Yeah, it’s been another long while since I posted. But this card’s initial bonus is expiring soon and it’s too good a card not to make people aware. First thing to point out: this is a business card. I haven’t addressed business cards before because they’re a little tricky and you must have a registered business (including a sole proprietorship) to qualify for the card. If I keep posting, I’ll explain a little more about the idiosyncrasies of business cards. But, let’s start at the top, shall we?
Starwood was recently in the news because it was bought out by Marriott to create the largest hotel chain in the world. Starwood’s loyalty program will eventually be merged Marriott’s, but for now, you get the best of all worlds, with reciprocal benefits between Starwood, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton. And now, until April 5, Amex is offering this card with its highest ever initial spending bonus of 35,000 SPG points!
T and I and the two kids had to go to Hilo for the day for a family commitment. Trip report to follow (maybe), but most of you guys have been interisland and know the drill.
Prices were a little over $100 each way in coach, so for 3 round trips (and one lap-riding kid) we’re talking $600+. So, obviously, we started looking into points and miles options. Continue reading “Tips, Tricks & Tactics: Travel Hacking an Interisland Flight on Hawaiian Airlines”
Via Running with Miles and Million Mile Secrets, the initial spending bonus for the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express has been increased to 100,000 points! You are still required to spend $3,000 in 3 months and the $75 annual fee is not waived in the first year.
This is the historical high bonus for this card and is worth something in the neighborhood of $500 or more. I just reserved 3 nights at the Hilton Tokyo for 50,000 points/night and the ‘flexible’ rate for those nights was $401 each, making the 100,000 bonus worth $802 in this example.
Hilton is an interesting hotel chain for travel hackers because of the array of cards they have available: 2 from Amex and 2 from Citi, and because Hilton hands out points (and free nights) like candy. Unfortunately, there is a downside to this oversupply: Hilton HHonors points are amongst the most devalued loyalty programs out there; category 1 rooms can cost 5,000 points for a standard room (which, when available, is a bargain), but top category 10 rooms can cost 75,000 to 90,000 points, and based upon some arcane, unknowable formula, the cost can shoot up to 210,000 per night or more. Read to the end of the post so I can tell you the story about how I got the (elevated) 75,000 bonus on the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express not once, but twice.
Okay, so this post introduces a lot of high level topics that I haven’t even covered yet, but I just wanted to let you know it’s out there. I’ll try to explain in future posts, but try to follow me around the room: Continue reading “Quick Picks: Amex Offers, Neiman Marcus $50 credit, Manufactured Spending, and Gift Card Arbitrage”