We all know that the whole Starwood Hotels & Resorts portfolio has been acquired by Marriott International but we haven't had much visibility about how it is going to impact us until today. With the expansion and takeover of brands, current Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members will be able to benefit from the integration of both programs. Here are the top four things you need to know:
1. Status Match between Marriott Rewards and SPG
Members of Marriott Rewards (which also includes the slightly separate The Ritz-Carlton Rewards) and SPG be able to receive immediate status match (with no qualifying stay or nights required). If you STILL have not gotten your SPG Gold status with one qualifying stay (find out how HERE), you should really consider jumping on the bandwagon as soon as possible.
- SPG Preferred Guest Plus = Marriott Rewards Silver
- SPG Gold = Marriott Rewards Gold
- SPG Platinum = Marriott Rewards Platinum
Since Marriott Rewards Gold (which you can status match from SPG Gold) gives you guaranteed lounge access for you and a guest, it is really something to watch out for even though it might just increase the influx of guests to these properties (most people that I know of in Asia-Pacific holds elite status with SPG and not Marriott Rewards).
2. Conversion of Points (1 Starpoint = 3 Marriott Rewards Points)
The iconic Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel which is located in Orchard Road is a Category 8 property and will therefore require 40,000 Marriott Rewards Points for a free night. Using the conversion of SPG to Marriott Rewards Points above, a stay here will only cost you 13,334 Starpoints. To put things into perspective, the Sheraton Tower Singapore requires 12,000 Starpoints a night - I don't know about you but I will pick the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel any day. More importantly, similar to the Hilton HHonors Program, the Marriott Rewards program allows you to get the fifth night free for every four nights you redeem for (this is essentially a 20% savings on points!).
3. Transfer and Redeem Freely between Programs
With the integration of the Marriott Rewards and SPG, you will be able to transfer your valuable points between programs to access new redemption opportunities. At the time of writing, this is not yet made available but you should able to do it within the next 24 hours or so.
4. Access to Member Rates and Free WiFi
Finally, whenever you make a direct booking on the Marriott mobile app or SPG app, on Marriott.com or SPG.com, you will receive complimentary WiFi, regardless of elite status. Additionally, members who link their programs together will also be able to access an exclusive Member Rates (which are their lowest guaranteed rates).
As you may know already, you may now purchase Hyatt Gold Passport Points with up to a 40% bonus as long as you purchase between now and 25 October 2016. These points may be used for free nights at Hyatt Hotels and Hyatt Residence Club stays around the world or you may even utilise them for things like nightly Regency Club and Suite upgrades (or convert them into miles!). Find out some of the sweet spots in redeeming your Hyatt Gold Passport Points here.
Here's how you get 12 Miles or 18 Hilton HHonors Points per dollar each time you book a hotel on Kaligo. Every traveller and staycation lover has got to read this!
Five days ago, I wrote about the new arrangement between Singapore Airlines and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts - the interesting bit is finally out! This brand new partnership will see opportunities in status matching, points and miles conversions as well as double-dipping in both programs every time you make an eligible stay at any participating Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts property around the world. Here's a summary of five things you need to know about this partnership!
Before anyone gets too excited, there are no naked photos of anyone in this post at all. Naked in the Sky is an extension to Naked for Satan. Before I even tell you about Naked in the Sky, I had to find out why exactly is Naked for Satan named as such. With a curious mind, I went forth to find the answer to my question and this is what I found out: A guy named Satanovich (hereby known as Satan) used to distill moonshine in his underpants during the sweltering summer months. Since the moonshine was illegal, patrons used to use the code phrase "Let's get Naked for Satan" to gain access to this well-guarded but highly-regarded liquor.
Before anyone asks the question, I am going to say this and hopefully only once - you can redeem Virgin America (VX) Elevate Points on Singapore Airlines (SQ) flights (you are however subjected to a smaller inventory and getting Suites on VX Points is actually impossible). With that being said, you may be saving a lot of your precious miles if you use VX points (and money too!) to redeem for short-haul flights. To put things into perspective, consider the differences in points (and miles!) required to get from Singapore to Denpasar (Bali) on Singapore Airlines via the VX Elevate and SQ KrisFlyer programmes.
We all know that the whole Starwood Hotels & Resorts portfolio has been acquired by Marriott International but we haven't had much visibility about how it is going to impact us until today. With the expansion and takeover of brands, current Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members will be able to benefit from the integration of both programs. Here are the top four things you need to know!
When I got an email today notifying me that I am now able to enjoy 'complimentary rides with Citi points', I was interested - I knew it was going to be bad but I clicked on it anyway to find out how bad exactly could it be. If you have been reading all those articles I have written about earning miles, then you should know that it is not difficult to get S$50-100 worth of value from 1,000 Miles. This limited time promotion (until 07 November 2016) allows you to offset your Grab ride with a fixed redemption rate by utilising some of your precious miles and points.
Some people may argue that there is nothing more worrying than being unable to Book the Cook (BTC) on your Singapore Airlines flights (yes I can hear you chanting Lobster Thermidor from where I am at). If you have the following error message that is stopping you from selecting a BTC meal, fret not because here's how you can quickly resolve it!
When I wrote about the possibility to fly on the highly-acclaimed Suites class on Singapore Airlines to Hong Kong for free last week, I received a number questions via emails on what is the best routes to redeem Suites class on. While there is no "best route" per se, here are the cheapest Suite Class redemptions (in ascending order of required miles) that you can do on Singapore Airlines from Singapore at the moment.
During my latest trip to Melbourne, Australia, I have gotten not one, not two but THREE speeding tickets from the State Government of Victoria. Unlike most traffic fines in Singapore, getting out of a ticket in Victoria (or Australia in general) is not that easy and even more importantly, the fines are not at all cheap so think twice before speeding! If you have provided your residential address correctly while you were renting a vehicle, the speeding tickets should get to you in Singapore in about 4-6 weeks. Find out when and how you can appeal for an internal review to get your fines waived.