Oh dear. In over my head!

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Nevara, Oct 4, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Nevara

    Nevara New Member

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    Ok, first, HI! And thank you for your help in advance! I'm 27, happily married for 5 years, no kids, and live in Idaho.

    We just applied for chase sapphire, and each got one with 40,000 miles, provided we meet their spending mins.

    Marriott rewards for my husband are at 90,000.
    I'm getting a card to get more points with them.

    We have 49,000 in US Air miles.

    Questions:
    • chase points can be transferred to any airline right? Or most any hotel?
    • can marriott points be redeemed for air travel or car rentals?
    • why do hotels in places like Hawaii FAR exceed the "levels" or categories or tiers listed on the website? Why is it like 100,000 points a night in Hawaii at a level 8 when a level 8 is said to be around 40,000 points on their website?? Is there anything to be done about that?
    • is kayak.com a reliable or good way to look for airfare?

    • what will happen to my US Air miles when it merges with AA? I'm planning for a May vacation to either Caribbean or Hawaii (still deciding) and united seems the best option for these flights. I know I can redeem my points with US Air on a United flight right now, if I were to book tomorrow, right?


    I think that's all my questions....
     
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  2. flynhwn

    flynhwn Silver Member

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    Marriott's in Hawaii are all in the Luxury catagory. The only exception is the courtyard on Kuhio Ave.
    If you're going to Maui then the new courtyard in Kahului. It's not a resort area but nothing is very far.
    If you have AA miles you can use them from Idaho on Alaska Airlines.
    In my opinion, Hawaii is much better than the Caribbean as it's a lot less humid.
    I live in Hawaii and have been to the Carribbean about 6 times to various islands.
     
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  3. Nevara

    Nevara New Member

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    We are thinking Kauai at this point, and I most certainly WANT extreme luxury with a spa. And snorkeling. :) and an easy access beach. But that's neither here nor there.... I don't have AA miles, but I guess I WILL when the merger happens, yes?

    Is US Air going to honor all bookings made with points for Star alliance carriers, made for dates after the merger? Hope that Q makes sense!

    Also looking at Starwood preferred card. One for each of us.
     
  4. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    Have you looked at Kauai? Marriott award levels when I have looked have been in the 30,000 range instead of 100,000...just a thought.
     
  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    1) Not Any ... a few. This is a good primer. http://www.readability.com/read?url...04/02/top-10-chase-ultimate-reward-questions/
    2) I don't know? Maybe Car Rental not sure about Flights
    3) peak season rates? I don't stay at Marriots so I dont know.
    4) Fairly good; I prefer ITA + Hipmunk.
    5) If/when merger goes through; most likely they'll become AA miles. & Yes if you redeem now you can book them on a UA flight
     
  6. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    There are "levels" of "extreme" luxury though... :)

    I stayed at Ko Olina (in Oahu) last year and it was great, although I wouldn't call it luxurious. The rooms are insanely huge and the property has very nice pools and direct beach access though.
     
  7. Travelsavant
    Original Member

    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    Aloha & welcome to Milepoint.
    Have you tried booking a Star Alliance/United award with US miles? I thought United was not allowing advance award bookings with US miles. If you can book, I'd do it now as that appears to be your airline of choice. Award availability: May 1 - 15th, United has good saver award availability for either 20k or 25k each way, per person, from Idaho (Boise) to Lihue. You can also check award availability for a specific airline on www.expertflyer.com. May 16 - end of Sept, rates go up for both airlines & hotels.

    Kauai has a very nice Marriott resort in Lihue about 1.5 miles from the airport; hotel has a free shuttle. There are also 3 Marriott Vacation Clubs & fairly new Courtyard in Kapaa. Depending on when you go, check rates before using points as they sometimes run incredible deals. Also there is a wonderful Grand Hyatt & some great Starwood properties in Princeville on the North Shore, St. Regis & Westin Villas. All properties have direct beach access except the Westin Villas but you can take their shuttle to the St. Regis which is about 2 miles down the road. You might want to consider a couple of nights on the North Shore as it's really lovely & very different from south shore.

    Depending on where you stay, a car is necessary as public transportation on Kauai exists but it takes forever to get anywhere. Car rental on Kauai, or any island, is expensive because of the state taxes & fees almost double the booking rate. If you have points with Hertz, Avis, Alamo, etc, consider using on Kauai.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  8. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    My experiences with the Marriott chain over the past 1-2 years have been uniformly negative, compared to stays in the same properties in prior years. Also, their points have been seriously devalued in the last round. So I haven't used my Marriott card even once after getting the signup bonus.
     
  9. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Contrariwise, my recent experiences with Marriott properties have been very pleasant, and the value on redemptions still beats Hilton (although Starwood sometimes edges out Marriott).

    If you get enough points to redeem one, Marriott's hotel + miles awards are exceptional values in my opinion (but I still wish they'd bring the European Sampler award back).
     
  10. tomsam

    tomsam Silver Member

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    As Counsellor states, Marriott Travel Packages are one of the best Marriott redemption options out there. You can get 7 nights in a Marriott + airline miles at a great transfer rate.

    http://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/morepack.mi

    MR points are fairly easy to earn with CC sign-up, spend, and Marriott stays - and looks like you're already going down the path of racking up MR points between you and your husband. Furthermore, Marriott is good about letting you "combine" points from different accounts to use towards a specific stay.
     
  11. flynhwn

    flynhwn Silver Member

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    In regards to car rentals on Kauai. Try Enterprise they usually have lower rates. Also Dollar has a city special for last minute rentals. We usually book Enterprise, which can be cancelled, then try for Dollar a couple of weeks out. We rent on Kauai, Oahu and Maui quite a bit and this seems to work the best. Advantage can be lower but make sure you find and mark every single scratch and dent no matter what they tell you. Heard a lot of stories about them.
     
  12. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Kauai (Lihue airport) car rentals. We rented from Thrifty car rental at the airport in July 2013. At that time, all of the car rentals (Thrifty, Budget, Hertz, etc.) were being run out of the same office/company at the airport. It didn't matter who you had the agreement with, you got in the same line to get your vehicle. It's located right across from the airport arrivals gate, but a car rental shuttle will take you there. This is one laid-back island!
     

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