Since You Have to Choose, Should You Be a Marriott Rewards or Ritz-Carlton Member?

With especially rich offers for both the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card readers have been asking whether you can get a Ritz-Carlton card if you’re a Marriott Rewards member, and vice versa. This is a topic I covered back in 2013. Marriott acquired Ritz-Carlton in 1998, but the hotels had limited participation in the Marriott Rewards program: you could spend points for Ritz-Carlton stays, but that was it. Luxury chains have for the most part eschewed points, the belief was that they provide recognition not freebies and compete to offer the best luxury experience. However they launched the Ritz-Carlton program in the fall of 2010. You are only supposed to have one account between the two programs. You are supposed to choose between Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Marriott Rewards. However,…

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New Award Search Tool With Email Alerts — and Hotel Awards, Too!

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Aug 27 2016

Pex+ is a new site coming out of Beta that allows you to search for award space across a number of different airlines and data sources all at once, quickly. It offers hotel searches (points and revenue prices, so you can compare). And it even offers to email you when award prices drop (saver space opens).

It doesn’t just tell you whether saver awards are available — it shows you the mileage cost of each award so you can compare up front and it includes taxes and fuel surcharges.

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If You Don’t Want to Live Near an Airport, Don’t Move Next to One

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Aug 26 2016

Santa Monica is a lovely city, home to Shutters on the Beach and Casa Del Mar and of course the famous Santa Monica Pier. And Three’s Company.

Santa Monica Municipal Airport (“SMO”) is a general aviation airport six miles north of LAX. It was home to the Douglas Aircraft Company, and their DC-1 through DC-7 aircraft were built there. The airport was where the first plane to circumnavigate the world took off and landed in 1924. During World War II it was disguised as a fake town to throw off enemies who might wish to bomb it.

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This Credit Card Signup Bonus Requires $130,000 in Spend Within 3 Months

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Aug 26 2016

American’s small business ‘double dip program’ has its own credit card. American Airlines actually has a co-brand card issued by American Express.

I use the program and have redeemed points to gift Gold elite status in AAdvantage and Admirals Club memberships, and I usually keep a stash of (paper) upgrade certificates on hand.

I mentioned the program’s credit card several years ago. I don’t recall it ever having a signup bonus. But it does now.

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What Do You Do When Someone is Invading Your Space on a Plane?

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Aug 26 2016

The Chicago Tribune asked me how to deal with someone invading your space on a plane. They wanted to know, “Should you say something to the person or to the flight attendant?”

I thought this was actually a hard question. With planes generally full there aren’t very many options, and I don’t think I had a silver bullet solution to offer so I’d love thoughts on the best way to handle it when the passenger next to you is encroaching your space?

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