Category Archives: Hotel Award Booking

Perks of Having the Southwest Companion Pass & AMEX Business Platinum

Million Mile Secrets reader, Jim, commented:

I have 90,000 Marriott points and 180,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points.  I am debating between getting the Southwest Companion Pass by redeeming my points for a Marriott Hotel + Air package.  Or getting The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN to use the Pay With Points perk for Southwest flights.  Which should I choose?

I’d do both!

Jim currently has enough points to book a Marriott Hotel + Air Package, which will earn him the Southwest Companion Pass, 120,000 Southwest points, and a 7-night certificate at a Marriott Category 1 to 5 hotel!  But all of his AMEX Membership Rewards points would be gone!

So he can also get the AMEX Business Platinum card before January 25, 2017, and earn up to 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements.

Then, he’ll have the flexibility to use these points for Southwest flights or transfer to other terrific AMEX partners in the future!

Companion Pass AMEX Business Platinum

Use the Perks of the Southwest Companion Pass and AMEX Business Platinum Card to Get the Most Big Travel With Small Money!

I’ll explain the perks of having the Companion Pass AND the AMEX Business Platinum card!

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How Miles & Points Turned a Honeymoon Trip Into a 6-Country Round-the-World Adventure!

Welcome to the next installment of our Reader Success Series where Million Mile Secrets Readers share how they booked a trip with miles & points to get Big Travel with Small Money!

Jessica and Devin are our newest reader success story to show folks it’s possible to travel without spending a lot of money.

How Miles Points Turned A Honeymoon Trip Into A 6 Country Round The World Adventure

Jessica and Devin at The Cloud Forest in Singapore

A big thank you to both for sharing their story!

Please introduce yourself to everyone and tell us how long you’ve been involved in the miles & points hobby.

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National Parks Family Road Trip: Part 4 – Highlights of Zion & Bryce Canyon

If you’re planning a trip to Zion or Bryce Canyon National Parks, you’ll want to read this post!

Million Mile Secrets team member Meghan recently returned from a 2,500+ mile road trip through some of the top National Parks in the US.  I’ll let her tell you about it!

Meghan:  Thank you Daraius!  My husband and I love adventure, and with a new(ish!) baby in tow, we decided it would be a great idea to take a road trip to fantastic National Parks like Yosemite, Death ValleyRed Rock Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon.  Especially because our daughter is still light enough to carry in a backpack. 😉

Brice Canyon Lodge

We Were Lucky to Have Great Weather During Our Time in Zion National Park. The Temperature in Mid-October Was Perfect for Hiking!

I’ll share the highlights of our trip to Zion and Bryce Canyon.  And tips for planning your own trip to these awesome destinations!

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National Parks Family Road Trip: Part 3 – Highlights of Death Valley & Red Rock Canyon

Considering a trip to Death Valley National Park or Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas?

Million Mile Secrets team member Meghan recently returned from a 2,500+ mile road trip through some of the top National Parks in the US.  I’ll let her tell you about it!

Meghan:  Thank you Daraius!  My husband and I love adventure, and with a new(ish!) baby in tow, we decided it would be a great idea to take a road trip to fantastic National Parks like Yosemite, Death ValleyRed Rock Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon.  Especially because our daughter is still light enough to carry in a backpack. 😉

Death Valley Lodging

Overlooking Las Vegas From Atop Red Rock Canyon

I’ll share the highlights of our trip to Death Valley and Red Rock Canyon.  And tips for planning your own trip to these fantastic spots!

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Success! A Miles & Points Visit to Mexico City, Mayan Ruins, and Beautiful Cenotes!

Welcome to the next installment of our Reader Success Series where Million Mile Secrets Readers share how they booked a trip with miles & points to get Big Travel with Small Money!

Ronnie is our newest reader success story to show folks it’s possible to travel without spending a lot of money.

Success A Miles Points Visit To Mexico City Mayan Ruins And Beautiful Cenotes

Ronnie and His Wife With Chichen Itza in the Backdrop

A big thank you to Ronnie for sharing his story!

Please introduce yourself to everyone and tell us how long you’ve been involved in the miles & points hobby.

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Best Use of 90,000 Starwood Points: Companion Pass, Airline Transfers, or Free Hotel Nights?

Million Mile Secrets reader, Grahme, commented:

I’m thinking of converting 90,000 Starwood points to Marriott points to book a Hotel + Air Package to get the Southwest Companion Pass and a 7-night Marriott hotel certificate.  Would you consider this a good use of Starwood points?

Converting Starwood points to Marriott points to get the Southwest Companion Pass by booking a Hotel + Air package can be an amazing deal worth $4,100+!  That’s one reason 2 Million Mile Secrets team members recently used Starwood points this way!

But Starwood points have other flexible redemption options that make them extremely valuable.  Like free hotel stays at Starwood, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton hotels.  Or the ability to transfer Starwood points to airlines, which could get you an amazing First Class ticket worth more than $9,000!

So the best use of Starwood points really depends on your travel goals.

Use 90000 Starwood Points

Using Starwood Points to Get the Companion Pass Means You and a Partner Can Visit Fantastic Southwest Destinations Like New York!

Remember, you only have until March 31, 2017 to redeem hotel points for the Companion Pass.

I’ll compare a few different ways you can use 90,000 Starwood points for Big Travel!

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Chase Ritz-Carlton Sign-Up Bonus Decreasing!

Have you been intending to apply for the Chase Ritz-Carlton card?  If so, you’ll want to apply soon!

Via Reddit, it looks like Chase is reducing the Chase Ritz-Carlton sign-up bonus from 3 free nights at participating Ritz-Carlton hotels to just 2 free nights after meeting minimum spending requirements.

The public link for the offer already reflects the reduced sign-up bonus.  But there’s still a link that offers 3 free nights after meeting minimum spending requirements.

This card is NOT affected by the Chase “5/24 rule”, so even if you’ve applied for 5+ cards from any bank (excluding certain business cards) in the past 24 months, you can be approved.

We don’t earn a commission for this card, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!

Chase Ritz Carlton Sign Up Bonus Decreasing

Stay 3 Free Nights at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Along the Coast in Maui, Where Rooms Sell for ~$650 Per Night!

Here’s what you’ll get from this card!

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Keep Your Marriott Perks: Buy Back Your 2016 Status With Points

If you had Marriott Elite status last year, but didn’t earn it for 2017, you can spend points to extend your status an extra year!

Via View From the Wing, Marriott’s yearly offer to buy back your elite status has returned.  Until March 31, 2017, you can use points to keep your elite status in 2017.  But it might not be a good deal for you!

Keep Your Marriott Perks Buy Back Your 2016 Status With Points

Having a Hard Time Giving Up Your Elite Status? Buy It Back With Points!

I’ll help you decide if this is a good deal for your situation.

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New Club Carlson Promotion: Earn up to 100,000 Bonus Points

Will you cross paths with a Club Carlson hotel in your upcoming travel?  If so, this new promotion is worth a look!

Via One Mile at a Time, you can earn up to 100,000 bonus Club Carlson points for stays through March 31, 2017.  But there’s an unusal twist.

Before you stay, you’ll have to choose the bonus you want to earn based on the number of stays you think you’ll have in the promotion period.

New Club Carlson Promotion Earn Up To 100000 Bonus Points

Stay at the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel in Iceland for 70,000 Club Carlson Points

I’ll explain this new promotion, and help you decide if it’s worth your effort!

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The Big Travel Guide to AMEX Membership Rewards Points: Part 1 – Transfer Partners

You get lots of travel flexibility with AMEX Membership Rewards points.  Because if you don’t have set travel plans for a future trip, these transferable points give you the option to choose from multiple airline and hotel partners when the time comes.

Folks in the miles & points hobby know earning transferable points, like AMEX Membership Rewards points, are the best way to get Big Travel.  This can mean a First Class adventure around-the-world, a family trip to Europe, or so many other options!

The AMEX Membership Rewards points program has 20 direct airline and hotel partners.  Plus, you’ll get access to other indirect partners as well!

AMEX Transfer Partners

With 20 Airline & Hotel Transfer Partners, There Are Plenty of Ways to Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points for Big Travel! Including Flying British Airways Business Class!

I’ll tell you all about the AMEX transfer partners.  And what you should know before transferring AMEX Membership Rewards points to book award travel.

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