This week around the net, we’ve got a look at why you should answer the phone when Amex Financial Review calls, awards that can now be booked online, and several looks at hotel status that should give you food for thought on your 2019 status plans. Read on for the Frequent Miler week in review around the web.
While I’ve been happy with Hilton Diamond status and can’t really imagine a world in which I’d cancel the Aspire card with its current set of benefits, Windbag Miles provides a counterpoint. And he’s not totally wrong in that Hilton Gold status is strong enough that Diamond status isn’t a compelling benefit of the Aspire card but rather an added perk. One of the things I value about Diamond status is automatic lounge access. I usually end up staying at a Hilton with a lounge a few times per year and I like knowing I’ll have access. I’ve also twice been offered a 6pm checkout when I’ve needed it and I’ve had better success with suite upgrades than with other chains (including Hyatt when I was a Globalist), so my experience differs quite a bit from ye ole Windbag, but i recognize that his points are relevant for many out there and balance out my love of Hilton / the Aspire for those on the fence and looking for the other side of the coin.
American now shows availability for several more partners online. Whether that’s good or bad depends on whether you like convenience or prefer making it harder so that novices won’t find the seats you want. I’d say this is good for most people — however, Adam from Point Me to the Plane (and Juicy Miles) points out that just because the flights show up online doesn’t make the tool accurate. See what you need to know about how to make sure you’re finding the seats you need.
In what brand’s bed should you lay your head in the new year? No Mas Coach tackles that question with a look at what it takes to get status with each of the major programs and whether or not it is worthwhile. However, I’d argue that they are making a fundamental mistake in the conclusion: if they already have top-tier status in two chains, they should be leveraging that status to get the benefits they’ve earned rather than focusing on starting from scratch with a third program. I think a lot of people waste time and money both chasing status in too many programs and in forgoing the benefits they invested the time and money in getting in other programs while they chase another elite status. Hyatt status is great — but if you have a friend who is already invested in it, you don’t really need to have it the way the current program runs. And beyond that, there’s this next post below…
Emily at Million Mile Secrets explains the other reason why I’d say that there’s not a lot of reason to be loyal to Hyatt unless it’s super convenient. Now that anyone can book premium suites at Hyatt properties on points, the appeal of Globalist status comes down to how much you value breakfast and free parking. As someone who visits New York City a few times per year, parking can really add up — but I’d have to stay a lot of nights for it to add up to more than the cost of 60 nights in Hyatt hotels — and all the extra gas I’d waste driving to a Hyatt Place that’s 30 miles from where I really need to be on at least half of those nights.
That’s it for this week around the web. Next up: This week’s last chance deals.