⚔️ Game of Thrones: Hotel Edition

⚔️ Game of Thrones: Hotel Edition

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 40 seconds

You may have noticed some new colors and logos in today’s email… We’ll be unveiling a brand new Daily Drop sometime very soon, so stay tuned… 👀

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the newsletter that gives it to you straight and takes no B.S. If newsletters were Sex & The City characters, we’d be Miranda—the one you always come to for the best advice.

Don’t judge me for binging the show—you can be such a Samantha sometimes, jeez…

ANYWHO, let’s get into the drama of the travel world:

  • 💳 A new transfer partner you’ve never heard of

  • 🏨 One hotel program mounts a hostile takeover of another

  • 🌏 Where in the World Wednesday

💳 A new transfer partner you’ve never heard of

As of yesterday, our friends over at this bank have added a new transfer partner! You can officially transfer your valuable Thank You points to…

… something called… Leading Hotels of the World…?

Never heard of it?

Me either. But don’t worry - I’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

This new transfer opportunity is a bit unique. For one, this is not a hotel program we normally hear about or talk about.

Second, the ratio is kind of scary.

Points will transfer at a 5:1 ratio to this new program, meaning 1,000 Thank You points will result in 200 hotel points with Leading Hotels of the World, or LHW.

Is that good? Bad?

The short answer is that, surprisingly, it’s actually pretty good.

Allow me to explain:

I created an account with LHW (their loyalty program is called Leaders Club) and ran some searches for award nights on their site.

I found some pretty solid options for hotel nights both in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world that would actually be worthwhile with this 5:1 transfer ratio, in my opinion.

For example, this nice beach hotel in Malibu, California costs just over 8,000 LHW points per night.

That means you’d shell out 40,000 Thank You points to book one night.

Personally, that’s more than I usually spend on a hotel night, but it’s also not far off from redemption rates with other programs like Marriott, IHG, and Hilton.

Plus, I found even better deals in equally exciting cities like Dublin, Ireland, which has multiple properties for only around 5,000 LHW points per night, or 25,000 Thank You points.

25,000 points for a nice hotel right on the river in Dublin is a great deal, and WELL worth the 5:1 transfer ratio.

But the program gets even better…

You see, when you become a member of LHW (which, like most programs, is totally free to sign up for), you get some nice perks when booking hotels with them, such as:

  • Free room upgrades

  • Continental breakfast for two

  • Late checkout (when available)

  • Members-only room pricing

I see it as similar to Hyatt’s partnership with SLH hotels (which we’ve covered before), which offers similar elite-like benefits when booking through Hyatt.

I think it’s a great way to get extra value and perks without needing any kind of elite status, and makes the points (and transfer partner news) even more exciting and valuable.

So here’s the bottom line:

The 5:1 ratio might look scary, but that’s just the way their currency works, and the opportunity can definitely be a worthwhile and valuable way to use your Thank You points.

Overall, it’s GREAT to see a program continuing to beef up its transfer partner list, especially new and intriguing programs like this.

🏨 One hotel program mounts a hostile takeover of another

Here’s a fun one…

You know in Game of Thrones when Jon Snow tries to make peace with the free folk, but they end up invading the North and going to battle anyway to try and take over the entire kingdom?

Yeah, this is basically like that.

In a rather dramatic piece of news, Choice Hotels might be staging a hostile takeover of another major international hotel chain: Wyndham.

Yesterday, news broke that Choice had been in negotiations to acquire Wyndham, but Wyndham ultimately walked away.

Now, Choice might just take it anyway. 🤷‍♂️

Essentially, even though Wyndham as a company has rejected this offer, their shareholders can still opt to sell to Choice against the wishes of the Wyndham executives.

Hence the “hostile” part.

At the end of the day, this would be HUGE for the travel world.

If these two programs merge, Choice would be by far the biggest hotel chain in terms of global properties, assuming they keep all of the Wyndham hotels.

Additionally, it would likely mean a total revamping and rolling out of a new, more comprehensive loyalty program, which, as you might imagine, makes me a VERY happy boi.

Choice already acquired Radisson Americas last year, and this latest piece of news is proof that Choice means business and wants a seat at the big kids’ table.

This is not something that will happen overnight, but it would definitely be interesting to see another major loyalty program grow out of the woodwork.

Time will tell.

🌏 Where in the World Wednesday

We are staying domestic this week, folks! And without further ado… let’s head to Kansas City, Missouri for super cheap—all thanks to FareDrop 👇

Oh, and we promise not to mention anything about Taylor Swift and the Kansas City Chiefs… except right now 👀

That’s it. We promise.

ANYWAY, why the heck should you venture to KC? I’ll tell ya…

Specifically, FOOD. And more specifically, BBQ. Kansas City is likely the actual Mecca of BBQ 🙏

Its BBQ craze and origins go waaay back to the OG pit master, Henry Perry, who served up slabs of meaty goodness, slathered in sauce, and wrapped in newspaper from day one.

I think there are a handful of cities that claim they’re the best of the best… but few can back it up like KC can.

Honestly, just let the food do the talking, and not me 🤤

And if you’re not the meaty type, you can even find award-winning, sauce-slathered BBQ tofu around town. I’m not kidding—tons of vegan options have popped up recently.

This lovely midwestern city is also known for its abundance of fountains—there are over 200 registered ones. That’s a lot.

The city even throws its own party each April, aptly named Fountain Day, in celebration of its obsessive love for scenic water spouts.

KC is also bursting at the seams with interesting museums and abounding art and culture, and quite frankly, I think it’s a pretty underrated city!

For real, why don’t I visit there more often?

But if you’ve got your flight covered thanks to FareDrop, consider using Cherry to find an accommodation at its best-listed price.

I enjoy using their browser extension which alerts me to a better deal on a hotel if I happen to be looking elsewhere. Give it a try!

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That’s all for today! It’s definitely a crazy time in the travel hacking world…

New transfer partners and massive hotel mergers are definitely not things we see every day, and I’m personally excited to keep seeing big developments like this that offer us more value as travel hackers.

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Take care, and I’ll see you all bright and early tomorrow ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W

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