Tag Archives: AMEX Hilton

Best in Miles, Points, Credit Cards, Travel and More: Around the Web Aug 15 — Aug 21 2021 August 15, 2021

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Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

Here are some interesting articles and posts from around the blogosphere.

Planes

The 25% Citi transfer bonus to Avianca LifeMiles has been extended until Aug 27. Here is a brief post from Doctor of Credit to remind us that this bonus is not an isolated case (historically speaking), LOL.

The post below is a great summary of credit card partner transfer times from Frequent Miler and Award Wallet. For one thing, I’m glad to have learned that AmEx’s transfer times to Iberia have very likely been improved. 

How long does it take to transfer points to airline and hotel programs?

From God Save the Points: You can “redeem” 10,200 Avios for $100 off when booking a BA flight. Sadly, this is not as good a deal as what UK travelers are getting, but still.

Great Offer: Use 5,000 Avios To Save £100 On BA Flights

Hotels

The new World of Hyatt credit card promotion lets you earn two elite nights for every night you stay at a Hyatt property, paid or award. This is a great way to try and get the Globalist status at the 2021 reduced requirement (30 nights versus the regular 60). The card’s welcome bonus, however, leaves a lot to be desired, and US Credit Card Guide is absolutely right in its assessment.

The points part of this offer is still 30k+15k: earn 30k points after $3k spend in 3 months and an extra 15k points after $15k spend in 6 months. Considering you always earn 1x points on all spending, the 2x points on Chase website actually means only additional 1x points! Therefore it’s actually only a 30k+15k offer, and the 30k+30k wording on the official website is very misleading!

Here is my take on this new promo and welcome bonus.

Nick from Frequent Miler shares an incredible story of educating — wait for it — not one, not two, but several Hyatt CSRs on Hyatt Premium Suite Upgrades. That’s not just a HUCA, that’s HUCA on steroids! Glad I’ve been reminded of this booking option that can be a tremendous value. I’ve never used this upgrade option myself, now I know why. 🙂

What a superb job!

Misadventures booking a Hyatt Premium Suite award

And here is an interesting trend outlined by Skift: More and more startups ditch their offices and go for Airbnb instead.

Credit cards

VFTW posts a curious promo from two Cardless cards. I don’t see the value.

Two No-Annual Fee Cards Offering 100,000 Points / Up To 10% Back For A Year

These cards have an interesting concept, but look closer — where is the appeal (aside from a novelty, that is)? Here is the bonus cash back for the Manchester United card (the card will double your points if you jump through some hoops):

5x on rideshare; 5x on streaming services (Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, Hulu “and similar digital streaming services”); 5x at bars and restaurants on days that the team plays.

The offer for the Cleveland Cavaliers Card is even more ridiculous (they also double the points).

 5x on Cavs season tickets and on streaming services; 3x on other Cavs tickets, dining, grocery and delivery; 1x on everything else.

Huh? On “days the team plays”? I’m supposed to fill a precious 5/24 spot with one of these? Why?

Some AmEx cardmembers are receiving targeted upgrade offers for Hilton and Business Platinum cards. These upgrade offers from AmEx are great because a) there is no credit pull and b) no “once in a lifetime” language. Of course, I haven’t received anything, as always, (I rarely do). Check out your emails and Amex Offers if interested.  

Capital One introduced the new business Spark Cash Plus card with a $1,000 welcome bonus. “Plus” sounds about right, as not only do you have to spend $50,000 in six months but also pay the $150 (not waived) annual fee for the privilege. Just say no and get the good old Spark Cash with its reasonable $500 bonus for spending a reasonable $4,500 in three months and waived AF for the first year.

Now every blogger has covered this card, but I liked the Doctor of Credit’s post — not so much for the content but the comments. Read them.

Covid-19

Dozens Of Guests Denied Boarding On The First Sailing Of The Disney Dream

Let me paint you a picture. So you’re a parent who’s just booked a cruise on the Disney Dream. The cruise line sends you an email that says if you’re not fully vaccinated you’re supposed to get a PCR test five days prior to sailing. Clear enough, no?

Apparently not.

Several dozen families were denied boarding because …

… that app used to upload vaccine cards is a bit misleading. It marks families as clear with green check marks even if there are kids who cannot be vaccinated in the group. Some families interpreted this as they were good to go and failed to get a pre-boarding Covid test for their kids.

The Reddit thread linked in the article indicates the passengers were supposed to sign up for the Safe Passage website, created by Disney partner Inspire Diagnostics, which, apparently, gave the Reddit poster the clearance to sail,  even though his kids weren’t and couldn’t be vaccinated due to their age.

OK, but!

The requirement to be vaccinated or undergo a test was clearly stated in the email.

Pre-Trip COVID-19 Testing: All Guests (adults and children) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test (paid for at the Guest’s expense) taken between 5 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date. Disney Cruise Line has secured a special rate of $98.33 per PCR test (which includes a 3.5% processing fee) through our third-party vendor, Inspire Diagnostics. Guests may also obtain their PCR test from any independent testing supplier. Guests who are fully vaccinated may choose to provide proof of vaccination instead of undergoing COVID19 pre-trip testing. To learn more about how to provide proof of your negative COVID-19 PCR test result, please visit: Before Leaving Home: Know Before You Go.

I mean, sometimes, a policy language can be so vague you can’t help but scratch your head, but this is not one of these cases. When in doubt, pick up the phone.  

And how about this for a chaser? CDC doesn’t want older people with medical conditions to be cruising at all, even if vaccinated.

CDC Warns High-Risk Covid Travelers to Avoid Cruises Even If Vaxxed

Are you vaccinated and ready to go? Not to scare you, but you must read this Reddit account and have a contingency plan (like a really good insurance policy) if life decides to give you lemons.

With full vaccination from Moderna and borders opening up, we were finally feeling comfortable to try the waters with a quick Italy trip, and were planning to visit some extended family that we hadn’t seen in some time. We own an at-home COVID-testing device, and in preparation for the trip we took daily tests to make sure we were good to go. Each test came back negative.

I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. Our first night of arrival in Milan, I woke up with a fever, took a test, and sure enough… Positive! Couldn’t be worse luck. I immediately got retested twice more, and each result confirmed that I had COVID. My spouse tested negative. 2 days later, and both of us feel 100% fine.

Now we are required to stay in our hotel for 10 nights before we test again. If that test comes back positive, then we have to stay another 11 nights before being approved to return to the US. With the likelihood of testing negative within 10 days of testing positive low due to PCR-test sensitivity, we are looking at 21 days in a 100 sq ft hotel room in Milan.

We thought our travel insurance was top notch (we are covered both through our employer and through Amex), but neither will cover our mandatory hotel quarantine stay, and unfortunately the hotel is quite expensive. It will likely cost us $10k out of pocket. Because we can’t leave the hotel room, each test we receive costs nearly $200 out of pocket as well.

Can you imagine having to go into quarantine on the first day of your travel? My goodness!

TBB

This is the article I loved the most! The comparison of two occupations.

The Afghanistan occupation and the Japan occupation

Other tidbits

I just bought tickets for the Immersive Van Gogh in New York (good timing too, since the show is closing its doors in New York on August 29). 

The show is available in seven U.S. cities with more to follow later in the Fall. 

You Can See Immersive Van Gogh Digital Art Shows in Nearly 40 U.S. Cities

And now just for fun

What’s your take on polar bears? Actually it doesn’t matter, for it’s about to change.

  

 

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