Million Mile Secrets reader, Carberrie, commented:
I have the Citi Hilton Reserve card, which comes with an annual free weekend night at certain Hilton hotels after spending $10,000 in a membership year. I met the spending requirement and have 1 year to use the free night. If I cancel the card to avoid paying the annual fee, will I lose my free night?
The good news is after you earn the free night, you will NOT lose it. Even if you cancel the card.
This policy is similar for other hotel credit cards that come with a free annual night, including some that don’t have a spending requirement, like the Chase IHG card.
Emily and I Used a Free Night From the Citi Hilton Reserve Card to Stay at the Hilton Molino Stucky in Venice, Where Rooms Can Cost $500+ per Night During Peak Months
I’ll remind you which cards come with a free hotel night each year. And why it might be worth it to pay the annual fees to keep these cards open!
Posted in Chase, Chase Fairmont, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Hyatt, Chase IHG Rewards, Chase Marriott, Citi Hilton, Citi Hilton Reserve, Citibank, Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Hotel Award Booking, Hotels, Reader Requests, Save Money, US Bank, US Bank Club Carlson
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!
Antonio is our newest reader success story to show folks it’s possible to travel without spending a lot of money.
My Group of Icelandic Friends That Took Me in as One of Their Own. If You Make It to the Festival, Come Say Hello. I’ll Be With the Boom Box
A big thank you to Antonio for sharing his story!
Please introduce yourself to everyone and tell us how long you’ve been involved in the miles & points hobby.
Posted in Airbnb, Airline Award Booking, Airlines, Airlines, American Express, AMEX Premier Rewards Gold, Capital One, Capital One Spark, Capital One Venture, Chase, Citi Hilton Reserve, Citibank, Club Carlson, Credit Cards, Hilton Honors, Hotel Award Booking, Hotels, Iceland Air, Iceland Air, Interviews, Membership Rewards, Rental Cars, Save Money, Success Story, Travel Tips, Ultimate Rewards, WOW Air
Million Mile Secrets reader, Bonnie, commented:
I used hotel points to book a Marriott Hotel + Air package and get the Southwest Companion Pass. Perhaps a post about getting the best value with the 7-night Marriott certificate would be helpful and give some ideas of where to book!
Great suggestion, Bonnie!
It sounds like Bonnie took advantage of a deal that won’t be around much longer! Until March 31, 2017, you can use 270,000 Marriott points to book a Southwest Hotel + Air package.
This gets you a 7-night stay at a Category 1 to 5 Marriott hotel and 120,000 Southwest points, which is more than enough to earn the Companion Pass!
You have at least 12 months to redeem the 7-night hotel certificate. So you’ll have time to decide if you want to witness beautiful views of the Andes with a stay at the Courtyard Santiago Las Condes. Or leaf peep this autumn in beautiful Vermont with 7 nights at the Courtyard Middlebury.
Use Your Marriott 7-Night Certificate to Check Out the Wonderful Foliage in Vermont and Stay at the Courtyard Middlebury
I’ll share a few examples of Marriott hotels you can book with the 7-night certificate!
Posted in Airlines, Chase, Credit Cards, Family Travel, Hotel Award Booking, Hotels, Marriott, Reader Requests, Save Money, Shopping, Shopping, Southwest, Starwood (SPG), Travel Tips
Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook or Twitter!
We love our readers! To show our thanks for your support, we’re giving away 18,000 Choice hotel points!
18,000 Choice Points Is Enough for 3 Nights at the Clarion Suites Roatan at Pineapple Villas in Honduras!
I’ll show you how to enter!
One of my favorite uses of Starwood points is transferring them to airline partners for award flights. Because you get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer.
But with SPG Flights, you can use Starwood points for paid tickets on 150+ airlines with NO blackout dates?
This perk can be useful for folks who don’t have a lot of flexibility in scheduling, can’t find award seats, or want cheap paid tickets.
Start Planning Your Next Trip! With SPG Flights, You Can Travel Where You Want, When You Want, With NO Blackout Dates!
I’ll explain the details of the SPG Flights program. And help you decide whether it makes sense for your particular situation!
Posted in Air Berlin, Airlines, American Airlines, American Express, AMEX Starwood (SPG), Chase, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, Citi Thank You Points, Citibank, Credit Cards, Delta Skymiles, Hotels, Membership Rewards, Save Money, Singapore Airlines, Starwood (SPG), Travel Tips, Ultimate Rewards
Fantastic news for folks who use Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, or Starwood points!
You can now earn 100,000 Marriott points with the increased sign-up bonus on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card after completing minimum spending requirements. That’s 20,000 more points than the previous offer!
And if you recently applied or are planning to apply for the limited time AMEX Starwood offer (available until April 5, 2017), you could have a total of 225,000 Marriott points! That’s enough for 5 award nights at the Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection.
Emily Had an Amazing Time at the Scrub Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands! You Can Stay There Too Using Points From the Limited Time Chase Marriott Sign-Up Bonus
I’ll share details of the improved sign-up bonus. And help you decide if you should apply!
Posted in Airline Award Booking, Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Express, AMEX Starwood (SPG), Business Credit Cards, Chase, Chase Marriott, Chase Marriott Business, Credit Cards, Delta Skymiles, Emirates, Foreign Transaction Fees, Hotel Award Booking, Hotel Promotions, Hotels, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Save Money, Starwood (SPG), Travel Tips
The Marriott – Starwood merger officially closed in September 2016. And you can link your Starwood and Marriott accounts to enjoy the perks of both programs.
But you might be wondering, what’s the future of Starwood’s loyalty program?
Lots of Folks Are Wondering About the Future of the Starwood Loyalty Program Now That the Marriott – Starwood Merger Is Complete. I’ll Share What We Know So Far
While I don’t have all the details yet, I’ll share what I know. And give you ideas about earning and using Starwood points going forward!
Posted in Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Express, AMEX Starwood (SPG), British Airways, Credit Cards, Hotels, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Save Money, Starwood (SPG), Travel Tips
Welcome to the next installment of our interview series where folks share their thoughts about Big Travel with Small Money!
Miles & Points Interview: Discounts & Deals 4 Military
Bobby started Discounts & Deals 4 Military to highlight discounts and easy ways to save money that is unique to military members. You can also find him on Facebook!
Trip Back Home to Oregon
How and when did you start collecting miles and points?
Posted in Airlines, Airlines, American Express, AMEX Platinum, Beginner Tips, Chase, Chase Southwest, Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Family Travel, Hilton Honors, Hotels, IHG, Interviews, Luggage, No Annual Fee, Save Money, Shopping, Southwest, Travel Tips
Via The Points Guy, you can fly from several US cities to Iceland in coach starting at just $200 round-trip!
I found flights from San Francisco to Reykjavik for $260 departing April 16, 2017, and returning April 27, 2017. These fares are valid for travel from April to June, and from September to November 2017 on certain routes.
Don’t Let the Name Fool You – Iceland Is a Beautiful Destination With Green Hills, Waterfalls, and Volcanoes!
Here are the details. And how to search for deals from your city!
Posted in Airbnb, Airline Promotions, Airlines, Airlines, American Express, AMEX Business Gold Rewards, AMEX Platinum, AMEX Premier Rewards Gold, AMEX SimplyCash Plus, Barclaycard, Barclaycard Arrival, Business Platinum, Chase, Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, Citi Thank You Premier, Citibank, Credit Cards, Hotels, Save Money, Southwest, Travel Tips, WOW Air
Million Mile Secrets reader Aaron asked:
I have been looking to take the family to South Africa. It appears ANA has the best mileage, but taxes and fees are terrible. Do you have any thoughts?
Aaron is mostly correct. ANA Mileage Club can save you tens of thousands of miles for flights to South Africa. But it also adds fuel surcharges to most of its partners.
If you collect AMEX Membership Rewards or Starwood points, you can transfer them to ANA to book award flights. Or move Marriott points to Starwood and then to ANA.
Using airline miles on award flights to South Africa is a great idea, because paid flights are expensive and rarely discounted. But fuel surcharges can be very high.
ANA stopped collecting fuel surcharges on most of its own flights in Spring 2016, but it keeps adding them to most of its partners.
Planning a Trip to South Africa Like Million Mile Secrets Team Member Keith? You’ll Use Fewer Miles (but More Cash) Booking With ANA Miles
I’ll show you how to save miles and money, and pitfalls to avoid for award flights to South Africa.
Posted in Aeroplan, Air Canada, Airline Award Booking, Airlines, Airlines, American Express, ANA, Credit Cards, Etihad, Hotels, Lufthansa, Membership Rewards, Mile and Point Resources, Save Money, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Star Alliance, Starwood (SPG), SWISS, Travel Tips, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic