Photo Review of Radisson Country Inn & Suites TUC Tucson Arizona Airport

The Tucson airport country inn & suites is conveniently located about a half a mile north of the Tucson terminal. It’s walkable although shuttle service and nearby car service is readily available. This country inn & suites is relatively good although a bit dated. they are in the process of doing renovations during my stay in this hotel should improve from average to good in the near future.

I was really impressed that they start breakfast at 5am which is something all airport hotels should do more.

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How To Easily Search Radisson Award Nights by Category

Many times to find an award night for hotel points or certificates you have to find the location then drill into the reservations and then find out the number of points required or the category level for free night certificates, etc.

Radisson makes this much easier than some hotel chains:

First, click on “Benefits & Rewards” along the top banner.  It might be helpful to be logged in as well. 

radisson beni

 

Then Click on “Redeem” on right middle of the page.

 

radisson redeem

Then click on “Award Night Stays” 

radisson award nights

Then it will open up a page that shows award category levels and how many points are needed for a standard or premium room. Basic award chart. But what makes this award chart extra nice is that if you click the hidden link at the top of each column it will open up the list of hotels by category worldwide. 

Radisson free nights

So, for example, click on “Category 1” and will give you a page that shows the hotels by region for that point and Cat level as shown here:

Radisson award by cat by region

There you go. Sure for points veterans, this is simple stuff and 101 level but as somewhat of a Radisson fan I really like this feature for booking hotel awards on my upcoming travels. I’m a very visual reference learner and enjoy this feature a lot as it’s so simple. 

IHG 2nd Quarter Accelerate Promo Now Live but….

holiday-inn-express-art

In case you’re not familiar IHG Hotels has for many years run a quarterly bonus point earning promo called Accelerate. It has been decent for many years however it is targeted and seems to track how often you stay at IHG. So in other words, if you don’t stay at IHG hotels (Holiday Inn’s, etc.) often then you tend to get really good offers. Like “Stay 1 Night and earn 4,000 bonus points” or whatever. If you stay at a lot of IHG hotels the offers tend to get harder to achieve but also may offer greater rewards. For example “Stay 26 nights this quarter and get 20,000 bonus points” or whatever.

IHG says:

Complete your customized offers now and get your points. With offers designed for the way you like to travel, Accelerate helps you experience more of life. Earn bonus points, get rewards, and make every stay count more.

How does it work?

1. Book and stay at any IHG® hotel around the world from now until August 31.
2. Earn bonus points to use for great rewards and moments that matter.

So we get to:

Have: Customized offers, great (See above)

Offers that are designed for “the way you like to travel”, Apparently not the way others like to travel for me to travel the way I do or something.

“Experience more of life”. Apparently by staying at IHG hotels “life” is more of an “Experience”

And we get to “make every stay count more”.

All sounds great unless you get a crappy offer like my wife did this year.

Here is her offer:

FireShot Capture 048 - IHG® Rewards Club - Earn the extra rewards you deserve - Register Now_ - www.ihg.com

OK let’s say you aren’t familiar with this promo and think this is a great offer. That would be good if you didn’t know that my wife usually has an Accelerate promo worth like 50,000 points but can be hard to reach. She stays about 100 nights a year in hotels so targeting 24 nights’ish in a quarter to get some bonus works for her and IHG. This promo is so low AND requires her to stay for leisure to obtain it. Since she is a business traveler she doesn’t usually stay over on Saturday night. She doesn’t usually book for points & cash and uses a business credit card. Kind of disappointed.

Before you accuse me of kicking the gift horse that IHG Accelerate usually provides I will point out the offer I got below. Why is mine better? Because IHG had done the same to me in early 2018 and I moved all my stays over to Marriott in early 2018 to try and reset the clock with IHG. Good plan right? Sure except I found out that I REALLY like Marriott. In the marketing world, I would consider that a failure. So by IHG having targeted promo’s that punish loyal customers (11,600 versus 60,100) it can backfire I think.

FireShot Capture 049 - IHG® Rewards Club - Earn the extra rewards you deserve - Register Now_ - www.ihg.com

I won’t bring up the registration process issues on this latest promo. Mine worked fine and my wife’s didn’t load until after May 1st. Not sure why. I assume IT issues and not that they more closely reviewed her’s for extra crappy-ness.

Anyway. I urge you to register if you even think you’ll stay at an IHG hotel soon.

How does it work?

1. Sign up for Accelerate.
2. Book and stay at any of your favorite IHG® hotels from May 1, 2019, and August 31, 2019.
3. Earn bonus points to use for great rewards.

You can sign up for the latest promotion by June 18, 2019, and each offer must be completed between 5/1/18 and May 1, 2019, and August 31, 2019.

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Photo review of Staybridge Suites South Denver Lone Tree

This is a fairly typical somewhat worn Staybridge. Pool, fitness center, laundry, 6:30am free breakfast aimed at leasure travelers not 6am road warriors and evening food on random nights to apparently avoid doing it on busy nights??

Rooms and property is good but check in was brutally slow. The slowest of any of my 100s of hotel check in’s in the past 18 months. I also felt that this property was a bit noisy with paper thin walls and floors.

United Mileage Plus X – Earning miles on local shopping with United Chase card

I don’t get a kickback from United or Chase on this. Just news.

So United has a new mile earning scheme where you download the phone app to your smart phone. Once you install it you log in with your mileage plus account and then it will find nearby retailers that participate. When shopping you type in the total spent at the register into the phone app and have the merchant scan the bar code on your phone to award the miles at 0.5, 1x,2x, 3x or 4x depending on the merchant.

If you have a United Mileage Plus credit card and it will link your United MileagePlus X app you are suppose to earn an extra 25%.  Click this photo below to link over the site for me info. See my thoughts below…

United Hub   MileagePlus X

This seems like a good idea and promo video shows it working so smoothly. So here are my main concerns:

  1. Poor Wifi or cell signal at the point of purchase may slow the app or make it useless. I’ve experienced that with Shopkick.
  2. Merchants or checkers may not know how to process or scan the phone.
  3. The pain to use the app for small purchases doesn’t seem worth it (well worth it for large items though).

I hope it works well.

I can see myself using it for large purchases at Lowe’s however they only award 1/2 mile per $ where as it I buy it through the United shopping site online and do in-store pick up (Even while standing in the store) I earn 2 miles per $. Not to mention that American pays 3 miles per $.  They need to fix this issue and make the miles match the online shopping portal offers. I know they may not be run by the same company behind the scenes but they need to match. Lowe’s is the lowest by the way and I didn’t see Home Depot on the list.

They have a bunch of restaurants like Cheesecake factory, Texas Roadhouse, etc. that have good 3 or 4 mile per $ earning but how does that work. You have to give your phone to the waiter so they can scan it? Seems like trouble but maybe I have trust issues.

I could see this being really good in a couple areas:

  1. Manufactured spend folks (you know who you are). I assume gift cards will fly out the door at some of these places since you enter the data on your phone manually.
  2. Amazon is on the list for 1x through online spending through your phone (at least the Android app shows it). Some how this will let you buy gift cards or something. Not sure how it works yet.
  3. Restaurants for 3x or 4x plus your credit card miles at 1x or 2x plus your dining program miles in a few cases.

Anyway it’s a new part of the miles and points game. Should be interesting.  Below is a screen shot of the merchants but this is a list of all of them. Basically the app finds them based on your location so that should help if it works any better than Shopkick which I like (Where it has reception).

2015-01-22 20.54.16

Earn Airline Miles for Booking Hotel Rooms for Others !

rocket miles logo

I’ve know about Rocketmiles for a long time and have been a user since May of 2013. It’s a fairly simple way to earn extra airline miles on hotel stays and you get at least a 1,000 miles for your first stay if you signup though this link.

Rocketmiles can be earned in various programs including:

Rocketmiles   Book Hotels Earn Thousands of Frequent Flyer Miles

What I didn’t know until today is that you can earn miles for booking hotel rooms for others. Just log into your account or join, book the room, and enter the actual guest’s name who will be checking in as “primary guest”. If you are booking for a company, you can contact Rocketmiles and ask to be put in touch with a “Corporate Account Manager” who can explain how to fully take advantage of Rocketmiles for your business (or your own personal account if your a person that books hotels for others, are you listing personal assistants of the world?).

Not bad. Oh and if you don’t belong to Rocketmiles already I would appreciate you signing up through one of my links as I do get some referral miles after your first stay booked through them. Thanks.