Richard Kerr: Am I getting a zit at 36?
Ed Pizza: I'm so glad I'm recording. Disclaimer, Virgin Voyage Cruises are adults only.
Richard Kerr: So Ed's not allowed.
Ed Pizza: I do go to hotel gym, but only if they have Peloton bike.
Richard Kerr: Oh, the tea. Look at that young slang right there. Spill the tea. Ed, I'm proud of you.
Ed Pizza: All right. You ready?
Richard Kerr: Si, Spanish for yes.
Intro: 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's your host, travel expert and road warrior, Ed Pizza.
Ed Pizza: Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Miles to Go Podcast. Man, the listener questions they're really ramped up. So we're going to try and get through multiple listener questions just so we can make sure we get as many people answered as possible this week. We're going to talk about a new Hyatt promo and a new Marriott Homes and Villas promo. And we're going to talk about what is likely a mistake from IHG, which is almost certainly going to be gone by the time you guys listen to this. But I think it's a good reminder of , Hey, why it's worth paying attention to some of this stuff. And as I sit here, Mr. Kerr, it looks you're sitting at home right now, hanging out with the family.
Richard Kerr: Ooh, finally back home. I was gone all week, Monday to Friday in New York City, but I finally got stay at the Beekman, which, Ed, that means I have now stayed at every single Hyatt in Manhattan.
Ed Pizza: Nice.
Richard Kerr: My mission is done. The rates had tanked. I got the Beekman for 263 a night, which is the cheapest I've ever seen it. Was it even open during COVID? I don't know, but I jumped on it and we can give a full review of that later, and we'd probably do you next week. Hey, what are all my high recommendations if you're going to New York City? I should make a list top to bottom.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, let's let's do that. So real quick though, for folks who are just joining us, you can leave us a voicemail or text us at (571) 293-6659. He is at curb points on all social media. I am at Pizza in Motion on pretty much everything except for TikTok, which I have not wandered over to yet. If you haven't left us a rating or review, that'd be super, super helpful. And if you happen to want to click the button with five stars, that'd be even more helpful. So, I had an interesting Hyatt stay this week as well. So why don't you go first with the Beekman.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, really excited. First of all, the public spaces met up. All the pictures met the expectations of what I'd hoped to see.
Ed Pizza: Oh, yeah.
Richard Kerr: The bar down there is super awesome. The restaurant space is cool. The gym, really weird; two story you get with a metal spiral staircase separating the two floors. I know you don't go to hotel gyms, but I try.
Ed Pizza: I do go to hotel gyms, but only if they have Peloton bikes.
Richard Kerr: This one had a Peloton and this is where we hit the first snag. I set the bike up. I actually went in the night before to make sure.
Ed Pizza: Oh, yeah.
Richard Kerr: I want to see Peloton bikes and hotels. I was like, okay, well, half of them don't connect to wifi. Half of them, the software hadn't been updated in 30 years. Half of them the seats to adjust the height and the post are all stripped and you can't unloosen it, but everything worked great. And I was even logged in and the wifi was fast. I was like, sweet, do work out in the morning. Came back the next morning and I sat on the bike seat, went to put my tennis shoes in the cages and they still had the pedal clip, the clips for the pedals there. And I was like, okay, who travels with their bike shoes or Peloton shoes? I mean, they're a standard clip in shoe, but anyways, that ruined that, but we got to work out anyways.
Ed Pizza: And a quick pause there, I've actually thought about this because the resorts world, the gym which I stay at resorts for probably 15, 20 times a year with all my Vegas trips, they have, I think, six or eight bikes and they do have the cages. But with the tennis shoes, they're just ... and you guys know I'm not very exercise oriented, but my shoe flexes where the bike shoes are hard clip on and more support. So I've actually thought about traveling with my clip-ons.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Apparently the Beekman requires it, so that was whoopsy there. I would say the public space is great, service is great. Globals get to do in room breakfast and you order the night before and just put it on your door, which really makes the next morning planning easy. I know exactly I can wake up at this time, be done with the gym at this time, walk back and breakfast is walking to the room same time as me, shower and out the door. And it's a good New York morning before the day starts. So all of that was lovely. The room I got upgraded to a king premier room. The bathroom is great, but I got to be honest, man, the decor was straight up grandma, the carpet, the light fixture, the lamps. It's straight up ... exactly looks like both of my grandmother's houses, so that was a little weird.
I know they have amazing suites and everything, but did not score one of inaudible trip. Overall, I'd say very comfortable stay, loves the minis, loves the service, but the noise, man. So my room is off the atrium in that main square. The bar noise, even up to the fifth floor was definitely in the room at 11:30, midnight. And then they're building a new tower directly across the tiny Nassau street, which is a narrow street through FiDi and the construction didn't stop 24/7. So I mean, probably 20 feet out my window was the elevator going up and down this ... I mean, it's just skeleton structure of this tower right now, so the noise prevented a lot of good sleep this week. So that was a big bummer, but the public spaces are cool, room decor weird, but that's it.
If you're looking for a good night's sleep at the Beekman, at least while there's construction's going on, I don't know how bad the bar noise is all the time, but the noise was definitely the bummer. But I mean, cool. I love the area, love the neighborhood, a lot going on in financial district these days. It's not like it used to be in days of past, checked out some good restaurants and food. So busy week, but yeah, I would say I enjoyed the Beekman, but I did not sleep very well.
Ed Pizza: I think I'm still stuck on the fact that the Georgia boy is calling it FiDi. You're really getting all the lingo down. inaudible
Richard Kerr: I spent a lot time in New York City this year. inaudible just pass half over. Yeah.
Ed Pizza: So yeah, I actually ended up staying at an interesting Hyatt and had noise issues as well, but it also brings up the fact that I travel with a small noise machine now.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, to block it out?
Ed Pizza: Yeah, I do. It was a little odd in the beginning and it'll sound funny. The one that I actually use at home is hilarious. It sounds, and only a handful of nerds listening will understand this and get it, it sounds one of the ... what I called the PTAC from my days back in hotel construction days. But those through the wall air conditioning units that you find at Hyatt place and spring hill suite and stuff that, it sounds almost exactly like that. So, of course, I could fall asleep to it because I've fallen asleep to those PTAC units for 20 years.
So I stayed at the anda San Diego and man, I got to tell you, I know we always talk about how much we love Hyatt and some folks probably doubt that it's this good, but I got a text from the property the day before my arrival and then a phone call, because I ultimately didn't see the text. It was the front office manager and it was like, Hey, Mr. Pizzarello, you're coming in first day. Listen, we can upgrade you to the best room in the house, the star suite, but I couldn't guarantee late checkout if you wanted to be upgraded to it. And we're happy to upgrade you to a lesser suite, but if you want the best room in the house, we're happy to give it to you. You just can't do the 4:00 PM late checkout, which I'll wait a minute here while you name all the other hotel brands that you think would do that for a guest.
Richard Kerr: I'm done.
Ed Pizza: Okay, perfect. So, of course, I said, yes. I mean, I didn't need even need the room late ... I don't need late checkout often. And as you know, it's like, when you need it, you need it. But most days, especially for business travel, I was out early for meetings. So this room was unbelievable. So to your comment about the Beekman, definitely noise was an issue. There's a rooftop bar and so I had some noise. There's some clubs on the street where the inaudible San Diego is. So, if you're a light sleeper, they have ear plugs on the nightstands, because they know that it's a loud district. So either bring a white noise machine or pick a different hotel. The Grand Hyatt that's there is excellent in the area and obviously, quiet.
So huge living room you walk into, huge, massive wet bar, big fridge, the whole bit, very funky vibe. The master bedroom has king bunk beds, king size bunk beds. inaudible
Richard Kerr: I haven't seen a picture this yet.
Ed Pizza: It gets better from there. Yeah. I did a video of this on my Instagram feed. I might post it as a post as opposed to the feed so people can see this there. You see? Yeah, there's a red wooden ladder that goes up to the top bunk, both king beds have a full flat screen television. So you can watch TV, whether you're on the top level or the bottom level, and both the bottom king bed and the top king bed have a mirrored ceiling. I think the entire suite is mirrored ceilings, living room ...
Richard Kerr: I see this. I'll pull it up on Google now. Wow, man. You slept on the top bunk obviously, right? That's what you got to do. That's what inaudible
Ed Pizza: I didn't. I did not.
Richard Kerr: I'd definitely be on the top bunk.
Ed Pizza: I did not sleep on the top bunk. I was pretty tired by the time I finally got to sleep. There's two bathrooms, two bedrooms. The second bathroom was massive. I mean, probably the size of 30% of New York hotel rooms, had three shower heads, had a massive tub in there and had a golden rubber ducky that was probably two and a half, three feet tall. So just complete baller, awesome shower. And so just a really, really awesome, fun room.
Richard Kerr: I had not heard of this man in all the circles we float in with. I hadn't heard of this.
Ed Pizza: I had never either. They said we'll upgrade you to a nice suite. I was like, that's super awesome. And I was in obviously, but I didn't know what to expect, and it was just a super fun room. It was just like, I mean, I can't believe I only get one night here because it would've been fun to plan a party.
Richard Kerr: I might as well put this in the back pocket for the next San Diego meet up and make sure we secure that. That's awesome.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. All right. So let's do some listener questions and then we'll get into the promo stuff as well. And actually I want to touch one thing real quick too. For folks that are listening, and we talk about reasons to pay attention, this is on undoubtedly going to be expired by the time you guys listen. But as of our recording this morning on Sunday morning, Gary, Laugh Over a View from the Wing has a post up about every IHG property that has the schedule available right now for next year has discounted rooms available. It's obviously some sort of software programming error, but you can book every room ... sorry, you can book every IHG property in the system that has availability for August 5th, 2023 for 16,000 points a night.
And obviously, this is almost certainly not going to be available when the episode drops, but I think it's more just a good point of emphasis of why you guys should pay attention because there are deals that pop up frequently that are really great deals that you need to jump on. So pick the source that you want to follow and just know that there are really great deals out there. And I can't even imagine how many Mr. Kerr has taken advantage of over the years since you've had a more flexible schedule than me here and there with younger kids and all that stuff.
Richard Kerr: I've done a lot. It looks like they're fixing it as we speak, man. So my thing with ISG is they've had a few of these award sales, maybe errors, but this one seems more error than award sale over the last few weeks. There's no properties that jump on my mind where like, oh, finally I can go book the ... You can try and find award availability at their Tahiti properties, but it's probably not going to exist even on award sales. And then you got to plan a whole trip to Tahiti, which is a whole thing. So the one property I do want to book that is obtainable trip is the Kimpton Seafire down in Grand Cayman. I heard a lot of great things about this property and I just looked, man, and it's 70,000 points a night.
Ed Pizza: Wonk, wonk, wonk.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Just hoping that's going to be the one I go to now, to see it. Maybe that's just because it's a special property. I don't know, so boo, I was going to go try and grab that, but oh, well. C'est la vie.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. All right. So let's hit some listener questions here. I think first one up is a fun one because of Richard torturing himself on planning his Hawaii trip. "Hi, Ed and Richard. I'm listening to this week's podcast," this is from Mee Mee, "and want to ask you question about the topic of Richard contemplating a stay at Iolani. Has he considered renting DVC points for his stay to save on the cash outlay? And if so, have you, Ed, as a DVC owner already researched availability for him?"
Well, the short answer is yes, I did research availability for him. For folks who aren't familiar, DVC is Disney Vacation Club, and Iolani is typically huge savings if you do rent DVC, but short notice, which is essentially 99% of Mr. Kerr's travel, is generally not available. So tell us Mr. Kerr, did you consider DVC for this day?
Richard Kerr: I did consider it from the beginning, went to a few of the rental websites and put in dates and they're like, no chance, asked Ed and there was no chance. And then there's a couple people I follow on Instagram that actually own Alan DVC points, that's their home resort. And I sent them DMs and they said the same thing. "Dude, you got a book a year out or something like that if you got the points. Otherwise, no chance." So we've been talking about this a few weeks. I contemplate it every night, man. I just pulled it up, prices have dropped. They have inaudible prices have dropped for my week. It's no longer 774 night. There's a room for 614 a night, which this is before tax.
Ed Pizza: Why are you talking to me and not clicking?
Richard Kerr: Well, in true Disney IT fashion here, I click the rate rules to see cancellation policy and I get an ACC access denied error message, so I can't make it up. But 614, man, that's better than 774. Again, just a base room, but that may ... all right, this makes it a lot more palatable here. So, the short answer is definitely look at DVC points, no availability. So now I've been tracking cash rates and this is the first time I've seen it drop in a while. So, oh, man.
Ed Pizza: And news flash, folks, Mr. Kerr has helped us learn that 614 is lower than 774. Unbelievable, man.
Richard Kerr: Just to give people perspective of what I've been seeing for the last few weeks. It's 150 bucks inaudible
Ed Pizza: And now everybody knows how it works.
Richard Kerr: But now looking at this offer sub total and then looking at the total tax in Hawaii, apparently it doesn't take it easy as expected on the tourist. So man, it's a lot of money for three nights. I don't know.
Ed Pizza: You're literally giving yourself an ulcer looking at those prices right now, I think.
Richard Kerr: I mean, look, we'll figure it out one way or the other, but there you go.
Ed Pizza: All right. So next up, this is a question from Ryan and this is one that I've actually done a handful of times myself. I learned this from our buddy Seth. He did this for years prior to the pandemic. So anyway, Ryan says, "I need to book a one way flight from Paris to LAX next March. I already have an outbound leg to," he threw a book. "I keep seeing that I can book a cheaper round trip ticket back from Paris than just the one way route, on United, for example. Is there any harm in booking an unnecessary return trip to Paris and just wasting that portion of the ticket? Or even better, could I cancel the back half of the itinerary even after I've flown the first leg?" So this is one of those hacks I learned early on. And I'm curious, have you ever done this, Richard, book on round trips from Europe?
Richard Kerr: No. I think I did it from Asia a few times where I booked the return ticket as far out as the calendar would go and put it on there.
Ed Pizza: Exactly.
Richard Kerr: And then see maybe I'll take this flight, maybe I won't.
Ed Pizza: Yep. Yeah.
Richard Kerr: And that's what I've done to save yourself some money.
Ed Pizza: And things have changed a little bit during COVID where I see a little bit less of this now, but typically what you'll find is that roundtrip tickets are ... sorry, one way tickets are essentially the same price as roundtrip tickets if you're going to Europe. And typically speaking, you see the same thing if you originate from Europe, although it's a little bit easier to find chief flights from Europe to the U.S. at certain times a year. So typically I'll do exactly what Richard said, which is I will book a round trip ticket, and I actually just did this for a trip I have coming up, I'll book a round trip ticket where I book the return flight way out in the distance. And maybe the date's not perfect, but it gives me a second bite of the apple because I'm going to pay for it anyway.
And so what Seth did for years was he just had a bunch of essentially nested round trip tickets that originated from Europe and came back at random times. At some point it would make sense to pay to change the return date, depending on the fair rules. And then the way that you can help yourself either get out of this or to fix it for the next one is essentially all awards ... Well, I wouldn't say all, but the vast majority of award flights are one way flights. And so you book yourself a one way flight to position yourself to whatever continent you need. And then you start booking roundtrip flights. And so this is a great way to save money if you have to do a European round trip. And I'd say right now, based on the trip I have in October, it's actually cheaper for me to book a round trip ticket in business class from Europe than it is to book a round trip ticket in coach on certain days from the U.S. to get to Europe for my meeting. The flight pricing is crazy.
Richard Kerr: The magic of nested itineraries, ladies and gentlemen. If you're new to the space, you can go and Google that and find a bunch of articles from some very smart people that we all know in the points and miles world to read about how nested itineraries can make your life better and cheaper.
Ed Pizza: Yes. It's one of those things where ... this is especially where I always advocate keeping a stash of miles and points because they can work out really, really well with nested itineraries once you find one half of the itinerary that you need. And sometimes you're going to lose the second half of the ticket, but overall you'll save a ton of money with it.
Richard Kerr: So this last part of the question there, "Can you cancel?" I think what he's getting at is, "Can I cancel and get half my money back?" Typically, that's not the way round trip tickets work. Once you've flown on that first leg, you're not going to get a refund, so figure it out from the fair rules.
Ed Pizza: Exactly. And typically what I've seen, and I've seen this tighten up a bit, because I was just looking at this and for whatever it's worth, this is just a sample size of one since the pandemic because I haven't traveled on paid international for a couple years. But typically what I saw were the change fees on some of the tickets I was looking at were in the three or $400 range. And in some of the fair rules, you'll find that you can cancel after your travel has started and others, you just forfeit everything.
So you will see a mishmash of stuff, but this is where sites like Google Flights, or I use Matrix ITA, matrix.itasoftware.com. They have detailed fair rules where you can read through all the different permutations on changes and stuff like that. And so you can learn, to your point, Ryan, what you can do with that second half of the ticket. But typically you won't be, even in those instances where you can pay a fee, you generally won't be able to cancel once you started your trip, but I have had success in being able to reposition that second flight for a couple hundred bucks.
Richard Kerr: Good question.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. All right. So now we get to end up a question where we get maybe a little hint at some stuff coming up with a bill with this question. We'll see if Richard will spill the tea with us this morning.
Richard Kerr: Ooh, the tea. Look at that young slang right there, spill the tea. Ed, I'm proud of you.
Ed Pizza: Right? You like that? Yeah. I read that somewhere. God knows I'm not inaudible
Richard Kerr: I'm drinking tea. Who said this?
Ed Pizza: So it's been a little bit of a buzz in the points and miles world because there have been some Virgin Voyages cruises available, and we'll link to a couple of the articles. And the prices for the Virgin voyages cruises actually aren't too bad when you talk about points conversions. And so this question from Krista was that she has Amex and Chase points. "I feel like I really could transfer to Virgin and book this cruise." And then she says, "Either you or I should try it." Disclaimer, Virgin Voyages cruises are adults only.
Richard Kerr: So it's not allowed.
Ed Pizza: We're at a little bit of an inaudible Right, there you go. But they actually are a reasonable value. If I remember correctly, I don't have it up in front of me, but the cash price equivalent gets you into the two and a half cent range per point, which is pretty solid. But I guess, Richard, what's your thoughts on Virgin Voyages? Because we talked about it on the show five, six weeks ago. And then would you spring for a cruise using your Amex or Chase points to transfer to Virgin?
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Virgin red offering five nights in the Caribbean, three different itineraries, 120,000 points total for two people. So that 60,000 per person, or if you just want to go as a single, still 120,000. And you do get into a balcony, which they call the sea terrace on the Scarlet Lady, which is the name of one of the two ships that they have, and the ships look awesome. And I know some folks who have been on them and have great things to say about it. Nothing like cruising in the past, everything included except for your booze, but even tips and they have 20 specialty restaurants and they're all included. You get to pick where you eat and all that good stuff. So 120,000 points.
And then I've been spending a little bit of time, Ed, over the last couple weeks, looking into Virgin Voyages because if people paying attention, Virgin red, Virgin points are a transfer partner built. And we're excited about things that our partners are doing that speak to the demographic have built. So let's just say we spend a little time with our partners over there and trying to maybe figure out how to spread the word about Virgin Voyages and the sailings that they have this fall and winter. And I'm just real excited about it. So 120,000 points, great deal. But if you're not a built member yet, and you're interested in Virgin Voyages, I would encourage you to sign up. And that doesn't mean it's a bill card. That means you could just go to billrewards.com, sign up for a loyalty only account and they'll know the app, and then you're a build member. But definitely, definitely would go on one of these cruises and try to put it on the calendar as we speak as, a matter of fact, for the wife and I.
Ed Pizza: So the two things I heard there were at some point, you're going to let us see what you're working on there at built and that there might be something cool coming with Virgin. So I'm pretty excited about that and that you would consider redeeming for a cruise.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. I mean, some of these itineraries that they have here, it looks like Riviera Maya, Dominican Days, which goes to Porto Plata and their private island, and then Mayan Soul, which goes to Costa Maya and their island. I mean, two people in one of the sea terraces on some of these dates is well over $2,000. So 120,000 points, literally including tips is included in your fair. You just have to pay for the booze. It's a great deal. If people have the ability to combine all their version points together and redeem, absolutely. We'd go for this.
Ed Pizza: So now here's the second question that I would ask about this. Virgin is typically one of those partners that we see that has transfer bonuses on Amex and Chase periodically. So would you speculatively transfer some Amex and Chase points to Virgin to wait for ... The next time a transfer bonus comes up, even if the right cruise itinerary wasn't there for you, would you transfer some points over using a transfer bonus in anticipation of booking a future Virgin cruise?
Richard Kerr: I've never been a speculated transfer, so it's my own personal thing is no. And also these cruises are on and off the Virgin red site. I don't know how long this is. I honestly don't know. I haven't asked them about this specifically. I don't know how long this is going to be on there. So speculatively transferring to have it not be back on here for another six months would stink. So my answer is no, I would not speculatively transfer even if there was a transfer bonus.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, and so typically I've seen 30% transfer bonuses. So let's just say that's 36,000 points off of a cruise this, so call it 85,000 points. I do have healthy points balances. Like Richard, I lean against doing things speculative, but I got to be honest. If it wasn't something where this was going to be the only miles I had, if I only had 100,000 points in Amex or Chase, as long as I had some other amount of backup currency. I've heard so many good things about Virgin Voyages, the ships look great. I really do think I would hit a speculative transfer here. I think I'd take the risk and I never speculatively transfer, but I think I would take the risk here just because these look so appealing. And we do enjoy cruising. Never done it without the kids, but I think ...
Richard Kerr: inaudible you enjoy it even more.
Ed Pizza: Exactly. Yeah I think I would. I think I would. I mean, only because it's 85,000, not 200,000 or 300,000 points. I think I would take the risk that ... not that I would lose them obviously. I'd find some way to use them for something else, but I think I would. I think I would take the ... if I could get a 30% bonus. That's my final inaudible
Richard Kerr: It's 30% bonus and Ed's going cruising.
Ed Pizza: Oh, yeah. All right, so last two things. We're going to talk about Marriott and Hyatt. For folks who listen to the show, hopefully you're listening to the day that the episode drops because there is another double points promo on Marriott Homes and Villas, and it runs through August 25th. So this episode's dropping on August 24th. We might see this extended, but we had a really good trip in the spring where we rented a house down at 30A, in the panhandle of Florida. And this one runs through February 28th, 2023, so you can get double points. And then as we talked about, when we talked about this a couple weeks ago, there are some Amex offers floating around still. So you might have an Amex offer to double up on this and get $200 cash back. So just another reminder on this. And you haven't done a Marriott Homes and Villas booking yet, have you?
Richard Kerr: No, I was just a freeloader off of summers, a couple summers ago.
Ed Pizza: Fair enough.
Richard Kerr: But no, I look at the website from time to time, but have not done booking yet.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. I know half a dozen people now that have done these. I haven't heard of anybody who's had a problem. I mean, these are all obviously, independently owned homes. And so there's still that element that I don't love of the Airbnb culture, but our sample size of one and the handful of folks I know that have done this have all had good experiences. So definitely something to consider because you can really get a nice payout if you've got double points on top of potentially that Amex offer.
And last but not least, I know you're traveling on a regular basis for work, but I'm curious if this Hyatt promo would've been enough to get you to consider moving some business over. So there's essentially two parts to the promo. You can register now, it starts September 15th, runs essentially through Christmas of this year. You can do double points on all stays of two nights or more at any Hyatt property in the world. And then double elite night credits at all inclusive properties, because they've got a big bunch of all inclusive properties that have been added to the mix with their acquisition of Apple vacations. So tell me what you think about this promo in the current travel culture, man.
Richard Kerr: Two X points is awesome. What does it start at? September 15th stays. Yeah.
Ed Pizza: Yep.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Two X points is not enough to make me take an additional trip, but I'll tell you what's. It's going to be nice on my work trips this fall. inaudible I'm certainly happy about that.
Ed Pizza: If you were thinking about a Marriott property somewhere, would you switch?
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Definitely. Double Hyatt points is ... Yeah. I'm probably earning, looking back through my account, between six and 8,000 points to the stay right now, so 12 to 16,000 Hyatt points to stay. That's maybe two free nights or one really nice free night for 15,000 points somewhere. That's a significant rebate on your stay, so would definitely ... I did requalify globalists this week for the year, which part of me makes me sad. I've been in the Hyatt 70 nights this year already. So I was thinking diverting some upcoming work trips to rocket miles to earn American loyalty points, so I can hurry up and get done with executive platinum.
Ed Pizza: Oh. inaudible I was shaking my head. I was shaking my head on that, but maybe if it gets you your stats. But aren't you going to get to your American organically?
Richard Kerr: No, man, the fares have tanked, so just doing the quick math actually on the fly home Friday after I took a wonderful hour nap as soon as I got on the plane. I'm earning 2100 loyalty points a segment right now and you got to get 200,000, so that's a lot of flights between New York and Atlanta to get executive platinum. It's 100 flights. I'm not doing a hundred flights between New York and Atlanta.
Ed Pizza: No.
Richard Kerr: And even with my other earning activities, I'm on pace to be at 150,000 right now, so I got some ... 50,000 loyalty points is nothing to sneeze at. It's going to take some effort to make that up. So I was looking at the rocket miles website last week to see. I could stay four nights in New York and earn 20, 25,000 miles that count as loyalty points without overpaying. That's the thing, you can overpay on rocket miles and earn tons and tons of loyalty points, but that's not going to look good on the expense report, so I'm not after that. So looking at what comparable rates would be if you target it down, inaudible.
That's true. That's a whole other segment we should actually do, man, trying to figure out rocket miles, because number one, their pricing's incredibly opaque. By the time you get to the checkout page, they've added all kinds of crazy stuff. And you're like, okay, just tell me what the actual freaking price is here, because this is absurd. The second part though is I guess it's up to the individual properties, but some really bad hotels. Two and a half, three star in New York are the sweet spot for earning the most miles versus average nightly rate. I could earn 25,000 loyalty points, but also be in a really bad hotel for a week, first taste.
Ed Pizza: Yeah.
Richard Kerr: So it's like, what do you do here? So anyways, a double mile, double points in Hyatt might ... I'll be like, well, maybe I'll just take the double Hyatt points and I'll look elsewhere to try and make up the loyalty points instead of going rocket miles, because I don't really want to give up two X Hyatt points.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, I'm trying to remember too. Does the Hyatt double dip with American? Does that earn you loyalty points?
Richard Kerr: It does. It's on base spend only, so it's small potatoes.
Ed Pizza: Yeah.
Richard Kerr: I mean it's nice, but it's not going to get you to the executive platinum.
Ed Pizza: Can I just say too, I was a little upset. I was a little disappointed. I was sad for you because I was really happy that you requalified for globalist, but man, that Hyatt balance made me sad. You only got 50,000 point or something in your account. You got to bulk that up.
Richard Kerr: No, man, we're going to Hawaii for three weeks. What are you talking about? They're all gone.
Ed Pizza: inaudible You need to start earning them, brother. Who are you kidding?
Richard Kerr: They're all gone now for three weeks in Hawaii. Yeah, but I mean, the part that made me say I was 62 nights in Hyatt, well, five of those are from the credit card. So 57, but in bed nights in September already. So two months of this year I've been in Hyatt. Thankfully a lot of that is with the family, not all gone from them, but most of it is.
Ed Pizza: That's a lot.
Richard Kerr: It's a lot's.
Ed Pizza: It is a lot. It's tough being away. It's funny, this is the first year where I can honestly remember where I'm not done with Hyatt early in the year because I've done so many Resorts World stays, so I'm only at 30 nights. I'll definitely get there on Hyatt.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Are you going to shift Resorts Worlds to Hyatt now to get double points? Although, there's not really a real Hyatt. Does it count for MGM properties? It doesn't. It does?
Ed Pizza: They do. It counts for MGM properties and I don't know. I mean, I really enjoy resorts world. It's great, easy and easy out for all my work stuff. I'll certainly have to think about it. I don't think I will. The MGM properties are nice, don't get me wrong, but they're not a perfect fit for me for what I do for work. And some of them it's a super long hike just to get to the garage, to go get the car and all that stuff.
Richard Kerr: That's very true. Business travel to Vegas, I've never done it, but my strategy would be probably exactly what you're doing, which is what I do in New York. That was the other great part about the Beekman. It's the closest walk to the six subway line, which goes straight to our office on Bond street. So, the commute was door to door from my hotel room door to the door of the office was 14 minutes, which was awesome.
Ed Pizza: Yeah.
Richard Kerr: So I was like, man, that was the convenient part about it.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. I'm looking at my account because I'm pretty sure I'm all good. Yeah. It says I have 120 nights at Hyatt this year, or sorry, at Hilton this year, which is inaudible blaze days up like that, but I'm sure I have at least 30 nights at Resorts World this year. So I would've already requalified if I'd put all those at Hyatt stays.
Richard Kerr: You got to have a couple million Hilton points.
Ed Pizza: Let's see what I have. I have less than that because I burned a bunch this summer for the Iceland trip and stuff like that. I have inaudible I have one ...
Richard Kerr: Hilton is charging a lot of points for free nights now.
Ed Pizza: Yes. Yes, they do. But yeah, it's a really good question. I hadn't thought about it. I'll honestly have to think about it because I'll probably have at least 10 nights in between September 15th to December 20th in Vegas that I could earn double Hyatt points for. Boy, that's a tough one.
Richard Kerr: Oh, we got the Vegas trip in November too, going to Vegas with Ed. We got to put it on the calendar, man.
Ed Pizza: Oh, yeah. You should send me the dates.
Richard Kerr: We'll make it happen.
Ed Pizza: Is that before or after we do the Disney challenge? I guess after ...
Richard Kerr: It's literally the next week. My next free weekend in 2022 is the weekend after our Disney trip. Ooh. It's a crazy year, man. This year's going. It's going to be Thanksgiving before I even blink. It's going to be outrageous how fast this year is.
Ed Pizza: Oh, it's crazy. It's disgusting. I'm looking at stuff and I'm thinking , oh maybe it'll slow down in September. I'm like, Nope. How about October? No, not really. Maybe November.
Richard Kerr: I had some friends ask to bring the RV up to Clemson, South Carolina, where they all graduated from. My cousins actually in and they got a lake house on the lake that you can pull the lake up, bring the RV, have a great time. I was like, yeah, my October, I got Thomas's birthday, but we're wide open besides that. And I look at the calendar and I'm like, every weekend's already full. I'm like, what in the world? inaudible
Ed Pizza: Yeah. So bottom line is you're going to hit all the double points promos on the Hyatt side. Certainly anything outside of Vegas, I will absolutely book Hyatt and I'm still torn on whether or not to go to something like Aria or Mandalay Bay versus Resorts World. And we'll see, I guess. Some of it'll be rate dependent because the Resorts World has been significantly cheaper than a lot of the other casinos in Vegas while they're trying to fill rooms. So Conrad for a hundred bucks a night is pretty solid.
Richard Kerr: Conrad is a hundred bucks a night? Is there resort fee on top of that?
Ed Pizza: There is, but whatever. It's still cheaper than most hotels in Vegas inaudible even with the resort fee.
Richard Kerr: New York City hotel rates this past week when I was there plummeted since the summer. Hyatt-centric Wall Street was 170, 50 Bowery was back below 200, again, the Beekman for 263, a couple of other Hyatt places that you wouldn't want to stay at, just crazy low. So I mean, I think that travel cliff for business travel, man, maybe not the leisure destinations that you go to that are mixed business and leisure, but New York City's tanked. And again, those American flights are so cheap now. There's no way I'm going to earn enough loyalty points alone for executive platinum. So good news for the built expense account.
Ed Pizza: If you were flying to Vegas, I can guarantee you did executive platinum, because I'm still seeing prices that are just disgusting inaudible
Richard Kerr: Oh dude, I still haven't booked the freaking ... We got Maui to LAX nonstop on Hawaiian Airlines, so that's a shift by the way. I guess we can talk about that. We got off Southwest. We're on Hawaiian airlines now, but I still haven't booked LAX to Atlanta. And that LAX to Atlanta flight for the four of us is going to be the most expensive part for three weeks in Hawaii is getting from LA back to Atlanta.
Ed Pizza: inaudible That's crazy.
Richard Kerr: I don't know why. I'm just thinking that I'm just avoiding it. Instead of just booking it and sucking it up, I'm just like, no it's going to drop. No, it's not. It's not.
Ed Pizza: All right, well, I'll leave it with one last thing, which was I was initially incredibly disappointed in you after looking at your Instagram and Facebook feed inaudible
Richard Kerr: That's quite a comment. Oh, I'll just lead with this, I'm incredibly disappointed in you.
Ed Pizza: Yes. And once again, your wife saved it because here are your pictures of Friday night pizza night, and you've got Chicago deep dish sitting there. And I'm literally sitting there going, that's a casserole. And, of course, then you ask whether or not it's pizza or casserole. And your wife tried it for the first time and said, it started out really well. And then you quickly went downhill, which is pretty much my opinion of Chicago deep dish.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, definitely not my favorite, but used that DoorDash promo code and got two of them delivered from ... Funny enough, Uno Chicago Pizzeria is now headquartered to Boston, figure that out. So got two deep dish pizzas, two deep dish Chicago pizzas shipped to us from Boston for a total of 19 bucks, so cheaper than ordering anything around here. Kids weren't really a fan and Lee wasn't a fan. I'd take it or leave it. It's a one and done unique thing, but we're definitely not deep dish pizza people, so we'll go back to regular.
Ed Pizza: Is this the same promo that a bunch of people used for ... I saw a bunch of folks who got H&H bagels through DoorDash promo as well.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, and Summer got the Levine Bakery, which is again, funny enough, directly around the corner from my office is their new place. And she got it in Houston before I got it around the corner from where I was, thanks to DoorDash.
Ed Pizza: You're saying I should go find this promo code or is it already expired?
Richard Kerr: I don't know if it's expired. It was a super obvious one, 50 off or something.
Ed Pizza: Yeah.
Richard Kerr: But yeah, I mean, that's what I found on there for inaudible I was happy to pay 19 bucks to try that out, so it was cool.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. I get a dozen H&H bagels. All right, you going back to New York this week?
Richard Kerr: I'm not, I'm freaking home. inaudible I'm back, but it's fun. I'm going to the U.S. Open, so that'll be fun inaudible New York. One more thing on these cruises. We hadn't talked about this last week and almost forgot this week. I have a bunch of free cruise offers, man. So I'll give everybody the cliff notes version of this. First of all, go to Miles to Memory where Sean is an avid cruiser and has many articles written up about taking your casino status and matching it to the Carnival Players Club.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. He's a savant on this, no question.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. This has been great. So I did that. I have MGM gold from Hyatt globalists and I have Caesar's diamond from Wyndham Diamond, which I can't remember how I even got that. It's still up. Again, just Google Miles to Memories, Carnival Players Club and you'll find his articles. But yeah, so I went to the website. I have taken a couple carnival cruises. I already have their, whatever they call it, VIP Fun Club or something, which is a regular loyalty program. And it says upload pictures of the front and back of your physical casino cards. And I'm like, I have no idea where those are. So I just screenshot it in two different places underneath my logins where it showed the status and that seemed to work because literally a day later I got, Hey, thanks for submitting it. Here's an offer for a free balcony cruise for two people, basically.
Any carnival cruises that they have on the schedule, including a 12 night Norwegian cruise in a balcony for next summer, which is pretty cool. You do have to pay taxes and fees. You have to put a $100 deposit down, but that $100 becomes onboard credit. And then you get drinks while you're playing, and anyways, all this other stuff, so it works. The secret sauce though is then you go to a website called UR Comped, U-R Comped, C-O-M-P-E-D, and you submit the offers, create an account there, submit the offers from Carnival and then they come back. And within two days I have offers on Norwegian, MSC, and Princess, I think, for free cruises and balconies that they match to the Carnival ones. So we're definitely going to start there and see what we can figure out.
But between all those free cruises sitting there, they give you a virtual host and everything. It's pretty cool. I already reached out. You can ask for additional rates for the kids and then they contact the cruise line and see what it is. They give you the first two people free, but not the second. So looking forward to checking all that out and hopefully getting the European cruise, because I would love to go to Scandinavian and the Baltic. But you figured out trekking around Iceland, trekking around Norway and Finland is really expensive on the land, but if you can do it from the balcony of a cruise ship and look at it and stop and pull in, looks like a really sweet deal and a great way to see a bunch of different places in one trip. So I would love to make that happen. And I'm definitely going to be looking into that over the next couple weeks and try and get something on the calendar on top of the Virgin Voyages cruise, which will be imminent.
Ed Pizza: Imminent, he says, and we'll have a link in the show notes to UR Comped. I haven't taken a look at it yet, but now I'm going to go dig it inaudible
Richard Kerr: Yeah. I give a shout out to Sean over there for figuring all that stuff out, man. He's really got it down.
Ed Pizza: He is a savant, especially when it comes to the cruise stuff. I mean, he knows his Vegas stuff as well, but cruising is definitely an area where he knows his stuff, man. So if you haven't checked it out yet, we'll throw a link to Miles to Memories in the show notes as well. And they have a really nice podcast as well that you can listen to after you're done listening to us. Listen to us first and then listen to Sean. Nothing personal, Sean, but we got to make sure we get our clicks in, got to make all the money.
Richard Kerr: Oh, yeah.
Ed Pizza: So I am home next week, first week of school for the kiddos. So always like to be home. As much as I travel, I always make sure I'm home for the first week of school.
Richard Kerr: The kids started school back in our living room two weeks ago. No.
Ed Pizza: Hey, when I hit the pause button or a stop button, I'm recording, I go upstairs and I think her daughter will have a driver's license, if you can believe that.
Richard Kerr: Just wonder, your daughter's getting driver's license and my daughter just turned six, which means she can open her Chase first checking account, so we'll do that and she'll get her first debit card this week.
Ed Pizza: Nice. All right, well, enjoy your time at home. I'm going to enjoy my time at home and we will summer it up again next week. We still have not been able to track down Julian and summer, that keep avoiding us. inaudible.
Richard Kerr: I like how you say every episode, still inaudible.
Ed Pizza: I know and I keep asking them. You've seen it on the group text thread. I keep asking and I keep getting no answers or excuses, so we got to work on that. Got to work on that. And then we also still work with that schedule for another product I think that you travel nerds will really like that we're trying to get the founder on for a new product so I'm going to ... We'll end it there while Richard shows me disgusting things in the camera.
Richard Kerr: I was trying to start the weed eater yesterday and I pulled the skin off my finger. I couldn't get it started.
Ed Pizza: That's what happens when you listen 40 minutes and the two of us on Sunday morning. All right, man. Well, enjoy the week at home. I'm going to enjoy my week at home and get ready to book some more expensive trips for September and October. Until we upload again, we've got miles to go.
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