Miles and Points Recap: Best Western, Choice, Hilton Diamond Match, Amex SPG Referrals, I’m off to Alaska!

This is a news recap from last week. For faster updates, follow me on Twitter or check my feed on the right side of the blog.

1) Just in time for summer road trip season, a promo from Best Western where you can get a $50 travel card for every two stays. Note that card does expire in November.

2) Not to be outdone, Choice has a promo of its own, but you get 8,000 points after two stays. All things being equal, I would go with this promotion as long as hotel doesn’t smell like dog’s urine. Remember, you can use 8,000 points  anywhere, including Europe, where Choice hotels often go for over 100 euros per night.

3) If you have IHG Platinum status (comes complimentary with co-branded Chase IHG credit card), you may be able to match it to Hilton Diamond. If you have Hilton stays coming up, it’s definitely something to consider because it will get you free breakfast in most properties, plus a potential upgrade.

4) Some improvements were made to an amazing award maximizer tool on Travel Codex. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already.

5) Get 10,000 SPG points for each approval for referring your friends to Amex SPG.  Unless you hate your friend, I recommend you tell them to wait. It’s very likely that Amex will increase this offer to 35,000 points again this year (right now it’s 25,000 points). On a related note, looks like Amex has increased the offers on Amex Hilton HHonors to 75,000 points and Amex Surpass to 100,000 points. You can currently get them only via personal referrals, though they may get added to affiliate channels eventually. Feel free to post your referrals in the comments.

6) The sign-up bonus on Hawaiian Airlines credit card just got sexier. Read this post on how to pull up an offer of 50,000 miles. Worth it? Probably not to most, but some may find this bonus interesting. Hawaiian Airlines program  is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

7) Well, friends, I’m leaving on my Alaska cruise tomorrow morning. I have scheduled some posts written by Nancy, who is a contributor for this site. I really think you will enjoy them. If you love Miles for Family at its most coherent and sanest, boy, are you in for a treat! It may take a few days for me to get back to posting after I return.  I won’t have internet for most of my trip, so won’t be able to respond to comments or emails. Sorry!

My husband and I have been joking that we might just stay in Alaska to get away from modern life and all of the pressures that go with it. We’ll get a simple cabin somewhere  in the woods and he will become a lumberjack.


Image courtesy of vectorolie at

I’ll be  working in a kitschy saloon during the summer  performing  songs in Russian because… Alaska, duh! Ah, who am I kidding? My husband is an IT nerd who hates outdoors. And me? I can’t sing.

But just in case we go through with our escape plan, here are my parting words from the song “Laughter lines” by group Bastille (watch this cool video on Youtube):

“I’ll see you in the future when we’re older
And we are full of stories to be told.
Cross my heart and hope to die,
I’ll see you with your laughter lines.”

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10 thoughts on “Miles and Points Recap: Best Western, Choice, Hilton Diamond Match, Amex SPG Referrals, I’m off to Alaska!

  1. You go, girl! Enjoy the heck out of those first class seats and that Alaska Cruise that you so lovingly have planned for your family! Don’t let anybody rain on your parade; rejoice in your vacation as if it is your birthright! Can’t wait for your trip report, so the ones like me who haven’t been there yet, can daydream 🙂


    • @TropicGal Thank you. I will claim it as my birthright! I am part Russian, after all. Dang it, for what I paid for this trip, they should roll out a red carpet for us.
      I definitely plan to write a trip report, but it may take me a few months. I still need to finish some from last year. Yikes! Trip reports are fun to write, but they are also a giant pain in the behind.


    • @Jennifer Thanks a lot! Going to Alaska is definitely within your grasp if you use miles and points. Cruises are not cheap, but you can always just fly to Anchorage instead. I know it’s not the same thing, but there are day trip cruises you can take in the area that won’t cost a fortune. And of course, if you are willing to get an inside cabin and go in May, even regular cruises can be somewhat affordable.


      • I’m hoping to fly up someday and do the train ride you are planning on taking. I’ll get with you on how to get the points. 🙂


    • @Jennifer Well, we actually had to scrap the train ride tour to save money. But we are taking a bus tour of Yukon, a cheaper version. Either way, I’ll be more than happy to give you suggestions on how to pull off Alaska trip at minimal cost. Shoot me an email.


  2. Have fun! Obviously, pack some warm clothing. We did an Alaskan cruise in July when the sun is up for nearly 24 hours but it was still quite cold on the sea. On land, it was in the 70s/low 80s, but on the ship it was high 50s/low 60s depending on how much wind was blowing. I’m sure your land temps will still be on the cooler side considering that it is still May. We have some hilarious pictures of laying out on the deck chairs covered in wool blankets by the pool because we had packed mostly for summer temperatures.


    • @Erik Thanks! I actually had to remind myself that summer in Alaska is not the same thing as summer in Florida. We are dragging an obscene amount of luggage, and my MIL has insisted that we bring dressy clothes for fancy photos while on the ship. Not happy, but had to comply. Good thing my luggage is flying free!


  3. I got Hilton Diamond even though they gave me Gold last November – alot of blogs were saying you might not get it if they already upgraded you once. I will have to start working on accumulating more Hilton points now, I spent 70,000 on my December trip.
    Have a great trip!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it.


    • @Hilary Sorry for the late reply, I just got back from my trip. Enjoy your new Diamond status! Nothing like getting it for free, right? Fortunately, Hilton has several decent offers on its co-branded cards, and it’s not loyal to just one bank. You should be able to get a decent stash without a whole lot of effort. And might as well go for these offers while you are Diamond.


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