August 25, 2016

Earn Unlimited Choice Hotels Free Night After Every Two Qualified Separate Stays


Between September 1 and November 11, 2016, Choice Hotels is having a promotion that allows you to earn one free night stay after two qualified separate stays. You can earn an unlimited number of this bonuses! After you register, you'll earn points for a free night after every two separate trips.

Terms and Conditions:
Offer Link
Free night is based on an 8,000 point Choice Privileges reward night level.
Registration required at ChoiceHotels.com/freenight before check-out.
Members must book trips via ChoiceHotels.com, the Choice Hotels mobile app, or 800.4CHOICE at qualifying rates. Corporate travelers may book through a corporate online booking system.
Choice Privileges member number must be provided upon check-in.
After a second qualifying trip with arrival between 09/01/16 and 11/11/16, members will be awarded a minimum of 5,000 and maximum of 8,000 bonus points, depending on the number of base points earned from the two (2) separate qualifying trips.
These bonus points will allow redemption for a free night at the 8,000 reward night level at over 1,500 hotels. A free night at most Choice Privileges locations requires more than 8,000 points.
A trip is defined as a stay that is any number of consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs.
To be eligible to earn the bonus, members must set their earning preference to Choice Privileges points in their online account.
Allow 72 hours from check-out for points to post.

Best Use of Choice Hotels Points in Europe
I personally love redeeming Choice Points for hotel stays in Europe, specifically Scandivania. You can check out my full article on Best Use of Choice Hotels Points From 6,000 to 25,000 Points in Europe.

What does this mean? "After a second qualifying trip with arrival between 09/01/16 and 11/11/16, members will be awarded a minimum of 5,000 and maximum of 8,000 bonus points, depending on the number of base points earned from the two (2) separate qualifying trips."
Choice member earns 10 points per dollar spend at any Choice hotels properties. For example, you do two qualified separate stays at a Choice hotel. You pay $100 per stay, so your total base points are 2,000 Choice Points. With this promotion, Choice will award you additional 6,000 Choice Points so you have 8,000 Choice Points in your account.


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August 22, 2016

Play the SPG Open More Game to Win Starpoints or Free Night Award


Play the SPG Open More game for your chance to instantly win 1,000, 5,000 or 10,000 Starpoints or 1 Free Night Award. Plus, you’ll be entered to win the grand prize regardless you win the game or not: 5 Free Night Awards and 50,000 Starpoints.

Terms & Condition:
Offer Link
The Game is scheduled for play starting August 22, 2016, 11:00 a.m. ET and ends September 12, 2016, 11:00 a.m. ET.
Limit one (1) play per person, per day, during the Game Period.
Quantity  & Instant Win Prizes
630 1,000 Starpoints
420 5,000 Starpoints
210 10,000 Starpoints
210 Free Night Awards Category 1–5
One (1) Grand Prize winner will be awarded 50,000 Starpoints plus five (5) Free Night Awards, Category 1–6
Full Terms & Conditions


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(Extended) Wyndham 5,000 Bonus Points With Visa Checkout


Wyndham has extended their Visa Checkout promotion that after you complete your qualified stay, they will add 5,000 bonus points to your Wyndham Rewards account. Book by Sept 30, 2016 and complete your qualified stay by Oct 1, 2016.

Terms & Conditions:
Offer Link
Must be Wyndham member (free to join).
Must book through Wyndham mobile app.
Between April 27, 2016 and September 30, 2016 use the App to book a Qualified Stay at a Participating Hotel.
Use Visa Checkout as payment. (Free to create account with Visa Checkout and add your card of payment).
Each member receives 5,000 Wyndham Rewards bonus points for each qualified stay during the promotion period, up to a maximum of two (2) separate stays.
One stay includes all consecutive nights at the same hotel, regardless of check-ins or check-outs.
Stays with check-out dates after October 1, 2016 will not be counted towards the Promotion.
Members who have elected to earn Travel Partner Currency in their member profile and who book and stay in accordance with the Promotion, will receive their base point earning in Travel Partner Currency with the Bonus denominated in 5,000 Wyndham Rewards points.
Full Terms & Conditions


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August 20, 2016

IHG Accelerate Now Open For Registrations For Stays Between September 6 through December 15, 2016


IHG Accelerate is now available to register for IHG members (free to join) for stays between September 6 through December 15, 2016. This is yet another regular IHG offer for members to earn bonus IHG points, but each member's offer is different. So you must first register to discover what the offers are for your specific account.

Terms & Conditions:
Offer Link
Must be an IHG Rewards Club member
Must register your member number in advance to participate in “Accelerate” (Promotion).
Upon Registration (as defined below), members will be presented with the opportunity to earn at least 30,000 bonus points upon completion of all offers presented.
Each Offer must be completed between 6 September 2016 and 15 December 2016 (both dates inclusive)
Bonus points are not issued for Non-Qualifying Room Rates or Non-Qualifying Stays. “Non-Qualifying Room Rates” or “Non-Qualifying Stay” include the following: any stay at a Kimpton Hotel, net wholesale individual and group rate, certain package rates, employee discount rate, friends and family rate, crew rate, special discounted contract rates, seasonal worker/crew rate, 50% travel club discount rate, travel industry discount rate, distressed passenger rate, IHG Rewards Club Reward Nights/Airline Hotel Reward rate, rates booked through third party web sites, complimentary hotel Stays and any other rates not defined as a Qualifying Room Rate at IHG’s sole discretion.
Complete Terms & Conditions

My Accelerate Offer:
3,000 - Stay Once Get 3,000.
10,000 - Stay 5 night(s) and earn 10,000 bonus points.
20,800 - Stay at 3 brands and get 20,800 bonus points.
8,000 - Stay at 2 Holiday Inn hotel(s)—including Holiday Inn Resort and Holiday Inn Club Vacation and earn 8,000 bonus points.
1,500 - Book and pay for one stay with your IHG Rewards Club Credit Card and earn bonus points.
17,000 - Complete 4 of the 5 offers and earn (an additional) 17,000 bonus points.
5,000 - Stay once in September and get 5,000 bonus points.


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August 19, 2016

Buy Hilton Points Up To 50% Off Discount Price


For those that need to top of your Hilton account to redeem free night stay(s), now through September 16, 2016, you can purchase Hilton points at a discounted price that is up to 50% off based on your account. I am targeted only for 40% off.

This is a pretty straight forward offer from Hilton's points purchase. Sign into your account and click the following link to display your % discount.

Offer Link


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Save 12% on Points and Cash Bookings With IHG


If you are the IHG credit card holder, now through September 18, 2016 when you redeem reward nights by combing IHG points and cash for all stays through November 30, 2016, you will save 12% on the cash portion.

This is also another opportunity to purchase IHG points at a discounted price because when you book stays with IHG by combining points plus cash, and then cancel that booking, you will receive your points back but the cash portion that you paid will be refunded back in points and not cash into your account.

Terms & Conditions:
Offer Link
As an IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite member, you’ll save 12% on Points & Cash bookings made now until September 18, 2016.
This offer is valid for all stays through November 30, 2016.
12% discount is offered at time of booking and only pertains to the cash cost of bookings.
Must be a Platinum Elite member at the time of booking to be eligible for offer.
Bookings for The Venetian and The Palazzo hotels are excluded from discounts.
You’ll also earn 5 points per $1 spent when you use your IHG Rewards Club Credit Card to book and pay for your stay.

Bonus: If you search for one of the IHG hotel's reward night in Burbank California, you are able to purchase IHG points at 55 cents a piece by doing the points and cash booking.

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August 17, 2016

IHG PointsBreak: Only 5,000 IHG Points For Participating Hotels Through October 31, 2016


IHG has released their popular PointsBreak promotion that's valid for booking through October 31, 2016. Each IHG hotel property around the world that participates in this promotion only requires 5,000 points per night stay during promotional period. This is a fantastic use of IHG point if you are able to take advantage of this promotion.

Terms & Conditions:
  • Link
  • Due to the limited availability, each member may only book two PointBreaks® Reward Nights reservations per hotel during the special offer time period. 
  • Offer and participating hotels are subject to change at any time, valid for booking through October 31, 2016
  • All other Reward Night terms and conditions apply. 
  • Please note that Reward Nights booked through PointBreaks® may not be sold or used for commercial gains. Doing so is a program violation and may result in the freezing of your account, the forfeiture of all point transfers, rewards, vouchers, or merchandise issued pursuant to point redemptions and any accrued points or miles in your account, as well as cancellation of the account and your future participation in the Program.

To book, note down the participating hotel property from the link provided above. Then go to IHG website and search for that specific hotel/location. The 5,000 reward points required per night stay should automatically show during the promotion period according to the above terms.


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50% Off IHG Reward Nights in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean (including 4 all-inclusive resorts)


IHG currently offers 50% off IHG Reward Nights for hotels and resorts in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. 4 of those resorts are all-inclusive resorts, and they are:

Holiday Inn Resort Ixtapa in Mexico
Holiday Inn Cancun Arenas in Mexico
Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos in Mexico
Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay in Jamaica

Key Terms:
  • Offer subject to hotel’s availability and valid only for bookings from August 15th to 28th, 2016 for stays from September 1st to October 30th, 2016
  • Rate will vary at each hotel. Rate quoted includes discount. 
  • Not valid with other promotions. 
  • A fee for an extra bed may be charged by selected hotel. 
  • Not valid with group reservations. Guest will earn IHG® Rewards Club points for food and beverage, accommodations excluded. 
  • Hotel policy varies regarding the number of guests allowed per room. 
  • Offer valid only at participating hotels in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. 
  • Blackout dates may apply.
To book, simply search for reward nights on IHG website, and the points required for stay(s) will automatically show 50% off during the promotional period according to the above terms.

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Club Carlson 50% Off 2 Night Stays Or 4 Night Stays In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

UPDATE: This promotion is no longer available!

If are a Gold member of Club Carlson, you can take advantage of the 2 for 1 nights rate or 4 for 2 nights rate in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Basically, you get 50% off 2 night stays or 4 night stays at those locations. This deal has been around and its expiration is unknown. Availability varies by the property.

2 for 1 Nights Terms
  • Link
  • Stay Thursday night, get Friday night FREE!
  • Stay Friday night, get Saturday night FREE!
  • Two days advanced booking required.
  • Valid for up to two rooms max. One of the rooms must be occupied by a member.
  • Breakfast and taxes inclusion depend by hotel and local policy.
  • Dates must be consecutive and include a Friday or Saturday.
  • Rate shown is for the first night and the second night is for free.
  • Two night minimum stay required.
  • Offer subject to availability and valid at participating locations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa except at Radisson® Edwardian Hotels.
  • Offer must be booked on clubcarlson.com or the Member Service Center; and ask for the 2 for 1 Weekend Extend Offer.
  • Member must present Elite Gold card upon check-in.

4 for 2 Nights Terms
  • Link
  • Stay Wednesday and Thursday night, get Friday and Saturday night FREE!
  • Stay Thursday and Friday night, get Saturday and Sunday night FREE!
  • Two days advanced booking required.
  • Valid for up to two rooms max. One of the rooms must be occupied by the member.
  • Breakfast and taxes inclusion depend by hotel and local policy.
  • Dates must be consecutive and include a Friday or Saturday.
  • Rate shown is for the first 2 nights and the second two nights are free.
  • Rates shown for the last two nights will not be charged.
  • Four night minimum stay required.
  • Offer subject to availability and valid at participating locations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa except at Radisson® Edwardian Hotels.
  • Offer must be booked on clubcarlson.com or the Member Service Center; and ask for the 4 for 2 Weekend Extend Offer.
  • Member must present Elite Gold card upon check-in.

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August 13, 2016

Hotel Review: Khemara Guesthouse Phnom Penh Cambodia

Khemara Guesthouse
While on the way to visit the famous Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, I stayed a couple nights in Phnom Penh at Khemara Guesthouse. This guesthouse is an excellent choice for budget and has a great location. If you want to get away from all the hustles and bustles of the tourist area such as the riverside, then Khemara Guesthouse is the place to be as it puts you right in the central location to entertainment places, yet far away from all the touristic areas. Staying at this guesthouse will make you experience how Cambodian people and cultures are like over there. In this review, I'll be focusing on the Price & Room, Location, Transportation, People and Culture.

Price & Room

You can't really beat the price with this Khemara Guesthouse. Nightly rate is only USD$10 per night if you book directly with them for their Apartment Room which is newly renovated with tiles throughout and modern shower room. It's very spacious. It has living and kitchen areas, private bedroom, private bathroom, and a balcony. Wifi is also free both in the room and in the public area for certain rooms. The only downside about the room is that it does not have air conditioning but it has fan. This is the only reason why I decided to go with the Superior Double Room instead. The Superior Room is also spacious, it has two beds that can accommodate up to 4 people. The nightly rate is USD$20 per night. It comes with both fan and air conditioning. It is a private bedroom and has a private bathroom that has a hot water system. In reality though, given how hot and humid Cambodia is, hot water wouldn't be necessary and the Apartment Room with fan could have been enough for me as the nightly rate is cheaper than the Superior Room. It is worth mentioning too that if you want to stay longer at the Khemara Guesthouse, they have weekly rate and monthly rate also that are cheaper than the nightly rate.

New Modern Shower Room In Apartment Room
Modern Sink In Apartment Room
Private Bedroom In Apartment Room
Both Fan and Air Conditioning In Superior Double Beds Room
Lovely Balcony infront of the Apartment Room

Location

The location of the Khemara Guesthouse is fantastic. It's very central and all within walking distance to entertainment district such as shopping, restaurants and bars. Central Market is just a short walk away from the guesthouse for cheap souvenirs. A short "Touk Touk" ride will get you to the Royal Palace, National Museum, Independence Monument and other major attractions. Khemara Guesthouse is also situated in the business district in Phnom Penh where you get to experience how Cambodian people live and do business on a daily basis. It's a great way to learn about their people and cultures. I really love the fact that the location of this guesthouse is far away from the touristy places that can get really noisy and bothersome due to people party all night long and loud music. Another thing that I love about the location of this guesthouse is the fact that I can just walk to just about anywhere, even the bus station to get me to the coastline Sihanoukville, Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat, Thailand, Vietnam to name a few.

Central Market for Cheap Souvenirs is Within Walking Distance
You Can Visit the Royal Palace While Staying At Khemara Guesthouse
The National Museum Is Just A Short "Touk Touk" Ride Away

Transportation

As I mentioned earlier, I can just walk to just about anywhere for shopping, restaurants and bars during my stay at Khemara Guesthouse. If you want to go somewhere else, the "Touk Touk" is a great cheap taxi service that gets you there. Phnom Penh International Airport is also just a short drive from there. You can contact the guesthouse to arrange the service if you'd like them to pick you up and drop you right at the guesthouse. To me, bargaining for the transportation price right after my long flight isn't something that I am looking forward to doing.

People and Culture

I feel like this deserves its own section because a visit to Cambodia isn't complete without getting to know the authenticity of Cambodian people's life on a daily basis. Khemara Guesthouse provides this type of opportunity. First of all, this guesthouse is family owned. They are friendly and nice people with smiley faces. I felt like I was up close to the people and culture there. People there are very hard working from sunrise to sundown. From the guesthouse, I was able to see how busy the street can be over there, thanks to the hotel's balcony. Personally, I feel that when I travel away from home, I want to see something that's different than my own country. That is why I decided to stay away from the touristy areas that are mostly tailored to American/European lifestyle. I wanted to be as close as possible to Cambodian people and culture so that I have good story to tell at home, and memory to cherish.

Conclusion

In summary, I had pleasant stays at Khemara Guesthouse. This is a very budget hotel, but has several perks such as very affordable price with spacious rooms, private bedroom, private bathroom, balcony, and great location. If you are expecting a fancy hotel at this guesthouse, then this is not for you. This is an economical hotel that is centrally located in the heart of Phnom Penh city, yet far away from all the hustles and bustles touristy areas and put you in the heart of Cambodian people and cultural experiences. Do keep in mind though Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia, and therefore with city life, noise is inevitable and it's very common in Cambodia no matter where you go. I highly recommend this guesthouse to travelers that are looking for a few night stays in Phnom Penh. You can book directly with them at www.khemaraguesthouse.com - there are photos of the rooms for you to look at as well.


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