Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

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Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby mckayj93 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:59 pm

For those loyal to Wyndham, then have recently acquired LaQuinta and are offering a 1:1 match on points and status between the two rewards programs until they merge them next year. A lot of LQ properties are nicer than typical Wyndham fare and redeem free nights for much less points than the 15000 for Wyndham. There are 3 LQ properties in the area, 6k, 8k, 11k free nights at them. This might be useful info to some of you
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Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby anonymouscactus » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:52 pm

Choice Hotels are doing their 2 stays promo again. 8)

Stay two separate times between September 12 and November 9, and you can earn enough points to redeem for a future FREE night at more than 1,000 hotels worldwide.

Make sure you register beforehand.

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Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:27 am

Oh, I've registered.

Seriously guys... if you don't register for this you're insane. We've already booked our hotels for our next trip and it's loaded with unnecessary hotel hopping every night. :lol:

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Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:42 am

Capital One Venture and Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard are currently engaged in a dick waving contest that's pretty great for economy travelers (if you stick to legacy carriers, have status or want business or first class then you should probably stick to something like Chase Ultimate Rewards so ignore this unless you just want the bonus).

I signed up for the Barclaycard yesterday and they have a welcome bonus that's worth $700 (plus your spend so you'll be at $800 once you hit it and you get 5% back. Capital One has basically the same thing. Capital One's bonus is $50 more and they have a partnership with Hotels.com so if you book with them it's a no brainer as you'll earn 10x points (personally I don't care because I book through Choice).

The Barclaycard is also chip and pin which is why I went with that. The annual fee is also $6 less but both are very reasonable. It's also essentially 2.1% when redeemed for travel as opposed to 2% (hotels.com aside).

I've sort of gradated partially from the Choice card. My new travel strategy (aside from obviously hitting these signup bonuses) involves 4 cards

- Brit uses the Choice Privileges Visa card almost exclusively when we're not together. I never use it unless I'm paying for a Choice hotel.
- I use a Chase Sapphire card for travel and dining
- I use the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard for everything else (except Chase Freedom 5% categories)

So basically we never pay for hotels unless it's stay twice, get a free night or the redemption value is trash. The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite will get us all of our sh*tty Frontier flights for free and can sometimes be used for hotels too and the Chase Sapphire (and Freedom because we're about that life) just stockpile points for splurge trips.

I think we've finally hit the sweet spot of what works for us. The Barclaycard being a cash back on travel type of card that earns 2.1% on travel is awesome since (other than their own crap program) very few people let you transfer to Frontier. To be fair Citi Double Cash earns 2% with no annual fee but I wanted the signup bonus and chip and pin capability plus I have a good relationship with Barclays. Your mileage may vary.

PS: If you don't put 5k on a card in 3 months then obviously ignore this. Remember that you can always add an authorized user though.

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Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:43 am

Triple post but it's over the course of a few months so I guess it's okay (hopefully). I keep toying with the idea of letting this thread die of natural causes but then I always see random "wasn't there a thread about saving money on trips??" comment so I guess people actually read this sh*t. :lol:

I have a few hotel updates:

Wyndham

Wyndham is fixing it's rewards program. Here are the highlights:

- The issue that I always had with it was that every single redemption was 15,000 points per night. It should not cost the same amount of points to stay at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek or TRYP Times Square as a Super 8 in bumblef*cktucky, Iowa but it does. It obviously makes for some great value redemption but the earning rate on the credit card sucks and your points are basically unusable at most of their brands because redeeming for anything less than a great hotel is totally asinine. They've realized this and they're now going to start redemptions at 7,500 points for their lower end brands.

- La Quinta hotels will officially become a part of Wyndham Rewards on April 3. Free night redemptions will start as low as 7,500 points

Choice

- The best hotel promotion ever is back from 2/26 to 4/26. I've done a write-up about "Stay Twice Get a Free Night" before but the highlights are that you get enough points for a free night at many of their brands every 2 nights and you can do this an infinite number of times during this time period (so I guess it's technically not infinite but you know what I mean... smartasses). If you stay at a Choice Hotel for more than one night from 2/26 to 4/26 then you're insane. Hotel hop! Check ins and check outs of the same hotel on consecutive nights do not count. You need to switch hotels but doing this takes very little effort. I've never waited more than 2 minutes to check in at a Choice hotel.

Obviously you shouldn't use Choice points during this promotion. Personally we're putting the rooms on the Barclaycard that I mentioned in the last post (that offer is still alive by the way) and wiping the charge if it's over the $100 per night threshold or just putting it on the Choice Visa if it's not and taking the 5x bonus points. Either way, you paid for the room as far as Choice is concerned so you'll earn points.

Marriot / SPG

- SPG is gone and Marriot's rewards program has a new, hilariously asinine name... "Bonvoy". They basically devalued everything but they also upped the signup bonuses on their new credit cards. If you want to apply for the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business or the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless you should probably do it now as they upped the bonuses when they launched the program. I got the old SPG card to lock in the old annual fee for a few years but they're not terrible deals if you just want to collect the bonus and cancel in a year or two. Alternately you could actually keep a few of them as the value of the credits outweigh the annual fees if you can use them. I don't recommend spending on them once you his the bonus though except if you're making purchases at Marriot hotels, the earn rate isn't that great.

I'm not going to try too hard to sell anyone on these but they're a thing if you care and the bonuses are admittedly huge. :lol:

Anyway... that's all I've got for now. I'll send this thread back into hibernation. So are you "Bonvoy Brilliant" or "Bonvoy Boundless"??? :lol: :lmao: :lol: :lmao:
Last edited by coasterbill on Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:05 am.

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Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby bert425 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:38 am

I got the email about Marriott changing their rewards program to "Bonvoy". . I just tossed it in my virtual trash.

I too, thought the name was idiotic. . maybe if Marriott was a Cruise Line?

I'm a rewards member, but really only use it when I go visit my Dad to stay in the Springhill Suites near his house (as that one uses so few rewards points, it's always a "free" room - and we don't have to actually stay with him.

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Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:22 am

Just a quick note for anyone with pretty much any Amex card (it doesn't have to be a Marriot card):

There's an Amex offer going around that seems to be showing up for the vast majority of people where you get $40 back after spending $200 at Marriot. If you have a Marriot Amex I believe that this is in addition to the Marriot points that you would already be earning so for spending $200 you would get $40 back and then another $24(ish) dollars worth of points.

If you're going to be staying at a Marriot hotel (they own TONS of hotel brands) check for this offer and add it.

This is how you check your Amex offers if you're wondering.

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Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:56 pm

I just want to say I finally started going through Choice Rewards rather than Hotels.com and you sure do rack up points quickly!

Hotels.com still has its spot for non-brand hotels and Motel 6 (like they have a rewards program :lol: ).
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Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby jlp94 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:37 pm

^ Hotels.com is my personal selection for booking hotels as well. Expedia is top for airlines in my opinion (unless you want to pay with points) and Alamo for car rental as well.
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Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby Jew » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:36 pm

Canobie Coaster wrote:I just want to say I finally started going through Choice Rewards rather than Hotels.com and you sure do rack up points quickly!

Hotels.com still has its spot for non-brand hotels and Motel 6 (like they have a rewards program :lol: ).


If you have a Capital One Venture card, Hotels.com gets you 10x points.

Signed up for the 50,000 point bonus to make my flight to Japan either free or real cheap if I splurge on Economy+

The 10x points from hotels.com is basically 10% back with how capital one values points for travel purchases.
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