Points and Miles News
I’ll say it again – I can never do everything in our hobby. I don’t even come close to staying informed of everything, either. But I’d have it no other way – I’d rather there be a deluge of points and miles news than not enough. The latter would lead me to grow bored. But in the past few months, I couldn’t keep up with all points, miles, and travel developments. Here are just a few items that fell through the cracks.
Points.com Loyalty Wallet Fades Away
Back around September, the Points.com Loyalty Wallet quietly shut its doors. I only noticed this a few days ago when I was curious to see which partners still participated in the exchange. I wasn’t surprised I was late to the game on this development, since I really only used them once annually, mostly early in the year. For years I enjoyed converting JetBlue True Blue points to Amtrak Guest Rewards points at a 2:1 ratio via Points.com Loyalty Wallet. Redemptions were capped at 25k Amtrak points annually, but I still enjoyed obtaining more of my favorite niche travel currency in big chunks. From now on, I’ll have to rely on more Amtrak card welcome offers via FNBO or everyday spending on my no-fee Amtrak card for more points.
Points and travel hobbyists at all skill levels love Speedway. The gas station carries a variety of third party and Visa/Mastercard gift cards useful for many. Yes, particular Speedy Rewards points plays have come and gone. Regardless, it’s worth it for avid hobbyists to stay up to speed on new deals, so to speak.
Sadly, the last convenient Speedway in my area closed a year or so ago. And now, they’re all gone in my region. Instead, I bump into them unexpectedly on trips. In these instances, I’ve found myself ill-equipped; I don’t know the best plays currently and inevitably don’t have the right credit cards with me.
I quit caring about new Chase cards years ago. That’s generally worked out in my favor. Often, I’m asked about Chase, though, but I’m extremely rusty on their card portfolio beyond what we already hold. I’m particularly hazy on their business card portfolio – I simply can’t retain info on cards beyond the Ink Business Cash or Preferred. And news flash to me, it seems like 17 Southwest and United cards exist. Of course, many of these have been there for years. Another convenient benefit of giving up on 5/24 is I can ignore all this stuff.
That IHG Status Promo
For a very short while in October, IHG held a targeted promotion for Diamond status through the end of this year. IHG One Rewards members who stayed ten nights by the end of 2022 would obtain Diamond status through the end of 2023.
I was briefly disappointed in missing this promo. We had a few IHG stays planned later in the year, and maybe Diamond status would come in handy. I then quickly self-corrected. In all likelihood, that status wouldn’t have mattered, anyway. I’d largely pushed away from IHG, too. I’m glad I avoided this one – the last thing I need is IHG sucking me back in.
Black Friday Deals, Mostly
Black Friday has mattered less to me with every passing year. I feel like Black Friday promos are increasingly like mattress sales. When are they not happening? Perhaps some of you can relate.
I did take advantage of some deals stackable with the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit. And I bought a new phone, a very overdue acquisition, at a deep discount. Beyond that, we sat out on the sales. We had already completed the vast majority of our holiday shopping, so that helped. We enjoyed the extra time with family and friends over Thanksgiving.
Inevitably, I’ll cringe on missing out on a random deal. But most of the time, I take a more zen approach. If I miss a promo or play, I’m probably meant to miss it. Things generally tend to work out the way they should. I have enough on my plate as it is. What points and miles news have you discovered too late?
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
I’m curious to know what your hotel of choice is, if not IHG.
I enjoy a bit of most every program, but if anything, I lean more toward Hilton Honors.
Thanks! I don’t have a hotel branded card yet, but I continually waffle between Hilton and Hyatt.
Great article. I really like your approach to life. if we try to get every single deal, it will be mentally exhausting. Totally agree to have that extra time with family.
Thanks for reading!
Brutus imma second that and say IHG is my favorite and the most useful hotel chain over the last few years and even more so now that I have free Breakfast as a Diamond member till 2023. I stayed in Europe for a month from September to October in intercontinental’s, Kimpton’s, as well as Hotel indigos + Holiday inn’s and free breakfast had been very valuable.
But when I added the value I got with the latest promo’s OMG guys let me tell you I got insane value. I got the “stay 10 days offer to get Diamond in 2023” but I realized I was getting short on points because I literally stayed all 50~ nights this year on points and I almost always do it in 4 night increments because of the stay 4 get 1 free CC deal. I wanted to get the offer stay 10 paid nights and get diamond stats for 2023 plus replenish my points for next year. Well once I activated all the offers, “stay 4 nights get 10k points per 4 night stay”, then on Cyber Monday~ “stay 2 nights get 10k points per 2 night stay”, plus the stay 10 nights get Diamond status in 2023, oh plus RetailMeNot.com had %16 back at IHG hotels.
So I decide I would start looking for cheap properties to use this offer. Well I couldn’t find anything in the United States so I searched the world and I found a place for $31/night, so I contacted the manager & asked him if I could “stay” without “staying” because I wanted to get diamond status renewed for next year. he said if I sent him my credit card and my passport information, “he would have no issue taking my money” but that’s the funny thing, I found a hotel that also offered 3000 bonus points per night for $5 per night! If you didn’t know 3000 points is worth $15 minimum and since I was only paying $31 with tax I felt I was killing it.
But don’t forget I also get 10 points per 2 nights, 10k points per 4 nights, %16 cash back, and 10 points per $ on my credit card on top of those 3000 points per night and Diamond status for 2023 AND you also get to pick a bonus worth $50-$100min. every 10 nights you stay after 40 nights and when you hit 70 nights you get “2” picks, worth $150 min. I did the math and it’s like I’m buying points for $0.002~ cents per point and I’m not even staying in the hotel! I should have went there for the undisclosed amount of time I (stayed) there. But it didn’t work with my schedule but who cares? points normally cost $0.005 cents per point with a %100 discount, so I’m saving more than double from my projected costs.
*One note, in order to get the diamond status you have to have stayed in a hotel that charges at-least $30 per night.
So I don’t think I missed anything and I’m not sure this would work for everyone, but it was just a great thing I played out I’m my mind and I figured worst comes to worst, I can always cancel the reservation. So I couldn’t pass up on such an opportunity!
By the way I’d love to get on the show with the guys and answer any questions anyone has, so if anyone has any (in’s) or can put in a good word for me with the guys let them know I’d love to talk! I live for this stuff and it’s not the first big win I’ve had this year or in my points and miles journey. Take care everyone Travel safe and Travel hack!
The IHG promo worked out great for me. I got instant Diamond status for nothing and had it extended through 2023 by buying Ambassador status for 40,000 points (and got 20,000 back due to promotion) and then rebooking an upcoming stay at an Intercontinental. Got the Ambassador free weekend night, three days of free breakfast for two, an upgrade, a late checkout, $75 back on an Amex offer, plus 20,000 IHG points earned for the stay. Yes, I will be staying with IHG in 2023.