stay free at the the highly rated Sheraton Tel Aviv and later this year at the W Tel Aviv – Jaffa which is scheduled to open on October 1st. With a Starwood business card you’ll even get free lounge access and meals at the Sheraton Tel Aviv! 


Related post: The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart (2015)


The Starwood card is an excellent card for general spending. You can use just a couple thousand points for free hotel nights or transfer points into the mileage programs of 36 different airlines with a 25% transfer bonus. If you are transferring points you may also want to consider Starwood’s Nights & Flights option where you can save 8,000 points on a mileage transfer plus a 5 night stay in a category 3 or 4 hotel.

To make a mileage transfer just login to your Starwood account at SPG.com. If you have never made an account at SPG.com you may need to set one up. Locate your SPG number on the Starwood AMEX statement where it lists how many points you earned in the past month and for the year. Then you can setup an SPG.com account. Click here to transfer Starpoints into airline miles. Note that transfers can take a few days to complete.

A new feature that is awesome but makes the options are lot more complicated is the ability to transfer Starpoints into Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio.

Marriott has their own airline transfer option and an excellent miles+nights redemption option.

You can read more about the 5 ways of transferring Starpoints into airline miles here.

-With 90K Starpoints you can get 270K Marriott points.

-With 270K Marriott points you can get 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel plus 132K United miles! Or you can get 7 nights plus 120K miles with Air Canada, Alaska, American, British Airways, or Delta.

That’s a better deal than transferring 100K Starpoints into 125K airline miles. However for the purpose of this post I’ll ignore the Marriott transfer options as they only work in specific transfer amounts and it will make this post even more complicated. However, I have added United as an option below using via Marriott as Starpoints don’t transfer at a 20K:25K ratio with United, but the transfer ratio to United is worthwhile via Marriott at 18,667 Starpoints to 25,000 United miles. You can do far better than that with a miles+nights redemption and you should read this post to learn more.

The rates in this post are for flights from NYC to Tel Aviv unless otherwise noted.

Read more about using Starpoints to fly to Israel after the jump: (more…)

Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!

Thursday, March 16th, 2017, 5:00 pm

Update: There are less than 2 weeks left to apply for the Starwood AMEX cards with this limited time bonus. With the Marriott and Starwood programs set to combine next year this may be your last chance to apply for a Starwood AMEX with an increased signup bonus!

Originally posted on 2/16:

Related posts:
-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!
-SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition
Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!
Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Consumer Spend Bonus

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Consumer 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Business 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

This is a limited time offer scheduled to run until 4/5/17.  It offers 40% more points than the standard offer!

Typically there is only one limited time offer on the SPG card per calendar year, so there’s no better time to apply than now.

The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year on both cards.

For the consumer card you will get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $3,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending another $2,000 within 6 months, for a total of 35,000 bonus Starpoints and at least 40K total Starpoints. The terms state that if you have had the consumer card before you will not get the bonus for the consumer card again.

For the business card you will get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending another $3,000 within 6 months, for a total of 35,000 bonus Starpoints and at least 43K total Starpoints. The terms state that if you have had the business card before you will not get the bonus for the business card again.

You can apply for and get the bonus for each of these cards if you haven’t had them before.

If you have only had a consumer card you can get the points for business card and if you have only had the business card you can get the points for the consumer card.


Spending on the Starwood card:

The Starwood card remains a very good card for general spending.

While there are other cards with better bonus categories, the Starwood card is strong for general spending as Starpoints continue to be the most valuable mileage currency thanks to excellent uses at hotels and the 25% bonus for transfers into dozens of airlines.

There are no foreign transaction fees on the Starwood cards.

Starwood also allows members at the same address to transfer points between their accounts for free. Best of all making a transfer like that extends the life of your points by another 18 months.

There are thousands of uses for Starpoints, some of which have been over 50 cents each for me at hotels, but I aim for a minimum value of about 2.2 cents per point and am happy when I’m able to exceed that level. It’s not hard to reach a value of that level at hotels and you can transfer 20K miles into 25K valuable miles from airlines like Aegean, Alaska, American, and dozens of other programs. If you are able to obtain a value of 1.75 cents from those airlines then that imputes a 2.2 cent value for Starpoints as well. The miles won’t sell on the grey market for that price, but miles are always more valuable when you use them yourself for travel.

The Starwood card earns 2 Starpoints per dollar at Starwood hotels, or a 4.4% rebate at a value of 2.2 cents per Starpoint. It also earns double points on SPG hotel bedding and when you buy Starpoints. It earns 1 Starpoint per dollar everywhere else, or a 2.2% rebate at a value of 2.2 cents per Starpoint.


More valuable than ever thanks to the Marriott merger:

Marriott completed their purchase of Starwood last year and they treated Starwood members better than anyone could have hoped for thanks to a transfer ratio of 1 Starpoints:3 Marriott points.

I’ll write more about the best Marriott uses in a separate post.


American Express benefits and the annual fee:

There’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. Aside from the valuable points you’ll earn from signing up and spending you’ll also have access to awesome AMEX benefits:

The card also carries American Express’ awesome top-notch protections that are light-years better than any other banks. Most other banks always look for a way to get out, but that’s not the case with American Express.

-If you need to return an item up to $300 and a store won’t take it back due to a time limited or final sale policy, AMEX will gladly refund you thanks to return protection. The vast majority of the time you’ll even be able to keep the item, but if you do need to send it back the return shipping will be free. That’s a far more generous policy than any other bank offers. This benefit is valid for $1,000 of returns per card per calendar year.
–If a store charged a restocking fee to return an item then AMEX will cover it, up to $300/item, as part of their return protection coverage.
-You get an additional year of warranty coverage and if you have any issue in the extended warranty year they’ll pay to have it fixed or refund your entire purchase price without a hassle. This benefit is far more valuable than warranty benefits offered by other banks.
-If you need to dispute a charge there’s nobody who makes it easier or as pain-free as American Express does. It’s the easiest dispute resolution process in the industry by leaps and bounds and you can do it all online.
-If your item is stolen or broken within 90 days you’ll be covered.

See this post to see just how amazing AMEX benefits can be.


Spend Threshold

You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.87% fee. The Starpoints are worth more than 1.87 cents each, so that’s a no-brainer if you’re trying to meet a spend threshold to earn the signup bonus points.

If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes.

My local gas company allows me to prepay up to $1,000 on a credit card for a $1.65 flat fee. That’s a great way to earn miles and help meet a spend threshold. My electricity supplier allows me to pay with a credit card for free as long as I am enrolled in autopay. I used to prepay 5 months of rent on a my credit card (it’s easier in Cleveland where that’s just $800/month) for a $19 flat fee. You’d be surprised to see what you can charge to your credit card!


Sheraton Club Lounge Access:

The Starwood business card gives free club lounge access when staying at Sheraton hotels.

There have been rave reviews of the Sheraton Club lounge in Tel Aviv for example.  If you have a Starwood business card you’ll get free access to it and its free food, beverages, and sweeping view of the Mediterranean Sea. A free night at the Sheraton Tel Aviv is 12K points, 6K points+$110, or 9.6K points per night on a 5 night stay.


Premium Internet Access:

With either Starwood card you now get free premium in-room internet at Starwood hotels. All SPG guests get free internet, but cardholders will now get the faster version for free.


Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Starwood card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.


Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

In addition to the Starwood business card offering Sheraton Lounge access, the business card also offers Starpoints plus Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field


Elite Status and Crossover benefits with Delta and Uber:

Just by having a Starwood card you earn Preferred Plus status.  This status earns you the right to checkout at 4pm at Starwood hotels and get upgraded to preferred rooms.

If you spend $30,000 in a year on either Starwood card you earn Gold status.  Gold status gets you more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points.  You can also get gold status for free with no spending requirement by opening The Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

When you have the Starwood card you also get 5 elite qualifying nights and 2 stays for each Starwood card that you have that count towards earning Gold or Platinum status!

Starwood Gold and Platinum elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

And all members can earn bonus Starpoints for Uber rides as well after making a single SPG stay.


Read this post for more about Marriott elite benefits, the best ways to use your Starpoints, and more about the best ways to use the Marriott program!

Where do you like using your Starpoints? Hit the comments!

Get A 20-30% Bonus When You Transfer Hotel Points To Air Canada Aeroplan, Transfer Starpoints To Aeroplan With A 108%+ Effective Bonus

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017, 5:29 pm

Get A 20-30% Bonus When You Transfer Hotel Points To Air Canada Aeroplan

If you transfer hotel points to Air Canada’s Aeroplan mileage program from 3/13-4/17 you’ll get a bonus:
-Convert 2,500-99,999 miles and get a 20% bonus.
-Convert 100,000-199,999 miles and get a 25% bonus.
-Convert 200,000+ miles and get a 30% bonus.

-The total amount converted from all hotel partner will be added up in order to determine the bonus.
-The bonus miles will post to your account by the end of May.

By far and away Starwood and Marriott have the best transfer options. Unfortunately the bonus does not apply for Membership Rewards transfers.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX currently have limited time offers to earn 35,000 signup Starpoints (105K Marriott pointseach with no fee for the first year.

The bonus stacks with Starwood’s 25% bonus as follows:
-20K Starpoints will transfer to 30K Aeroplan miles (50% effective bonus)
-80K Starpoints will transfer to 125K Aeroplan miles (56.3% effective bonus)
-160K Starpoints will transfer to 260K Aeroplan miles (63% effective bonus)
You can convert Marriott points to Starwood at a 3:1 ratio.

Marriott’s miles+nights makes for a great redemption:
-90K Starpoints (270K Marriott points) will transfer to 150K Aeroplan miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel, plus you can get back 15K Starpoints (45K Marriott points) for cancelling the hotel booked with a certificate, making the effective cost 75K Starpoints for 150K miles (100% effective bonus).
-180K Starpoints (540K Marriott points) will transfer to 312K Aeroplan miles and 2 stays of 7 nights each in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel, plus you can get back 30K Starpoints (90K Marriott points) for cancelling the hotels booked with the certificates, making the effective cost 150K Starpoints for 312K miles (108% effective bonus).

Of course if you use the hotel certificates the effective bonus can be much higher than that.

A breakdown of Aeroplan policies:

The good:
-Air Canada has one of the best lap child policies out there. You pay a flat fee of just $50 in coach, $75 in premium economy, $100 in business, or $125 in first for a lap child. Compare that to 10% of the paid fare with other airlines and you can save a small fortune, especially if you are flying in business or first class.
Aeroplan’s Star Alliance award chart has some bright spots, though not as many as it used to. A business class flight from North America to Europe or South America is 55K miles each way while first class is 70K miles each way.
-Air Canada generously allows for a free stopover within North America and 2 free stopovers when flying to another continent, so you can check out up to 2 cities for as long as you want in addition to your final destination.  If used properly you can create for yourself a mini round-the-world trip, all for the single award rate of flying to your final destination. So for just 110K miles you can fly in business class to 3 European cities and stay in each for as long as you want. Or for 160K miles you can fly to Australia in business, with stops in Europe and in Asia along the way for example.
-There are no expedite/close-in fees.

The bad:
-There is a C$100 charge to change or cancel an award ticket and a C$250 charge to cancel within 21 days of departure.
-Awards can’t be held.
-Premium class travel to Israel and the Middle East is pricey at 165K for business and 230K round-trip for first class. That’s higher than every other region in the world. Some agents may allow you to stopover in Israel on the way to another region for the lower cost of flying to the other region.

The ugly:
-Air Canada charges a fuel surcharge if you redeem their miles for travel on the following carriers: Adria, Air Canada, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, TAP Portugal, and THAI. (There is no fuel surcharge if you redeem their miles for travel on the following carriers: Aegean, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, Avianca/TACA, Brussels, Copa, Croatia, EVA, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, SAS, Shenzhen, Singapore, South African, Swiss, Turkish, and United)
-Air Canada miles require activity every 12 months to keep them active.

HT: Baglach, via DDF

Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017, 4:34 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Starwood Consumer 35K (105K Marriott) Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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Starwood Business 35K (105K Marriott) Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

amexbusstarwood960x680
 

Read more about these limited time SPG card offers offering 40% more points than normal in this post and about how to redeem them in this post.

-The Marriott card offers 87,500 signup points, Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.


Now that you can transfer Starpoints into Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio there are more ways than ever to turn your Starpoints into miles.

In no particular order, here are 5 great ways to turn your Starpoints into miles:

-The first way is the traditional transfer of Starpoints into miles at a 1:1 ratio or a 20K:25K ratio to dozens of airlines, an effective 25% transfer bonus.

In parenthesis you can see if American Express Membership Rewards (MR), Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR), or Citibank Thank You (TY) points transfers to the airline as well. If no other program can transfer points to that airline it will say not applicable (NA)

OneWorld Alliance:
Air Berlin: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
American: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
British Airways Avios: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, UR)
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY)
JAL: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
LATAM: 20,000 Starpoints=37,500 kms (NA)
Qatar: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (TY)

Skyteam Alliance:
AeroMexico: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY, UR)
Alitalia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
China Eastern: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
China Southern: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Delta: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Korean: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (UR)
Saudia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)

Star Alliance:
ANA: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Aegean: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Air Canada/Aeroplan: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Air China: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Air New Zealand: 20,000 Starpoints=385 points (NA)
Asiana: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Avianca/TACA LifeMiles: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Lufthansa Miles & More: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Singapore: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY, UR)
Thai: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (TY)
United: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles (UR)

Unaligned:
Alaska: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Emirates: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Etihad: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY)
Gol/Varig Smiles: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles (NA)
Hainan: 20,000 Starpoints==25,000 miles (NA)
Hawaiian: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Jet Airways: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Virgin Atlantic: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY, UR)
Virgin Australia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)

-The second way is with Starwood Nights & Flights. You can get 50K miles with dozens of airlines and stay 5 nights in a SPG category 3 hotel for 60K Starpoints. Or you can get 50K miles with dozens of airlines and stay 5 nights in a SPG category 4 hotel for 70K Starpoints. If you were staying for 5 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using 32K Starpoints for 50K miles, an effective 56.25% transfer bonus.

-The third way is by transferring points to Marriott and transferring points from there to an airline.

The 2 most compelling offers there are:
-18,667 Starpoints would transfer into 56K Marriott points which becomes 25,000 United miles, an effective 33.9% transfer bonus.
-23,333 Starpoints would transfer into 70K Marriott points which becomes 25,000 Southwest miles, which qualify for Companion Pass status if initiated by 3/31. That’s an effective 7.1% transfer bonus.

-The fourth way is by transferring points to Marriott and using their nights and miles option.

You can read more about the option in this post.

-90K Starpoints would transfer into 270K Marriott points which becomes 132,000 United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.
-90K Starpoints would transfer into 270K Marriott points which becomes 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel and 120,000 miles for Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska, American, British, Copa, Delta, Frontier, GOL, Hawaiian, Iberia, Southwest, or Virgin Atlantic.

It’s hard to impute a value of the transfer bonus as this includes miles and nights, but let’s attack it from 4 different angles that will show the highest possible valuation, a reasonable stay valuation, a dirt cheap stay valuation, and the lowest possible valuation.

1. 7 nights at a category 5 hotel would normally cost 150,000 Marriott points or 50K Starpoints. If you were staying for 7 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using 40K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 230% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 40K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 200% transfer bonus.
2.
If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a reasonable value of 5K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 35K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 55K Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 140% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 55K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 118% transfer bonus.
3.
If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a dirt cheap value of 3K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 21K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 69K Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 91% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 69K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 74% transfer bonus.
4.
Some reps will allow you to return the 7 night hotel certificate for a refund of 45K Marriott points which you can transfer back to 15K Starpoints. You may need to book a hotel and cancel it in order to receive a 45K point refund. That’s not a good value for the 7 night hotel certificate, but if you won’t use the hotel stay then it’s better than nothing. If you return the certificate it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 76% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 60% transfer bonus.

Yes, that means even if you don’t use the certificate, you can still get 1.76 United miles per Starpoint. If you would make that hotel stay anyway you can get 3.3 United miles per Starpoint. If you value the free nights at 5K or 3K Starpoints each then you can get a value of 1.9-2.4 United miles per Starpoint. No matter how you slice it, that’s a great value for your Starpoints!

-The fifth way is by transferring points to Marriott and using their nights and miles option and finding a rep willing to sell you a 5 night package that’s officially intended for timeshare owners. Most reps won’t do it, but some will.

-78,333 Starpoints would transfer into 235K Marriott points which becomes 132,000 United miles and 5 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.
-78,333 Starpoints would transfer into 235K Marriott points which becomes 5 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel and 120,000 miles for Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska, American, British, Copa, Delta, Frontier, GOL, Hawaiian, Iberia, Southwest, or Virgin Atlantic.

Once again, it’s hard to impute the value of the transfer bonus, but this will show the highest possible valuation, a reasonable stay valuation, a dirt cheap stay valuation, and the lowest possible valuation.

1. 5 nights at a category 5 hotel would normally cost 100,000 Marriott points or 33,333 Starpoints. If you were staying for 5 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using 45K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 193% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 45K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 167% transfer bonus.
2.
If you wouldn’t normally stay 5 nights at a hotel, but assign a reasonable value of 5K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 25K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 53,333 Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 148% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 53,333 Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 125% transfer bonus.
3. If you wouldn’t normally stay 5 nights at a hotel, but assign a dirt cheap value of 3K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 15K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 63,333 Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 108% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 63,333 Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 89% transfer bonus.
4. Some reps will allow you to return the 5 night hotel certificate for a refund of 10K Marriott points which you can transfer back to 3,333 Starpoints. You may need to book a hotel and cancel it in order to receive a 10K point refund. That’s not a good value for the 5 night hotel certificate, but if you won’t use the hotel stay then it’s better than nothing. If you return the certificate it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 76% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 60% transfer bonus.

Using those 4 different scenarios shows us that:
-If you value the hotel nights at the actual cost of redeeming points for the room that you’re better with the 7 night option than the 5 night option.
-If you value the hotel nights as something, but lower than the actual cost of redeeming points for the room that you’re better with the 5 night option than the 7 night option.
-If you plan on returning the hotel night certificate that the value for your Starpoints to airline mile transfer will be the same whether you use the 5 night or the 7 night option.

There are a few things worth noting about the 4th and 5th miles+nights redemption methods:

-You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.
-The miles will post within a few days of the transfer, regardless of when or if you use the 7 night certificate.
-The 7 night electronic 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.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on. For example 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 120K-132K miles. If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 120K-132K miles.

Do you transfer Starpoints into miles or so you use them other redemptions? Which transfer method do you use? Hit the comments!

MLB Slammin’ Sluggers Baseball Game For $19.97 From Amazon After $14 Price Drop

Monday, March 13th, 2017, 7:45 pm

Update: Sold out from Amazon but now available from WalMart for $19.97!


MLB Slammin’ Sluggers Baseball Game For $19.97 From Amazon

This was selling for $33.91 yesterday and is now the lowest price ever from Amazon.

This game does not requires batteries and is not electronic.

 

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-Pitch, field, bat, and run the bases just like a real baseball game!
-2 person game, take turns being the pitcher & fielder and the batting team as you play through the full 9 innings!
-Control the pitcher to throw fastballs and wild curve balls using the innovative magnet technology and control system!
-Track balls, strikes and outs as you pitch!
-Personalize the field with your favorite MLB team! Includes all 30 MLB team billboards and over 200 individual player pieces!

HT: shiframeir, via DDF

Confused About The American Express Consumer Vs. Business Platinum Card? Here Is A Comparison Chart With The Latest Benefits

Thursday, March 9th, 2017, 4:08 pm

Update: AMEX is cutting the ability to bring in all of your immediate family members into Airspace and Centurion lounges. Effective 3/30 you can only bring in 2 additional guests, though additional Platinum cardholders will also be able to enter and bring in 2 guests each. This brings the policy in line with the new Priority Pass guesting privileges.

The chart below has been updated with this information and now features the superior benefits in red font when there is a difference between the consumer and business card.

Originally posted on 3/7:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Platinum Card® from American Express

The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

AMEX continues to add to the benefits offered on their premium Platinum cards with many new benefits going into effect on 3/30. The Priority Pass membership has been improved on both cards to offer 2 free guests which is nice, though it still doesn’t compare to the unlimited amount of guests offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Overall though the Platinum cards have a much more robust domestic lounge network due to access to Airspace, Centurion, and Delta lounges in addition to Priority Pass lounges.

The consumer Platinum card’s fee will go up from $450/year to $550/year. However if you apply before 3/30 you will pay only $450 for your first year, but you’ll still get the new benefits on 3/30.

If you are already a consumer Platinum cardholder and your annual fee is due before 9/1 then your fee for 2017 will be $450. If your fee is due on 9/1 or later you will be charged $550 for your next renewal.

The chart below summarizes all of the differences between the consumer and business versions of the Platinum card as of 3/30.

Note that the benefits for additional cardholders as described below is only for additional Platinum cardholders, not for additional Gold or Green cardholders.

  Consumer Platinum Business Platinum
Annual Fee$550$450
Signup Bonus60,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months50,000 points for spending $10,000 in 3 months and another 25,000 points for spending another $10,000 in 3 months
Additional Cardholder Fee-Up to 3 additional Platinum cardholders for a $175 fee ($58.33/card with 3 cards).

-No fee for additional Gold cardholders
-$300 for each additional Platinum cardholder.

-No fee for additional Green cardholders
Annual Airline Fee Credit$200$200
Points earned on airfare5 per dollar from airlines (including online travel agencies) and on AMEXTravel.com5 per dollar, but only if booked on AMEXTravel.com
Points earned on hotels5 per dollar, but only if booked on AMEXTravel.com5 per dollar, but only if booked on AMEXTravel.com
Points earned on large purchases of $5,000+1 per dollar1.5 per dollar (Up to 1 million bonus points per year)
Uber Benefits-VIP Status

-$15 in monthly credit plus $35 credit every December

-2 points per dollar
-2 points per dollar
Rebate on points redeemed for paid airfareNone-50% rebate on a US airline of your choice in coach.

-50% rebate on all airlines in business or first.
Gogo In-Flight Wi-FiNone10 Gogo flight passes per year
Card designMetalPlastic
Elite statusHilton, Marriott, and SPG Gold for primary and secondary cardholdersHilton, Marriott, and SPG Gold for primary and secondary cardholders
Centurion lounge accessPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guestsPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guests
Priority Pass membershipPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guestsPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guests
Airspace lounge accessPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guestsPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guests
Delta SkyClub accessPrimary or secondary cardholders onlyPrimary or secondary cardholders only
Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund
Once every 4 years for Primary and for each secondary cardholderOnce every 4 years for Primary and for each secondary cardholder
Boingo WiFiUnlimited worldwide for Primary and secondary cardholdersUnlimited worldwide for Primary and secondary cardholders
Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits
Early check-in, room upgrade, daily breakfast, Wi-Fi, late checkout, and an additional special amenity.Early check-in, room upgrade, daily breakfast, Wi-Fi, late checkout, and an additional special amenity.
Lost/Stolen/Damaged Item Protection
Covers items up to $10,000 for losses within 90 days of purchase, up to $50,000/year.Covers items up to $10,000 for losses within 90 days of purchase, up to $50,000/year.
Return Protection
Covers items up to $300 within 90 days of purchase if the store won't take a return or charges a restocking fee, up to $1,000/year.Covers items up to $300 within 90 days of purchase if the store won't take a return or charges a restocking fee, up to $1,000/year.
Premium Roadside AssistanceFree towing up to 10 miles, jump starts, flat tire changes, lockout service, and delivery of fuel, up to 4 times per year.Free towing up to 10 miles, jump starts, flat tire changes, lockout service, and delivery of fuel, up to 4 times per year.
Extended WarrantyDoubles the manufacturer's warranty up to 1 additional year. Covers up to $10,000/item and up to $50,000/year.Doubles the manufacturer's warranty up to 1 additional year. Covers up to $10,000/item and up to $50,000/year.
Car Rental Perks-4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz.

-National Executive
-4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz.

-National Executive
Open SavingsNone5% cash back at Fedex, HP, Hertz, and 800-Flowers
Counts against Chase 5/24 guidelinesYesNo
Foreign transaction feeNoneNone

Which Platinum card do you have and which benefits do you find most valuable?

Marriott 2017 Annual Category Changes; Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Chart

Monday, March 6th, 2017, 11:28 am

Update: Today is the final day to book hotels before their rates go up.

Originally posted on 2/9/17:


Marriott 2017 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes

Book stays before 3/7 local hotel time to lock in current rates for future stays at hotels that are going up.  Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print).  If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 3/7 when this year’s category changes go into effect.

23% of Marriott hotels will changes categories. Of those 60% will become more expensive and 40% will become less expensive.

This list is subject to change and other hotels can still be added to it.

For example if you have a 7 night category 1-5 hotel certificate and want to go to Curaçao, you’ll want to reserve that before 3/7 when the Renaissance moves to a category 6.

View sample hotels changing in category and more on the Marriott/SPG program after the jump:

 

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Starwood 2017 Annual Category Changes

Monday, March 6th, 2017, 11:25 am

Update: Today is the final day to book hotels before their rates go up. Category changes can take effect local time, though agents over the phone may still be able to honor lower category rates today.

Originally posted on 2/9/17:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Read about previous category changes:
Starwood 2016 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2015 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2014 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2013 Category Changes
Starwood 2012 Category Changes
2011 Starwood Category Adjustments
-2010 had no Starwood category changes
2009 Starwood Category Adjustments
2008 Starwood Category Adjustments
Starwood 2007 Changes: Launch Of Worldwide Cash+Points Awards (The good old days of Starwood in Israel)
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

————————————————————————-

Starwood 2017 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes (Click all to view all hotel changes)

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX currently have limited time offers to earn 35,000 signup points each with no fee for the first year.

Book stays before 3/7 local hotel time to lock in current rates for future stays at hotels that are going up.  Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print).  If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 3/7 when this year’s category changes go into effect.

325 SPG hotels are changing category this year. 63% of those will go down in category.

This list is subject to change and other hotels can still be added to it.

View the key hotels changing in category after the jump:

 

(more…)

Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Consumer Spend Bonus

Sunday, March 5th, 2017, 8:35 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX currently have limited time offers to earn 35,000 signup points each with no fee for the first year.


Several DDF members have posted that they were targeted for a spend bonus on their Starwood consumer card.

You can login to your AMEX account via this link to check if you are targeted.

If you are targeted and spend $5,000 on your SPG card you’ll get 10,000 total Starpoints. You need to enroll by 3/31 and complete the spending by 5/31.

My cards aren’t targeted this time, are yours?

HT: coralsnake, via DDF

All About Singapore Airlines: Enrollment Bonus, Excellent Mileage Accrual On 3 Domestic Airlines, And A Valuable Award Chart

Sunday, March 5th, 2017, 12:40 pm

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance that is known for being one of the best airlines in the world. I’ve flown in coach, business, and first class on Singapore and the service in every class of service is without a doubt the best I’ve ever experienced. In fact coach service on Singapore has been better than business or first class service on other airlines.

After flying 19 hours nonstop from Newark to Singapore in business class I was actually sad to have the flight come to an end.

And it’s hard to beat their A380 double suites which can only be booked with Singapore miles:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also have some excellent award chart bargains.

They did announce a devaluation for their own flights last week, but they cushioned it by announcing that they are eliminating fuel surcharges on Singapore flights and that they aren’t making changes to their excellent Star Alliance award chart. And the jump in mileage required is nowhere near what the domestic airlines have done for premium class award travel.


You can earn 500 miles by just signing up for a new account and using registration promotion (Exp: 4/14/17): JOINKF2017

The 500 points will post within 24 hours.


Singapore award bargains:
Singapore Airlines current award chart
Singapore Airlines award chart effective 3/23.
Singapore Star Alliance award chart

-A Singapore A380 walled-in suite from JFK to Frankfurt will be going up from 57,375 miles to 76K miles effective 3/23, but the $180 in fuel surcharges will be eliminated. You can only book Singapore suites with Singapore miles, but compare that to the 110K miles that United charges to fly from JFK to Frankfurt in Lufthansa first class!

In fact you can book that suite for just 75K miles with no fuel surcharges after 3/23 by adding on a Lufthansa leg from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv as their Star Alliance chart will be more advantageous to use than their chart for Singapore flights only.

A flight from Chicago to Singapore will actually be cheaper than from Los Angeles, NYC, or San Francisco to Singapore due to being able to use the Star Alliance award chart when combining travel on Singapore and another partner airline like United.

Suites availability between Singapore and Australia and New Zealand is excellent. So is availability from European cities like Zurich and Asian cities like Shanghai to Singapore.

Plus Singapore allows you to waitlist for saver award space on flights.

Singapore still allows a free stopover and open jaw on round-trip saver awards and you can add up to 3 additional stopovers for just $100 each by booking your award over the phone. If you book a standard award you can even get a free stopover on a one-way ticket.

Singapore has also applied for rights to fly to Tel Aviv themselves as well.

Singapore does charge fuel surcharges for most partner airlines, but notebly they don’t charge any for travel on United. Thanks to a generous Star Alliance award chart, that means it can be quite advantageous to use Singapore miles for United flights. However it’s worth noting that if you have a United credit card for expanded United award availability, that benefit only applies when using United miles and not miles from partner airlines like Singapore.

Sample one-way pricing using United miles vs Singapore miles:
-Domestic US first class on United using United miles is 25K miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 20K.
-A flight from the US48 to Alaska on United is 17.5K in coach and 30K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 12.5K in coach or 20K in first class.
-A flight from the US48 to Hawaii on United is 22.5K in coach and 40K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 17.5K in coach or 30K in first class.
-A flight from the US to Europe is 30K in coach, 57.5K-70K in business, and 80K-110K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 27.5K in coach, 65K in business, or 80K in first class.
-A flight from the US to Israel is 42.5K in coach, 70-80K in business, and 90K-140K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 37.5K in coach, 57.5K in business, and 75K in first class.

-A flight from the Middle East to Europe is 25K in coach, 45K in business, and 60K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 17.5K in coach, 25K in business, or 35K in first class.

Singapore even still offers a round-the-world award, something that airlines like American and United have discontinued. A round-the-world ticket to 7 destinations is 180K miles in coach, 240K miles in business, or 360K miles in first/suites class.


Note that partner awards can’t be booked online, you’ll need to call Singapore to book at 1-312-843-5333.

You can search for Singapore award availability on Singapore.com, but you’ll have to use a site like United.com or Aeroplan.com to search for Star Alliance saver award availability. Note that United.com isn’t able to search for any availability on Singapore flights, though you can call United to book award travel on Singapore, though business and first class from the US isn’t typically available with United miles.


Award fees with Singapore miles vs United miles:
-There are no close-in fees with Singapore miles. With United miles there’s a $75 fee within 3 weeks, though there are workarounds for that.
-Date changes on Singapore flights are free and are just $20 on other flights with Singapore miles. With United miles changes are $75-$125.
-Award refunds are just $30 with Singapore miles vs $75-$125 with United miles.


Mileage Expiration:
This is the Achilles’ heel of the Singapore program.

United miles will never expire as long as you have activity every 18 months or have a United credit card.

Singapore miles expire 36 months after they’re earned. You can extend them for 6 more months by paying a $12 fee per 10,000 miles extended.
If your miles are expiring and you don’t have any travel plans you can also book an award before your miles expire and then change the award for up to 1 year from when it’s issued.

You can also transfer Singapore miles into Virgin Australia Velocity miles at a 1.35:1 ratio. Those miles never expire as long as you have activity every 36 months.


Mileage earning from JetBlue, United, and Virgin America flights:

While United only awards a paltry 5 miles per pre-tax dollar spent on flights, Singapore still awards flown miles for United flights!

For example United recently had a $379 fare from Newark to Zurich. That fare was $282 before tax and would earn just 1,410 United miles. However you can give United your Singapore mileage number and earn 7,890 Singapore miles, which is the actual distance flown for the K class fare.

When United matched El Al’s $749 winter sale from Newark to Tel Aviv the base fare was $662. That would earn just 3,310 United miles. However you can give United your Singapore mileage number and earn 11,384 Singapore miles, which is the actual distance flown for the K class fare.

You can view the amount of miles that Singapore will award based on your fare class here.

-Singapore awards 100% of the flown miles for most United coach and business class tickets and 125-150% of the flown miles in some business and first class fare classes.

-Singapore awards 50-100% of the flown miles for most JetBlue coach tickets depending on the fare class and 125% of the flown miles in mint class.

-Singapore awards 100% of the flown miles for most Virgin America coach tickets and 125% of the flown miles in first class.

You can check the actual distance flown on GCMap.com. For example a flight from Newark to Sydney via Los Angeles would earn 19,884 Singapore miles for travel in most United fare classes.


Points Transfers:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-AMEX Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Singapore within 1-2 days.

-Starwood Starpoints transfer at a 20K:25K ratio to Singapore within 2-9 days.

You can view 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.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX currently have promotions awarding 35,000 signup points each with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Singapore miles with the permanent 25% transfer bonus.

-American Express Membership Rewards points transfer at a 1K:1K ratio to Singapore and can be earned from credit cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card or The Amex EveryDay Card

The Preferred card awards 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, 3 points per dollar on gas, and 4.5 points per dollar on groceries if you make 30 transactions per month.

The EveryDay card awards 1.2 points per dollar everywhere, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 2.4 miles per dollar on groceries if you make 20 transactions per month. This is the only no-annual fee card that can transfer points into real airline miles from any bank.

You can also earn Membership Rewards points from consumer charge cards like the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express, and from business charge cards like the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Charge Card (limited time 50K signup bonus) or The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee and has a limited time increased signup bonus. However you’ll need one of the Membership Rewards cards listed above to transfer points from that card into airline miles.

Citi Thank You Premier, Prestige, and Chairman cardholders can also transfer points into Singapore at a 1:1 ratio.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site

Chase cards that can transfer points into miles includes Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred, Ink Bold, and Ink Plus. Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Cash can also earn points, but you’ll need one of the aforementioned Chase cards to transfer points from those cards into airline miles.


Do you accrue Singapore miles when you fly on JetBlue, United, or Virgin America? Hit the comments!

30% Off Starpoint Purchases; Should You Buy Points For Southwest Companion Pass, Cathay First, Emirates Shower Class, Or Niagara Falls Hotel Stays?

Friday, March 3rd, 2017, 1:29 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-Until 4/5, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-Until 4/5, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards


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

For example 20K Starpoints are on sale for $490 instead of $700 or 30K Starpoints are on sale for $735 instead of $1,050. That’s a cost of 2.45 cents per Starpoints instead of the regular 3.5 cents per Starpoint.

Of course you also earn miles for the purchase, which makes the real cost even less.

If you have a Starwood AMEX and buy 30K Starpoints for $735 you will earn 1,470 Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll pay $735 for 31,470 Starpoints, or 2.33 cents per Starpoint.

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

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with additional Starwood accounts. You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

Here are some ideas for those points.

Southwest Companion Pass:

If you earn 110K Southwest points by 12/31/17 you’ll earn Southwest Companion Pass status that will be valid until 12/31/18.

With a Southwest Companion Pass you’ll get to bring a companion with you for free on all Southwest paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and Southwest tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest. There is no limit to how many times you can use the companion pass.

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

Note that points must be transferred by 3/31 in order for them to qualify for Southwest Companion Pass.

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with additional Starwood accounts. You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

Even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 86,000 Starpoints using 3 accounts for $2,107. With the Starwood AMEX you’ll also earn 4,214 Starpoints for the purchase, leaving you with 90,214 Starpoints.

Of course that cost is less if you already have Starpoints or Marriott points.

With that you’ll get 7 nights at a Marriott hotel, 120K Southwest points, and Southwest Companion Pass status that will make your Southwest points good for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights when you bring along a free companion.

Read more about this option and where you can use the hotel nights in this post.


United miles+Marriott nights:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 132K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

As mentioned before, even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 90K Starpoints for about $2,107.

If you value the 7 night hotel stay at just $500 ($71/night) then you’re effectively paying $1,607 for 132,000 United miles. That’s a bargain at just 1.21 cents per mile.

Of course that cost is less if you already have Starpoints or Marriott points.

It’s worth noting that some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.


Cathay Pacific Business/First Class to Vancouver or Asia and 7 nights in a hotel:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Alaska miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

As mentioned before, even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 90K Starpoints for about $2,107.

Alaska charges just 50K miles to Asia in award winning Cathay Pacific business class and 70K miles in Cathay Pacific first class, where you’ll have the best seat and bed in the sky.

With 120K Alaska miles you can fly one-way in business and one-way in first class.

For example you can fly from the US to Taipei and get 7 nights at a category 5 property there. Or stay fly and at a category 5 JW Marriott resort in Vietnam. You can even stopover in Hong Kong once or twice for as long as you want with Alaska miles. That’s perfect if you want to have custom clothing made there as you can go back to have them fitted perfectly.

Don’t want to leave the continent?

A Cathay Pacific first class flight from JFK to Vancouver is 35K miles and a Cathay Pacific business class flight is 25K miles. 120K miles would be enough for a couple to fly there in first class and return in business class.


Discounted stays in SPG hotels:

Buying points for 2.33 cents each can make sense in pricey SPG hotels.

For example:

-The Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview is 3K Starpoints on weekends (That’s just $69 when buying Starpoints) and 4K Starpoints on weekdays ($93 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $250/night! There’s even weekly Shabbos services and meals in the hotel in the summer and holidays!

 

-The S. Regis Bal Harbour can cost over $1,000/night after tax, but when using 30K Starpoints you won’t pay any tax, so your out of pocket rate will be $699:

srbh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-The W Fort Lauderdale is 12K Starpoints ($279 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $400/night.

-The S. Regis Rome is 20K Starpoints ($466 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $750/night.


Emirates Shower Class:
Emirates A380 first class is also known as “Shower Class.”

Sure, you get your own walled-in suite and access to the onboard bar. But it’s the onboard shower that sets it apart.

You can fly it from JFK to Milan and by far the best way to book it is with JAL miles.

Emirates charges massive fuel surcharges when you use their miles, but Alaska and JAL can book you on Emirates without those fees.

However Alaska charges 360K miles to fly round-trip from JFK to Milan while JAL charges just 100K miles.

You can transfer 80K Starpoints into 100K JAL miles thanks to the 25% transfer bonus. It other words by buying Starpoints at 2.33 cents each you can fly round-trip in Emirates shower class to Europe for just $1,864!

Want a longer flight in Shower Class?
JAL charges 135K miles from JFK to Dubai round-trip to 155K miles from JFK to the Maldives via Dubai round-trip.


Of course there are endless other ways to use your Starpoints where it can make sense to buy some points to reach an award redemption. How do you use your Starpoints?

Here Are The Changes Coming This Month To The AMEX Platinum Card; Comparison Of Consumer Vs. Business Card Benefits

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017, 9:29 am

-American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

AMEX will be making changes to their consumer Platinum Card effective 3/30.

new-platinum-card-flat
 

New benefits exclusive to the consumer card include:

$15 in monthly Uber credits:
Starting 3/30 a monthly $15 Uber credit will be added to your account. The monthly credit must be used by the last day of the month at 11:59pm local time.

You must have your AMEX Platinum consumer card listed as a payment method in your Uber account, but you don’t need to use the card in order to use the credit.

Every December you’ll get a $35 credit, making this benefit worth up to $200 per calendar year.

All AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards points already earn double points on Uber spending.

Uber credits typically work for food delivery from Uber Eats, so I’d imagine that this credit will work for Uber Eats as well, but we’ll have to wait until 3/30 to confirm if it will work for that.

The Uber credits are only valid for use in the US.

Uber VIP status:
AMEX Platinum consumer cardholders will be upgraded to VIP status, which prioritizes your rides to better cars and drivers with more experience and higher ratings in select locations.

5 points per dollar on hotel and airfare:
In October AMEX added 5 points per dollar for airfare spending on their consumer Platinum Card.

Effective 3/30 you’ll also earn 5 points per dollar on hotels, but with a caveat. You’ll only get the bonus points if you book hotels at AMEXTravel.com

Metal card design:
Until now AMEX has only provided their Centurion “Black card” cardholders with a metal card, but AMEX will now provide Platinum cardholders with a metal card.
Existing cardmembers can request a metal card effective 3/30.

Free additional Gold cardholders:
Previously additional Gold cards have been charged at a rate of $45/year, but effective 3/30 those will be free.

Annual fee increase:
Effective for new Platinum Card applications made on 3/30, the annual fee will go up from $450/year to $550/year.

If you apply before 3/30 you will pay only $450 for your first year, but you’ll still get the new benefits on 3/30.

If you are already a cardholder and your annual fee is due before 9/1 then your fee for 2017 will be $450. If your fee is due on 9/1 or later than you will be charged $550 for your next renewal.

Fee for additional Platinum cardholders will remain the same:
You will continue to be able to add up to 3 additional Platinum cardholders at a rate of 3 cards for a flat $175 per year. They will each receive their own lounge access capabilities, elite status, and Global Entry fee refunds, but won’t get annual airline fee or monthly Uber credits.


The Business Platinum Card will remain at $450/year.

amexbusplat960x680
 

Benefits exclusive to the business card include:

-A game changing 50% rebate when you redeem coach airfare with your choice of an airline and a 50% rebate when you redeem for business or first class airfare with any airline on amextravel.com.. Having the Business Platinum Card effectively turns all of your AMEX points earned on all Membership Rewards cards into “Hybrid” points by allowing you to redeem points for a value of 2 cents or more each for paid tickets or transferring them into real airline miles. The 50% rebate posts to your account within a day of redemption. You can get the 50% rebate whether you pay for the whole ticket or just part of the ticket with points.

-1.5 points per dollar on large purchases of $5,000 or more on the Business Platinum Card. You can earn up to 1 million points annually with this bonus. For example a $5K+ IRS tax payment will cost 1.87% (tax deductible for businesses) and will earn 1.5 points per dollar that are worth at least 3% towards travel with this card.

-Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi:
With the Business Platinum Card only, you get 10 annual Gogo flight passes to use on any flight with Gogo internet. You can enroll here for your free passes.


Read about the benefits that both cards offer and a comparison between the 2 cards after the jump:

 

(more…)

Apple Refurbished 27″ iMac With Retina 5K Display, Core i5, 2TB Fusion, And 8GB Ram For $1,299.99 Shipped Via eBay Daily Deals

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017, 12:21 pm

Update: Alive again!

Update: DEAD!


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-Click here to view all of eBay’s daily deals.

-Enroll in eBay Bucks and get 1% back (or more via targeted offers) on your eBay purchases.


Apple Refurbished 27″ iMac With Retina 5K Display, Core i5, 2TB Fusion, And 8GB Ram For $1,299.99 Shipped Via eBay Daily Deals

This sells for $1,949 refurbished from Apple and sells for $2,099 new from B&H.

71ccvi9xeyl-_sl1500_
This is refurbished by Apple and carries a full 1 year warranty. Of course you can extend that warranty by another year by using an American Express card (like the Starwood Consumer AMEX or the Starwood Business AMEX which both have limited time signup bonus offers). Have a problem with the computer during the AMEX warranty year? AMEX will pay to fix the problem or refund the entire purchase price of your computer, free of any hassle!

Specs:
-27″ Retina 5K IPS Display
-5120 x 2880 Screen Resolution
-3.3 GHz Intel Core i5 (Skylake)
-8GB of 1867 MHz DDR3 RAM
-2TB Fusion Drive
-AMD Radeon R9 M395 GPU (2GB GDDR5)
-802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
-Thunderbolt 2 + USB 3.0
-Magic Keyboard & Magic Mouse 2 Included
-Mac OS X El Capitan or macOS Sierra

Transfer Hotel Points To British Airways And Get A 35% Bonus

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017, 5:30 pm

Catching up on deals from this past week while I was on the road…

BA is offering a 35% bonus on hotel points transferred into Avios through 3/8/17.

-Bonus Avios can take 4-6 weeks to show on your account from the date of conversion.

For example:

-20K Starpoints normally transfers into 25K airline miles. With the additional 35% bonus you’ll get a total of 33,750 Avios.

-270K Marriott points (90K Starpoints) normally transfers into 7 free hotel nights and 120K Avios. With the additional 35% bonus you’ll get a total of 162K Avios. Read more about this redemption option in this post.

The value of Avios has been hampered over the past year due to the elimination of 4.5K short-haul awards within North America and scarce saver award availability on American.

However award availability has finally started improving on American of late.

Additionally the cost of a domestic first class award has gone down from 4 times the price of coach to 2-3 times the price of coach. For example a one-way flight from NYC to Chicago or Miami is 7.5K in coach or 15K in first class instead of the previous rate of 30K in first class.

Plus you can cancel Avios awards for just $5.60 each way up to 24 hours before the flight.

Of course there are dozens of airlines that you can transfer your Starpoints into and you can use them for hotel stays, so don’t transfer unless you have a need for the Avios.

HT: CZ60, via DDF and DoC

Maximizing The Incredible Sam’s Club AMEX Offer!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, 1:13 pm

Update, 1/31: Today is the last day to take advantage of this offer. It’s no longer available if you haven’t already saved it to your account.

My local Sam’s Club closed a lane for me and stayed open for an extra hour to complete the spending on all of my additional user cards! All of those cards now have a $250 statement credit.

A few tips:
-Stay organized by keeping every 2 AMEX cards with 5 of the $500 Mastercard gift cards. Each $500 Mastercard gift card requires a separate transaction, so make 2 $500 transactions on your 1st AMEX, split the 3rd transaction with $250 on the first AMEX and the remainder on the 2nd AMEX, and then make 2 $500 transactions on your 2nd AMEX.

-Don’t insert your AMEX until after you click OK to confirm the $500 load amount or else the payment will be cancelled.

-Make sure to check your credit limit. You can request a temporarily higher credit limit by logging onto your AMEX account, locating the available credit on your card, and clicking on “Check spending power.”
Alternatively if you prepay funds from your bank account to a credit card it will be added to your credit limit.

-If a transaction is declined then the $500 Mastercard might no longer be able to be activated. After calling AMEX to clear my account from a fraud alert, the Sam’s Club point of sale system continued to reject the transaction until I told the cashier to try another $500 Mastercard gift card. You may want to bring an extra gift card to the checkout line just in case this happens to you.


Update, 1/19: This offer is now full if you haven’t saved it to your account already.


Update, 1/12: 5 of the $500 Mastercards split among 2 targeted cards for $2,024.70 after $500 off:

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Originally posted on 1/10:

AMEX Offers are a great way to save money.

There is currently an offer on primary and secondary AMEX Business cards to get 20% back from Sam’s Club. You can get up to $250 back with this offer per targeted card! The offer runs through 1/31 and is only valid in-club.

If you aren’t a member you can join here for $45 and get a free $25 Sam’s Club gift card.

Previously many of my cards were not targeted, but yesterday dozens more of my secondary AMEX business cards were targeted for the offer.

To see if you have this offer in your account just login to your AMEX account, click on any of your cards to go the activity page, click on “AMEX Offers For You,” and save the offer to your account.

If you also have multiple cards with the offer don’t rush to save the offer to your account!  Open up the Offers page for each card in a separate tab in the same browser.  Then go between the tabs to save the offer to each of your targeted cards.  Otherwise once you save the offer to one card it disappears from your other cards.

You can use this link to access the old AMEX Offers interface, which some people find easier to save multiple offers with the multi-tab method.

Always check all primary and secondary card offers, as secondary cards will often have offers that the primary card does not. You can add secondary cards in your own name to your primary login or you can create a new login for other secondary cards.

Note that you only have to worry about an offer disappearing from other cards when they are registered to the same account. Saving an offer won’t affect cards that have their own login.

If you mess up and don’t save the offer to a card you can always remove a card from one login and make a dedicated login for it to register it. Alternatively you can remove the card that has an offer saved to it and the offer will reappear for the rest of the cards registered to that account. Once you properly save the offer to all cards on that account you can re-register the deleted card back to the same account.

There are many ways to maximize this offer:

Officially the 20% back offer is only valid for one transaction per card, but many DDF users report receiving 20% back on all transactions made on the same day. Of course this is a YMMV (Your mileage may vary) situation and you might only get 20% back on the first transaction made on a targeted card.

-If you shop at WalMart or Sam’s Club you can buy Sam’s Club gift cards that also work at WalMart. $1,250 of gift cards will effectively cost you $1,000. You can also sell the gift cards to sites like CardPool or CardCash.

-You can buy Disney gift cards that can be used for Disney theme park tickets, resorts, water parks, cruises, adventure vacations, hotels, annual passes, merchandise, dining, shows like Cirque du Soleil, activities, and more.. Sam’s Club sells $150 of these gift cards for $143.88. You can buy 9 of these for $1,294.92 less $250. That’s $1,350 of Disney credit for $1,044.92, an effective 22.6% discount.

-You can buy Southwest gift cards. Sam’s Club sells $150 of these gift cards for $142.98. You can buy 9 of these for $1,286.82 less $250. That’s $1,350 of Southwest credit for $1,036.82, an effective 23.2% discount.

-Other discounted gift cards include iTunes, Regal Cinemas, and more.

-A variable load $500 Mastercard costs $504.94 with fees. You can only buy 1 variable card per transaction. If you have 2 targeted cards you purchase 5 Mastercards in 5 transactions. Charge 2 of the Mastercards to each card. On the 5th transaction ask to split the payment between your 2 targeted cards. In total you’ll get $2,500 of Mastercards for $2,524.70 less $500=$2,024.70. Effectively you’re buying $2,500 of gift cards with a 19% discount. You can use the Vanilla branded $500 Mastercard to buy money orders from select post offices and grocery stores, though that is always YMMV. You can use any 4 numbers as the PIN for the card. Or you can always use the card for everyday spending, as a gift, or as a donation with an effective 19% discount. I used this method yesterday and will update the post with the results.

-A fixed $200 Mastercard costs $206.48 with fees. You can buy multiple of these per transaction. If you buy 6 of the $200 cards you’ll pay $1,238.88 for $1,200 of Mastercards and you’ll get 20% back, or $247.78, for a total of $991.10. Effectively you’re buying $1,200 of gift cards with a 17.4% discount. You’ll have some leftover rebate with this method, so you can also purchase a Sams Club/WalMart gift card of $11.12 in the same transaction for $8.90 to finish off the $250 maximum cash back per card.

You can split a transaction with up to 5 targeted AMEX cards, so you can buy more than 6 of the $200 Mastercards at a time if you want.

You can use the Vanilla branded $200 Mastercard to buy money orders from select post offices and grocery stores. You can use any 4 numbers as the PIN for the card. Or you can always use the card for everyday spending, as a gift, or as a donation with an effective 17.4% discount.

-A variable load $500 AMEX costs $504.48 with fees. I haven’t tested these yet, but I’d assume that these are also only 1 card per transaction. If you have 2 targeted cards you purchase 5 AMEX gift cards in 5 transactions. Charge 2 of the AMEX gift cards to each targeted card. On the 5th transaction ask to split the payment between your 2 targeted cards. In total you’ll get $2,500 of AMEX gift cards for $2,522.40 less $500=$2,022.40. Effectively you’re buying $2,500 of gift cards with a 19.1% discount. Note that these cards have no PIN, so your only option with these will be to sell them or use them for everyday spending, as a gift, or as a donation.

Are you targeted for the Sam’s Club offer? Which strategy will you use? Hit the comments!


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American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Don’t want to miss out on AMEX Offers?

Consumer cards include:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (25K Starpoints for spending $3K in 3 months, free Boingo worldwide hotspot access, free premium wifi in SPG hotels, 25% point bonus for transfers to airlines in 20K increments. No foreign transaction fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express (10K AMEX MR points for spending $1,000 in 3 months.  20% point bonus for making 20 transactions per month for an effective 2.4 points per dollar on groceries, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar elsewhere. No annual fee.)

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express (15K AMEX MR points for spending $1,000 in 3 months.  50% point bonus for making 30 transactions per month for an effective 4.5 points per dollar on groceries, 3 points per dollar on gas, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar elsewhere. $95 annual fee.)

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (25K AMEX MR points for spending $2,000 in 3 months. 3 points per dollar on airfare and 2 points per dollar on restaurants, US gas stations, US supermarkets, and Uber. $100 annual airline fee credit. No foreign transaction fees. $195 annual fee waived for first year.)

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (30K Delta miles for spending $1,000 in 3 months. $50 cash back for making a purchase with Delta within 3 months. No foreign exchange fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express 50K points for spending $750 within 3 months. Earn 7 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 5 points per dollar at supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. Silver elite 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. No annual fee)

Platinum Card® from American Express (40K AMEX MR points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. 5 points per dollar on airfare. Free Starwood and Hilton gold elite status for discounted paid and award stays. As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply. Free Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, and Priority Club lounge access. $200 in airline fee refunds per calendar year ($400 in refunds during first cardmembership year). Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.  Free insurance for any items bought on credit card and lost within 90 days. No foreign exchange fees. $450 annual fee. 3 additional cardholders for a flat $175 fee ($58.33/year each) which includes full lounge access and free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership)

Business cards:

All business cards give automatic OPEN Savings rebates on top of points.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (25K Starpoints for spending $5K in 3 months, free Sheraton lounge access, free Boingo worldwide hotspot access, free premium wifi in SPG hotels, 25% point bonus for transfers to airlines in 20K increments. No foreign transaction fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN(Limited time offer: 50K AMEX MR points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. 3 points per dollar in your choice of one of the following categories and 2 points in the other categories: Airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, or hardware+software+cloud computing. 2 points per dollar on Uber. $175 annual fee waived for first year.)

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (30K Delta miles for spending $1,000 in 3 months. $50 cash back for making a purchase with Delta within 3 months. Free checked bag and zone 1 priority boarding. No foreign exchange fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN (Limited time offer: 10K MR points after making any purchase within 3 months. 10 points per dollar at restaurants (up to $2,000) within 6 months. 2 points per dollar everywhere (up to $50,000) within 12 months. 30% annual points bonus based on the past year’s purchases. No annual fee.)

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (5K AMEX MR points for spending $1 in 3 months. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

HT: Mountain Man, via DDF

$25 Off An UberBlack Ride In NYC!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, 11:00 am

Update: This offer expires tonight at 11:59pm!


Related:
-Existing Uber Users: Request An Uber Via Google Maps And Get $15 Off A Ride!
-SPG-Uber Partnership Earnings Devalued; Which Card To Use For Uber.


Originally posted on 1/17/17:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

If you’re new to Uber you can signup via this referral link.

Existing users can go to the promotion field in the Uber app or they can click here and enter the following code: AMEXBLACK

You will get $25 off your next UberBlack ride in NYC through 1/31/17.

“NYC” includes rides that begin and end in one of the five NYC boroughs: Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx. For those keeping score at home, that includes JFK and LGA.

You must use an AMEX to pay for the Uber.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN normally offers 2.3 points per dollar spent on Uber, but if you signup with the current limited time signup offer you will earn 3.3 points per dollar spent.

-The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card earns 2.5 points per dollar on Uber if you make 30 transactions/month.

-The Amex EveryDay Credit Card earns 2.2 points per dollar on Uber if you make 20 transactions/month.


Join the 79,300+ 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.

Last Chance To Earn 100,000 Points With The Game-Changing Business Platinum Card

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017, 12:00 am

Update: Offer expired!


-Find more posts like this by clicking on the Credit Card+Mileage Posts tab above of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
-American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Signup bonus:

Until 1/25/17 the Business Platinum card is offering 50K bonus points for spending $5K and another 50K bonus points for spending another $10K within 3 months.

A tax payment can help you reach those spend thresholds and you can earn 50% bonus points with this card, read more here.

Airline fee credits:

In your first cardmembership you can get a $200 credit in 2017 and a $200 credit in 2018.

You need to register with a specific airline before spending. After you register for an airline you can officially only change your airline in January. However if you haven’t yet used your credit that year you should be able to change it by calling or chatting with AMEX.

You can view sample items that qualify for a airline fee refund here.

Note that the airline you choose will also be the airline that you get back 50% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year. You also get back 50% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline. It takes about a day to get the 50% points rebate.

“Hybrid Points”

A couple months ago I explained the extreme value offered by “hybrid cards” like AMEX Business Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The Business Platinum card is truly game changing thanks to the ability to choose whether to transfer points into airline miles when tickets are expensive.

You can transfer points to airlines like ANA, Air Canada, or Singapore for Star Alliance travel. Points transfer to Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France/KLM, or Delta for Skyteam travel. Transfer to BA, Cathay Pacific, or Iberia for OneWorld travel. Other transfer options include El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Virgin America, or Virgin Atlantic. This can make sense for one-way, last-minute, or premium class travel. The value with airline miles can be under a cent each if used poorly, but properly used the points can be worth 5 cents, 10 cents, 15 cents, or even more per point, the sky is the limit.

Otherwise you can choose to use them for paid tickets when tickets are less expensive at an whopping 2 cents (or higher) value per point. When you use them for paid tickets you don’t pay any taxes and you still earn miles for the flight!

AMEX also offers insider fares on select routes that can make your points be worth as much as 2.5 cents toward paid airfare!

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here. If you want to redeem for travel on Southwest then you’ll need to call AMEX to book.

This hybrid redemption ability makes your points very valuable.

When you combine the card with other AMEX cards you can make your spending even more lucrative.

Supercharge your spending:

-If you spend more than $5,000 on the Business Platinum card you’ll also get 1.5 points per dollar, worth at least 3% back.

However other purchases only earn 1 point each. Rather than doing that you can spend on these other AMEX cards that will supercharge your earnings. And you can then redeem points earned on other AMEX cards with your Business Platinum card so that the points can be transferred into miles or used at a value of at least 2 cents each towards paid tickets!

You can apply for other AMEX cards on the same day and only have 1 credit pull.

-If you have the $95/year AMEX Everyday Preferred and make 30 transactions per month you will earn 4.5 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 3 points per dollar at US gas stations, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 9% back at US supermarkets, 6% back at US gas stations, 5% back on Uber, and 3% back everywhere else.

-If you have the no annual fee AMEX Everyday card and make 20 transactions per month you will earn 2.4 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4.8% back at US supermarkets, 4.4% back on Uber, and 2.4% back everywhere else.

Offer expired! -If you apply for the no annual fee AMEX Blue for Business card during its current limited time promotion you will earn 10.3 points per dollar at US restaurants within 6 months ($2K cap), 3.3 points per dollar on Uber within 12 months, 2.3 points per dollar everywhere for 12 months ($50K cap), and 1.3 points per dollar everywhere (2.3 for Uber) afterward thanks to the 30% annual points dividend. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 20.6% back at US restaurants for 6 months, 4.6% back everywhere for 12 months, and 2.6% back everywhere afterward.

-If you have the consumer Platinum Card you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on airfare. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 10% back

-If you have the Premier Rewards Gold card you will earn 3 points per dollar on airfare, 2 points per dollar at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 6% back on airfare, and 4% back at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants.

-If you have the AMEX Business Gold you will earn 3 points per dollar on your choice of 1 category and 2 points per dollar in the other categories consisting of: airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, or computer hardware+software+cloud computing. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4-6% back. Plus with Open Savings you’ll get an additional 5% cash back on Fedex, Hertz, or HP, for a total of up to 11% back from Fedex or HP.

Annual fee:

The Business Platinum card costs $450/year. But AMEX has now made that fee a very good value thanks to the ability to make all of your AMEX points worth at least 2 cents each.

The airline fee refunds also help take the sting out of the fee.

Plus there are a plethora of other benefits:

Charge card benefits:

Rather than being limited to a fixed credit line, these cards offer flexibility to spend far more, with the caveat that it needs to be paid back in full on the due date.

Gold elite status with 3 hotel chains:

Both Platinum cards offer Starwood Gold, Hilton Gold, and Marriott Gold elite status.

You can enroll online here for Hilton Gold status. You can also enroll additional cardholders for Gold status, but that needs to be done over the phone.

You need to call 800-525-3355 and select option 3 for Starwood Gold status.

Once you have Starwood Gold status you can match that online instantly to Marriott Gold status.

Hilton Gold status gets you upgrades, bonus points, 5th night free on awards, late checkout, breakfast, and bottled water. Free breakfast doesn’t usually do much for me as a kosher traveler, but 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.

Starwood Gold status gets you late checkout, more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels, and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points. Starwood elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

-Centurion lounge access:

American Express has operated Centurion lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico for some time.  Now they are expanding in the US market with lounges operating in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, LaGuardia, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and more to come such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

Originally the US lounges were designed for free access only for Centurion cardholders, you know them as those black cards that cost a ridiculous $2,500 per year with a $7,500 initiation fee that used to give elite status on airlines like Continental and USAirways but now is down to just Delta.

But once the Platinum card started losing airline lounges due to exclusivity with other banks AMEX opened it up to Platinum cardholders for free as well.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring their spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or they can bring in any 2 other people with them for free.

The lounges offer varying amenities like premium drinks, showers, and massages. And as they are staffed by AMEX you can even get help with account issues and access the lounge even if you forget your Platinum card.

-Priority Pass membership.

You can enroll here for a Priority Pass membership.

Unfortunately this membership doesn’t include any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can get their own free Priority Pass membership.

Lounges include the Art & Lounge in Newark which is the lounge that El Al provides for their business and first class passengers. It’s located before security and doesn’t require a boarding pass, so you can stop in for free kosher food and wine at any time! In Tel Aviv you can access the Dan lounge.

See the Priority Pass site for their complete list of lounges.

Priority Pass gives access to the full network of “The Club” with 8 domestic lounges and growing.

Airspace lounges:

Currently there are Airspace lounges in Cleveland, JFK (JetBlue T5 terminal), and San Diego.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring their spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or they can bring in any 2 other people with them for free.

These are modern lounges with free premium coffee, bottles water, and self service soft drinks.  Additionally you and every guest also gets a gift card valid towards purchasing premium alcohol, local craft beers, cocktails, and meals.

Delta SkyClub:

You can access Delta lounges for free with a Platinum card when flying on Delta.  You don’t get any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can access Delta lounges for free as well.

The Delta SkyClub in JFK even sells kosher meals if you need one!

Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund

It costs $85 to apply for a 5 year TSA Pre-Check membership which makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and freedom baggie with liquids in your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in a nude-o-scope.  If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

It costs $100 to apply for a 5 year Global Entry membership which lets you bypass the customs line. If you have Global Entry you also get TSA Pre-Check. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

You can read more more about the differences in this post.

Additional cardholders qualify for a Pre-Check or Global Entry fee refund as well.

My whole family has Global Entry and it sure makes traveling a whole lot easier!

Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Platinum card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.

Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi:

With the Business Platinum card only, you get 10 annual Gogo flight passes to use on any flight with Gogo internet.

You can enroll here for your free passes.

Lost Item Protection:

If you buy something on your Platinum card up to $10,000 and lose it within 90 days of purchase it will be fully covered. Many cards offer stolen item protection, but that requires a police report to be filed and often has a cap of just $1,000.

Car Rental Perks:

A 4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz and fee-waived Gold Plus membership and National Executive guarantee upgrades and faster free award rentals.

The card also comes with free checked baggage insurance and it has no foreign exchange fees.  And of course it comes with all of the amazing purchase protections that other American Express cards have as well.

Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

-The consumer card’s advantages are now the 5 points per dollar on airfare and the bargain additional Platinum user fees.

-The business card’s advantages are now the 50% bonus points for spending $5,000+, the GoGo WiFi passes, Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more. But the main advantage is the 50% rebate for using points for airfare.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field

 

Will you be signing up for a Business Platinum card?

Is It Worth Paying 1.87% To Pay Your Taxes Via Credit Card?

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017, 2:42 pm

On the IRS website you can find a processor that charges 1.87% to process your tax payment via credit card.

It can definitely make sense to pay your taxes via credit card if you are signing up for a card and are trying to reach a spend threshold that you won’t be able to reach without some help.

But what about if you don’t have any spend thresholds to meet?

-If you pay at least $5,000 in taxes on your Business Platinum card you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar spent. Those points are “hybrid” points. You can transfer them into real airline miles from any alliance. Or you can redeem them for paid travel. Thanks to the 50% points rebate those points will be worth at least 2% each, meaning you’ll be earning at least 3% back for the spending.

The $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points worth at least $152.82.

Update: 100K Offer Expired! If you open the Business Platinum card during the 100K limited time offer that’s ending on 1/25 and spend $15,000 on taxes you will pay $280.50 in fees. You will earn the 100K signup bonus plus 22,922 points for spending, for a total of 122,922 points that are worth at least $2,458.44 towards airfare.

That tax payment fee may be tax-deductible, you should speak to your tax preparer about that. If you can deduct the fee that changes the math based on your marginal tax rate.

You can also request a refund for any overpayment when you file your taxes and the IRS will cut cut you a check or a direct deposit into your checking account.

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card offers 1.5 points per dollar everywhere if you have 30 total transactions that billing period. The card also offers up to 4.5 points per dollar in categories like groceries, gas, and Uber. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points transferable to airline miles. If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN has no annual fee and offers 2.3 points per dollar during the first year the card is open on up to $50,000 in purchases.  A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 11,716 points. After the first year you’ll earn 1.3 points per dollar or 6,623 points. You’ll need an AMEX Everyday, Gold, or Platinum card to transfer those points into miles. If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card is the only no-annual fee card that can transfer points into airline miles.  It offers 1.2 miles per dollar spent. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 6,112 points transferable to airline miles.  If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

-The Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. If you have a Sapphire Preferred/Reserve or Ink Bold/Plus/Preferred you can transfer those points into airline miles or hotel points. If you have a Sapphire Reserve you can also redeem those points for 1.5 cents each towards travel. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points transferable to airline miles if you or an additional user have one of the aforementioned card or useable for $114.62 towards travel with a Sapphire Reserve.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX have the ability to transfer points into dozens of different airlines at a 20K:25K ratio, effectively 1.25 miles per dollar spent everywhere. If you owe $20,000 in taxes and pay for it on your Starwood card you’ll pay $374 and you’ll get 20,374 Starpoints which can be transferred into 25,374 miles. If you spend $30K/year you qualify for SPG and Marriott Gold status.

-The Discover it Miles card gives 3 “miles” per dollar everywhere for the first year that you have the card.  They’re worth 1 cent each, so you’ll come out 1.13% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

-The Barclaycard Arrival Plus gives 2 points per dollar plus a 5% rebate on redemptions, so you’ll come out .18% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

-The Citi Double Cash card gives 2% cash back, so you’ll come out .13% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

Other cards offer benefits for hitting annual spend thresholds.

-The JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard offers mosaic status for spending $50K annually. Mosaic status includes free changes and cancellations on JetBlue tickets for the Mosaic member and for everyone on their itinerary, 2 free checked bags, 15K bonus points for earning Mosaic status every year, free even more speed checkin and security access, early boarding, 3 additional points per dollar spent, free alcoholic beverages onboard, and a dedicated Mosaic 24/7 customer service line.

-The Delta Platinum and Reserve consumer cards and Delta Platinum and Reserve business cards offer elite qualifying miles for meeting annual spend thresholds. If you spend $25K/year you’ll also waive the requirement to spend a minimum amount on Delta flights to earn elite status.

-Spending $25K/year on the United Explorer card earns 10K bonus miles and waives the requirement to spend a minimum amount on United flights to earn Silver, Gold, or Platinum elite status. The United Club card offers 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere. Both United cards give access to expanded saver award availability, priority boarding, and keep your miles from expiring for as long as you’re a cardholder.

-Lots of other cards have threshold bonuses. The Chase Hyatt card gives elite night credits if you spend $20K or $40K, though that ends in February. The Chase Ritz Carlton card gives Marriott and SPG Gold status for spend $10K/year and Platinum status for spending $75K/year. The Chase Marriott gives an elite credit for every $3,000 spent. The AMEX Hilton and Citi Hilton cards award Gold status for spending $20K/yead and the AMEX Hilton Surpass and Citi Hilton Reserve award diamond status for spending $40K/year. The Citi Hilton Reserve also gives a free hotel night for spending $10K/year. The Chase Southwest cards give companion pass status if you earn 110K points in a year. The Chase Fairmont gives a free night for $12K/year. The Citi AA Executive card awards 10K elite qualifying miles for spending $40K/year. My grandfathered Ink Bold Exclusives card gives 167,500 miles if you spend $100K/year, etc, etc.

Is it worth it? It all depends on what you do with your miles.

Mimi and I flew to NYC last month on a last-minute ticket that would have cost $1,100. Not a bad deal for 15K Avios.

The value of airline miles is huge if you fly last-minute, one-way, or in business or first class internationally.

57.3K points transferred to Singapore is enough for a ticket in a private couples suite on an A380 one-way from JFK to Frankfurt.

With hybrid points you can always get a great value by using the points directly for paid tickets or you can transfer them into airline miles so that you are always be a step ahead of the airline’s game. Transfer points when outsized award values are available or redeem directly for paid flights when they are not.

Of course there are much cheaper ways of manufacturing spend to buy miles for less, but considering that this takes zero effort, it’s not a bad deal.

You can make 2 payments per credit card processor for each quarterly estimate or for your year end bill. You can make another 2 payments each time by using a spouses name to pay.

You can also pay with a debit card for a $2.25 or $2.59 flat fee in case you have a mileage earning debit card or gift cards to cash out.

Do you pay your taxes with a credit or debit card? Or is it too pricey of a method to buy miles? Sound off in the comments!

JetBlue Honoring (Most) Free Vacation Reservations; A History Of Past Free Vacation Glitches

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, 11:32 am

On Sunday I covered a JetBlue vacations deal that offered $150 off domestic vacation packages and $250 off international vacation packages with no minimum purchase requirement. I also wrote about how to use it for free airfare, hotels, and car rentals even if you only needed one of those.

Before I made those posts I booked a dummy booking to confirm that it would give a confirmation number with a $0 purchase. I called back to cancel that booking as I had no intention of using it and the rep confirmed that ticketed vacations for adults would be honored. However vacations booked for those under 18 have been cancelled.

Some DD readers have already flown and stayed in hotels for free with the deal!

4 hours after I posted the deal JetBlue added a $2,000 or $2,500 minimum purchase to the deal’s terms.

JetBlue has to be commended for honoring their glitches though. In December a glitch lowered the price of transcontinental flights to $64 and their website remained jammed for a day. They even honored the fare for people who called about not being able to access their website.

In June they announced a promotion targeting Virgin America flyers due to JetBlue losing the bid to buy them out to Alaska. They had intended to target people that had Virgin America miles but forgot to exclude people transferring in points from SPG with a 25% bonus. In the end, Alaska Airlines even bumped up the Virgin America points by another 30% and JetBlue decided to honor the promotion despite high-level talks about whether to try to bail. We flew to Boston and got over 300,000 points for our mileage run.

But this was far from the first vacation package glitch:

-In 2006 I posted a deal for a flight+hotel package to Hawaii for $87 thanks to a $400 off Northwest Airlines vacation package that didn’t set a minimum purchase. I was in a Smicha program then in LA and went with my chavrusa to Oahu for Purim. In 48 hours we brought a suitcase of food for the local shluchim, bought Hawaiian print Kipot, paid our respects at Pearl Harbor, climbed Diamond Head, hiked to Manoa Falls, snorkeled in Hanauma Bay, and drove around the island.

I fell in love with the state and have been back 6 times since, including a month-long honeymoon spanning 4 islands.

-In March 2010 Expedia offered $400 off vacations packages to the Bahamas, resulting in hundreds of DansDeals readers getting free airfare+hotels there.

-On a Saturday in November 2010 Expedia once again offered $300 off vacation packages to Las Vegas and other cities. A friend had asked me if we wanted to shoot some pool that night. I’m not much of a pool guy, but agreed when Mimi said she was in. When I logged onto my laptop after Shabbos, I saw the deal on DDF and got involved with posting it and writing about its potential.

In the meantime, I told Mimi that the Expedia deal would keep me busy all night. At that time there were only 1,100 @DansDeals followers on Twitter and the deal lasted until 3:40AM the next day.

Eventually, Mimi told me what was really going on that night, there were dozens of people waiting for a surprise birthday party for me. Oops. That wouldn’t be the only birthday party I nearly missed due to a glitch, United’s 4 Mile Island glitch happened just before Rafi’s 1st birthday party.

Meanwhile, once at the party everyone wanted to book all-expense paid vacations to Las Vegas. Just about everyone in attendance wound up booking Vegas vacations with free airfare, Bellagio stays, airport limo transfers, Cirque du Soleil tickets, etc. Due to issues with our room the Bellagio even wound up buying us kosher steak and lamb chops for dinner.

While watching the Pats-Texans game this past Saturday night with a group of friends we got into a discussion of the free Vegas vacation deal and when something like that would return. Less than 24 hours later JetBlue delivered!

-Just a week after the Vegas deal, JetBlue had transcontinental airfares with hotel packages for just $99

-In 2011 JetBlue Vacations offered $100 vacations with no minimum purchase.

-Don’t want to miss a glitch like one of these or $50 first class Delta tickets to Hawaii or LA, $440 business class AA tickets to Asia250 mile Delta flights, $148 Delta tickets from down under$150 Delta Transatlantic fares, $250 AA Transatlantic fares$187 Etihad tickets$336 El Al tickets to Israel, $372 Delta tickets to Israel$281 Air Canada tickets to Israel, $461 USAirways tickets to Israel, or $287 United tickets to Israel?

Join the 79,400+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com! Click here to learn how to setup text message alerts (and choose which hours of the night not to bother you) and you’ll be the first to know about every deal!

Cathay/United: Fly Nonstop From Chicago To Hong Kong For $505 (Or 25K Hybrid Points) Round-Trip

Monday, January 16th, 2017, 5:20 pm

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


Bookable on Priceline. Tickets purchased from Priceline today are refundable until 11:29pm EST tomorrow. Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

-You can credit the United K class fare to Singapore Airlines to earn 16,130 miles instead of earning just 2,035 United miles.
-United has a 7 night minimum stay requirement.

-You can credit the Cathay Pacific O class fare to Alaska Airlines to earn 3,897 miles instead of earning 0 Asia miles.
-Cathay Pacific has no minimum stay requirement.

United Chicago-Hong Kong valid dates:
February 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28
March 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 27, 28, 29, 30
April 4, 5, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 27

United Hong Kong-Chicago valid dates:
February: Entire month
March 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30,
April 3, 4, 5, 6, 13, 17, 18, 19
May 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 18

Cathay Pacific Chicago-Hong Kong valid dates:
February 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28
March 1, 2, 6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 28, 29, 30
April 17, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong-Chicago valid dates:
February 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22,
March 1, 7, 8, 9, 21, 22,
April 4, 5, 26
May 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15

Hong Kong is a fascinating East meets West city and is home to several great kosher restaurants and shuls. Mul Hayam restaurant, located next to the Kehilat Zion shul in the Kowloon section of Hong Kong, is excellent. The JCC located on Hong Kong Island has very good dairy and meat restaurants as well as an awesome Sunday night all you can eat buffet, just don’t forget to bring your passport to get in! Chabad of Lantau also offers meals with delivery options.

We spent a Shabbos with Chabad of Hong Kong Island where the food was excellent and the atmosphere is awesome. People have rave reviews about Shabbos at Chabad and Kehilat Zion in Kowloon as well.

After Shabbos we moved the W in Kowloon, which is one of my favorite SPG hotels in the world. We got an amazing upgrade and there’s a very cool rooftop infinity pool and hot tub. Plus the bellhop picked up our bags from our room and checked them straight home to Cleveland without us ever having to touch them thanks to the airport express station located in the W’s basement.

There are lots of other great hotels where you can spend your points at as well.

Most hotels even give you a free cell phone to use while in Hong Kong.

Americans do not need a visa to travel to Hong Kong or to take the ferry from Hong Kong to nearby Macau.


These fares are not on sale with miles, but you can pay for the ticket with “hybrid points” if you have AMEX or Chase points and a Business Platinum or Sapphire Reserve card.

Using AMEX points:

If you have The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN you can get a 50% rebate on the airline of your choice in coach and on all airlines in business/first class

The 50% rebate will go back into your account the day after redeeming points.

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here.

A $505.26 flight will be 50,526 points and you would get a 50% rebate making the effective cost just 25,263 points, a value of 2 cents per point:

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Using Chase points:

If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you can redeem points for 1.5 cents each towards travel.

A $505.26 coach flight will be 33,684 points. That includes all taxes and you still earn miles for flying!

You can login to your account and redeem Chase points for travel here.

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Join the 79,300+ 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.

HT: Yaalili, via DDF

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