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The stars were aligned this past week as several uncharacteristically awesome points opportunities stacked together to significantly boost my points earning. In an average 5 night business travel week with no special promotions as a top tier elite, I generally earn around 4000 Southwest points for the round-trip flight and another 5000 SPG OR Hyatt points give or take.
I’ve long said January and February are some of my favorite months to be a business traveler because hotels that are usually out of my travel budget in the peak season become affordable, low season rewards program and hotel-specific promotions pop up and Hyatt club lounges are often closed for the season.
As I mentioned last week, Southwest has one of the most lucrative promotions running through the end of February for business travelers that I have seen in some time. A Business Select fare can be doubled once for using the corporate booking tool, doubled twice for having A-List Preferred status, doubled a third time for a double points on all flights promotion, and that total can be effectively doubled again for Companion Pass holders.
This week I had a last minute assignment that required me to book a few days before travel and spend 5 nights on the road. This is what the trip yielded.
The flight earning
Shown below is the points earnings for the flight in and out of Denver using Southwest and all those stacking bonuses. This is two one way flights composing my round trip travel for the week.
44,864 Southwest points are worth about 750 USD in Wanna Get Away fares. Since the vast majority of my award travel is using the Companion Pass, this will be effectively worth around 1500 USD in value to me. Not bad for one round trip flight!
The hotel earning
One of the best benefits of being a Hyatt Diamond member is the 2500 bonus points per stay when a club lounge is closed. Some hotels will close their club lounge for months at a time in the offseason so if you are fortunate to be there at the right time, you can earn a whole lot of points real fast.
This week I found a closed club lounge and spent three nights at the property, splitting the nights up with an SPG stay at another hotel so each night could be treated as a separate stay. Combine the 2500 closed club lounge bonus, 1000 points check in bonus for Diamonds and the regular earning rate and I ended up with about 4400 Hyatt points per night.
My other two nights were spent at an SPG property where there was a corporate rate-specific 1000 point per stay bonus which yielded me around 2000 SPG points per night after SPG Platinum check in bonus and earnings, totaling around 4000 for the two stays this week.
The bottom line
While this is nowhere near my ordinary earnings, everything seemed to fall into place this week. In total, I earned a little over 62,000 points for one week of business travel. This far exceeds my average weekly earnings of around 9000 points on a 5 night business trip. January and February are great months to be a business traveler. If only every week could be this good!