Did you know that you can take a 10 day trip to Hawaii for just $22.40? Read here to learn the exact steps to take. Brad, a travel expert, is going to show you how to travel for cheap. Enjoy!
By now you’ve probably heard how people are using credit card rewards points to travel the globe for nearly free, and, in fact, Michelle previously posted about her love for travel rewards and how she saved over $2,500 in one year with her rewards credit cards.
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But if you’re naturally skeptical like me, you’re wondering if it is as easy as it sounds and if you can really do it. I want to show you today how you can make this happen, and I’ll walk through how it is possible even on a dream trip to Hawaii.
First, here are some of the best rewards credit cards based on the kind of offer or reward you’re interested in:
- Best cash back credit card with no annual fee: Chase Freedom Flex is a new rewards credit card that allows you to earn a $200 bonus after spending just $500 in the first 3 months after you open your account. You can earn 5% cash back up to $1,500 each quarter. There is also no annual fee!
- Best travel rewards credit card: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the most popular travel rewards card for those new to rewards credit cards due to its high intro bonus and low annual fee of $95. The sign-up bonus is 80,000 points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of opening your account. This is worth $1,000.
- Best sign-up bonus credit card: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the best rewards credit cards with its 75,000 miles sign-up bonus. You will have to spend $4,000 in the first 3 months to qualify, and you earn 2x points on all purchases after that. This card does have an annual fee of $95.
- Best rewards credit card for dining and groceries: The American Express Gold Card is a very popular dining rewards credit card, and it’s one of the best credit cards for points. You can earn 60,000 rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first 6 months. You also can earn 4X membership rewards on restaurant and grocery store spending. The annual fee for this card is $250.
And next, a little bit about me, and what it takes to succeed:
I’m Brad Barrett, a Certified Public Accountant, husband and father to two young daughters; 3 years ago I started RichmondSavers.com as a personal finance blog, but the site soon pivoted to helping people get started with travel rewards after my story about how we took our family to Disney World for nearly free with rewards points got some significant press.
I realized there was a true need for an introduction to travel rewards in a systematic and straightforward way, so I teamed up with my friend Alexi Zemsky to offer a free 15-day email course called Travel Miles 101. It resonates with people that we’re two professionals (CPA and MD), with young families who have made this strategy work in our own lives, and our community has grown significantly to over 6,000 members with a thriving and supportive private Facebook group.
So, I went from being a CPA to teaching people all over the country how to best earn and utilize their credit card rewards points for nearly free travel!
My wife and I have earned nearly 2,000,000 miles and points that we value at nearly $40,000, and we’ve taken trips to Bermuda, NYC, Boston, Disney World and we have trips planned to visit family in San Francisco and Santiago, Chile.
This truly has transformed our lives.
Note: These cards are all great and I recommend using them all as part of your daily spend routine – these cards are worth keeping for the long term.
Related: How Michelle Made Over $300,000 Blogging in One Year
What is this all about?
I define this as this: Opening new and highly specific credit cards to earn large signup bonuses (often in the range of 50,000 miles/points) that when stacked together can earn you nearly free travel around the world.
Let’s look at an example of a signup bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is my #1 recommended credit card and as of publication of this article it offers a 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) point bonus when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months after account approval. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year as well.
Chase also offers a 5,000 point bonus if you add an authorized user who makes one purchase in those first three months.
So let’s break this down: You’re using this credit card for $4,000 of your normal spending for 3 months and paying it off on time and in full every single month. Once you’ve reached this $4,000 cumulative figure you earn 50,000 bonus points plus at least 4,000 points for your $4,000 of spending plus another 5,000 if you added an authorized user who made a purchase.
That brings you to at least 59,000 Chase UR points. The great thing about these Ultimate Rewards points is that they can transfer to 11 different airline and hotel rewards programs to become those miles! This gives you an incredible amount of flexibility just by having these points.
Let’s say you spent a bit more on the card and got up to 60,000 UR points: this would be enough for a round-trip to Europe with a free stopover in a second city on United or 12 free nights in a Category 1 Hyatt hotel.
It would be safe to say if redeemed in this way these points would be worth over $1,200 from one credit card signup. That amounts to a 30% rebate on your $4,000 of spending!
Compare that to your normal 1% – 2% rewards on your existing card and you see how this strategy really is a game-changer.
Who are travel rewards credit cards good for?
Anyone who uses their credit cards responsibly every month needs to strongly think about getting into travel rewards credit cards. If you’re a fan of Making Sense of Cents then you are already pretty smart financially and this is the next step towards making your wise habits pay off even more.
That said, it is not for everyone!
To get approved for these premium credit cards you are generally going to need at minimum a 700 credit score (and 750+ is preferred).
If you’re just out of college or have a short credit history, I wouldn’t suggest getting started with this right now. Grab one card that doesn’t have an annual fee and use that as your primary card for a number of years. You’ll see your credit score skyrocket and then in a few years you can come back and start earning some rewards points!
You can check out great credit cards for students here.
Travel rewards credit cards do take a small amount of organization, as you have to track what the minimum spending requirement is on your current card and make sure you reach that; you also need to keep track of your credit card and rewards program logins, due dates on your cards, etc. Pretty easy stuff generally, but it is still important.
What does it take to succeed?
The most important trait for long-term success with travel rewards credit cards is flexibility which goes hand-in-hand with the ability to plan in advance. You have to understand that these are frequent flyer miles and there are limitations, so any bit of flexibility you can build into your strategy will help you significantly.
Often, you’ll find the airline award seats (where you use your miles) are fully booked on one day, but might be plentiful the next day. So, even this little bit of flexibility will help you significantly as you simply could not use your miles on your intended date, but your flight would be free the very next day.
That sounds like a good deal to me, so that’s why I always approach my intended trips with as much flexibility as possible with the types of points I earn, the dates of my trips, airports I’m willing to fly out of, possible destinations, etc.
Common questions about travel rewards credit cards:
Q: Can I actually use my points or am I going to deal with blackout dates all the time?
A: As I mentioned above, the key here is flexibility. If you believe that just because you have a lot of miles and points that you can travel wherever and whenever you want, you’ll be disappointed. There are a limited number of award seats and people book them. Simple as that.
However, if you realize that you just need to be a little bit smarter than the next person by planning in advance and being flexible, you’ll find that you can see the world for pennies!
And if you don’t have a ton of flexibility, there are still ways to save money with easier programs to use like Southwest Airlines, most hotel rewards programs (which have tons of availability), and cards like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® which allow for simple redemptions.
Q: Do the points expire if I don’t use them in the next year or when I close my credit card?
A: Points do expire, but there are very simple ways to extend the expiration, so I’ve never been really concerned with losing any of my points. With a little bit of foresight and organization, you can easily avoid any problems!
Most points are in your airline or hotel rewards account and they each have their own expiration policy, however the vast majority have a policy where the expiration clock is reset anytime there is any account activity whatsoever.
This could mean something as simple as a purchase for even $1 on your airline/hotel rewards card, and of course the best way to get activity is to actually book a flight or a room!
Q: What will this do to my credit score?
A: From my experience and from all the people I’ve worked with, it will impact your credit score surprisingly little, and may even help!
Important: I do not work for the credit card companies or bureaus, so I can’t tell you with certainty what will happen, but I can pass along my own experience:
My score tends to drop a few points when I open a new card, but it always bounces back after a few months; my score started at a 797 when I began this strategy 4+ years ago and last check it was an 814.
Planning a Trip to Hawaii with Rewards Points:
Okay, so let’s get to the fun part, earning and booking your trip to Hawaii.
There are dozens of different ways to plan a trip to Hawaii with rewards points, but I wanted to show you the easiest way I could find for two people to take a 10-night trip to Hawaii using only four new credit cards.
Note: Spouses/significant others/traveling companions, etc. can each open every single type of credit card to get the bonus themselves.
While our trip today will take you to Honolulu (Oahu) and the Big Island, if Maui and Kauai were your intended destinations, you could easily do those instead.
The Credit Cards You Need:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (one for each of you): Spend $4,000 in the first 3 months to earn a 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus. $95 annual fee.
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (one for each of you): Bonus at time of publication: Spend $3,000 in the first 3 months to earn a 25,000 Starpoint bonus. $95 annual fee waived the first year.
Total spending: $14,000 for the four minimum spends. While this sounds like a lot, if you put $1,400 on your credit cards each month (which isn’t enormous for a family including food, recurring utility bills, etc.) you can reach these bonuses within 10 months.
So let’s assume you open these cards sequentially and reach the spending requirements and all bonuses; at the end of about one year you’ll have a total of at least:
- 118,000 Chase UR points
- 56,000 Starwood Starpoints
Booking Your Award Flights:
I’m going to show you the easy way to find and book your award flights using Chase UR points and then throw in a simple yet effective advanced trick to help save you 20,000 total points!
The major US airlines including American, United and Delta all charge 45,000 miles for one round-trip from the mainland US to Hawaii.
However, it is possible to fly these exact same planes and routes and take advantage of what I call a sweet spot by using a partner airlines miles to book for fewer miles.
The example in our case: Using United miles, it costs 45,000 miles for a round-trip on United airplanes, but it only costs 35,000 Singapore Airlines miles to fly the exact same United planes!
But how the heck do you get Singapore Airlines miles you’re probably asking, right?
Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Singapore Airlines (and United coincidentally), so once you’ve found the award seats it is as simple as going into your Chase account and transferring, in this case, 70,000 points out to your Singapore Airlines account (which you can setup for free).
First, you have to find the award seats on United.com, so we’ll head to the United.com homepage and enter the following assuming that our travelers are coming from NYC, want to travel in the fall and have some flexibility:
- Click “One-way” as it is easier to search segment-by-segment
- Click “My dates are flexible”
- Click “Search for award travel”
- Click “Nonstop”
- Enter your airports and click “Search”
Then we’re met with a 2 month calendar that shows their award availability on these direct flights from the NYC area.
We’re hoping to see a lot of dates shaded in yellow and green which means it is the ìSaver Award Economy level award seat that would normally cost 45,000 miles round-trip on United (but we know will only cost us 35,000 Singapore Airlines miles):
There are 36 days available over this 2-month period with nonstop availability from NYC to Honolulu; let’s say you like October 17th, so you click on that and find this direct flight from Newark to the Honolulu airport:
You’ll see that it says “Saver Award” in the Economy column and notes it is 22,500 miles for each one-way ticket. These are the exact seats we need to book the flights using Singapore miles.
After clicking “details,” you jot down all the pertinent information like date, time and flight number for when you need to book through Singapore (you’ll do the same thing on the return flight from Hawaii to Honolulu).
Armed with all that information I would suggest you consult with this excellent tutorial at the travel blog MileValue that shows you step-by-step how to book these United flights with Singapore miles.
It’s as simple as transferring 70,000 Chase UR points to one Singapore Airlines account and then following those steps to book the flights.
Booking Your Hotel Nights:
After booking your award flights, you still have 48,000 Chase UR points and 56,000 Starpoints remaining. Here’s how we’ll turn that into 10 free hotel nights in Hawaii:
The Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach hotel only costs 12,000 Hyatt points per night, and Chase UR points transfer to become Hyatt points as well, so your 48,000 remaining points will be exactly enough for four free nights!
From the hotel homepage we’ll enter our four night stay from October 17th to October 21st here:
Then we click Book Now and if there are award nights it will show up as an option to select them and pay 12,000 points per night. And we’re in luck:
On the 21st you’ll fly to the Big Island and stay at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. This hotel is a Category 4 Starwood property, which costs 10,000 points per night.
Starwood has deal where when you use points to book a stay of five or more nights, you get the “5th Night Free,” which means you pay zero points for that night. So in this case you can book 6 nights for 50,000 points.
Go to the hotel homepage and enter your travel dates in the search box.
After you click Find Rooms and Rates the room options show up on the next page and we see the following:
You’ll notice that it automatically applies the 5th Night Free promotion on this six night stay and says that it costs 8,333 points per night (50,000 total) for your stay.
So, there you have it, a 10-night trip to Hawaii using frequent mile and hotel points! Total out of pocket costs for two round-trip flights and 10 hotel nights should be approximately $22.40 for unavoidable airport taxes and fees on the award tickets. Not bad, right?
When conceiving this trip I decided our travelers were going to take this trip in mid-October 2016 and just a few short minutes later I found award flights and hotel room availability. If I was really planning this trip it could have been booked in a matter of minutes!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to travel rewards credit cards and step-by-step example of how easy it can be to really book these dream trips using your rewards points. If you approach this with an open mind, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much fun it can be, in addition to a nice source of intellectual stimulation and, of course, a big money saver!
Check out some top travel rewards cards here.
Do you use credit cards for their rewards points? Why or why not?
If you are new to my blog, I am all about finding ways to make and save more money. Here are some of my favorite sites and products that may help you out:
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- Cut your TV bill. Cut your cable, satellite, etc. Even go as far to go without Netflix or Hulu as well. Buy a digital antenna (this is the one we have) and enjoy free TV for life.
- Try InboxDollars. InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5.00 for free just for signing up!
- Find a part-time job. There are many part-time jobs that you may be able to find. You can find a job on sites such as Snagajob, Craigslist (yes, I’ve found a legitimate job through there before), Monster, and so on.
- Lower your cell phone bill. Instead of paying the $150 or more that you spend on your cell phone bill, there are companies out there like Republic Wireless that offer cell phone service starting at $10. YES, I SAID $10! If you use my Republic Wireless affiliate link, you can change your life and start saving thousands of dollars a year on your cell phone service. I created a full review on Republic Wireless as well if you are interested in hearing more. I’ve been using them for over a year and they are great.
Also if I tend to use my prepaid credit card for tavels this post is very very interesting!
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
Have you travel hacked before?
Jenny Weddle says
Yes, the first time was from a trip we won to anywhere in the world. We won it on the radio then signed up for travel miles from the airline and were able to go to Hawaii for free. Then in the next twenty years we travel hacked or contest won another 71 trips! Great blog! Thanks for the info!
Latoya @ Femme Frugality says
I’ve been reading more and more about travel hacking. It really makes me wish I was taking a good vacation soon. I’m going to have to do more research and determine if this could work for us. Thanks for the deets!
Brad @ Travel Miles 101 says
Definitely worth looking into!! It isn’t for everyone, but if you do determine it makes sense for you, it can be a lot of fun 🙂
Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog says
I don’t spend nearly enough on credit cards to do travel hacking right now. Maybe in the future when I have more expenses.
Keep blogging and creating quality content. You’re right around the corner to success. Give it another 2 years and you’ll be smiling all the way to “el banco.” 🙂
Lindsay @ The Notorious D.E.B.T. says
We pay our rent using credit cards. It’s a bit of legwork, but possible: our rent is $995/month, so each month we buy two Visa gift cards with our credit card – one for $500, and one for $495. We then use the two gift cards together to buy one money order, for $995.
If we were to pay for the money order directly (which I’m not even sure we can do), the credit card company would classify that as a “cash advance” and charge us outrageous fees. By using the credit card to buy gift cards, though, they can’t tell what it was you bought, and so you don’t get charged cash-advance fees.
It sounds like a hassle (and it kind of is), but we can do it all in one fell swoop in one store in one visit and get it done with. It also costs a small amount (both Visa gift cards cost $5 to activate, I believe, and the money order is 50 cents), but it’s a small price to pay for the benefits. Otherwise we’d never meet spending limits!
Wow thanks so much! I was wondering how I can get my rent payed with my credit card…Genius!
Wow! Amazing idea! I always wanted to pay rent on Credit card..
The Green Swan says
This post caught my eye with just the title! I’ve done a little of this (sign up for a new cc every once in a while to get more miles) but this is great! I’ll be pinning this to keep for reference later. Thanks!
The Green Swan
Brad @ Travel Miles 101 says
Sounds great! It really is surprisingly easy, but let me know if I can help in any way…
Apathy Ends says
Do you cancel these cards before the second year to avoid the $95 fee?
Interesting post, we have a 2% travel rewards card that we got a 20K point bonus on after spending some money the first 3 months – this seems like a way better deal and we would easily hit the bonus points.
I am intrigued and might have to give this a shot!
Brad @ Travel Miles 101 says
Many people close these cards before the first year is up to avoid paying the fee; you’ll have to determine what makes sense for you of course….
Yes, collecting these bonuses will far surpass the 2% rewards on a regular card, so you see how this can add up quickly 🙂
Are you currently doing any kind of travel affiliate marketing? If so, how long have you been blogging and promoting affiliate programs for?
Amy Fillinger says
I haven’t tried this yet as I generally avoid credit cards. I think that I am reasonably decent with money and pay my bills early, etc. I think I might look into using credit cards for rewards, especially travel hacking. I feel like there is a little bit to learn here, but it’s easier than I thought. Thank you!
Brad @ Travel Miles 101 says
Sounds great Amy!! It is definitely worth exploring, but of course your financial well-being comes first, so as long as you are good there, then give this some consideration…
Just used my Aeroplan for 3 return tickets from St. John’s Canada to Maui for 94,000 miles and $280. I could have gotten them for free should I choose to use more miles to pay the taxes but I decided I wanted to roll those miles over for next years vacation.
Looking at sharing a house rental with my parents down there to save cost. Any thought on house rental vs hotel rooms?
Money Beagle says
Thanks for sharing. The best part is that this is COMPLETELY legal, even though it feels like it shouldn’t be. When we went to Disney World last year, we used a lot of different techniques to reduce our cost. We didn’t come anywhere near going for that cheap per day (I don’t think that’s possible with Disney) but we saved a couple thousand bucks just by using various credit cards and rewards programs.
Brad @ Travel Miles 101 says
Glad you enjoyed!
Disney is a fun one for sure as there are ways to make it nearly free: http://www.richmondsavers.com/take-your-family-to-disney-world-for-free-step-by-step-instructions/
We saved over $4,000 on our family Disney vacation
I too am interested in what you do with all the credit cards you compile. Do you cancel them?
Brad @ Travel Miles 101 says
It depends on a number of factors and it really isn’t my place to tell you to close a card, but yes, many people who follow this strategy do close the cards before the first year is up and the annual fee is due.
There are many cards that give you ongoing value each year (free night, etc.) and those you might strongly consider keeping
Irene Haidner says
I wonder if these cards are available to Canadians? I use cards with Air Miles but so far over 10 years they’ve gotten me nowhere. Well in the past to the movies but not even that now. Now they are basically good for the odd $20 cash towards groceries and that takes a long time to rack up the points. Interesting article I must say.
Brad @ Travel Miles 101 says
I’m not 100% familiar with the range of options for Canadians, but I’ve been led to believe they aren’t nearly as significant as the cards for US residents. Definitely worth looking into though!
We need a Canadian version of Brad here. The govt does have a CC comparison tool by province for consumers and it’s extremely helpful, but I also know the air miles rewards programs are also outside of CCs using store loyalty programs.
This post couldn’t have come at a better time!
I’m planning on taking my mom on a trip to Hawaii for her birthday. I wonder if it would be possible to do something similar but go first class instead of economy?
I just got an additional 50,000 miles from getting the United Mileage Plus Explorer card. Need to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card now…
Brad @ Travel Miles 101 says
It certainly would be doable to go first class 🙂 It would only be 60,000 Singapore miles for each round-trip, so very plausible.
There are lots of hotel options as well! If you want more advice, definitely sign up for my Travel Miles 101 course and shoot me an email…
I don’t know how old this post is, but Chase points with United are now 45,000 points each way to and from Hawaii. The 45,000 points round trip changed a couple of years ago. I know this, because my husband and I have used point to go to this islands every year for 10 years now.
I miss the old point system.
The Professor says
Last year I opened up a US Airways card with 40,000 bonus pts. When US Airways merged with American all pts went over to my American account. I had also opened up a Citi AAdvantage account that has a 50k bonus. With the combined spending I had a bit over 100k miles. I booked a flight to Maui right before they raised the award amounts on American ( for 35k pts each). Nice thing is that they reward you back 10% of the mileage up to 100k miles used each year so we got back 10 k miles.
Had enough pts in other accounts to cover my car rentals and an island hopper flight to the big island. I’m paying for places to stay but figure this is covering around $2,300 or so of our trip this summer. Not bad for a single dad taking his two daughters.
Brad @ Travel Miles 101 says
Great stuff Professor!! That’s not bad at all 🙂 And brilliant timing on the award seats too…
ZJ Thorne says
This is impressive! I have only garnered two round-trip flights in the continental US so far. Definitely a post I want to come back to.
Lloyd Phillips says
That is insane! What I wouldn’t give to go to Hawaii for that much right now. 🙂
Wondering if this is possible being based in New Zealand?
Tyler @ Oddball Wealth says
Thanks for the insight!
I’ve attempted to try travel hacking in the past by signing for credit cards that offer the sign up bonus rewards. Unfortunately, I’ve always struggled or didn’t follow through on meeting the minimum requirements within the time limit to receive the rewards (spending so much money within the first some many months, etc.)
Maybe I’ll attempt trying it again and actually follow through, haha.
Thanks again for the read!
It’s all good. The beauty of the internet is that it’s never too late to capitalize on such amazing offers. Just keep doing what you do and stay faithful.
That’s quite a clever way to virtually get free travel and earn traveling points along the way. Please share more tips about how to virtually travel free of charge in a near future blog post Michelle. Thank you.
Leah @ The Frugal South says
I’ve been travel hacking for years and I want to start planning a trip to Hawaii! Thanks for the airline and hotel suggestions. I will definitely look into those properties!
After I finish paying off my debt, I plan on travel hacking. I’m all about saving money.
I’ve never even heard this term before..interesting. I think I’m going to consider this and retire my amazon credit card. May take organization but worth it! Thanks 🙂
Thomas Watt says
$22.40 for a Hawaii trip? Whoa! Sign me up..
My question is, how do you combine the points from each of the accounts into 2 lump sums of points (Chase Points & Starwood Points)…and not have to separately book the 2 plane tickets and hotel rooms?
This is an amazing way to travel the world. We personally don’t do much travel hacking because we don’t want to open any more credit cards, but these are some great benefits for those who do.
Very detailed breakdown of the CC miles hack. Chase preferred is a great consumer card. Another cool post would be one that targets the entrepreneur readership and breaks down Chase Ink, which is an awesome card too.
I had considered signing up for extra credit cards in the past in order to take advantage of these bonus miles but always thought that it would harm your credit score each time you close a card (to avoid paying the annual fee). Is it not as likely as I expected?
I think this post ignores some obvious big issues. For one, most of the people reading this already have some kind of credit card they’re using today. This strategy requires opening 4 new credit cards in addition to however many credit cards these people have open already. So, either you’re going to pay yearly fees across many many cards that you’re not actually regularly using— or you’re going to need to cancel credit cards which will ABSOLUTELY hurt your credit score.
I have a rewards credit card myself and I love it. But the allure of a beautifully free vacation only realistically works the first time. To me this post misleads people into thinking you can endlessly signup for and cancel credit cards over time which you can’t get away with…
Is there a cheap airline for Europe, like the Singapore for hawaii you wrote of? I have the chase sapphire but one flight takes 84,000 UR points..thanks!
Mr. Saturday @ Seeking Saturdays says
We used this exact method to pay for the majority of a trip we took to Colorado from Florida. So many beautiful sights to see and the airfare was totally covered! Our Chase Sapphire Reserve card gave us 50,000 points after we reached our spending threshold (which was all normal bills anyways).
Since we’re ending the year of our first card, time to open another and do the whole bonus point fun again! We <3 travel hacking.
Laurie Taylor says
We just applied and were approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card under my husband’s name. I would love to apply for one too and get another 50,000 points but I am a housewife and have a small part time job ($500 per month). My husband is the bread winner. Would they look at his income in order to approve my application for a card or are we out of luck and can only get one card and only one, 50,000 points.
Please correct me if I’m mistaken but I see at least two errors with your post.
1) In order to receive the 50,000 bonus points through Chase Sapphire, you must spend $4,000 per person in the first THREE months. Since you recommended a couple getting two Chase Sapphire cards (one per person), then the couple has to spend at least $8,000 in the first three points for the Chase card. In addition, in order to receive the 25,000 bonus points from the Starwood card, the couple has to spend $6,000 combined in the first three months. Thus, the couple must spend $14,000 in three months (an average of $4,667 per month) to achieve the maximum bonuses. For some couples or families, spending $4,667 per month is not a regular occurrence. Also, several typical bills can not be paid by credit card due to fees or limitations on behalf of the service provider. So it’s not practical that a couple/family would pay for every personal expense using just one form of payment (credit card) each month. Your example stated a couple can spread the $14,000 over 10 months to have an average spending of $1,400 per month, which is simply not a true statement.
2) It’s also important for reader’s to recognize that since the couple is taking out four credit cards with annual fees, the couple will pay fees amounting to $380 per year after the first year. While cancelling one card may not hurt a couple’s credit score, cancelling four cards to avoid paying fees most certainly will.
3) In your example, the couple is staying in hotels on two different islands. You mention the couple having to fly to get to the next island but you don’t mention the extra costs associated with buying two additional flights. In addition, the couple must either book their return flight home from the second island which may or may not have higher priced flights (amounting to more points) or they must book a flight back to the first island to then fly home.
Can we look forward to Michelle taking a trip to New York City and making a fun YouTube video from the big apple? 🙂