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Richard Kerr: I'll start singing too. inaudible Turn it off. Good enough. crosstalk.

Ed Pizza: You ready? You done making fun of me?

Richard Kerr: Nope. Never.

Ed Pizza: Perfect. There's your inaudible.

Speaker 3: Climb aboard, this is the Miles to Go podcast. Your source for the latest in travel news, reviews and strategies you can't afford to miss. And now here is your host, travel expert and road warrior, Ed Pizza.

Ed Pizza: Hey guys. Welcome back to the Miles to Go podcast. Mr. Kerr is playing Superman this week. No, not the way you think, but he is literally crammed into a phone booth right now and his face is so close to the camera, I could literally see the pimples on his forehead right now.

Richard Kerr: I have a great skincare routine. That is false, I don't have any pimples. I'm just ugly.

Ed Pizza: Yes. Oh no, all of that's true. Well, I don't know if you have a skincare routine, but that's up to you. Mr. Kerr was nice enough to take a break from his work trip this week and he is crammed into a little phone booth at the world headquarters for Bilt Rewards.

Richard Kerr: Global headquarters, yes, global.

Ed Pizza: Of course.

Richard Kerr: Soon to be intergalactic.

Ed Pizza: No I think crosstalk.

Richard Kerr: First credit card on Mars. Bilt Rewards.

Ed Pizza: First credit card on Mars, there you go. Welcome back folks. We keep getting stacked up on these questions and I don't think we're going to get through all of them this week again either, we've got a bunch lined up. I promise folks, if you send them in, we will get to them in a future episode. I'm replying back to folks in the background as well for stuff that's time sensitive, but we appreciate hearing from everyone.
It's been a relatively quiet week in the travel world. I won't say there's been anything earth shattering. We're, oddly enough, going to talk about Marriott, yet again. Mr. Kerr had what I thought was a very interesting exchange with the Marriott property as it results to award inventory. As I think you so eloquently put it, this is the way that awards work now?

Richard Kerr: That was a thesis that I need to go test out further. Maybe we'll do that after I tell everybody the story.

Ed Pizza: We definitely need more examples of that. But yes, for the 7,456th week in a row, we will be talking about Marriott. We'll be talking about Hyatt maybe a little bit too. Maybe not in the most positive light, even though it is our favorite hotel chains, Kerr went a little bit sideways this week with his Hyatt choice.
But before we dive into that, let's try and tackle some listener questions. And for you folks at home, you can shoot us an email, ed@pizzainmotion.com if you've got a question. You can also text or leave us a voicemail, 5 7 1 2 9 3 6 6 5 9. And lastly, you can always hit us up on social media. And in a celebration from last week, Mr. Kerr actually has an Instagram account again. Is it still back in place?

Richard Kerr: It's still back in place. We finally found the human being to jump in and help and turns out, like most things in life, it's all about who you know. We found the right person and overnight he was able to get it flipped back on.

Ed Pizza: Excellent. So Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, he is @kerrpoints and I am @pizzainmotion. So that's how you find us, that's how you send in your questions. And we've got a bunch here to sift through. One of the ones I want to touch on first, because it's a quick one with a disappointing answer, from one of our-

Richard Kerr: I want to know the question now.

Ed Pizza: One of our listeners and readers, May-may, who really wants to find out how Richard is getting the 20 to 30% discount on Disney gift cards through Capital One Shopping and quite frankly, so do I. But unfortunately, my Capital One Shopping account has not been marketed for this offer. If I remember correctly, you were targeted multiple times for increasing offers via Capital One Shopping for this.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, so I installed the Capital One Shopping Chrome extension and the app on my phone, and the very end of November, beginning of December, I got targeted email offers that said 20% off, at first, Disney gift cards from Sam's Club, which are already discounted. Kind of weird because everybody that uses shopping portals knows that gift cards are user excluded or don't pay out. And then I did the first order and I got another targeted offer, now up to 30% off Disney gift cards specifically at Sam's. Maybe I was a little hesitant but I ended up going all in and got about $600 in Capital One Shopping credit, which we redeemed for Walmart gift cards to go do grocery shopping or buy all the toiletries and odds and ends that the household needs. That was a pretty sweet offer, but have not seen it since.

Ed Pizza: Have you used anything else from the Capital One shopping portal? Is that the only one you've redeemed so far?

Richard Kerr: No. There's a few things that popped up, again with the Chrome plugin. If you go to a website that you wouldn't even think would be on a shopping portal. Capital One's like, "Hey, here's a code plus save you get 10% cash back in Capital One Shopping credit." Which again, it's not like cash, it can be redeemed for like 30 different gift cards right now but I mean, Walmart gift card is good as cash as far as we're concerned. So yeah, it's great. I encourage everybody to download the app and install the Chrome extension.

Ed Pizza: Unfortunately I didn't get the Disney offers, I did get a Sam's Club offer, but it was only for new memberships so it was a weaker offer. I've seen some other stuff and as you, I download the Chrome extension just to give it a try, I'm usually not a big fan of those things. So far, I haven't found any successful codes for car rentals, though I don't know that I was necessarily expecting that.
There have been a couple of things where it's had a promo code for a specific website where I was buying something, just like a regular shopping purchase. In most cases, I already had some sort of a discount, because I don't usually to buy anything online from someone not named Amazon, unless I've got some sort of a shipping code, but it does seem to be reasonable enough.
I don't have enough of these points, or whatever this currency is, to redeem for anything meaningful yet, so I'll be interested to see how this goes. I think ultimately when we think about everything that happened with SimplyMiles, phenomenal 240 mile per dollar promotion at the end of the year. I think what I'm starting to see is that these different portals are starting to become more important. Again, there was a time when Grand Slam was around, stuff for the U.S Airways, you used to hunt the portals all the time. They became less useful and I sort feel like we're headed back the other way. It's a lot of places to check for different deals.

Richard Kerr: It's a lot of work.

Ed Pizza: But there are some offers. I think I talked about this a couple weeks ago on the show, but I had an offer for a bonus of 400 or 500 miles for a $30 Barnes & Noble purchase that I was already going to make. That's a pretty meaningful offer.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. Did a SimplyMiles offer on the way to the airport yesterday 20 bucks in gas through the BPme app and got 465 American miles and loyalty points just for buying the gas I was going to buy anyways. I'm actually looking at Capital One shopping app right now, Hertz is 8% back, IHG 3% and Hilton 2.5% and Bonvoy Marriott booking is 3%. Might as well, if you're going to make any of these travel bookings, get a little something back.

Ed Pizza: And just to be clear for folks are listening, on all of those portals, you're still making a native booking on the website, so you can still cancel. It's not like the Capital One Travel portal, which I'm a fan of, but has its drawbacks in terms of cancellation penalties. Because it's not a native booking, it's considered a third party booking, you sometimes miss benefits like free wifi and stuff like that. When Kerr is referring to these rebates, these are rebates that post process afterwards almost like clicking through the Best Buy or something else search or through a shopping portal.

Richard Kerr: Yep. Just another rebate, another kind of shopping portal thing Capital One has got going. Pretty cool.

Ed Pizza: And I'm pretty bad at those, I'll be honest. I do not do a good job of remembering to book through those for hotel stays. Mostly because I pick up my phone, I fire up the app for whatever hotel chain I'm going to, I book the room and move on from there. Or if it's Resort World, I call our buddy, Traeger up, who we need to get on the show, for my Resort World booking.

Richard Kerr: Sadly, Hyatt has never been on any portal. At least as long as I've been in there.

Ed Pizza: No, the only thing I can remember for Hyatt was way back in the day, this goes back probably almost 10 years now, Hyatt sold gift cards ... Sorry, paper gift certificates at Costco. They were 20% off. A $250 gift certificates would cost you 80 bucks and you could get the 2% off for an executive member. So you could get 22% off all your Hyatt stays.
I was staying with Hyatt almost exclusively at that point, both for work and leisure. I got to know the general manager of my Costco very well because I essentially took all the inventory that they got in every time they got it in. I was buying them five and 10 grand to the clip because it was 22% off of everything and you could use them. You just had to save time to get to the front desk and redeem them, but they work great.

Richard Kerr: You know what hasn't been great this week about Hyatt is a little stay I've got going on right now here in Manhattan as we speak during recording. I've been on a mission to try out every single Hyatt in Manhattan, and during January and February rates are traditionally a lot lower and this year they're very low. I've been hopping Hyatts just like we talked about Guild Hall.
This week has led me to my first Small Luxury Hotels of the World booking. It's not technically a Hyatt, but you can book it through hyatt.com. You do get stay credit and some benefits. Led me to the HGU hotel on 32nd street.

Ed Pizza: I'd never heard of this hotel and I'm not saying I know every New York hotel, but I scan the Hyatt app pretty regularly and I've never seen that on there.

Richard Kerr: It's not on there all the time. I filled it up or whatnot, rather small, it doesn't show in the search results all the time. Maybe should have been my first clue, but Small Luxury Hotels of the World. I've heard some people have wonderful stay at these properties around the world.

Ed Pizza: Yep,

Richard Kerr: Man, it is ... Let me say this as politely and as kindly as possible to our good buddies at Hyatt, which they know and is technically not even Hyatt property. Here's the nicest way I can describe this hotel: it's a dumpster fire.

Ed Pizza: Well, you very polite this week, Mr. Kerr.

Richard Kerr: You walk into the bulletproof glass at the desk. The first thing the dude says is, "Sign your rate sheet and initial that you're not going to smoke in the room." And you're like, "Oh boy, this doesn't feel like a Luxury Hotels of the World booking."
He says, "Housekeeping's completely suspended. If you need new towels, just come downstairs and we'll hand them to you through the bulletproof glass." He says, "The gym partnership next door ..." I am trying to get and stay healthy on the road this year so I have been working out and picking hotels based on the things I like to do in the morning. He says, "That partnership has been suspended," but still very much advertised on their website. You go up to the floor that looks literally like the cross between a brothel with these red exit lights that are just taken over the entire ... It's just a red hallway now that looks awful.

Ed Pizza: This is the nice version?

Richard Kerr: Reeks of cigarette smoke. And then you get in the room that has these gross throw blankets and pillows that you know have never been washed. The showers got the paint peeling off the top and it took a really long time to get hot water. And they have a new technology in the room. There are solid glass window panes, but they actually do not stop a single sound wave from the road and they direct and amplify the sound waves to wherever your head is in the bed. Because I woke up every hour to a truck backing up, somebody yelling, drag racing, sirens, and it is freaking miserable. That's the nice way of describing the HGU.
Sadly, I had to wake up very early this morning, get a bunch of work done before heading into the office here. Packing all my stuff and lugging it to ... I had to go to a studio first to record. Then I had to lug it through the snow and salt that's on the sidewalk to the office, to them. I just couldn't be bothered so I just got out there and I'm going to stay out of there as long as I can, hopefully get some sleep tonight and then I'm gone.
But man, whew, never Small Luxury Hotels of the World. This is my first time actually booking one of these so if this is the expectation, I'm out. I'm not touching these things again. I don't know. It's terrible.

Ed Pizza: Well, it shouldn't be your last time booking them because there are some really great Small Luxury Hotels of the World. But I think I'm certainly disappointed to hear that it was that bad. I think it's a great ... If we ever needed a good example that Mr. Kerr and I will be a hundred percent honest even when it's about our favorite travel brands, I think your very detailed description of the HGU will-

Richard Kerr: Nobody's reviewed this thing. I've tried to search for reviews after last night.

Ed Pizza: I've never heard of it.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. It's like, I guess we're really flowing under the radar, but it's on hyatt.com if you search for New York City. Most of the time, or I don't know, but man, whew.

Ed Pizza: I thought, like I said, I travel there quite a bit and I thought I knew all the Hyatt and SLH properties there and that one has escaped me.

Richard Kerr: I saw that throw blanket and it's this fluffy thing that, even if it went into a washing machine, would probably clog the whole thing up with lint and stuff. Could not believe that anybody thought this in New York City or any hotel. I took my shoe off and just pushed the blanket off onto the floor. I'm not even touching this thing. The same with these two very coarse pillows that are like obvious throw pillows. That there's no way they wash these things. Are you kidding me? Oh my God, it's terrible. Horrible. Sorry, but you guys have some work to do that property.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. I don't think you'll be back. And thankfully you took that bullet so I don't have, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Richard Kerr: Anyways, if you want to know, I'm almost done with all the Hyatts of Manhattan and Hyatt affiliated properties. So if anybody wants to know, just shoot me a line.

Ed Pizza: There you go. All right. Well, before we talk Marriott again, we've got a couple more questions that we want to churn through. One of them is actually not a question. It's almost like they're taunting you, Richard. Molly, who we've gotten questions from on the show before, was nice enough to send us a screenshot of her Chase Sapphire Reserve extension of her DoorDash DashPass membership.
And she says, "I am so excited to see that the CSR has worked out an agreement with DoorDash. Free has been an amazing perk during 2021. I've saved over $800 in delivery-free fees." In parentheses, she says, "Don't judge." Well, Molly, you should know by now, if you listen to the show that I will absolutely judge you, just like I judge Mr. Kerr for keeping on going back to the well. $800 in delivery fees. I would just ask, how many of those orders were, A, correct, and B, delivered in a timely manner.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. And if everybody who has not been listening to Mark over at Miles To Memories, he has taken up the hobby for research purposes of being a DoorDash Dasher, delivery person. He's done about 250 deliveries he says now, and just recounted his latest escapades on the Miles to Memories podcast. It just solidifies that these platforms need to go away. It's miserable for the customer. It's miserable for the restaurant. It's miserable for the Dashers. Can we just please make this stop? It is just awful.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, I deal with this a lot during my day job and we actually have some meetings with some of the third party delivery companies coming up because of some pushback that they've given us on certain elements of the contracts. I'm trying to be a little bit vague, but boy, these sorts of things where Chase Sapphire Reserve extends these memberships. I think they further exacerbate the problem because so somebody gets this for free as part of their card. They see it as a benefit, which obviously it is, and they use it. But ultimately this person isn't paying DoorDash anything for this. Chase is probably paying them something on behalf of them. I don't know how much, certainly would be insanely curious to know that number. If anybody's listening, it happens to have the economics of that deal, you know where to find us.
But to me, this is kind of like your rants about the AmEx Centurion lounges. The reality is, there are not enough drivers to make this stuff work in a timely fashion and there aren't enough skilled drivers to make it happen in an organized fashion. We get no less than three or four complaints a week from customers who say, "I didn't get my soda," or, "The driver was late," or, "The sticker was broken on my bag," all these things. It just feels like these systems are horribly broken.
All that to say, full circle, Molly. I am super thrilled that you're getting that value out of your credit card. It certainly emphasizes the point that we talk about that you want to make sure credit cards are paying for themselves if keep them in your wallet. I just think that you should change your priorities and look for better benefits than free DoorDash. But that's just me. You can't make noises like that because you know you're going to order from one of these platforms again.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. Well, it is February 2nd as we're recording so I do have another 60 bucks here in my Uber account, but we are going on a trip this weekend so I'm actually going to use them for an Uber.

Ed Pizza: Much better. Yeah. Because if not, you're sitting here shaming one of our listeners while you're literally going to turn around-

Richard Kerr: To be fair, I think you did the majority of the shaming, Mr. Pizzarello.

Ed Pizza: Yes, but I'm not using the services. You're shaming her and then you're going to turn around and order from these people who will be pissed when you order wrong again.

Richard Kerr: No, I'm riding Uber this weekend. That's what I'm going to do.

Ed Pizza: Okay. That probably won't get messed up.

Richard Kerr: Probably will. Let's be honest.

Ed Pizza: Let's try and squeeze in one more question and then we get to talk about Marriott stuff, it's just hilarious. I can't wait for that.

Richard Kerr: This is a good one. Yeah. That's a good one.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. All right. So this is Christie from just outside of Chicago and Christie is probably really cold right now. January, February in Chicago is just not pleasant, but I will be in Chicago next week. She says she loves the show. She says, "You make my ride to and from work so much better."

Richard Kerr: Even with all the snow and salt right now. That'd do it.

Ed Pizza: Bold move to be driving in Chicago. She has a question. She's a teacher, "Neither my husband nor I travel for work. What's the best way to accumulate points? Planning a trip to London slash Paris for my family of three in the summer of 2023 but I only travel about two to three times per year normally." For me, this is like, the dinner table is set up, the plate's in front of me. I got a fork in a knife and I can't wait. This is-

Richard Kerr: Ready for that DoorDash driver to show up with your food. You'll be waiting a while.

Ed Pizza: I love somebody who's thinking about next year and they're planning now. Now, you've got a little bit of time, but not a ton cause you obviously you start looking at award inventory. But what I would say is, figure out what your highest spend categories are, pick one or two of them and find a credit card now that aligns with them.
Mr. Kerr and I are definitely of fans of flexible currency and our three favorites, in no specific order, are Chase Ultimate Rewards, America Express Membership Rewards and Bilt Tewards. Capital One's moving up but I don't think Capital ... At least in my opinion, I think Capital One with the 10x travel portal is great. But for you guys not traveling a lot, I don't know that that's the best fit for you.
I'd be looking at one of those other three cards, I would say clearly in bias to Mr. Kerr's place of business, if you rent your house or apartment in Chicago, then I definitely think the Bilt card is a great option for you. If not, I'd probably lean Chase Ultimate Rewards because you've got both United and American by way of the British Airways partnership that you can transfer points to for award flights. You're based in Chicago where both of those airlines have hubs.
I'd be thinking, Chase Ultimate Rewards if I were you, and I'd be picking a card from the Chase family that got you the most bonus points for things that you normally buy. That might also mean getting two cards. It might mean something like a Chase Freedom and then one of the more premium credit cards like the Sapphire Preferred, the Sapphire Reserve. But that's my high-level strategy.
I'd also say, if you want to just text us back again and tell us what your highest spend categories are, we'd be happy to help. But I think United and American via British airways on the Ultimate Rewards partnership give you great ways to get to Europe. And in fact, I think you could even consider, even though it's not quite as great as a United or American flight, Air France KLM is another great option. If you want to start in Paris and work your way back. That's my 2 cents. What about you, Mr. Kerr?

Richard Kerr: Yeah, I would start with a Chase Sapphire Preferred. Get that sign up bonus. I would take a look at having husband get the Aeroplan card with the certificates that'll get you across the pond on a variety of Star Alliance carriers rather easily. Obviously if you are a renter, you don't want to throw those points away. You want to get the Bilt card, which is another transferable points currency that gives you plenty of options and that you could actually transfer into Aeroplan to team up with all the certificates that you get from the new Aeroplan card and the trip to Europe is rather that easy. That would be my advice.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. Signup bonuses can play a big part in you guys accelerating. I think once you have a family, you've obviously got to start thinking about ways to rack up points quickly. You heard us talk about the SimplyMiles portal earlier and the Capital One shopping portal. I think things like the Simplyiles portal and some of the other shopping portals are great ways to accelerate your earning.
Back to school shopping is a great time to hit all the portals because they almost all have a shopping bonus, especially as a teacher. I know you'll be buying stuff for your classroom. That's another great time to rack up some points as well.
All right, Mr. Kerr, let's take a step back here for a second. I know I've got a few more listener questions, but I want to make sure that we get time for ... I have to imagine is the most bizarre correspondence I've heard in relation to booking an award room in quite some time.

Richard Kerr: The strangest correspondence on that I've had with a hotel or hotel chain. Good boy, good buddies over at Marriott.

Ed Pizza: And to be clear, you did not solicit this. I know you said you might have tagged the property, but you didn't reach out to the property.

Richard Kerr: No, I did not. What had happened was, Marriott Vacation Club, Harbour Lake in Orlando has been the only place that I've redeemed Marriott points outside of a random airport hotel stay, probably the last three years. No resort fees, no parking fees, two bedroom condos with full kitchen, two water parks, a pirate ship, a water slide, minigolf. Kids love it.
Tons of things to do very reasonably priced. We redeem points there at least four times. I've done, I think, a paid stay there. I noticed at the end of last year that the property has essentially taken itself out of the Bonvoy program and when you do flexible date search one night at a time throughout the rest of the entire published calendar now, for almost three months, there's not been a single date that you can redeem Bonvoy points out of the property.
It's frustrating, but again, not unexpected given what Bonvoy does. At the end of last year, I don't remember who I contacted, I think it was the Marriott corporate. I either called or emailed and said, "Hey, there's not a single date that you can redeem points," and was told "Yeah, Marriott Vacation Club properties are not participating in Bonvoy right now." And I was like, "Oh, that's contrary to all your published terms and conditions and no announcement was made out of that, et cetera, et cetera."
I've kept an eye on it and been like, "Whatever, I'm so done with this." And then last week I just looked again, because my wife ... Again, family friendly property, everybody has something to do. The kids love it, it's great. None of the extra BS fees. I was like, "It's still taking itself out of it entirely."
There's not single date you can redeem points. Even when rates are as low as 139 a night and every base room of the property looks like it's available, you can't redeem points for it. I just made a tweet and I said, "Hey, Harbour Lakes continued to take itself out of the Bonvoy program. Really disappointing." And tagged the main Marriott Bonvoy account, which traditionally has not done anything over the last few years of being a useful social handle.
They did send me a message that said, "Hey, will you send us an email? We're going to forward this on to management and they'll get in touch with you." And I was like, "Sure, here's my personal email." Didn't think anything about it. Not trying to exact any change. But yesterday I got an email from the revenue and sales manager of the actual Harbour Hotel that said, "Hey, Mr. Kerr, I understand you're looking to redeem points. Do you have any dates in mind?" I screenshotted this and sent it to you guys, Ed. Because I was like, "What?"

Ed Pizza: For those that are a lot older than Mr. Kerr, remember that sound when the needle on the record just scratches across? That's literally the sound I made in my head when he sent me that text.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, he says, "There are some timeframes where inventory is limited. So booking on points may be unavailable." It's like, "Got it, man. But there are the dates where tons base rooms for under 150 bucks a night are available." I just said, "Hey, appreciate the follow up. We love the property. We redeem points. I don't see anything on any date. We're looking for three or four nights in late March or early April. Are there any dates?" And I was again like, "Am I negotiating with this guy? Is this how loyalty programs work?"
He wrote back within a few hours that said, "Spring's a busy timeframe, but here are two date windows for three or four nights that I can make available." He was like, "Let me know if that works for you." Number one, I'm kind of impressed that Marriott's social handle actually forwarded this on and this individual actually reached out. And then now he's actually bartering with me to open up award dates. That's more responsive than I would've expected, but hold on.
Is this how Marriott Bonvoy works, where we have to negotiate with the individual revenue manager to open up the dates that you want to stay and use your points? That's not how it's supposed to work. And that's not how 99.999%, i.e. everybody before me that's ever tried to book this place with points, is going to get it done. What do you make of this, man? Like what in the world?

Ed Pizza: Well, I tried to find out how many rooms this property had and I never found the number. I looked at it on Google maps.

Richard Kerr: A lot.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. It looks like there's almost 10 pretty sizeable buildings. It seems like it's a pretty big property. As I think you alluded to, just for folks who may have connected the dots here, this is technically a timeshare property. Marriott Vacation Club is their timeshare property. They have standard guest rooms and then they have one and two bedroom, they call them villas. But one and two bedroom condo sort of things.
I've never stayed at this property, but I get the allure of it based on where it's located. Easily accessible by both parks. A lot of upside here, you got a kitchen, the whole bit. I get why these are desirable. The only thing I can think of here as to why availability might be so tight is because they're only making single guest rooms available. But I could have sworn that I saw you stay in a one bedroom or two bedroom at some point.

Richard Kerr: Every time we stay there, we've been in a one or two bedroom.

Ed Pizza: Is that what you booked or do they upgrade you?

Richard Kerr: No. You could do the book with cash-in points or book with points or do the pay rates for all of the rooms that are available. Again, we've done it many times and I've never stayed in just a studio. I've definitely used points there before.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. I get why places like this are popular. That being said, I feel like I'm missing a piece here, because there's so many timeshare properties in Orlando. Is this really that popular of a destination for folks who are actually members of the Vacation Club that they're all redeeming their points here, that it's a reasonable redemption?
I would think that there are much better values for your Vacation Club points than the Marriott Harbour lake. Nothing against the property, I get the draw, but when I think about places like Cabo and places like that where the room rates are usually significantly higher than what Harbour Lake is, it surprises me that they're that full.

Richard Kerr: And they're not. I've had ... Somebody responded to my tweet, like, "Hey, I just went to one of those excess inventory places and got a week here for 350 bucks." And this place has been reported to be on those excess inventory sites, like SkyAuction and Interval. You can go and book these places for cheap, so they have excess inventory.
They just, for whatever reason, do not want to make it available for regular Bonvoy point bookings. Is it because their occupancy is actually so low that their reimbursement rate means, "We're not even going to sell this room because it's not worth our time to service it and clean it if we're only going to get reimbursed 80 bucks versus trying to sell it for 150"?

Ed Pizza: 80 bucks. It's so cute, you think they get 80 bucks.

Richard Kerr: That's a whole other conversation with the complex formulas that are in place, which is one of the major heartaches as reported Marriott owners have with the programs. They don't get reimbursed enough. And it's based on your occupancy of the day when points are redeemed. You can get redeemed a lot. You can get reimbursed a lot or a little if you're empty or if you're full. So I don't know. That's the only other thing I could put up on it where these people are like, "Well, forget it. This program's not even going to reimburse us enough money to make it worthwhile. We're just going to take ourselves out of the program." It's wild, man. I don't know.
Anyways, if you're looking at a place and there's no availability, shoot Mariott Twitter and say, "I want to talk to the revenue manager and negotiate your stay dates." And maybe you can make something happen. Just crazy, man.

Ed Pizza: Oh, I love it. That's so awesome. Well, we've got a bunch more questions stacked up. Ed and Ryan, and a few others that we'll definitely squeeze into next week's episode. Mr. Kerr and I have some odd travel schedules that have us crossing paths, crossing planes in the night.
I'm on my way to Chicago next week. I got a little birthday trip for my son that we talked about last week and you're headed to Miami for that Confidante rate that I still can't believe.

Richard Kerr: That's right. The best rate guarantee. Yeah, by the time you listen to this we'll be back home from weekend at the Confidante. This place has been my go-to many times over the years and I've had great stays there, but lately there have been quite a few complaints from people who've gone down to stay. I'm optimistic, but just curious to see what all the hubbub's about, but I really do like the hotel.

Ed Pizza: Cool. All right. Well, I'll look forward to hearing your reviews. I'll be honest, I've stayed there a number of times. I've never had an issue. I enjoy the property, it's well located. It's compact, but I think it's a great value considering. For folks who may not know that the Confidante was initially a Thompson hotel and they rebranded it when Hyatt bought it before they bought Thompson. So it was the first Thompson hotel that was part of Hyatt.
I forget what the name was under the Thompson program, but it's a nice property. It's a high rise in Miami Beach. There's two smaller pools. But when I've been almost nobody's in the pool so if you have kids, you can generally find a space for your kids. Outdoor breakfast restaurant is awesome. You walk out the back of the hotel through a gate, you cross the bike path and you're at the beach. Lots of things to love about the Confidante. You have rooms with balconies overlooking the ocean, lots of positives.

Richard Kerr: Agree. Hope it's a good weekend. Looking forward to it. Kid free is the big selling point here.

Ed Pizza: Whoa.

Richard Kerr: Kid free. That's right.

Ed Pizza: Whoa. And Florida, so it's COVID free.

Richard Kerr: Yeah.

Ed Pizza: Well there go the one star reviews again.

Richard Kerr: Oh man. I thought we were going to make it a whole episode without you saying that word. Oh no, there we go. There go the down lows.

Ed Pizza: All right. Well, you've got the fun travel next week and I've got the not so fun travel next week. We will compare notes when all that dust settles.
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