Yesterday, in lieu of a scatter-shot “News & Notes” post, we published a summary article focused on the many Fall 2019 hotel chain points promotions:
- Middle Age Miles: Round-Up of Fall 2019 Hotel Chain Points Promotions – Accor, Best Western, Choice, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Radisson (September 17, 2019)
Today, we’re back to a more normal format, with all sorts of news, notes and deals.
1. Amex Offer at Lowe’s
We received a new Amex Offer at Lowe’s this morning – 15% back on purchases, up to a cap of $15 total. The Offer appeared to be widely available, and we enrolled our Blue Business Plus cards to maximize our points earning.
Similar Amex Offers for Lowe’s in the past have been triggered by the purchase of gift cards (GCs). Our local Lowe’s has a large selection of GCs, including Amazon, many other merchants, and VGC/MCGCs. This will be an easy $15 for us and many other people.
2. 40% Bonus on Purchase of Hyatt Points
Hat Tip to reader Franz, who tipped us off to this one.
Hyatt has a new promotion where you can get a 40% bonus on points purchases when you purchase at least 10,000 points, from now through 10/18/19.
The normal price for purchasing Hyatt points is 2.4 cents per point (cpp). With this promotion, your cost for purchasing Hyatt points drops to 1.71 cpp. That’s still above our baseline value of 1.5 cents per Hyatt point, but it’s a reasonable price and one that will work well for some people who have specific redemptions in mind where they need the points quickly.
Franz mentioned that his targeted offer included a maximum purchase of 110,000 points, an increase over Hyatt’s normal limit of 55,000 points per calendar year. We didn’t receive the same increased cap, so we’re still limited to 55,000.
Purchases of Hyatt points are processed by points.com. It looks like the best shopping portal deal at the moment for purchasing Hyatt points through points.com is 2.5% through Top Cashback. (Note that if you get 2.5% from TCB, your cost will drop to 1.67 cpp.) Points.com doesn’t qualify for bonus categories, so use a credit card where you’re earning a sign-up/upgrade bonus, working toward a big-spend threshold, or maximizing points for everyday purchases.
3. Some Accor Hotels 10% Back Today on Top Cashback
Today only (Wed 9/18/19), you can earn 10% cash back through Top Cashback on stays with certain brands in the Accor Hotels chain. High-end brands Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel are excluded from this promotional rate (they’re only 3%), but there are still several nice Accor brands that would get you 10% – including Banyan Tree, Sofitel, Novotel, Movenpick and Rixos hotels. To see all of the many Accor hotel brands, check out the Accor “brands” webpage here.
This Top Cashback offer should stack with the Accor bonus points offer that we covered in yesterday’s article on Fall 2019 hotel points promotions.
4. Kimpton Last Minute Deals
We’ve been meaning to write about Kimpton Last Minute Deals for a while now, and yesterday’s email from Kimpton reminded us.
Each week, we receive an email from Kimpton with “last minute deals” good for stays within the next 7 days at specified Kimpton properties. The stays are prepaid, non-refundable, and only for IHG Rewards Club members. You can sign up for a weekly email containing the Kimpton Last Minute Deals by opting in, in your IHG Rewards Club profile. The best way to do this is to access your profile through the Kimpton Last Minute Deals landing page on the IHG website.
We’ve never actually used one of these deals, but the concept is interesting to us and we enjoy receiving and reviewing the emails each week. As an example of what you’ll see, here’s the list of Kimpton Last Minute Deals for this week:
We’re not clear on whether Kimpton Last Minute Deals can be stacked with shopping portal benefits. They will definitely work with IHG promos such as the current Fall 2019 Accelerate promotion.
We’re also not sure exactly how good these deals are – for example, when we searched the top hotel on this list (Kimpton Marlowe in Cambridge) for the first “available” date (9/19), the actual rate was over $400, not anywhere near the $162 rate advertised in the email. The only night where we could pull a $162 rate was on Friday 9/20.
In any event, though, it’s interesting to check out the hotels – Kimpton properties tend to be unique and interesting – and hopefully someday we’ll find a good “date weekend” deal in there!
5. Delta SkyMiles Flash Deal to Australia & Asia
Today and tomorrow, Delta has a SkyMiles flash deal for award flights between the US and Australia & Asia. Economy flights are as low as 56,000 SkyMiles round-trip (LAX/Phoenix/Las Vegas to Tokyo). You must book by 11:59 pm Eastern time on Thursday 9/19.
There’s way too much to cover here, but if you’re interested in the promotion, go to the Delta landing page here:
Hat Tip to Doctor of Credit for this one.
6. Google Fi Launches “Unlimited” Plans (and 50% off sale on Pixel 3 & 3 XL phones if you act really quickly!)
Here’s another interesting news item where we owe a Hat Tip to Doctor of Credit.
Google Fi has launched a new “unlimited” plan for unlimited calls, texts and data. Some details include:
- Pricing (all rates have taxes & government fees in addition to the quoted base rate):
- For 1 person, $70/month
- For 2 people, $120/month ($60 per person)
- For 3 people, $150/month ($50 per person)
- For 4 people, $180/month ($45 per person)
- For 5 people, $225/month ($45 per person)
- For 6 people, $270/month ($45 per person)
- Data is high-speed up to 22 GB/person and throttled thereafter
- International data & texts are included
- Free calls to 50+ countries & territories
- Google One membership, including 100 GB of cloud storage for each member
- Mobile hotspot tethering is included
- No contract; cancel any time
This is certainly a very interesting proposition. For high data users, the new “unlimited” plans can be better than Google Fi’s “standard” plan ($20/month + $10/GB for data with a cap of $80 total).
To learn more, check out Google Fi plans here.
In addition, for the next couple of hours (ending at 3:00 pm Eastern / 2:00 pm Central / Noon Pacific time on Wednesday 9/18/19), Google is having a 50% off sale on Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones. Check out the details here.
We use a Google Pixel 2 XL phone for our picture-taking for Middle Age Miles, and we use Google Fi service, particularly during international travel. We’ve generally been pleased with Fi’s international service, and we love the photo-taking capabilities of the Pixel 2 XL.
We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s edition of Middle Age Miles “News & Notes,” and we hope you’ve learned something useful that will help you in your travels!
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