Southwest devalues Rapid Rewards points by 6%

Southwest has always been one of the most customer friendly airlines in the US, but last night they did something that most would consider to be the opposite of customer friendly.

They rolled out a devaluation without any advanced notice.

Southwest Rapid Rewards will now be worth about 6% less than what they were before. Unlike the changes in 2018 that only decreased the value of Wanna Get Away fares, this appears to apply to every class of airfare that Southwest offers: Wanna Get Away, Anytime, and Business Select.

Southwest does not utilize an award chart and instead they price the flights based on “dynamic pricing.” This means that the price of an award tracks pretty closely to the cash price of a flight.

That is still going to be the case going forward but the general value that you might get with each point will be dropping from 78 points per dollar to 83 points per dollar.

I said general because the exact value that you get from Southwest redemptions really does change with the price of your ticket. Cheaper tickets can offer you pretty high value such as around 1.7 cents per point while other more expensive tickets may fall around 1.3 cents per point.

Because this devaluation is so minimal, I would still expect to get around those rates on redemptions.

Despite the devaluation, Southwest Rapid Rewards is still a great program with a lot of value to offer. They offer you two free checked bags, make it very easy to rebook awards whenever the prices drop, and the value of the Companion Pass (which can be easily earned with credit cards) is unrivaled.

The devaluation itself is no surprise and we are probably going to see a lot of these occur over the next 12 months.

Many people continued to earn lots of points and miles through the pandemic even though travel had virtually stopped. This means there will be a surplus of points out there and so I would just be prepared for more of these devaluations going forward.

Because it seems like programs are becoming bolder about not providing notice, my advice would be to be very careful about transferring points over to frequent flyer programs until you can quickly book your flights/hotels.


Amex Membership Rewards can be redeemed for one cent per point towards your bill (for some)

Offers contained within this article maybe expired.

One of the weak points of Amex Membership Rewards is that you cannot redeem your points for a statement credit at a respectable level.

Currently, if you were to redeem your points for a statement credit you would only get .6 cents in value. Compare that to Chase Ultimate Rewards which provide you with at least one cent in value (with Pay Yourself Back you can currently get 1.25 cents or 1.5 cents on select categories).

This has always made utilizing your Amex points as a statement credit an absolute last resort because you can easily get way more value by utilizing travel partners or even gift cards for that matter.

But right now American Express is allowing some card members to redeem their points for a statement credit with a 40% bonus allowing them to capture one cent per point in value.

I would like to point out that getting one cent per point in value is at best average. So if you are targeted for this I would generally recommend only using this redemption method as a secondary redemption method.

I could see it making sense for some people who have no plans to travel anytime soon or simply don’t want to bother with transferring their points to travel partners.

(If you are interested in cashing out your Membership Rewards then you might want to look into the Schwab American Express Platinum Card, which allows you to receive 1.25 cents per point.)

If you would like to check to see if you are targeted for this redemption method, log into your account and then click on the rewards tab. Then click on “Cover Your Card Charges.” If you see the redemption amount coming out to one cent per point then you know you have been targeted.


Get big time value with Hyatt promotions right now

Hyatt has unleashed a fury of promotions making it extremely easy to earn top level elite status and also a ton of points in the process. This is one of the best fast track opportunities I’ve ever seen so you’ll definitely want to check it out.

I’ll break down the different promos and explain how available these can be.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Fast track to top level Hyatt status

Hyatt is literally cutting the elite requirements in half for earning status in 2021 for the 2022 status year.

Here is what the new elite requirements look like:

  • Discoverist: 5 elite nights or 12,500 base points ($2,500 in spending)
  • Explorist: 15 elite nights or 25,000 base points ($5,000 in spending)
  • Globalist: 30 elite nights or 50,000 base points  ($10,000 in spending)

This is extra exciting for those with the the World of Hyatt Card.

That card comes with five elite nights per year so it would only take you 25 elite nights to earn the top level status. Plus, for every $5,000 you spend on the card you can earn two elite qualifying nights.

Also, according to View From the Wing, new card members who are approved by December 31, 2020, will receive “10 Tier-Qualifying Night credits toward tier status in 2020 and 2021.”

Since you can have your elite nights doubled from January 1 to February 28, 2021, this means that you could earn top Globalist elite status with only 10 nights.

And even if you don’t have the Hyatt credit card, all you would need is 15 elite night credits in January or February to obtain Globalist. (Just be sure to register using the link below.)

That is pretty crazy and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fast track so lucrative for top level Hyatt status.

So if you were interested in the World of Hyatt Card, this would be an amazing time to jump on it.

It’s worth noting that Milestone rewards are not changed.

World of Hyatt Card

The World of Hyatt Card is one of the best hotel credit cards available since it comes with a great sign-up bonus, strong bonus category earning, and the opportunity for free nights. It’s also one of the best hotel cards for climbing your way up the elite status tiers for Hyatt. You can read our full detailed review here. 

  • Welcome Bonus
    • 30,000 Bonus Points after $3,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening
    • Plus, 2 points total per $1 spent on purchases that earn 1 point, up to $15,000 in spend in the first 6 months of account opening
  • Bonus earning: 
    • 4X spent with your card at Hyatt hotels, including participating restaurants and spas
    • 2X on local transit and commuting, including taxis, mass transit, tolls and ride-share services
    • 2X at restaurants, cafes and coffee shops
    • 2X on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline
    • 2X spent on fitness club and gym memberships
  • Free nights: 
    • Receive one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your cardmember anniversary
    • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
  • Elite status:
    • Comes with Hyatt Discoverist status
    • Receive 5 qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year
    • Earn 2 additional qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
  • $95 Annual Fee 

If you jumped on the card now and very quickly earned your 50,000 points, you could use those points in January or February to stay at Hyatt properties to help you cheaply earn those 10 nights needed for top elite status.

So some people could basically obtain top level status without spending a dime on Hyatt stays. Pretty crazy.

Triple and quadruple points extended

Hyatt currently has a promotion called “Bonus Journeys” that allows you to earn triple the points (up to 150,000 Bonus Points) beginning with your first stay. Just be sure that you register for this promotion here.

And if you have the World of Hyatt Card, you can earn quadruple the points (up to 75,000 Bonus Points) at 350 resort locations.

This is also the promotion allowing you to earn double the nights on your stays from January 1, 2021 through the end of February 2021. For every night you complete in 2020, you’ll get one night awarded for 2021.

This promotion was originally scheduled to end January 4, 2021 but this promotion is being extended to February 28, 2021 and you must register by January 15, 2021.

Award stay rebates

You can also save on awards days with a different promotion.

If you are making an award stay, you can get 15% of your points rebated for stays through February 28, 2021. Register.

And once again, the deal is sweeter if you have the World of Hyatt Card, because you can get a total of 25% of your points rebated. Register.

Both of these promotions will also offer free parking where available.

3X points

You can also earn triple the points on dine-in, delivery or takeout at participating hotel restaurants through February 28, 2021 when you’re not staying the night. 

Final word

Hyatt is a great program. Globalist is one of the harder elite status is to earn but has some great perks like free breakfast and lounge access that can greatly enhance your stay.

If you are at all interested in Hyatt, this is the time to act.

New Marriott summer/fall 2020 promotion

New Marriott 2020 promotion

  • Get 2,500 bonus points on each stay
  •  A one-time bonus of 5,000 additional points after three stays

The promotion registration and earning period is between August 13, 2020, and October 18, 2020, at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties.

Note: Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for bonus points.

Link to register

You must register in order to earn bonus points for this promo. Only stays made after registration will qualify towards the promotion. 

Is it worth it?

Because this is based on stays and not nights you will benefit the most from this promotion when taking short, cheaper stays.

Using a WalletFlo valuation of .77 cents per point for Marriott points, 2,500 bonus points comes out to $19.25.

So on a $100 stay, that would be close to a 20% return which is pretty great but on more expensive stays your earnings will be much more moderate.

The 5,000 point bonus after three stays is decent.

Using a WalletFlo valuation of .77 cents per point for Marriott points, 5,000 bonus points comes out to $38.50. So that’s a pretty good little rebate, especially on a cheaper stay.

There currently are also some offers out there to save on Marriott Amex Offers and others so be on the lookout for those.

To further maximize your Marriott point totals, consider also using a Marriott card to book your reservation like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless  or the Amex Marriott Brilliant.

Final word

Overall, this is a decent promotion worth signing up for that will help boost your value on short stays but it’s not the best we’ve seen and I wish Marriott would count award stays.

New IHG promo, easy to obtain free night for new members

IHG Rewards Club is one of the most popular hotel loyalty programs. And if you have not signed up for an IHG membership yet, you have an amazing opportunity to pretty easily get a valuable free night.

There is a new promotion that will give new members a free night after they complete only two stays by January 31, 2021.

After completing your stays, you will receive a reward night that can be used on properties worth up to 40,000 points per night. You will be required to use the free night by April 30, 2021.

There are actually a lot of great properties that you can stay at for 40,000 points per night.

If you would like to see some examples of hotels you can stay at, be sure to check out our article of IHG properties going for 40,000 per night.

In some cases, you might even be able to find a super cheap property to stay at in order to trigger your free night.

Just note: “A Qualifying Stay is defined as a minimum 1-night stay booked under a Qualifying Rate, with total spend exceeding US $30 per night.”

Of course, that could mean unnecessary travel during these times which is something to consider.

The deadline to enroll in this new promotion is September 30, so if you are new to IHG, I would recommend that you just sign up now.

If you are interested in IHG, you might also think about getting the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card comes with the following features:

  • Welcome bonus can range from 80,000 to 140,000 points after meeting the minimum spend
  • 10,000 points after you spend $20,000 and make one additional purchase each cardmember year
  • 25X for spend at IHG
  • 2X at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • Annual free night certificate at an “eligible hotel”
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status
  • 20% discount on purchases of IHG points
  • 4th night free on award stays
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit of up to $100 every 4 years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $89 annual fee

This promotion also comes at a time when you can transfer your points from Chase to IHG with a special bonus.

New Summer 2020 Hyatt promo offers huge value

For those of you thinking about doing some traveling this summer, there is a new promo that will make your travels extra lucrative in 2020. Hyatt just announced its new promotion that allows you to earn triple the points on stays beginning on your second stay. Check out the details below.

The promo

  • Earn 3X points starting with your second qualifying stay from June 15 to September 15.
  • Register here by August 31 if you don’t have elite status
  • Register here by August 31 if you do have a elite status
  • Award stays count

The reason there are separate registrations is because if you have elite status, you can earn 2,500 points on your first qualifying stay from June 15 to September 15.

Is this is a good promo?

This is a solid promotion given the value of Hyatt points. 

The base rate is five points per dollar spent on Hyatt properties.

So this promo will give you 15 points per dollar spent. Using a WalletFlo valuation of 1.57 cents per point, that comes out to 23.5% back. That’s an amazing offer.

Earn even more points

If you hold the World of Hyatt credit card (full review here) you also have automatic Hyatt Discoverist status and will be earning even more.

In that case, you would be earning a total of 19.5X points per dollar spent (tier bonuses are not tripled).  

Here’s what the breakdown would look like:

That will come out to about 30% back.

And that is just with the bottom level of elite status. So don’t sleep on this promo!

Final word

Anytime you are approaching 30% back with a hotel promotion it is a solid deal. I was a bit surprised that they did not start the clock until your second stay given the times that we are in. But hey, it’s still a great promo.

New Hilton Promotion Q1 (over 60X?) [2020]

Hilton has just released the details for its first promotion of 2020 and it’s called “Points Unlimited.” For short, cheap stays this has the potential to be one of the most rewarding hotel promotions that I have seen in quite some time, especially if you have a Hilton credit card. Keep reading below for more details of the Hilton Q1 promotion!

New 2020 Hilton Promotion

  • 2,000 bonus points for every stay
  • 10,000 bonus points for every 10 nights

Note the difference between stays and nights in this promotion. Check out my analysis of this promotion below to see just how valuable this promo can be. 

Sign-up link

Like all Hilton promotions, you must sign up to be eligible. You can sign up for this promotion by clicking on this link and following the instructions.

Eligible dates

Update: This promotion has been extended to September 7, 2020.

  • This promotion will apply from January 6 to May 3.
  • Members checking in before January 6, 2020 will receive credit for their stay if the stay is completed on or after January 6, 2020 and prior to or on May 3, 2020.
  • If you start a stay in the middle of the promotion period and check-out after May 3, you will not receive the bonus.

Is this a good promotion?

Sometimes these promotions are more favorable to people who are spending a lot of money on expensive stays and other times they are more valuable on shorter, cheaper stays. In this case, this promotion will benefit people more who make shorter stays.

For example, let’s say that you are making ten one night stays and spending $100/night.

You would earn 1,000 base points every night ($100 x 10) so at the end of these ten one night stays you would have earned 10,000 base points. 

Let’s also see that you are a Hilton Diamond member so you earn an additional 10 points per dollar spent. This would leave you with a total of 20,000 Hilton points after the stay but that is before applying this new promotion.

Since you had tens stays you would earn 20,000 Hilton points from the 2,000 bonus points per stay portion of the promotion. Then, since you completed 10 nights you would also receive the bonus 10,000 points.

So your total earnings would look like this:

  • 10,000 base points
  • 10,000 bonus points from diamond status
  • 20,000 bonus points from the 2K/stay promotion
  • 10,000 bonus points from the 10 night promotion

That is a total of 50,000 bonus points and if you value Hilton points at half a cent per point that is like getting $250 back. Your total spend for the stays would be $1,000 so this would be like getting 25% back on your spend. 

But let’s also say that you were using a Hilton credit card like the Hilton Aspire. That card earns 14X on Hilton purchases so your total points would be 64,000 bonus points.

  • 10,000 base points
  • 10,000 bonus points from diamond status
  • 20,000 bonus points from the 2K/stay promotion
  • 10,000 bonus points from the 10 night promotion
  • 14,000 bonus points from the Hilton Aspire

So you’d be earning a whopping 64X per dollar spent on Hilton purchases and getting back 32% for your spend. That would be fantastic!

But see, if instead of 10 individual stays you were just making one long stay of 10 nights then you would only earn 2,000 bonus points instead of the 20,000 bonus points. So you would earn a total of 46,000 bonus points. 

  • 10,000 base points
  • 10,000 bonus points from diamond status
  • 2,000 bonus points from the 2K/stay promotion
  • 10,000 bonus points from the 10 night promotion
  • 14,000 bonus points from the Hilton Surpass

That would still be like a 23% return which isn’t bad but this is why the promotion favors people making shorter stays. 

Also, if your stays were more expensive like $200 per night that would also bring down the earning rate. For example, with 10 individual stays you would earn 88,000 Hilton points for $2,000 worth of spend, which comes out to 22% back. Again not bad — just not astronomical.

  • 20,000 base points
  • 10,000 bonus points from diamond status
  • 20,000 bonus points from the 2K/stay promotion
  • 10,000 bonus points from the 10 night promotion
  • 28,000 bonus points from the Hilton Aspire

Terms and conditions

  • Members will earn 2,000 Bonus Points per stay on reward stays.
  • Reward stays will also count towards the 10,000 Bonus Point award.
  • The 10,000 Bonus Point award can be earned an unlimited number of times
  • A stay is defined as the total number of consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, whether or not a guest checks out and checks back in again.

You can read more about the questions here.

Final word

Overall, this is a nice promotion. But it is especially nice for people making shorter and cheaper stays since the percentage of return through the bonus points will be much higher. If you can stack your earnings with a Hilton credit card you could be looking at returns in the 60X+ range which is just awesome.


New Wyndham Promotion (Free Night) [2020]

Wyndham is offering a new promo where you can score a free night after completing just your second stay but there is slightly a catch. Below, I will break down everything you need to know about this new promotion and give you some insight into the Wyndham rewards program. 

The new Wyndham promotion

The new Wyndham promotion allows you to earn 5,500 additional bonus points after you complete your second qualifying stay.

Using a WalletFlo valuation of .87 the 5,500 bonus points comes out to $47.85 (but the real value is when you combine these earnings with others to capture a free night which I will explain below.)

Key dates: you will need to book by April 26 and complete your stay by May 21, 2020. 

What about the free night?

If you know anything about the Wyndham Rewards chart, you know that redemptions begin at 7,500 points so you might be asking yourself how does this give you a free night?

Well that is because they are considering the minimum amount you will earn per stay based on the standard rewards rate. Wyndham has a unique reward system where you will either earn 1,000 points per stay or 10 points per dollar spent, whichever is greater.

So if your stay cost $200, then you would get 2,000 points but if your stay was $50 then you would earn 1,000 points. So with that standard earning rate in mind, you will earn a minimum of 7,500 points with the two stays utilizing this promotion.

Wyndham has a simple award system where prices are set in three different tiers. Basically, a free night will cost you 7,500, 15,000, or 30,000 points per bedroom. Therefore, this promotion will set you up for one free night at the bottom tier level of properties. 

If you’re interested in Wyndham be sure to read up on our detailed review of Platinum elite status! You’ll find out how to get additional discounts when redeeming free nights.

Wyndham rewards promo link

You can find the link to the promotion here.

Terms to note

  • A Member who completes two (2) Offer Qualifying Stays pursuant to these Offer Terms will receive 5,500 Wyndham Rewards bonus points (the “Bonus”), typically within two to four weeks after the completion of such Member’s second Offer Qualifying Stay.  
  • 7,500 Wyndham Rewards points are good for 1 standard bedroom per night at thousands of Participating Hotels, subject to availability. Most properties – Go Free award applies to room rate only, including taxes.  Redemption levels for Go Free awards vary by Participating Hotel and can be as high as 30,000 points per night and resort fees (which are not payable with points) may apply.  See the Program Terms for more information about how to redeem Wyndham Rewards points.
  •  Members who have elected to earn airline miles or rail points in their Member profile are not eligible for this Offer.
  • For clarity, any stay completed prior to registration for this Offer, or that has a check-in date prior to February 21, 2020, and/or a check-out date after May 21, 2020, will not be counted towards the Offer.
  • Maximum of one (1) Bonus per Member (even if such Member completes more than two (2) Offer Qualifying Stays).
  • A no-show does not count as an Offer Qualifying Stay.

Final word

Overall, this is a decent promotion but is really only great for people who are already interested in staying at Wyndham properties or who don’t have to stay in top luxury hotels because you will only have enough points for a free night at the most basic type of hotel. If you already earned Wyndham Rewards though this can get you a nice bonus that could help with your next redemption.

H/T: Frequent Miler

American Express Hilton Promotion (1:3) [2020]

American Express has some of the best transfer partners out of any bank program. The best American Express transfer partners are airlines though and it rarely makes sense to use your points to transfer to hotel partners.

But right now, it’s possible that it could make sense to transfer your points over to Hilton due to a promotion going on. Below, I will tell you everything you need to know about this promotion.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

American Express transfer bonus to Hilton

Right now, you can get 50% more Hilton Honors Points when you transfer Membership Rewards points by 4/14/20.

The normal transfer ratio is one Membership Rewards point to two Hilton Honors points but right now it is one Membership Rewards point to three Hilton Honors points. So 10,000 Membership Rewards gets you 30,000 Hilton Honors points.

Get Membership Rewards

If you are looking to maximize your Membership Rewards, a great card to go after right now is the Green Card. You can earn 30,000 Membership Rewards after you spend $2,000 in the first three months, but I really like the Green Card as a long-term points earner because it earns 3X on dining and travel. 

If you want an even better points earning card then consider the Gold Card which earns a whopping 4X on US supermarkets and dining worldwide. And finally, if you want a benefits rich card with a strong welcome bonus then consider the Platinum Card which currently offers 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months.

Is it worth it?

When trying to gauge whether or not it makes sense to do a transfer like this, it’s a good idea to start out with the point of valuations.

In this case, I will use WalletFlo valuations to start the analysis. Those Hilton valuations come out to .52 cents per point and American Express points are valued at 1.75 cents per point.

So let’s say we had 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards. Those would be worth approximately $875. Now if we transferred them over to Hilton with the new promotion that would amount to 150,000 Hilton Honors points which would be worth about $780.

So there would be a decrease in value although that decrease would not be that bad (~10%). If you were simply trying to top off a points balance to make a redemption I think it could be well worth it to use this promotion. 

But if you had a lot of American Express points and you could transfer those over to Hilton and utilize the fifth night free on a redemption then this could be a very lucrative promotion. 

For example, last year I used the fifth night free at an all inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen and my redemption came out .8 cents per point. In that case, I would have been getting 2.4 cents per American Express Membership Rewards point by transferring my Amex points over to Hilton and using a promotion like this. That is terrific value and a great use of points.

Final word 

So here is how I would treat this promotion.

I would not transfer points over to Hilton just to take advantage of the promotion because the transferred value is just not that exceptional.

However, if you are eyeing certain redemptions, especially a fifth night free redemption, then you could potentially come out well on top by utilizing this promotion. 

New Marriott Promotion [2020]

Today, Marriott ends the limited-time offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card which is offering 100,000 Marriott points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. But, you can still earn a lot of Marriott points with the new 2020 promotion that was just released. Below, I will provide you with all the details you need to know.

New Marriott 2020 promotion

  • Get 2,000 bonus points on each stay, starting with your second stay — no bonus point limit.

You must register for the promotion by May 31, 2020. And you must complete your stays between March 17 and June 14, 2020.

By the way, this is the type of promotion that WalletFlo will be able to remind you about in the future so that you don’t ever forget about registering or using the promotion.

Link to register

Is it worth it?

I’m not a huge fan of promotions that only kick in starting with your second stay. But sometimes they can be so lucrative that it is worth taking an unneeded first stay in order to trigger the promotion for a much more lucrative and longer second stay.

This is not the case.

You will only be getting 2000 bonus points on each stay — not even on each night. Using a WalletFlo valuation of .77 cents per point for Marriott points, 2000 bonus points comes out to $15.40.

If you had a few one night stays at a cheaper hotel around $100 per night then that could be like earning and additional 15% back on your status which is pretty good. But that is a pretty limited scenario.

If you are staying multiple nights and paying around 200 per night then the percent back offered by this promotion goes way down. For example, a $200 per night stay for three nights would come out to $600 and you would only net about a 2.5% rebate.

So this promotion is not super lucrative and I would not allow it to shape my travel plans. If you are looking for a great hotel promotion right now, Hilton has a pretty good one that allows you to earn up to 60X in some cases!

Final word

Overall, extra points are always nice but in this case there just is not a very high earning great except for in limited cases when you are making cheap and short hotel stays.

1 2 3 4 11