Anatomy of an Award: My First Trip To Florida’s Gulf Coast

I must admit, I’ve been to many countries throughout the world, but I’ve only been to Florida once in my life. So between the latest COVID-related travel restrictions that include testing before you can fly back to the U.S., and my need to escape the cold grey Midwest winter, I’ve decided that now is a good time to explore South Florida’s Gulf Coast. I was attracted by the wide, white sand beaches, mild February temperatures and opportunity to book some  very attractive properties with points.

The Hidden Value in Hotel Credit Cards: Annual Free Nights

We all love credit cards that earn transferable currencies such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the American Express® Gold Card.

But what about the co-branded airline or hotel credit cards - do they come with valuable incentives to keep the card in your wallet? Do the benefits justify their annual fees?

Hotels’ co-branded credit cards often come with good perks, such as elite status, extra points earning opportunities and free night certificates. And sometimes you can spend your way to a free night.

American Express Adds More Temporary Credits

Since the start of the pandemic, American Express has been quite proactive in adding non-travel benefits to its impressive lineup of credit cards. We’ve seen streaming services, shipping and dining credits, and more in 2020.

But for customers who still aren’t traveling much and aren’t taking advantage of all the travel-related benefits offered by the cards in their portfolio in 2021, Amex wants to make sure you still have a reason to use their products for your everyday spending.

Anatomy of an Award: My First (Hopefully) Post-COVID Trip to Hawaii

My last trip was February 2020. My wife and I returned home from an awesome week-long stay at Scrub Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands not knowing that it would be our last trip for a long time. We had tons of trips all over the world planned for 2020 that we would slowly begin cancelling one-by-one: 3 weeks in South Africa, a trip to Chile and Argentina, a few trips to Europe, and tons of domestic trips as well.

Like many of you, we’ve been pretty cooped up for the last year or so.

Stack These Marriott Promotions to Get Easy Status

With a new year comes new opportunities. There will always be the opportunity to earn new points, but today we want to share some new (and some soon to be gone) updates to the Marriott Bonvoy program.

Most of these changes relate to your ability to earn status. Marriott status can be worthwhile if you find yourself staying in Marriott properties often.

If you’re like me, Marriott elite status doesn’t start to be worth it until you’ve earned Platinum Elite. That’s when you’ll get free breakfast and are eligible for suite upgrades.

The Basics of Marriott Bonvoy

Today we continue our series on the types of credit card reward programs frequented by travelers. Here we'll have a good look at Marriott Bonvoy.

In case you're joining us for the first time, or missed a prior post in this series, please check out the index below:

Credit Card Reward Programs for Travelers: An IntroductionThe Basics of American Express Membership Rewards The Basics of Chase Ultimate RewardsThe Basics of Capital One Rewards The Basics of Marriott Bonvoy (this post)The Basics of Citi ThankYou Points

Marriott is one of the largest hotel chains in the world.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless 100k Offer Expires March 4

Update: This offer has changed to 75,000 bonus Marriott Rewards after spending $3,000 on your new card within three months. 

The Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card has a higher than usual sign up bonus right now: 100,000 Marriott Rewards for spending $5,000 within three months of opening the card. Before this limited time offer came out, the bonus was 75,000 Marriott points.

Whether or not you patron Marriott, this is a good card to pick up for its large bonus.

A Cost/Benefit Analysis for the Marriott Bonvoy Amex

In the spring of 2017 I opened a Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. At the beginning of this year, that card was product changed to the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card.

The Mariott Bonvoy Amex Card is not open for applications. Those that have one were all product changed from a Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card.

Last Day for United 60k & Marriott 100k Offers

Right now, the Chase United Explorer Card comes with 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in three months, and an additional 20,000 United miles after spending an additional $6,000 total in the first six months for a total of 60k bonus miles for $8k in spending with a six month timeline.

The Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card comes with 100,000 bonus Marriott Rewards for spending $5,000 within three months.

Both of these cards' elevated bonuses will drop as of May 16, 2019.

Walking Across America with Points

We've got a special treat for you today, MileValue readers! Meet Mike Hammari, who will be writing a series of guest posts about a cross-country trip he is currently in the middle of. Who needs miles when you've got feet? Those weary feet still need a decent place to rest. Mike is covering some of his hotel stays with points and is excited to have an audience listening that cares more about rewards than what brand of shoe he's wearing. Really though, Mike, tell us what shoes you chose...

Anything below in italics is a comment from me.