Josh and Shannon:I’m going to show you step by step how to get enough points for a free stay at the Hilton Kauai Resort for your trip in July, or any other Hilton resort in Hawaii.
It is time to start the process now as you never know what bumps we’ll hit along the road (credit issues, lack of product etc) so follow along with me. We are going to apply for three credit cards each and use them ONLY to gain the required points for the trip. I am not advocating the use of credit cards in your daily life as that is a decision you have to make as a couple. With discipline this goal can be handled quite easily, you will actually improve your credit score and then you can put the cards away if you like, or cancel them when you are done.
At any time you have questions or balk at continuing, speak right up and we can discuss it or quit the process with no harm to you.
1. Each of you should join the Hilton Honors program at hilton.com and save your printed membership card and number. You will use that membership number on your application for the Hilton Honors Platinum Card from American Express.
2. Go to frugaltravelguy.com and then the credit cards page and then each of you separately and individually apply for the Hilton card mentioned above. Answer every question truthfully.
3. Individually sign up for the American Airlines Aadvantage program, print and save the membership number. You can sign up at freebies page of frugaltravelguy.com for an extra 1000 Advantage miles. First entry on the freebies page.
4. On the same day you should each apply for the American Airlines Platinum Aadvantage card from Citibank. You will find it on the credit card page of the website under the ad for creditcards.com. Make sure you are each applying for the Platinum card which gives you 25,000 American airlines points after spending $750 on the card.
5. Now to meet the purchase requirements of each card. You get 10,000 Honors points for the first purchase. There is no requirement other than a first purchase on the Hilton card, but you can pick up an extra 20,000 Hilton Honors points by spending $5,000 in the first 5 months. You will accomplish that by buying $1000 of travellers checks each week free of charge from the closest American Express Travel service center. You can find the nearest one at this internet address: http://www134.americanexpress.com/travel/CTNWTServlet?request_type=tsofinder&ctrywrap=usa
Then just deposit the traveller’s checks in your bank account and payoff the credit card bill when it comes due.
It must be an official Amex Site and not a franchise site. Look for the little **** by the office listing. The * indicates a franchise site, which will not qualify.
The next card is the American Airlines card. We will meet the minimum spend buying US $1 coins from the United States mint without shipping charges. You can buy a maximum of $500 per president and the mint will ship them to your house. Upon receipt, take them to your bank, deposit them and use the money to pay off the credit card. You need a total of $750 spending on the American Airlines card within the first 4 months so place your orders as soon as coins become available. The website address is:
Josh: The Mint is picky about sending more than $500 of any one coin to the same address. You may have some of yours shipped to an uncle or brother you can trust. Or, if 3 different coins become available you can each order $250 or each coin to meet the minimum spend requirement. As of today two coins are available for sale.
Here is how this pays out. The Hilton Amex card allows you to reserve rooms on an award called an AXON from Hilton Honors. It is 4 nights for 125K Hilton Honors points. Each American Airlines mile converts to 2 Hilton Honors points. Two months after you have applied, received and met the minimum spend on the American Aadvantage Platinum card, you will each apply again for a new card and go through the same minimum spend requirements again. Yes, you will receive the 25K bonus again. So each of you will receive 25K American Airlines miles twice X 2 applications = 50K AA miles converted to 100K Hilton points.
If all goes well, you will each have about 10,000 Hilton honors points from the credit card sign up and 20,000 more from the purchase of traveller’s checks without any fees.
The total earned will be 130,000 Hilton Honors points each or two 4 day AXON awards. Take them at the same hotel or visit two islands and stay at two different Hilton properties.
And here is your cost:
Annual fee for the Hilton Amex Card = FREE
Annual fee for Aadvantage Card= FREE (cancel after first year to avoid future fee)
Shipping on US Mint Coins= FREE
Cost of Obtaining Travellers Checks= FREE
Final Price FREE
PS: As an alternative, if you own a small business you can apply for the Citibusiness American Aadvantage Card instead of reapplying for a second Platinum Worldcard.
We got Shannon award tickets to Hawaii in celebration of her upcoming graduation from nursing school. Josh is a firefighter and attending classes in computer networking.
For their honeymoon we sent them to Brazil where Shannon had spent a year as a Rotary foreign exchange student. Josh got sicker than a dog and ended up in the hospital with food poisoning or something. We thought he may like Hawaii better this time.
My son Andrew is about to graduate from the University of Sydney with a Masters in International Public Health and has just applied for a job with Doctors without Borders.
I wonder where that award ticket will be to?