The Reward Boss is featured this week on Boarding Area. The last time I was featured was the week of August 4th, 2014. Here are some updates since my last feature week:
SPG Platinum Suite Blocking – still works (according to my sources), despite my plea to Starwoods to correct this issue. There have been some minor changes to address this topic, but not to directly correct the issue:
- Lucky points out that starting January 15, 2015, Starwoods will require cancellations by 6pm local time the day PRIOR to arrival. Since Suite Night Awards (“SNA”) begin searching for suite upgrades 5 days prior to arrival, this change doesn’t really do much.
- Gary points out that for 2015, Plat 50+ members will have options in lieu of SNAs and he speculates it could be bonus points or award redemption discounts. Lucky writes that the options are a choice of 10 Suite Night Awards, four free rides with Uber up to $25 each, Gift Gold status to a friend or family member, TSA PreCheck fee waiver, $100 Amazon gift card, or Donate $100 to UNICEF. This partially addresses the topic, but doesn’t help in scenarios where Plats actually want a suite upgrade and will continue to suite-block to guarantee a confirmed suite.
- Besides confirming SNAs at time of booking, can anyone think of alternate ways Starwoods can prevent suite-blocking?
Amex SPG Elite Credits Stacking – for the most part, this glitch has been fixed:
- You can still attain 4 stays / 10 nights elite credit by signing up for the personal and small business versions of the card.
- However, any additional cards (from friends and family) linked to your SPG account will not earn additional elite credits. It was good while it lasted – I know several individuals who hit Plat 50 because of this 2014 glitch.
Mistake Airfares – there have been quite a few in the last 6 month:
- Thanks to all those who subscribed to receive mistake fare alerts! I have been doing a terrible job of catching mistake airfares. I was only able to catch 2 mistakes with enough time to post:
- Feel free to subscribe to my blog (on the left) to receive mistake fare alerts, despite most of these mistakes not being honored by the airline. Scoring or not, it’s still a very exciting experience!
- The DOT will be revising its rules in 2015 to address passengers taking advantage of mistake airfares in bad faith.
Citi Exec AA – the sign-up bonus of the year…
- It started with 100k, then 75k, then 60k. And the best part was that Citi allowed multiple sign-up bonuses so long as you followed the 8/65 day rule. Like all good things, it came to an end.
- In fact, I was declined for a Citi Platinum AA credit card (not Exec AA) a couple months ago because I was a Citi Exec AA cardholder – loophole patched… for now at least.
- Did anyone sign up for multiple Citi Exec AA bonuses? (For reference I only applied once.) Word on the street is that pending decision cc apps with Chase lead to reconsideration reps grilling applicants on multiple Citi accounts opened and closed within a short period of time.
Intercontinental Bora Bora O/W Bungalows for 50K IHG – still the most aspirational best bang for the buck hotel award redemption out there… that’s IF you are able to book it:
- Consecutive award availability was low at the time of posting, but now, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack – availability for the most part is limited to 1 day, with limited days that allow 2 or 3 consecutive award night booking.
- Couple that with finding premium award airfare for the same dates, you have a better shot playing the lottery!
Intercontinental Bora Bora 2015 Availability as of 2/25/15:
For this feature week:
- Look out for a full multi-part trip review of my 20 Day Honeymoon in Asia
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