You are here: Home

points N places

guides & insights on how & when to use travel rewards points

Ideas on how to travel well using hotel points & airline frequent flyer programs

Travel tips, including finding "better" deals.

Destinations to make your soul sing and boost your well-being.

Wellness as part of your travel.

Assistance with search & making bookings through Rewarding Travel.

Using Your Travel Points

Sunglasses, camera, compass. notepad and guides - all laid out preparing for your next trip

We show you how to extract the greatest value for your travel using both cash and rewards points.  

HOW TO BEST USE TRAVEL LOYALTY PROGRAMS HOW TO BEST USE TRAVEL LOYALTY PROGRAMS

Travel Rewards - News & Views     VIEW ALL BLOG POSTS VIEW ALL BLOG POSTS

Mr & Mrs Smith ptoperties now integtated into World of Hayatt - but some disappointments

Mr & Mrs Smith ptoperties now integtated into World of Hayatt - but some disappointments

On 24 April 2024, Hyatt officially launched the integration of Mr & Mrs Smith properties into the Hyatt loyalty program.

The launch was much anticipated, as these are very desirable properties now accessible via an equally desirable loyalty program.

Positives for existing members are that if booked directly through Hyatt channels, (but NOT if booked through Mr & Mrs Smith channels):

  1. More than 700 Mr & Mrs Smith hotels will be participating, a significant boost to the range available to World of Hyatt members
  2. Mr & Mrs Smith bookings will earn 1 Status Credit per night stayed and Hyatt points at the rate of 5 per USD1 spent 
  3. Tier bonus rates are applied to the above base rates and are counted as bonus points (the same as for Hyatt properties).
However. I found it disappointing that the partnership between Hyatt and Mr & Mrs Smith appears to be a purely marketing one, with their programs being kept quite independent of each other.


Participating Properties

Not all Mr & Mrs Smith properties are participating in World of Hyatt.  Those listed on "Hyatt Booking Channels" (ie. can be booked directly through Hyatt’s website, mobile app, or call centres) are participating ones.  If a property does not appear there, then it is “non-participating”.At least this makes it clear, no searching for lists etc - if you see a property there, then you are good to go. If the property does not appear there, then Hyatt members do not earn or redeem Hyatt points, earn Tier Credits, nor are you entitled to any elite member tier benefits during your stay.

Attaching Your World of Hyatt Membership Number To the Booking

A Member cannot associate their World of Hyatt Program membership number with a reservation during their stay at a Participating Mr & Mrs Smith Property nor by contacting Mr & Mrs Smith or the property directly.  To earn you points and tier credits, it must be attached to the booking and only when made through Hyatt Booking Channels.

Redeeming World of Hyatt Points For Bookings

"World of Hyatt points can be redeemed for a Free Night Award at any Participating Mr & Mrs Smith Property, subject to availability at the applicable property. The number of points necessary to secure a Free Night Award for a particular room type at a Participating Mr & Mrs Smith Property on a particular night will be as indicated on the Hyatt Booking Channels and will include all applicable taxes and fees (including resort fees, if applicable).

So Hyatt's current peak/off-peak pricing structure does not apply. A dynamic pricing model applies to Mr & Mr Smith bookings.


The following types of award are not redeemable at any Mr & Mrs Smith Property: 
  1. Free Night Awards other than those secured through the redemption of points,
  2. Points + Cash Awards,
  3. any kind of Room Upgrade Award (whether secured by point redemption or otherwise),
  4. Guest of Honor Awards,
  5. Dining, Spa & More Awards, or
  6. Future Meeting Credits
Restrictions Applying To Bookings

Note also that certain requirements and restrictions (e.g., minimum length of stay requirements, minimum advance booking dates, etc.) and/or special cancellation, deposit, and other policies may apply at Participating Mr & Mrs Smith Properties..

So, if you do book a Mr & Mrs Smith property and subsequently need to cancel the booking, you need to take care that you follow the individual property's cancellation policy carefully, as "If a Member does not follow the proper cancellation policy for the applicable property or if a Member does not check in when scheduled, the points redeemed for the applicable Award Reservation will be forfeited by the Member."


Conclusions

I think it is a great asset having more than 700 Mr & Mrs Smith (very attractive) properties available to be booked by members through the World of Hyatt program. 

The access does however come with restrictions, indicating that it is a quite “arm’s length” alliance, with features of both Hyatt and Mr & Mrs Smith programs quarantined from each other.

The dynamic pricing for these properties will be a big disappointment for Hyatt members, given that World of Hyatt is still using a peak/off-peak pricing method for Hyatt properties.  Hopefully however, this will:
  1. remove a criticism of the earlier alliance with SLH, where prices on the Hyatt website were consistently higher than those for the identical property booking when made directly on SLH’s website.
  2. Not be a sign of things to come for the World of Hyatt program more generally.

The above is based on the exact T&C’s contained in World of Hyatt Terms & Conditions dated 24 April 2024 and Terms & Conditions for Participation in World of Hyatt by Mr & Mrs Smith Collection Properties also dated 24 April 2024.

Bonza launches booking website

Bonza launches booking website

After customer feedback, low-cost carrier Bonza has launched a new website that allows flyers to make bookings.



Travellers can use the new website to book flights and Bonza Holiday packages, which include flights, baggage, accommodation and the option to add travel insurance, car hire or airport transfers. 

Prior to the new website, Bonza customers could only book flights on the carrier’s app. The first airline globally to prioritise app bookings, the airline says its Fly Bonza app has been downloaded over 1.8 million times since launching just over a year ago.
.
it will continue to be the only way to check in, obtain boarding passes, make menu purchases and enjoy entertainment onboard. 

The airline’s new website lets customers book tailored package holidays to any of their 21 destinations, with activities and attractions also coming soon. Each Bonza Holiday package includes a 23kg checked bag, 8kg hand luggage and standard ‘Pick’ seats. 

Plus, the carrier offers a price match guarantee, in which it will refund the difference if customers find a cheaper holiday within 24 hours of booking. 

In February, the airline announced it would link the Sunshine Coast and Tasmania for the first time.


Apparently the demand for the ability to book via a website was a critical part of flyer feedback to Bonza.  Well done Bonza for being responsive to its customer's requests !

I hope this initiative results in even greater support for this low-cost airline.

Accor opens 22 new properties in Japan - in a single day!

Accor opens 22 new properties in Japan - in a single day!

Accor has announced the opening of 22 hotels and over 6,000 rooms in Japan. With these openings, the Group’s footprint in Japan will instantly double increasing Accor’s portfolio of hotels in Japan to 46 properties.

The hotels, comprising 12 Grand Mercure and 10 Mercure hotels, range in location from the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido to the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa and are located close to local hidden gems such as Cape Zanpa in Okinawa, Asuka village in Nara, Shiroi Koibito Park in Hokkaido and Senri Beach in Wakayama.  Each hotel offers a range of guestrooms, restaurants, and wellness facilities such as onsen, saunas and swimming pools.

Prior to the addition of these new hotels, Accor was operating 24 hotels in Japan, under eight brands: MGallery; Pullman; Swissôtel; Mercure; Novotel; ibis; ibis Styles and ibis budget. In addition to the 22 Grand Mercure and Mercure hotels that joined Accor’s network on 1 April 2024, there are two more properties currently in the group’s pipeline.

Grand Mercure Hotels & Resorts

  • Grand Mercure Sapporo Odori Park
  • Grand Mercure Nasu Highlands Resort & Spa
  • Grand Mercure Yatsugatake Resort & Spa
  • Grand Mercure Minamiboso Resort & Spa
  • Grand Mercure Lake Hamana Resort & Spa
  • Grand Mercure Ise-shima Resort & Spa
  • Grand Mercure Lake Biwa Resort & Spa
  • Grand Mercure Nara Kashihara
  • Grand Mercure Wakayama Minabe Resort & Spa
  • Grand Mercure Awaji Island Resort & Spa
  • Grand Mercure Beppu Bay Resort & Spa
  • Grand Mercure Okinawa Cape Zanpa Resort

Mercure Hotels & Resorts
  • Mercure Miyagi Zao Resort & Spa
  • Mercure Urabandai Resort & Spa
  • Mercure Nagano Matsushiro Resort & Spa
  • Mercure Toyama Tonami Resort & Spa
  • Mercure Wakayama Kushimoto Resort & Spa
  • Mercure Kyoto Miyazu Resort & Spa
  • Mercure Tottori Daisen Resort & Spa
  • Mercure Kochi Tosa Resort & Spa
  • Mercure Fukuoka Munakata Resort & Spa
  • Mercure Saga Karatsu Resort.
I expect these will all participate in the Accor Live Limitless program. For information refer to our guide to  Accor ALL.

Singapore Airlines dishes up first Premium Economy upgrade in 9 years

Singapore Airlines dishes up first Premium Economy upgrade in 9 years

Singapore Airlines has updated its Premium Economy inflight experience for the first time since launching in 2015 with an expanded dining menu that includes a flute of French Champagne after take-off plus a new amenity kit from 31 March 2024.


As part of the Premium Class revamp, Singapore Airlines (SQ) will also introduce upcoming new cabin products and inflight entertainment systems.

All SQ flights will offer the improved Premium Class dining and beverage selection, which includes a glass of Charles de Cazanove Brut Tradition NV Champagne and meals served on custom-made porcelain serviceware.

SQ has more than 200 new appetisers, main courses and desserts in its Premium Economy Class inflight menu expansion. Special meals including a vegan option are also available.


* New Premium Economy Class meals include a seasonal appetiser, main course, bread, dessert and cheese and crackers served on a linen-lined tray with silverware.

* Passengers will also have the option of croissants for breakfast and a choice of international or Asian cuisine for the main course on all flights.


They can also choose from an expanded Book the Cook menu with up to 20 dishes available on rotation for pre-order at least 24 hours before departure. 

Along with the French Champagne, passengers will enjoy an expanded beverage selection that includes the signature Singapore Sling cocktail, ANZ wines, herbal teas and a new Cadbury hot chocolate option.

Between meals, they can request new snack options such as almonds and cashews along with the existing variety of potato chips, assorted buns, sandwiches, muffins and flavoured popcorn.

In addition, on all flights of at least seven hours’ duration, passengers will receive a new, exclusively designed eco-friendly amenity kit with slippers, an eye mask and lip balm, while kids flying to and from Singapore will enjoy Disney collectibles.




Vestiaire Collection offers pre-loved luxury luggage

Vestiaire Collection Offers Pre-Loved Luxury Luggage

Recycling luxury luggage is good for the environment...and you !  At Vestiaire Collection (advertiser), brands and quantities vary almost daily but include Louis Vuitton, Celine, YSL, Dior, Chanel, Prada, Burberry, Fendi, Gucci, Loewe, Hermes, Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta.

Importantly, Vestiaire Collective have  in-house experts to authenticate everything they sell.

T&C's apply


Fly Virgin Australia (Advertisement)

Best offers from Virgin Australia

Book now !

Don't forget to also check the Virgin Australia Happy Hour - discounted fares offered between 4pm and 11 pm (AEST) each Thursday.

T&C's apply


Top Tips For Travellers' Health

Travel can be stressful !  Ideas to keep your travels happy and healthy.

There’s an ever-expanding body of scientific evidence that (whether behind a desk at work or during a long plane trip or train ride), being seated for prolonged periods can be harmful.  We provide tips to boost your health and reduce the harmful impact on your body while travelling. 

TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELLING TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELLING

(Advertisement) Singapore Airlines advertisement