United Airlines’ and Marriott’s loyalty reward programs now have reciprocal benefits

Today, United Airlines and Marriott announced a deal where frequent fliers or frequent hotel guests will have significant benefits with the other after registering with either one of the companies. United Gold and above automatically become Marriott Gold, and Marriott Platinum become United Silver – potentially bringing significant added benefits to hotel stays, like free Wi-Fi, lounge access, bonus miles, and more.

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“But I don’t want to pay an annual fee on my credit card!” – quashed

I’ve heard it time and time again from friends who want to master the art of flying first-class for next to nothing: “I don’t want to pay an annual fee”. And, to those friends, I understand completely. Some cards have an annual fee of upwards of $100 – or more. But before you settle on that thought, let’s break this down.

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Booking last-minute flights using American Express or Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Last week, Carpe Points reader Jeff asked about how to use points to book last-minute emergency travel to eastern Europe.

Dave, when it comes to points are you referring to amex points or specific airline points? I’m trying to figure out where you find the deals.

My wife may have to make an emergency trip to E.Europe. I’m sitting on 72K AMEX points.

One of the best things about programs like American Express Membership Rewards is that you can either transfer those miles into specific airlines’ programs, or you can use those points (at a much lower value) on American Express Travel. Other programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards have similar programs as well (and I’ll include them for the heck of it).

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