Okinawa Staycation with Points

This post goes out to all my brothers and sisters trapped on base. I have a colleague that is planning on hosting his parents in a few weeks and we were looking at the many hotel options on this humble island. After years working on base, living in the BOQ or the “towers” you some times forget that Okinawa is home to some pretty heavy hitting hotel chains. For example there is a tier 4 Ritz Carlton in Nago, There is the brand new Hilton resort by American Village. There is even the Busena Terrace, a $5,700 a night hotel where Bill Clinton stayed with his 7 counterparts; Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, French President Jacques Chirac, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and European Commission President Romano Prodi during the 2000 g8 summit in Nago:

TAS05:NAGO,JAPAN. JULY 22. G8 leaders wave to the camera prior to summit talks on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, on July 22. The leaders are (L-R) Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, French President Jacques Chirac, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and European Commission President Romano Prodi. (ITAR-TASS photo / Sergei Velichkin, Vladimir Rodionov) ----- ÒÀÑ05 ßïîíèÿ, Íàãî (Îêèíàâà), 22 èþëÿ. Ïåðåä íà÷àëîì óòðåííåãî çàñåäàíèÿ ëèäåðû âîñüìè âåäóùèõ ñòðàí ìèðà (ñëåâà íàïðàâî) ãëàâà ïðàâèòåëüñòâà Èòàëèè Äæóëèàíî Àìàòî, ïðåìüåð-ìèíèñòð Âåëèêîáðèòàíèè Òîíè Áëýð, ïðåçèäåíò ÐÔ Âëàäèìèð Ïóòèí, ïðåçèäåíò ÑØÀ Áèëë Êëèíòîí, ãëàâà ïðàâèòåëüñòâà ßïîíèè Èîñèðî Ìîðè, ïðåçèäåíò Ôðàíöèè Æàê Øèðàê, ïðåìüåð-ìèíèñòð Êàíàäû Æàí Êðåòüåí, êàíöëåð Ãåðìàíèè Ãåðõàðä Øðåäåð, ïðåäñåäàòåëü Åâðîïåéñêîé êîìèññèè Ðîìàíî Ïðîäè. Ôîòî Ñåðãåÿ Âåëè÷êèíà è Âëàäèìèðà Ðîäèîíîâà (ÈÒÀÐ-ÒÀÑÑ)

They love Clinton so much the replicated his boyhood home on a Golf Course in Nago! If you get the base fever and want some off base time, I’ve summed up all of the major point based hotel chains in Okinawa.

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Hilton Honors Gold on TAD

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Amex just recently started offering Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status for all of its AmEx Platinum members. Which by this time you should have both the Regular Version and the Mercedes-Benz version, both have their combined $925 annual fees waived for a $400 airline credit to use annually. Plus $100 each for global entry for you and a friend.

HHonors membership was easy I called the number on the back of the card and they gave me a new HHonors number right away. You can also link an account if you already have a number. This also can be registered online if you don’t like calling anyone.

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Churn and Burn

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So the past year has been all about accumulation of points. Now its time to use them up! I’m traveling with the family and this is what I have booked so far:

Hotel Location Points Cash Equivilent Point Value Source
Sheridan HK 36,000 $941.76 $0.0262 SPG
Grand Hyatt Taiwan 42,000 $762.00 $0.0181 Ultimate Rewards
Hyatt Reg HK 30,000 $616.00 $0.0205 Ultimate Rewards

You can already see that the use of Ultimate Reward points yields almost twice the value as if I had simply used points for cash back. However the use of SPG points is worse if I had transferred 1000 AmEx Member points for 333 SPG points. Whats nice with SPG is you can book now and convert to points later. I plan on using the SPG AmEx card to get the initial offer and earn on referral for the points. Not sure what to do with AmEx points now.

-Derp