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The Master Travel Redemptions Thread

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We used to argue over why I thought we should spend more than $85 a night on a hotel in NYC. :lol: Now I just do point redemptions at nice places and we're both happy.

 

$85 per night in NYC doing what? sleeping on a subway grate? I don't have outlandish tastes in hotels like you do but even a Holiday Inn Express in Manhattan runs $125 to $175 per night.

 

 

His solution was staying in Queens or Long Island.

 

Um, no.

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We used to argue over why I thought we should spend more than $85 a night on a hotel in NYC.

I don't like paying over $50. I used call off the vacation when it hit $70+. Lately I have been trying to justify a few more dollars by adding the value of a place that includes breakfast.

 

 

I paid $389 plus $24 parking at the Costa Mesa Marriott (which is nothing special) last night. :lol: Thankfully it was for work.

 

Even if the room is split between 4 people, I just don't see how that is justifiable. Obviously your room was for work, so that is different.

 

BTW I did have breakfast included in last nights stay and it looked a lot like CV's strudel turd.

 

 

"Sold out" doesn't mean sold out when you're willing to overpay for a room and you have elite status.

 

The decor in the rooms is Central Florida Gauche circa 2003. This is a $200 room, MAX.

 

No turd strudel, but the omelets were pretty good.

 

 

I recently encountered this also. I just had to ask a couple of times if they were "sure" there weren't any rooms at all. After the second or third time I asked, there was magically an overpriced room with a 2-night minimum stay (I only needed one night). So I booked it. Called back a few days later to "change my arrival date" and change it to the 1 night I originally wanted/needed. Overpriced? Yes. But better than *not* having a room I needed.

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I took Amtrak from Milwaukee to Chicago once and it was faster than driving.

The Acela can go at 150MPH... Might be the reason :lol:

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I took Amtrak from Milwaukee to Chicago once and it was faster than driving.

The Acela can go at 150MPH... Might be the reason :lol:

 

 

My last car would go about that fast. Not sure where this one tops out.

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I took Amtrak from Milwaukee to Chicago once and it was faster than driving.

The Acela can go at 150MPH... Might be the reason :lol:

 

The Acela is different than all the other trains. That is why the pricing is different.

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So here is a cash redemption that came as quite a surprise. Since I am from Milwaukee and I go there frequently I have been able to test Priceline.com to find the lowest possible price. Normally I can bid $33 in the Brookfield area and the Extended Stay America on Brookfield rd and Bluemound rd will bite and with fees and taxes it comes to about $42. This morning I went and placed my normal $33 bid and was declined. A few weeks ago I read a writeup on how to make almost unlimited bids on priceline.com without waiting the 24 hours. It was time to put my newfound knowledge to the test! I went back in and in addition to bidding in the Brookfield area I added downtown Milwaukee to the mix as Downtown Milwaukee did not have any 1 star hotels in the vacinity. I put my bid in for $34. Bam!!! Accepted. But not by my normal hotel.......Here are the results.

 

 

 

Hilton_Milwaukee_Downtown_1.jpg
So I guess if any of you have a bone to pick with me you know where to find me.
Edited by pwd847

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A few weeks ago I read a writeup on how to make almost unlimited bids on priceline.com without waiting the 24 hours. It was time to put my newfound knowledge to the test! I went back in and in addition to bidding in the Brookfield area I added downtown Milwaukee to the mix as Downtown Milwaukee did not have any 1 star hotels in the vacinity. I put my bid in for $34. Bam!!! Accepted.

Oldest trick in the Priceline book...but it works best with 4 or 3.5 stars. Priceline will always move you up, as the star level is a minimum. Go to the bid page, click on each different zone and find which zones don't have high level hotels. Select the zone you want and bid. If it gets rejected, add the dead zone and increase your bid $5. Keep repeating. Biddingfortravel.com can show you some of the hotels your bidding on and recent successful bids.

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So here is a cash redemption that came as quite a surprise. Since I am from Milwaukee and I go there frequently I have been able to test Priceline.com to find the lowest possible price. Normally I can bid $33 in the Brookfield area and the Extended Stay America on Brookfield rd and Bluemound rd will bite and with fees and taxes it comes to about $42. This morning I went and placed my normal $33 bid and was declined. A few weeks ago I read a writeup on how to make almost unlimited bids on priceline.com without waiting the 24 hours. It was time to put my newfound knowledge to the test! I went back in and in addition to bidding in the Brookfield area I added downtown Milwaukee to the mix as Downtown Milwaukee did not have any 1 star hotels in the vacinity. I put my bid in for $34. Bam!!! Accepted. But not by my normal hotel.......Here are the results.

 

 

 

Hilton_Milwaukee_Downtown_1.jpg
So I guess if any of you have a bone to pick with me you know where to find me.

 

 

Nice! I'm going to start using bidding sites like priceline, so I'll have to search for the multiple bid trick you mentioned.

 

My fiancee and I are going to Reno this weekend to second shoot a wedding, and all the big casino hotels were $120-$200 on Saturday night. I'd never used one of these blind purchase type sites before, but I found hotwire offering a mystery 3.5 star casino hotel in downtown Reno for $62. I couldn't believe how hesitant she was to take it... she's going to be photographing a wedding until 10PM, hitting the room for the night, and leaving for Tahoe in the morning, but she finally agreed. Ended up getting the same hotel she wanted to book for $120 but for half the price. :grin:

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I took Amtrak from Milwaukee to Chicago once and it was faster than driving.

The Acela can go at 150MPH... Might be the reason :lol:

The Acela doesn't even go to Chicago

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A few weeks ago I read a writeup on how to make almost unlimited bids on priceline.com without waiting the 24 hours. It was time to put my newfound knowledge to the test! I went back in and in addition to bidding in the Brookfield area I added downtown Milwaukee to the mix as Downtown Milwaukee did not have any 1 star hotels in the vacinity. I put my bid in for $34. Bam!!! Accepted.

Oldest trick in the Priceline book...but it works best with 4 or 3.5 stars. Priceline will always move you up, as the star level is a minimum. Go to the bid page, click on each different zone and find which zones don't have high level hotels. Select the zone you want and bid. If it gets rejected, add the dead zone and increase your bid $5. Keep repeating. Biddingfortravel.com can show you some of the hotels your bidding on and recent successful bids.

 

Yup thats pretty much it. Except I add $1 instead of $5. The method you mentioned using 3.5 -4 star hotels is pretty much flawless. I have adapted this technique to my low end 1 star bids. I find areas with only expensive hotels so it is likely that the high end hotels won't accept my low bids. Didn't work this time but I'm not complaining!

Edited by pwd847

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A few weeks ago I read a writeup on how to make almost unlimited bids on priceline.com without waiting the 24 hours. It was time to put my newfound knowledge to the test! I went back in and in addition to bidding in the Brookfield area I added downtown Milwaukee to the mix as Downtown Milwaukee did not have any 1 star hotels in the vacinity. I put my bid in for $34. Bam!!! Accepted.

 

Oldest trick in the Priceline book...but it works best with 4 or 3.5 stars. Priceline will always move you up, as the star level is a minimum. Go to the bid page, click on each different zone and find which zones don't have high level hotels. Select the zone you want and bid. If it gets rejected, add the dead zone and increase your bid $5. Keep repeating. Biddingfortravel.com can show you some of the hotels your bidding on and recent successful bids.

Yup thats pretty much it. Except I add $1 instead of $5. The method you mentioned using 3.5 -4 star hotels is pretty much flawless. I have adapted this technique to my low end 1 star bids. I find areas with only expensive hotels so it is likely that the high end hotels won't accept my low bids. Didn't work this time but I'm not complaining!
http://biddingfortravel.yuku.com/forums/96/Wisconsin

 

This gives you an idea of recent accepted bid. The sticky at the top has hotels in the Priceline network by city/zone (not all inclusive)

 

This website was a better tool in 2005-2006, but I still use it now as a reference

Edited by Konrad2012

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Not sure if this data point should go here or the Rewards thread. Unlike AMEX, Barclays is unable to transfer AA miles to my account until statement cuts and apparently there is no way for anyone to override that in the system.

 

I need to book three J seats on CX for SIN-HKG-JFK with very specific dates. Seats finally opened up and I'm 4k short. Completely my fault... :(

 

I can't risk not being able to secure the tix, so decided to buy the miles and complete the booking. Purchased miles do not post instantly but when I called, agents in AA could see the purchase and apply immediately for use.

Edited by ERIC0728

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Despite my intent to fly on revenue tickets until I hit AA Platinum (I'm at ~46,000 EQMs now), I chose to use 12,500 miles and fly on an award ticket to get to Mudland on Saturday.

 

I bought a one-way back to San Diego the following Saturday for about $325, but getting there on a holiday weekend (on short notice) would have been considerably more expensive for a convenient itinerary.

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I know that I can only book the lowest fares on Alaska Airlines when booking through Korean Airlines. When I look at the possible flights that I want, there are multiple "lowest" fares. The lowest I see is 25k, but I also see 32.5K. Both of these are listed in the "lowest" column.

I am looking at the first class deal for 40,000

Am I only able to book the 25k or both the 25k and the 32.5k?

Thanks.

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Question I just thought of. Probable answer is no, but might as well ask.

 

If I book an award flight and pay the $$$ (taxes) with my CSP, do the CSP benefits kick in?

 

What about points + cash?

 

What about pay for coach and upgrade with points to business?

Edited by pwd847

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There is a lot of good discussion about earning travel rewards through credit card spending and sign-up bonuses. This thread is about redemptions, with the discussion skewed toward those rewards which were earned from credit card activities. It's meant to get you to think about how to maximize and actually use the travel awards you accumulate from smart credit card usage.

 

Please post your redemptions in this thread as you make reservations, share redemption tips and strategies (and regrets), and if you desire, post photos of your trips. Selfies not required.

 

Here's what I've recently reserved:

 

May:

 

Chicago - Three nights at the Hilton Suites / Magnificent Mile paid with three weekend night certificates from spending on the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card.

 

I planned this trip around the expiration dates on these certificates. I wanted to use them at the Waldorf Astoria or the Conrad, but neither was available.

 

July/August:

 

Roundtrip airfare to Milan in First Class purchased with 125,000 American Airlines miles earned from signup bonuses and credit card spending. My spouse is attending a conference in Milan and I'm flying in at the tail end to spend a week in and around Italy, and then we're hitting Barcelona and Amsterdam.

 

I'm flying from LAX because the only routes available from San Diego on the dates I wanted to go were through London on British Airways, which would have cost ~$600 in fees, or in coach.

 

Barcelona - Five nights at the Le Meridien, paid with 64,000 Starwood points accumulated from 2014 household spending on the card.

 

SPG redemptions offer a fifth night at no additional cost. We had already planned to split nine nights between Barcelona and Amsterdam, and with no viable SPG hotel option in Amsterdam for our trip we decided to make Barcelona our five-night destination because of the availability of this hotel.

 

Amsterdam - Two nights at the Art'Otel, paid with 70,000 Club Carlson points, earned from the sign-up bonus on the US Bank Club Carlson Visa.

 

This reservation will be our last practical opportunity to use the "final night free" redemption benefit that's currently available to every Club Carlson Visa holder on every Club Carlson redemption. On 6/1 this benefit will be limited to one free night per year upon payment of the annual fee, plus $10,000 in spending on the Visa, and then only on US properties, most of which suck.

 

Amsterdam - Two nights at the Andaz, paid with two free night certificates, which were part of the sign-up bonus for the Chase Hyatt Visa.

 

Hyatt only has two properties in Amsterdam (and one is at the airport), and this one showed no availability on hyatt.com using the certificates, however rooms of every type were available for paid reservations, and rooms were also available using Hyatt points. I called the reservations number and they were able to book the nights I needed using my certificates.

Great thread CV! Subscribed :good:

 

So plane geeks want to hear some deets on the plane. Looks like A320 to JFK, and 767-300(?)to MIL?

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Booked tickets (coach) for five for Italy for November. 3 of us RT to Milan (20K pp) and 2 RT from IAD-Venice (also 20K pp).

 

Getting ready this week to book our hotels - mostly Marriotts but some IHG thrown in there for all the nights that we can, all on points.

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Booked tickets (coach) for five for Italy for November. 3 of us RT to Milan (20K pp) and 2 RT from IAD-Venice (also 20K pp).

 

Getting ready this week to book our hotels - mostly Marriotts but some IHG thrown in there for all the nights that we can, all on points.

 

Very nice!

 

And hello from Venice. We left Milan today and just got in. :wave:

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There is a lot of good discussion about earning travel rewards through credit card spending and sign-up bonuses. This thread is about redemptions, with the discussion skewed toward those rewards which were earned from credit card activities. It's meant to get you to think about how to maximize and actually use the travel awards you accumulate from smart credit card usage.

 

Please post your redemptions in this thread as you make reservations, share redemption tips and strategies (and regrets), and if you desire, post photos of your trips. Selfies not required.

 

Here's what I've recently reserved:

 

May:

 

Chicago - Three nights at the Hilton Suites / Magnificent Mile paid with three weekend night certificates from spending on the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card.

 

I planned this trip around the expiration dates on these certificates. I wanted to use them at the Waldorf Astoria or the Conrad, but neither was available.

 

July/August:

 

Roundtrip airfare to Milan in First Class purchased with 125,000 American Airlines miles earned from signup bonuses and credit card spending. My spouse is attending a conference in Milan and I'm flying in at the tail end to spend a week in and around Italy, and then we're hitting Barcelona and Amsterdam.

 

I'm flying from LAX because the only routes available from San Diego on the dates I wanted to go were through London on British Airways, which would have cost ~$600 in fees, or in coach.

 

Barcelona - Five nights at the Le Meridien, paid with 64,000 Starwood points accumulated from 2014 household spending on the card.

 

SPG redemptions offer a fifth night at no additional cost. We had already planned to split nine nights between Barcelona and Amsterdam, and with no viable SPG hotel option in Amsterdam for our trip we decided to make Barcelona our five-night destination because of the availability of this hotel.

 

Amsterdam - Two nights at the Art'Otel, paid with 70,000 Club Carlson points, earned from the sign-up bonus on the US Bank Club Carlson Visa.

 

This reservation will be our last practical opportunity to use the "final night free" redemption benefit that's currently available to every Club Carlson Visa holder on every Club Carlson redemption. On 6/1 this benefit will be limited to one free night per year upon payment of the annual fee, plus $10,000 in spending on the Visa, and then only on US properties, most of which suck.

 

Amsterdam - Two nights at the Andaz, paid with two free night certificates, which were part of the sign-up bonus for the Chase Hyatt Visa.

 

Hyatt only has two properties in Amsterdam (and one is at the airport), and this one showed no availability on hyatt.com using the certificates, however rooms of every type were available for paid reservations, and rooms were also available using Hyatt points. I called the reservations number and they were able to book the nights I needed using my certificates.

Great thread CV! Subscribed :good:

 

So plane geeks want to hear some deets on the plane. Looks like A320 to JFK, and 767-300(?)to MIL?

 

 

Flagship Check-In at LAX is outstanding... literally no one else in the entire checkin lounge...

 

First Class on the A320 was superb. I reclined to almost flat (flat was too much for a day flight), watched two movies and suddenly we were at JFK.

 

Flagship lounges were a step up from most Admirals Clubs in that there was complimentary food and cocktails, but they're no Centurion Lounges.

 

The 767-300 seemed like it was from the 1970s. The tray table was bizarre, and even the flight attendants admitted it seemed like a Rube Goldberg design. The seats weren't nearly as comfortable as the A320, but this was Business Class. Still, I managed to sleep for four hours on the overnight flight, which is a record for me.

 

Lesson for next time: Make sure that when I book a First Class redemption that I get FC seats the whole way. The highest cabin class on this flight was Business. I'm sure there was a giant warning message on aa.com that I managed to miss...

 

Flagship lounges

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Lesson for next time: Make sure that when I book a First Class redemption that I get FC seats the whole way. The highest cabin class on this flight was Business. I'm sure there was a giant warning message on aa.com that I managed to miss... Flagship lounges

 

The AS site has a little icon that is added in next to the flight number indicating that it is a mixed cabin itinerary. Let's say you miss that and click on that flight anyway, a warning box pops up saying that you have chosen a mixed cabin itinerary. You have to press YES to proceed. Edited by pwd847

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There is a lot of good discussion about earning travel rewards through credit card spending and sign-up bonuses. This thread is about redemptions, with the discussion skewed toward those rewards which were earned from credit card activities. It's meant to get you to think about how to maximize and actually use the travel awards you accumulate from smart credit card usage.

 

Please post your redemptions in this thread as you make reservations, share redemption tips and strategies (and regrets), and if you desire, post photos of your trips. Selfies not required.

 

Here's what I've recently reserved:

May:

Chicago - Three nights at the Hilton Suites / Magnificent Mile paid with three weekend night certificates from spending on the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card.

I planned this trip around the expiration dates on these certificates. I wanted to use them at the Waldorf Astoria or the Conrad, but neither was available.

July/August:

Roundtrip airfare to Milan in First Class purchased with 125,000 American Airlines miles earned from signup bonuses and credit card spending. My spouse is attending a conference in Milan and I'm flying in at the tail end to spend a week in and around Italy, and then we're hitting Barcelona and Amsterdam.

I'm flying from LAX because the only routes available from San Diego on the dates I wanted to go were through London on British Airways, which would have cost ~$600 in fees, or in coach.

Barcelona - Five nights at the Le Meridien, paid with 64,000 Starwood points accumulated from 2014 household spending on the card.

SPG redemptions offer a fifth night at no additional cost. We had already planned to split nine nights between Barcelona and Amsterdam, and with no viable SPG hotel option in Amsterdam for our trip we decided to make Barcelona our five-night destination because of the availability of this hotel.

Amsterdam - Two nights at the Art'Otel, paid with 70,000 Club Carlson points, earned from the sign-up bonus on the US Bank Club Carlson Visa.

This reservation will be our last practical opportunity to use the "final night free" redemption benefit that's currently available to every Club Carlson Visa holder on every Club Carlson redemption. On 6/1 this benefit will be limited to one free night per year upon payment of the annual fee, plus $10,000 in spending on the Visa, and then only on US properties, most of which suck.

Amsterdam - Two nights at the Andaz, paid with two free night certificates, which were part of the sign-up bonus for the Chase Hyatt Visa.

Hyatt only has two properties in Amsterdam (and one is at the airport), and this one showed no availability on hyatt.com using the certificates, however rooms of every type were available for paid reservations, and rooms were also available using Hyatt points. I called the reservations number and they were able to book the nights I needed using my certificates.

Today, TPG featured a review of the hotel we just checked into in Amsterdam, mentioned in my original post in this thread. We also got upgraded to a garden view king, like the reviewer, although our room looks bigger than the one in his photos.

 

There are only 5 or 6 rooms on this entire top floor, which is accessed by a hidden button that only exists on one of the elevator cars in the second building.

 

I really like this hotel.

 

http://thepointsguy.com/2015/08/andaz-amsterdam-review/

Edited by cv91915

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DW and I had to run down to Springfield Mo for a meeting today. Since we decided to drive down last night and would get here close to midnight, I figured it would be the perfect time to burn the 8000 Choice points I had. No need for a nice hotel that we would only be in for about 7 hours. Other than the lingering smoke smell in a now smoke free hotel, the Clarion served it's purpose and my cash stayed in my pocket.

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DW and I had to run down to Springfield Mo for a meeting today. Since we decided to drive down last night and would get here close to midnight, I figured it would be the perfect time to burn the 8000 Choice points I had. No need for a nice hotel that we would only be in for about 7 hours. Other than the lingering smoke smell in a now smoke free hotel, the Clarion served it's purpose and my cash stayed in my pocket.

:good:

 

Did you check under the bed for dead hookers?

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DW and I had to run down to Springfield Mo for a meeting today. Since we decided to drive down last night and would get here close to midnight, I figured it would be the perfect time to burn the 8000 Choice points I had. No need for a nice hotel that we would only be in for about 7 hours. Other than the lingering smoke smell in a now smoke free hotel, the Clarion served it's purpose and my cash stayed in my pocket.

:good:

 

Did you check under the bed for dead hookers?

Are you kidding? I was way too scared to look under the bed. .....I'd rather not know 😀

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