Reminder: Last Day to Book Hyatt Awards at Old Rates

As we approach January 7, 2014, keep in mind that tomorrow, January 6, will be your last day to book Hyatt free nights/upgrades/suite nights at the current rates.

I wrote about these Hyatt award chart changes when they were first announced. Some of them major; some minor.

Regardless, it would behoove you to figure out if your travels this year include a Hyatt stay. If they do, you might want to speculatively book some award nights now and lock in the current rates.

For the most part, they are fully cancellable until a few days before the stay. Only in certain circumstances can you not cancel Hyatt award nights. Always check the cancellation policy before completing the booking!

The Hyatt schedule goes as far as 1 year out so you’ll be able to book for New Year’s 2015 if you so desire.

With regard to modifying your award nights, you’ll have until February 15, 2014 to modify reservations at the old rates.

A good tactic I’ll be using as we book a few award nights is booking each night as a separate reservation.

By booking each night separately, you can cancel each night independent of the others. Yes, it’s a bit of a hassle during the booking process, but it gives you great flexibility in case plans change.

Again, check out my earlier post on the great Hyatt devaluation and decide whether you should burn your Hyatt points.

Milepoint Premium Membership

Milepoint, arguably the friendlier of the two most prominent air travel forums, has just debuted their Premium Membership program. For $59, you receive:

  • One year of ad-free viewing of Milepoint
  • 2,000 United MileagePlus miles
  • 2,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points or Platinum status through Feb. 2014
  • One Free Gogo Inflight Internet 24-hour pass
  • Free upgrade to National Executive status
  • 1 Year Subscription to InsideFlyer.com
  • A free 3-month trial of Clear
  • A free upgrade to AwardWallet Plus and a free AwardWallet OneCard
  • A free upgrade to UsingMiles Premier Membership

There are more discounts that come along with this membership, but these are the main bullet points.

Act fast because there are only a limited number of premium memberships available. I already purchased mine because the 2,000 United miles, 2,000 Hyatt points and a Gogo pass are worth it at that price already. Anything else, to me, is just icing and helping out the site! The full dicussion can be found in this thread.

Trip Planning: Vancouver, British Columbia

TRIP INDEX
Intro – Planning
Cathay Pacific Business Class New York – Vancouver
Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre
Shangri-La Vancouver
MARKET by Jean-Georges

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BACKGROUND

Ever since our visit to Vancouver en route to a Whistler snowboarding trip, Joann and I have wanted to go back to enjoy the city for a few more days. Things fell into place when she scheduled a long weekend off – she’s a nurse and works odd schedules. Along with her free weekend, the other driving factors were visiting family, fulfilling the Hotels.com promotion, and completing our NEXUS interviews.

NEXUS approval comes with Global Entry which is a great perk to have while traveling. See The Points Guy’s review on Global Entry. The TSA is also piloting a new Trusted Traveler program to Global Entry and NEXUS users that will allow these users to use expedited security lines. Expedited security lines??? Sign me up! Anyway, let’s plan this trip…

DEPARTING FLIGHT

There aren’t many nonstop options to Vancouver. My first thought is always Continental or Star Alliance because I have the most miles with them and they are Newark-based. Air Canada, a Star Alliance member, is 1 of only 2 nonstop flights from the NYC area to Vancouver (YVR). Unfortunately, that flight had no availability for our strict dates.

Plan B was Cathay Pacific. We have flown their nonstop JFK-YVR service and enjoy the airline very much, at least in Economy class. Also, Joann and I have hoarded a lot of British Airways miles (over 300k) so we might as well use them! Remember, there’s no prize for who has the largest mileage account! BA miles are best used, in my opinion, for their oneworld partners. BA’s most luxurious partner is probably Cathay and any time you can fly in their premium cabin, I’d call that a great day. Take a look at this series of screenshots for a quick and dirty way to book a partner award flight on BA’s site.

Continue reading

Starwood presents SPG Triple Up!

As per William Sanders aka Starwood Lurker on FlyerTalk, Starwood Preferred Guest will be offering triple Starpoints on every stay from September 6 through December 18, 2011. You just have to make sure the stay encompasses a Thursday or Sunday night. The earnings are unlimited so start planning! 

The landing page for this promo will be http://spg.com/tripleup.  You can check out more details on the promo along with a list of the non-participating properties.

I haven’t used Starpoints very extensively yet but I value them (mostly for hotel nights using the Cash & Points option) at about 2.5 cents per Starpoint. I usually won’t redeem them unless I get at LEAST that much value.

Check back often or follow me on Twitter because I’ll be updating this post with more details as they emerge and even sharing plans on how to really maximize this deal!

UPDATE: If you have stays planned an also participate in the Hyatt Gold Passport program, then you should do some number crunching to see which promotion is more worthwhile for you. Here is a link to Hyatt’s promo in which you earn 3,000 points every 3 nights (link).