Rumors of the Impending Marriott-Starwood Merger, Discounted Hyatt Points & Cash Stays, and Do NOT Make This Amazon Payment Mistake!

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Here’s a quick roundup of miles & points news you should know about.

1.   Rumor:   Marriott-Starwood Combined Loyalty Program Coming in August!

Via One Mile at a Time, there is some more information out about the new combined Marriott-Starwood loyalty program.  While this information has NOT been confirmed, it still gives us a sneak peek into what we might expect.

Discounted Hyatt Points Cash Stays Do NOT Make This Amazon Payment Mistake And A Marriott Starwood Merger Update
Starwood and Marriott Will Likely Combine Loyalty Programs in Just a Few Months!

The new program is rumored to take effect in August 2018.  There will be 5 elite status levels you can earn:

  • Silver Status – Stay 10+ nights
  • Gold Status – Stay 25+ nights
  • Platinum Status – Stay 50+ nights
  • Platinum Premier Status – Stay 75+ nights
  • Ambassador Status – Stay 100+ nights & spend $20,000+

We don’t know what benefits will come with each of these tiers.

It’s also rumored that free breakfast will expand to 25 of the 30 combined brands.  This alone will be a nice improvement over the current Marriott program.

And it looks like you’ll be able to earn 10 Marriott points per $1 you spend at Marriott hotels.  There should be bonuses on top of that, depending on your elite status.

2.   Discounted Hyatt Points & Cash Rates

Extreme Hotel Deals has found some Hyatt hotels which have discounted points & cash award rates.  This sale isn’t advertised, so it’s possible that there are other hotels that are discounted as well.  But here are a few locations we know are on sale:

Discounted Hyatt Points Cash Stays Do NOT Make This Amazon Payment Mistake And A Marriott Starwood Merger Update
Save on Points & Cash Stays at the Park Hyatt Hyderabad With This Unadvertised Sale!

Hyatt points & cash award nights can be a great way to get more bang for your buck from your Hyatt points.  So it’s worth taking a look at these deals to see if they fit into your travel plans.  But unlike award nights, which have no blackout dates, points & cash awards can be limited by the hotel.

3.   Shopping at Amazon?  Do NOT Make This Mistake!

I’ve written before about how it’s a terrible idea to use AMEX Membership Rewards to pay for Amazon purchases.  And today Mommy Points had a great reminder to double check your Amazon account when you’re paying with your AMEX cards.

The settings had been changed on her Amazon account to default to paying with AMEX Membership Rewards points when she was checking out with AMEX Membership Rewards points-earning cards.  Apparently this change happened automatically without her knowledge.

Reader Candice also had a similar experience of accidentally paying for Amazon purchases with AMEX Membership Rewards points.  So if you’ve linked certain AMEX cards with Amazon to take advantage of deals in the past, you’ll want to be extra careful when making Amazon purchases.

Discounted Hyatt Points Cash Stays Do NOT Make This Amazon Payment Mistake And A Marriott Starwood Merger Update
Before You Make That Amazon Purchase, Be Sure You’re Paying With Cash and NOT With Points!

If you’ve accidentally paid with AMEX Membership Rewards points, reach out to Amazon customer service to see if you can get the issue resolved.  And be sure to double check your payment method when you’re checking out.

Jason Stauffer is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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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