Hotel Stays [GS 2011 master thread]

Old Aug 21, 11, 6:08 am
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Hotel Stays [GS 2011 master thread]

If we want to keep a main post for hotel stays, I volunteer to maintain the first post for it with the latest info.

Quick look at the GS FAQ shows that there is a 200 mile minimum per stay. Here are the minimums (excluding taxes) you need per hotel stay this year to meet the 200 mile minimum, based on chain. This assumes no elite status:

Best Western: Any stay earns 250 miles
Carlson: Any stay earns 250 miles at Country Inns & Park Inn, 500 miles at Park Plaza and Radisson
Choice: Any stay earns 250 miles
Hilton: 500 miles per stay (fixed miles) at all except Hampton, Homewood, and Home2, which require $200 (variable miles)
Hyatt: Any stay earns 500 miles
IHG: $100 most brands, $200 Staybridge & Candlewood
La Quinta: Any stay earns 250 miles, they might also allow points on third party website bookings such as Expedia. See note at bottom for more info.
Marriott: $100 (Marriott brand and better), $200 (all mid-tier and lower brands)
SPG: Can't find a link, but it is $100
Wyndham: $100, or any stay at a Wyndham Hotel or Hawthorn (these chains are 500 per stay)

"Cheap" stays for a hit: Choice Hotels lets you sort an area by price. AAA generally saves 10%. As an example, looking in areas near me showed the EconoLodge Absecon, NJ for $31/night on various weeknights. Choice seems to be the cheapest brand of the ones that offer fixed miles, although YMMV.

Staying more than six times during Grand Slam period
: Look for promos that allow you to easily transfer hotel points with one or two stays. Remember you can only get one hit per hotel program with transfers. Example: Choice with their quadruple points offer means that a $125 stay ($250 at EconoLodge, Rodeway, Suburban, or MainStay) will get you enough points to transfer to US for a hit. See the transfers thread for more discussion.

If someone with a Choice Privileges account refers you (sends you a link to sign up with), you receive 1,000 points and they receive 1,000 points after your first eligible stay (essentially a stay that would earn points/miles). If you'd like a Choice Privileges referral email, PM me.

*Note that La Quinta Returns T&C state "Reservations booked through third-party Web sites, i.e., Hotels.com, etc., may not be eligible to receive La Quinta Returns points." They do not define which rates will and will not earn points on a third party booking. On the other hand, there are reports of phone agents saying that Expedia and the like WILL earn points. Book on third party sites with caution.

You cannot have more than one stay in one day, even across multiple hotels/brands, per the GS rules!

Last edited by lowfareair; Sep 18, 11 at 4:41 pm
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Old Aug 21, 11, 6:20 am
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Looking at the list, the following hotel chains offer per stay mileage above the 200 threshold: Best Western, Choice, Carlson, Hyatt, and La Quinta. Hilton offers it on all except Hampton and extended stay hotels. The Intercontinental brand (not the whole chain) offers it as well.

Wyndham offers it on Wyndham and Wingate. I'm not sure if it includes Wyndham Garden. Note that Wingate shows a 2 mile per dollar rate on USair.com, while Hawthorn offers 500 miles per stay. That appears to be a mix up on US Airways behalf, as Wyndham shows the reverse.

I have a feeling that a lot of Rodeway Inns and Best Westerns are going to see mattress runs this year.

Additionally, there may be promos for some other brands that makes this a bit better. For example, IHG is running a 100 mile per night bonus 9/15-12/31, which would bring the total needed per stay to $50 ($100 for extended stay brands), assuming that the bonus miles post with the stay. Does anyone know how various brands post bonus mile promotions to US (i.e. pairs stay mileage with bonus miles, or done in two separate transfers?)
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Old Aug 21, 11, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
I have a feeling that a lot of Rodeway Inns and Best Westerns are going to see mattress runs this year.
I'd think twice. Is it really worth to spend around 40+ $ (my guess) for a useless stay? Also mind the time you need in order to check-in (unless you have such a cheapo hotel around the corner)
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Old Aug 21, 11, 6:35 am
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That depends - there were lots of 'stays' at Super 8s last year, and while I don't foresee many making 6 mattress runs, if doing one stay can bring a person from 35 to 36 hits, that's not a bad deal by any stretch.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 6:41 am
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wrong, wrong, wrong... making six no-shows at a super 8's for below 30 $ and without actually checking-in (like last year) was perfect. cheap and not time-consuming. this opportunity has gone this year
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Old Aug 21, 11, 6:43 am
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Originally Posted by Zurich Flyer View Post
wrong, wrong, wrong... making six no-shows at a super 8's for below 30 $ and without actually checking-in (like last year) was perfect. cheap and not time-consuming. this opportunity has gone this year
If there's a cheap hotel that gets the required mileage near wherever I'm at at the time, I'd be happy to try to check in for other folks.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 6:53 am
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Originally Posted by Zurich Flyer View Post
wrong, wrong, wrong... making six no-shows at a super 8's for below 30 $ and without actually checking-in (like last year) was perfect. cheap and not time-consuming. this opportunity has gone this year
Please point out where I'm wrong: I NEVER said people will make six no-shows, I NEVER said that the opportunity is the same as last year. All I posted regarding this is "I have a feeling that a lot of Rodeway Inns and Best Westerns are going to see mattress runs this year." So unless you want to show me where I posted what you are claiming, YOU are the one who is wrong.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 8:49 am
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Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
I don't foresee many making 6 mattress runs, if doing one stay can bring a person from 35 to 36 hits, that's not a bad deal by any stretch
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Old Aug 21, 11, 9:33 am
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Bummer. Wyndam is the one chain that allowed points for no shows, permitting you to search nationwide, but it wont earn the minimum this year.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 10:33 am
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Here's my experience with how SPG bonuses post when account is set to airline direct deposit:

Platinum Amenity points were bundled into the transfer to miles for the stay when the points automatically posted correctly to my account. For an award stay, having a food & beverage charge was an insurance in having that happen.

Make a Green Choice were posted separately by the property and were NOT transferred into miles. They remained Starpoints in my account.

Promotion bonus points from Rewarding Returns last year posted and remained as Starpoints.

Promotion bonus points from earn 10000 bonus points for resort stays of 4 or more nights last year posted and remained as Starpoints.

Last year's double/triple bonus points also remained as Starpoints for me.


Unfortunately I have no data points for promotions that are advertised as earning bonus miles.

SPG members are entitled to earn Starpoints (but not get stay/night credit) for no-shows, BUT they tend to not post automatically and must be called in for manual adjustment, which hasn't transferred as airline direct deposit for me.

Last edited by ImprovGal; Aug 21, 11 at 10:38 am Reason: added information
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Old Aug 21, 11, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Zurich Flyer View Post
Originally Posted by lowfareair
I don't foresee many making 6 mattress runs, if doing one stay can bring a person from 35 to 36 hits, that's not a bad deal by any stretch
How is that "wrong, wrong, wrong"? I basically said that this year it isn't worth it for six stays, but to do a $4x.xx stay to get to the next tier of bonus miles (i.e. go from 35 to 36 hits), it's not a bad deal.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
How is that "wrong, wrong, wrong"? I basically said that this year it isn't worth it for six stays, but to do a $4x.xx stay to get to the next tier of bonus miles (i.e. go from 35 to 36 hits), it's not a bad deal.
He's complaining because US isn't giving away the points *as cheaply* as last year. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that. This promo is intended to be profitable for US - not as a giveaway or entitlement. If we can find loopholes that make it a superb deal for us - great - but if we can't, then there's no reason or right to complain.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by mooper View Post
He's complaining because US isn't giving away the points *as cheaply* as last year. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that. This promo is intended to be profitable for US - not as a giveaway or entitlement. If we can find loopholes that make it a superb deal for us - great - but if we can't, then there's no reason or right to complain.
I see now by his complaining in another thread - I thought he was saying I was wrong about something, when he's just pissy that US has closed a cheap method of racking up miles.

Anyways, updating the above with a tip on how to find cheap stays with Choice

Last edited by lowfareair; Aug 21, 11 at 3:20 pm
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Old Aug 21, 11, 3:11 pm
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Originally Posted by mooper View Post
He's complaining because US isn't giving away the points *as cheaply* as last year. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that. This promo is intended to be profitable for US - not as a giveaway or entitlement. If we can find loopholes that make it a superb deal for us - great - but if we can't, then there's no reason or right to complain.
+1.

We have no right to complain. We are looking for ways to fully take advantage of the US program. We should be thanking them for doing it. US does not have to do any of these. =)
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Old Aug 21, 11, 7:09 pm
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Unhappy hotel rates, cost per hit

two options so far

4 x 61.60 $ = 246.40 $
=
4 hits, plus,
2k us miles (4 x 500)
12k us miles (30k wyndhamrewards points)
--> average cost per hit = 61.60 $, average return per hit = 3'500 miles

one hit = 70 $
=
1 hit, plus
200 us miles
--> average cost per hit = 70 $, average return per hit = 200 miles

both options easy, no hassle but too expensive
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