Archive | May 2016

Why pay for hotels? Seriously.

So I see another article today on the price of hotels and how those prices are going up for the coming summer season.

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Now, we haven’t paid for a hotel room in over 5 years and I don’t see why, if you are reading this, you may be paying for one.

If you are any way interested in travel and collecting points, you should know as Canadians we have 3 hotel branded credit cards right now that give you many free nights at their locations.

If you travel with a partner, double those points as they could get 1 or more of their cards as well.

Since I mention 2 of these on our page, How Do You Do This I won’t go into detailed specifics.

Really, it is a whole bunch of nights, and you can avoid a yearly fee if you pick 2 of them.

The Best Western MBNA card gives you 60,000 points right now which can actually get you 5 free nights at standard Best Westerns.

The Marriott Chase Visa gives you 30,000 points right now plus a free nights which can get you 4-6 more free nights.

The Amex Starwood gives you 20,000 points worth way more but there is the $120 yearly fee.

So it is really a great way to stay in hotels for free if you can pay your credit card bills and are somewhat organized.

 

 

 

 

“Sorry, we don’t take Amex”

Does it really matter?

Nope.

I heard that a few times on our recent trip to Windsor – actually 3 out of the 4 times I tried to pay for something.

I hear it from people wary of getting American Express cards. “Well nobody takes Amex so it’s bascially useless.”

Yes, for sure there are places that don’t take Amex because of higher swipe fees, etc. – but does that matter to the average consumer?

Obviously it does.

If you just google “why don’t merchants take Amex” or something along those lines you can read for days everyone’s opinion on this. Go ahead.

Why make it that complicated?

If you have good credit, can pay bills and want more, try the Amex Gold Reward Card.

Just for signing up you can have either enough points for a flight anywhere in Canada or the US (no Hawaii/Alaska), or a $250 travel credit. All you need to do is spend $1500 on it.

I hear lunchtime conversations all the time “I have enough points for free burgers and it only took me 6 months to get” or “I have a $20 credit at Canadian Tire from using their card all this year”

Really. Try their one card – Amex Gold Rewards. Spend $1500. Get a $250 credit.

Does it really get any better than that return wise?

Do I really care if a few small places don’t take Amex?

 

Karen has a BUNCH of new Deals!!!

Karen just sent me an email with a whole bunch of deals.

Puerto Plata from $245, Riviera Maya, some flight only stuff, sale on Amsterdam…it goes on.

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Review – Best Western Plus Waterfront Hotel – Windsor, Ont.

This was basically our room- view of Detroit and everything!

Firstly, here is the link to their website.

Our family took a quick 24hr vacation and headed to Windsor, Ontario.

The good thing about Windsor and the downtown area is the things you want to see and do are all within walking distance from this hotel.

Kids indoor waterpark – Adventure Bay– walk out back exit of hotel and a 1 minute walk down the street.

 

Splash Zone 1.1

 

Wave Pool 1.3

Whizzard 1.3

Caesar’s Windsor – walk out the back exit door and about a 5 minute walk down the street.

Plenty of restaurants in the area too!

The hotel itself has it’s own pool and workout area with a beautiful view of Detroit as well.

The staff was nothing short of amazing at check in and a maintenance guy we chatted with as well.

There is a free hot breakfast for all guests as well.

The parking lot is right across the street from the back exit and was only a $12 charge.

I have stayed at this hotel 3 times now and am always impressed by the staff, free breakfast, location and views.

We stayed on a Saturday night and it came to $172 total or 28,000 Best Western points.

A strategy you as a family may consider is getting to the hotel at or around check-in, and then heading to the waterpark for 4pm where the prices drop for the Star Light Rate – it costed us $62 for our family of 4 to stay till close.

You could eat at the waterpark and not have to leave but we chose to leave at 7 and head out to Bubi’s for amazing food!

Next morning get up for the free hot breakfast and still have time for a swim/workout/sauna.

Check out is noon which is also nice!

Other variations of trips could involve the casino as well – it’s all walking distance.

Best Western Sign Up Bonus now 60,000 points!

That title says it all – yes you have to spend $2000 in 90 days, but that’s not outrageous!

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This is the highest bonus I have seen in over 5 years – there was one before for 60,000 – but this is the highest it gets!

You can apply at this link – Canadians.

Detroit – Atlantic City $68 Return May Long Weekend!

If you were looking for a quick getaway for our CDN May long weekend coming up, try flying Spirit to Atlantic City for less than $100 CDN round trip out of Detroit.

It may not be on your bucket list or anything like that, but it is a pretty cool place to see -the Commodores and Eddie Money are there that weekend as well.

Check it out!

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Nice deal!

 

Detroit Summer Series – late summer flights…

I love looking at Google flights.

If you have a weekend in mind and just want to get away cheap – that is a great app.

I have been looking late August lately just for fun and I keep getting the same dates as really cheap times to fly. Now obviously these dates change and other factors are at work but if you look Sat. Aug 27 – Wed. Aug 31 you will find some decent deals.

Again, these dates aren’t set in stone but are good, cheap times to fly.

You have to be willing to put up with Spirit as well, but they get you there. (most of the time).

Remember with them, print your boarding passes ahead of time and they will charge you about $25 per checked bag so if you can travel light you are saving more money.

Just for those days – Round trip out of Detroit – prices are in CDN

 

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Boston – $134 Spirit

Atlantic City – $109 Spirit

Myrtle Beach – $171 Spirit

Fort Lauderdale –  $171 Spirit ($190 Jet Blue bigger seats)

New Orleans – $234 Spirit

Kansas City – $159 Spirit

Denver – $224 Frontier

Dallas – $191 Spirit

Vegas – $296 Frontier

San Fran – $303 Frontier

San Juan, PR – $319 Spirit