hilton

Tag Archives for hilton.

It’s Back! 75,000 Hilton Points for Citi Hilton Visa With No Annual Fee

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If you want to boost your Hilton points balance, you can earn 75,000 Hilton points when you get the Citi Hilton Visa. The minimum spend is $2,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening.

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75,000 Hilton points for a no annual fee card is a pretty good deal

If I didn’t already have this card, I’d sign up for it. I caved after being seriously tempted the last time this offer popped up because:

  • 75,000 Hilton points is nearly enough for 2 five-night award stays at Hilton Category 2 properties
  • The card comes with automatic Hilton Silver elite status
  • You’ll get the 5th night free on all award stays
  • The card has no annual fee
  • It helps to build a positive relationship with Citi, who you’ll note is NOT AMEX or Chase
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Drugstores, eh?

You’ll earn 6X points on your Hilton stays, which is awesome. (Just don’t use it outside the US, because there’s a foreign transaction fee!)

But this is one of the few cards that still earns bonus points at drugstores.

You’ll earn 3X points at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations. And 2X points everywhere else.

Is a Hilton card better than a 2% cash back card at drugstores?

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TripBAM Monitors Your Paid Hotel Rates & Alerts You If the Price Drops

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Ever since I got my Citi Prestige card, I’m finding I have a lot more paid hotel stays. Which means:

  • It’ll be easier to earn and maintain hotel elite status (at Hilton)
  • I want to get the best possible price on every day

For my upcoming trip to Japan, the hotel rates were pretty high because of cherry blossom season. I booked anyway in hopes the prices would drop. But I didn’t know how to track it except to check manually on the hotel site every day, which sucks because it’s time-consuming.

Enter TripBAM

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Just Booked: Tokyo and Osaka, Japan in April for Cherry Blossoms

Thanks to Frequent Miler for posting this “Quick Deal!”

It certainly did go quick.

I saw Business Class award availability shrink away from me with the Wicked Witch of the East’s shoes when the house fell on top of her.

But First Class seats were still there – at least 2 of them – and I thought, you know, whatever. And just did it. DFW-NRT First Class on American Airlines. And ITM-NRT-DFW coming back.

At least I got in on this one during its prime time unlike the ~$747 AA Business Class ticket to Barcelona (which still ended up being a very good deal).

This trip cost 62,500 American Airlines miles each way, but I got back 10,000 miles for having the Citi AA credit card.

In total, I paid 120,000 American Airlines miles round-trip.

I wish it were on JAL, or Cathay Pacific, instead of AA, but oh well. It’s in the middle of cherry blossom season. I hope these dates are lucky so I’ll be able to see cherry blossoms during Japan’s spring.

By the numbers

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Hotel Review: Alexandra Doubletree Barcelona, Dream Suite

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I wrote about my experience arriving and checking-in to the Alexandra Barcelona, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

Lobby of the Alexandra Doubletree Barcelona

Lobby of the Alexandra Doubletree Barcelona

It couldn’t have been better. I was upgraded to a Dream Suite worth ~$1,660 as a Hilton Diamond member.

Now, I want to show you the Dream Suite and review the hotel more in-depth.

The Dream Suite at the Alexandra Doubletree Barcelona

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4 Things Holding Back Citi ThankYou From Being the Best Points Program

For too long, Chase Ultimate Rewards has been considered the best all-around points program for peeps who like collecting them (myself included).

You welcome

You welcome

AMEX is failing miserably at just about everything right now, except for AMEX Offers.

They lost Costco and jetBlue, might lose Starwood, Membership Rewards doesn’t have (m)any great transfer partners (maybe Delta, Aeroplan, and ANA for niche award flight redemptions), and they’ve absolutely failed to make timely and industry-leading adjustments to their credit card and points line-up for a long time (thanks for dropping forex fees after like, a decade…).

That left the door wide open for Citi to swoop in (Barclays and Bank of America were never a concern). And man, they really took their chance.

I went from having 1 Citi AAdvantage card to wanting multiple Citi cards in a short while. I’m in love with Citi Prestige because of all the money it’s saved me in the few months I’ve had it.

Current Citi cards I have and want

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My Hilton Diamond Experience in Barcelona (With Suite Upgrade Worth Over $1,600!)

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I was super looking forward to visiting Barcelona.

From the initial disappointment of not getting the best deal (but still a very good deal) on the flights, to wondering which hotel to stay at, to finally getting a Citi Prestige card and choosing the Alexandra Doubletree, it was a bit of a ride.

In the end, I was able to book 6 nights via Citi Travel Concierge with Hilton’s Winter Sale rate and 4th night free.

Here’s how it all shook out.

Booking by the numbers

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Out and Out Is in Barcelona! Any Must-Dos? (And Updates!)

Dear Out and Out readers, I miss you so.

I got to Barcelona (Barcy) Wednesday morning and have spent the past 3 days wandering, sleeping, working, eating (tapas), and drinking (sangria and Spanish wines and local craft beers).

Wandering in the Gothic Quarter

Wandering in the Gothic Quarter

I still have 3 more full days in Barcy and am totally open to ideas about how to fill the time. I’m meeting with friends, and have a few things on my to-do list (on Todoist):

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Restaurants, sites, and things to see. Anything I should add?

I’ll get up tomorrow and see La Sangrada Familia, then maybe head to the Picasso Museum and see the Arc de Triomphe along the way.

Feel free to share any tips about where to go, what to do, or great restaurants you love. I’ll try to work in as many things as possible!

A few updates

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Out and Out’s Best Posts of 2015

Wow. Out and Out made huge strides in 2015. A lot happened – and even more will happen in 2016.

Blog traffic tripled this year. In fact December 2015 is the biggest month ever for the blog (and it’s not over yet!). I’m thinking of how to improve things around here even more, and celebrating every step of the way because I couldn’t grow without your support.

Celebrate!

Celebrating!

You guys are awesome. I love my readers!

I’ve ironed out many ideas on here and found solid resolutions thanks to tons of community-focused comments. And meeting new peeps at the regular Reach for the Miles meetup has been fantastic.

I hope to continue the momentum and keep improving.

But first, I want to take a moment to pause and look back at where we’ve been this year.

Best of 2015

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Booking Barcelona: Citi Prestige + Hilton Diamond at Alexandra DoubleTree

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The hotel stay for Barcy is all set. And, I booked it – again – with Citi Prestige. I wrote about my first experience booking a hotel room it for Martinique.

View Additional Airline & Frequent Flyer Credit Card Offers Here

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Gonna eat the hell out of that free breakfast

I settled on the Alexandra Barcelona, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

I’d originally booked the Hilton Barcelona as a Points & Money reward.

Why the switch?

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Taking Another Look at Hilton, Hyatt, and Diamond Elite Status

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To begin, I must say I’m disappointed I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to receive Hyatt Diamond status. Although I did luck out with Hilton Diamond status.

I realize I’ll likely sound like a spoiled brat whining about something I didn’t get for free. Especially when others have spent much more time and money to actually earn the status. That said, the way Hyatt handled the Diamond status match – from free-for-all to the later restriction to only match SPG Platinum members, and all the missteps in between- was very mishandled.

Booooo

Booooo

Hyatt had an opportunity to capitalize on the SPG/Marriott merger and they blew it – unless you got the match, then you win. I likely would’ve gone out of my way to stay with Hyatt more in 2016 and beyond. This whole thing has left such a bad taste behind that it makes me want to actively avoid Hyatt, and only use them for free award night stays.

Although I think what Hilton is doing is genius, at least from a marketing perspective. And, let’s face it: Hilton has a much larger footprint than Hyatt (4,100+ hotels compared to ~600). And Hilton is in every place there’s a Hyatt with few exceptions.

For example, there are NO Hyatt hotels in Barcelona (where I’ll be in a few weeks). But there were 4 Hilton options:

Furthermore, the next time Hyatt has a Diamond status challenge to stay 12 nights, I won’t even consider doing it (even though you can complete it with only 9 nights if you have Citi Prestige). Why would I spend $1,000 on something so many others got for free?

Anyway, that’s my preamble – just wanted to clear the air here. Again, I completely understand I don’t “deserve” the status in way. It just sucks to see so many get it for free, even though my credentials where enough – at one point – to get me in, too. A case of “early bird gets the worm” if there ever was one.

But now, I’m taking another look at Hilton, as I expect to have more paid stays there, at least for now. And, it’s not as bad as you’d think.

Hilton Diamond Vs Hyatt Diamond

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Citi Smart Savings Are Here!

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I wrote before about seeing hints that Citi might compete with AMEX Offers “soon.”

Looks like it’s here!

This is the first I’ve seen of this, so I’m excited to see what Citi will continue to do with Citi Smart Savings offers.

Here’s what I got on my accounts.

What’s Citi Smart Savings?

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That AARP Membership You Just Bought? Save Money With AARP Discounts and Rewards

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So, how many of us are newly minted AARP members after that insane deal for British Airways Business Class?

AARP heats things up starting with the homepage

AARP heats things up starting with the homepage

I took a poke around the website and found some worthwhile member benefits that can more than make up the $16 spent to join – and this membership might be a good thing to keep!

AARP Rewards and Discounts

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