Archive for category marriott

Free/Easy 750 United Mileage Plus Points

I just noticed that my United Mileage Plus account went up by 750 miles last night. Curious, I went to the activity report to find out why. As it turns out, I signed up for a promotion and forgot about it. The upside of that is that it gets a blog post so that maybe you can take advantage of it, too.

It turns out that MyPoints has a promotion that allows new subscribers to get 750 miles added to their Mileage Plus accounts after 30 days of “active” membership. The definition of “active” is not spelled out in the terms and conditions, but I’ve been receiving their emails and clicking on the click-thru links to accumulate points to spend on travel-related expenses; so, that must be enough. FWIW, I’ve built up just over 600 points in that 30-day timespan. Below are some of the lower-tier redemptions that you can get with these points:

  • 4,000 points for a $25 Hyatt certificate
  • 6,850 for a $50 Marriott certificate
  • 5,200 for 2,500 United Mileage Plus miles
  • 4,600 for a $25 prepaid Visa

So, my 600 points are not enough for anything, but in 4-6 more months like that, I’ll be able to redeem them for something… and it’s not a lot of effort to click things. Just use an email dedicated to “spam-like” stuff and there’s not even any worries about too much email.



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Carolina Beach, NC / Atlantic Towers

My family and I took a two-night trip to Carolina Beach, NC over the weekend staying at Atlantic Towers. Carolina Beach is a very nice, family-friendly beach near Wilmington, NC and about a 2.5 hour drive from our home. We set out on Friday afternoon and drove directly to the hotel (stopping once for some needed supplies at a nearby Target. We arrived at Atlantic Towers late in the afternoon and unpacked (before I got any photos, so all of the photos here are post pack-up–the beds were made when we arrived).

Atlantic Towers

Atlantic Towers is a great, family-friendly accommodation that met our criteria of sleeping 6 in one space. All of the rooms are suites featuring a separate bedroom with a king-sized bed (or in some units, two bedrooms), twin bunk beds in a hallway nook and a queen sleeper sofa. Each unit also features a separate kitchen, and an ocean-front balcony.



(TIP: Go for a room ending in 01 for a South-side corner so that you get a great view in two directions.)

The hotel features two swimming pools (one indoor and one outdoor), a small club room, laundry facilities and an arcade. I didn’t get any photos of those since they were typically populated and I didn’t want to go around asking permission to post. So, here is a link to the hotel’s website featuring photos of those amenities.

We stayed Friday and Saturday nights and left late on Sunday morning to visit the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. We take a trip out to the aquarium each time we go to Carolina Beach since it’s only about a 15-minute drive and is a pretty nice aquarium. They have the standard fare of fish, snakes and other reptiles as well as birds and a nice botanical garden. They do have an albino alligator, which is pretty neat to see.

Atlantic Towers

We had lunch at the aquarium and picked up a couple of Concretes for desert. For those unfamiliar with this desert, it is sort of like a Blizzard from Dairy Queen, but typically done with yogurt or a soft custard. Goodberry’s trademarked the name Carolina Concrete(TM), and has the best description, but many places sell them as Concretes. After the aquarium, we settled in for the drive home.

It was a good trip. No loyalty programs were furthered; but, I did learn of a neat Holiday Inn Property in Myrtle Beach, SC (which is not that different of a drive) featuring a nice indoor lazy river. I also saw an oceanfront Courtyard by Marriott. These properties were excluded as options during this trip as there were 6 of us (my mother came along). But, if there are only the 5 of us next time, then we’ll hit one of those two locations.

Have you had any experiences with any other good properties in the area?

Next up: A business overnight in August to Silver Spring, MD that will feature a Hertz #1 Club Gold rental and a stay at a yet-to-be determined hotel that will likely be either a Hilton or an Intercontinental brand.

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