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This summer has been one for the books for me in the points and miles game. There have been incredibly lucrative bonus offers from travel credit cards, and I’ve been lucky enough to take advantage of them. There may be some skeptics out there wondering how I did this. It really is very simple. It takes patience, organization, and a bit of time. But the payoff is incredible!
Travel credit cards & what they can do for you!
Some related article I’ve recently written also talk about how to maximize large expenses using credit cards:
- My Big Fat Credit Card Wedding!
- How tuition paid for a vacation
- Credit Card 101: How to meet minimum spend
The breakdown of each travel credit card
For context, I am WAY over 5/24, so Chase cards were pretty much off the table. However, there is still plenty of chances to score great deals.
Here’s what I’ve earned this summer. Keep in mind, these are just the bonus offer points + points earned from initial spend.
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card – 143,000 points + $100 statement credit.
- Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express Card – 63,000 points (limited time bonus is still available until 9/19/18!)
- Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Card – 111,000 points
- American Express Platinum Card – 65,000 points
- American Airlines Aviator Business Card – 60,000 points
In my estimation, the points alone that I earned equate to about $4,350 in value! And that does not include the value of the many other perks these cards offer.
Collectively, these cards had $733 in annual fees, so my net profit of just over $3,600!
What these points can do for you!
Many people who are critics of travel credit cards say that “the points are worthless” or “it’s too hard to use miles/points to travel.” What they mean is that they try to book at the last minute and either 1) there’s no award space available or 2) it takes an insane amount of points to redeem.
However, when used correctly, they can help you save thousands!
How to spend 400K miles and points
Here are a few examples of some amazing
- 143,000 Hilton Honors points can get you 3 nights at the Hilton Los Cabos in Cabo San Lucas at 45,000 points per night. However, if you can earn 37,000 points more, you will be able to use all 180k on 4 nights, and get the 5th night free! Along with this, being an active cardholder gets you automatic Gold status. This will score you some free upgrades!
- 63,000 Delta SkyMiles do fluctuate in value. However, Delta just had an incredible promotion running for 50,000 miles to Sydney and back! If you are planning on building SkyMiles, I highly recommend saving them for a redemption like this.
- 111,000 IHG points can go a long way! I plan on using these next summer during my trip to Greece. The InterContinental Athenaeum in Athens, Greece is 35,000 a night and the 4th night is free on point redemptions! No extra spending needed outside the bonus and authorized user’s one purchase.
- 65,000 American Express Membership Points are extremely valuable! These points can be applied to so many different things. Delta SkyMiles, Hilton Honors points, Gift Cards, KrisFlyer points on Singapore Airlines, paying your bill off with points (not recommended), and more!
- 60,000 American Airlines miles can get you a round trip ticket in Economy from LAX to Athens, Greece on British Airways!
The Bald Thoughts
Travel credit cards have definitely become an obsession for me now. They allow me and my travel buddy Kiersten to travel the world for pennies while allowing us to focus on paychecks on paying off our student loans. I’m always looking for that next big deal so I can start planning my next adventure!
What has been your points and miles victory recently? Let’s hear it in the comments!
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