News You Can Use – Priority Club & Starwood Award Changes, Iceland Air Redemptions, & Staying Healthy with a Points Obsession

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1.   Priority Club.   Via Mommy Points, Priority Club announces their new award chart.  And the bargain hotels, like the Priority Club hotels in New York now require more points.

Priority Club hotels include Candlewood Suites, Crowne PlazaHoliday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, and Staybridge Suites brand hotels.

However, TJ on Miles & Points writes that there are some deals to be had like the InterContinental in Tahiti or Bombay for 25,000 points.

Loyalty Lobby has a list of the old award rates.  If the number of points for a hotel has decreased, just cancel your existing award and rebook at the lower rate.

If the amount of points for a hotel which you wanted to book has increased,  call Priority Club (before March 18, 2013) and ask them to book you at the lower rate.

2.  Starwood Cash & Points Award Change.   One of the best hotel deals is the Starwood Cash & Points awards where you can book a room at a Starwood hotel with a combination of Starwood points and a cash co-pay.  These awards let you stretch out the value of your Starwood points, and Emily and I spend a lot of time in Europe after I graduated thanks to cash and points awards.

Starwood hotels include Aloft, Element, Four Points, Le Meredien, SheratonSt RegisThe Luxury Collection, Westin and W brand hotels.

Loyalty Traveler has crunched the numbers and says that there is a 25% increase in the cash co-pay and a 17% to 25% increase in the amount of points required.

And Loyalty Lobby has a nice chart summarizing the changes.

Many folks are disappointed with the change, but it doesn’t make sense to expect the award chart to remain the same indefinitely or to decrease.  Award charts almost always devalue and it is worth reminding yourself of that when you hoard miles and points!

You will also be able to use Starwood points for upgraded rooms and suites which is great when you want to surprise your travel partners.  Or if you’re like me, hope to surprise them, but then realize that the suite confirmation was sent to their email address. 🙂

However, you can book hotels at the CURRENT (lower) “cash & points” rate up to March 5, so it doesn’t hurt to book hotels within the next 12 months before March 5 since you can always cancel your reservation for free.  But check the cancellation policy before you book.

3.   Iceland Air Redemptions.   Online Travel Review writes that you can use Iceland Air miles to book flights on Alaska Air to Hawaii and other Alaska Air destinations again!  However, the redemption rates have increased so this isn’t as great of a deal as it was the first time. 4.   Staying Healthy with a Points Obsession.   Million Mile Secrets reader Cathy wrote an article called The Mileage Junkie’s Guide to Staying Healthy.

My mouse hand has been acting up lately, so I wonder if this is a sign of Repetitive Stress Injuries from filling out credit cards applications online as she suggests!

Here’s an excerpt from her article:

Gathering points can be stressful. While a fun hobby, any of the following can contribute to stress of the points hobbyist:

  • Losing sleep over how to  meet credit card spend
  • Fighting with reconsideration representatives
  • Trying to find available award space
  • Keeping track of all your programs and credit cards
  • Fretting over whether your latest flight out of RGN will be honored
  • Arguing needlessly about various bloggers
  • Talking to a representative on the phone from US Airways
  • Trying to use Delta.com in a meaningful way

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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