I transferred Citi ThankYou points to the wrong account… and how it got resolved!

Well early last month I decided to transfer some Citi ThankYou points to my wife’s Hilton account.  I know some of you more experienced points guru’s may be thinking that’s a terrible points maneuver.  However Citi is running a transfer bonus of double Hilton points per ThankYou point. So 1 ThankYou point  equals 2 Hilton points.  I know it still is not the absolute best value but i didn’t care and always need more hotel points than airline miles.

I decided to transfer my ThankYou points to my wife’s ThankYou account to pool our points.  I then wanted to transfer around 106,000 ThankYou points from my wife’s account to her Hilton account.  My wife had more Hilton points in her account than me and with this points transfer we would have enough for a top tier hotel using the 5th night free promo Hilton offers.

So…. I transferred the 106,000 ThankYou points to MY Hilton account instead of my wife’s Hilton account!! Uh Oh!!! My account was well short of the required points needed.  I didn’t even realize it until I was on the phone trying to book our hotel stay out of my wife’s account and the Hilton rep I was speaking to said that she doesn’t have enough points.  I said that I just transferred them and that’s impossible!  She said, “did you transfer them to your account maybe?”  I instantly had that sinking feeling in my stomach!  Sure enough the 212,000 Hilton points went to my account.  Just a boneheaded mistake by me as I looked at the wrong Hilton account number when doing the ThankYou points transfer!!

I asked the Hilton rep is there anything she can do to help me as I just made a simple and honest mistake.  She transferred me to a different customer care line.  That rep thought that I wanted to transfer my wife’s points to my account and wanted to charge me $25 per 10,000 Hilton points!!! That’s what they charge to move points to a different account.  I explained I didn’t want to pay and that I made a mistake when transferring my Citi ThankYou points.  She placed me on hold to speak with a supervisor for about 5 minutes and came back and advised me that they could not move the points without charging me a fee.  Well $25 per 10,000 points for 200,000 points would be a lot of money and I wasn’t going to pay it.

My next move was to call Citi so I found a number on ThankYou.com and spoke to a rep there and explained I moved my ThankYou points to the wrong Hilton account. I explained that I entered the correct name (my wife’s name) on the Hilton account but the wrong number.  She advised if the names did not match the names on the account number the transfer would be voided but it could take 10-15 business days!  I chuckled to myself as I didn’t believe her.  The points were already in another person’s Hilton account but some how they were going to auto reverse the transaction.  I said OK and hung up.

Not satisfied with either Citi or Hilton at that point I decided to tweet about it!

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My tweet

Shortly after my tweet I got Continue reading

Trip Report: Chicago (part 3) Waldorf Astoria Chicago

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Introduction: Post Valentine’s Day getaway
Amtrak Hiawatha Milwaukee Intermodal Station to Chicago Union Station
Waldorf Astoria Chicago
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Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Our cab dropped us off at the entrance of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago and we were greeted promptly by their doorman.  I was asked if we needed any assistance with our bags however we were only traveling with one carryon thus no assistance was required.  The door was opened for us and we were directed to the front desk. Once inside you are greeted by the absolutley stunning lobby.  An amazingly high ceiling with beautiful chandelier and two of the most unique statues staring at guests as they enter. They appear to be greek-like, wax heads and are most interesting!

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Front desk at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago

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Front desk at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago

There were two guests checking out when we arrived so we had a short wait to check-in.  We were greeted and handled by a great check-in agent named Martin.  He confirmed our details and I asked politely if there is a possibility of a an upgraded room.  He mentioned that I was confirmed for a handicap accessible room but mentioned I am a Hilton gold member and he would see what he could do for us.  I also added our first stay here a few years ago was lovely as we had a suite we adored.  He was able to confirm us up to a Waldorf Suite which was most appreciated!  Martin did mention our suite wasn’t quite ready but should be within 1-2 hours.  He confirmed my phone number and said he could call us back when the room was ready for us. I mentioned my wife and I would be having lunch at the property at Balsan so we should be close by.  Martin said he would be happy to deliver the room key to us at Balsan (which is located on the 2nd floor) and our bags would be waiting in our room as well.  An impeccable check-in experience provided by Martin. Continue reading

Trip Report: Thailand (part 6) Conrad Koh Samui

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Introduction
United Airlines 747 First Class Chicago (ORD) to Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt (FRA)
Thai Airways A380 First Class Frankfurt (FRA) to Bangkok (BKK)
Thai Airways 737 Business Class Bangkok (BKK) to Koh Samui (USM)
Conrad Koh Samui
Mae Koh National Park Boat trip and Chaweng Beach
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Koh Samui (USM) to Phuket (HKT)
Naka Island a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa
James Bond Island and Little Island Boat trip
Phi Phi Island Boat trip
Patong Beach and Bangla Road
Air Asia Economy Class Phuket (HKT) to Chiang Mai (CNX)
Four Seasons Chiang Mai
ELE (Elephant Life Experience) Elephant Camp
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Chiang Mai (CNX) to Bangkok (BKK)
St. Regis Bangkok
Dinner at Vertigo at Banyan Tree Rooftop
Chatuchak Weekend Market and Wat Pho Temple
Cathay Pacific Business Class Bangkok (BKK) to Hong Kong (HKG)
American Airlines First Class Hong Kong (HKG) to Dallas (DFW)
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Conrad Koh Samui

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Myself in front of the Conrad Koh Samui entrance

My wife and I enjoyed five amazing nights at the Conrad Koh Samui in August! The Conrad brand of hotels and resorts is under the Hilton umbrella of properties.  We were excited to score our five nights using Hilton points.  This resort is a five star, all villa property on Thailand’s second biggest island in the Gulf of Thailand!

We got a cab from the airport which cost us 1500THB one way to the resort.  The email I received from the property prior to arrival detailed a 1500THB cost for a taxi as well, 4000THB for a Volkswagen, or 3500THB for a BMW X5 or Mercedes.  The ride to the resort was around 45 minutes or so. When we got to the resort entrance the driver started to climb some STEEP and twisty roads!! In fact it was some of the steepest roads I have ever encountered.  When you arrive at the top however you realize that the resort lobby is situated high on a cliff top with lovely scenery!!

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Conrad Koh Samui entrance signage

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Conrad Koh Samui lobby

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Views from the Conrad Koh Samui lobby

We were greeted by the staff on arrival and offered Continue reading

Virgin Atlantic changes Hilton transfers AGAIN

Another sneaky change in the terms for Virgin Atlantic to Hilton transfers!  It devalued back in January from 100% transfer bonus to %50 transfer bonus (50,000 points used to equal 100,000 Hilton points now it is 75,000 Hilton points).  Now the transfer amounts must be in 10,000 increments!  The old rules were that the transfer must be:

  • minimum of 10,000 points
  • increments of 5,000 points

Now you must transfer 10,000 at a time, check it out:

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Virgin Atlantic transfer terms as of April 1 2014

The reason I am writing about this is that I don’t want others to end up like I did today!!!! I had around 4,000 orphan Virgin Atlantic miles  and I was looking to use them with the American Express Membership Rewards 30% bonus going on now.  I figured I can use the Hilton points and the transfer ratio is 1:1.95 so 1 Membership reward point=1.95 Hilton points with this transfer bonus and the 50% transfer to Hilton.  I made my transfer and I ended up with just over 15,000 Virgin Atlantic miles.  I then called Virgin Atlantic at 800 821-5438 and spoke to a customer service agent to transfer my miles to Hilton. He asked “how much would you like to transfer”, and I responded, “as much as possible which I believe is 15,000”.  He then took a look and tried to make the transfer but he then replied, “I can only do increments of 10,000”.  I was perplexed and stated “it should be increments of 5,000 after a 10,000 minimum”  and he said, “as of April 1st the increments changed to 10,000 at a time.”

I was angry as this is another sly devaluation or at least makes your miles harder to use and had I known I could’ve transferred less Membership Rewards points to make it as close as possible to 10,000.  I simply told him to transfer the 10,000 which left me with 5,000 orphan miles now.  So tonight I am going to need to transfer another 4,000 Membership rewards points to get back to 10,000 Virgin Atlantic miles and call Virgin Atlantic again to make another separate transfer.  I am just about out of Membership Rewards and I was waiting for a British Airways bonus but it has been about six months since any transfer bonus with them.

I know many of you are hanging on to your Membership Rewards for transfers to Singapore for a suites redemption or to Avios for short haul flights.  I only had about 12,000 Membership Rewards points left and my Business Rewards Gold card is about one year old and the annual fee is going to kick in at which point I will cancel. I needed to transfer these points out as I have no other Membership Rewards earning cards at this time (but it was nice to get 175,000 with the personal plat and the biz gold card).

-pointspinnacle


 

Trip Report: Bali and Hong Kong (part 9) Conrad Hotel Hong Kong

 

Conrad hotel-Hong Kong

June 26-30, 2013

Our main hotel while in Hong Kong was the Conrad, located in Central.  We really liked this hotel and overall thought it was better than the W.  Due to the heat/humidity we spent a lot of time in the hotel.  When we checked in they brought us to a special checkin desk for Hilton members with status. The executive club checkin was just off the lobby and the executive club lounge was actually located downstairs off the lobby as well.  This was due to the actual lounge up on the 59th floor being renovated. I am a Hilton gold member due to having the Hilton Honors Reserve card from Citi. The card grants you gold status for as long as you’re a card holder. Hilton gold is actually very worthwhile in my opinion! To have access to the club lounge for afternoon appetizers/cocktails and free buffet breakfast everyday saved us a lot of money! We were given a room just one level below where the normal lounge resides on floor 58 if I recall correctly. There was hardly any noise from the renovations which was good news.

DSC02386 IMG_0500 Nice bathroom

IMG_0501 Bathroom entry

IMG_0502 Shower/tub

IMG_0503 Gotta have a rubber ducky at a Conrad.

IMG_0504 Had the option of Shanghai Tang or Aromatherapy amenities. We tried them both!

IMG_0514TV in bathroom

IMG_0505 Watercloset

IMG_0506 shower

IMG_0507 Minibar area

IMG_0508Room entrance

IMG_0509 Bed

IMG_0510 TV

IMG_0511 Desk and welcome amenity of fruit and chocolate.

Below is a video walkthrough of our room.

The lounge staff was absolutely superb!!! There was a young gentleman that went above and beyond making sure to bring over new plates of food and always bring our favorite beer and wine as we got empty.  He was telling us some things to do and see everyday and really left an impression on us! I forgot his name but would have really liked to pass a note on to the GM letting them know how much he was appreciated.

IMG_0518 Breakfast

IMG_0519Breakfast

IMG_0523Lounge offerings!

IMG_0513More lounge offerings.

My wife really liked this hotel after leaving the W!  She would much prefer here as its a little more luxurious feeling and not so trendy/hip.

PointsPinnacle Breakdown

We stayed 4 nights at the Conrad.  The first two nights I used a combination of cash and points! So I used 25,000 Hilton Honors points per night plus 1007.57 HKD (which is $136). Only 50,000 Hilton points and about $270 for the 1st two nights at the Conrad!!

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Rate confirmation above and currency converter below.

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For the 3rd and 4th nights at the Conrad I simply used both of my free night certificates from the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve card signup bonus. These nights have to be used on the weekend so I used them on Friday and Saturday nights!  So these were “free” or the equivalent of 50,000 points per night at the time of the booking (Hilton has since devalued their points substantially however the free night certs can be used at most Hilton properties up to category 10).

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Rate confirmation for Friday and Saturday night above.

All in all, 4 nights at the Conrad for $270 out of pocket!!! Typical rates of $350 per night! Below is a random weekend date in Feb 2014. You can see the best possible rate is $383/night with full prepayment required!

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I love that our points can help get us 5 star accommodations all over the world!!

Thanks for reading and up next is the finale of the trip-Cathay Pacific Business Class to Chicago!

-pointspinnacle