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Helping ordinary frequent fliers achieve extraordinary travel goals through air miles and points.

IHG PointBreaks July 28 - September 30, 2014

The IHG Rewards PointBreaks list for stays valid from July 28 - September 30, 2014 was released yesterday.  For 5,000 IHG Rewards points per night you can get a free night at some great IHG properties.

Here are some photos of some of the best properties on this PointBreaks list.  If you find yourself in Central America in the next few months, I would pay close attention!  (See the full list below).

Intercontinental Bucharest

Intercontinental Bucharest

Intercontinental Cali Columbia

Intercontinental Cali Columbia

Intercontinental Miramar Panama

Intercontinental Miramar Panama

Intercontinental Real Guatemala

Intercontinental Real Guatemala


North American PointBreaks Hotels

ALABAMA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GADSDEN W-NEAR ATTALLA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS PELHAM - OAK MTN PK AREA

ARKANSAS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES BENTONVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MOUNTAIN HOME

ARIZONA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES YUMA

CALIFORNIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES EL CENTRO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SAN DIEGO-LA MESA (SDSU AREA)
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES LINCOLN-ROSEVILLE AREA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SACRAMENTO
NE CAL EXPO


CONNECTICUT
HOLIDAY INN DANBURY-BETHEL @ I-84

DELAWARE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES HARRINGTON (DOVER AREA)

FLORIDA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS NICEVILLE-EGLIN AFB
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES PALM COAST

GEORGIA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES AUGUSTA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ATLANTA-CONYERS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MILLEDGEVILLE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES SAVANNAH AIRPORT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES THOMASVILLE

IOWA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CLINTON

ILLINOIS
HOLIDAY INN CHICAGO NW CRYSTAL LK CONV CTR
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CHICAGO-DOWNERS GROVE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS ROCHELLE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES ROCKFORD

INDIANA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES BEDFORD
STAYBRIDGE SUITES ELKHART NORTH
STAYBRIDGE SUITES FORT WAYNE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES BLOOMINGTON N-MARTINSVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES TELL CITY

KANSAS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ABILENE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GARDEN CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS JUNCTION CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES LANSING-LEAVENWORTH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES LAWRENCE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES PITTSBURG

KENTUCKY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HENDERSON N EVANSVILLE SOUTH
HOLIDAY INN LOUISVILLE AIRPORT SOUTH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES PIKEVILLE

LOUISIANA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SULPHUR (LAKE CHARLES)

MARYLAND
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS POCOMOKE CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS PRINCE FREDERICK

MICHIGAN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES BAD AXE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CHARLOTTE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS GAYLORD
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ROSEVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SOUTH HAVEN
CANDLEWOOD SUITES DETROIT-SOUTHFIELD
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES THREE RIVERS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS WIXOM

MINNESOTA
HOLIDAY INN FAIRMONT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES WORTHINGTON

MISSOURI
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES FARMINGTON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES INDEPENDENCE-KANSAS CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS JEFFERSON CITY
CANDLEWOOD SUITES KANSAS CITY AIRPORT

MISSISSIPPI
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MAGEE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS MCCOMB
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES VICKSBURG
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS WEST POINT

NORTH CAROLINA
HOTEL INDIGO RALEIGH DURHAM AIRPORT AT RTP
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CLAYTON (SE RALEIGH)
CANDLEWOOD SUITES GREENVILLE NC
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES STATESVILLE

NORTH DAKOTA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES DICKINSON

NEBRASKA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS ALLIANCE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS OGALLALA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES OMAHA 80TH AND DODGE

NEW JERSEY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS WOODBRIDGE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MEADOWLANDS AREA
HOLIDAY INN CLINTON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES TOWER CENTER NEW BRUNSWICK

NEW MEXICO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ALBUQUERQUE-N. BALLOON FSTA PK
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GRANTS - MILAN
STAYBRIDGE SUITES LAS CRUCES
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES LAS VEGAS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SILVER CITY

NEW YORK
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES EAST GREENBUSH (ALBANY-SKYLINE)
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS ROCHESTER
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES WEST COXSACKIE

OHIO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES DAYTON-CENTERVILLE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES COLUMBUS-DUBLIN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS LONDON-I-70
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS OAKWOOD VILLAGE

OKLAHOMA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ADA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ENID-HWY 412
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MUSKOGEE

OREGON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS GRANTS PASS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS PORTLAND WEST/HILLSBORO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES KLAMATH FALLS CENTRAL

PENNSYLVANIA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES ALLENTOWN WEST
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS MEADVILLE (I-79 EXIT 147A)
CROWNE PLAZA READING

RHODE ISLAND
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES PROVIDENCE-WOONSOCKET

SOUTH CAROLINA
CROWNE PLAZA GREENVILLE-I-385-ROPER MTN RD
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES LEXINGTON-HWY 378

SOUTH DAKOTA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES VERMILLION
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES WATERTOWN

TENNESSEE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES COOKEVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CHATTANOOGA-HIXSON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS KNOXVILLE-STRAWBERRY PLAINS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES LENOIR CITY (KNOXVILLE AREA)

TEXAS
HOLIDAY INN HOUSTON EAST-CHANNELVIEW
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES FALFURRIAS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES KILGORE NORTH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES UVALDE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES WHARTON

UTAH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES LOGAN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES VERNAL - DINOSAURLAND

VIRGINIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CHRISTIANSBURG
CANDLEWOOD SUITES WASHINGTON-FAIRFAX HOLIDAY INN NORTON

WISCONSIN
HOLIDAY INN CONFERENCE CTR MARSHFIELD
HOLIDAY INN NEENAH
STAYBRIDGE SUITES MILWAUKEE WEST-OCONOMOWOC
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES OSHKOSH-SR 41

WYOMING
HOLIDAY INN RIVERTON-CONVENTION CENTER

Europe PointBreaks Hotels

FINLAND
HOLIDAY INN TAMPERE

FRANCE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AMIENS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS GRENOBLE - BERNIN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS LILLE CENTRE

GERMANY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS FRANKFURT - MESSE

ROMANIA
INTERCONTINENTAL BUCHAREST

SLOVAKIA
CROWNE PLAZA BRATISLAVA

SPAIN
HOLIDAY INN VALENCIA

TURKEY
CROWNE PLAZA ANTALYA
CROWNE PLAZA ISTANBUL - HARBIYE

UNITED KINGDOM
HOLIDAY INN BRENTWOOD M25, JCT.28
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BURTON UPON TRENT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CAMBRIDGE-DUXFORD M11, JCT.10
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS NEWCASTLE - METRO CENTRE
HOLIDAY INN NORTHAMPTON
HOLIDAY INN PRESTON
HOLIDAY INN SLOUGH - WINDSOR
HOLIDAY INN WOKING

Asia PointBreaks Hotels

INDIA
HOLIDAY INN PUNE HINJEWADI
INDONESIA
HOLIDAY INN RESORT BATAM

JAPAN
CROWNE PLAZA - ANA KANAZAWA

CHINA-PEOPLES REPUBLIC
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CHANGSHU
HOLIDAY INN JIUZHAI JARPO
CROWNE PLAZA XIANGYANG
CROWNE PLAZA ZHONGSHAN XIAOLAN
CROWNE PLAZA ZHONGSHAN WING ON CITY

Middle East & Africa PointBreaks Hotels

EGYPT
CROWNE PLAZA RESORT SAHARA SANDS PORT GHALIB RESOR

KUWAIT
HOLIDAY INN KUWAIT - DOWNTOWN

SAUDI ARABIA
HOLIDAY INN YANBU

SOUTH AFRICA
HOLIDAY INN JOHANNESBURG - ROSEBANK

ZIMBABWE
HOLIDAY INN HARARE

Central & South America PointBreaks Hotels

ARGENTINA
HOLIDAY INN CORDOBA

BRAZIL
CROWNE PLAZA BELEM
HOLIDAY INN MANAUS

COLOMBIA
INTERCONTINENTAL CALI

COSTA RICA
INTERCONTINENTAL COSTA RICA AT MULTIPLAZA MALL

GUATEMALA
INTERCONTINENTAL REAL GUATEMALA

HONDURAS
CROWNE PLAZA SAN PEDRO SULA

PANAMA
INTERCONTINENTAL MIRAMAR PANAMA

Mexico PointBreaks Hotels

MEXICO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CD. DEL CARMEN
CROWNE PLAZA TOLUCA-LANCASTER
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES TOLUCA ZONA AEROPUERTO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS GUADALAJARA AUTONOMA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS VILLAHERMOSA TABASCO 2000
CROWNE PLAZA NUEVO LAREDO
CROWNE PLAZA TUXPAN
HOLIDAY INN VERACRUZ CENTRO HISTORICO

Canada PointBreaks Hotels

ALBERTA
HOLIDAY INN HINTON
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES LLOYDMINSTER

BRITISH COLUMBIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES LANGLEY

ONTARIO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES BARRIE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES TORONTO MISSISSAUGA
HOTEL INDIGO TORONTO AIRPORT


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In Depth Guide: Chase Ultimate Rewards - Southwest Rapid Rewards

Welcome to the In Depth Guide: Chase Ultimate Rewards Series.  Over this series of posts, you will get acquainted with Chase UR credit cards, the program, the transfer partners and everything else related to Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Chase UR Earning Credit Cards
Part 3: Racking Up Bonus Points
Part 4: Ultimate Rewards Mall
Part 5: Value of Chase UR Points
Part 6: Amtrak Guest Rewards
Part 7: British Airways Avios
Part 8: Hyatt Gold Passport
Part 9: IHG Rewards Club
Part 10: Korean Air SkyPASS
Part 11: Marriott Rewards
Part 12: Ritz-Carlton Rewards
Part 13: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Part 14: Singapore Airlines
Part 15: United MileagePlus
Part 16: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Part 17: Conclusions

Southwest Rapid Rewards Program Overview

Southwest Airlines doesn't have an award chart for their Rapid Rewards program.  They simply allow you to redeem Rapid Rewards points for free travel at a set rate.  The rates vary a little bit based on connections and travel schedules.

You can score insane value out of these points if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, which allows a companion to fly free on revenue or award tickets.

Let's review some examples.

Example #1 - Portland, OR to Tampa, FL (12/2 - 12/5)

The cheapest flight to Tampa would be $341 or 20,772 points, a valuation of $.0164/point.

The cheapest return flight to Portland would be $186 or 10,679 points, a valuation of $.0174/point.

Overall, the valuation for these flights is pretty great.  If you were to add a companion using the Southwest Companion Pass, the value increases big time.

Total cost = $341 + $186 = $527 x 2 = $1,054
Total points = 20,772 + 10,679 = 31,451

Valuation with Companion Pass = $1,054 / 31,451 = $.0335/point OUT-STANDING!!!!

Example #2 - Baltimore, MD to Aruba (11/28 - 12/2)

southwest-international-flights

Southwest now flies to select destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico.  Included in those destinations is Aruba.  A long-weekend trip to Aruba would set you back $497 or 26,740 points.

Valuation = $497 / 26,740 points = $.0186/point

Valuation with Companion Pass = $497 x 2 = $994 / 26,740 points = $.03717/point

Once again, the valuation without the Companion Pass is pretty great.  But throw a companion in the mix and the valuations are through the roof!

Conclusions

I have a new found love affair with Southwest Airlines.  I love the boarding process and adventure of finding the right seat.  Everyone appears to be friendly, and I love the free TV courtesy of Dish Network.  For me, it's a no brainer to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest.  Throw on top the fact that I have a Companion Pass and I can squeeze some serious value out of the Rapid Rewards transfer program.


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70,000 Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Offer

Chase recently announced an increased signup bonus for their Marriott Rewards Premier Visa of 70,000 points plus a free night!

In order to qualify for the 70,000 point signup bonus, you must spend $2,000 within 3 months of opening your account.  In addition to the 70,000 Marriott points, you will get a one-night free stay in a Category 1-4 property.

The normal signup bonus for this credit card is 50,000 points, so an extra 20,000 is pretty good.

Other Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Benefits

  • 5x points at Marriott properties
  • 2x points for airline tickets, car rentals and restaurants
  • 1x points everywhere else
  • $0 annual fee, then $85 thereafter
  • 15 credits towards elite status annually
  • 1 credit toward elite status for every $3,000 spent
  • No foreign transaction fees

Anniversary Free Night Stay

If the above benefits weren't enough for you, you will get a free night annually at a Category 1-5 property.  In other words, you can stay at a Category 1-5 property for paying the $85 annual fee.  This benefit alone is worth keeping the credit card account open for years to come.

Some of my favorite hotel credit cards come with an annual free night as long as you pay the annual fee.

Use your Category 1-5 night at the Manhattan Beach, CA Residence Inn where night rates start at $219

Use your Category 1-5 night at the Manhattan Beach, CA Residence Inn where night rates start at $219

Where Can You Stay With The Signup Bonus?

According to the Marriott award chart, you can get a free night for 7,500 points in a Category 1 property up to 45,000 points in a Category 9 property.  Free nights at the Ritz Carlton properties set you back either 30,000 points for a Tier 1 property or 70,000 points for a Tier 5 property.

With the 70,000 point signup bonus you can get at least 1 free night in the best Ritz Carlton properties in the world.

Use 70,000 Points for a night at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

Use 70,000 Points for a night at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

Use your Category 1-4 night at the Residence Inn Cherry Creek, CO - Night rates from $189

Use your Category 1-4 night at the Residence Inn Cherry Creek, CO - Night rates from $189

Conclusions

This offer isn't going to be around for long, so if you're debating on the Marriott credit card, this is a great offer!  This also isn't a credit card that I would use for every day spending.  You can get better points out of other Chase credit cards.  However, if you're a frequent Marriott guest, this is the credit card for you.

Overall, this is a stellar signup bonus and one worth considering.


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In Depth Guide: Chase Ultimate Rewards - Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Welcome to the In Depth Guide: Chase Ultimate Rewards Series.  Over this series of posts, you will get acquainted with Chase UR credit cards, the program, the transfer partners and everything else related to Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Chase UR Earning Credit Cards
Part 3: Racking Up Bonus Points
Part 4: Ultimate Rewards Mall
Part 5: Value of Chase UR Points
Part 6: Amtrak Guest Rewards
Part 7: British Airways Avios
Part 8: Hyatt Gold Passport
Part 9: IHG Rewards Club
Part 10: Korean Air SkyPASS
Part 11: Marriott Rewards
Part 12: Ritz-Carlton Rewards
Part 13: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Part 14: Singapore Airlines
Part 15: United MileagePlus
Part 16: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Part 17: Conclusions

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Program Overview

The Ritz-Carlton points earning structure essentially piggybacks Marriott Rewards in that you earn 10 points per dollar spent at most properties, and 5 points per dollar spent at lower service properties.

Like Marriott Rewards, you can capitalize on PointSavers rewards (discounted hotel nights).

Ritz-Carlton Award Chart

Let's take a look at some examples...

Example #1 - New York, Central Park - April 3, 2015

A one-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park on April 3, 2015 would cost $895 or 70,000 points.  (This is a Tier 5 property, Ritz-Carlton's most elite).

Valuation = $895 / 70,000 points = $.01278/point

70,000 points is a lot of points, and a $.01278/point valuation is not that great.

Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

Example #2 - San Francisco, CA - December 31, 2014

I wanted to see what a night would be for New Year's Eve so I priced out San Francisco's Ritz-Carlton.

Total cost for one-night = $499
Total points required for a free night = 60,000

Valuation = $499 / 60,000 points = $.00831

OUCH - Back to less than $.01/point in valuation.  That makes this example a bad one in my books.

San Francisco Ritz-Carlton

San Francisco Ritz-Carlton

Example #3 - Ritz-Carlton, Dubai January 16, 2015

A night at the world famous Ritz-Carlton, Dubai will cost you $953/night or 70,000 points.

Valuation = $953 / 70,000 points = $.01361/point

Even though you save $953, it would cost you 70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points converted to Ritz-Carlton Rewards to be able to get that free night.  To me, that's questionable value.

Ritz-Carlton Dubai

Ritz-Carlton Dubai

Conclusions

Much like I concluded with Marriott Rewards, it simply costs too many points to get a free night at a Ritz-Carlton property.  There will definitely be scenarios in which you can squeeze great value out of these points, but I'd rather redeem my points with Hyatt at a significantly lower rate.


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