Saturday Selection: Double-booking Delta, a Citi merchant offer drawback and more


After a few weeks off of the Saturday Selection, this weekend we’re back with some top reads from around the blogosphere that are worth a few minutes of your time and attention. Read on for an award booking hack, a nice analysis of Marriott point values, bad news about my go-to Las Vegas property, and more.

Double booking into the same Delta award space

The Free-quent Flyer notes a little trick that might save you a few thousand miles on your next multi-passenger booking. I’m not confident this will always work out the day it did here, but even if you’re not going to try to re-create the dramatic countdown and simultaneous booking, it’s a good reminder that it can be worth searching for a single ticket to see if you can book the first passenger at a savings. I’ve often found Southwest to operate the same way, with 2 tickets pricing at a higher fare bucket than a single ticket purchase.

More Vegas MGM Properties Pulled From Amex  Fine Hotels & Resorts

I’ll miss having Delano on Fine Hotels & Resorts!

This news broke at Miles to Memories earlier this month, but I had initially missed it. I am really disappointed that Delano has left Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts as it has been my go-to property in Las Vegas for years. At times, I’ve booked it as cheaply as $66 per night (before resort fee) and I have a couple of FHR bookings for later this year (utilizing last year’s Platinum card FHR credits) for ~$109 per night — definitely “too good to be true” with FHR benefits, but I enjoyed it while it lasted. I haven’t yet reached out to Amex to see if FHR benefits will still apply to those stays, but it would seem unfair to be forced to keep the reservations or lose the statement credits if the property won’t be providing FHR benefits. I’m sorry to see some very affordable MGM properties go.

Are dynamic Marriott points more valuable now? Yes, but with a big caveat …

Kudos to US Credit Card Guide for a fantastic analysis of Marriott point values with an indisputably strong sample size and before-and-after comparison. I’m not terribly surprised that values at some of the most desirable properties have decreased, but I am pleasantly surprised to see that point values have remained higher than many feared — and in fact better on the whole than before the elimination of the award chart. I don’t have a lot of faith that the overall point value will remain very constantly in this realm, but it’s great to see the value stronger than anticipated for now.

Holy Moly, I’ve Been Writing This Site For 20 Years

Further kudos go out this week to Gary Leff, who is celebrating 20 years of writing View from the Wing. I’ve long enjoyed reading Gary’s site. I don’t always agree with Gary’s perspectives, but I enjoy that a View from the Wing post is always written in a voice that is distinctly Gary’s (and those who have met Gary in person can probably hear his voice as they read his words, which I find to be a compelling characteristic of a good writer). I respect Gary’s prolific output and depth of knowledge in this hobby and congratulate him on the milestone.

Citi Merchant Dining Offers: You Need to Know This

Dave at Miles Talk covers a key detail about Citi Merchant offers that could be important to those with cards linked to airline dining rewards networks: the dining offers apparently run on the same back-end as Rewards network — and when you add a Citi Merchant Offer for a restaurant to your Citi card, your card will apparently be removed from the Rewards Network program to which it is linked. It’s worth knowing about this so you can re-sync as you see fit after using a merchant offer.

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re: Citi Merchant dining offers–thanks for the heads up! It might be good to add some more of these details to Stephen’s excellent card-linked program post (there are also some details on there that are out of date, like Pei is no longer, etc).

re: Marriott. One thing I have noticed with the dynamic pricing is that they are dynamic day to day. Before, with Peak/Std/Off peak pricing, they were relatively stable in pricing (they did not tend to switch from std to peak, etc). For an upcoming trip, though, the points price have bounced around a lot. I have rebooked a few times and saved 9k points on 2 nights.


Nick – On your note on Citi Merchant Rewards unsyncing you from your other programs that your card was previously registered with, I can attest that that in fact does happen but only when I sync to a dining offer. If I sync to a non-dining merchant offer, my registration with the previous dining program stays as is. YMMW but that is my experience