Frequent Miler’s Travel Rewards Holiday Wish List


During our latest installment of Ask us Anything, a reader/viewer asked us a fun question:

What is one miles and points item at the top of your holiday wish list this year?

We briefly answered, but then later realized that it was probably a question worth revisiting. Greg wasn’t there that night, which is probably why it got so rowdy, and it didn’t seem right that he was left out in the wish list cold (he was actually in the Southern Hemisphere and was quite warm, but you get the drift). We also felt like only having one item on each of our wish lists was unfairly limiting, given the scope of the prospective goodies out there. So, we decided to take another crack at it.

The FM Team likes lists a lot, especially those that involve travel, rewards or (even better) travel rewards. But, it turns out that our travel rewards wish list can quickly become unwieldly. In order to make sure that we didn’t get bogged down (especially for those of us who wrote directly to an undoubtedly occupied Santa), we decided that we would cut it off at ten wishes (-ish).

a group of men in clothing posing for a picture
Stephen, Carrie and Nick went directly to the big man with their travel rewards wish lists (as you can probably tell, Greg and I are photoshopped in).

The FM Team’s 2023-24 Holiday Wishlist

Greg the Frequent Miler

Greg working from Park Hyatt Chicago
Greg hard at work writing his list

Dear Delta. What I want most this year is for SkyMiles to offer outsized value, especially for international business class flights. There was a time, long ago, when round-trip business class awards from North America to Europe cost something like 110,000 points. Today, those same flights cost about a bajillion points (give or take). I know. I know. You’re not going to budge on that one. In that case, how about releasing a reasonable amount of award space to partners so that we can book those same flights for 50K points each way with our Virgin Atlantic and/or Flying Blue miles?

Dear Marriott (and IHG too). Never mind what I wrote to Delta. What I really want this year is for you to get with the program and stop allowing hotels to impose resort fees on award stays! I know. I know. It’s hard because the property owners love raking in those scam fees. But guess what? Your loyal customers hate those scam fees! Don’t you care about us at all? Maybe a little bit? And don’t tell me it can’t be done. Hyatt, Hilton, and even Wyndham have managed to eliminate resort fees on award stays. Are you saying you’re not as good as them? Eh?


a man in glasses with his hand up
“Santa. Have you seen the World of Hyatt welcome offer recently? All the reindeer would laugh and call it names.”

Dear Santa,

The Frequent Miler team has been pretty nice this year. Can we get a World of Hyatt Credit Card welcome bonus that doesn’t suck? I’m not even asking for this for me since I finally broke down and applied under the stinky offer that gets advertised as 60K “bonus” points even though it’s really the 15K points you earn from spend at any time and only 45K bonus that are really an added bonus. But for all the folks out there who don’t yet have a World of Hyatt Credit Card, could you just make the value proposition at least match that of a card that earns transferable Ultimate Rewards points? Now that I think about it, extra cookies and milk for you if I can get express delivery on that (as in “within 45 days of when I applied” so I can try to get customer service to match me to the new offer).

If I can be so bold as to make a selfish holiday wish, can we also get a substantive welcome bonus on the Bilt card? I want more Bilt points, but for non-renters, it’s an awfully slow slog to earn a meaningful number. I’d be happy to earn 3x on dining (or 6x on the first of the month!) with no annual fee and 2x on some other regular expenses on the first of the month with a Bilt Mastercard, but it’s been hard to justify grabbing it only to have to wait like two years to build up enough points for a worthwhile redemption. Please do this before Bilt inevitably offers a crazy transfer bonus to a program like Turkish, Aeroplan, Avianca, or Hyatt.


P.S. – I know you’re busy and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t overwhelm you, so I stopped at two wishes. But, maybe I can sneak in a bonus half-wish?  Please don’t let Choice (or anybody else) buy Wyndham. I’d like to be able to get amazing value out of Vacasa vacation rentals using my Wyndham Rewards points for at least one more year. Now that the kids are old enough, I’d like to go back to Pigeon Forge at least one more time.


Carrie Crystal Universe TeamLabs Tokyo
“Hmmm…I wonder if there are any mistake fares down there?”

Dear Santa,

It’s probably fairly obvious that my focus has been on a different hobby lately and I’ve been doing way more camping and hiking and way less points collection of any kind.

But, believe it or not, there are some rewards travel wishes I can think of that don’t require large stashes of points to take advantage of. With flexibility still on my side, for example, I would love if we have more mistake fares as good as the ones we used to see in our full-time nomad days. For example, remember that time we spent ~$400 for roundtrip business class flights to Beijing back in 2015 – I’d love to see something like that again. Santa, if you’re reading this, I’d really like another round of those great, no-points-required mistake-fares….especially if they can help me escape the West Virginia winter a bit (hint, hint: somewhere warm)!

Second on my list – I hope availability for 5 magically shows up on another ANA first class flight from San Francisco to Tokyo so we can do a reboot of Party of 5.

Thanks Santa! You’re the best.

P.S. – I also want to stay again at a hotel that gives chocolates on your pillow at turn down service. It feels like forever since I’ve gotten one of those. Even turndown service at my apartment would work, if that’s easier to arrange.

Stephen Pepper

Stephen On A Pirate Ship
Stephen keeping an eye out for NLL offers earlier this year.

Dear Santa,

Below you’ll find a proper holiday wish list. Unlike my (frankly dodgy) American colleagues, I numbered it so you would could easily tell which one is most important.

  1. Pet Fees – We’ve spent more than $10,000 on pet fees since setting off on our 7 year, 50 state road trip on January 1, 2018. That’s an absurd amount (especially for a frugal person like me) and is even higher than I realized (we track our spending, but I’d never totaled it up over the past 6 years). We still have a year of the road trip to go, so I’d love for your generosity to rub off on hotel loyalty programs and for them to add a waived pet fee for those with top-tier elite status. Santa, this should be easy because Truffles is so cute.
  2. No Lifetime Language Offers – It’s been 6 months since I was last able to get a No Lifetime Language offer on an Amex Business Platinum, while for my wife it’s been more than a year. These NLL offers are still out there as some people have still been able to successfully apply, but we’ve always either gotten the message saying “This offer is no longer available” or we’ve gotten the popup stating we’re not eligible for the bonus as we already have the card. I’m therefore hoping that under the tree on Christmas Day is a nice new, shiny NLL 150k offer for one or both of us.

Its getting late, so I better crack on. Cheers, Santa. You’re the bees’ knees.


Tim as thumb for April Fools Day
Tim enjoying a glass of wine at our recent team meeting.

Dear Alaska, A big (and unexpected) development in the last part of 2023 was when you announced that that you intend to purchase Hawaiian Airlines. A lot of folks were somewhat confused about why you do that would do that but, don’t listen to the haters, I think there’s potentially a lot to be excited about. One of the things that I’m especially rooting for is that you will expand your very useful companion fare to Hawaiian’s international route map, or to Hawaiian flights at all…did you know that they have something called lie-flat seats? I’m not especially hopeful that you’ll get this request, but if I woke up tomorrow and we were all able to use our companion fares for flights from the US to Australia with a free layover in Hawai’i, I’d be tickled pink(ie).

Dear Revenge Travel, I’d like to ask for something on behalf of everyone: can we open up international partner award availability? Just a skosh? It’s been a lean menu that we’ve been looking at for lie-flat award seats across either ocean over the last couple of years. Those of us with a flexible schedule and no school calendar have been able to scrape by on the bits and bobs, but summer/school break availability for families has been Slim Pickens. Give us a little holiday cheer by loosening things up a bit for all of us in 2024.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. The Frequent Miler team’s “top 10(ish)” travel and rewards list, just in time for 2023’s last gasp. In the comments, we’d love to know what you’re wishing for from the world of points and miles over the next year!

In the meantime, Happy Holidays from all of us at Frequent Miler!

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Dear AMEX,

Your eager new customers would love it if you could let us out of pop-up jail for the holidays. Those of us with a more recent start in miles and points can’t share in the love of AMEX others have when we find out we aren’t eligible for new member bonuses because we’ve opened one card with you this year. In the spirit of giving maybe you can give us a hint on how the customer algorithms determine our fate? At least with a 5/24 type rule we could know if we might finally get a Platinum card before the next President is sworn in.

Thanks FM team and Happy Holidays!


Free breakfast for Hyatt and Marriott credit card holders like Hilton Aspire. So people who are Marriott Gold and Hyatt Explorist who aren’t business travelers can finally get breakfast. Thanks!

Thomas Rossi

I’d like to see airlines chill a little bit on schedule changes…Every time I book a flight more than a month out, I have been virtually guaranteed that something will change. Sometimes it works in my favor, but I’d just as soon like to know that what I’ve booked is what I’m going to get.

And if you do change my flights, how about making sure I don’t end up with an impossible 20 minute connection or a window seat when I had an aisle?

Wanna Travel

My wish is for Chase to add TK Miles and Smiles to their transferable partner list. If SQ, AF and BA can partner with everyone, why not TK?


Sadly, choice is on the list of chains that impose junk fees


Please, Santa, bring back ANA award availability through Aeroplan, and do it soon so I can use up my last 50k cert and then cancel my Aeroplan CC.


Both my holiday wishes would be directed to Hyatt:

* Make your Category 1-4 free night certificates that come on the anniversary of your credit card Category 1-5 free night certificates (inflation and devaluations have made some of my favorite properties out of reach).

* The ability to top up Hyatt free night certificates with points. Marriott and IHG have this ability so I’m hoping Hyatt can make that happen too!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone on the FM team 🙂


Fun read. I think Tim’s #2 is the most far-reaching wish for the hobby: partner award availability in premium cabins (and the IT infrastructure at each airline to support such searches). And, not just international. Domestic too. AA transcon on other than oh-dark-thirty flights. We’ve seen airlines restrict partner access to this inventory. Won’t begin to name them but we know who they are.


I only have 2 wishes for Santa and they are simple and not too expensive. 1) Require all the Marriott properties accept SNA’s and 2) Go back to the good old days when you could extend FNC’s for a year without calling back 6x hoping to get the right agent or begging on your hands and knees in front of the phone. A guaranteed decent free full breakfast at every property ( no continental b.s.) for platinum and titanium members would be nice but I don’t expect it any more than I expect resort fees to go away. Santa, maybe you need to just dump a ton of coal into the Marriott’s stocking to remind them who made them the hotel behemoth they have become. Happy New Years to all.