Slowly but surely over the past several months we have been working to make this site a bit more user friendly and helpful for your travel/miles and points planning.  The look, feel, and display of newer blog posts hasn’t really changed (yet), but we have tried to make some of the other resources and information on the site easier to use.

For now, we have made most of this information more user-friendly by better utilizing the drop-down tabs at the top of the blog.  If you hover any of the main topics, you will see several additional options you can click on for archived information.

Mommy Points Improvements

Here is a full listing of what is available via the drop-down tabs.

CREDIT CARD OFFERS

Top Card Offers

Airlines

Hotels

Flexible Points

Business

Cash Back

PROMOTIONS

Airlines

Hotels

Shopping Portal Payouts  -  April

GETTING STARTED

Beginner’s Guide

Airline Frequent Flyer Programs

Hotel Award Programs

Child’s First Flight Tips

FAQs

TRIP REPORTS

Airline Reviews

Airport and Hospitality Lounge Reviews

Destinations Tips

Hotel Reviews

Little C’s Traveling Friends Series

Over the past several years, we have built a pretty extensive listing of all the family friendly hotel reviews, destination tips, and more that we hope will be a good resources for families looking to decide where to spend their points.  Some of these reviews have started to also include a video review component so you can see more about the hotel or destination with your own eyes.

We have a more extensive listing than in the past of some of the top credit card sign-up offers out there broken down by the type of card (airline, hotel, flexible point, etc).  To make the list as helpful as possible, we have listed offers well beyond just the standard ones we may or may not have affiliate links to, but included the best public offers we are award of for each card.

We also keep a pretty up-to-date listing of the current airline and hotel promotions so you don’t miss out on miles and points in your travels.

There is a whole Getting Started tab with a Beginner’s Guide, links to the sign-up pages for various reward programs, tips on a child’s first flight, and other FAQ’s.

My hope is that Mommy Points will be a helpful resource for you not just based on whatever the posts of the day are about, but that some of these other travel resources we put together will be useful for you to refer back to whenever you need them.

We are working toward giving the whole site a face-lift at some point later this year, and I’d love to hear what type of improvements or additions you would like to see.  We aren’t looking to make changes just for the sake of change, but after running this site for the past three years without any major changes, we want to continue to make sure we are meeting your miles, points, and travel needs as much as we can.  As always, thanks for reading and spending a part of your busy day here with us!

Posted by mommypoints | 3 Comments

Can’t argue with free hotel points, and MeliáRewards is handing out a total of 12,000 of them for new rewards accounts.  In theory that is enough for a free night at some of their properties around the world (only three properties in the US), but I’ll add up front that many of the hotels require significantly more than 12,000 points for a free night.  They seem to have the largest number of properties concentrated in Spain and Germany.

Melia Deal

To get the 12,000 free points, follow these steps:

  • Sign-up for MeliáRewards and get 2,000 points as a welcome gift.
  • Get 10,000 bonus points to use by April 30th
  • Book the stay by April 30th and take advantage of points + cash

From what I can tell using 2,000 points via points and cash save you about $20 – $40, but better than nothing I suppose.  I’ve stayed at a Gran Melia hotel in Puerto Rico for a wedding and had a pretty good experience.

The terms say a three night minimum is required, but that doesn’t seem to be the case so far based on what I’ve read and tried.  It also says my points are good until 2015, but who knows if that is really the case.  This post on Flyertalk has a list of the hotels were a free night on 12k points has been possible (though my 3o minutes of searching so far hasn’t been near as fruitful).

Thanks to View From the Wing for sharing this deal.  May not work for everyone, but worth a shot to see if it might work for you!

Terms and Conditions:
Offer valid for bookings made from April 8-30, 2014 (or until points allotted for promotion run out), for travel April 8 – December 21, 2014, in hotels in the Americas, Europe, and Asia regions. A three-night minimum stay is required. Blackout dates may apply. Ten thousand bonus points must be redeemed (reserved) by April 30 or the bonus points will expire and be removed from the account. Client must be a MeliáRewards member or sign up to be a MeliáRewards member to receive the MeliáRewards discount and all points, only via the link in this landing page (http://www.melia.com/nMas/jsp/C_Join.jsp?promotor=RL4&partner=8061). All terms and conditions of the MeliáRewards program apply. Melia Hotels International reserves the right to assign or remove points during the promotion. Once the promotion booking period is over, all reservations made using redeemed points may not be modified. Prices shown are examples and may not be available throughout the entire booking period. Prices shown are based per night, based on double occupancy. Verify existing meal plan by property, as well as restrictions. Prices shown are for informational use only and are shown in US Dollars. Other restrictions may apply.

 

Posted by mommypoints | 4 Comments

It’s Tax Day.  Yeah, not the most awesome of the 365 days of the year for many of us.  So, let’s shift the focus to something way better.  Travel.

I want to know what upcoming trip you are most looking forward to.  There have been plenty of set-backs in this hobby of ours recently, but for most of us the purpose of putting the time and energy into collecting miles and points is to redeem them for amazing trips.  I’ve read plenty of studies that say a large chunk of the enjoyment of the trip is actually tied to planning and anticipating the event, so let’s all do that together to make our collective trips even better.

I guess I’ll go first.  I almost hate to single out one or two trips since I’m excited about so many of them, but I’ll limit it to two trips here.

First, I’m excited about my husband’s very quickly approaching 40th birthday trip around the world.  We aren’t really stopping in tons of cities around the world, but we are technically flying around the globe to visit Amsterdam, then on to the Maldives, then coming home through Asia with enough hours in Singapore to get out of the airport and eat some food.  It’s all being done in business class on Star Alliance partners thanks to United miles, but the flights aren’t the part I am most excited about.

I am excited to sit in our over-water villa in the Maldives and have nothing we have to do.  I want to stare at the beautiful water, dive right in from our villa, and bask in the amazingness of where we are and how miles helped us get there.  I want to hang out with Josh and have the most pressing issue of the day be at what time our spa appointment is…if we even bother to do that.  I want to eat fish for dinner that he will catch on a fishing trip an hour or so before (if he’s lucky) and see stars twinkle from the middle of the ocean.  That may sound like tortuous boredom for some, but it sounds like my Heaven…at least for a few days.

Park Hyatt Maldives Beach

Park Hyatt Maldives

The other trip I am very much looking forward to is our return trip to Kauai this summer.  Last year just my daughter and I went, and we loved it.  Last fall my husband and I went to Maui for an anniversary trip and loved it.  However, we have yet to all go to Hawaii together, and for a long enough period of time.  This year we are all going, and we will be in Kauai for a full week.  I’m sure that still sounds short to some, but it is doubling the length of our last trips, so I’m very excited.  I just want to have long and lazy days filled with shave ice, swimming, shrimp, perfect weather, beautiful green scenery, and our family together in our paradise.

Relaxing in Kauai

Relaxing in Kauai

I’ve been working harder this year at not just earning more points, but being smarter about how we spend them.  There is such a thing as “too many trips”, and we’ve been guilty of that for a variety of reasons.  However, when we sit down and think hard about which ones we are looking forward to or enjoyed the most, we learn a lot about where our vacation miles, money, and time should be going.

Mine will keep going to the beaches and the mountains.  Where are you looking forward to?

 

Posted by mommypoints | 17 Comments

One of the rare times when it can make sense to use miles or points for something outside a strictly travel redemption is via SPG Moments.  They have some pretty awesome opportunities to those willing to spend some SPG points.  Best of all, sometimes these opportunities are actually priced at a very reasonable number of points.  They offer things like concert tickets, sporting event tickets, musicals and shows, meet and… Read the Rest.

Posted by mommypoints | 8 Comments

Last week I chronicled my efforts at trying to make a change to an existing LifeMiles award reservation both in this post and on Twitter.  If you aren’t familiar, LifeMiles is a Star Alliance partner that can be used to award book flights operated by United, Lufthansa, Singapore, and other Star Alliance partners.  The process to try to redeposit an award that my friends were no longer going to be… Read the Rest.

Posted by mommypoints | 16 Comments

Ski properties are often very good uses of hotel points if you plan to visit during peak ski season.  Rates are usually high, but point rates can be a very good bargain.  This is indeed the case at the The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler that we had the privilege to visit in March 2014. After spending the night in Vancouver, and taking the beautiful drive to Whistler, we excitedly… Read the Rest.

Posted by mommypoints | 7 Comments

Today is the last day to “buy” US Airways miles at 1.1 cents each, and I’m not remotely interested.  I’ve seen plenty of posts about this deal, and most of them seem to indicate it is a good deal, and you should consider buying.  Well, it can be a good deal in a limited set of circumstances, but it’s probably not a good deal for most of us. For those… Read the Rest.

Posted by mommypoints | 16 Comments

Learning about miles and points online is a great place to start, and for many it is all they ever want or need.  However, for some people it makes sense to take the next step and attend an in-person miles and points conference.  Yes, there are several miles and points conferences! This is a good time of year to think about whether an in-person miles and points event sounds interesting… Read the Rest.

Posted by mommypoints | 5 Comments

A easy and free (and maybe even sort of fun) way to earn some points is via the Barclaycard Travel Community.  You write up very short stories about your travels (including a picture), and earn easy points.  If you also have the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases then those points you earn could be used essentially as cash toward travel just like the points earned… Read the Rest.

Posted by mommypoints | 13 Comments

I have gotten quite tired of being the bearer of bad miles and points news in terms of program devaluations (enough already!), so it’s been a nice change of pace to have the two most recent hotel annual change announcements be neutral or even positive.  First Hilton HHonors had no across the board category changes and very few changes hotel adjustments within the categories. Now IHG Rewards not only doesn’t… Read the Rest.

Posted by mommypoints | One Comment

In the miles and points world, I think it is important to have a healthy mix of cards from various banks in order to maximize rewards.  One of the banks that has some pretty solid cards for miles and points junkies is American Express.  Not that long ago “American Express” sounded a little scary to me as they weren’t a bank that my family used growing up.  They sounded like… Read the Rest.

Posted by mommypoints | 13 Comments

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