With borders closed and flights canceled, many of us are looking in our own backyards for ways to get away if not that far away this year. Are you looking to book a cabin in the mountains? How about a massive Presidential Suite at a hotel a couple of hours away? Whatever may be your cup of tea, this week we talked about how to get what you want and what points you may need. Watch, listen, or read on for more from this week at Frequent Miler.
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This week at Frequent Miler:
In using points for incredible rooms:
I’m not going to lie: I haven’t even read this post. It’s not that I’m not really interested (I am). It’s that I don’t even want to be tempted. As it is, I used up the Hyatt points in my account to book an amazing-looking overseas property mentioned recently in our Frequent Miler Insiders group. I do not want to be tempted to transfer my flexible Ultimate Rewards points to book incredibly speculative stays in incredible rooms that will leave me massively disappointed if I have to cancel. Ordinarily, I love this type of post. Right now, with no vacations taken or planned in 2020 and nothing yet scheduled for 2021, I just don’t trust that I have the willpower to keep my URs flexible, so I’m abstaining from this one altogether.
Unlike the international post, I did take a peak at this one. While I may not travel much internationally in the foreseeable future, I expect that I will travel within the United States within the next year. What’s more, at least one of these properties is a very likely stop for me as I tend to travel to Rochester a couple of times a year — why not book the Prez suite? Well, I’ll tell you why not: I can’t find a weekend that it’s available through the end of the booking calendar. Thanks for blow that up, Greg! But seriously: this post is worth a look as you may be surprised by what you can book with points here in the US.
A cabin in the mountains with a hot tub and pool, foosball, & air hockey tables for 15K Wyndham points, a 2-bedroom timeshare for 16,000 Choice points, cashing out Chase points for Airbnb gift cards, and more. See this post for your options to book a vacation rental using rewards points.
In the hunt for a better deal
I’ve had this post on my mind for days trying to figure out the answer for me. The more I think about it, I think I have to say deal-driven, but with a caveat: If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my years of deal-hunting both before it was my job and as a sort of career deal-hunter now, it’s that there will always be another deal. Whether it’s 90K Iberia points for a couple hundred bucks, Cathay Pacific first class for under a thousand dollars round trip, a phone that comes with gift cards equal to its cash price, $250 in gift cards with a $400 travel booking, the ability to book former SPG properties for 5 nights for less than the previous cost for one night, or something else that catches your fancy, the pattern is that there’s always something more coming. Most of my destinations have been deal-based, but for every deal I’ve booked I’ve passed on dozens that didn’t interest me; if the destination doesn’t draw me at all, the hot deal just won’t do it these days.
Greg roasted me on this during Frequent Miler on the Air, and for good reason. It doesn’t make sense for most people to consider this product change. The majority of the reason I’ll do it is because I have a greater chance of generating referrals that will make it worthwhile. I’m also happy to have this card as a way to diversify spend when Simon comes back into my rotation. But regardless of the fact that readers are unlikely to follow exactly in my footsteps, the interesting thing is how it can be done and how that might help you if you have a Capital One card and you’d like to make a change.
In updated resources:
See these resource pages that saw updates and additions this week.
The Deal of the Week:
While there have been a number of good deals that have come up this week, it’s hard to beat the new offer on the Freedom and Fredom Unlimited cards. Chase has really sweetened the pot with 5x on groceries up to $12K in the first year on top of the normal 20K welcome bonuses. These cards typically haven’t been worth a 5/24 slot for those who could get approved for Sapphire or Ink cards – until now. Given the widespread anecdotal reports we’ve received about the difficulty in being approved for Ink cards (and historically easier standards for Freedom cards), these offers may be all the more appealing for those who have been waiting for an Ultimate Rewards bonus.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.