Marriott Hotel Award Category 2015 Changes – 27% Going Up

Similar to other major chains, Marriott periodically adjusts the hotels within each of its award categories, and it has just released their list of hotels that will be changing categories in 2015. Over one-fourth of Marriott’s properties are moving up in categories, and those new rates will kick in for reservations after March 18, 2015. Any…

Hotel Booking Site Rocketmiles Acquired by Priceline

Several major media outlets (beginning with The Wall Street Journal) are reporting that Priceline has plans to acquire hotel booking website Rocketmiles for about $20 million, as part of an effort to develop a more robust loyalty program. Rocketmiles is a hotel search engine and booking app that offers customers both wholesale room rates and and…

Which Hotels Follow Their Own “No Blackout Dates” Policies?

While many loyalty programs make it easy to redeem your points and miles, others make it unnecessarily difficult. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Nick Ewen looks at how some hotels circumvent their own policies to impede award redemptions, and explains what you can do about it. In the points and miles game, knowledge is…

What to Do When Your Hotel Doesn’t Follow Its Own Rules

Award travelers often refer to the hobby as a “game,” but truth be told, sometimes you have to hustle. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Nick Ewen explains how a little effort to familiarize yourself with a loyalty program can go a long way toward getting you the vacation you want. Points and miles enthusiasts…

Top Cyber Monday Hotel Flash Sales

When it comes to shopping, Black Friday is quickly getting overshadowed by Cyber Monday—24 hours of online deals perfect after a long holiday weekend. While skipping shopping mall crowds is one major Cyber Monday perk, another is that many of the properties are under the Marriott and Starwood umbrella, so you can still earn Marriott Rewards…

Free Hotel WiFi – How to Get Online While You’re on Property

Staying connected is crucial for me when I travel, and unless I’m really going off the grid, I prefer hotels that have high-speed internet access, especially when getting online won’t add a huge amount to my final bill. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at which hotel brands offer free WiFi as a standard or elite…

What to Do When a Hotel Room Upgrade Is Really a Downgrade

Hotel upgrades are usually great when you get them, but what should you do if your hotel upgrade actually equates to a downgrade? Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen shares a recent experience he had at a Starwood property in Florida, and offers some tips in case you find yourself in similar circumstances. Upgrades can be like a drug…

Late Checkout for Hilton HHonors Diamond: the Weekly Wish

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen continues his series The Weekly Wish, looking at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Today’s wish: guaranteed late checkout for Hilton HHonors Diamond elites. I’m sure many of you have been in a position where your travel plans don’t mesh well with an 11 am…

Overview of Hotel Resort Fees and How to Avoid Them

As an award travel enthusiast, I’ll be the first to admit that airlines and hotels don’t always make it easy. Changing programs, inconsistent policies, and unexpected fees all add to the challenge of using your points and miles effectively. But for every problem that pops up, you can count on award travelers to find several solutions….

Hotelied: Up To 50% Off Hotels Based on Your Social Media Presence

TPG Assistant Editor Melanie Wynne takes a look at a new, free hotel booking site called Hotelied that offers exclusive discounts to its members based on personal data such as their social media popularity, their travel-program loyalty, and more.  Billed as a “dating site for hotel stays,” a new members-only booking site called Hotelied claims to offer personalized savings on…