Hyatt *sniffle* gets devalued

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✈️ Get ready for a nationwide airport facelift with a substantial $970 million grant from the federal government, aimed at upgrading over 100 airports across the country. Read more about these upgrades here.

It's been over 72 hours since this Newsletter was published, so some links might be out of date or expired.

✈️ Get ready for a nationwide airport facelift with a substantial $970 million grant from the federal government, aimed at upgrading over 100 airports across the country. Read more about these upgrades here.

‘Ello Guvnas and happy Friday from London, England… this is the longest I’ve gone without changing time zones in years, so the jet lag is killing me right now…

Thankfully, I have you to keep me company. And by “keep me company,” I mean read about some epic travel hacks:

💳 Top Cards Update: March 2024

It has been a crazy month. Well, to be honest, it’s been a crazy life. But in terms of credit card welcome offers, it’s been a crazy month.

We’ve told you about some of the insane offers that are floating around right now, like this one for you Marriott peeps, this one for you Hyatt peeps, and this one for you… well… filthy rich peeps.

But there are even more epic offers that many of you might get excited about, so let me give you a quick update on what’s changed since last month.

A green background with different credit card graphics fanned out

The big fish right now is definitely the Companion Pass offer on THREE different cards, which, sadly, will be ending soon… 😭 So go get it now.

But one offer that flew under the radar is this card, which currently has an offer pretty close to its all-time high.

You may remember last year when I raved about the card. One year later, it’s still one of my favorites and remains a staple of my wallet.

In fact, I still haven’t even depleted my IHG point balance from when I signed up for the card last year, and I’ve spent quite a few nights at IHG hotels lately, like this one I just stayed at in Bali:

Screenshot of hotel stay of 17,750 points

And if you have a business and enjoyed the offer for FIVE Marriott free night awards on the consumer card I referenced earlier, I have more good news:

This business card has decided to match that offer and is now also offering five free night awards as the welcome offer… which is insane…

Theoretically, you could sign up for both, spend less than $200 in annual fees, and earn TEN free night awards worth up to 500,000 points in total. 🤯

Also, Marriott is on a roll.

Because two more of the hotel’s cards (this one and this fancy one) just increased their welcome offers… and they’re pretty good 👀 

Anyway, please go check out our Top Cards Page and our Elevated Offers Page if you want to read more about these offers!

✈️ 15% transfer bonus to LifeMiles

Yay, another transfer bonus!! This one isn’t too crazy… but there are still ways to reap some amazing value from it.

Right now, you can transfer MR Points to Avianca LifeMiles with a 15% bonus.

An ocean background with Avianca's promo of a 15% transfer bonus

Here’s why this is useful to you…

Avianca has AMAZING award pricing for its Star Alliance partners like United, Air Canada, Lufthansa, and more.

Even without the transfer bonus, the rates are generally lower than all of the aforementioned programs.

For example, if you want to fly from New York to Europe on United, it will only cost you 20,000 miles in economy when booking through Avianca LifeMiles.

A screenshot of a United flight for 20,000 LifeMiles

With the transfer bonus, that’s only 17,000 MR Points, which is a fantastic deal.

Booking the EXACT same flight through United’s own program would run you almost three times that.

A screenshot of a booking on United with United miles

Even on a good day, you won’t find the flight for less than 30,000 or 40,000 United miles, which is still significantly higher.

So here’s the bottom line:

If you have a card that earns MR Points, this transfer bonus is a great way to save a LOT of points on flights all over the world thanks to Avianca’s many partners.

😭 Hyatt (tragically) devalues a bunch of properties

Welp. It’s that time of year again… the time when Hyatt announces which hotels are changing in category.

It could mean good news, it could mean bad news, it could mean… well, never mind, it’s always just bad news…

Here’s what I’m talking about…

Hyatt prices their hotel rooms based on a chart. Each hotel belongs to a “category,” which determines the points price.

Hyatt's award chart showing categories 1-3

Every year around this time, Hyatt updates these categories for a selection of their hotels.

If it goes up in category, it becomes more expensive. If it goes down, it gets cheaper.

This year, they’re updating 186 properties, 137 of which are going up in category and will now cost you more points.

Here’s an excerpt from the update to show you which way Hyatt is trending…

Screenshot showing some hotels that are increasing their categories

As you can see, only one property in this region went down a category, and it was the Hyatt Regency Cape Town, which I’ve stayed at before - and it was TERRIBLE.

Meanwhile, many “sweet spots” in the award chart are disappearing. For example, most free night awards through Hyatt are good for Category 1-4 properties.

Since many of the properties in this year’s update are increasing from Category 4 to Category 5, these awards now become less valuable.

Last year, I dropped two free night awards at the Alila Fort Bishangarh in rural Rajasthan, India.

Screenshot of a booking for the Alila Fort Bishangarh in India

As a Category 4 property that runs $400 a night, it was one of the best ways I’ve ever redeemed free nights.

Now, this hotel will become Category 5, disappearing from the sweet spot.

But… it is one of the best hotels I’ve ever experienced, and I’m happy to see them getting what they deserve (some of the staff there are Daily Drop fans, so… hey guys 😁).

So here’s what you can do now to mitigate these negative changes:

The category changes take effect on March 26, 2024. If you book a hotel before that date, the current pricing will still be in effect.

Screenshot showing Hyatt's terms to book before March 26th to receive current pricing

That means that even if you book a hotel for September, the old pricing will be in effect as long as you BOOK it by March 26.

So take a look at the full list of changes on Hyatt’s website, see if there are any hotels you were thinking of booking, and lock in the lower points pricing before it’s too late.

Current Transfer Bonuses

  • 60% bonus from UR points to IHG (ends March 1st)

  • 15% bonus from MR points to Avianca LifeMiles (ends March 15th)

  • 30% bonus from Thank You points to Virgin Atlantic (ends March 16th)

If you’ve never checked out our Facebook group, lovingly called the Daily Drop Loungethen check out this win from one of our members! 👇

We share success stories, ask questions, and learn all about travel from other like-minded peeps.

That’s all for this week, friendos! I’m looking forward to getting home to Toronto later tonight, where my apartment has been sitting vacant for two months…

But I’m curious to know - what’s the longest trip you’ve ever taken? Let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on social media.

Have a happy, healthy, and devaluation-free weekend, and I’ll see you Monday. ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

51.5072° N, 0.1276° W

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