What is Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Elite Status Worth in 2016?

If you’re wondering whether it’s worth meeting the requirements for a specific hotel program status, it helps to know what sort of value you can expect as an elite member. Below, TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Nick Ewen continues the hotel portion of his series on elite statuses by examining how much value you…

8 Incredible Islands to Escape the Cold This Winter

While there are still a few weeks to go before spring rolls around, you can beat the system by wintering in these summer locales, island hopping everywhere from Maui to the Maldives. TPG Contributor Lane Nieset takes us around the globe to eight beautiful spots worth spending some time in this season. The best part: They’re all…

6 Spots to Hit the Slopes with Points This Winter

A ski trip to a luxurious mountainside resort can be a spendy vacation, but TPG Contributor Lane Nieset reminds us that cashing in your hotel points can smooth out the moguls and bring six of the world’s most fabulous, redemption-friendly ski destinations within closer reach. Be sure to see the bottom of this post for suggestions of credit cards that will…

80,000-Point Sign-Up Bonus on the Marriott Rewards Premier Card

Good news if you’re interested in booking award travel with Marriott or Ritz-Carlton: The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card and the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card are increasing their sign-up bonuses to 80,000 points after $3,000 spent in the first three months. That’s 30,000 Marriott Rewards points more than the standard 50,000-point offer. This isn’t…

An Unforgettable Experience at the Cayman Cookout

As a Ritz-Carlton Platinum Elite member, I’d heard of the Cayman Cookout before. It’s been going on for eight years now and has really become one of the most exclusive events in the Caribbean. So, naturally, I was dying to try it. The Cayman Cookout is a five-day culinary extravaganza, and it’s really unrivaled in…

10 Photos: New Orleans’ Historic French Quarter

TPG Contributor Kelsy Chauvin returns to her spicy home state to share glimpses of the French Quarter, one of the most visited and historic districts in North America. (All photos were taken by the author — follow more of Kelsy’s travels on Instagram and Twitter.) Without mincing words or showing bias for my favorite city, New…

A Conversation with Marriott’s VP of Loyalty, Thom Kozik

Arguably, the biggest story from the past year for rewards enthusiasts has been the Marriott and Starwood merger. When it was announced in November, it’s safe to say that most Starwood loyalists panicked — should they be worried about the merger and what does it mean for the future SPG program? Well, here we are more than two…

Transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to Ritz-Carlton

All award travelers should earn transferable points, as they give you great flexibility in your redemptions. They also shield you from any potential devaluations, since the ability to transfer to other programs means you’re not locked into one currency. Chase Ultimate Rewards are some of the best transferable points out there, and TPG Senior Points…

Can I Stack Elite Credits from Ritz and Marriott Cards?

TPG reader Mike emailed me to ask about earning elite status from hotel credit cards: “Can I stack automatic Gold Elite status from the Ritz-Carlton card with the 15 elite nights from the Marriott Rewards card? I’m trying to earn Platinum status, and wanted to know if the two could be combined to give me a boost.”…

My Credit Card Inventory: Which To Keep and Which to Cancel?

Around the start of each year, I take inventory of my portfolio of credit cards and weigh the benefits of each. That helps me weed out the ones that aren’t providing enough value to offset their annual fees, and to decide which new ones I should apply for. If you’re new to the game there…