Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Dec 23

Holiday Musings

I’m preparing for some holiday travel, which is always fun but stressful. Fortunately, we have a non-stop flight, so there are few chances for things to go absolutely wrong.

On that happy note, here are a few things around the industry that I found interesting:

Status Match at Hilton

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One of the “downsides” to elite status is that, once you have it, it’s difficult to switch your loyalty. For instance, if you’ve spent years building up status at Marriott, you would have access to numerous benefits that a first-timer wouldn’t. If you decide you want to switch chains, however, you then become that first-timer.

So many companies created “status matches” or “status challenges,” in which they would grant you elite status for a certain period of time in their program at a level equivalent to what you currently had. You would either get the status outright or may have to give that brand a certain amount of business to keep it. Some companies will match any level, while others will exclude their top level, keeping it “special” for their customers (which I think is the right thing to do). Frankly, the hardest part about the status match has always been figuring out who to contact and what you had to do.

Hilton seems to have solved that problem. Now, you can request a match to Hilton just by filling out an online form. It will ask you for proof of status with your current plan and the number of your Hilton account. And that’s about it. You can submit your account statement directly through the online form, so it really couldn’t be easier. My match took about a day to show up.

This one has been floating around for a day or two but, best as I can figure out, was first found by Lucky at One Mile at a Time.

Holiday Lodging

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According to USA Today, a recent Hyatt survey indicated that 61% of people polled would rather stay somewhere other than with their relatives for the holidays. Reasons ranged from not having their own space (50%) to having to clean up after a drunken relative (4%).

In a second survey taken later, 39% of those polled indicated that they are occasionally untruthful when asked about their holiday stay preferences.

Starwood Statistics

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Every year, Starwood sends an infographic about the year in review. Thought you earned a lot of points last year? You probably didn’t do as well as the customer who earned over 30 million points in 2015, up from the top earner in 2014, who earned a measly 21 million. A customer who booked the maximum three rooms every day last year at $1,000 per room would have earned just under 8 million points, so I’m guessing that there was probably some pretty heavy credit card spend.

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A better bet for that person would have been the Bank Americard Travel Rewards Credit Card, since they likely would have been eligible for the 2.62% cash back rate.

If you’re looking to show up on the infograph next year, the most beatable numbers look like the 24 countries visited by a single member and the 73 different hotels that a member visited.

 

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