Mini-Points Updates (Chicago Seminars, Great Club Carlson Promo, Amazon Points, and more…)

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Tonight’s post is playing catch-up with lots of different things going on in the miles and points community.  I actually love it when there is too much going on to pick any one topic – it means things are “exciting”.  At least for points/travel junkies like me…. Okay, here is what caught my attention today. 

  • First, the official host hotel for the Chicago Seminars, Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village, is now open for booking.  The Chicago Seminars run from October 12 – 14th.  The price for the hotel is $79 per night for a room that includes one breakfast voucher, and $89 for a room that includes two breakfast vouchers.  And last year they really did collect breakfast vouchers – I had to skip breakfast one day because I lost mine!  Do not make a speculative booking as the first night is non-refundable.  However, if you are certain you will be coming to the Seminars then go ahead and book because the host hotel will certainly sell-out.  I stayed at the host hotel back in October for the 2011 Seminars and will write a review of the hotel on Friday so that you will know what you are booking.  It was certainly a great deal for around $80!  The link to book your ticket to the actual Seminars should be active in the next few weeks.
  • Second, Loyalty Traveler wrote a fantastic summary of the new Club Carlson (Radisson, Country Inn and Suites, etc…) 3x points promo that runs from January 10 to March 16, 2012.  With this promo you are essentially earning 60 points per dollar spent at the hotel.  Loyalty Traveler proclaims this the best hotel promo so far in 2012 and he might be right – of course we are only 11 days into 2012Marriott’s MegaBonus is the only real contender so far, especially when you are talking about one-night stays.  You can register for the Club Carlson promo here.
  • I’m going to get to do a “water evacuation” of an aircraft!  Now if I were on a flight and actually had to do a water evacuation I would be terrified, but under these circumstances I am super excited.  Two weeks from today the North American portion of the OneWorld MegaDO begins in Dallas, Texas.  The very next day 40 of us on the trip who won an auction that benefits the “Komen for the Cure” Foundation will participate in a water evacuation at the CR Smith Flight Academy in Dallas.  I apologize in advance for the “wet hair” look I might have in all subsequent photos that day.  😉  Can’t wait to do it and tell you all about it though!
  • If you make many purchases from Amazon, then you absolutely should check-out Frequent Miler’s post about how to maximize your points earnings with those purchases.  He has some pretty creative ways of maximizing your Amazon spending.  I know I buy tons of birthday presents for C’s friends, plus all of C’s diapers, and many other things from Amazon on a regular basis, so being strategic about those purchases is very important for my family.
  • Finally, Little C seems to be beating pneumonia, so it looks like our adventures to snow (or at least to where snow should be this time of year) are officially on.  Expect some fun posts and reviews about our family-friendly winter escape in the near future!  Yeeeehaw.  😉

Hopefully that about covered it for today.  I can’t tell you how relieved I am that my kiddo is feeling better, and that our family will get to go on a snowy adventure soon.  I am also very excited that the OneWorld MegaDO is only two weeks away!  I promise to bring some swag back to give away here just like I did on the last MegaDO.

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  1. Thanks for the post about spending at Amazon! I spend so much there without earning miles. So silly of me not to think of gift cards!

  2. Thanks. I just booked for 2 nights for the Chicago Seminar. Unfortunately I was not able to book for checking out on October 15th…oh well.

  3. It seems that hotel reservations at the special rate can only be made for the 2 nights (Oct. 12 & 13). And contrary to previous years, Executive rooms are $10 higher.

  4. @Askia, you are welcome. Thanks to Frequent Miler for writing the post!

    @NoviceFlyer, ugh I hate RSV. We had that last year. Thanks for the info!

    @sil, so glad you are going to make it. Sorry about the 15th. Did it just let you book a normal rate separately for that night? Of course, you could always hotel hop for that last night and earn an extra Grand Slam hit/stay credit. 😉

    @Miles, I think that last night is ripe for hotel hopping then!

  5. I booked my room for the Seminars as soon as I saw it was live but I have a question about the breakfast vouchers. I booked the $79 rate because I am traveling by myself. Will the one voucher be good for both days or should I have booked the $89 rate to get two vouchers, one for each day?

    Also, the water evacuation sounds so cool. I did water landing training under canopy for my skydiving license and it was a neat experience that I would rather not repeat in real life. I imagine your water evacuation will leave you feeling the same way.

  6. Oh…I almost forgot about the U.S. Grand Slam. I sure can use this for a “hit”. I am able to book it for an extra night but not sure whether I arrive one day earlier or leave one day later.

    LAX to ORD is not on sale and U.S. rewards want 60k miles….are they CRAZY??? Hoping to catch an airfare sale later on.

  7. @The Wanderer, $79 rate is the right one for you. It is either one or two breakfast vouchers per night. Sorry for the confusion, but you are good to go! BTW, your water landing sounds way scarier than what I am doing! 😉

    @Sil, who knows what will happen this year, but many people were able to book during fare sales last year (just not this early). That is way too many miles to use to get there for sure!

  8. @Sil, I was able to book an AA award using BA miles and it was only 7500 miles and $2.50 to get there from PHL. Haven’t decided if I am going right home after so I haven’t booked the return yet. If you have some BA miles, that might be an option for you, but the longer distance from LAX might be a few more miles.
    @mommypoints, Thanks for the clarification. If you need any help with your Grand Slam seminar, I would be glad to assist. I played 4 accounts this year and managed to get whole bunch of miles for myself, my wife, and my two kids.

    • @The Wanderer, sounds like a perfect use of Avios! Thanks for the offer to assist – as it gets closer I will certainly be looking for some input!

  9. @Mommypoints – I don’t see king rooms available for the seminar hotel, only double beds. Am I looking at the website wrong, or are all the king beds taken already? 😮 Thanks.

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