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

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016, 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.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

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

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

Will you be transferring Starpoints to United with this promotion?

HT: yelped, via DDF

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

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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!

Roundup Of New Targeted And Non-Targeted AMEX Offers; Save On Broadway Tickets, Lowes, Sams Club, Sears, And More

Friday, December 2nd, 2016, 2:19 pm

AMEX has lots of great new AMEX offers available.

1. Double points promotions:

Enroll in Double AMEX points for spending at small businesses here.

Enroll In Double AMEX Points At Select Stores here

2. AMEX Twitter (non-targeted) offers:

Signup for Twitter and you can save money with AMEX.

All you have to do is sync your American Express card with your twitter account to save money at rotating stores.

Then tweet the codes listed below to enroll, so for example just write #AmexSears and then click tweet. Then wait a minute and you should have a message in your notifications bar that you have successfully enrolled along with the offer terms.

In the image below you can see where to write the tweet and where to check for the confirmation.

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View all the offers after the jump:

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Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016, 7:05 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

I’ve always been an advocate of using airline miles over proprietary points from banks.

However the hits keep coming for airlines and the value of their miles.

After gobbling up airlines like Airtran, Continental, Northwest, and USAirways, the remaining airlines have made it increasingly expensive to earn elite status, while reducing benefits at the same time. They have reduced hub service and capacity in order to raise airfares. They have stopped awarding miles for flights based on distance flown. Their cheapest fares will no longer include free carry-ons.

They have all devalued their award charts, nearly doubling the cost of many awards:

-United massively devalued their award chart in February 2014.
-Delta removed their award charts from public view in February 2015. They have been stealthily making monthly devaluations since then, though their award availability has improved somewhat.
-Southwest has made a number of devaluations to their points value, despite having a fixed value that shouldn’t need devaluation like traditional award charts do when airline tickets get more expensive.
-American forced British Airways to charge 7.5K for their awards on AA instead of 4.5K in February of this year.
-American made huge devaluations to their own award chart in March of this year.

American, which once had the best saver award availability, has made it nearly impossible to redeem for saver awards. They have also increased the cost of their anytime award to eye-watering levels.

That’s not to say you can’t get some amazing values from airline miles. But it’s become increasingly difficult.

In the meantime there is still healthy competition in the credit card industry.

Non-convertible point cards:

-A 2% cash back card, like Citi Double Cash becomes increasingly compelling in the face of mileage devaluations, though that card has no signup bonus.

-The Capital One Spark Cash for Business offers a $500 bonus for spending $4,500 and 2% cash back.

-The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard is offering 50K points for signing up for a limited time. It offers 2 miles per dollar everywhere and a 5% refund when you redeem points for travel.

The problem with non-convertible cards is that they can’t transfer points into real miles. There are hundreds of times that I’ve redeemed points for tickets that would have been prohibitively expensive without miles. Accumulating straight cash back or points that can’t be converted into miles leaves you at risk when airfare is expensive.

Convertible point cards:

Convertible cards traditionally offer a poor value for paid airfare. They allow you to transfer points into miles, but when tickets are inexpensive it’s not worth using miles. Devaluations and increasingly tight capacity controls have also hurt the value of miles.

But just in the past few months we now have 2 credit cards that offer the best of both worlds.

Let’s call them Hybrid cards.

Hybrid card #1: Chase Sapphire Reserve:

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 or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

Chase launched the Sapphire Reserve in August and it has been wildly successful. It costs $450/year, but there are many intriguing benefits that make up for that including:
-100,000 points for signing up and meeting the spend threshold.
-$300 in travel spending per calendar year that is refunded back automatically
-Priority Pass lounge membership with unlimited free guests
-3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining
-Global Entry+TSA Pre-Check fee refund

But often times overlooked is that cardholders can use all of their Chase points at a value of 1.5 cents each towards airfare, hotels, car rentals, and vacation activities.
That means you can use 44K points today for a round-trip to Israel that would cost 80-170K miles from the airlines. Plus when you use the credit card points it covers the tax and you earn miles for the flight as if you had paid for it.

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

The same United flight that is 49.9K Chase points…

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…would cost 170K United miles+$46:

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The same Delta flight that is 49.9K Chase points…

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…would cost 140K Delta miles+$46:

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That means you effectively get back 4.5% on travel and dining spending on the Sapphire Reserve card.

You can earn even more by spending on other Chase cards
-If you have a Freedom Unlimited card you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere that are worth 2.25% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have a Freedom card you earn 5 points per dollar on rotating categories that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have Ink Plus or Ink Cash card you earn 5 points per dollar on office supplies, gift cards from office supply stores to hundreds of other stores, and telecom that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve. Gas, hotel, and dining purchases also have double point bonuses worth 3% towards travel.
-If you have Ink Business Preferred card you earn 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and telecom, and advertising on social media and search engines.that are worth 4.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.

That means you can be earning between 2.25%-7.5% back everywhere.

The great thing about a Hybrid card like Sapphire Reserve is that if you need a one-way ticket, a last minute ticket, or a business/first class ticket you can transfer them instantly into real airline miles, assuming the value is better there. But if it’s not you can still get a great value from your points by redeeming them directly for a ticket without transferring them into miles.

That means you can use 53,375 Singapore miles (transferable from AMEX or Chase) to fly in Singapore Suites class:

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Instead of paying $5.3K or using 353K Chase points:

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Hybrid card #2: AMEX Business Platinum:

In October, AMEX responded to Sapphire Reserve by greatly increasing the value of The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

It also has nice benefits that also make its $450 annual fee worthwile:
-Up to 100,000 points for signing up and meeting the spend threshold.
-10 annual GoGo in-flight WiFi passes
-Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi access
-$200 in airline fee credits per calendar year to spend on the airline of your choice.
-Lost item insurance
-Priority Pass lounge membership
-Centurion lounge access
-Delta lounge access
-Airspace lounge access
-Global Entry+TSA Pre-Check fee refund
-Hilton, SPG, and Marriott elite status

AMEX then added:
-A 50% rebate on points used for coach tickets on the airline of your choice
-A 50% rebate on points used for business/first class tickets on all airlines
-50% bonus points on $5K+ purchases

Thanks to the 50% rebate your points are worth at least 2 cents each. The rebate typically posts the day after redeeming points.

Having other AMEX cards increases the value proposition further:
-If you have The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere that are worth 3% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. You’ll also earn 4.5 points per dollar on groceries that are worth 9% towards travel and 3 points per dollar on gas that are worth 6% towards travel.
-If you have the consumer AMEX Platinum card you earn 5 points per dollar on airfare that are worth 10% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.
-If you have the AMEX Blue for Business card you earn 1.3 points per dollar after the 30% annual dividend that are worth 2.6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. Plus you’ll earn double points everywhere and 10 points per dollar at restaurants for a limited time that are worth more than 20% towards travel after the annual dividend when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.
-If you have the consumer Premier Rewards Gold card you earn 3 points per dollar on airfare that are worth 6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. Groceries and gas will earn 2 points per dollar worth 4% towards airfare.
-If you have the AMEX Business Gold you earn 2 or 3 points per dollar on categories of your choice that are worth 4-6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.

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

If you redeem 74,879 points for a ticket you’ll get 37,440 of them refunded back to you within a couple days. That’s a value of 2 cents per point.

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That’s an amazing value per point, though it comes with the annoyances of having to lock in one airline per year for coach travel and it requires waiting for the 50% rebate to come. You may have luck switching your airline of choice online via chat or over the phone, especially if you haven’t yet used your $200 in annual fee credit on that airline.

The 50% rebate for business or first class is for all airlines.

Instead of using 450K Delta miles plus $52 for business class…

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…you can use 113,319 AMEX points for business class after the 50% rebate. You’ll pay no tax and you’ll even earn miles for the flight!
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Of course having these hybrid cards gives you the flexibility to use your points at a 1.5-2 cent fixed value or to transfer into airline miles when they prove more valuable:

For example this flight tomorrow would cost just 10K United miles (which can be transferred instantly from Chase)…

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…instead of paying $573 or using 38K Chase points:

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The flexibility that hybrid cards like Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum offer put you one step ahead of the airlines. And it hinders their ability to devalue your points in the future.

Have you taken advantage of the benefits of these hybrid cards? Share your experience in the comments!

W Chicago Lakeshore For $67/Night!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016, 12:24 pm

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

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

Cheap rates are also available throuhgout the winter.

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

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Post what dates you find and book!

HT: davidmal, via DDF and EHD

HOT! JetBlue: JFK To/From Palm Springs, CA Nonstop For $65 (Or 2,850-3,230 Points) Each Way

Saturday, November 12th, 2016, 8:16 pm

Update: This fare can now be booked for 2017 dates on Priceline (refundable until Monday night) or with AMEX/Chase points.


Originally posted on 11/11:

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.

-Get free checked baggage, 10% rebates on point redemptions, 50% off in-flight purchases, and much more if you have the JetBlue Plus World Elite MastercardYou don’t need to use the card to get those benefits.


Bookable on Priceline. Tickets purchased from Priceline today are refundable until 11:29pm EST on Monday, 11/14. Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

-Also Bookable on JetBlue.com

-Limited seats are available on each date. Always search one-way for 1 seat and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can.

-A $65.10 ticket will cost 3,800 points+$5.60 or 3,420 points for JetBlue Plus cardholders.

If you register here and travel by 1/14 you’ll also get a 15% points rebate, making the effective cost just 3,230 points, a value of 1.84 cents per point (65.10-5.60/3,230). JetBlue Plus cardholders get a 25% rebate, making the effective cost just 2,850 points, a value of 2.09 cents per point (65.10-5.60/2,850).

If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you can redeem points here at 1.5 cents each towards travel, making the one-way just 4,340 Chase points including tax. The card comes with 100,000 signup points and $600 in travel spending in your first cardmembership year!

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.

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If you have The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN you can get a 50% rebate on the airline of your choice. A $65.10 ticket would cost 6,510 points and you would get a 50% rebate making the effective cost just 3,255 points, a value of 2 cents per point:

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JFK-Palm Springs $65 dates:
December: 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10
January: 7, 10, 11, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 28, 30, 31
February: 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 21, 22, 27
March: 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28, 29

Palm Springs-JFK $65 dates:
December: 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
January: 7, 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30, 31
February: 1, 4, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22
March: 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

Palm Springs is a 90 minute drive to Disneyland, a 2 hour drive from Los Angeles or San Diego, a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas, or a 6 hour drive from the Grand Canyon.

There are wonderful homes you can rent in Palm Springs with private pools on sites like Airbnb and VRBO, including many within walking distance of Chabad in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage. There are also several great Hyatt, SPG, and other point hotels.

In 2010 and in 2012 I reviewed renting a house and making Pesach in Palm Springs. Rabbi Denebeim runs a wonderful Chabad House and Palm Springs is surrounded by beautiful mountains and has lots of activities including a Thursday evening street fair, an aerial tramway, an air museum, Joshua Tree National Park, casinos, and a large outlet mall.

You can read more about Palm Springs on DDF.


Join the 76,200+ people who follow @DansDeals on twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

HT: aarony, via DDF

Check To See Your Targeted Offer To Buy Starpoints

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, 6:43 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

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


Starwood allows you to buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year. They are normally 3.5 cents each, but through 12/31 you can save between 25%-50% off Starpoints here.

Just login to your SPG account to find your offer. With the discount you can pay as little as 1.75 cents per Starpoint, a record low price for Starpoints if you have that offer. As Starpoints can convert to airline miles at a 20K:25K ratio, the cost per mile can be as low as 1.4 cents.  Starpoints can also convert to Marriott points at a 1K:3K ratio, so the cost per Marriott points can be as low as 0.58 cents each.

If you use your Starwood AMEX you’ll also get 2 Starpoints per dollar spent, so you’re effective cost per points will be just 1.69 cents as you’ll get an extra 1,050 Starpoints for a $525 purchase of 30,000 Starpoints.

Your account needs to be 14 days old to buy Starpoints, so there is still time to open an account and take part in this promotion. While there is a limit of 30K Starpoints per person, people living in the same household can transfer Starpoints between each other for free. It even extends the life of their Starpoints by another 18 months.

There are tons of great uses for Starpoints.

You can use them to stay in Starwood or Marriott hotels.

You can currently transfer 18,667 Starpoints into 31,250 United miles via Marriott. If you have a 50% off promotion that means you can effectively buy United miles for just 1.04 cents each.

90K Starpoints is currently enough for 152K United miles and a 7 night hotel stay via Marriott.

90K Starpoints is also enough for 7 nights in a Marriott hotel, 120K Southwest points, and a Southwest companion pass via Marriott that is valid for the remainder of the year and the entire following year. Assuming there no changes you can make that transfer in January of 2017 and you would be able to fly with a companion for free through December of 2018.

Or you can start saving up to play softball in Wrigley, cruise to Antarctica, or throw out the first pitch of the 2017 World Series with SPG Moments.

What offer are you targeted for and will you be buying Starpoints?

HT: davidmal, via DDF

Video And The Experience Of Throwing Out The First Pitch In Game 7 Of The World Series

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, 2:56 pm

Continued from:
8 Years Ago Was The Biggest Night Of My Life, Tonight Will Try To Come Close As I Toss A Ceremonial First Pitch At Game 7 Of The World Series
On The “Value Proposition” Of Spending A Million Starpoints For The Experience Of A Lifetime


It seemed like the bidding would go on forever. Starwood extends their auctions by 5 minutes every time a new bid is placed. But then it was finally over, I had won the auction for the experience of a lifetime! And on our 8th anniversary no less!

Just one not so minor detail, I’m just a spectator. A die-hard Indians fan, sure. But I’d rather watch the pros do it. I’ve never pitched a baseball in my life! Well, if you’ve never thrown a baseball, learning how to throw a ball 60 feet in just a day is no easy task.

So I turned to Adam Levine. Not that Adam Levine, just the one who davens at my local Chabad House and organizes local Sunday morning softball games. He worked with me on fielding and hitting before I played a game in Wrigley and I even wound up with a run scored and some RBIs. This time he graciously spent a lot of time making my pitch look halfway respectable. With a few more days I probably could have thrown a perfect strike, but there was just 8 hours from when the auction ended until the time of the pitch.

At first it seemed certain that I would Baba Booey or 50 Cent it:

 

But eventually I was able to throw the ball over the plate. But what would happen when I was pitching in front of 40,000 fans without even a single warmup pitch?

Meanwhile Indians fans from around the world wanted to see Charlie Sheen toss out the first pitch thanks to his Major League fame. “Get me Vaughn,” is part of Indians sports lore. They took to Twitter demanding that he throw out the first pitch.

Thanks to a Tweet and a DDF member I did get in touch with Charlie’s people. It would be cool to get up on the mound and yell “Get me Vaughn.” But MLB made it clear that they did not want Charlie Sheen on the field, period. The story somehow landed me as the top story on TMZ last night. I did help them find a suite for Charlie though after they were not able to secure one.

MLB reps met with us at the Jake’s press entrance and took Mimi, JJ, my grandfather, and me down to the field level. It’s like another world walking around the field.

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What an amazing way to spend your 8th anniversary:

 

 

 

I said hey to Tito and Mike Hargrove:

 

 

 

My grandfather loved it and told Tito about the ’48 and ’54 series he went to:

 

 

 

And then it was time for the big moment. I don’t even know how to possibly describe it. Surreal doesn’t nearly do it justice, but everything around me just froze. The announcer saying my name felt a million miles away. Through the hundreds of Indians games I’ve attended since I was a child I’ve been watching pitchers go up to that mound.

Never in my wildest childhood fantasies could I ever imagine walking up there during a game. And not just any game, but the final game of the World Series.

Mind. Blown.

It was truly an awesome experience and worth every Starpoint that I spent.

 

Via DansDeals Facebook #FirstPitch #Game7 #WorldSeries #Jumbotron

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

 

The pitch went as good as I could have hoped for considering that I had never pitched a ball and didn’t have any chance to warmup beforehand. It went over the plate with a single bounce. It didn’t go wide right or left. It didn’t dribble to the plate. And I didn’t get boos from the crowd.

That’s a win in my book!

JJ screams his head off in the video, so um, turn down your volume. But here’s the video.

 

 

And a video of the Jumbotron:

 

 

 

Is this real life?

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Cloud 9:

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And yes, I did have the first pitch. So technically Jim Thome threw out the 2nd pitch 🙂

 

The seats that came with the auction were fantastic:

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Well these aren't bad seats. Not bad at all. #SPGMoments #WorldSeries #Game7

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

The game itself was an emotional roller coaster. No doubt it will be considered one of the top World Series games of all time. The crowd was raucous and on their feet. The stadium probably had 30-40% Cubbies fans, which made for an interesting experience. After the Indians tied the game at 6, it just felt like it was bound to happen in the bottom of the 9th. They had come back from too far to not go all the way.

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It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback, but at the end of the day this Indians team surprised everyone. Even their own beat writer. The whole county felt like it was rooting for the Cubs as they hadn’t won for 108 years, as if the Indians 68 year drought was nothing. Even my 5 year old son Rafi told me before I went to the game that the Cubbies were going to win.

#ClevelandAgainstTheWorld #RallyTogether #LetsGoTribe #WorldSeries #Game2 #Windians

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

For the Tribe to make it so far without their best hitter and their #2 and #3 starting pitchers is mind-boggling. And for them to do it on a salary that was $100MM less than the Cubbies is a testament to great management. However the Indians heavily overworked pitching staff simply ran out of steam at the end. Sure it would have been icing on the cake had the Indians won and the loss was bitterly disappointing, but it didn’t take from the whole experience.

Right now it feels like when the Cavs lost in 2015 when they didn’t have Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love for the finals. But hey, they came back to win it earlier this year. And odds are they’ll play the rubber match next year in the Finals.

Congrats to Cubbies fans on winning it all though.

Hopefully the Indians can stay healthy next year and have an awesome rematch with the Cubbies in 2017. And may the team with the longer drought come out on top 😉

And hopefully another sports obsessed mileage junkie will have the once in a lifetime experience that I had before game 7.

 

The first pitched ball of Game 7:

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I’ve flown around the world in first class countless times, stolen 2nd base in middle of an Indians game, swam with normally poisonous Jellyfish in Palau, seen the Polar Bears near the North Pole, and thrown out the first pitch of a World Series game. But better than all that I have an awesome loving wife and an amazing little son and daughter. I thank G-d every day for those blessings and the life that I live.

The only real question is where should my next adventure be?


-Bid on your own SPG Moments packages with your Starpoints or Marriott points.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

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


Join the 75,900 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.

Follow my travel and sports obsession on Instagram @DansDeals.

8 Years Ago Was The Biggest Night Of My Life, Tonight Will Try To Come Close As I Toss A Ceremonial First Pitch At Game 7 Of The World Series

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016, 3:16 pm

DD sports posts:
Trip Notes: An Indians Fan Playing Ball In Wrigley
October Redemption Time In Believeland
But What Would They Do If An Indians Fan Took The Mound?
Trip Notes: The Redemption, The Comeback, The Renaissance, The Chasedown, The Block, The Shot Part 2, The Tearjerker; Call It What You Want But This Was A Night To Remember
Can The Cavs End Cleveland’s Curse?
Better Than Any First Class Suite…Taking My Son To His First Ballgame
Trip Notes: Hall Of Fame Trifecta And Fenway Park In 72 Hours
Trip Notes: A Father & Son Day Trip To Chicago For A Ballgame And A DO
Stealing 2nd Base: My Coolest Use Of Miles Ever?
My First Non-Travel Mileage Redemption
Take Me Out To The Ballgame…Buy Me Some Kosher Chili And Ribs.
Manny Being Manny…


Follow my travel and sports obsession on Instagram @DansDeals.

On November 2nd, 2008 I married Mimi in Overland Park, Kansas. We were young and naive at 23 and 21 years old, but we were ready to take on the world and life’s adventures.

Since then we’ve had 2 amazing kids that have brightened our life as we explore the world together. I couldn’t possibly ask for a better wife or mother for our children.

From our August mileage run to Boston that earned us more than 300,000 miles:

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We’ve traveled from Argentina to Tasmania.  From Banff to Phuket. From Paris to the Whitsunday Islands. From the Maldives to Zurich.  From Sydney to Venice.  From the spiritual hills of Jerusalem to the awe inspiring Mauna Kea and Na Pali cliffs.

All in first class.

All on points.

Sometimes it’s been crazy, like when I took advantage of a glitch for free first class tickets to Buenos Aires that required leaving the house in less than an hour. Other times it’s worked out better, like when I used miles to buy out an entire first class cabin to Brazil.

Our kids have flown on over 100 flights thanks to the mileage game!

 

But travel is just one of my passions.

The other big one is sports.

 

As a 5th generation Clevelander on both my mother’s and father’s side I’m a die-hard Cleveland sports fan.

As a 90s kid I sent in hundreds of postcards and won tickets to watch the ’95 World Series. Earlier that year I got nearly whole team’s autograph (Belle and Murray were the holdouts) when we stayed in the Westin Harbour Castle Toronto where the Tribe was staying.

I cried when they lost it in game 7 in 1997 despite there being no crying in baseball.

I had World Series tickets in 2007 that lay unused thanks to Boston coming back from being down 3-1.

I was there when when the Cavs got swept out of the Finals in 2007, though my grandfather and I left a few minutes early when he told me how his dad and him left just before watching the Giants sweep the Indians in 1954.

But he went to World Series games in 1948 as a 9 year old, the last time the Indians won it all. Nobody younger than him can even remember it.

In 2013 I drove with my brother JJ and my grandfather to the NFL, MLB, and NBA hall of fame and then finished the trip by watching Tito’s Indians beat up on the Red Sox from the front row of the Green Monster. Enough memories to last a lifetime.

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Later that year I got to steal 2nd base in middle of an Indians game thanks to 25K United miles. It was by far my coolest use of miles ever.

 

Running onto the field in the top of the 7th…

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…and stealing second base!

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 Making off with my loot.

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I called to get winning pitcher Justin Masterson’s attention after the game by saying that I had stolen second base from the game.  When he looked up and saw the base he was shocked and exclaimed, “I thought you were kidding, you really do have second base!!!”

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Later that year I watched Salazar try to win the Wild Card game, but the Indians bats didn’t show up that night. The Jake was on fire that night, the atmosphere was just like the 90s again.

 

In 2014 I took my son to his first ballgame. It was an amazing moment for me. By 2015 I was already bringing him to Indians away games. At 5 years old today he knows every airplane type and the Indians starting lineup. His favorite airplane is the 747 and his favorite Indians player is Jason Kipnis.

 

In June I flew to Oakland and finally got to witness a Cleveland team win it all. The nonstop United flights to and from Cleveland that day were like party buses.

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I went to the parade with my grandfather and my son. Another bucket lister checked off.

 

But the Tribe was always where my heart was. When would their turn be?

 

Earlier this year I got to play Softball in Wrigley Field thanks to Starwood Starpoints.

#RBISingle #SPGMoments @ #WrigleyField #TeamDansDeals takes #Game1 14 to 5!

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

Some people didn’t like that I put on my Indians hat at a Cubs event. I told them all and wrote online at the time that I was just previewing the 2016 World Series.

Before this series I wrote my prediction on the DansDeals Forums:

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And here we are, game 7!

I’m excited beyond anything I can describe in writing.

But just one more thing:

I won a Starwood auction to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game tonight!

I’ll be pitching just before Jim Thome, who has a statue just outside of the ballpark.

It’s a lifelong dream come true.

Now, I’m no athlete. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s entirely possible that it will wind up like this, just a bit outside:

 

But I can take it. Being a meme doesn’t faze me. Just the experience to be on the field before game 7 in the World Series will be incredible. And having my wife by my side on our anniversary only makes it that much more sweet.

The only way it could possibly get any better is if the Indians win it all tonight!

Go Tribe!


-Bid on your own SPG Moments packages with your Starpoints or Marriott points.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

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


Join the 75,900 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.

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

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016, 11:48 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

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

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

Trip Notes: An Indians Fan Playing Ball In Wrigley

Sunday, October 30th, 2016, 1:50 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.
-Follow me on the road and at home on Instagram @DansDeals


-Bid on your own SPG Moments packages with your Starpoints or Marriott points.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

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


You can read another version of this trip report on DDF here in the DDF Trip Reports board.


On July 8th I wrote about some neat SPG experiences that were being auctioned.

Shortly afterward DDF member Chapshnell started a thread in the DDF DO board to get 12 guys together to bid on playing softball in Wrigley Field. SPG even included personalized jerseys and other goodies for each player on the team.

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View the rest of the trip report after the jump:

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Hyatt Continues To Devalue Their Program

Friday, October 28th, 2016, 12:47 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can read the full details of the program here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are a few nice additions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will these changes affect your hotel loyalty?

But What Would They Do If An Indians Fan Took The Mound?

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016, 5:16 pm

Related post: October Redemption Time In Believeland


1st off, as my Uncle Marty said, Congrats to Cubs nation on getting to the World Series for the 1st time in 71 years. Maybe next year you’ll even win it! 😉

In all seriousness though, Starwood is auctioning off the rights to throw the ceremonial first pitch of the first World Series game played in Wrigley Field in over 7 decades.

That may just be the coolest use of miles of all time. Even cooler than when I stole 2nd base.

But what would happen when someone in an Indians jersey and hat took the mound in Chicago?

It might be easier to escape if my name was Bartman.

Alas the game will be played on a Friday night which precludes me from participating or finding out just what would happen.

But c’mon SPG. Hook it up for game 5, 6, or 7!

Pretty please?

Goodbye Antarctica: It’s Been A Fun Dream

Friday, October 14th, 2016, 9:22 am

For the past few weeks my head has been in Antarctica.

Earlier this year (spoiler alert) I made it to Longyearbyen, which is the Northernmost city in the world. Frigid, off the beaten path, and otherworldly, I fell in love with the place.

When I saw Starwood auctioning off a National Geographic/Lindblad cruise to Antarctica I knew I had to try for it. How awesome would it be to cross both polar circles in the same year?

I’m a big fan of using miles for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Earlier this year I played on a DDF softball team in Wrigley Field with Starpoints. A few years ago I burned 25K United miles for 4 box seats to an Indians game. In middle of the game I got to run onto the field and literally steal 2nd base. As a die-hard Indians fan it was probably the coolest use of my miles ever. People around the stadium were shocked to see someone walking around with 2nd base. I got the base signed by several players, including the winning pitcher that night, and it hangs in my office today. It still has the Jacobs Field dirt on it. That story inspired other DansDeals readers to use their miles for some amazing experiences as well.

The idea of a cruise in general has never really appealed to me. I don’t like to travel in a group, I’d much rather march to the beat of my own drum. But when it comes to Antarctica I can’t just use my miles to buy a flight and wind up on the great white continent, so a cruise is a necessary evil.

Antarctica has long been on my bucket list and that was only strengthened when I helped a DDFer book an award ticket to the Falkland Islands in order to catch an Antarctica cruise. He later came back to DDF to say thanks and share this awesome trip report with amazing photos.

I started to get more serious with my own bucket list when my friend, Nadiv Kehaty, passed away last year at the age of 30. I booked and flew on the Island Hopper to Palau with AJK shortly after that happened. Mimi had zero interest in taking over a dozen flights across the Pacific, but thanks to DDF I was able to find someone to travel with so that I wouldn’t fly solo while checking something off my bucket list.

I didn’t have a problem finding a DDFer to come along to Antarctica with me, but of course as an Orthodox Jew there were lots of questions to ask and I started working my way down that list. The cruise would leave Ushuaia, Argentina on a Tuesday and return early the following Friday morning. On Saturday I would be stuck on the boat if it stopped anywhere unless it would stay put until after Shabbos was over. Shabbos near the Antarctic Circle is also problematic, but the cruise doesn’t go too far south, so there would be a sunset, but it never gets totally dark. If the cruise was in Port Lockroy on Saturday I would keep Shabbos from sunset Friday at 10:05PM until 1AM Sunday.

The other traveling obstacle for Orthodox Jews is kosher food. Many Orthodox Jews opt to vacation exclusively where there are kosher restaurants. Some do the exact same Miami Beach vacation every winter. I can definitely appreciate that, but that’s incredibly boring. I wouldn’t have been able to fly to Svalbard, Palau, or Tasmania by limiting myself to kosher food availability. But at the same time I’m not one to rough it. I bring gourmet food with me and have the best of both worlds.

Things are very different on a cruise though.

I called National Geographic/Lindblad about obtaining kosher meals on their cruises and was told that after paying for a cruise they would get in touch with me about kosher arrangements. I wasn’t about to risk my Starpoints without having the details hammered out. So I HUCA’d a few times until I was promised that someone would reach out to me.

They sent me a letter saying they normally can accommodate a “modern kosher diet” but not a “conservative Orthodox diet.” Apparently a modern kosher diet is when they bring kosher supplies from the US but there’s no supervision for what happens to those supplies onboard, which according to Jewish law makes it non-kosher.

I asked if I could bring my own sealed and frozen airline style meals from the US and they said no.

I asked if I could arrange for kosher airline meals from Buenos Aires based Open Kosher, the kosher meal supplier in Argentina, to be delivered to the cruise. I was given a tentative OK and began arranging it based on that. And then out of the blue I got the following phone call where they make it clear that they would not allow perishable kosher meals onto their ship even if I arranged and paid for everything as they state they do not accommodate Orthodox Jewish diets. Full stop.

I got the phone call while getting a haircut before Rosh Hashana, so I was distracted for the first 30 seconds of the call…

Audio of our conversation:

 

 

Despite follow-up requests via phone and email the “boss” that either may or may not exist never followed up with me.

I was pretty dejected after that. It was the first time as a traveler that I had ever received pushback in religious accommodation. Clearly that’s their right as a private business, but it was very disappointing that they weren’t willing to help at all, especially after indicating that it could be arranged.

My DDF partner emailed about bringing non-perishable snacks onboard and was told that generally it should be OK, though they asked to know what kind of snacks. Taking a small leap of faith, we figured we could bring aboard a combination of Tuna, Peanut Butter, and La Briute/Meal Mart shelf stable self-warming meals and survive the cruise. Cabins also have a mini-fridge, so maybe we would bring some vacuum sealed deli or shnitzel as well.

It wasn’t ideal, but we’d survive just fine.

The other issue National Geographic/Lindblad provides a charter flight from Santiago, Chile to Ushuaia on Tuesday returning Friday afternoon after a tour of Ushuaia. The flight is weight restricted which would make things very tricky if not impossible between camera equipment and 2 weeks of kosher food. For the return flight we wouldn’t have weight issues, but we would likely have Shabbos timing issues on the charter flight.

Instead I found award tickets to Buenos Aires. From Buenos Aires I’d be able to tack on a flight to Ushuaia as long as we stayed in Buenos Aires for less than 24 hours. On the return LAN had a flight that would work on Friday with miles, though bizarrely the flight itself kept getting cancelled and then reinstated every 2 days. There were flights from Aerolineas Argentinas that were dirt cheap, though they are intended for Argentine citizens only. Or we could stay in Ushaia for a few days to explore some of Patagonia and then take a LAN flight back to Buenos Aires on Monday or Tuesday. Of course that would mean more days of eating Tuna or finding a hotel to store sealed meals for us while we cruised to Antarctica.

The retail cost of the trip was about $28,000 for 2 people. The Starpoints bidding was at 478K points for 2 people on the morning of the auction’s close.

We figured that maybe we had a shot at 600K and agreed to go as high as 650K.

I have more than 2 million Starpoints, but they were nearly all locked in up in reservations at the S. Regis Maldives due to the price mistake that was found by an eagle-eyed DDF’er. I booked lots of reservations there hoping that one would work out for us as far as dates and flights. I still haven’t figured that out yet and the hotel is unwilling to edit the dates on those reservations, so I was reluctant to start cancelling them without knowing if we had a chance of winning the Antarctica cruise.

Normally Starpoint reservations can be cancelled instantly, but as this was a special rate it had to be cancelled with an agent.

The auction was set to end at 11AM on Tuesday, though SPG auctions get extended by 5 minutes every time another bid is placed.

By 10:39AM the bidding was at 590K. It was time to start cancelling some reservations. Cancelling several reservations took far longer than I thought it would, though other people kept the bidding going. There were times when I was having reservations cancelled that I was worried that the auction would end before I had a chance to bid and then I’d lose the reservations and the auction.

At 11:02AM I made a bid for 641K Starpoints which was outbid. I asked the other DDF member if we should go up higher and we agreed that we would cap it at 770K so I raced to cancel one more Maldives reservation and just in the nick of time I got the points back to bid 770K, which was outbid. I went to the full 771K in my account which also got outbid.

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At that point we were done. I could have cancelled another of the dozen reservations in my account, but the value proposition just wasn’t there once we had to spend more than 770K Starpoints, book award tickets to Ushuaia, and bring along our own food for 2 weeks.

OK, so which of you guys outbid us. You had better post an awesome trip report! 😀

What places are on your travel bucket list?

Roundup Of New Targeted And Non-Targeted AMEX Offers, Check For Offers From AT&T, Disney, Hyatt, Lowes, Office Depot, Staples, And More

Monday, October 10th, 2016, 12:54 pm

AMEX has lots of great new AMEX offers available.

1. AMEX Twitter (non-targeted) offers:

Signup for Twitter and you can save money with AMEX.

All you have to do is sync your American Express card with your twitter account to save money at rotating stores.

Then tweet the codes listed below to enroll, so for example just write #AmexBoxed and then click tweet. Then wait a minute and you should have a message in your notifications bar that you have successfully enrolled along with the offer terms.

In the image below you can see where to write the tweet and where to check for the confirmation.

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View all the offers after the jump:

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AMEX Upgrades Platinum Card Benefits; Business Platinum Card 100,000 Point Signup Bonus And New Game Changing Benefits!

Thursday, October 6th, 2016, 11:11 am

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Chase stole the show in August and September with Sapphire Reserve mania. It’s truly an excellent card thanks to a 100K signup bonus, $300 in ultra-easy to obtain annual travel credits, Priority Pass lounge access with unlimited guests, triple points on all traveling and dining, Global Entry fee credit, and points that are transferable to excellent mileage currencies or that are worth 1.5 cents per dollar everywhere for travel. As Chase also offers a Freedom Unlimited card that earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, that means you earn 2.25 cents per dollar everywhere or 4.5 cents per dollar on travel purchases.

Now AMEX is striking back in a big way.

The consumer Platinum Card® from American Express now offers 5 points per dollar on airfare. By itself that isn’t a game changer, though it’s an excellent new benefit.

The game changing news comes with The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. It now offers a 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. Be sure you are logged in to redeem points.

If there’s a $100 airline ticket you want to book it will cost 10,000 points and you’ll get 5,000 points back. That means your points are effectively worth 2 cents each. And unlike with mileage tickets, you will also earn miles for these tickets. AMEX also offers insider fares that can make your points be worth even more than 2 cents each towards paid airfare.

Until 1/25/17 the Business Platinum Card is offering 50K points for spending $5,000 and another 50K points for spending an additional $10,000 within 3 months for first time Business Platinum cardholders.

The Business Platinum card now also earns 1.5 points per dollar on large purchases of $5,000 of more. You can earn up to 1 million points annually with that bonus.

But there’s a much easier way to earn at least 1.5 points per dollar everywhere:

-The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card earns 4.5 miles 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 if you make 30 transactions per month. It has a $95 annual fee.

-The Amex EveryDay Credit Card earns 2.4 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar elsewhere. It’s the only no-fee card that allows you to transfer points into miles.

The points all combine, so thanks to points being worth 2 cents each on the Business Platinum card for airfare, you can earn an effective 9% rebate at US supermarkets, 6% at US gas stations, 5% on Uber, and 3% everywhere else by spending on the Everyday Preferred card and redeeming with the Business Platinum card.

If you also have a Consumer Platinum card you’ll earn an effective 10% rebate at all airfare (5 points per dollar spent) by redeeming them with the Business Platinum card at a value of 2 cents each.

If you have an American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card you can earn an effective 6% rebate on flights, 4% rebate at US gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants, and Uber by spending on the Premier Gold card and redeeming with the Business Platinum card.

For example:

A nonstop flight round-trip from JFK to Tel Aviv on Delta is $870 or 86.979 points. If you have a Business Platinum card and select Delta as the airline for your $200 airline fee credit and 2 cents per point on coach tickets you’ll get a rebate of about 43,490 points within 6-10 weeks. Effectively you’ll have paid just 43,490 points for this round-trip flight to Israel:

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You can also use cash plus any amount of points that you choose to redeem and you’ll still get a 50% rebate of all the points that you used!

A nonstop flight round-trip from JFK to Tel Aviv in business class on Delta for those dates is $2,998 or 283,179 points thanks to an insider fare discount that drops the mileage requirements from 299,779 to 283,179. If you have a Business Platinum card you get a 50% rebate on all airlines when you book business or first class travel, so no matter which airline you select for the $200 airline fee credit you’ll get a rebate of about 141,590 points within 6-10 weeks. Effectively you’ll have paid just 141,590 points for this round-trip flight to Israel, a value of 2.12 cents per points. There’s no need to hunt for saver award travel, this works on any paid fare.

 

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A one-way flight from NYC to Miami on 11/1 is $53 or 5,210 points. If you have a Business Platinum card and select American or United as the airline for your $200 airline fee credit and 2 cents per point on coach tickets you’ll get a rebate of about 2,605 points within 6-10 weeks. Effectively you’ll have paid just 2,605 points for this flight to Miami:

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A nonstop one-way flight from LAX to JFK in business class on JetBlue is $549 or 54,810 points. If you have a Business Platinum card you get a 50% rebate on all airlines when you book business or first class travel, so no matter which airline you select for the $200 airline fee credit you’ll get a rebate of about 27,405 points within 6-10 weeks. Effectively you’ll have paid just 27,405 points for this flight. There’s no need to hunt for saver award travel, this works on any paid fare. JetBlue business class offers lie-flat seating and amenity kits. Single mint suites have doors that close for privacy in the sky, so grab single suites in rows 2 and 4 if you’re traveling alone. JetBlue also offers the best business class kosher meals in the contiguous US. Here is the JetBlue Mint kosher menu.

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Annual fee:

Both Platinum cards come with a hefty $450 annual fee. Besides for the new improvements mentioned above, here’s what else they offer to make that fee worthwhile:

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.

Airline fee refunds:

You can register here for $200 in annual fee credits for the airline of your choice. Officially you can only change the airline in January, but I’ve been able to chat and change the airline in other months as well.

If you get a Platinum card now you’ll get $400 of refunds in your first cardmembership year, $200 in 2016 and $200 in 2017.

Officially these are intended to be used for bag fees, seat upgrades, and lounge passes/memberships. However they also work for items like $100 American Airlines gift cards, $100 United gift registry contributions, and gift cards purchased for stores like Amazon via United MileagePlusX.

If you have multiple primary Consume or Business Platinum cards they can each take advantage of this annual benefit.

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 and Los Angeles.

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 offers kosher food, wine, and Israeli art. 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.

Additional cardholders:

You can add 3 additional cardholders onto a consumer Platinum card for $175 ($58.33 per additional cardholder per year).

Additional cardholders on a business Platinum card are $300 each, though you can add additional Green cardholders with no annual fee to a business Platinum card.

Additional Platinum cardholders do get full lounge access so they will have access to Delta and Priority Pass lounges for themselves and they will be able to guest others into Airspace and Centurion lounges. They also get the Global Entry credit.

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 card:

-The consumer card’s advantages are now the 5 points per dollar on airfare and the inexpensive additional 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

So, is it all worthwhile?

The lounge and other benefits are great, but the 50% rebate on the Business Platinum card really shines.

However you’ll better off spending on cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express to earn more points per dollar than the Platinum card.  The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card is a charge card like the Platinum card but earns more points on airfare, gas, and groceries than the Business Platinum card.

But having those cards and a Business Platinum card seems like a winning strategy. You’ll get lots of benefits and a great redemption rate without having to hunt for saver award space.

Will these new benefits change your mileage earning strategy?

Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Consumer And/Or Business Spend Bonus

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016, 9:04 pm

You can login to your AMEX account via this link to check if you are targeted for a Starwood Consumer spend bonus.

If you are targeted and spend $5,000 on your Starwood consumer card between the date you enroll and 12/31/16 you’ll get 5,000 bonus Starpoints for a total of 10,000 Starpoints.

You can login to your AMEX account via this link to check if you are targeted for a Starwood Business spend bonus.

If you are targeted and spend $5,000 on your Starwood business card between the date you enroll and 12/15/16 you’ll get 5,000 bonus Starpoints for a total of 10,000 Starpoints. If you spend $10,000 on your Starwood business card card you’ll get another 5,000 bonus Starpoints for a total of 20,000 Starpoints.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

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

Recent Starwood merger news and posts:
-Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More
Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths
Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel
Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points, Southwest Companion Pass Status, And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel

Starwood Adds 36th Airline Partner
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!

-Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!
Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2016 Edition

HT: yitzyul, via DDF

Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More

Monday, September 26th, 2016, 11:40 am

Related posts (Read these first!):
Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths
Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel
Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points, Southwest Companion Pass Status, And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel


The Starwood-Marriott merger completed last Friday.

In 2018 the programs will combine and form a new program, but in the meantime you can link your SPG and Marriott accounts together and then transfer points freely back and forth in order to take advantage of the best that both programs have to offer.

-You can receive 3 Rewards points for every Starpoint transferred into Marriott.

-You can receive 1 Starpoint for every 3 Marriott Rewards points transferred to Starwood.

-Transferring any Marriott points to Starwood will keep your Starpoints alive for another 18 months, so it’s worth doing it just for that. Marriott points expire after 24 months and you need to earn or redeem points to keep them alive, transfers don’t extend their expiration. However Starwood counts transfers as activity to keep your points alive. Officially Starwood has a 12 month expiration policy, but they don’t enforce it until 18 months have gone by. Starwood is also generous about reactivating expired miles if you plead your case.

-Starwood also has a more liberal member transfer policy. You can transfer Starpoints to any member who shares an address with you. If the addresses don’t match you’ll need to wait 30 days after changing the address before initiating a transfer. If you want to transfer Marriott points to someone living at your address you can transfer those points into Starpoints, transfer those Starpoints to the other member, and then that member can transfer those points back to Marriott.

-The minimum transfer from Marriott to Starwood is 1,000:333. The minimum transfer from Starwood to Marriott is 1,000:3,000. This post does not factor in minimum transfer amounts.

-You can buy Starpoints here if you need some extra points to top off your account.

-Marriott has 9 categories of hotels that range from 7,500 to 45,000 points per night or 6,000 to 40,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.

-Marriott also has 5 tiers of Ritz Carlton hotels that range from 30,000 to 70,000 points per night or 20,000 to 60,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.

Starwood has 7 categories of hotels that range from 2,000 to 35,000 points per night.

-Both chains also offer capacity controlled Cash+Points options that aren’t displayed in this chart.

-Starwood category 5-7 hotels have low and high season dates that are set annually by each hotel.

Chart 1: View how many Starpoints or Marriott Rewards are needed for Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and SPG hotels, along with a few sample hotels from each level.

The top number is the points required for a 1 night stay. The bottom number is the points required per night if you stay for 5 nights:

Hotel CategoryStarpoints per night for a 1 night or 5 night stayMarriott Rewards per night for a 1 night or 5 night staySample Hotels 
Marriott Category 12,500

2,000
7,500

6,000
-MOXY Milan Airport
-Protea Hotel Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Zambia
-Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, South Africa
Marriott Category 23,333

2,666
10,000

8,000
-Courtyard Toronto Airport
-Courtyard Detroit Southfield
Marriott Category 35,000

4,000
15,000

12,000
-Courtyard Oxnard
-Denver Marriott Tech Center
-Protea Hotel Sea Point, Cape Town
-JW Marriott Hanoi
Marriott Category 46,667

5,333
20,000

16,000
-JW Marriott Hotel Beijing
-JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City
Marriott Category 58,333

6,667
25,000

20,000
-Residence Inn Los Angeles Airport
-SpringHill Suites Fairbanks
-Renaissance Chicago O'Hare Suites
-Marriott Tbilisi, Georgia
-Marriott Lisbon
Marriott Category 610,000

8,000
30,000

24,000
-Residence Inn San Diego La Jolla
-Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel
-Renaissance Sao Paulo, Brazil
Marriott Category 711,667

9,333
35,000

28,000
-Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel
-Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach/Oceanfront
-S. Kitts Marriott Resort
Marriott Category 813,333

10,667
40,000

32,000
-Turnberry Isle Miami
-Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
-Atlantis, Royal Towers, Bahamas
-JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa
-Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Marriott Category 915,000

12,000
45,000

36,000
-Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
-Boscolo Venice
-JW Marriott Hong Kong
-Scrub Island Resort, Virgin Islands
-Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe, Paris
-Grosvenor House Lonson, A JW Marriott Hotel
Ritz Tier 110,000

8,000
30,000

24,000
-Ritz-Carlton Beijing
-Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi
Ritz Tier 213,333

10,667
40,000

32,000
-Ritz-Carlton Cleveland
-Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Ritz Tier 316,667

13,333
50,000

40,000
-Ritz-Carlton Herzliya
-Ritz-Carlton Cancun
-Ritz-Carlton Toronto
Ritz Tier 420,000

16,000
60,000

48,000
-Ritz-Carlton Maui
-Ritz-Carlton NYC/Battery Park
Ritz Tier 523,333

18,667
70,000

56,000
-Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour
-Ritz-Carlton South Beach
-Ritz-Carlton New York/Central Park
-Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
SPG Category 12,000 (Weekends)

3,000 (Weekdays)

No 5 night discount
6,000 (Weekends)

9,000 (Weekdays)

No 5 night discount
-Aloft San Jose, Costa Rica
-Le Méridien N'Fis, Morocco
SPG Category 23,000 (Weekends)

4,000 (Weekdays)

No 5 night discount
9,000 (Weekends)

12,000 (Weekdays)

No 5 night discount
-Four Points Niagara Falls Fallsview
-Sheraton Eatontown, NJ
SPG Category 37,000

5,600
21,000

16,800
-Le Méridien Chiang Mai
-Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale
SPG Category 410,000

8,000
30,000

24,000
-Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa At Keauhou Bay, HI
-Four Points Miami Beach
-Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
SPG Category 512,000 (Low)

9,600 (Low/5)

16,000 (High)

12,800 (High/5)
36,000 (Low)

28,800 (Low/5)

48,000 (High)

38,400 (High/5)
-Royal Palm South Beach
-Sheraton Kauai Resort
-Sheraton Tel Aviv
-Sheraton Iguazú Resort & Spa
SPG Category 620,000 (Low)

16,000 (Low/5)

25,000 (High)

20,000 (High/5)
60,000 (Low)

48,000 (Low/5)

75,000 (High)

60,000 (High/5)
-W Hong Kong
-Westin Venice
-SLS Beverly Hills
-W Retreat Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
SPG Category 730,000 (Low)

24,000 (Low/5)

35,000 (High)

28,000 (High/5)
90,000 (Low)

72,000 (Low/5)

105,000 (High)

84,000 (High/5)
-S. Regis Bal Harbour
-S. Regis Princeville, Kauai
-Gritti Palace, Venice

Chart 2: View how many Starpoints or Marriott Rewards are needed for a air+hotel package at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels.

With these packages you will get miles and a 7 night hotel certificate.

The best value is the largest mileage option, though there are smaller mileage options as well.

-For example for 90K Starpoints or 270K Marriott Rewards points you will get a 7 night hotel stay at Marriott category 1-5 properties and 132K miles if you choose to transfer the miles to United.

-You’ll get 120K miles if you choose to transfer the miles to Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Southwest, or Virgin Atlantic. Transfers to Southwest qualify for Companion Pass Status which allows you to bring a friend with you for free on all paid and award travel through the end of the year after you qualify.

-You’ll only get 85K miles if you choose to transfer the miles to Aeroflot, airberlin, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA LifeMiles, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Korean Air SKYPASS, LAN, Lufthansa Miles & More, Multiplus, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Saudia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways Voyager, TAP Air Portugal, or Turkish.

-You’ll get a miserly 60K miles if you choose to transfer the miles to JetBlue or Virgin America.

-The miles will post right away regardless of when or if you use the 7 night certificate.

-The 7 night hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them. The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights. You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.

There is also a 5 night hotel option, but officially that’s only available for Marriott timeshare owners. On rare occasions some reps will book the 5 night packages for non-timeshare owners.

Hotel CategoryStarpoints required for 7 nights and 132K milesMarriott Rewards required for 7 nights and 132K miles 
Marriott Category 190,000270,000
Marriott Category 290,000270,000
Marriott Category 390,000270,000
Marriott Category 490,000270,000
Marriott Category 590,000270,000
Marriott Category 6100,000300,000
Marriott Category 7110,000330,000
Marriott Category 8120,000360,000
Marriott Category 9130,000390,000
Ritz Tier 1140,000420,000
Ritz Tier 2140,000420,000
Ritz Tier 3140,000420,000
Ritz Tier 4180,000540,000
Ritz Tier 5180,000540,000

 


Chart 3: View how many Starpoints or Marriott Rewards are needed for a nights+flights package at Starwood hotels. This option only exists for SPG category 3 and 4 properties.

With these packages you will get 50K miles credited to your choice of dozens of airlines and a night hotel stay.

Hotel CategoryStarpoints for 5 nights and 50K milesMarriott Rewards for 5 nights and 50K miles
SPG Category 360,000 180,000
SPG Category 470,000 210,000


-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 Rewards points (transferable to 29,167 Starpoints) for spending $3,000 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 “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.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

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

-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!


Do you have plans to transfer points or stay in a hotel that wasn’t possible previously? Share your redemptions in the comments!

Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!

Friday, September 23rd, 2016, 2:45 am

20K Starwood points can transfer into 25K airline miles with dozens of airlines.

That used to include Continental and United, but as the AMEX and Chase co-brand battles heated up, the Starwood transfer ratio to those airlines was chopped to a measly 20K:12.5K transfer ratio.

Marriott and United both have co-brand relationships with Chase and have a much cozier relationship. That means you can now take advantage of those relationships even if you’re an SPG loyalist.

-If you have Starwood Platinum Status you can match it to Marriott Platinum which will also get you United Silver status!

You can transfer 56K Marriott Rewards points into 25K United miles. That’s more miles than any other airline Marriott partners with.

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 25K United miles, an effective 33.9% bonus compared Starwood’s normal 25% bonus.

-An even better deal is with Marriott’s miles+nights packages. 270K Marriott Rewards points would give you 132K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

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

-Even if you don’t use the 7 night hotel certificate being able to transfer 90K Starpoints into 132K United miles is an effective 46.7% bonus!

-The 7 night hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.

mr1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 132K 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 132K United miles.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

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

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

Will you be transferring Starpoints to United?

Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!

Friday, September 23rd, 2016, 1:00 am

Starwood-Marriott Account Link Setup

Marriott completed their buyout of Starwood today and you can now transfer Starpoints to Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio and Marriott Rewards points to Starwood at a 3:1 ratio. The minimum amount of points that can be transferred are 1,000 Starpoints into 3,000 Marriott Rewards points and 1,000 Marriott Rewards points into 333 Starpoints. There is no maximum amount of points and you can continue to transfer points back and forth at will. That’s pretty much the best case scenario that Starwood fans could have hoped for!

I signed up to link my accounts and my Starwood Platinum status was instantly matched to Marriott Platinum status. Somehow I now have top-tier elite Diamond and Platinum status with Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Starwood without any paid stays 😀

Both your Marriott and Starwood accounts remain separate, but they now have the ability to transfer points back and forth at will.

-If you have Starwood Gold status you’ll be matched to Marriott Gold.

-If you have a Starwood credit card you’ll be matched to Marriott Silver.

-Matching also works the other way, Marriott Platinums will get Starwood Platinum and Marriott Golds will get Starwood Gold.

-If you have United Gold status or higher you can get Marriott Gold which will also get you Starwood Gold.

-If you have Starwood Platinum Status you can match to Marriott Platinum which will also get you United Silver status!

-Marriott elites can also take advantage of Delta crossover benefits by matching their status to Starwood.

The combined company will be called Marriott International. All 30 hotel brands are being kept for now and you can view them here.

The ability to transfer points back and forth make this a time where you can get amazing value out of your Starpoints and Marriott Rewards points. The Starwood and Marriott programs will exist on their own until 2018, at which point they will be merged into a combined program with 1 award chart. But for now you can take advantage of the best of both of their award charts.

Credit cards:
-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 points for spending $3,000 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 “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.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

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

-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!

Hotel awards:

Marriott has 9 categories of hotels that range from 7,500 to 45,000 points per night or 6,000 to 40,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.

Marriott also has 5 tiers of Ritz Carlton hotels that range from 30,000 to 70,000 points per night or 20,000 to 60,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.

Starwood has 7 categories of hotels that range from 2,000 to 35,000 points per night.

When you stay 4 nights at either chain you get the 5th night free.

Both chains also offer Cash+Points options.

For now you can transfer points back and forth to take advantage of the best values that either chain has to offer. Thanks to the 1:3 transfer ratio it’s likely that many Marriott hotels may offer a better value than Starwood, but there will be lots of exceptions. But in general Starpoints will be more valuable when used for hotel stays thanks to Marriott tripling them when they’re converted to Marriott Rewards points.

Airline transfers:

20K Starwood points can transfer into 25K airline miles and that 1:1.25 ratio is what makes Starpoints valuable. You can now transfer Marriott Rewards points to Starwood for airline transfers.

Marriott Rewards point transfers to airlines are more confusing.

One great deal will be the ability to transfer Starpoints into United miles. Starwood and United have a strained relationship due to AMEX and Chase co-brand battles and it’s one of the few airlines that has a poor 20K:12.5K transfer ratio.

However you can transfer 56K Marriott Rewards points into 25K United miles, a 2.24:1 ratio. 19K Starwood points can now become 57K Marriott Rewards points, which will give you 25K United miles and you’ll have 1,000 Marriott Rewards leftover that you can convert back into 333 Starpoints. Effectively you can transfer 18,667 Starpoints into 25K United miles!

It’s not all roses though. With many airlines you’ll need 70K Marriott Rewards points for 25K airline miles. You’ll need 23,333 Starpoints to become 70K Marriott Rewards points to get 25K airline miles, so that’s worse than Starwood’s tranfer ratio.

And with many other airlines you’ll only get 17,500 miles for 70K Marriott Rewards points, a big dropoff from the Starwood offering.

You’ll need 140K Marriott Rewards points for 25K Virgin America miles. That equals a whopping 46,666 for the same thing you can do with 20K Starpoints. That’s an outlier though and Virgin America’s days are coming to an end anyway as they were bought out by Alaska.

Airline+hotel awards:

Starwood offers a valuable Nights and Flights program, but it only works at category 3 and 4 hotels. 60K Starpoints gets you 50K miles and 5 nights in a category 3 property (normally 40K+28K Starpoints), or 70K Starpoints gets you 50K miles and 5 nights in a category 4 property (normally 40K+40K Starpoints).

Marriott offers excellent miles+nights packages when you combine a 7 night stay with a mileage transfer. Those values will be your best bet for transferring points into miles if you can also use the hotel stay.

For example if you compare Marriott Tier 5 (which is the most expensive of their 14 total categories and tiers) to a Starwood category 7. If you stay 7 nights in that Starwood hotel it would cost 180K or 210K Starpoints. With Marriott tripling your Starpoints those points would be worth 540K or 630K Marriott Rewards points. Marriott will give 7 nights in Tier 5 and 55K United miles for 470K Marriott Rewards points. Or better yet, Marriott will give 7 nights in Tier 5 and 132K United miles for 540K Marriott Rewards points.

The 7 night hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.

Lower categories have relative bargains as well.

All in all, things could have been a lot worse. I feared a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio. 1:3 seems pretty fair overall.

Of course the real question will come in 2018. Will you transfer your Starpoints to airline miles at favorable ratios before Starwood goes away?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

HT: SearchGuy, via DDF

Starwood Adds 36th Airline Partner!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016, 4:08 pm

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


Starwood has added LifeMiles as their 36th airline partner.

Starwood Airline Miles Transfer Linky

It’s fascinating that Starwood is still actively recruiting partners despite their merger with Marriott. Hopefully that’s a good sign…

-LifeMiles is the Star Alliance program run by Avianca/TACA.  Miles don’t expire as long as there is activity every 24 months.

-You can book partner travel online and one-way awards are allowed at half the rate of round-trip awards.

-They have a good Star Alliance award chart and don’t charge any fuel surcharges.

-Beware that their call center customer service is notoriously poor.

-Most of the exciting Lifemiles tricks that I talked about in DansDeals seminars in the past are dead.

Curious about the 36 Starwood transfer options and ratios? Here they are!

With so many different airlines to transfer to it’s just a matter of figuring out which one has the lowest rates to where you want to go. I’ve separated them by alliance so you can know which airlines are partners and will therefore let you book award travel on partner airlines. Of course airlines also have lots of non-alliance partners, but by definition they are partners with all airlines in the same alliance.

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.

OneWorld Alliance:
Air Berlin: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)
American: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)
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 (No other transfers)
LAN: 20,000 Starpoints=37,500 kms (No other transfers)
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 (No other transfers)
China Southern: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)
Delta: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Korean: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (UR)
Saudia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)

Star Alliance:
ANA: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Aegean: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)
Air Canada/Aeroplan: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Air China: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)
Air New Zealand: 20,000 Starpoints=385 points (No other transfers)
Asiana: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)
Avianca/TACA LifeMiles: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)
Lufthansa Miles & More: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)
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 (Partners with several airlines from different alliances):20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)
Emirates: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Etihad: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (TY)
Gol/Varig Smiles: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles (No other transfers)
Hainan: 20,000 Starpoints==25,000 miles (No other transfers)
Hawaiian: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Jet Airways: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)
Virgin Atlantic: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY, UR)
Virgin America: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Virgin Australia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (No other transfers)

Points can also transfer to Amtrak at a 1:1 ratio.

You can view the expiration policies for each transfer program here. Remember that points can only transfer from Starwood to an airline, they can never transfer from an airline to Starwood.

I don’t recommend using the SPG Flights or the SPG Merchandise/Gift Card programs as the value per point is way too low.

HT: Dov B, via DDFB

2,500 Bonus Starpoints For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Starwood Consumer Card

Monday, September 19th, 2016, 5:38 pm

Update: This offer ends today!


Originally posted on 7/25:

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.
-Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood Spend Bonus
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!


2,500 Bonus Starpoints For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Starwood Consumer Card

If you add a free additional user to your Starwood account via the link above by 9/19 you will get 2,500 bonus Starpoints. There is a limit of 1 bonus per primary Starwood account.

This deal was posted to the DansDeals Forums on Friday and members that added a card on that day are already reporting that the bonus points are in their account despite the terms saying that it will take 8-12 weeks!

Additional AMEX cards qualify for AMEX Offers and promotions like Small Business Saturday. You can have up to 99 additional users on a primary card account, but the bonus is only for adding 1 card.

Additional Card Members must be at least 15 years of age. You are able to add yourself, a family member, or a friend as an additional user.

A social security number is required for this offer. There is no hard credit pull for adding an additional user.

However the account will show up on their credit report, which means that spending on the card can help or hurt their credit score depending on your credit utilization and payments.

An additional user card will also count against the user with Chase, which limits approvals for many of their cards if you have had more than 5 new accounts in the past 24 months. It is possible to appeal that decision based on it being an authorized user account if you say that you don’t use it and aren’t responsible for payment on the card, but some have been turned down because of that approval guideline. It is possible to have the additional user account removed from the credit report by closing it and requesting removal from all 3 credit bureaus.

You can read more about the SPG cards in this post.

HT: Baruch, via DDF

Limited Time Offer: 50,000 Point Signup Bonus On The Business Gold Rewards Card From American Express

Thursday, September 15th, 2016, 11:54 am

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Signup bonus:
For a limited time only you can earn 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. The normal bonus is 25K. The end date for this promotion is not yet known.

You can get this signup bonus if you haven’t had a business gold charge card in the past.

Annual fee:
The $175 annual fee is waived for the first year.

Spending categories:
Choose to earn 3 points per dollar in one of the following categories and 2 points per dollar in the other categories:
-Airfare purchased directly from airlines (Tickets bought from sites like Orbitz and Priceline are processed directly by the airline and also qualify).
-U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
-U.S. purchases at gas stations
-U.S. purchases for shipping
-U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
You can earn 2 or 3 points per dollar on up to $100,000 of spending in each category per year.
Other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.

AMEX business cards offer a 5% automatic statement credit in addition to points earned for purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and 1-800-Flowers.

AMEX charge cards also offer 2 points per dollar on Uber.

Business charge card:

As this is a business card it won’t show up on your personal credit report. That means it won’t against you for Chase’s 5/24 guideline. It also means that spending on the card won’t hurt your credit score like it would on a consumer card.

As it’s a charge card without a defined credit line it’s not subject the limit of 5 American Express credit cards per person.

You don’t need to be a traditional “business owner” as you might think of one to get a business card.

For example if Joe Smith sells items on Ebay or on Amazon, or has any other side business/hobby and wants a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures he can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business name. 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 as well as in the social security number field.

American Express Benefits:
-American Express offers excellent online dispute resolution.
-With return protection you can return items up to $300 to AMEX for 90 days if the merchant won’t accept the return due to an item being final sale or the return policy being shorter than 90 days. Return protection will also refund any restocking fees that a merchant charges. Typically you won’t have to send the item back, but if you do AMEX will give you a prepaid return label for it.
-With purchase protection your items are covered if they break or are stolen within 90 days.
-With extended warranty you will have double the manufacturers warranty, up to one additional year, for free. Plus the AMEX warranty year is incredible as they will refund your purchase price if you have problems with your item!

Membership Rewards points transfer to:
Transfers are at 1K:1K ratios or are otherwise listed.
Airlines:
Aeromexico (Skyteam)
Air Canada (Star Alliance)
Alitalia (Skyteam)
ANA (Star Alliance)
Asia Miles, Cathay Pacific (OneWorld)
Avios, British Airways and Iberia (OneWorld, (1K MR:800 BA ratio, currently 1K:1.2K ratio through 10/10)
Delta (Skyteam)
El Al (1,000 MR:20 El Al ratio)
Emirates
Etihad
Flying Blue, Air France/KLM (Skyteam)
Hawaiian
Jetblue (250 MR:200 Jetblue ratio)
Singapore (Star Alliance)
Virgin America (200 MR:100 Virgin ratio, currently 200:125 ratio through 10/10)
Virgin Atlantic

Hotels:
Choice
Hilton: (1,000 MR:1,500 Hilton ratio)
Starwood: (1,000 MR:333 Starwood ratio)

Other programs:
Plenti (1K:1.5K ratio through 12/31)


You can apply for both consumer and business American Express cards on the same day with just 1 credit pull. Other cards from American Express include:

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. Free Starwood and Hilton gold elite status for discounted paid and award stays. Free Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, and Priority Club lounge access. $200 in airline fee refunds per calendar year ($400 cash back 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.)

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express ($100 cash back for spending $1,000 in 3 months. 3% cash back on groceries, 2% cash back on gas and department stores, no annual fee.)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express ($150 cash back for spending $1,000 in 3 months. 6% cash back on groceries, 3% cash back on gas and department stores, $95 annual fee or $75 annual fee if you apply by 8/3/16.)

Business cards:

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 Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN (40K AMEX MR points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. 10 free annual Gogo in-flight internet passes. Free Hilton and Starwood gold elite status for discounted paid and award stays. 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.)

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. No foreign exchange fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

SimplyCash® Plus Business Card from American Express ($250 signup bonus for spending $5,000 in 6 months. 5% cash back at office supply stores and telecom. 3% cash back on your choice of Airfare, Hotels, Car rentals, Computer hardware/software/cloud computing, gas stations, restaurants, advertising, or shipping. 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.)

Roundup Of New Targeted And Non-Targeted AMEX Offers, Check For Offers From AT&T, Home Depot, Hulu, Lowes, Office Depot, And More

Monday, September 5th, 2016, 2:34 pm

AMEX has lots of great new AMEX offers available.

1. AMEX Twitter (non-targeted) offers:

Signup for Twitter and you can save money with AMEX.

All you have to do is sync your American Express card with your twitter account to save money at rotating stores.

Then tweet the codes listed below to enroll, so for example just write #AmexCartersOKB and then click tweet. Then wait a minute and you should have a message in your notifications bar that you have successfully enrolled along with the offer terms.

In the image below you can see where to write the tweet and where to check for the confirmation.

wm

 

 

View all the offers after the jump:

(more…)

Small Business Saturday Will Coincide With This Site’s 12th Anniversary, But What Will Be This Year’s Offer?

Monday, August 8th, 2016, 11:13 am

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

AMEX has announced that Small Business Saturday will be back on 11/26/16.

If you signup as a “Neighborhood Champion” to rally local businesses to participate you can also receive AMEX branded merchandise.

That date coincides with the 12th anniversary of the day I started blogging here, back on 11/26/04 in Sao Paulo, on my 20th birthday. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine what the site and the next 12 years of my life would turn into…

For those keeping score at home, here is a history of when Small Business Saturday offers were announced and held:

2010, Launch year: $25 off $25 offer announced on 11/8. Registration form opened 11/8. Spending valid 11/27-12/31.
2011: $25 off $25 offer announced on 10/6. Registration form opened 11/1. Spending valid 11/26.
2012: $25 off $25 offer announced on 9/24. Registration form opened 11/17. Spending valid 11/24.
2013: $10 off $10 offer announced on 10/1. Registration form opened 11/24. Spending valid 11/30.
2014: $10 off $10 valid 3 times per card announced on 09/27. Registration form opened 11/16. Spending valid 11/29.
2015: On 9/30 it was announced that there would be no credit for Small Business Saturday. However on 11/1 people started finding that most primary personal cards were targeted for $10 off $10 in their AMEX Offers and most business primary and secondary cards were targeted for $20 off $100. Spending was valid anytime from 11/1-11/28.

I’ll be sure to update this post as soon as there is news about the 2016 offer.


Don’t want to miss out on SBS and 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.)

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Special offer: Earn 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200. Plus, earn $100 cash back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.  3% cash back on groceries, 2% cash back on gas and department stores, no annual fee.)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Special offer: Earn 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200. Plus, earn $150 cash back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. 6% cash back on groceries, 3% cash back on gas and department stores, $95 annual fee or $75 annual fee if you apply by 8/3/16.)

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. Free Starwood and Hilton gold elite status for discounted paid and award stays. Free Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, and Priority Club lounge access. $200 in airline fee refunds per calendar year ($400 cash back 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 Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (25K 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.)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN (40K AMEX MR points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. 10 free annual Gogo in-flight internet passes. Free Hilton and Starwood gold elite status for discounted paid and award stays. 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.)

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. No foreign exchange fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

SimplyCash® Plus Business Card from American Express ($250 signup bonus for spending $5,000 in 6 months. 5% cash back at office supply stores and telecom. 3% cash back on your choice of Airfare, Hotels, Car rentals, Computer hardware/software/cloud computing, gas stations, restaurants, advertising, or shipping. 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.)

Transfer 20K Starwood Starpoints Into 30K American AAdvantage Miles

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016, 11:37 am

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser. Earn Starpoints with the Starwood Consumer AMEX or the Starwood Business AMEX

Starwood-American Transfer Bonus Details Linky

Starwood Airline Miles Transfer Linky

From today through 9/14 you can get 30K AA miles (instead of the standard 25K miles) for every 20K Starpoints that you transfer.

Back in 2010 when these SPG-AA bonuses started you were able to rack up hundreds of thousands of Starpoints thanks to the US Mint, miles transferred to AA counted for million miler status, and AA had an awesome round-the-world award chart. I took advantage of all of those, but they no longer exist.

During last year’s bonus I cautioned that American’s award chart was “so much better than their competition’s award charts that you can’t help but wonder when the devaluation will come…”

The devaluation came and it made their award chart downright terrible. Then the other shoe fell when American made their saver awards far more difficult to find than on any other airline.

Doug Parker has gone from America West to ruin USAirways and now American. Even Jeff Smisek would blush at his actions.

Regardless, with a 50% bonus it might be worth looking into transferring if you have a specific need and if there is decent saver award availability on the route that you want. Just be sure to compare American’s requirements with other airlines.

In this post I compared how many miles are required to fly on every OneWorld route from JFK.

Just for example, I flew last night from JFK to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific First Class for 35K Alaska miles. That same flight would have cost 55K AA miles. Non-elites would also have paid American a $75 last-minute fee which Alaska doesn’t charge. Even with a 50% bonus to American you would still be much better off transferring Starpoints to Alaska with the standard 25% bonus, so be sure to do your research before you transfer.

There’s no minimum or maximum on this offer, but it’s always wise to transfer Starpoints in increments of 20K and the most you can transfer in one day to maximize that is 60K Starpoints, which would net 90K AA miles. You can make 1 transfer per day.

-The names on the Starwood account and the AA account must match or the transfer will be rejected. You are able to transfer Starpoints for free between people living at the same address, though if you are changing the address on one of the accounts you’ll have to wait 30 days before transferring Starpoints to someone else’s Starwood account.

-The 20% bonus miles fulfilled by American will be posted within 7 business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by Starwood Preferred Guest. The initial transfer usually takes a couple of days.  You can hold an AA award for 5 days which is enough time for the transfer to process.

-You are able to do a Starwood Nights and Flights redemption for 60K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 3 property (normally 40K+28K Starpoints), or 70K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 4 property (normally 40K+40K Starpoints).

HT: Mikey

Roundup Of New Targeted And Non-Targeted AMEX Offers

Monday, August 1st, 2016, 8:20 am

This post has been updated with new offers such as electronic toll payments, Delta, Sheraton, Hilton, Ritz-Carlton, Sur La Table, EZ-Pass, Dropbox, Gap, Telecharge Broadway Tickets, and more.


AMEX has lots of great new AMEX offers available.

1. AMEX Twitter (non-targeted) offers:

Signup for Twitter and you can save money with AMEX.

All you have to do is sync your American Express card with your twitter account to save money at rotating stores.

Then tweet the codes listed below to enroll, so for example just write #AMEXGap and then click tweet. Then wait a minute and you should have a message in your notifications bar that you have successfully enrolled along with the offer terms.

In the image below you can see where to write the tweet and where to check for the confirmation.

wm

 

 

View all the offers after the jump:

(more…)

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

Thursday, July 21st, 2016, 6:32 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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

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

Offer valid through 12/31/16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post what other deals you find!

HT: coralsnake, via DDF

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