The 140,000 Point Offer on Ritz Carlton Credit Card Is Back!

Earlier this year the 140,000 point offer was available though it was meant to be targeted and you needed a certain code from a mailer to apply (or you could just find the code on Flyertalk). I was able to get the card earlier this year but now the offer is available publicly at this link here. This is the highest ever offer I am aware on the card and even with an annual fee of $395, I will argue it is worth it in the first year even if you never plan to stay at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

Ritz140k

Here are the key details:

  • 140,000 Ritz Carlton Points after spending $3,000 in 3 months. Remember these points can be used freely at Marriott hotels and with the highest Marriott tier only costing 45,000 points a night this signup bonus is worth at least 3 nights at any high end Marriott and anywhere from 4 to 7 nights at mid-tier Marriotts (category 4 to 7). And this is worth even more at low end Marriott properties.
  • $300 Travel Credit Annually. This is based on a calendar year basis so in your first year of card membership, you could take advantage of this offer twice for a total of $600, which more than offsets the $395 annual fee. Now the actual language of what is covered is “airline lounge day pass, or towards a yearly lounge membership of your choice; airline seat upgrades; airline baggage fees; in-flight internet/entertainment; in-flight meals; Global Entry fees.” However, per Flyertalk and a Saverocity thread, people have been able to redeem this credit for airline gift cards just like the Amex Platinum card (though it requires you to call in and request the credit, unlike Amex which is automatic) though it is advisable to not tell them it was a gift card purchase.
  • Ritz Carlton Gold Status. This basically gets you free internet, bonus points and a chance at room upgrades.
  • 3 Club Level Upgrades – If you are on a paid stay at a Ritz Carlton, you can use one of these upgrades to get club floor access which includes lounge access, complimentary food and drinks etc..
  • $100 Hotel Credit – Stay 2+ nights and pay with your Ritz Carlton credit card and you will receive a $100 hotel credit.

I only care about this offer for two things: the 140k points and the $300 annual travel credit. The other benefits are nice but hold no value for me since I don’t plan on having any Ritz Carlton stays (paid or award stays). As I mentioned above, even excluding the points (which is the main draw in this offer), I come out ahead financially with the airline gift cards which I know I will use in the future as there are no expiration dates on these. The 140,000 points are worth at least $.007 cents a point (a little less than the standard 1 point is equal to 1 penny) to me so that equates to a value of $980 for just the points. So the value of the points, $980, + $600 in airline gift cards – $395 annual fee equals a signup value of $1,185 for me. It could be worth more if you value the Gold status and club upgrades at all.

Additionally, an under-reported value here is the flight and hotel package that Marriott offers. Let’s say both you and your significant other signup for this card and earn 280,000 points combined. You can redeem those points for a 7 night stay at a Marriott resort and receive 50,000 to 120,000 miles transferred into the program of your choice (United, American etc) based on the chart below. Or you could have the miles transferred to Southwest and you would only be 10,000 points away from the Southwest Companion Pass!

One option for Flight & Hotel Package

One option for Flight & Hotel Package

A category 6 hotel costs 30,000 points a night so a 7 night stay will would cost 180,000 points (one night is free when you redeem points for at least 4 nights). With this package however, the hotel comes to the same cost as before but the major perk is you can transfer Marriott points into United (with 10% bonus) or American miles at a 1:1 ratio. This is a great value as Marriott hotels are worth about half that of airline miles. In fact, if you normally wanted to convert Marriott points to miles, the ratio is 4:1 so to get the same 100,000 miles, you would need 280,000 Marriott points. But with this package, it is like getting a 7 night stay free! Of course, I wouldn’t recommend ever converting your Marriott points to airline miles at that 4:1 ratio but you see my point.

Ugly Transfer Ratios

Ugly Transfer Ratios

I could go on about this flight and hotel package option but the Miles Professor did an excellent job summarizing this option, along with some great hotel finds including hotels in Aruba, Hawaii etc. I would give her post a read if you are interested in this option.

Amazing Deal Alert: $75-$90 Roundtrip Flights New York to Nantucket on JetBlue

JetBlue is at it again with another awesome fare this time from New York to Nantucket for $75-$90 roundtrip. It’s not quite as good as the $58 flights to Cape Cod a few weeks ago but still a great savings compared to the normal cost of these flights.

The promotion is for $90 roundtrip flights but if you plan to travel between 9/8 to 10/30 (but not between 10/10 to 10/14) you knock down the price to about $75 roundtrip if you use a 20% promo code for JetBlue which can be bought at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Availability is scattered so you might have to play around with a few dates until you can see a $90 fare. I had the most luck finding availability by avoiding a Friday or Saturday flight.  Here is one example below that prices at $90 but if i had a 20% promo code, it would knock it down to about $75 (the 20% off is only on the fare but not the taxes). Good luck!

 

$90 Roundtrip

$90 Roundtrip

(H/T to The Flight Deal for the Find!)

Now This is Travel Hacking! $13 Rooms at a 5 Star Resort in Phuket Thailand

I can’t take credit for this travel hacking deal but user chokdee on Flyertalk posted an amazing mistake hotel deal for a 5 star resort in Phuket, Thailand starting at about $13 per night!! And for a few bucks more, you could book yourself in a junior suite or cabana room with direct pool access – again truly an amazing find!

I'd say this is a pretty good deal...no?

I’d say this is a pretty good deal…no?

Now the part that makes this great travel hacking is that people didn’t simply stop at booking this room at the discounted rates. They wanted to get the room even cheaper and they did!

The original poster stated he found the room for 25 pounds per night on Expedia which is about $42 per night. Obviously a great rate but not good enough apparently for some. I recommend reading through the thread but here some key components that shows just how great travel hacking can be.

1) Some travel hackers started looking on foreign travel sites (in the US we typically think of Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity) and found even better rates on ebookers.com (UK), ebookers.de (Germany) and asiarooms.com

2) To make an amazing deal even better, someone noticed suites or higher level rooms were pricing for only a few bucks more. Why get a standard room for 8 pounds when you could get a cabana room for 18 pounds?

3) Icing on the cake, for me at least, was a 20% off discount code that could be applied to the reservation. Using code EBK20HOTEL on ebookers.de (use Google Chrome to translate the webpage). Seriously who needs another 20% off these rates?!?! 

In the end I booked 5 nights in a Cabana room that has a private outdoor jacuzzi and direct access to the pool for 169 Euros ($213 USD) TOTAL. That’s $43 dollars a night for a 5 star hotel in an upgraded room!

My Reservation... UNBEATABLE

My Reservation… UNBEATABLE

This deal is slowly dying but I was able to find standard rooms for about $35 a night as of 9pm, weirdly on hotels.com

Good luck if anyone books this!

Cheap Under $500 Flights to Israel! Will not last long!

Per Million Mile Secrets, there are flights from all over the US to Israel for under $500 round trip!

This is an outstanding deal as flights to Isarel are very expensive and rare to see under $1,000.

To book you need to use a European travel website called Wideroe. They are most likely not calculating taxes or fuel surcharges properly since these fares are not available elsewhere. They had a similar mistake in January I believe for flights to Italy that were pricing at $284 round trip!

Availability is best through June 2014 but keep looking and cheaper dates are scattered the rest of the year.

(HT MMS)

Free Hyatt Platinum Status! Sign up Now!

UPDATED: Offer is dead – Hyatt seems to have taken down the page.

The past few weeks we’ve seen offers for free miles but now we have an offer for free elite status, as Hyatt is giving away Platinum status! Hyatt Platinum status normally comes after 5 stays or 15 nights in a calendar year or for having the Hyatt credit card – but now for a click of a button, you can have it too!

The following are the benefits of Hyatt Platinum status:

  • 15% Bonus on Points earned on Hotel Stays
  • Room Upgrades to Preferred or Larger rooms, Based on Availability
  • Free Internet Access
  • 2pm Late Checkout
  • Confirmed Bed Type at Check-in
  • Dedicated Check-in Lines for Elite Members

I think the most valuable benefit is the free internet access which can easily cost $10 per night at most Hyatt hotels. And the opportunity to get upgraded while earning a nice 15% bonus isn’t too shabby either.

Now the landing page for this offer does say it is targeted towards Microsoft employees but many people have already reported it working as there is no restriction to stop anyone from signing up for this offer.

All of those benefits for taking 10 seconds to signup? Ya, I say this qualifies as a #GoodDealAlert.

(h/t Points, Miles & Martinis)