At the beginning of 2016, one of our savviest of peeps opened her email from Starwood Preferred Guest to find that she had been awarded Gold Status for this calendar year. Most people would be ecstatic. But for a person who is on a first name basis with front desk managers at Starwood hotels up and down the eastern seaboard, and counts SPG points in her sleep – Gold Status was not an option. Our girl carefully crafted every vacation and business trip to make every single one of her 25 stays and 50 nights count in 2015. But they only counted 24 stays and 47 nights.
The Ultimate Rewards Program from Chase is getting lots of free press these days. Thousands of people are applying for their newest addition to the Chase family of cards – The Chase Sapphire Reserve. Its 100,000 sign-up bonus can be redeemed at a rate of 1.5 cents apiece.
With the addition of the Chase Sapphire Reserve to the high end travel rewards market, and the discussions about all of its benefits and services to offset the $450 annual fee, we thought that it would be a good time to compare the airport lounge benefits associated with each of the 3 top cards in this upscale travel rewards category. What we found out might surprise you.
Are you an American AAdvantage member currently looking to switch wireless service providers? Look no further. For a limited time you can earn up to 25,000 AAdvantage Miles – that’s enough for a round-trip flight when you activate a new Sprint account with one new phone line. It’s simple to do just follow the following steps, and before you know it – you’ll be on your way to a free vacation.
It’s promotion time again with the Starwood Preferred Guest program. SPG is currently offering a limited-time offer that gives travelers 35% off Free Night redemptions at select resorts. This promotion is available at only 8 of Starwood’s most sought after luxury properties, and is valid through February 28, 2017. The resorts included normally start at a 40,000 point redemption per night and goes up to 90,000. Now you can take advantage of a night free for as little as 26,000 at some of the brand’s most coveted and exclusive hotels.
Any points junkie worth his or her weight will tell you to sign up for any and all loyalty programs that cross your path. They are generally free, and it takes little time and energy to answer a few questions. So if you’re like us you have a member number for every hotel chain, airline frequent flyer program, and car rental company – but not necessarily tens of thousands of points with each. What do you do with…
The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Platinum Card from American Express are now contending for top position of the luxury card category in the U.S. Both come with high annual fees and appear to be similar. What you need to do is determine which card is worth paying the $450 annual fee. There are many less expensive choices, so let us help you narrow down which is a better choice.
Be careful the next time that you leave the country. Without a few key insights, that handbag that you bargained over in Florence could end up costing you more than you ever thought, and with every swipe of your credit card or ATM cash withdrawal your travel budget could easily get out of hand. But it doesn’t have to. We’ve identified the best ways to avoid banking fees while traveling, and have hopefully made it easier for you to travel knowing about all of those annoying fees.
I made the British Airways Visa Signature card top of wallet with plans of flying first class directly out of Baltimore (BWI) to London. When I signed up for the credit card, 100,000 Avios were enough for a first class round trip flight across the pond so I immediately started planning. What I quickly found out was that finding a first class seat from BWI became almost impossible – even a year in advance. Read how I finally flew first class.
Amtrak tickets for it’s Northeast Corridor can be very pricey, and can make a trip to New York City extremely pricey – until now. To save the most when booking Amtrak we suggest taking the Northeast Regional Saver and start your booking at least two weeks in advance. There are many options to travel on Northeast Regional trains to enjoy a $49 fare.
We have all have witnessed the sight of the typical parent dropping their kid off at college. With a ton of pride, tears in their eyes, a little anxiety and a touch of fear, we parents leave our kids alone for the first time to blaze their own path socially, academically, and yes…financially.
In our opinion, the Platinum Card from American Express has firmly held the position as the exclusive travel benefits and rewards fixture for almost 3 decades. For the person that carries the card, it conveys a sense of financial accomplishment coupled with the expectations of premium service and travel savvy- until maybe now. Enter Chase Sapphire Reserve.
If you’re planning an event, do it at a Marriott for the absolute best rewards. We, at Point Savvy, are currently in the process of helping plan my sister-in-law’s Connecticut wedding by maximizing points so to offer her and her husband-to-be a variety of options for a free honeymoon that they will remember.
I have been a loyal guest at Starwood Hotels and a diehard user of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoints for over a decade. I have spent more time dragging my family from Sheraton to Four Points to every W Hotel in the continental U.S. to rack up hotel stays to achieve Platinum Status, which just happened last week for the ninth time! Needless to say, I’m excited. But you don’t need to achieve Platinum Status to take advantage of one of the best Starwood offers – their fifth night free benefit.
With limited days available to leave the office and specific openings in kids’ sports schedules, staycations and short trips are often the best option for a busy family’s vacation. Because these types of trips are more affordable than, say, a European vacation, you can pay for a big chunk, if not all, of your family’s vacation with points.
Baltimore became the fourth U.S. market to use British Airways’ bigger, better Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which departed on its first flight for London Heathrow from BWI Marshall Airport on Monday. There are only eight Boeing 787-8 aircraft in British Airways’ fleet, so one coming to Baltimore is a big deal.
Here at Point Savvy we talk about the aging process more than we would like to admit. But with Starwood’s Birth Year Promotion we are happy to shout how old we are from the rooftop of any 5 star hotel under the Starwood umbrella. If you’re not quite sure where your next quick getaway may be, this program may help you to narrow your search while saving you some real money on your hotel stay.
Even though everyone around us is taking a summer vacation, here at Point Savvy we are looking ahead to a winter escape – of course, one where we can snag a deal on a high-end experience.
Once again, Norwegian Airlines is offering great fares direct from BWI to both islands giving you a great jumpstart to a vacation when you really need starting in early November. Best of all, these fares start in November and run through March so that you can take advantage of them from Thanksgiving through Spring Break.
True, some loyalty points only get you discounted plane tickets or hotel upgrades. But Starwood’s Preferred Customer program gets you tennis superstar Andy Roddick. Today, Starwood makes available one of its most popular SPG Moments by giving members the opportunity to redeem Starpoints for once-in-a-lifetime VIP experiences at the 2016 U.S. Open, including access to media tours, courtside seats to the finals and the aforementioned Andy Roddick (via a personalized tennis lesson).
The changes that have occurred since Frequent Flyer Miles were introduced in 1981 are endless. Long gone are the days when you could call a representative on the phone that would help you navigate the system and find you a free seat on a non-stop flight to the destination of your choice at the last minute without fees. With consumers now smarter, technology more advanced, and fuel prices higher, the airlines have made the process of free travel more difficult to achieve – unless you know how to navigate the system.
Savvy reader LeeAnn asked me for my opinion on how to choose an airline credit card. “What’s the best credit card that will get me a free vacation in the next three months?” The basic answer is what airline hub works for you. If you live close to major airport then you’re probably already signed up for a frequent flyer program that is tied to an airline that you already fly frequently.
My husband loves his Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card. It’s black and metal and he makes sure he plops it down on the bar when he pays his tab. There’s nothing he likes more than when a waitress oohs and ahhs over his card and gushes “it’s metal”. I typically roll my eyes and let him have his credit card moment.
With credit card sign-up bonuses ranging from 10,000 – 100,000 points or miles, these rewards can be redeemed for hundreds of dollars. A credit card with an offer of 50,000 bonus points can be worth at a minimum of $500. Are these credit card rewards taxable?
If you are like us, you’re spending the warm weather outside grilling, cooling off by the pool, and beginning to enjoy your summer. Why not take advantage of the best credit card for your summer spending and beyond by putting more money in your pocket for the items that you buy everyday.