Friday, August 31, 2012

Having Trouble Booking Avios Flights? Book a Hotel

 If you have lots of British Avios Points sitting around, another option instead of flights is to book a hotel. Here is the way to do it and some examples.

On the British Airways website, go to Executive Club tab and then click spending Avios. The last option is to book hotels and cars with Avios. Here you can search the location and it will give you the options available. Here are some examples and I compared them to the actual hotel website to show if this is a good deal or not.

I am planning on going to Key West so I search this location from Dec 20-23 (3 nights) and noticed that the Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, was available. The avios points needed for a Double Room was 94,350 avios points.I compared this to the website and noted that the rooms are $309/night or 60,000 HHonors points/night. So if you don't have 180,000 HHonors points, this is another option. There are also points & cash options too.

Another example is Honolulu, Hawaii where Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki  was available to book. This one costs 81,000 Avios points for a Double Room and the Hilton website said it was $269 per night or 50,000 HHonors points/night. It doesn't look that British Airways have King size bed options but this may be changed once you get to the hotel. Since I am low on hotel points, I think I'll use this option to book a room soon. This may not be the west way to use Avios points but it is an alternative. 

Feel free to follow me on twitter @giddyforpoints

Thursday, August 30, 2012

1,000 Priority Points for your Thoughts

Priority club is give you 1,000 points for completing a 17 question survey. The points will not be deposited until 4-6 weeks however but that is still extra points :)

Also did you know that Priority still has the 80,000 points for signing up for a credit card and you will get the points with the first purchase? This comes with Platinum status while holding the card and one free hotel certificate every year for $49 annually. The link (not mine) is without the launch page but many have confirmed that this does work. Already got mine!

Feel free to follow me on twitter @giddyforpoints

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Club Carlson B&B & Other Promotions

From now until Dec 31, 2012 you can earn Triple Gold Points on your stay when you reserve a Bed and Breakfast Package for two or four Plus you will get an additional 2,000 bonus Gold Points per stay.

They are also having a promotion where if you stay 2 nights at participating Radisson hotels in Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the US, you will get 35% off your stay. The list of participating properties are in the link and you must book your stay by Septemeber 4, 2012 and offer is available for particular days depending on the hotel.

Also don't forget to view the Club Carlson Vacation Look Book till Sept 24 to earn 100 points per day!

 Feel free to follow me on twitter @giddyforpoints

Monday, August 27, 2012

Points & Miles with e-Miles

I have been using e-Miles for around 2 years now and its an easy way to earn some miles. The way to earn miles through this program is by doing surveys that will take you less than a minute and will earn you at least 5 miles. When you initially sign up, you will have to fill out initial surveys about yourself and preferences but these will earn you rewards as well. When you do click on a survey link, it will open up another browser window that will take you directly to the affiliate site. I usually just close this and just answer the quick survey for my points. Once you have reached 500 emiles, you can deposit the points or miles to which ever airline or hotel you originally signed up for. You can sign up for multiple e-miles but you have to use different email addresses. Here are the current participating programs and below are the links to the most popular to sign up for which ever you choose.

Delta will initially give you 275 e-miles for signing up and completing your profile
United will initially give you 100 e-miles for completing your enrollment
US Airways will initially give you 275 e-miles for signing up and completing your profile
Alaska Airlines will initially give you 275 e-miles in total for completing your enrollment
Southwest Airlines will initially give you 250 e-miles for signing up and completing your profile.
Hilton HHonors will initially give you 275 e-miles which equals 550 hhonors points
Priority Club doesn't offer initial e-miles for signing up but 500 e-miles=750 priority points.

Per Miles Momma, you can also rack up miles for purchasing Groupon deals through e-miles so this is another way to rack up the miles!

Feel free to follow me on twitter as well @giddyforpoints

Friday, August 24, 2012

Marriott Madness!

There are several bloggers that are giving away Marriott points via a contest. I've rounded them up below. I think its a great way to promote their blogs as well :)

Million Miles Secret is giving away 50,000 points by leaving a comment of "what is your travel type"
Contest ends Aug 26, 2012.

The Travel Mom is also giving away 50,000 points by liking her facebook page and  by leaving a comment of "what is your travel type"
Contest ends Aug 31, 2012

My Itchy Travel Feet is also giving away 50,000 points by leaving a comment of "what is your travel type"
Contest ends Aug 30, 2012

A Girl Worth Saving is giving away 50,000 points and there are different ways to enter ie facebook and twitter.
Contest ends Aug 29, 2012

The Road Forks travel blog is giving away 50,000 points and there are different ways to enter
Contest ends Aug 31, 2012

Simply Budgeted is giving away 50,000 points and there are various ways to enter.
Contest ends Aug 31, 2012

Seattles Travels is also giving away 50,000 points by leaving a comment of "what is your travel type"
Contest ends Aug 27, 2012

Kelly Stilwell of Virtually Yours blog is giving a reader 50,000 points by leaving a comment of "what is your travel type"
Contest ends Aug 31, 2012

Mommy Points is also giving a reader 50,000 points. Enter by leaving a comment of what is your "travel type" and how you would use the points.
Contest ends Aug 31, 2012

Happy Travels is giving away 50,000 points for a lucky reader as well by leaving a comment of "what is your travel type"
Contest ends Aug 31, 2012

My OKC Mommy is giving 2 readers 25,000 points each for leaving a comment of "what is your travel type and extra entries for following her on twitter and facebook.
Contest ends Sept 2, 2012

Gay NYC Dad is giving 5 readers 10,000  points each and there are various ways to enter
Contest ends Sept 2, 2012

To the Motherhood is giving one reader 50,000 points and there are various ways to enter
Contest ends Sept 5, 2012

Good luck to all!
Follow me on twitter @giddyforpoints

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Going to Honolulu? Use Groupon for >50% off activities!

Once you get your free flights and free hotel stay in Honolulu, Hawaii (yaay) you still have to pay for all those exciting (and expensive) activities! There is a way to get these activities at more than half the cost by using Groupon. Once you sign up for this free site, you can search for Honolulu for the activities they offer at the time. I recommend searching at least 6 months in advance of your trip since there are various offers that come up. Remember to read the fine print though because many deals have an expiration date so you want to make sure you trip falls within this. Some examples I have already purchased for my upcoming trip:

Polynesian Adventure Circle Island Tours for 2- This takes you on an all day tour with stops at Pearl Harbor, Dole Plantation, and historic Haleiwa Town. Retail price $144.50. Groupon Price $65. Thats a 55% savings!

Windward Watersports Sports 4hr Guided Kayak Tour for 2- The guide takes you to Poipoa island, Lanikai beach and the Mokulua islands. Lunch and refreshments are included. Retail price for 2 people $250. Groupon Price $125. A 50% savings.

Chiefs Luau Paradise Plus Package  -This package offers a luau performance, a buffet with 2 drink tickets, and guided behind-the-scenes tour of Sea Life Park. Retail price for 2 people $248. Groupon Price for 2 $124. Another 50% savings!

Acroflight International single plane flight - This is a 30 min flight over Waimea Falls with the option of taking plane control! Retail price for 2 people $418. Groupon Price for 2 $198. 52% savings and view of a lifetime:)

I've seen that Groupon also offers spa options, food, scuba diving, surfing, and more! So if a trip is in your near future, I recommend taking advantage of these awesome deals! If you sign up using the Groupon link above and purchase an offer, I will receive a referral bonus. Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Offers for Current Amex Hilton Credit Card Holders

For those happy people who already have the fee free Hilton Amex credit card, they are currently offering a chance to upgrade to the Amex Suprass Card and receive 50,000 HHonors bonus points after you spend 3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. Must be approved before 10/31/12 to receive bonus points. This card will give:
  • Nine Bonus Points on every eligible dollar spent within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands
  • Six Bonus Points on groceries, gas, and cell phone, internet and cable bills
  • Three Bonus Points for each dollar spent on anything else
  • Gold Status for the first year
  • Priority pass membership and the $99 annual membership fee is waived (fyi United Lounge not available through this method)
  • To maintain Gold status after the first year, you must spend $20,000 on the card
  • Has annual fee of $75 not waived the first year.
This is a great way to earn a additional HHonors points and after a year, you can revert back to the fee free card. This card can also be alternated with the Citi HHonors Reserve Card each year to maintain Gold Status!

Another offer I received through email for Hilton Amex card holders is you can earn 3,333 HHonors points by joining a wine club and receiving your first shipment. Plus you will get 13 HHonors points per dollar spent. Extra points for wine enthusiasts :D

Monday, August 20, 2012

Buy Marriott Gift Cards...Get SWA points

(HT to Loyalty Lobby)

Marriott is currently having a promotion in which you can earn up to 12,000 Rapid Reward points for Marriott gift card purchases. You must have a southwest airlines account number to access the promotion. $100 giftcard will get you 1,200 RR points; $250=3,000 RR, and $500=6,000 RR. So 1,000 in gift cards will get you the max of 12,000 RR points. You can also use your Marriott credit card to purchase these giftcards which will thus get you both airline and hotel points. Promotion Ends Nov 30, 2012.
So if you dont have enough or any Marriott points and need to actually purchase a hotel room, this will be a good way to go since you will be essentially earning points through SWA, points through a credit card purchase, and points through the actual hotel stay. How cool is that?! I like a triple dipper :)

More Hotel Status Please!

It seems that hotels are giving out status like candy. If you were able to get the Accor Platinum status as mentioned by View from the Wing (no longer available to register), Hyatt Platinum status through MilePoint Premium (no longer available to buy), Hilton Gold Status through Citicards (still available), or Priority Club Platinum through Chase (still available) then you have leverage to do some status matches with other hotel chains.

Club Carlson will status match by sending them an email here and sending them screen shots of your current status with other hotels. I sent them my Priority and Hyatt Platinum and they awarded me Gold Status through Feb 2013.

Best Western will also status match by sending them an email here You must submit a filled out form and a screen shot of your other hotel status as well. I sent them my Priority plantinum and waiting to see what they will match me with.

Marriott doesnt "status match" but they do offer you a challege. They will temporarily offer you  gold for example and you will have to stay 6 stays over a 3 month period to keep gold status. This is just an example I had recieved one time but you can send them and email here or give them a call to see what challenge they will offer you.

SPG also no longer status matches but offers a "fast track" challenge in order to get and maintain status. You can email here for more information about a platinum challenge.

There is also a website where you can see what other people have had matched with thier status. This will give you a good idea of what you can get as well.

Disclaimer: The links to any credit cards are not mine and I will not receive anything for you using them. These are just links I searched online so they may or may not be the best ones out there.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Free Rental Days w/National

 National car rental is having a promo you must register for where with every 2 qualifying rentals of 2 days or more from August 20, 2012, and January 31, 2013 you get a free rental day. Per the T&C, the rental must be a Midsize or larger vehicle at participating National Car Rental locations in the 50 United States. The free rental days can be redeemed up to June 15, 2013. Happy driving!

Hotel Promotion Roundup...yeeha!

So many promotions going on with all the hotel brands! I posted about the Wyndham promotions 2 days ago and here are the rest of them...
With Hyatt, you can earn up to 65,000 gold passport bonus points. After you register, you will earn 5,000 bonus points after your first 5 nights, and 10,000 more for every 5 nights after that. Must register by Oct 31 and stay by Nov 30,12.

 Club Carlson for the 25th anniversary of Country Inns & Suites is giving 25,000 bonus points for members who register and stay at least 2 consecutive nights through Oct 14, 12

They are also running a promotion where you can earn 100points a day by flipping through their Vacation Look Book. The promotion ends Sept 24 so a total of 3,900 points if you start today!

An oldy but still going on, Hilton has a double or triple your points promotion through Sept 30, 12. Fri-Sat is triple points while Mon-Thurs is double points.

Ending Sept 3, 12, Priority club will give you a $75 Vacation prepaid Master Card if you register and stay two consecutive weekend nights at any one of the over 4,500 hotels in the IHG® Family of Brands

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wyndham Promotions!

I received a targeted promotion by Wyndham by email where you can earn 16,000 points for one stay at one of their 20 new properties up to 3 stays which = 48,000 points. The promotion runs from Aug 6-Oct 6. According to the T&C, you must be an active member, must have received and clicked the email, and must stay by Oct 9, 2012. Loyalty Traveler details out the properties and T&C. So apparently, you may be able to book a "phantom stay" and get points if your credit card is charged. If you find a cheap hotel rate and book 3 times, that is a whole lot of points which could be used to book hotel stays you really want or transfer to your choice of airlines listed here.

Wyndham is also consistently emailing about their "Summer is 4x Sweeter" promotion where you can earn 4 times the points or miles after your second stay. You just need to register and stay by Sept 13, 2012...which is coming up fast! I'll actually be staying at the Wyndham Royal Gardens at Waikiki soon! However, it will only be one stay.

I am not sure if these promotions can be combined but I'd say that these are some pretty sweet promos!

Just got an eh promotion where you can get 2,000 points for trying for $1 for the first month. You can cancel afterwards and still get to keep the points. Just don't forget to cancel :p

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bonus Gift Card though Amex and Boingo

Amex is currently running a promo where if you load $200 through a prepaid card, they will give you a complementary $25 gift card! Offer ends Aug 31,12 and there are no additional fees/charges or credit check to get this card. The card allows for 1 fee free atm transaction/ mo so you could take out your cash later. Will take 6 weeks for the gift card to be shipped.  I got mine because I can't pass up free money : )

For those of you travelers who ran out of club passes and don't have a hot spot, Boingo is currently running a promotion where you can get unlimited Wi-Fi access for only $4.98/mo for 3 months. There are no contract or cancellation fees so if you are on the go and need wi-fi, then this is not a bad promotion. Disclosure: I do receive a referral reward if you sign up for Boingo through this link.

Update: So apparently there is also a promotion through Boingo where you can sign up for unlimited wi-fi access for $4.98/mo for three months and after 60 days of active service you get a $25 amazon card. I don't have the link but if you go to an airport (I found it at IAH) then you can probably get the promotion that way. Yaay for free Money!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Yes...Get Milepoint Premium

For those of you who are on the fence about getting MilePoint Premium here are some great blog posts as to its benefits and value.
The Points Guy states that he personally feels that he would reap his $59 membership fee and more and he likes to support others in the frequent flyer community and a portion goes to charity.

U Can Fly Free 2  is definitely going for the premium membership and values the Hyatt platinum membership the most.

The Hustle Blog already bought his and says to hurry as there is minimum number of memberships available.

To reiterate the benefits, here they are:

2,000 United MileagePlus miles
Gold Passport Platinum status through Feb. 2014 or 2,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points
Free 1-year subscription to
One year of ad-free viewing on
One Free Gogo Inflight Internet 24-hour pass
Free upgrade to UsingMiles Premier Membership
Free 3-month trial of Clear Free upgrade to AwardWallet Plus account and a free AwardWallet OneCard
Free upgrade to National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive Status
20% discount on
20% discount on (one of the best award booking services out there)
10% discount on KVS Tool

I've got mine and I've already received my cost back in my opinion.

Light up my points!

This is by no means new information but you can earn airline miles through utility partners. For several years now I have been signing up for a utility partner to get bonus miles and earn miles for each dollar spent on my utility bill. Then I would switch to a new utility partner about every 6-9 months to get the new bonus! Might as well get miles for utilities you are going to use anyways right!?!  Below are the currently participating partners through various airlines. Many are state specific but favor seems to be given to residents of the great state of Texas!

*Please check my miles and points database as some offers change over time.

American Airlines
Earn 5,000 bonus miles after signing up plus 2 miles for every $1 spent. Available to residents in CT, IL, MD, NJ, NY, PA and TX.

Earn 5,000 bonus miles after signing up plus 2 miles for every $1 spent. Available to residents in Texas.
Earn up to 15,000 bonus miles after signing up plus 500 miles per month. Available to residents in Texas

United Airlines
Earn an activation bonus of 5,000 miles plus earn two miles for every $1 you spend on the supply portion of your bill each month. MileagePlus credit card holders earn three miles per $1. Service available in the following U.S. states only: CT, IL, MD, NJ, NY, PA, OH and TX.

     Earn 5,000 bonus miles after signing up plus 2 miles for every $1 spent on the energy charge. Available to residents in Texas.

Southwest Airlines
Earn an activation bonus of 5,000 miles after your second month of being a user. Rapid Reward Credit Card holders receive an extra 2,500 mile bonus. Earn two miles for every $1 you spend while Rapid Reward Credi Card holders receive three miles per $1. Only for residents residing in CT, IL, MD, NJ, NY, OH, or PA.

Earn 30,000 miles for 30 month plan, 20,000 for a 24 month plan, and 5,000 for a 12 month plan with guaranteed price protection. Available to residents in Texas.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 I love thee? Let me count the earn points!

SPG has suprised us this month with its increased credit card offering for both personal and business. 10,000 points after the first purchase and 20,000 points after $5,000 spend in the first 6 months. I actually got this card bonus 2 years ago and canceled a year later. So ...techically I should be good to get this card bonus again! I will update if I get approved :-) Update: Got approved!

Also, as rummer has it, 10 bloggers have teamed up with SPG to offer their readers free spg points via a contest. Some easier than others and so far I have only found 9 and hunting down the last one. Many of these blogs have links to the credit card offer.  Drum roll please!

The Points Guy
Giving 2 winners 30k points each
One for the best cash and points redemption offer and one for the best free nights redemption offer
Ends Aug 14th

View from the Wing
Giving 2 winners 30k points each
Answer “What Starwood hotel or resort property would you like to visit to stretch your summer"
Enter once every 24 hrs and ends Aug 14th

Giving 1 winner 50k points
Enter by leaving a comment, tweeting, or liking their facebook page
Ends Aug 15th

The Vacation Gals
Giving 1 winner 50k points Enter by leaving a comment, tweeting, or liking their facebook page
Ends Aug 14th

Ordinary Traveler
Giving 1 winner 30k points
Enter by liking their facebook and pinterest page and pinning their pictures and leaving comments. You can also tweet for an extra entry.
Ends Aug 14th

One Mile at a Time
Giving 1 winner 50k points
Enter by leaving a comment about which Starwood hotel you would redeem 30,000 Starpoints at, and how many free nights you could get using those points.
Enter once per day. Ends Aug 21st

Go Green Travel Green
Giving 1 winner 30k points
Enter by leaving a comment, tweeting about how you would use the points, following GGTG on Twitter, liking GGTG on Facebook, subscribing to thier RSS feed, and subscribing to thier newsletter.
Engs Aug 20th

Johnny Jet
Giving 1 winner 50k points
Enter by leaving a caption for a photo. Best caption wins!
Ends Aug 14th

Loyalty Traveler
Giving 1 winner 50k points
Enter by twitter, post in a comment, or comment on facebook
Ends Aug 15th