Conrad Maldives - Water Villa 1

Conrad Maldives Water Villa

I haven't updated my blog for exactly 1 year so I thought it was time for me to get back into it!

You may ask – have I lost my passion in all things points and miles related because I haven't updated in a while? I can say emphatically NO!!!!!! I've been learning and studying every day and week the best strategies to earn and accumulate frequent flyer points and then also personally redeeming it for my family to travel on what many could say once-in-a-lifetime trips – but I know we have many more to come. The reason I haven't been updating it is because I've been busy travelling everywhere and also starting my own business (not travel related) with my business partner.

Japan Airlines First Class - Caviar

Japan Airlines First Class Dining - Caviar

Over the last year I have travelled to many places with my family and also going solo. They include the following:…

Loews Chicago Bedroom 1

Date: Thursday 16th April, 2015

Staying in Chicago for one night as a layover on the way to Dallas – I quickly decided to stay at the Loews O'Hare Chicago Hotel. I've stayed here before and knew what was expected.

As I held the American Express Platinum Charge Card – it provided $200 Travel credit to whatever travel expense you wanted. As the room was $269 – I used the $200 credit – so only paid $69.

Loews O'Hare hotel used to be the Intercontinental hotel. It is only a few years old – the newest hotel in the O'Hare/Rosemont area near the airport.

Loews Chicago Bedroom 2

Loews Chicago Bedroom 3

CX First Class HKG to ORD dining 10

Date: Thursday 16th April
Departure Time: 11:55am
Duration of Flight: 14 hours 6 minutes

As I was using my US Dividend Miles to redeem this flight – I was excited to try this product as I have heard so much about it and wanted to try it for myself.

For check in – as I was in first class – we were given priority to board before any other class. As I was departing Hong Kong to go to America – it is a requirement for them to check your bags again.

CX First Class HKG to ORD seat 7

CX First Class HKG to ORD entrance 1

Cathay Pacific First Class Check In 2

The Wing - Cabana 1

Date: Thursday 16th April

As I was flying First class from Hong Kong to Chicago on Cathay Pacific I was given access to The Wing lounge. This is located on the left as soon as you come out of customs.

Upon entry you can see grand comfortable seats. You know it's a first class lounge with the furnishings that are provided for the class of people who pay thousands of dollars to fly the top class.

The Wing - Seats 1

Novotel Kowloon Bedroom 1

Date: 15th April
Cost: $150
Room Booked: Basic Room
Floor: 11
Room Number: 1118

I selected this hotel as I wanted to see what kind of benefits there were by having Platinum status.

Check in

Check in to hotel was average. After expecting some recognition in terms of benefits provided as a Le Accor Platinum member – I didn't receive anything. I prompted that person behind the desk and he had to look it up in his system to confirm I was a platinum.

It took a few minutes and he had to ask his manager before they provided me with an information sheet outlining the benefits.

I checked in at 3pm which was right on schedule…

When does it make sense to purchase Hotel points such as Hilton HHonors or Hyatt Passport points? I think there are 2 instances when it is best to buy points but obviously it will depend on your personal circumstance.

The first instance I think you should buy points is if you are only a few points short of being able to redeem a room that you wish to stay at. Say if you needed just 3000 Hilton points to redeem one night at the Conrad Hong Kong hotel which costs 80,000 points. 3000 points costs around $35 – so in this circumstance – it makes sense to purchase rather it rather than pay around $500 a night for this hotel. If you had 20,000 points left to reach the goal of 80,000 points – this would cost roughly $250. In this case – I wouldn’t purchase it – I would rather pay the $500 for the room – then actually earn points for staying here. I would roughly get at least 15,000 points from staying here if I was a Gold/Diamond member and also it includes a double points promotion.

Another example is the Sydney Hilton which requires 80,000 points. To purchase Hilton points – 80,000 in this case with no promotion in regards to buying points – this would cost you $900 AUD roughly. The room itself only costs $300. So you would be crazy to purchase the full amount of points here. Just pay for the room itself – you receive Hilton HHonors points, if you double-dip with the program – you can receive some airline points, and also if you use your credit card – such as the American Express Platinum card – then you receive double the Amex Membership points.  Such I would be receiving much more back purchasing the room with cash.

Now in another scenario – take the Doubletree Kuala Lumpur. It only requires around 7000 Hilton points to redeem for the night. It costs around $120 AUD for the room if you pay cash. 7000 Hilton points equals to about $80 if you had to pay for it. Also Hilton has a benefit that if you redeem points for 5 nights – it is the price of 4 nights in regards to points. Therefore it costs only about 5600 points a night.

Usually the rule of thumb here as well is that you would only purchase points to redeem with high-end properties such as the Conrad Maldives which costs $1700 AUD a night – but requires 95,000 points. This equates to around $1100 AUD if you were to purchase the room with points.…