Category Archives: Travel Tips

Will You Lose Free Nights If You Cancel a Hotel Card?

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.

Hotel Cards With Free Annual Nights

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!

Continue reading

A Completely Free Trip to Iceland With Points & Cash Back Cards, Including Spending Money!

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.

A Completely Free Trip To Iceland With Points Cash Back Cards Including Spending 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.

Continue reading

Which Marriott Hotel to Book Using 7-Night Certificate From Southwest Flight Package?

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.

Marriott Hotels To Book With 7 Night Certificate

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!

Continue reading

Blog Giveaway: 18,000 Choice Hotel Points

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!

Blog Giveaway 18000 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!

Continue reading

You Can Use Starwood Points for ANY Flight, but Should You?

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.

Starwood Points For Any Flight

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!

Continue reading

Fantastic 100,000-Point Marriott Sign-Up Bonus!

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!

Continue reading

What We Know (and Do NOT Know!) About the Future of Starwood’s Loyalty Program

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

What Will Happen To Starwood In 2018

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!

Continue reading

“If It Seems Like a Good Deal, Jump On It. If You Wait to See If It Worked for Others, It Will Expire”

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!

Discounts Deals 4 Military

Trip Back Home to Oregon

How and when did you start collecting miles and points?

Continue reading

Fare Sale: 5 US Cities to Iceland Starting at $200 Round-Trip!

Via The Points Guyyou 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.

Wow Air Sale March 2017

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!

Continue reading

Save Miles on Award Flights to South Africa Using AMEX & Starwood Points

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.

How To Book Award Flights To South Africa With ANA Miles

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.

Continue reading