Maria and I are headed to fabulous Atlanta to visit my family’s pig farm* for Thanksgiving and I — in perhaps one of my less enlightened moments — put us on a 6:30 a.m. flight out of LAX. True, we will get to the East Coast before dark, unlike most eastbound flights, but as someone known to throw punches when woken before 9 a.m., getting to the airport on time could present a problem. But if there’s one thing I love as much as sleeping until 10, it’s a night in a nice, clean hotel — and a deal.
So we set out on a mission to find said deal, perhaps redeem some points for a room, or at least earn as many points as we could in the booking process. Maria has the super slick Marriott Rewards Visa, so our first thought was to hit up the LAX-area Marriotts, as booking with that card earns us 5x Marriott Rewards points, which can be redeemed for future hotel stays, and allows us to be greeted, presumably, by singing clocks and tea cups as we waltz in with the card’s automatic Silver Elite status.
Our first find was the LAX Renaissance (part of the Marriott family), which at ~$137 out the door also offered a 5,000 point bonus just for booking the room for one night. Huzzah!
We wrote earlier today about no-fee American Express gift cards and how they can help you meet minimum spending requirements, earn points for yourself and buy gifts for friends and family. One of the only drawbacks to the deal unfortunately, is that you still get stuck paying rather hefty shipping fees when you order the cards from the American Express website.
But after writing that post we stumbled across an update from Hustler Money Blog that includes free shipping promo codes for the gift cards, which makes the proposition a total win.
American Express is currently offering gift cards with no fees for the holidays. Typically, Amex gift cards can cost between $3.95 and $6.95 per card, so the offer is particularly good for those of us who want to buy gift card in lower denominations (thus raising the effective percentage fee) and for those of us who are just generally terrible at buying actual gifts for friends and family.
But perhaps the best part of these no-fee gift cards is that they can be used to meet the minimum spending requirements for a credit card sign-up bonus, meet spending thresholds, or just keep earning points on your rewards or airline miles cards. You can use any credit card to purchase the gift cards, which can be valued at $20 all the way up to $3,000.