Hotel Loyalty Wars, Amazon Prime Day, and more


This week Marriott and Hyatt launched an all-out battle for customer loyalty.  Marriott seems to think that the key to our hearts is through their credit card while Hyatt prefers to reward our stays.  Other topics you’ll find below include: Wyndham is out with surprisingly strong new credit cards; Chase pleased us by extending Pay Yourself Back and then surprised us with a transfer bonus to Southwest; and Stephen told us everything we need to know to maximize Amazon Prime Day.  Plus: don’t miss the deal of the week…

a man talking to another man

On our show, in addition to our usual segments (Giant Mailbag, What Crazy Thing Did Citi Do This Week? Mattress Running the Numbers), our main topic was the aforementioned hotel loyalty wars.  Will Marriott follow-up with a huge Bonvoy Brilliant offer?  Will Hyatt improve their credit card offer?  How will Hilton and IHG respond?  Watch Frequent Miler on the Air, here:

Unfortunately, there was no Post Roast this week thanks to Nick resting on his laurels (what’s a laurel?) following last week’s epic Post Roast debate.

Subscribe to our podcast

We publish Frequent Miler on the Air each week in both video form (above) and as an audio podcast.  People love listening to the podcast while driving, working-out, etc.  Please check it out and subscribe (if we get enough people to subscribe, we might be able to earn some income from this someday. So far, the podcast is just a labor of love).

Our podcast is available on all popular podcast platforms, including:

a black and white logo
a black triangle with white lines
a black circle with white lines

You can also listen here in the browser:

Marriott surprises us with a best ever credit card offer

a credit card on a deck overlooking a golf course

I can’t remember ever seeing a credit card bonus with this much potential.  The Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card is currently offering 5 free nights after $5K spend. Some will say that this bonus is worth up to 250,000 points.  And, technically that’s true, but the details aren’t quite that rosy.  I analyzed the offer here: 5 Free Nights! Should you go for it?

Unfortunately, it’s extremely complicated to figure out whether or not you can qualify for a Marriott credit card if you’ve had one before (even Marriott cards from Amex can disqualify you).  This guide should help: Are you eligible for a new Marriott card?

The timing of the Marriott offer is ironic because last week Nick and I debated whether the Chase Marriott card or the Chase Hyatt card was the best hotel card for a beginner.  I summarized our arguments and published some great reader comments here: The Great Debate: Hyatt vs Marriott.

Marriott has also thrown a bone to existing Chase Bonvoy cardholders with 5,000 to 10,000 points for adding an authorized user: Chase Marriott Cards: Add Authorized User & Get 5,000 to 10,000 Bonus Points (Targeted?)

Hyatt’s Overlapping Promos are Now Live

a white house with trees in the background

Hyatt’s Bonus Journeys Now Live: Earn triple or quadruple points + double elite nights.  Make sure to register now!  Also see: Rocking Hyatt’s overlapping promos. Top tier status is easier than ever.

To help you decide if it’s worth checking into a Hyatt only for the points and elite nights, I created a new spreadsheet: What are Hyatt elite nights worth?  Use this along with this one to figure out your plans: Hyatt cash or points? Use the Frequent Miler worksheet.

More about Hyatt:

Chase surprises with a transfer bonus to Southwest

a bedroom with a red couch and a painting on the wall

Unlike Amex and Citi, Chase isn’t known to offer transfer bonuses.  They’ve only done so twice in the past if my memory serves.  That’s why it was so surprising that they came out with this one: 20% Transfer Bonus: Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest (Ends 10/31/20).  Usually I wouldn’t recommend transferring points to partners without a plan for how you’ll use those points.  In this case, though, if you’re a frequent Southwest flyer, you may want to consider it.  This is a good way to ensure getting better than 1.5 cents per point value from your Ultimate Rewards points.

Chase extends Pay Yourself Back feature

a hand holding a credit card next to a plate of food

Chase has extended their awesome “Pay Yourself Back” feature thru April 2021.  They also added the feature to Freedom and select Ink cards, but I’m not terribly excited by the spend categories available for those cards.  The Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards continue to offer the feature for grocery and dining spend (plus home improvement and select charities).

If you have the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card, you may be wondering what to do if you have an alternate card that offers better rewards for groceries or dining?  I tackled that topic here: Maximizing Chase Pay Yourself Back.

Amazon Prime Day: Everything You Need to Know

Amazon Prime Day 2020

Amazon Prime Day is on its way.  In addition to listing deals that have already been announced, Stephen shows us how to prepare for Prime Day so that you can maximize savings.  Read it here: Amazon Prime Day 2020: All The Deals & How To Prepare.

New Wyndham Credit Cards

a billboard with a city in the background

I wasn’t expecting much from Wyndham’s three new credit cards, but I was proven wrong.  The fee-free card is worth considering since it offers discounted rewards, but the star of the show is the $95 business card.  Read my analysis here: New Wyndham Earner credit cards review: Surprisingly strong.

The deal of the week

a screenshot of a credit card

Earn an extra 3X for 3 months with Amex Refer A Friend Three For All.  This is a crazy generous deal.  If you have a qualifying card, refer a friend and then you’ll get bonus points (as usual) plus you’ll earn an extra 3X rewards for the next 3 months.  This means, for example, that for 3 months your Amex Gold Card will earn 7X at US Supermarkets (up to $25K in purchases, then 4X); 7X at restaurants; 6X for flights; and 4X on other qualifying purchases.  There does not appear to be a cap on this bonus 3X spend.  That’s mind boggling.

More noteworthy deals

Want to learn more about miles and points? Subscribe to email updates or check out our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] a recent Frequent Miler on the Air episode, Nick and I discussed (among other things) the new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless 5 free nights offer.  […]


Question for Nick–you said Radisson has not extended their certificates much. When were yours expiring? And have you looked them up in your Radisson account recently?

The reason I ask is that they seem to have extended many (or all?) certificates to 6/30/21, without notice. I had a cert expiring in March 2021, and noticed in early September it was extended. On Flyertalk there are a few more data points of people who had certificates expiring in November, February and March who also had certificates extended to 6/30/21. The Covid related policies on their website still does not reflect this info. If their certs were all extended to June, it would actually be better than Marriott (so far). We have a couple Marriott certs that are still expiring in March.


After racking my brain trying to find a Hyatt mattress run worth doing, your post reminded me of the overlapping points promotion. I could drive a few hours away and check in to a cat1. I’m at 18 nights ytd, is it worth mattress running a 12 night stay for net 45k points, yielding 1 FN cert this year, 4/5th the way to another FN cert next year, and 24 elite nights?

Last edited 3 years ago by WR2

Also, any reported success on using mobile check-in and mobile entry to never even show up and still get the elite nights?


Marriott needs to get on board and open their in hotel lounges for elite members. The Airlines have done it, and other hotel chains are doing it so where is Marriott. I stayed at a JW Marriott last week and my loyalty reward was a granola bar and a beat up apple in a plastic bag. This kills loyalty Marriott. They can safely open these lounges if they use CDC recommended measures just like the Airlines have done. Just another chance for Marriott to be cheap!