Author Archives: 2btravel

About 2btravel

I love traveling and go where I can when I can. I prefer to use points & miles as payment! This site will concentrate on trip reports and how I used points to accomplish it. Happy to help others 2B Traveling with points too!

Some Hyatt Places/Houses Testing the Elimination of Free Breakfast

On Friday Gary of View From The Wing had a blog post stating that at a few select locations Hyatt is eliminating the free breakfast at some Hyatt Place/Hyatt House properties.

If you made your reservation for one of these locations before February 1st you’ll still get the breakfast regardless of your Hyatt status but if not, only those with Globalist status (Hyatt’s top tier) will get free breakfast. The rest of us will be charged $10 if we want to partake.

When I’m using points to stay at a Hyatt property I’m usually at a full-service hotel. But when I’m paying cash – or using the free night voucher I get with my Chase Hyatt credit card – I’m often at a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House and one of the reasons is that these hotels have pretty good breakfast spreads. It’s not just cereal and pastries but there are several kinds of hot entrees and sometimes you can even have omlettes cooked to order.

I’ve not yet seen a full list of properties where the breakfast is not included but I really hope the feedback on this change is overwhelmingly negative. I love the larger rooms in Hyatt Places/Houses and how there’s a separate area with a sofa for lounging. I actively look for these properties when traveling but if this change becomes permanent I will question whether I need to stay at Hyatts in the future or not.

Categories: Hotel, Hyatt | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Register Now for Q2 Category Bonuses

Registration is now open for quarterly bonus categories for the Chase Freedom, Discover and US Bank Cash+ cards.

Chase Freedom

Starting today you can register your Chase Freedom card and in April you’ll receive 5x Ultimate Rewards points on purchases made at grocery stores, Paypal and on purchases made through the Chase Pay mobile payment system.  You must activate by June 14, 2018 to earn 5x during this quarter but you don’t have to activate before you make your purchases.  You can earn the 5x points for up to $1500 in purchases.  After that you’ll earn the usual 1x points per dollar.  Note that you won’t earn points at Wal-Mart or Target grocery stores unless you pay via Chase Pay or Paypal.

Discover Card

Discover has chosen to reveal their entire 2018 calendar and for the second quarter their 5% cash back category is Grocery Stores.  To register, just log into your Discover account online or visit this link to log inNote that to receive the 5% cash back you must register first before making your purchase.  You can earn 5% back on up to $1500 in purchases.

US Bank Cash+

US Bank is changing things up just a little by adding Home Utilities and removing Bookstores.  Select 1 of the 2% categories and 2 of the 5% categories, based on your needs.  For the 5% category you can earn the 5% on up to $2000 in purchases.  To select your categories, visit the US Bank Cash+ website.

Categories: Cash Plus, Chase, Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards, Discover, Freedom, US Bank | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Earn United Miles for Gasoline Purchases with BP

Most of us have or are aware of credit cards that earn bonus miles/points for purchases at gas stations.  For example, during this first quarter of 2018, the Chase Freedom card  has gas stations as one of its bonus categories and you can earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent.  The IHG card will earn 2 points per dollar.  The Hilton card will give you 5 points per dollar.  And now you can double up those bonuses when you link your card to your BP Driver Rewards account.

You can sign up at this website or if you’re like me and already have a BP Driver Reward account, just log into your account, click on the BP Driver Rewards tab at the top and scroll down just a little until you see the photo of the United Airlines plane.

When you click on the Learn More button you see that you can earn 1, 2 or 3 miles per gallon:

Even better, you’ll earn 200 bonus miles for your first purchase after linking a debit or credit card to your BP Driver Rewards account and paying with that card.

The downside to this is that you can’t earn both cash back and airline miles for the same purchase. If you already have a BPDR account and you want to earn miles, you’ll need to log into your account to change your rewards type.  You can do that on the My Account tab.

NOTE: This promotion is not available to California residents.

If you don’t have other ways of earning United miles, this is a great way to extend the life of the miles you do have, since every addition of miles extends the life of your entire pool of miles for 18 months.

What if BP gas is not the cheapest in your area?  United miles are worth approximately 1.4-1.5 cents apiece.  So if BP gas is more than about 2 cents per gallon more expensive than your usual gas station it might not be worth more than an occasional visit to help extend your UA miles.  I’ve recently stocked up on Kroger fuel points thanks to a 4x fuel points on gift cards promotion this weekend so it may be a month or two before I take advantage of this BP promotion.

But for those of you who spend a lot at the pump, this could be a nice way to bump up your UA stash of points.


HT: Pizza In Motion

Categories: Free Points, United | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Lodging Review: The Crestwood, Snowmass Village (and the conclusion of the luggage saga)

I checked out of the Westin Snowmass mid-morning as the snow continued to fall and drove the few miles over to my home for the next week, The Crestwood. While there are a few more properties higher up the mountain on the same road, this road is not one of the ones in Snowmass Village that is heated so you’ll want to be sure your vehicle is properly equipped if you plan to drive here in the winter.

The Crestwood parking lot is heated, however, and while it was having trouble keeping the parking lot snow-free, it was doing the best it could. The Crestwood has several shuttle vans that will take you wherever you need to go within Snowmass Village. The Village Shuttle, the free bus system for Snowmass, actually has a stop on The Crestwood’s property and there’s even a small indoor waiting area, which is terrific.

The front desk is in a centrally-located building. Walking through the front desk area and out the back door you’ll find the heated pool and two hot tubs. Downstairs is the small gym and a massage room. More about those later.

I had to wait a little to check in. The snow was still coming down and a number of flights out of the Aspen Airport (ASE) had been cancelled, stranding people overnight so there were folks who’d stayed here last night trying to find a place for another night or two. I wasn’t bothered about a slight wait as I knew there was a good chance my condo wouldn’t be ready anyway and that turned out to be the case. Since I still had no luggage I was just able to leave my carry-on behind the desk and catch a ride in the shuttle over to the Mountain Mall (basically right where I’d been at the Westin!).

The Tylenol, breakfast and cool air had really helped to alleviate my headache and I stopped by one of the ski shops to put a pair of demo skis on hold for the next day as I was anticipating my luggage arriving later that day. By now I was getting hungry so I enjoyed a leisurely lunch. The restaurant I selected was fairly quiet as so many folks were out enjoying what was shaping up to be the largest single snowfall of the season so far.

I eventually got a call from The Crestwood stating my condo was ready so I took the Village Shuttle back to the property where I checked in and got my key. Continue reading

Categories: Condos, Lodging Review, Snowmass | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Lodging Review: Westin Snowmass (and part 1 of the luggage saga)

You know that saying “Man Plans, God Laughs”? Yeah, that kinda described the first couple of days of my recent ski trip, the first night of which was at the Westin Snowmass.

I had a Saturday-Saturday ski trip planned with my ski club at Snowmass, one of the four Aspen-area resorts that can all be skied using a single lift ticket. It was time to replace my skis so I wanted to demo a few different pair while finding the ones that worked best for me. As I planned this trip I decided I didn’t want to miss a day skiing with my friends, so I’d go a day early and demo several pair before they arrived.

So it was on a Friday in February I left Memphis, enjoyed my leisurely 3-hour connection in Houston and landed on-time at the Vail/Eagle County Airport (EGE). [I had decided against flying in to the more convenient Aspen Airport (ASE) based on my experience last year.] And I had no bags. Neither one of them. The helpful baggage agent found that the bags had made it to Houston and were in the process of being rerouted (and I could see the same info on the app). Since mine was the only Houston-Vail flight of the day, we both assumed they were going to Denver, which had a couple more flights into Vail later that day. She said they’d deliver them to me that evening. So I hopped in my rental car and headed to Snowmass.

As a side note, I had planned to use the Colorado Mountain Express shuttle to/from the airport but my flight out of EGE was around 7:30 AM and CME didn’t have a shuttle leaving the Aspen area that early. An Uber or taxi would have been around $200 so when I found a rental car for $280 that price was as cheap or only a little more expensive than the CME shuttle + Uber combined and I’d have the Independence of having a car if I needed it so it seemed the better option.

It was sunny on my drive to Aspen and it was late afternoon by the time I arrived at the Westin Snowmass. The valet greeted me promptly and I decided to just let him handle the car since I’d only be there one night. Of course since I had no luggage, all he had to deal with was the car.

Westin Snowmass Main Entrance (on the day I checked out)

The front desk is just inside the door and to the right. The lobby is fairly large as there’s a lounging area with après-ski hot beverages available to guests and the bar is off to the right beyond the front desk.

Westin Snowmass Front Desk

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The associate who checked me in was efficient and friendly. She recognized my SPG Gold status and asked if I’d prefer 500 points or a coupon for an adult beverage. Naturally, I took the points. I said I only needed one key but she said she’d give me two as the room had a slot where the card needed to be entered for the power to work. I appreciated that since it meant I wouldn’t have to use a card of my own for that purpose. I was given the keys to room 598 and pointed to the elevator which were not far away.

Continue reading

Categories: Hotel, Lodging Review, Starwood | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Marriott Extra Points Sundays is Back!

During the NFL regular season we saw Marriott offer 1000 bonus points each week if you could answer an NFL trivia question.  That promotion ended with the regular season but they’ve brought it back for one day only for the Super Bowl.

If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to link your Marriott and Twitter accounts so that once the questions start you’ll be able to earn the bonus points.  To learn how to connect your accounts, see this post.

Good luck to both teams!  Those of us here in Memphis win either way as both kickers are U of M alums!

Categories: Free Points, Marriott | Tags: , | Leave a comment

1000 Free Marriott Points is Back!

After taking a week off for Christmas, Marriott is back with their offer of 1000 free points if you can answer their NFL trivia question. Here is this week’s question:

If you think you know the answer, link your Marriott and Twitter accounts (see this post for instructions) and reply to @MarriottRewards with the answer.  Be sure to include the hashtag #RewardsPoints.  Tweets must be submitted by 8 PM ET.

This is the last week of the NFL’s regular season and I don’t know if Marriott will continue to offer points during the playoffs so be sure to get these 1000 points this week!

Note: Two weeks ago there were issues with bots compromising the process so make sure you get a response to your tweet.  If you submit your tweet before 8 PM ET but don’t hear back from Marriott by the following morning, follow up with tweets to @MarriottRewards and @Marriott to be sure you get your points.

Categories: Free Points, Marriott | Tags: , | Leave a comment

2017 In Review

It’s time to take a look back at my travel for 2017.  According to TripIt (a great app for keeping up with all your travel reservations!) here were my statistics for 2017:

Jet Lovers, a cool site that reads your Swarm or Facebook check-ins and maps your travel from that, calculated my distances as a little further, but still pretty close.  I also like the map they create that highlights airport names.  The more prominent the airport name, the more times that airport was visited during the year:

Continue reading

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Another Week, Another 1000 Marriott Points!

Marriott is back at it, giving away 1000 points if you can answer their NFL-related trivia question by 8 PM ET tonight.  This week’s question:

If you know the answer, Tweet the answer to @MarriottRewards and include the hashtag #RewardsPoints.  If you haven’t yet linked your Twitter account to your Marriott Rewards account, what are you waiting for?  Find out how to do that here.  Good luck!

Categories: Free Points, Marriott | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Earn Miles for Donating to California Wildfire Relief

From now through the end of the year you can earn bonus United MileagePlus miles for donating to their partners for disaster relief due to the California wildfires.  United is partnering with the American Red Cross and the San Diego Humane Society.  If you’re a MileagePlus member you’ve probably already received an email to this effect and you can click on the link in your email or you can click here to to be taken to the donation page.

United will give bonus miles based on a tiered structure:

  • Donations of $50-99 will receive 250 bonus miles
  • Donations of $100-249 will receive 500 bonus miles
  • Donations of $250 or more will receive 1,000 bonus miles

United will award up to 3,000,000 bonus miles in total and will match the first $100,000 donated.

Note that the donations are handled by CrowdRise so they will not count as an airline charge for points-earning purposes.

It’s never a bad time to help those in need and doing so over the next couple of weeks will earn you bonus miles for doing so.

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