What Credit Card Gets You the Most Free Hotel Nights?

Sometimes I want luxury, and sometimes I want quantity.

Last week I talked about the Three Best Credit Cards for Free Nights in Luxury Hotels.

But what about going to the other end of the award chart? A lot of times when I am traveling I just need a pillow and a roof, since I plan to be out exploring the city all day. What credit card sign up would net me the most free hotel nights? (20 in all!)

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Priority Club PointBreaks: $35 Hotel Rooms This Spring

There are several posts on yesterday’s new PointBreaks list. Even if you’ve read those, read this. I’ve honed my strategy for getting $35 per night rooms quite a bit, and I want to share it, so everyone can have access to the best practices.

This post will tell you how to book any hotel on the list of Priority Club’s PointBreaks hotels for only $35 per night, even the ones that ordinarily cost $400 or more per night. And I’ll explain how to give yourself maximum flexibility to pick the exact dates you want as the trip approaches.

Priority Club PointBreaks

Priority Club is the loyalty program for InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites. As we covered here, Priority Club recently devalued its award chart, so it now takes 10,000 to 50,000 points for a free night depending on the property. But every few months, Priority Club releases a list of a select few hotels where you can stay for 5,000 points per night. That’s a 90% discount on some hotels!

The new list of PointBreaks hotels is good for stays now through 6/30/13.

We can stay at any hotel on the PointBreaks list for $35 just by exploiting one loophole!

The basic premise is that Priority Club lets you buy 10,000 points for $70, which is 0.7 cents per point.

In this post, I’ll give my full strategy for taking advantage of the PointBreaks list. This strategy ensures I get all the $35 per night hotel stays I want with maximum availability of nights and maximum flexibility to change my plans. My strategy solves a number of problems.

Problem #1: Not every hotel is on the PointBreaks list.

Solution: There is no solution for this problem.

When a new list comes out, I check its end date then look at my Meet Up page to figure out where I’ll be between now and then that I might want a hotel. I also consider trips I haven’t planned, but have been mulling. And finally I look for the incredible properties that normally cost 50,000 miles to see if I want to take an impromptu trip.

I note all the hotels that I might want to stay at.

Problem #2: Not every night is available at hotels that are on the list–and what availability there is can disappear quickly.

Solution: Book award space now.

This leads to Problem #3.

Problem #3: I may want to change my plans later, but I may have to cancel the entire award to do that, costing me the chance at 5,000 point ($35) nights.

Solution: Book awards as a series of one-night stays.

If you think you want to stay at the InterContinental Fiji for five nights before March 31 during a two week period, but you’re not sure which five nights, book 14 one-night stays.

Booking 14 stays will take under 20 minutes, and you’ll have the flexibility later to cancel the nine you don’t want one at a time, leaving you the five consecutive nights you want. Then you can call the hotel to ask them to merge the five reservations or just show up and note to the front desk that all five are yours, and you don’t want to move rooms. They don’t want to move you either, since it increases their costs.

To book the 14 stays in this example, you would need 70,000 points, which leads to problem #5.

Problem #5: I don’t have any Priority Club points.

Solution: We can transfer in 5,000 Ultimate Rewards to have 5,000 Priority Club points. Or we can buy 5,000 points for $67.50. Once we have 5,000 Priority Club points, we can buy unlimited quantities for 0.7 cents each.

The first step if you don’t have 5,000 Priority Club points is to get them. Ultimate Rewards points transfer in at 1:1 ratio in about 14 hours in my experience. You can make the transfer at ultimaterewards.com by clicking the Priority Club Rewards link under the transfer points tab.

Then give your Priority Club account info and select the points to transfer in increments on 1,000.

You want to have 5,000 points after making the transfer. I feel bad moving Ultimate Rewards to Priority Club because Ultimate Rewards are worth almost three times as much as Priority Club points, but to be able to buy more Priority Club points for 0.7 cents, we need to have at least 5,000 Priority Club points.

Another way to get 5,000 Priority Club points that doesn’t burn Ultimate Rewards is to buy 5,000 for $67.50. That is like buying 5,000 Ultimate Rewards for $67.50, which I would definitely do.

The way to buy Priority Club points for 0.7 cents is to make a cash and points award booking then cancel it. Once you have a Priority Club account with 5,000 points, the next step is to book a 15,000 point award. Why? When booking a 15,000 point award, you are given the option to purchase the 10,000 point shortfall for $70, which is 0.7 cents per point. Here is such an award:

As you can see, this award costs 15,000 points or 5,000 and $70. Select 5,000 points and $70 and pay for the award. The confirmation screen makes it very clear that the $70 is going towards buying 10,000 points that would be immediately used to book the award.

After booking, immediately cancel the reservation online by following a link from the booking confirmation page. That brings you to this screen:

As you can see, my reservation has been cancelled. As you can also see in the top right, the points immediately credit back to my account. My account now has 15,000 points, 5,000 that I transferred from Ultimate Rewards and 10,000 that I just bought for $70 while making a dummy booking.

If you need more points–say you want to make 14 speculative one-night bookings–then you repeat this step. For instance, I recently increased my account balance from 5,000 to 45,000 in two dummy bookings. I just showed the first. In the second, I selected the same hotel on a three-night cash and points booking. That booking cost 15,000 points (my new balance) plus $210 to buy the other 30,000 points needed. Then I cancelled that booking, and I had 45,000 points from a 5,000 Ultimate Rewards transfer and $280 in cash.

If $280 sounds like a lot of cash, don’t forget that my 45,000 points is enough for nine nights in a hotel.

Caveats

You have to have 5,000 points in your account to buy points for 0.7 cents each. Buying points is a much better deal than transferring in your Ultimate Rewards that are worth way more than 0.7 cents each, but you may have to transfer in 5,000 Ultimate Rewards to start the point-buying madness.

Not all hotels are on the PointBreaks list. Not all nights are available as 5,000 point award nights at the hotels that are on the list. Check availability before buying points.

Make sure your account has 5,000 more points than you need for your speculative bookings. You always want a balance of 5,000 points at the end for your next round of buying points. It would be a shame to have to make another Ultimate Rewards transfer.

Example from Summer 2012

I scoured that summer’s PointBreaks list to see if any of my travel plans coincided with any of the hotels, and they did in one case: I would be in Krakow, Poland and the Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre was on the list.

I was in Krakow June 6 – 9, and I didn’t have a hotel booked. While the Krakow Holiday Inn was hardly the nicest property on the PointBreaks list, its cheapest room June 6 was 531 Polish Zloty, which was $153.

The first thing I did was search availability, and I found space June 6 and 8, but not June 7. I decided to book June 6 and 8, so I needed 10,000 Priority Club points.

I had zero Priority Club points in my account, so I transferred in 5,000 points from Ultimate Rewards. I bought 10,000 more points for $70 exactly how I outlined above leaving me with 15,000 points after I cancelled my dummy booking.

With my new points, I made two one-night bookings on June 6 and 8.

I noted the cancellation policy, which varies by hotel, in case I had to cancel. At the Holiday Inn Krakow, I just had to cancel by 4 PM the day of arrival.

I ended up very much enjoying the stay at the Holiday Inn Krakow, and I wrote about it in my Krakow, Poland Hotel Guide.

Booking two nights left me with 5,000 points in my Priority Club account, which set me up perfectly for the current list. I have just made five one-night bookings on this list after buying new points for 0.7 cents each because several of the hotels line up with my travel plans.

Recap

The new PointBreaks list is out from Priority Club. This is a list of hotels you can book for 5,000 points or $35 per night. The best way to take advantage of the list is to be active right now.

  1. Scour the list for hotels you may want to stay at. The list is organized by continent.
  2. Search for availability at those hotels for every possible night you might want to stay.
  3. Book now a series of one-night stays that cover the time periods when you may want to stay.
  4. Get the points you need for this by transferring in 5,000 Ultimate Rewards, then buying the rest for 0.7 cents.
  5. Note the cancellation deadline at each hotel. This varies.
  6. As your plans firm up, cancel the nights you don’t want before the deadline for a full refund of the points.
  7. Leave at least 5,000 points in your account to repeat this cycle on the next list.

I have booked a $153 hotel room for $35 using the techniques in this post. And there are much nicer, more expensive hotels on the list of PointBreaks hotels. There are Intercontinentals that go for over $400 per night that you can get for $35 per night using the technique outlined in this post. And with my advanced techniques for holding availability that you can later fit your needs, you can be a master at staying in great hotels around the world for $35.

Which hotel will you stay at for $35?

Follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

Best Practices for Maximizing the PointBreaks List for $35 a Night Hotels

There are several posts on yesterday’s new PointBreaks list. Even if you’ve read those, read this. I’ve honed my strategy for getting $35 per night rooms quite a bit, and I want to share it, so everyone can have access to the best practices.

This post will tell you how to book any hotel on the list of Priority Club’s PointBreaks hotels for only $35 per night, even the ones that ordinarily cost $400 or more per night. And I’ll explain how to give yourself maximum flexibility to pick the exact dates you want as the trip approaches.

Priority Club PointBreaks

Priority Club is the loyalty program for InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites. As we covered here, Priority Club recently devalued its award chart, so it now takes 10,000 to 50,000 points for a free night depending on the property. But every few months, Priority Club releases a list of a select few hotels where you can stay for 5,000 points per night. That’s a 90% discount on some hotels!

The new list of PointBreaks hotels is good for stays now through 3/31/13.

We can stay at any hotel on the PointBreaks list for $35 just by exploiting one loophole!

The basic premise is that Priority Club lets you buy 10,000 points for $70, which is 0.7 cents per point.

In this post, I’ll give my full strategy for taking advantage of the PointBreaks list. This strategy ensures I get all the $35 per night hotel stays I want with maximum availability of nights and maximum flexibility to change my plans. My strategy solves a number of problems.

Problem #1: Not every hotel is on the PointBreaks list.

Solution: There is no solution for this problem.

When a new list comes out, I check its end date then look at my Meet Up page to figure out where I’ll be between now and then that I might want a hotel. I also consider trips I haven’t planned, but have been mulling. And finally I look for the incredible properties that normally cost 50,000 miles to see if I want to take an impromptu trip.

I note all the hotels that I might want to stay at.

Problem #2: Not every night is available at hotels that are on the list–and what availability there is can disappear quickly.

Solution: Book award space now.

This leads to Problem #3.

Problem #3: I may want to change my plans later, but I may have to cancel the entire award to do that, costing me the chance at 5,000 point ($35) nights.

Solution: Book awards as a series of one-night stays.

If you think you want to stay at the InterContinental Fiji for five nights before March 31 during a two week period, but you’re not sure which five nights, book 14 one-night stays.

Booking 14 stays will take under 20 minutes, and you’ll have the flexibility later to cancel the nine you don’t want one at a time, leaving you the five consecutive nights you want. Then you can call the hotel to ask them to merge the five reservations or just show up and note to the front desk that all five are yours, and you don’t want to move rooms. They don’t want to move you either, since it increases their costs.

To book the 14 stays in this example, you would need 70,000 points, which leads to problem #5.

Problem #5: I don’t have any Priority Club points.

Solution: We can transfer in 5,000 Ultimate Rewards to have 5,000 Priority Club points. Once we have 5,000 Priority Club points, we can buy unlimited quantities for 0.7 cents each.

The first step if you don’t have 5,000 Priority Club points is to get them. Ultimate Rewards points transfer in at 1:1 ratio in about 14 hours in my experience. You can make the transfer at ultimaterewards.com by clicking the Priority Club Rewards link under the transfer points tab.

Then give your Priority Club account info and select the points to transfer in increments on 1,000.

You want to have 5,000 points after making the transfer. I feel bad moving Ultimate Rewards to Priority Club because Ultimate Rewards are worth almost three times as much as Priority Club points, but to be able to buy more Priority Club points for 0.7 cents, we need to have at least 5,000 Priority Club points.

The way to buy Priority Club points for 0.7 cents is to make a cash and points award booking then cancel it. Once you have a Priority Club account with 5,000 points, the next step is to book a 15,000 point award. Why? When booking a 15,000 point award, you are given the option to purchase the 10,000 point shortfall for $70, which is 0.7 cents per point. Here is such an award:

As you can see, this award costs 15,000 points or 5,000 and $70. Select 5,000 points and $70 and pay for the award. The confirmation screen makes it very clear that the $70 is going towards buying 10,000 points that would be immediately used to book the award.

After booking, immediately cancel the reservation online by following a link from the booking confirmation page. That brings you to this screen:

As you can see, my reservation has been cancelled. As you can also see in the top right, the points immediately credit back to my account. My account now has 15,000 points, 5,000 that I transferred from Ultimate Rewards and 10,000 that I just bought for $70 while making a dummy booking.

If you need more points–say you want to make 14 speculative one-night bookings–then you repeat this step. For instance, I recently increased my account balance from 5,000 to 45,000 in two dummy bookings. I just showed the first. In the second, I selected the same hotel on a three-night cash and points booking. That booking cost 15,000 points (my new balance) plus $210 to buy the other 30,000 points needed. Then I cancelled that booking, and I had 45,000 points from a 5,000 Ultimate Rewards transfer and $280 in cash.

If $280 sounds like a lot of cash, don’t forget that my 45,000 points is enough for nine nights in a hotel.

Caveats

You have to have 5,000 points in your account to buy points for 0.7 cents each. Buying points is a much better deal than transferring in your Ultimate Rewards that are worth way more than 0.7 cents each, but you may have to transfer in 5,000 Ultimate Rewards to start the point-buying madness.

Not all hotels are on the PointBreaks list. Not all nights are available as 5,000 point award nights at the hotels that are on the list. Check availability before buying points.

Make sure your account has 5,000 more points than you need for your speculative bookings. You always want a balance of 5,000 points at the end for your next round of buying points. It would be a shame to have to make another Ultimate Rewards transfer.

Example from Summer 2012

I scoured that summer’s PointBreaks list to see if any of my travel plans coincided with any of the hotels, and they did in one case: I would be in Krakow, Poland and the Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre was on the list.

I was in Krakow June 6 – 9, and I didn’t have a hotel booked. While the Krakow Holiday Inn was hardly the nicest property on the PointBreaks list, its cheapest room June 6 was 531 Polish Zloty, which was $153.

The first thing I did was search availability, and I found space June 6 and 8, but not June 7. I decided to book June 6 and 8, so I needed 10,000 Priority Club points.

I had zero Priority Club points in my account, so I transferred in 5,000 points from Ultimate Rewards. I bought 10,000 more points for $70 exactly how I outlined above leaving me with 15,000 points after I cancelled my dummy booking.

With my new points, I made two one-night bookings on June 6 and 8.

I noted the cancellation policy, which varies by hotel, in case I had to cancel. At the Holiday Inn Krakow, I just had to cancel by 4 PM the day of arrival.

I ended up very much enjoying the stay at the Holiday Inn Krakow, and I wrote about it in my Krakow, Poland Hotel Guide.

Booking two nights left me with 5,000 points in my Priority Club account, which set me up perfectly for the current list. I have just made five one-night bookings on this list after buying new points for 0.7 cents each because several of the hotels line up with my travel plans.

Recap

The new PointBreaks list is out from Priority Club. This is a list of hotels you can book for 5,000 points or $35 per night. The best way to take advantage of the list is to be active right now.

  1. Scour the list for hotels you may want to stay at. The list is organized by continent.
  2. Search for availability at those hotels for every possible night you might want to stay.
  3. Book now a series of one-night stays that cover the time periods when you may want to stay.
  4. Get the points you need for this by transferring in 5,000 Ultimate Rewards, then buying the rest for 0.7 cents.
  5. Note the cancellation deadline at each hotel. This varies.
  6. As your plans firm up, cancel the nights you don’t want before the deadline for a full refund of the points.
  7. Leave at least 5,000 points in your account to repeat this cycle on the next list.

I have booked a $153 hotel room for $35 using the techniques in this post. And there are much nicer, more expensive hotels on the list of PointBreaks hotels. There are Intercontinentals that go for over $400 per night that you can get for $35 per night using the technique outlined in this post. And with my advanced techniques for holding availability that you can later fit your needs, you can be a master at staying in great hotels around the world for $35.

Which hotel will you stay at for $35?

Follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Grab dinner with me in Tampa or Baltimore. (The LA dinner last weekend was a blast–thanks to everyone who came out.)

Priority Club Big Award Chart Devaluation

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, the Priority Club hotel group will be changing their award chart to mirror other hotel loyalty programs. Read on to see why this change isn’t good news for frequent guests.

What does the new chart look like?

I have attached a screen shot of the new award chart below.

Priority Club has decided to split their hotels into nine categories. In comparison, Hyatt has six hotel categories. Starwood and Hilton have seven. Marriott was the previous high with eight tiers, but Priority Club now holds that ignominious crown.

When do these changes go into affect?

According to Priority Club’s website, the new award chart will go into effect starting January 18. They are offering a grace period, though. If the number of points it would take to book your award night increases, you can call Priority Club directly through March 18 and ask for the original point price. Note that that this can’t be done online. You will have to call their customer service line to receive the old price.

What did the old award chart look like?

Priority Club differed from other hotel programs in that each chain had a specific redemption price. For example, Candlewood Suites, no matter the city or room rate, could be booked for either 25,000 or 35,000 points. The “old” chart can be seen below:

Loyalty programs like Starwood Preferred Guest adjust their award charts based on demand and prevailing room rates. For example, a Sheraton award night would cost more points in a city like London that is notorious for high room rates. The Sheraton brand doesn’t have a fixed point price like Priority Club’s old chart.

How can I see which hotels will be increasing or decreasing in price?

You can’t, unfortunately. You will have to check property by property to see whether a hotel was negatively or positively affected starting on January 18.

What does Priority Club’s change mean for travelers?

An end to sweet spot hotel redemptions, to a certain extent. Under the old award chart, you could book a room at the Holiday Inn Express-Times Square or Staybridge Suites in New York for 25,000 points. Room rates in New York are sky-high, especially during the holidays, but those properties represented a great value in terms of points per dollar and location in the city.

I have a sinking feeling that properties such as this (and even the Hotel Indigo in Chelsea) will now require more points for an award night. After January 18, I will report back and see if my suspicions were confirmed.

When the news broke of this change, my first thought was actually to Miami. One of my favorite hotels is the Z Ocean Hotel in South Beach. The property has a loose association as a Crowne Plaza, but I love it for its location, spacious suite-like rooms, and atmosphere.

I had booked the hotel several times in the past for 35,000 points/night because it was labeled as a Crowne Plaza by Priority Club. Now I fear that it will become a 45,000-50,000/night hotel, especially because I routinely see room rates at the Z Ocean fluctuate between $400-$600 during peak travel times. Again, I will wait and see, but I’m certainly not expecting it to remain at the current redemption level.

With nine award categories to play with, Priority Club can now meticulously tweak each property to match with demand and prevailing room rates in the area.

Has Priority Club made any other negative changes to the program recently?

Actually, yes! This new award chart is actually one year removed from another award chart adjustment. Like I discussed above, Priority Club assigned a point value to each brand in its portfolio, though it was fixed.

Last January Priority Club announced point redemptions would vary within each brand. For example, Hotel Indigo properties were always 25,000 points. Under the 2012 change, they could be 25k-35k depending on the day or city.

For a complete discussion of Priority Club’s 2012 award chart devaluation, check out the FlyerTalk discussion here.

Are PointBreaks still intact?

Yes, but the lists of participating hotels appear to be shortening each year.

PointBreaks hotels can be booked for 5,000 points, which can represent a huge savings. Some Intercontinental properties normally cost 50,000 points per night, so 5,000 is a 90% discount.

Priority Club typically announces new lists after their old lists expire and gives a booking deadline. If you are flexible with your dates or a hotel on the list coincides with your travel plans, there are some great deals to be had.

Make sure to check out Scott’s great post on How to Book Any PointsBreak Hotel for $35/night.

Can Scott’s method be applied to normal award night bookings?

Yes. This little workaround has been discussed quite a bit throughout the points-collecting community, so I won’t rehash too much. If you use this trick for a standard award night with the new chart, you will pay the following amounts:

  • Category 1          $70
  • Category 2          $105
  • Category 3          $140
  • Category 4          $175
  • Category 5          $210
  • Category 6          $245
  • Category 7          $280
  • Category 8          $315
  • Category 9          $350
I had a weekend stay at the Intercontinental-Times Square in December. I used 50,000 points for one night and the other was my award night certificate for paying the $49 annual fee on my Chase Priority Club Visa. When I booked my stay, room rates in the city were all $500+. Paying $350 for a night certainly isn’t palatable, but in certain situations, it could make sense.

Recap

Priority Club has made a drastic change to their award chart. The chart is no longer sorted by brand. Each individual property will be sorted into one of nine categories.

This change brings Priority Club’s chart in line with the other major hotel chains, but it’s probably not good news for travelers. The old chart allowed for sweet spots in certain cities with traditionally high room rates.

Hotel point valuations are still in the works, but Priority Club points have an easy ceiling with Scott’s trick highlighted above. They can be freely bought at .7 cents and should be valued no higher than that rate.

PointBreak List Announced & Discount Delta Club Passes

Priority Club PointBreaks List Announced

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Priority Club has announced their new PointBreaks list of hotels that can be booked through January 31st. This is huge news because PointBreaks hotels can be booked for $35: How to Book Any PointBreaks Hotel for $35/night.

PointBreaks hotels can be booked for 5,000 points, which can represent a huge savings. Some Intercontinental properties normally cost 50,000 points per night, so 5,000 is a 90% discount. If you are flexible with your dates or a hotel on the list coincides with your travel plans, there are some great deals to be had.

The list, found here, usually contains some hidden gems, but seems a bit sparse this time around. There are no African properties, no Australian properties, and only a few in Central and South America as of the time of this writing. Still, the opportunity to book a hotel room for a mere 5,000 points represents a great value.

Scott wrote up a great tutorial on PointBreaks hotels and how to book them cheaply. For more information, check out his post, How to Book Any PointBreaks Hotel for $35/night.

Delta Selling Discount One Day Sky Club Passes

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Delta is now offering 4 SkyClub passes for $99. Purchases can be made through December 31st, but they must be made in person. The normal purchase price for four SkyClub passes is $200, so this deal represents over 50% savings.

Why is Sky Club access so valuable?

As I’ve written before, airline clubs in general can be a haven for frequent flyers. They typically offer snacks throughout the day as well as complimentary beer, wine, and mixed drinks. Delta Sky Clubs also provide complimentary wi-fi which is typically faster (and more secure) than internet access in the main terminal.

Also, membership can pay for itself when you are stuck at an airport in bad weather or your flight experiences delays or cancellations. While most people rush the ticket counter and inundate the gate agents, you have the ability to get personalized assistance from the agents inside Sky Clubs instead. Lines are usually shorter, and they might be able to reroute you on options you didn’t consider.

Can I buy the four passes for $99 online?

No. This appears to be an in-person promotion by Delta. You will have to visit a SkyClub location to purchase the passes. If the SkyClub is located airside, you will need to clear security before being allowed to enter. Keep this in mind if you don’t have travel plans at the airport you plan to make the purchase.

Are these passes eligible for one visit or one day?

A blog post on FlyerTalk points out that these are one day passes, not to be confused with one visit passes. If you are traveling Los Angeles to New Orleans connecting in Memphis, you will be able to use a pass to visit the Sky Club in both Los Angeles and Memphis, provided all travel takes place on the same day.

Delta has sold one visit passes via Groupon before. In the case of the sample itinerary above, you would need two one-visit passes to visit both the Sky Club in Los Angeles and Memphis. One visit passes have much less value to travelers, especially those with a lengthy itinerary or multiple stops in Delta hubs.

Has Delta promoted this offer in the past?

They have, but the deal was better. Last year, Delta actually sold five one-day passes for $99, so this year’s promotion is actually a bit worse.

Besides this deal, what are the best ways to gain access to Delta SkyClubs?

American Express Delta Gold and Platinum card members actually receive access to Sky Clubs for $25. Per the terms and conditions listed here, card members must pay with their Delta credit card. The $25 charge is for one visit and not one day. If you flew to another city with a Sky Club, you would need to pay an additional $25 to gain access.

Scott and I have written extensively about the American Express Platinum card, which provides lounge access with Delta, American Airlines, and US Airways. Note that to gain access to Delta or American lounges, you must be flying those airlines the same day. US Airways lounges can be entered regardless of which airline you are holding a ticket. The Platinum card comes with a host of other benefits, including $200 credit on your preferred airline and a reimbursement for the $100 Global Entry fee, which drastically cuts down on immigration queues when returning to the United States. For more reading, make sure to check out our posts below on the Platinum Card:

Best Credit Card Offers by Absolute Value

Master Thread of Which Airline Gift Cards American Express Platinum Reimbursement

Elite Status Offers: for Delta Club Memberships

You can also sign up for an American Express Delta Reserve credit card which allows access to most Sky Clubs, even if you are flying another airline. The card has a steep $450 annual fee, but comes with 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM). These MQM can be a huge boost towards qualifying for coveted elite status, so the card could make sense for frequent Delta travelers.

Recap

The Priority Club PointBreaks list is out for bookings through January 31st. The best (nicer properties and those in more traveled cities) hotels are usually booked quickly, so act fast if you see a hotel on the list that matches your travel needs.

If you have flexible travel plans, PointBreaks hotels can represent a great value, especially if you take advantage of Scott’s trick on booking them.

Holiday travel is picking up steam which means more travelers and the higher likelihood of poor weather, mechanical issues, and cancelled flights. Delta’s end of the year special on Sky Club passes could be a boon, especially if you are traveling with family. The ability to escape the crowded terminals can be a real plus, especially if you need to rebook an itinerary after unexpected delays.