You may or may not like Spirit Airlines – we do – they have incredible prices on certain flights.
A few of us are flying to Atlantic City tomorrow for $110 return – such a good price.
To save money you can print your boarding pass early, have a carry-on that is 16x14x12, not worry too much about seating, etc.
I see them get slammed all the time by bloggers – bottom line is they are extremely profitable and save you money on flights. That’s what it comes down to for me. Smaller seat? I can put up with that for 1.5 hours, whatever people!
Here is a current list of deals out of Detroit – check the website for more, but Florida for $100 round trip off season? SWEET.
Have a great weekend – we will in Atlantic City!
This post goes out to my sister who loves the Chase Marriott Visa card (Canada) that has no foreign exchange(forex) fee. She got me thinking about this subject and looking up articles that went into this.
Here is a nice simple article from greedyrates.ca that explains this quite well.
Obviously yes, you should avoid them.
But…should you? YES…but…
Basically it is saying you are going to pay a 2.5% forex fee on your purchases outside Canada. Fine, let’s assume this is accurate.
Before I go any further, I love the Chase Marriott Card and have done many posts on it.
Here is a good post on it and why you should get it if you haven’t yet.
(Current sign up bonus is still 50,000 points and a free night. your welcome – follow my links – we get nothing)
What was my point again?
Ah yes. What would you value Marriott points at? or IHG points or Best Western points?
You can google that stuff, but my checking shows about .7 cents a points for a Marriott point, but it very much depends on how you are using them.
What do you value…say Starwood points at? Well, I have been getting 5 cents or better on my Starpoints and next weekend am using 7000 points to get a $400 hotel room or almost 6 cents a point.
It could come down to how you use your points rather than avoiding a forex fee as I will show you.
Remember this is not including sign up bonus and annual fee – although it should as believe it or not the Starwood Amex card would crush the Marriott Visa
Marriott Visa – free – 50,000 points worth on average $350 + free night worth $150 = $500 in hotel stays – free
Starwood Amex – $120/year – 20,000 points worth anywhere from a low of $600 to well over $1000 for me.
People hate paying an annual fee. I get it. But the numbers don’t lie.
Anyway, back to an example. Say you spend $6000 in the US. (NOT at Marriott properties or airfare, car rental)
1. You get 6000 Marriott points. Not enough for a hotel night. But no forex fee! Worth about $42
2. You get 6000 Starpoints. Enough for 2 weekend nights at Starwood class 2 properties that go from $100-$150 a night. Let’s say $125. So about $250 in hotel stays. Forex fee of $150. Difference of $100 in your favour.
What it really comes down to is if you can use your points to maximize their value – in this case over 4 cents a point for Starpoints minus 2.5 cents forex fee = 1.5 cents compared to .7 cents a point for Marriott points.
Now, people can get better value out of Marriott points, so there will be cases where this is not true so you need to know how to get the maximum value out of your points!
I keep wanting to do a post on this and finally found time to do one.
I have encountered people the past week that either don’t know if they have points or don’t know how to get to them, so eventually they forget about them and lose out on all the benefits.
With Amex MR points it’s easy. You should get a user name and password set-up at Amex.ca.
Then when you sign in, all your credit cards are there with current balances.
That is basically what you need to do for all of them – user name and password.
Yes, that turns into a few user names and passwords but it also turns into thousands in free travel.
I would love to know how many points get “lost in limbo” and then are worthless. Or people cancel their cards without ever using their points because it is too much of a hassle.
One situation in particular keeps popping up with some of my friends.
The Amex Starwood Preferred Guest Card. People sign up for it and sometimes for whatever reason they are not assigned a Starwood account #. This situation has confused at least 3 of my friends. Amex ends up sending the bonus points to some account – but the individual doesn’t know what account.
Other situations like this have arisen the past 4 years I have been doing this and have even confused me in a couple of instances.
My solution? CALL THEM.
That’s it. You have points – you don’t want to lose them. CALL THEM.
Yes, it may take awhile and yes it may get confusing – you need to be somewhat organized too!
Most confusion generally lies with the fact the credit card company/banks (ie. TD) is a different entity than the hotel chain(Best Western) or points entity (Aeroplan).
If you call them I have found them to be quite helpful most of the time!
I absolutely love this card.
The Amex Starwood Preferred Guest card is the best Canadian Hotel Credit Card out there.
Here is a link that says it all – Patrick has been doing this for over 10 years.
I just booked the Atlantic City Convention Centre for a Saturday this summer which would cost $350 US or around $440 CDN. or 7000 points.
When you get this card and spend only $1000 on it, you get 21,000 Starpoints.
That is 3 stays in this hotel – or over $1300 in stays on a Saturday.
We have done many posts on this card – get it while you can at the current bonus of 20,000 Starpoints – they can lower it to 10,000 at any time!
Yes, it’s $120 annual fee. I just showed you one of many examples of what this card can get you.
You are way ahead when you get this card – refer a spouse/partner and they get those points and you pick up another 10,000 points. Such a great deal!
A 4+ All Inclusive in Cuba for $635 TOTAL!!!
September departures – some July/August ones for a little more.
Get in touch with her for anything travel related – she has you covered.
firstname.lastname@example.org/ in person in the Kenwick Building Sarnia.
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Side note**** We did a new page on March break 2016 – yes it’s early but you have to look early!!!