Daily Getaways Valuation

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 4.37.51 PMThe US Travel Association is once again running its Daily Getaways promotion.  Beginning March 23 there will be a different offer for a limited time each day.  An interesting change this: there is NO added discount for using an Amex card.  You can find discounts on rental cars, hotels, and theme parks.  Only the first three weeks’ offers have been posted as of this post.

Likely the most popular offers will be for the hotel stays that, for the most part, come in the form of loyalty points.  Below I have created a grid that shows the cost per point for each of the hotel point offers.

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Hyatt Diamond Challenge 2015

 

Hyatt Diamond Challenge 2015

Note: As of June 1, 2015, the Hyatt Diamond Challenge 2015 has been updated.  Diamond status is now good through February 2017.  Reports are also in that you can directly contact Hyatt Gold Passport at 1-800-228-3360 to enroll in the Elite Tier Offer.  Read more here.

I first signed up for Hyatt Gold Passport last summer after I learned about their relationship with Mlife.  Since I was a Gold Mlife member I received Platinum status with Hyatt’s loyalty program.  I had signed up for hotel loyalty programs before, but with the purpose of earning miles on Alaska Airlines for my stays.  In 9 months I have accrued 20,000 points with HGP through my stays at Mlife hotels in Vegas and Hyatt hotels.

The benefits of Platinum HGP status are minimal; it was devalued even more last month when all guests were given free wifi.  Reports over at Flyer Talk have some people being offered a Hyatt Diamond Challenge (also known as the Hyatt Gold Passport Elite Tier offer) with 12 nights in 60 days.  Some said the offer was targeted only to those with a high number of stays in 2014 while others said they were able to enroll in the challenge by contacting the property of their upcoming stay.

I have four booked reservations between now and June so I emailed the two properties that had an email posted on their website.

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Aria Las Vegas – Hotel Review

aria las vegasThis past weekend I spent three nights at Aria Las Vegas, one of the Vegas mega properties located in MGM’s CityCenter.  Other hotels that share the CityCenter location are Vdara and Mandarin Oriental… as well as what is left of the Harmon (it is getting smaller each day as they demolish it).  Aria, with 4,004 rooms, opened in December 2009 and is considered MGM’s top property alongside Bellagio.

I have stayed at the Aria five or six times, it is my go-to hotel in Vegas.  Good location, luxury, and a great spa.  I received a deal through Mlife that got me a rate of ~$200* for Saturday night and ~$130* for Sunday and Monday nights (*I include the mandatory $32 resort fee in this price).  The deal also came with an included $200 resort credit that I could use at onsite restaurants, spa, or show.

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The dishonest resort fee

I believe the most deceptive practice in the travel industry is the resort fee.  It is the complete antithesis to hospitality.  It is a made up revenue stream that serves NO purpose except to increase profits.  There is ZERO benefit to the hotel guest.  At least with an airline baggage fee you have the choice and get a benefit of not having to schlep around your bag.  Or with the prepaid fuel charge you don’t have to worry about filling up your tank before returning your rental car.  But resort fees serve no benefit to the customer.

Note: Resort fee does NOT cover slippers. Sorry.
Note: Resort fee does NOT cover slippers. Sorry.

This weekend I stayed at the Aria in Las Vegas.  Overall it is a great property and one that I’ve stayed at at least five times.  The daily resort fee is $32.48; which is a significant amount.  For my visit this ended up being an extra $100, or the price of one night.  I basically stayed three nights for the price of four.  On the Aria website it lists the amenities included with the resort fee:

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M life Explained – Las Vegas

Welcome to SingleFlyer.com!  Your source for news about Las Vegas and other relevant travel info.  Be sure to subscribe to my email updates and follow me on Twitter.   In Vegas, there are two major players in the casino world: MGM Resorts (or M life) and Caesars Entertainment.  There are some smaller ones as well … Read more

Mlife Hyatt status match

mLife Platinum Players Card
mLife Platinum Players Card

Using the Mlife Hyatt status match is a great way to immediately gain status with two great loyalty programs.

I am still relatively new to the loyalty game.  However, one of the best deals I have found so far is with Mlife, the Las Vegas loyalty club for the MGM Mirage properties.

Mlife has a partnership with a number of companies outside of Las Vegas, including Hyatt.  If you are an Mlife member (and you should be if you have been to Vegas even once), you can status match with Hyatt’s Gold Passport program.  This means not only can you earn points for Hyatt when you stay in Vegas (5 Hyatt Gold points for every $1 you spend at an Mlife resort), but you can also get the perks of a higher tier status with Hyatt, assuming you have spent some money in Vegas.  Likewise, if you have status with Hyatt, you can match your status to Mlife.

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