I think the Thai / Siamese people are so beautiful and gracious for the most part.
I had a Thai friend / acquaintance whom I met at Glorieta Baptist Assembly in NM where we both served as staffers just after I graduated from HS and she had graduated from the small Baptist college I was about to enter. I also got to meet with her a few times when I'd go home and she was attending SWBTS (a seminary). Everyone just loved her. Her last name was Polparsi.
I'm with IAH, as usual. You can sometimes get point saver stays if offered at certain hotels, but if you wanted a longer stay, 5 nights can be gotten for the same as 4 nights at the same location.
Also, one never knows what might be offered for special promos.
Even though the $1000 gift card has gone to 255,000 points, you might consider using that for the fall bonus to get certificates or even the 45,000 points. If you get 3 cert. in the cat. 1- 4 class and use them at cat. 4; that would be worth 60,000 points back not to mention the bonus points back that would be equal to 10k (at any place other than the long term stay hotels like TPS or RI) plus your bonus of 25/50% more. Assuming you're at 50%, that would be another 15K back minimum, so at least 75k back there with your 255K points. Find the highest priced places you want to go to for your points or certificates and pay with cash or gift cards for the lower priced cat. unless you're trying to rid yourself of all points as some are doing.
As far as United points, that would be a viable option if I flew. (I nearly always drive and haven't flown since NSA took over.)
Driving at times can be faster than flying on UA as you know!
Great ideas on point usage, now wonder you're our IOTM.
Thank you for that comment. It was a complete surprise to me. I'm still so excited.
True about driving. It's also cheaper for multiple passengers like us and there are other advantages, like more room than the cattle car class and being able to stop to see different things. Also, we can take more with us like a filter water pitcher, 3 laptops, etc. And when we go to a resort, we can even take our dirty clothes to wash and dry in the room rather than to pay the outlandish prices at RI, even though that expense can be billed. The w / d are in the room rather than having to walk across the complex to the laundry room.
Find you a place that you would like to stay for 5 or 10 nights. Its like getting an additional 25 percent off your room. Also, you can sometimes find rooms that are points savers. Save those points. Because people like me can spend in a week in New Orleans during peak season at the Saint for only 120K points versus $2,500. I have also stayed in South Beach over the December holidays for 120K for 5 days versus 750/ night. Lastly, get the credit card, its worth every penny.