This is a somewhat random post. There are several things happening in the points & miles world that I’m excited about… or, at least hopeful. Here’s what’s on my mind…
Use IHG points at Six Senses Luxury Resorts
Six Senses Luxury Resorts are beginning to get integrated into IHG. At the time of this writing, seven properties can be booked with points. As Stephen pointed out in his post, point prices are all over the map from a reasonable 60,000 points per night to a ridiculous 237,500 points per night. Still, some very high end properties, such as the Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives are available for 100K points per night. If you have the IHG Premier Card or the IHG Traveler Card, you qualify for 4th night free awards, so that brings the price down to 75K points per night on a four night stay. And if you have both one of those cards and the old IHG Select card (and I do have both), you’ll also get 10% of your points back for a net total of 270K points for four nights, or 67,500 points per night. Not bad for resorts listing for $6,129 for four nights (over $1,500 per night!)
The points and miles game is all about earning points for free (or cheap) and spending them towards great value. Until now, getting great point value for vacation rentals was a challenge. Now, Wyndham has solved the problem by adding Vasa Vacation Rentals to the mix. They charge 15,000 points per night per bedroom. So, the key to getting great value is finding awesome properties with few bedrooms. Full details here: Wyndham Vacasa: Great Value is Real!
Wyndham Earner Business Card
Ever since I first learned about the Wyndham Earner Business Card, I’ve been a fan. But, until the vacation rental thing came up, I didn’t prioritize getting the card. Now I have. As you can see in the image above, thanks to getting approved for the card, I now have Wyndham Diamond status. The little tag-line in the top-left says “You’ve earned this.” No, I really didn’t. But that’s OK! In addition to Diamond status, the business card offers a 45K welcome bonus, a 10% award discount, 8X earnings at Wyndham hotels and at gas stations, 5X for utilities, and 15,000 Wyndham points each year that you renew. Read my review here.
Delta Upgrade Certificates apply to Award Tickets
Now that Delta has made it possible to use Platinum and Diamond elite upgrade certificates to upgrade award tickets, my Delta miles have become much more interesting. Delta has long over-priced business class awards, but reasonably priced economy awards are relatively easy to find — especially when Delta runs SkyMiles flash sales. Previously, I had to choose between using too many miles to sit up front, or using cash for economy fares and using certificates to upgrade to First Class or Delta One. Now, I can book cheap economy awards with miles and apply upgrade certificates. Awesome! Plus, this year at least, I’ll earn towards elite status as well!
- Exciting enhancements for Delta’s top tier elites (On my mind)
- Delta Elite status via award tickets, plus 50% to 75% elite bonus on all tickets!
Delta Elite Earnings on Award Tickets
Not only is Delta offering 50% to 75% more towards elite status this year, but they’re offering those bonuses on award tickets too. They’ve never before offered any kind of elite earnings on award tickets. The only airline I can think of that does so is Virgin Atlantic (details here). While Delta’s current-year promotion is cool, I’m hoping that Delta will make elite earnings on award tickets a permanent part of the program. And I hope that other airlines will follow Delta’s lead!
Radisson has a new brand named “Radisson Individuals.” It’s basically a way for independent hotels to take part in Radisson’s marketing. So far, the only participating hotel that I know of is Sebastian Hotel in St. Augustine Florida. That property isn’t particularly interesting to me, but I’m hoping that Radisson will add some nice boutique hotels. The reason I care is that the Radisson Rewards credit card offers a free night at any Radisson hotel in the U.S. with each $10K spend per year (up to $30K spend). So far, I haven’t been interested enough in Radisson’s U.S. properties to put that much spend on my Radisson card (especially since I have many other free night certificates from other chains that I need to use before they expire). If Radisson adds some great hotels to the Radisson Individuals line, my approach will change.
For more about the Radisson Rewards Visa, see: Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card (now with a dash of aspiration).