Author Topic: Maxxing Rewards for Work Travel  (Read 2386 times)

SimplyMarvie

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Maxxing Rewards for Work Travel
« on: August 06, 2016, 02:31:47 PM »
I'm going to India for 5 weeks for work. Then, several months later, I'm going to be in Boston for a week, and wanted to try to cover the hotel costs with the points I would theoretically earn from my trip to India.

 I'm sweating this one particularly, because while there are several nice hotels in the area of my office, none of them appear to be on any of the major rewards plans. They also lack easy access to food or entertainment, which is a concern too. To get a hotel that is on a rewards plan that I'm a member of (HHonors and Marriott), I may be signing myself up for a horrific commute (possibly up to 1.5 hours.).

I know that there are people here who do this aaaaaall the time, so can we talk about general ways to maximize travel rewards on work trips?

boarder42

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Re: Maxxing Rewards for Work Travel
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2016, 03:06:06 PM »
Well depends on how your company will let you do hotels. To maximize status hop from hotel to hotel every night or check in and out of the same hotel daily. If you have monthly rates you're shit out of luck. Just make sure you sign up for all the promos.for whatever hotel you'd pick. I'm a Hilton guy but I wish I'd done Marriott you can get lifetime status with them

Catbert

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Re: Maxxing Rewards for Work Travel
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2016, 04:20:09 PM »
Can/do you use your own cc to pay for the hotels?  If you do that's an added points stream.   Even if you have to stay at an independent or local chain hotel you could use a cc to get points.  If you haven't been churning cc you could pick up a Chase Sapphire Preferred and use it.  The sign up bonus is probably 50,000 points for a 3-4k spend within 3 months.  Those points can be used on a wide variety of hotels (even many independent hotels).  Or get a cc for Hilton or Marriott and meet the minimum spend by charging your India stay at whatever hotel you stay at.

Are there other international chains within in a reasonable distance?  Maybe you should expand your portfolio by joining a new rewards club and getting a companion cc.

I'm with you, I would hate to blow an opportunity to max out points with you upcoming 5 week hotel stay.  But no way I would commute 1.5 hours - especially in a strange city.

SimplyMarvie

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Re: Maxxing Rewards for Work Travel
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2016, 11:55:37 AM »
Well depends on how your company will let you do hotels. To maximize status hop from hotel to hotel every night or check in and out of the same hotel daily. If you have monthly rates you're shit out of luck. Just make sure you sign up for all the promos.for whatever hotel you'd pick. I'm a Hilton guy but I wish I'd done Marriott you can get lifetime status with them

I can pretty much do whatever I want so long as I stay within our established Per Diem rates. I pay, and then claim it back from them at the end.

Help me understand this check-in, check-out thing? How does that maximize status.

(And I hear you on Marriott v. Hilton. I'd FAR rather stay at a Marriott property, but there are limited options and I think the commute might be slightly too egregious. Plus, I want to maximize my access to cheap food for dinner, and there's nothing in the area of the Marriott but their hotel restaurant. *sigh*)

SimplyMarvie

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Re: Maxxing Rewards for Work Travel
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2016, 11:59:25 AM »
Can/do you use your own cc to pay for the hotels?  If you do that's an added points stream.   Even if you have to stay at an independent or local chain hotel you could use a cc to get points.  If you haven't been churning cc you could pick up a Chase Sapphire Preferred and use it.  The sign up bonus is probably 50,000 points for a 3-4k spend within 3 months.  Those points can be used on a wide variety of hotels (even many independent hotels).  Or get a cc for Hilton or Marriott and meet the minimum spend by charging your India stay at whatever hotel you stay at.

Are there other international chains within in a reasonable distance?  Maybe you should expand your portfolio by joining a new rewards club and getting a companion cc.

I'm with you, I would hate to blow an opportunity to max out points with you upcoming 5 week hotel stay.  But no way I would commute 1.5 hours - especially in a strange city.

That is another option... Work actually REQUIRES me to use my own credit card and claim back the expense. Marriott's credit card was offering something obscene like 80,000 points for applying and then charging $3000 in the first three months. My hotel in India will be at least that, so that's an option. Worst-case, I suppose I could stay at the Hilton (and collect HHonors points for the stay, using the double points promotion) and charge it to my Marriott credit card and collect their points for opening and using the account...?

The only other international option would be the Hayatt, which has some other challenges -- close to work, far from food. *sigh*. Otherwise, it'd be the Taj, and while I LOVE Taj hotels, I'm not planning on returning to India or visiting another country that has them in the forseeable future.

Catbert

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Re: Maxxing Rewards for Work Travel
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2016, 12:30:01 PM »
I think Hilton has several different credit cards (both Citi and Amex).  Having one doesn't preclude you for getting others and getting the bonus on each card.  If the Hilton is a good chain for you and your Boston trip, get one or two different Hilton cards and charge your convenient Raj hotel in India to meet the bonus requirments.

Sometimes to get elevated status with a hotel chain you have to make xx number of stays within a particular time period.  Or they will give you additional points for staying multiple times with a given period.  I think that's what boarder was suggesting.  Totally not worth it to me to do on a daily basis.  YMMV.

Edited to add links to HHonors cards:

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2016/07/5-reasons-the-citi-hilton-hhonors-card-should-be-on-your-list.html

« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 12:33:07 PM by mary w »

desk_jockey

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Re: Maxxing Rewards for Work Travel
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2016, 02:03:45 PM »
because while there are several nice hotels in the area of my office, none of them appear to be on any of the major rewards plans. They also lack easy access to food or entertainment, which is a concern too. To get a hotel that is on a rewards plan that I'm a member of (HHonors and Marriott), I may be signing myself up for a horrific commute (possibly up to 1.5 hours.).

It's pretty easy to calculate the value of the points that you'd get for the trip.   Doing a rough estimate for Marriott, 15K points will get you a hotel level worth about $100/night.  Excluding credit card points, how many Marriott points would you get for your stay in India?   If it was 2000 points / night, then I could tell you quite quickly that to me it would not be worth $13 each day to deal with that extra commute time and inconvenience. 

I've made this decision many times over the years, giving up more than 80 nights of loyalty points for boutique hotels located within walking distance.

I second the Chase Sapphire recommendation.   Travel gives 2x points, so it doesn't take me many trips to get enough points to be transferred for a free flight on SWA.

SimplyMarvie

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Re: Maxxing Rewards for Work Travel
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2016, 01:35:59 PM »
Thanks, Desk_Jockey. If there was a cute, appropriate boutique hotel, I would have booked the darn thing already. Convenience trumps reward points every darn time.  Sadly, there's no perfect option. I can do short commute but limited dinner options or close to safe places to eat dinner (and see movies, which is a big perk...) with points, but a possibly horrific commute. You win some, you loose some.