Points Miles and Bling

Anshul was a hyper mobile professional, with travels across 5 continents. Now he travels mostly on points and loves to share his personal travel gaffes and triumphs on Points Miles and Bling!

Duty Free shopping 101

Duty Free Store Often measured in $ per sq. ft. earnings, duty free stores are a major revenue source for airports (seaports, land crossing as well) and a big chunk of their bottom line. Duty free shopping can save hundreds of dollars if done right. Much like other retail stores, DF stores excel at studying customer behavior and target them with advertising, product placement and sales to nudge into buying what they don’t really need. “Its cheaper because its duty free” is a myth that airports would love everyone to believe. Duty free shopping has become a norm at the point of...

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Confirmation, Alaska Airlines credit card super churn is dead

Back in April this year, FlyerTalk users started reporting the death of the Canadian Alaska Airlines credit card  super churn. Apparently, Alaska airline was now implementing the one card per account rule. I didn’t make much of it (in fact, forgot about it) since I had applied for 4 Alaska cards and enjoyed the 100K miles recently. Well, now I definitely know – its dead. Alaska Airlines Credit Card Benefits, quick glance (Canadian version):   Alaska airlines allowed a person to hold multiple cards and enjoy the 25K bonus miles with each. With generous routing rules, this was my favorite loyalty program to redeem...

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Analysis: IHG Accelerate promo vs Buying points outright

IHG Accelerate Fall 2016 promotion was recently launched and there has been a flurry of offer comparisons on various platforms. Since each account is targeted with a personalized offer, its hard to make an absolute judgement on the promotion but by and large the sentiment seems to be ‘its not as good as last year’. You can check your personalized offer by clicking here. IHG Accelerate Fall 2016 Offer My account was targeted with 67,200 bonus points. I would need 6 nights across 3 brands with one stay in September to achieve the maximum bonus. 6 nights is a lot...

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When Premium Economy is cheaper than Economy

The very mention of Premium Economy compels travelers into a passionate discussion of worthiness and relative value. We have seen several airlines adopt this mid tier seating in their inventory to capture passengers who are willing to pay a little more than economy but not quite business fares. While biting into a Premium Economy  fare vs an Economy fare can be quite the head-scratcher,  what when premium economy (PE) is cheaper than economy (Econ)? It’s a no-brainer. If you are wondering what a PE cabin looks like, here is a look into Air Canada’s  PE features. Premium Economy cheaper than...

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WestJet Status Match is back

Its that time of the year again when select airlines float status match offers to lure elite customer base their way. WestJet status match is back and this year the promotion is called ‘Gold is on the horizon’. Last year, this offer was open for any North American airline elite status holder; however, this year it is open to ANY Travel Reward Program’s (airline, hotel, car rental etc) elite tier status customers.  The good news continues in the Terms and Conditions section with “Offer is open to all current and new members of WestJet Rewards, including members who achieved Gold through previous promotional offers,...

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YOW meetup, Andaz Ottawa pre-opening tour

YOW Exclusive: Thanks to our good friends at Canadian Points University, we are all set to host the first YOW meetup this Saturday, August 20th. Attendees will have a chance to attend the exclusive pre-opening tour of the Andaz Ottawa from 5:00pm – 6:00pm. Limited spaces are available for the tour, RSVP here. My hard-hat tour of the property was incredible and I cant wait to see the finished product. YOW Meetup Following the tour, the group will move to Cornerstone Bar and Grill in the historic ByWard Market to soak in all the points and miles fun! You...

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Sneak peek at Canada’s first Andaz property, Andaz Ottawa

Canada is all set to embrace its first Andaz brand hotel in the country, Andaz Ottawa! This modern and chic property will call the coveted historic Byward Market district its home. Andaz Ottawa Highlights 200 rooms, 7 suits, and 1 presidential suite 6 Andaz Studios which make up non traditional meeting space A Rooftop Bar and Lounge 1 Restaurant Hotel Designed by Toronto based company, Mason Studio Last week I had a chance to tour the property, the hard-hat-and-boots tour highlighted that it was very much a construction zone. The property is open to public and accepting reservations as of August 23rd. A comprehensive...

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Why I was compensated with 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points

My recent stay at the Andaz West Hollywood in Los Angeles was incredible in many ways. From the exceptional service standards and the grandeur of the property, the stay was close to perfect. Unfortunately, the checkout experience derailed the perfect ending to this story. Until I was compensated with 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points. Backstory I had booked a points+cash rate (10,000 + $125 USD/night) for 4 nights at the Andaz West Hollywood. A few weeks later, I jumped on an opportunity to buy discounted e-Gift Card (e-GC) via cardcash.com .  With a specific use in mind, at 17% discount, bought...

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Purchase Hyatt Gold Passport points with 30% bonus

The 30% bonus on Hyatt points purchase is back. This new promotion runs until August 31st and is a flat 30% bonus on purchase of 5000 points or higher. Hyatt Gold Passport Bonus The maximum points that can be bought through this promotion is 55,000 + 16,500 and costs $1320 USD.     The best value of this promotion is obviously at the 55,000 +16,500 level at ~1.84 US cents per mile (cpm). I value Hyatt points at ~1.7 US cpm so this promotion is not one where I would simply buy the points to fatten the account balance. However, if...

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Hotel Review: Andaz West Hollywood

The coveted Andaz West Hollywood (WeHo) had been on my to-do list for a few years. A property as much famed for its elegance as for its wild past. During a recent trip to California, I decided to indulge and experience this property in all its glory. Booking: Recognizing the demand for this property during peak summer season, I planned ahead and booked months in advance. For our four night stay, I  booked a points+cash rate (10,000 points + $125 per night) for a standard Andaz King room (227 square foot). Then I called the Hyatt reservation line and used a Diamond Suite upgrade amenity...

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