Wednesday, December 31, 2014

SPG 2014 Year in Review: I am a Point Stasher

My SPG 2014 Year in Review: I am a Point Stasher

This is the second part of my SPG series of posts and I would like to share my 2014 SPG YIR with this:

And isn't it very interesting and amusing that:

 (Flown 230K miles?! Not unusual but wow!) How about this?

Yes, true! Crazy? Insane - but it must be from some big corporation who earns all those night credits... Lucky! And this one too?

86, that's a globe-trotter!

And yay! for Sheraton New York Times Square! Also for Caesar's Palace below...

 So yeah, this is my SPG Year in Review. Mine is not grand, but I was able to requalify for SPG Gold so I am keeping my SPG Gold Benefits and I am SPG Pro; and a POINT STASHER!  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Starwood Preferred Guest SPG Series - #1 FREE INTERNET

I plan to write about a series of posts for SPG that is relevant to your stays at any of the 9 SPG brands and their properties. These posts will range from new benefits, promotions and reviews of stays I have had at Starwood properties which I would like to share to all of you. The first of which I am writing about their FREE INTERNET. So please read on...

SPG Starwood Preferred Guest is the rewards program for the Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. hotel group composed of 9 distinct brands namely:

St. Regis
The Luxury Collection
Le Meridien
W Hotels
Four Points

With any of their 1,100+ hotels and resorts, in over 100 countries, across their 9 brands, SPG is one of the most recognized rewards programs in the industry. And as the subject of this post, one newly added benefit to being an SPG member is receiving Free Internet* during your stays when you book on, on their hotel branded sites or SPG apps. 

They have the following chart of benefits depending on your membership level:

And lastly for this post, they also have started to introduce SPG Keyless. This is a program which allows you to use the SPG app to check-in, get your room number and unlock your door at select (participating) hotels.

These new benefits are some great news indeed! This is such a welcome addition to the offerings they have for their guests, on top of the awesome points earning and redemption that the program provides. It seems that most hotel brands are gearing towards providing free internet especially now that many independents actually lure customers with free internet at their properties. This definitely adds to their value proposition and is a fantastic way to reward customers who book directly with Starwood and build customer loyalty. Who doesn't love free internet? 

In upcoming posts... SPG Stay Review and What I love about SPG! Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

TMobile Inflight TEXTING with GOGO Wifi

Have you tried T-mobile's Inflight Texting? Here is an interesting development to note as T-Mobile has been disrupting the telecom industry with their Uncarrier initiatives. In addition to their newly unveiled Data Stash plans, here is some information with their partnership with Gogo to bring Inflight texting to your capable device.

And here is a list of participating airlines with GoGo Inflight Wifi:

 Stay connected!

Monday, November 17, 2014

#ShopSmall American Express SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY NOV. 29, 2014

It's here! Save the date to support your local small businesses! And do not forget to register your eligible card for this promotion. Registration runs through November 29 or until the limit is reached. 

Register your eligible card here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stop and Simply Enjoy: Firsts

This video should remind us of the joy of the little things we often take for granted. Finish the video through the end to see the best part. I am sure it will bring you to a smile.

Two ladies flying for the first time... An & Ria's First Flight:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Uber-fantastic deal! $45 Credit for New Uber Users

If you live in a major US city and have not heard about uber - then now you just did! 

Uber lets you request a taxi (noticeable by their often big black SUVs) via a mobile app or through the web. The driver arrives at curbside within minutes, you can track them and you even get a call or text when they arrive and they take you to your destination. Your credit card on file is charged after your ride and you receive an email receipt with your trip details. No cash to carry or to pay to your driver, and you even don't need to provide your credit card to the driver.

Learn more about uber or sign up here. You can read more about how uber works here

With that introduction to Uber 101, Uber is currently available in the following cities:

Ready for an uber ride? To get up to $45 credit:

If you sign up for Uber through my referral link (you are free to share your referral links after you sign up), you will receive a $20 credit on your account. Log-in to your account and then click on the Promotions Page on the top navigation bar, and enter the promotion code hipmunk. This promo code gives you a $25 discount on your first ride where your first ride must be before May 1, 2014 to be eligible. This sign up credit and the hipmunk promotion code credits you for a total of $45. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Delta Skymiles Program Changes: 2015 Delta Skymiles Award Chart

From last week's announcement of changes to Delta's Skymiles Program: The 2015 Delta Skymiles Award Chart

With Delta's announced move to a revenue based mileage earning program as opposed to the current miles based earning, will the other legacy carriers (United & American) follow suit?

Starting in 2015, Delta is changing the way miles are earned. Until then, you earn the distance flown in miles which you can use for award travel redemption. Beginning January 1, 2015, miles earned will be based on the ticket price (base fare plus any carrier-imposed surcharges) instead of distance flown. Delta is applying this change to Delta-marketed (flight number with a “DL” airline code) or Delta-ticketed (the ticket number will begin with “006”) flights.

This affects how miles are earned, and not the redemption of Delta Skymiles. Arguably, this change is not for the benefit of travelers who earn miles for families because from then on, the miles earned will be significantly less than what they will earn on a distance based system. For example, a transcontinental flight from LAX-JFK-LAX will earn 4950 Skymiles on the current distance based earning level regardless of price paid; while on a revenue based, a sample flight where one pays a round trip ticket of $413 (base fare of $363, x5 miles earned for a General member) will only earn 1815 miles.

The mileage earning for Delta's non-airline partners (Skymiles Shopping, etc.) remain the same as these are where you earn miles based on your spend.

As much as the new program affects how miles are earned when you fly, there has been nothing yet to affect the redemption side negatively. Further below they have published their new Award Charts and you can see some significant changes...

So here are our takeaways from this mostly positive program changes:

1. One Way Skymiles redemptions will be allowed for half the miles of a roundtrip

2. The Award categories have now been expanded to 5 award tiers, along with more award seats availability

3. Decreases on many of the award level pricing changes with many decreasing by about 5,000-10,000 miles.

More references for reading here. Happy earning!