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Hotels

26 South African Protea Hotels to Join Marriott Rewards

December 22, 2014

There’s some good news for all of you who love traveling in South Africa as much as I do. This past April, when Marriott acquired Africa’s 116-property Protea Hospitality Group, the U.S.-based chain became the largest hotel company in Africa, and now Marriott has announced that 26 Protea properties in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa will be joining Marriott Rewards […]

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Hyatt To Offer Free WiFi For All Guests Starting February 2015

December 22, 2014

Free WiFi is fast becoming less of a benefit and more of a given for hotel guests around the world. Whereas even a year ago many of the major chains charged everyone but elites for using WiFi while smaller hotels enticed business travelers with the promise of free internet access, the larger hotel brands finally […]

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Is It Worth Collecting Avios if I Typically Fly Southwest?

December 21, 2014

TPG reader Ian tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy– “Is it worth getting the British Airways Visa and collecting Avios if I already have the Southwest Companion Pass for 2015/16? I typically fly more on Southwest than American/BA.” The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most amazing airline perks out there (if you fly Southwest, […]

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Hotel Review: Park Hyatt New York – Park Deluxe King Room

December 20, 2014

When the luxurious, hugely tall Park Hyatt New York opened this past September on Midtown Manhattan’s West 57th Street, a half-block from Carnegie Hall and across the street from the Russian Tea Room, it was an immediate sensation in New York City. For the last few months it’s been almost impossible to snag a room here, but I […]

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Bonus SkyMiles & AAdvantage Miles, Alaska’s Beyond Comfort

December 20, 2014

Here’s a round-up of the week’s points, miles and travel industry news you may have missed:  Alaska Introduces New Flight Experience “Alaska Beyond” Alaska is amping up their in-flight service with the launch of Alaska Beyond. First off, the planes feature new leather seats with six-way adjustable headrests. My favorite new addition is personal power outlets at […]

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Man Finds New Companion With Same Name as Ex-Girlfriend

December 19, 2014

Looks like there’s a happy ending to the sad tale of the boyfriend who was dumped by his girlfriend and left with a round-the-world itinerary in her name: he’s now found a (platonic) taker for the free trip, a young woman with the same nationality and name. Jordan Axani, a 28-year-old guy from Toronto, recently parted ways with one Elizabeth […]

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6,000 Bonus HHonors Points With Citi Card (Targeted)

December 19, 2014

The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card is sending out targeted emails offering 2,000 HHonors bonus points per stay when you use the card to pay there. The promotion is valid at any hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio through February 28, 2015. You can do this a total of three separate times, earning a […]

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Using Amex FHR to Save Big on Luxury Hotels

December 18, 2014

I’ve been an American Express Platinum cardholder for years. While the $450 annual fee is nothing to scoff at, I’m able to get way more than that in value every year. Off the bat, each calendar year you get $200 in airline reimbursements, and every 5 years you get a $100 rebate for Global Entry/TSA Pre-check. Plus, […]

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Starwood Offers SPG Members Free Internet Access

December 17, 2014

Last month, we wrote about how Marriott Offers Free Wi-Fi to All Marriott Rewards Members, and speculated if other brands such as Starwood would follow suit. Our speculation paid off as Starwood just announced today that SPG members who book their stays either through SPG.com, one of their hotel brand websites, or using their SPG App, will […]

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Credit Card Combinations for a Paris Vacation

December 17, 2014

When talking about award travel, it’s easy to focus on earning points and miles and lose sight of the actual traveling. Today, however, TPG Senior Points and Miles Correspondent Jason Steele offers a detailed analysis of how you can use your travel rewards to get to Paris. Last week, I looked at credit card strategies for award travel to Hawaii. The […]

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8 Nights of Hanukkah Hotels

December 16, 2014

Like a bag of shiny gelt (gold-wrapped chocolate coins), it’s a treat to gather with your extended mishpachah (family) for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which this year spans December 16-24. Based on the eight U.S. cities with the largest Jewish populations, TPG Assistant Editor Melanie Wynne suggests a menorah’s worth of hotels to inspire celebrating the Festival of Lights […]

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Hotel Elite Status Match and Challenge Plans for 2015

December 16, 2014

Hotel elite status is great when you have it, but earning it takes determination. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at ways to circumvent the usual qualification requirements by way of status matches and challenges. As 2014 comes to an end, I’m sure that elite status qualification is (and will remain) on many of your minds. Last week, I […]

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IHG Acquires Kimpton Hotels to Expand Boutique Portfolio

December 16, 2014

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Kimpton Hotels just announced an agreement for IHG to acquire the Kimpton brand for a reported $430 million in cash. Kimpton, which currently has 62 properties in 28 US cities (with another 16 in the process of being added), will join existing IHG brands Hotel Indigo and EVEN Hotels (among […]

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Which Credit Card Is Best When Paying for Hyatt Stays?

December 14, 2014

TPG reader Talissa emailed me to ask: “Which card would be better to use for the “cash” portion of Hyatt’s “points + cash” option: the Chase Sapphire Preferred (2X points on travel) or Hyatt’s own credit card?” The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Chase Hyatt Visa each have their own sets of benefits for hotel spending. So […]

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250 Bonus MQMs, Earn Double Starpoints, Hyatt & Hilton Sales

December 13, 2014

 Here’s a round-up of the week’s points, miles and travel industry news you may have missed:  Earn 250 Delta MQMs and Double SkyMiles for Hilton HHonors Stays If you complete a two night Hilton stay by December 20, 2014 as a Hilton HHonors member, you can earn double SkyMiles as well as 250 Delta MQMS (very […]

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Contest Roundup: Arizona Weekend, European Cruise, $10,000 Cash

December 12, 2014

Check out the week in travel contests and sweepstakes for your chance to win a relaxing weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona, a stay at the Shangri-La of your choice, or even $10,000 in cash towards your next vacation or to visit a WOW destination.  Win a Weekend Getaway To Arizona From Forbes Win a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona […]

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12 Christmas Getaways For Every Type of Traveler

December 11, 2014

No plans yet for Christmas? Well, there’s no need to pout, because TPG Assistant Editor Melanie Wynne has compiled a list of holiday getaways that will get you packing. Whether you’re looking for romance, adventure, trips suited to friends or family, a chilled-out vacation or a non-stop party, you’ll find your ideal Christmas destination here.  Travelers in Search of […]

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More Changes to Hyatt Gold Passport in 2015

December 11, 2014

Soon after I shared yesterday’s Hyatt Gold Passport category changes for 2015, the hotel chain’s loyalty program announced three more impending differences for the coming year: Hyatt will be extending its popular Points + Cash rates, is eliminating its fledgling My Elite Rate, and starting January 1, 2015, will guarantee that all guests will receive their confirmed bed type upon check-in. Offering Hyatt Gold […]

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Earn 500 Bonus Starpoints for Booking through SPG App

December 10, 2014

Starwood Preferred Guest just launched a new offer, where you can earn 500 points just for booking your next stay through their SPG mobile app on your phone, as long as you pay with an American Express card. Promotion Details:  Earn 500 bonus Starpoints per stay, up to 3 stays, when you register for this offer and use […]

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Hyatt Gold Passport Announces Category Changes for 2015

December 10, 2014

Hyatt is implementing some category chart changes for 2015, but luckily so far, no word on devaluations. After the 2014 devaluation, I am relieved to hear that the 2015 changes will simply be re-categorizing a total of 70 Hyatt properties. Effective on January, 22, 2015, Hyatt will be shifting 48 hotels to a lower category and 22 […]

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Credit Card Combinations for a Hawaiian Vacation

December 10, 2014

When talking about award travel, it’s easy to focus on earning points and miles and lose sight of the actual traveling. Today, however, TPG Senior Points and Miles Correspondent Jason Steele offers a detailed analysis of how you can use your travel rewards to get somewhere practically everyone wants to be, Hawaii! Hawaii is a wildly popular destination, […]

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5 Reasons to Plan a Trip to Europe This Winter

December 8, 2014

Missing Europe? Well, happily, this winter is a great time to get yourselves to the Continent – and here’s why: 1. The euro is low. Last month, the euro fell to $1.22 US, its lowest value in more than two years, and has held steady ever since; today it’s been valued at $1.23 US. After a brief dip to $1.17 US […]

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Earning Airline & Hotel Reciprocal Elite Status for 2015

December 8, 2014

Everyone values elite status differently, but clearly the more useful the benefits are, the more meaningful status becomes. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Jason Steele looks at reciprocal airline and hotel benefits, and how they impact the value of elite status in the respective programs. One recent innovation in the travel industry is the emergence of reciprocal status agreements between airlines and […]

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What’s the Best Way to Get Free Hotel Club Lounge Access?

December 7, 2014

TPG reader Adam tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy– “What are some of the best ways to get club lounge access at hotels without paying for it?” We always talk about airline lounge access, but to be honest, hotel lounges can be even better, including much nicer spreads and open bars. Some of my personal favorite […]

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