How to get elite benefits without status (or a card)

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🤦‍♂️ Trivia Tuesday: If you read any travel news last week, then you might be able to guess where two American tourists ended up pulling an all-nighter. Any guesses? Keep reading to find out…

It's been over 72 hours since this Newsletter was published, so some info and links might be out of date or expired.

🤦‍♂️ Trivia Tuesday: If you read any travel news last week, then you might be able to guess where two American tourists ended up pulling an all-nighter. Any guesses? Keep reading to find out…

Welcome back after a long weekend!

I don’t know about you, but I had a fantastic one visiting the famous temples here in Siem Reap, including Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure in the world.

Shoutout to Sarry, the random Cambodian lady who took this photo.

But right now, there’s only one religion you all care about: The Church of Miles and Points. 

And you can consider me your priest, because I’m about to save you from eternal sub-optimal traveling.

Here’s what we got on the pulpit today:

  • 💳 Top Cards Update (September 2023)

  • 🏨 How to get elite hotel benefits without being elite

  • 🤓 Travel Trivia Tuesday

💳 Top Cards Update (September 2023)

There hasn’t been a whole lot of movement on the credit card front lately, with a couple of small exceptions.

A few weeks ago, I shared a sweet card offer with you. Due to the popularity of said card offer, we’ve decided to toss her on the top cards list for this month, in slot number two.

Why slot number two? Because there is one card that has remained in slot number one on our list for months.

In fact, I think there was only one time when it was replaced (because of a too-good-to-be-true offer on this card), after which point it went right back up there.

The reason we keep it at number one is because you can use it to pay for literally anything with points. It’s like magic.

But I don’t think everybody understands the full magnitude of this card and how crazy it is…

So I wrote an article. It’s called “How to pay for literally anything with points.”

I think you’ll like what you read. Oh, and you’re welcome. Because your life will forever be changed.

🏨 How to get elite hotel benefits without being elite

There are many things I enjoy about having hotel elite status.

And I’m not talking about that feeling you get knowing that the people next to you at breakfast paid $40 per day for something you’re getting for free.

Wait… no, that’s actually exactly what I’m talking about.

Hotel elite benefits are great. And I like having them very much. The only caveat? You need to spend a bunch of time, points, and money, and you need to travel a ton.

For reference, I put a lot of time into being loyal to hotels to get elite status… this was my Marriott account at the end of last year. 😬

Help. I’m addicted to Marriott

But what about normal people who want to experience these things, too?

Well, there are a number of ways. Most of them involve getting a credit card, or using a specific bank travel portal… which requires a credit card… 😑

But there’s one way that any old schmuck can use. And it’s actually what I’m using at this very moment.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World, or SLH, is a brand of hotels that has a unique partnership with Hyatt.

When you book an SLH property through Hyatt, you’ll get some sweet benefits just because you booked it through Hyatt, no elite status required.

The benefits include:

Things like free breakfast, room upgrades, and late checkout are all AWESOME and make this a really appealing option, in my opinion.

And just to reiterate, EVERYBODY gets these benefits, as long as you are a World of Hyatt member and book through the Hyatt website or app.

As with other Hyatt properties, you can also use points to pay for these bookings based on the category of the property.

For example, I’m currently writing this from the Angkor Village Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia, a Category 3 SLH hotel.

This hotel was booked through Hyatt for just 9,000 points per night, which is a pretty sweet deal, though the cash rates are also fairly reasonable at just over $100 per night.

What makes SLH hotels stand out is… well… everything. I’ve stayed at a few SLH hotels now, and they’re always unique and capture some of the essence of the place they’re in.

My current hotel has a really cool traditional Cambodian feel to it. All of the rooms are sort of like “huts,” but really luxurious ones. 👇

It’s a really cool experience to stay here, and another solid experience with SLH.

What I also love about this partnership is that even though Hyatt doesn’t OWN these hotels (it’s simply a partnership between the two companies), you still earn points and Hyatt elite nights when staying here.

And if you’re wondering how many there are and if it’s a convenient option, I have good news:

There are tons of these bad boys.

SLH has more than 500 properties spread out over 80 countries all around the world ranging from the U.S. to Europe, Central & South America, and even right here in Cambodia.

So here’s the bottom line:

By simply signing up for a free Hyatt account, you can access this global network of hotels and get treated like an elite every time you stay, even if it’s once or twice per year.

No elite status, credit card, or fancy hacking required. Which I find quite refreshing.

🤓 Travel Trivia Tuesday

Correct answer: the freaking Eiffel Tower

Honestly, it sounds like these guys hacked the system. There’s no telling how many people have tried to do this and never pulled it off.

Two American tourists were found sleeping in the Eiffel Tower after getting stuck while drunk…

These guys were so drunk that they became stuck in a restricted zone.

The tourists had dodged security and were found sleeping off a heavy night in the heights of the tower.

The opening of the Eiffel Tower was delayed on Monday morning after security officials found the tourists sleeping in the monument.

Read more about it here. And please, don’t try this at home.

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That’s all for today, kiddos. I hope you all had a lovely long weekend, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow morning for some more travel fun times.

Take care,

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

13.3633° N, 103.8564° E

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