Four developments in the past week have influenced my travel decisions for trips over the next six months. My trip planning moved into high speed to take advantage of high value hotel loyalty promotions and low reward night rates in Europe.
1. IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks changed from all 5,000 points per night hotels to 5,000; 10,000 and 15,000 points.
IHG PointBreaks influenced my ticketing decision by placing Kiev, Ukraine high up on my destination list. Transiting through London is more affordable too with two central London hotels originally on the list posted last week. Holiday Inn Express Wandsworth is still available today for bookings at 15,000 points per night through April 30.
Loyalty Traveler – IHG PointBreaks Jan 29-Apr 30, 2018 complete list 203 hotels (Jan 29, 2018).
Loyalty Traveler – Only 15 of 203 IHG PointBreaks Hotels booked out in 48 hours (Jan 31, 2018).
2. Club Carlson reward category changes at 124 hotels on March 1, 2018.
Club Carlson has more hotels worldwide dropping in reward category than rising on March 1, 2018. Problem for me are several hotels rising in cost for reward nights from 9,000 and 15,000 points per night are in European cities where I like the hotel reward rates at their current category.
Last year I changed Club Carlson hotel reservations in Berlin and Latvia for bookings I made using 4-for-2 weekend rates at Radisson Blu hotels. My rates were significant discounts for cities I booked before 4-for-2 rates were abruptly dropped as a booking option from Club Carlson on Jan 30, 2017.
This year I am planning another spin through the Baltics to take advantage of another great Club Carlson deal going away March 1, 2018.
Park Inn Kaunas, Lithuania and Radisson Blu Klaipeda are rising from category 1 and 2 respectively to 2 and 3. This increases the points award night for Park Inn Kaunas from 9,000 to 15,000 and Radisson Blu Klaipeda from 15,000 to 28,000 points.
I value Club Carlson points at $3.50 to $4.50 per 1,000 since these are price range for buying Club Carlson points during special offers.
6 nights in Lithuania hotels during summer 2018 staying is 72,000 points, if we book the stay in February 2018.
Loyalty Traveler – Park Inn Kaunas Lithuania is Club Carlson Category 1 gem (April 19, 2017).
Loyalty Traveler – Carefree Alus in Kaunas, Lithuania (May 13, 2017).
Loyalty Traveler – Radisson Blu Klaipeda, Lithuania Club Carlson Category 2 reward stay (April 22, 2017).
Loyalty Traveler – Sculpture in Klaipeda, Lithuania (July 9, 2017).
Lithuania and Estonia have four Club Carlson hotels rising in award night category March 1, 2018.
3. Hilton Honors 80% bonus points on points purchase through March 16, 2018.
Hilton Honors launched an 80% bonus points offer when buying 10,000 to 80,000 points at the regular $10 per 1,000 points price by March 16, 2018.
My plans for hotel stays this spring in Romania are still intact to take advantage of Hilton brand hotels at 5,000 and 10,000 points per reward night.
The sale price at 80% bonus points is $5.56 per 1,000 points. $250 buys 45,000 Hilton points.
Loyalty Traveler – Hilton Honors Points Unlimited Jan 1-Apr 30 promotion potential for $5 hotel nights (Dec 20, 2017).
Loyalty Traveler – Travel Planning Romania $1,200 to 1,500 for 15 days (Oct 27, 2018).
Loyalty Traveler – Romania Hilton and Wyndham 19 hotels mapped with reward rates (Sep 14, 2017).
4. Wyndham complete 2 Stays by July 1 to earn 15,000 bonus points.
Wyndham Rewards calls it their biggest promotion ever. Earn 15,000 points after two stays at any of 8,000+ Wyndham brand hotel worldwide. This is a good promotion offer.
I have been using Wyndham Rewards points regularly since the program adopted GoFast rates in 2015. I generally get around $70 to $100 room rate discount per 3,000 points I redeem for Wyndham Rewards GoFast reward nights.
Wyndham brand GoFast stays using points was already part of my travel plans for Amsterdam and Romania. The ability to earn bonus points on 2 stays improves the value of paying for a Ramada in Romania rather than redeem points for a GoFast reward rate.
This is the third installment of consecutive 15,000 points promotions from Wyndham Rewards. Wyndham Rewards has offered 45,000 bonus points for as few as 7 hotel nights over the past six months.
London, Ukraine, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are places where my hotel loyalty points can be redeemed for great value. I am an opportunistic traveler. I see good value redemption opportunities all around Europe for 2018.