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If you have been busy with summer trips like me, then here is a great way to start the week caught up on all the recent happenings in the miles and points world in 60 seconds or less.
- Hyatt is expanding into the all-inclusive market via a partnership with Playa Hotels and Resorts. Playa’s hotel portfolio will include 13 resorts totaling approximately 5,800 rooms across the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica. In connection with the Hyatt investment, Playa will enter into franchise agreements with Hyatt for six of the 13 resorts, or approximately 2,800 rooms, which will operate under Hyatt brands following the completion of significant renovations. This is tremendous news for Hyatt junkies like myself. Time will tell how these all-inclusive properties will look with points, but I can guarantee I will be anxiously watching this development. You can read more details in this article.
- We all know that US Airways is leaving Star Alliance sooner or later due to their merger with American, but seems it may be sooner rather than later. This is important for many reasons, but one of those big reasons is because of which partners you can and can’t redeem miles to fly with when they are a part of Star Alliance versus One World Alliance. In this article, the airline says they will be a part of One World by the beginning of 2014.
- Rocketmiles is a site where you can earn a good number of airline miles for hotel bookings at select hotels in select cities. You can read a little about them here. Recently Rocketmiles announced their expansion to some international destinations to cities like Paris, London and Tokyo. Keep in mind that with this site you most likely do not earn hotel nights/stay credits toward elite status, however they report that users earn an average of 7,000 airline miles per booking, so that will be the better deal for some.
- PointsHound is another hotel booking site that rewards the user with airline miles, but PointsHound has a great feature that allows you to “Double Up” and earn both hotel points/status and airline miles at some properties. This is like having the best of both worlds, however PointsHound recently shared the bad news that you can no longer earn United miles on new bookings. This is because United now has a “strategic interest” in Rocketmiles. This is a big bummer, but at least you can still earn other type of valuable miles like American miles.
- Save 35% on the number of Starpoints required at seven of the top SPG resorts when you book a stay by March 1, 2014. This sounds like a great deal, and it can be if you were actually going to use points at these resorts, but even at 35% off they are still somewhat (or in some cases really) pricey.
W Retreat and Spa Maldives goes from 90,000 points per night to 58,500 points per night.
Le Meredian Bora Bora, French Polynesia goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 points per night.
Mystequie, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santorini, Greece goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 points per night.
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai, UAE goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 points per night.
W Retreat Koh Samui, Thailand goes from 40,000 points per night to 26,000 points per night.
Pine Cliffs Residence, a Luxury Collection Resort, Albufeira, Portugal goes from 40,000 points per night to 26,000 points per night.
Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand goes from 40,000 points per night to 26,000 points per night
- If you have a FlexPerks card from US Bank and think one of your friends or family members should get one as well you may be eligible for a 5,000 point referral bonus. According to the email I got, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus FlexPoints for each friend who acquires a FlexPerks Visa credit card. Your friends will receive 17,500 bonus FlexPoints for the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature® card, or 5,000 bonus FlexPoints for the FlexPerks Select Rewards Visa card after meeting the spending requirement ($2,500 for the Travel Rewards card). They will need your FlexPerks award number and need to apply via this link.
- The deadline to potentially buy or gift US Airways miles with a 100% bonus is July 31st. You can check here to see if you have been targeted for this deal and/or make the purchase. They run similar deals with regularity, but since the merger isn’t too far off, these deals may be time-limited at this point.
- Free Travel Guys is starting a series posting about the family friendly Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii. I wrote about the fairly new Disney resort on Oahu in this piece for the Travel Channel. I think it looks like an amazing Hawaiian destination for families, but I haven’t seen too many trip reports in the miles and points world of that hotel yet, so I look forward to this one.
- Great hotel points giveaways coming soon! I also wanted to plant the seed that I have some fun giveaways of two of my favorite types of hotel points coming up very soon. Points are great, and free points are the very best kind, so stay tuned for more details!
Let me know if I left anything major out and add it. Have a great week!