PSA -Sapphire Reserve with 100K points bonus, LAST CHANCE is Saturday 3/11 at branch...

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Sep 13, 2001
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best points to have are Chase and Amex (and to some extent Citi) as you don't have to worry about expiring points and you can generally convert them instantaneously to fly/stay just about anywhere (between the two). I still have a metric shit ton of Chase points (around 600,000) after spending 200,000 on our upcoming trip to St. Kitts but the large amount is mostly due to the law firm. We blew around 600,000 points a couple years ago for our Hawaii trip. I think I only have around 70,000 AmEx points and I only use that for non-Chase transfer partners (like Emirates).
I guess it just depends where you are going. Southwest points (with companion pass) BY FAR have been the best for me in the past 5+ years. I've saved well over $10k and probably closer to $20k.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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I guess it just depends where you are going. Southwest points (with companion pass) BY FAR have been the best for me in the past 5+ years. I've saved well over $10k and probably closer to $20k.
I think it depends more on where you're traveling from. The Southwest points and companion pass are definitely a great deal, but for me it's just not very compelling because Detroit is not a big Southwest hub and several other airlines offer a lot more direct flights.
 
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I think it depends more on where you're traveling from. The Southwest points and companion pass are definitely a great deal, but for me it's just not very compelling because Detroit is not a big Southwest hub and several other airlines offer a lot more direct flights.
Yeah for sure. BWI is a huge SW hub and they also go to many places in the Caribbean we like to go, as well as places on the west coast. So we definitely take advantage of that.

I plan on using points + companion pass to get to Hawaii very cheaply at some point within the next year or two.
 

Exterous

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Jun 20, 2006
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I think it depends more on where you're traveling from. The Southwest points and companion pass are definitely a great deal, but for me it's just not very compelling because Detroit is not a big Southwest hub and several other airlines offer a lot more direct flights.
As a fellow DTWer I agree it's not as easy as living near MDW or BWI but the BOGO and huge stockpile of points is way better than Deltas skypesos or paying for flights. While there are places we haven't gone because the connections are bad there are a decent number of direct flights or what we would consider reasonable connections
 
Sep 13, 2001
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I live about 30-40 minutes from BWI, DCA, and IAD so typically I can find flights with pretty much any airline to any destination which is nice for sure. SW flies out of all those airports too but I don't think I've flown SW out of anywhere but BWI. I've flown United from IAD though as I believe they are a hub for United.
 

Exterous

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Southwest's flights to Hawaii are now for sale from the west coast. I would assume east coast routes will be constructed at some point but you could grab some low fares from California now and always cancel later or book a separate flight to get there
 
Sep 13, 2001
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Southwest's flights to Hawaii are now for sale from the west coast. I would assume east coast routes will be constructed at some point but you could grab some low fares from California now and always cancel later or book a separate flight to get there
I was just playing around with the site and tried flights from BWI to OGG and it was odd, it allows for the departure flight, but not the return. They all say unavailable.

And holy shit, I see one going from BWI -> OGG for $273 in September. That is cheaper than the normal prices I'm seeing on other dates of around $500, but that would be unreal if you could get a round trip to Hawaii from east coast for under $600 (if return flight was comparable).

The layover is in Oakland for an hour.

EDIT:

Wow just looking, there are round trip flights from Oakland to there for under $400 if you go during the week. That seems really cheap.
 
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If anyone is wondering about car insurance perks that come with the Chase cards, I just went through the process after my wife backed into a post in Grand Cayman and dented the rear bumper and busted the light, and in the end it ended up being just shy of $1400. While it took a while, the process with Chase was pretty simple and took about a month and a half total from when I submitted the initial paperwork until I had the money transferred to my bank account.

So just keep in mind to decline the insurance from the rental companies and use your credit card with the perks to pay.
 
Sep 13, 2001
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Anyone ever use this card before? Or does anyone know how much 100k Marriot points are worth? I was just browsing their website looking for a hotel and saw this offer.

https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/marriottboundless/aep/100k?CELL=6TVD&SPID=FY2C

EDIT:

Looking at the Marriot's I want to stay at, it appears that their points don't really equal a dollar value and different hotels just have different point rates, and that the rates are not very good. To stay 4 nights at one place I want to stay it is 200k points, and I don't see an option for partial payment with points either.
 
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Nov 8, 2012
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Anyone ever use this card before? Or does anyone know how much 100k Marriot points are worth? I was just browsing their website looking for a hotel and saw this offer.

https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/marriottboundless/aep/100k?CELL=6TVD&SPID=FY2C

EDIT:

Looking at the Marriot's I want to stay at, it appears that their points don't really equal a dollar value and different hotels just have different point rates, and that the rates are not very good. To stay 4 nights at one place I want to stay it is 200k points, and I don't see an option for partial payment with points either.
I stay with Marriott for work and personal travel and usually have Platinum status.

My opinion? Travel Package or bust: https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/redeem/travel/packages.mi

Anything else is peanuts and the travel package is hands down a damn good value overall.
 
Sep 13, 2001
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I stay with Marriott for work and personal travel and usually have Platinum status.

My opinion? Travel Package or bust: https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/redeem/travel/packages.mi

Anything else is peanuts and the travel package is hands down a damn good value overall.
I didn't see anything great on that for the spot I was looking at. I'm not planning on getting a flight with any bundle either since I could fly my family to the destination for $30 in taxes with my SW benefits.
 
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I didn't see anything great on that for the spot I was looking at. I'm not planning on getting a flight with any bundle either since I could fly my family to the destination for $30 in taxes with my SW benefits.
The travel package just gives you miles for the airline you choose. You can use them now or in 5 years. Southwest is one of them.

I'm just ultimately speaking best bang for your buck as far as Marriott points. These packages that give you 7 nights + airline miles is just that - easily the best bang for your buck.
 
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The travel package just gives you miles for the airline you choose. You can use them now or in 5 years. Southwest is one of them.

I'm just ultimately speaking best bang for your buck as far as Marriott points. These packages that give you 7 nights + airline miles is just that - easily the best bang for your buck.
Yeah but getting 300k+ points isn't going to be realistic since the bonus is just 100k points. I was hoping 100k points would be worth more than just 2 nights. And on top of that, you can't just pay the difference with cash (at least I didn't see it).
 
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Yeah but getting 300k+ points isn't going to be realistic since the bonus is just 100k points. I was hoping 100k points would be worth more than just 2 nights. And on top of that, you can't just pay the difference with cash (at least I didn't see it).
Yeah definitely true. I just figured you might be someone that travels enough to get that many points. Do you normally stay with another brand when you travel?

For what it's worth - all of the hotel credit cards are about the same - the sign on bonus tends to get you something along the lines of 1-4 nights in a hotel (depending on how expensive of a brand you go with)
 
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Yeah definitely true. I just figured you might be someone that travels enough to get that many points. Do you normally stay with another brand when you travel?

For what it's worth - all of the hotel credit cards are about the same - the sign on bonus tends to get you something along the lines of 1-4 nights in a hotel (depending on how expensive of a brand you go with)
I dunno about that. 100k SW points is worth a whole lot more than $500-$600 that those 100k points are worth for the hotel I was looking at. I rarely stay with Marriott as it is and there is just one that we stayed at in the Keys that I'd stay at again. I also checked the Cosmopolitan in Vegas and that was 60k/night.

As for SW, I just noticed something with the companion pass. Now bear with me this is kind of not straight forward.

I am my wife's companion until end of 2019.

I got a companion pass on my account last month and added her as my companion pass so now she's my companion until the end of 2020.

We have a flight booked to Grand Cayman next week. We booked that through her account and I am her companion on that flight. On her itinerary we used points to book her flight and our sons flight.

Now today when I logged into my account, it shows my upcoming trip to GC. It also has the "add companion" link available, even though I booked this flight as a companion to my wife. I clicked on it, and it took me to the screen where I pay for the taxes and add her as my companion.

So this got me thinking. Now that she's my companion and we have no points left on her account, her companion pass is kind of useless after this next flight, for me that is.

But I am wondering if after our next flight, if she adds our son as her companion, can I book a flight with points on my account, then add her as my companion, and then she can add my son as her companion, and we can get 3 flights for the price of one, utilizing both companion passes? Anyone have experience with using "nested" companion passes?
 
Jul 2, 2009
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Delta has some decent promos until April 3.

60,000 points for $2,000 spend in the first 3 months for the Gold personal card or 70,000/$4,000 for the Gold business card. Platinum and Reserve also have some promo offers.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
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Anyone ever use this card before? Or does anyone know how much 100k Marriot points are worth? I was just browsing their website looking for a hotel and saw this offer.

https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/marriottboundless/aep/100k?CELL=6TVD&SPID=FY2C

EDIT:

Looking at the Marriot's I want to stay at, it appears that their points don't really equal a dollar value and different hotels just have different point rates, and that the rates are not very good. To stay 4 nights at one place I want to stay it is 200k points, and I don't see an option for partial payment with points either.
Anymore hotel cards are tough to get value out of compared to airline or travel credit cards. Depending on your locations and dates I've personally had better luck with Hilton than Marriott. The Hilton Aspire card - while pricey at $450/year - comes with enough points for at least 2 nights most places (Like Bora Bora or Hawaii) along with a free weekend night anywhere. You also get a $250 resort credit and a $250 airline incidental credit (appears usable for certain airline gift cards). It comes with top tier status which I've had good luck on upgrades to suits on before I stopped staying in hotels as much and got downgraded to lowly Gold. (4 out of 5 upgrades to suits for our NZ trip). While not as quite as generous as some other top tier hotel statuses you get it without needed a certain number of stays and it still offers free breakfast, late checkout and lounge access is a nice way to get some free food and drink in the afternoons.

The downside is that their redemptions are sometimes out of whack, making it hard to plan. Sometimes I've found absurd point deals on suites and others its an obscene number of points for a standard room.


I stay with Marriott for work and personal travel and usually have Platinum status.

My opinion? Travel Package or bust: https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/redeem/travel/packages.mi

Anything else is peanuts and the travel package is hands down a damn good value overall.
Marriott trashed their travel package deal:
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/analyzing-terrible-new-marriott-hotel-air-packages/

Fortunately I used my last voucher last summer
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
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But I am wondering if after our next flight, if she adds our son as her companion, can I book a flight with points on my account, then add her as my companion, and then she can add my son as her companion, and we can get 3 flights for the price of one, utilizing both companion passes? Anyone have experience with using "nested" companion passes?
They won't let you do that (Unless IT has screwed up since their last upgrade)
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Exterous

Super Moderator
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Jun 20, 2006
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My main point is still this: I don't know of any better way to use Marriott points than that. Even after the nerf, it still is pretty damn good.
I'm not sure why you'd want that many Marriott points in the first place ;). At their Titanium level the lowest package* would be 60 nights at $200/nt with their credit card. You'd be getting 408,000 Hilton points for the same amount of time and their promos are almost always better so you'd be talking at least 2x the Hilton points. I mean to each their own but Marriott points? They're like the Delta of hotel points. Ew.

*Least usable package

(Which makes me sad because we tend to have the best corporate discount through Marriott. It's some strange flat rate model where the hotels are usually the same price regardless of quality. I have a $118 JW Marriott stay coming up because why stay at a Courtyard if a JW Marriott is the same price? Normal JW member rates were $280/nt)
 
Feb 14, 2002
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I think the only way the hotel branded CC can make sense is if you're frequent business traveler staying at one brand of hotel because of corporate discount. For everyone else, I don't think it makes sense. I'm strictly vacation leisure traveler so I have no loyalty with any brand. I've switched to booking Airbnb for majority of my trip stays if possible just like I've switched to using Uber and Lyft instead of taxi.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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I'm not sure why you'd want that many Marriott points in the first place ;). At their Titanium level the lowest package* would be 60 nights at $200/nt with their credit card. You'd be getting 408,000 Hilton points for the same amount of time and their promos are almost always better so you'd be talking at least 2x the Hilton points. I mean to each their own but Marriott points? They're like the Delta of hotel points. Ew.

*Least usable package

(Which makes me sad because we tend to have the best corporate discount through Marriott. It's some strange flat rate model where the hotels are usually the same price regardless of quality. I have a $118 JW Marriott stay coming up because why stay at a Courtyard if a JW Marriott is the same price? Normal JW member rates were $280/nt)
Meh, I'm nearly at lifetime status - so I can't throw them out at this point. I'm kinda stuck with them.

I put their point value the same as Hilton IMO. Hilton's point values are absurd to me when I see a decent hotel is something like 120k points a night. That's just nuts.

That and there isn't much else to choose from as far as hotels after our shit government allowed Starwood to merge with Marriott.

Choices are essentially Marriott, Hilton, or Hyatt.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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I think the only way the hotel branded CC can make sense is if you're frequent business traveler staying at one brand of hotel because of corporate discount. For everyone else, I don't think it makes sense. I'm strictly vacation leisure traveler so I have no loyalty with any brand. I've switched to booking Airbnb for majority of my trip stays if possible just like I've switched to using Uber and Lyft instead of taxi.
I'd have to respectfully disagree with you here.

Example: Last I checked (and I might be mistaken it's been a while) the Marriott brand card was something like $89 annual fee or so. BUT - with each renewal it came with 1 free night at their lower tier hotels.

You're honestly hard pressed to find a hotel that isn't a piece of shit for less than $100/night. So an annual free night basically pays for the annual fee on its own. I'm also at a point where I don't put up with shit hotels - I have minimum standards such as the door to my room can't be accessed from outside.
 
Feb 14, 2002
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I'd have to respectfully disagree with you here.

Example: Last I checked (and I might be mistaken it's been a while) the Marriott brand card was something like $89 annual fee or so. BUT - with each renewal it came with 1 free night at their lower tier hotels.

You're honestly hard pressed to find a hotel that isn't a piece of shit for less than $100/night. So an annual free night basically pays for the annual fee on its own. I'm also at a point where I don't put up with shit hotels - I have minimum standards such as the door to my room can't be accessed from outside.
If Airbnb and Priceline didn't exist, I would say hotel branded card is worth it even for strictly leisure traveler. But Airbnb and Priceline have changed the game. Leisure travelers have options like never before. There's no reason for me to stay at lower tier $100/ night Marriott. I can get so much more for my money renting local place on Airbnb. If I stay at Marriott, it's because I used Priceline for discount booking and got randomly assigned hotel.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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If Airbnb and Priceline didn't exist, I would say hotel branded card is worth it even for strictly leisure traveler. But Airbnb and Priceline have changed the game. Leisure travelers have options like never before. There's no reason for me to stay at lower tier $100/ night Marriott. I can get so much more for my money renting local place on Airbnb. If I stay at Marriott, it's because I used Priceline for discount booking and got randomly assigned hotel.
Admittedly, I have access to multiple codes on Marriott that give me substantially lower prices.

1) My employer (and former employer) codes
2) My wife is a government employee, so I get government rates as well.

I tried playing the priceline / discount website game years ago and I had way too many bad experiences with staying in shit holes that were way below what I was expecting.

AirBNB has its place, I used them when I was International in Belgium.
 

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