Monthly Archives: April 2016

How The Marriott-Starwood Deal Will Affect SPG Customers (Probably)

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Travel agents and frequent flyers are all curious to know what is next after the merger finalization between Marriott International Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. One of the things this deal will most certainly affect is their co-brand credit cards. Many seem to think this is a prelude to a credit card loss for AmEx.

American Express issues the SPG card, and on Marriot’s side it is JP Morgan Chase & Co. that puts out the Marriott Rewards VISA card. Both of these urge direct bookings with different travel suppliers through offers of double points. It’s no surprise that this is one of the most popular cards out there, with both Starwood and American Express giving double the points as the number of dollars you spend with the card. Marriott and VISA, meanwhile, offer double points whenever a cardholder books directly using an airline.

Last week saw Starwood and Marriott stakeholder voting to approve the revised merger agreement between the companies following an overbid by Chinese investor group Anbang. Starwood and Marriott are now set to be the world’s biggest hotel chain, with 5,500 hotel and resort properties in over 100 countries.

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American Express Points

The Starwood website mentions that their loyalty program will not join with that of Marriott until 2018, but there is nothing in their about the co-branded credit card program. Starwood officially said, “This means SPG will continue to run separately until then. In the meantime, we’re actively exploring ways to build bridges between the two programs to further enhance your experience.” CEO Arne Sorenson at Marriott resounded the comment on an April 8 blog. Both companies have announced plans to ask their respective card issuers to work together on the merger of the co-branded cards.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Jason Arnold has been heard saying in the financial press that AmEx would almost surely lose the account. With a lost string of high-profile co-brands over the past year, such as Costco Wholesale Corp., JetBlue Airways Corp., and Fidelity Investments, the one with Starwoods has definitely been one of the best ones for the company to make money.

If you wish to sell American Express points online for a profit, get in touch with us at YYZ Miles and we will help you get the best bargain out there. If you are tired of paying the $95 annual fee on Starwood’s card, why not sell the points on it before you cancel it? Head to our seller page and get started.

How To Use Free Reward Points For Uber Rides

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Use Reward Points

Free reward points can make your life a lot simpler. By using them, you can reduce your financial burden to a great extent. Most credit card companies offer reward points these days. In order to use your credit/debit cards for the reward points, you need to enrol them with your desired program.

How To Use Your American Express Points For Uber Rides

Uber is the world’s most popular cab service. One of the reasons for its huge popularity is their transparency. They make everything transparent. Paying the charges is very simple as well. You can pay them through credit/debit cards, Uber credits, etc. Recently Uber has started to accept reward points as well. So, if you can’t sell American Express points or other reward miles you have, the best alternative option now would be to use them for Uber rides.

If you want to get Uber rides through your reward points, you first need to connect your credit card where your rewards are accumulated with your Uber account. You can download the Uber App, which is free, and book your rides directly from the app. Once you have connected your rewards point account with your Uber account, you will see free reward option among the payment options. If you have enough reward points to meet the ride, you can use them straight away.

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Reward Program Providers

You need to have 100 Membership Rewards points in order to cover every $1 charged by Uber for the rides. However, note that you will not be provided with the “Use Reward Points” option if you have chosen any third party service or electronic wallet as one of your payment options in your Uber account.

Each time you use your reward points for the Uber rides, your credit card provider or reward program provider will deduct those points from your account. You can see the details of the point deduction in your monthly statement of reward points. You can find this by logging into your reward point account.

Sometimes, you may not have enough reward points in your account to cover your ride with Uber. In such scenarios, Uber will be redirected to charge you from your credit card instead of using the reward points. In short, when there is shortage of points to cover a ride, your reward points will remain intact.

Earning Cash Through Selling Miles – Things To Keep In Mind

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Frequent Flyer Miles

Free offers and deals have always been attracting people. Frequent flyer miles are not an exception in this case. There are people who even reschedule their trips just to get more frequent flyer miles. However, you would get no miles at all unless you have signed up for the same.

In order to get frequent flyer miles while shopping via your credit card, you need to sign up for those programs. Once the sign up is over, you will get a share of reward points each time you use your card for shopping. The frequent miles are the best way to unburden your financial crises.

How To Sell Miles?

The free miles or reward points you have collected through your cards can either be sold for money or used for online shopping. Nevertheless, there are few people who know how to do it in the right way. The dark side is that there are a lot of fake websites that claim to buy your miles and provide you with big money in return.

You need to be vigilant about those sites. YYZ Miles is one of the reliable portals where you can sell miles for cash. Most of the people who have associated with YYZ Miles are happy about the services offered by the provider, and testify that YYZ Miles strives to offer more on the miles on sale.

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Market Value Of Miles

The value of frequent flyer miles varies from time to time. There is no fixed rate for them. Usually you will get about one cent per mile. However, if you keep an eye on the market trend, you can sell them for more value.

Is It Legal To Sell Miles?

All types of reward points and miles were introduced as custom loyalty program. When they were introduced into the market for the first time, only the customer to whom they were given out could use them. However, it has changed now. The reward programs are now considered as a commodity. Most people transact them for various purposes and there are no legal restrictions on the same. However, some of the providers of the reward programs do not entertain their customers to transact them.

Yet again, it is not necessary now that you should sell miles through their website. There are numerous dedicated websites like YYZ Miles that allow you to sell miles for good return. And it is hundred percent legal.

What Can You Do With Deficient Airway Mileage?

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Sell Rewards Points

Most travelers do not take full advantage of their reward points, despite the fact that many of them flock towards the most lucrative prom and sign up bonuses they can find. Some of the most common challenges to maximizing travel comprise the lack of smart and customized solutions as offers change, and so do the redemption value of points.

It may seem sensible, for instance, to hold on to points like a sort of digital currency until you get served with the most convenient way to spend them, or to hold off until you have enough points in your hands to cover an award ticket. But a small mileage balance does not necessarily mean you need to ignore it.

You can cut the cost of lots of things with these useful things – hotel room, car rental, and purchases. If you have miles or points lying around, here is how to turn them into useful, redeemable balances.

Take Stock

There is no need to keep count of the points you are holding. Get an app that can access your accounts and bring together all your balances in a single place, but make sure to pick this one after due thought.

Transfer Some

Some miles may not be redeemable when you are stateside, but that doesn’t mean they are useless. There are loyalty programs that let you move points across to other brands, and while the option of shuffling balances which can seem to just go on, you can offset that general feeling of being drawn out by starting with small goals.

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Sell Rewards Miles

Maybe your first priority is to move points that are soon to expire, or to bundle smaller balances into your largest one so that it gets you a free ticket. After this, start checking the program websites and find good partnership deals.

For example, if you have British Airway points lying around but you still need more, you may have associated credit card or hotel loyalty card points that can be swapped to make up the shortage towards your next award ticket. It goes both ways, so you could be using the converted value of your British Airway points in some other partner program too.

It is simple enough to do all that, but after a certain point, you may end up wanting to just get cash for your rewards balances. That is what YYZ Miles is here to help you out with. Sign up with us, and get the best deals to sell British Airway points or another loyalty rewards.

Alaska Airlines Changes Their Mileage Plan To Block The Emirates Booking Loophole

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Sell Air Miles

Alaska Airlines has angered thousands of frequent flyers with sudden changes to its mileage program. The general reaction to this move is fury, considering Alaska had one of most lucrative miles programs in the country.

The one way they are different from, say, American, Delta, and United, is that passengers still have a way to earn miles based on the distance flown. That alone is worth its weight in gold. Let us put that in perspective: one business class roundtrip on Hainan Airlines between LA and China would get you silver status, easy as that. Domestic travelers on the other hand would have to fly for months before getting anywhere as close. Additionally, with Alaska Airlines being apart from the three major alliances, redemption too has many possibilities, owing to the wide range of partners across multiple alliances.

They have made a change to Mileage Plan (that is the name of their program) which blocks the loophole, which allows booking inexpensive first class tickets on Emirates, which is a partner. Emirates charges fewer miles than American, while being known to have some of the best first class seats in the world. The change Alaska has made, is a hike in cost of premium awards, by 67% to 100%. Trans-Atlantic first class tickets on Emirates now cost a lot more than they used to.

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Sell Airline Miles

Alaska says they had to do this because customers were aggressively exploiting the loophole, and normalizing the trend among the travel hacking community. Plenty of miles gurus have been lauded publicly for saving up enough Alaska miles for a round-the-globe trip on Emirates. This is not the flyers’ fault entirely, because Alaska did price their routes too high. Emirates bookings shot up to a point that they had to change the program to divert them. It was that, or risk a run on award bookings prior to a scheduled change. So they changed the cost of first class award seats.

It is the timing that is grating at bloggers and passengers, with many frequent flyers pointing out that some advance notice would have been appreciated. If you have a sizeable mileage balance that is not worth as much, you have YYZ Miles to turn to. We can help find a fair deal to sell miles and reward points online. Sign up with us and provide details like what points or miles you have, and an email address to get back to you on.

How To Store Free Rewards In Your PayPal Account

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Reward Points

PayPal has become one of the most common ways of money transactions. People use it for both sending and receiving funds from different sources and bank accounts. It is possible to use your PayPal account for online transactions as well. You can link your PayPal accounts with credit cards and redeem your free miles and points via the same.

Normally, when you sign up for a new PayPal account, you would need to produce a source of funds. For this, you can either link your credit card or debit card with the account. If you don’t have a credit card when you sign up for the PayPal account, you can link your debit card for the time being and then change it to the credit card later on.

Linking A Credit Card

It is seen that most people who own credit cards with reward points program tend to link them with their PayPal accounts. One of the reasons for this new trend is that it allows one to get reward points for PayPal based transactions on the credit card.

Another thing is that all kinds of business enterprises can use PayPal service. Whether you are a customer wanting to transfer your credit card reward points to a better place or a merchant who wants to transfer funds from his clients account to his, PayPal is the right place for the same.

If you have a PayPal account, you do not have to the share your credit card pin with anyone either, because the money from your PayPal account is processed via the associated email account.

Redeeming Credit Card Reward Points

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Free Rewards

Through your PayPal account, you can redeem your credit card based reward points. The PayPal account is safer and easier for the same. Most of the credit card services offer reward points these days. You will start accumulating the points each time you use your credit card for purchases. The rewards points can be directly moved to your PayPal account and redeemed later on as you wish.

Although there are different ways to store up your reward points, there are few ways to sell miles and points. YYZ Miles allows you to sell your miles for a higher rate. You can sell Starwoods points or any other rewards points through us without hardships.

AmEx Would Be Supporting Anbang’s Acquisition Of Starwoods

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AmEx Supports Anbang Deal

Everyone in the travel industry is waiting to see how the purchase of Starwood Hotels & Resorts will go. Just a couple days back, Chinese investment group Anbang overbid Marriott International by $400 million for the proposed acquisition of Starwoods, and is now being viewed as the likely buyer. We have been over that in another post.

Barclays Analyst Mark DeVries says American Express has a reason to root for Anbang’s purchase of the hotel group. The credit card company has long been offering a highly successful co-branded credit card with Starwood for some time, which brings guests at the hotel properties a chance to earn rewards for purchasing items unrelated to hotel activities. If Marriott absorbs the hotel and resort chain, chances are it would cancel any agreement with AmEx, in order to market its own credit card to customers.

Marriott’s rewards scheme is better at rewarding loyalists for hotel-related purchases, mainly inside the properties. Moreover, Starwood’s popular SPG program is costlier to fund than Marriott’s own. Besides all that, there is also the fact that parallel offerings would be disruptive to maintaining a solid loyalty following, points to the increased possibility that Marriott will merge the SPG with its own rewards program.

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Anbang’s Acquisition Of Starwoods

Unless Anbang Insurance Group, the consortium of Chinese investors manages to acquire Starwood, AmEx is looking at a huge loss. The chances of this remain slim right now, so the credit card giant is probably expecting a significant decline in earnings. A Marriott acquisition would also affect consumers who have been getting and redeeming rewards from the joint program with Starwood. SPG being replaced by Marriott’s own loyalty program would lower the value of points from around 2.5 cents apiece to somewhere below 1 cent.

If you want to get rid of your AmEx points for a profit, it is better to sell them online. YYZ Miles can hook you up with the best deals and the perfect buyer, so you don’t have to walk away with a loss. Give us the details of what rewards you are holding, and we will get back with an offer matching the asking price. This isn’t just a portal to sell American Express points, you can also sell Starwoods points and any other rewards through us. When filling the form on the seller page, do not forget to provide your phone number or email ID to contact you when a deal shows up.

What Makes Chase Ultimate Rewards The Best?

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Chase Ultimate Cashback

Chase Ultimate is one of those rewards programs which never fails to distinguish itself. With a huge number of transfer partners, and overall flexibility, and also the fact that they haven’t devalued in some time, Chase Ultimate may very well be the best that credit card rewards programs have ever been.

The Credit Cards That Let You Earn Points

Chase Sapphire: This card lets you earn twice the points on travel and dining, and 1X on other purchases. For a limited time, you also get 50,000 points for spending $4,000 on your card within the first three months. These points are worth $500 in top value gift cards, cash back, or over $600 in travel. Also for the first year, you get the $95 annual fee waived.

Ink Plus® Business Credit Card: This credit card is for business, and it allows earning points in the Chase Ultimate programs as well. You can get 5 times the points on each dollar inside the first $50,000 you spend in combined purchases at office supply stores, cell phones, landline, internet and cable TV services, 2X for the dollar on the first $50,000 spent at gas stations and on direct hotel bookings, and 1X for the rest.

A limited time offer lets you earn 60,000 points after spending $5,000 with the card inside thirty days. You also get the $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards

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Chase Sapphire Card

The main reason that reward points are so attractive is that they are so versatile. Based on where and how you need to travel, it is easy to figure out a way to use these points to that end. Consider the following three for instance:

  • Redeeming for cash back: This option gives you a value of a cent per point. For perspective, the signup bonus of 50,000 points comes to $500 in cash.
  • Booking travel: When redeeming this way, it is possible to book any type of travel, though that is not as good as getting cash back. The Chase Ultimate Rewards portal gets you a 20% discount, meaning 50,000 points would stack up to over $600 in travel this way. The booking options are versatile too; a lot like using Expedia, except you are getting tickets for free here.
  • Transfer to Loyalty Programs: If travelling frequently, moving points to programs from Chase partners is an extremely popular way to go, considering you have a 1:1 value ratio.

Starwoods Gets A Better Bid From Anbang. What Does This Mean For SPG Guests?

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Anbang Bids For Starwood

A competing merger is likely to derail Marriott’s plans to acquire Hotel giant Starwood. Anbang group has just placed a bid of $14billion for Starwood, and the latter is already viewing this is as a ‘superior’ offer. SPG loyalists will likely benefit from that deal going through.

The SPG program has some of the most devoted followers around the world, thanks to the value of their rewards through redemption offers provided at various properties. Currently, Starwoods points are valued at around 2 to 2.5 cents, and with Marriott publicizing their intent to purchase the group, devaluation seemed just around the corner where loyalty rewards were concerned. It came as no surprise when members reacted with disapproval to a merger with Marriott, whose points are valued at 0.7 cents.

Marriott was almost set to become the largest hotel company in the world until Anbang intervened. The consortium of Chinese insurers has served up a more lucrative deal for Starwood to consider. A major player in US real estate with close over $2 billion stakes after purchasing Waldorf Astoria New York in 2014, not counting a $6.5 billion purchase of Strategic Hotels and Resorts and its 16 properties, Anbang almost surely is the real deal. Marriott is expected to bring in a counter bid.

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Starwood Merger

For travelers, it is still not clear how things are going to turn out. Marriott’s deal would almost surely have devalued their SPG points, but there is no guarantee that Anbang’s contract wouldn’t do the same. Also, this would scarcely end the flood of mergers and acquisitions in the hotel industry. Anbang wouldn’t stop with just Starwood, and subsequent hotel purchases would only lead to consolidation, which would affect the way guests get rewarded for loyalty.

Loyalty programs are big these days, and Marriott’s CEO Arne Sorenson has said they wouldn’t eliminate any of Starwoods brands, including the St. Regisand W Hotels. This sort of approach isn’t new, and companies have been known to let their hotel acquisition operate independently. Anbang is more likely to let that happen though.

If you are worried about the value of your SPG points falling before you use them to redeem the various offerings form Starwood, YYZ miles can help you sell them online. Find the best deals to sell Starwoods points online, by signing up with us.

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