🚀 To boost or not to boost?

 

Estimated read time: 3 minutes and 53 seconds

Apparently, a police unit in southwestern China has successfully trained six red squirrels to have drug-sniffing capabilities. Will these furry friends become the newest members of the force? Decide for yourself by reading more about it here.

Good morning from my home(ish) city of Toronto! I’m back for a few days to make sure my apartment hasn’t burned down before jetting off to South America again tomorrow evening.

But while I finish packing, let me fill you in on some travel news and hacks:

  • 🏨 IHG’s “boost points” feature: Is it worth it?

  • 🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits

  • 🧳 Poll: Checked bag or carry-on?

  • 🤩 United unveils new domestic first-class seat

🏨 IHG’s “boost points” feature: Is it worth it?

So yesterday, I was chilling at home when I came across an interesting email from IHG. It said…

Hi, Michael. You've recently earned 12,257 points! Now, you can boost those earnings by buying points in just a few clicks with this exclusive offer.

As it turns out, IHG has a “points boosting” program, which is basically a creative take on selling points at various rates based on how many you’ve earned in recent months.

So today, I wanted to take a look at this option for obtaining points and see how much value there is to be had.

Personally, my email contained three options for purchasing points based on the 12,257 points I earned from a recent stay.

The options were as follows:

As each lump sum of points goes up, the “discounts” seem to get higher as well.

So here is a quick breakdown of the three options and what the cost per point is for each:

  • 12,257 points ($91.62) = $0.007 per point

  • 24,514 points ($155.05) = $0.006 per point

  • 36,771 points ($190.29) = $0.005 per point

As you can see, the option with the most points also has the best price per point.

So should you buy them?

Here’s my take…

IHG frequently sells their points with a 100% bonus, which means they cost $0.005 each, or half a cent each.

So even at the BEST possible rate from this “points booster,” you’re still only getting the typical value you’d get from a common sale.

Still, if you find yourself with this option during a time when they’re NOT having one of those sales, paying for the top option could be a good deal.

To give you a better idea of the real-world value of this proposition, let me give you a quick example.

Later this year, I’m staying at an IHG hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, which costs just under 10,000 points per night for a four-night stay.

So with the option I’ve been presented with to buy 37,000 points for $190, I could essentially book my four-night stay in Cape Town for under $200, which I consider to be a great deal.

So if you see this image pop up in your email one day after an IHG stay, you could potentially get some great value out of it—just make sure you crunch the numbers first.

🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits

🧳 Poll: Checked bag or carry-on?

One of the most fun things about writing to an audience of travel enthusiasts is hearing your opinions on travel topics.

So today, I want to ask you a VERY controversial question. Then later this week, I’ll share the results and talk about my take on the subject. 

Sound good? Here you go:

Explain your answer

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

When you submit your answer, let me know what question you’d like to see pop up in Daily Drop next.

🤩 United unveils new domestic first-class seat

When you think of flying first class, you probably think of those fancy, $10,000 seats on Emirates that we love talking about…

But did you know that you can fly first class in the U.S., even on tiny little planes?

It’s true. And while it may not be quite as over-the-top luxurious as Emirates or ANA, it’s still very nice. Especially on United, who just unveiled their brand-spanking-new domestic first-class seats.

As you can see, these are definitely a huge step up from economy seats and could make a short-haul flight in the U.S. significantly more enjoyable.

Here are some of the new specs of these fancy seats:

  • 13-inch, HD screens with Bluetooth

  • Multiple charging outlets, including USB-c slots

  • Wireless charging docks for your phone (YAY)

  • Large dividers between seats for extra privacy

So yeah… they look pretty awesome. One thing that always frustrates me when flying is the lack of USB-c outlets, given how commonplace that type of plug is these days.

Couple that with these sleek wireless chargers, and this is a seat I’d pay a lot more to fly…

So when are these new bad boys hitting the skies?

Well… very soon. The first plane with these new seats will already be renovated by the end of this month, with many more making the change throughout the rest of the summer and fall.

Of course, you don’t need to pay much of anything to fly these seats given that you can easily just transfer points from your credit card to book flights.

For example, this flight from Chicago to Dallas only costs an extra 15,000 miles to fly this dank first-class seat compared to economy, which isn’t half bad.

I’m personally excited to have the option to upgrade in such a major way for a totally reasonable number of points.

If you end up flying this product, be sure to reach out and let me know - I’ll be curious to see how it lives up to the hype!

That’s it for today, y’all. I don’t know about you, but I’m itching to get my butt into one of those new United seats… They look pretty darn nice.

Have you ever flown domestic first-class? Would you fly it now that you’ve seen those fancy seats? Let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on social media.

Byeeeeeeeeee 😘

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W