This month offers a terrific opportunity to get that trip to Hawaii you have been waiting for. I’ll give you step by step directions and cover the costs as well. We will be using a total of 5 promotions to accomplish your almost free trip.
This play is Not for Everyone. Your credit score needs to be right and you need to be able to apply for a few cards.
1. Join the Starwood Preferred Guest program and write down the membership number.
2. Join the Continental Airlines Onepass program and write down the membership number.
3. Go to Hot Travel Tip #5 on the right hand column of the blog and print a copy of both the Chase Personal Debit Card and Chase Business Debit card coupons. (make sure you refresh the links before printing the coupons)
4. Double check your credit scores with one of the free links on the right hand column to be sure your scores are over 700+. You must cancel within the trial period for the score to be free. Your credit is one of your most important assets.
5. Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit card. No first year fee. We will be transferring these points into Continental Miles. You could alternatively apply for another Chase Continental card if you don’t have one.
6. Set up new Chase personal and Business checking accounts using the coupons you printed earlier. The personal account will take an initial deposit of $125 and $25 will go for the debit card. Deposit $565 in the new business checking account. The debit card will cost $65. Be sure to retain copies of all documentation on these offers. Your Chase banker may require you to provide evidence of your on going business. (In Michigan a DBA form is $10 from the courthouse. In South Carolina registering a business is free online). You will need to make 5 debit card transactions each month on the personal debit card to avoid fees ( I buy the USA Today newspaper) and 5 transactions each month with the Business debit card. Remember the money in the account is yours and you should keep the accounts open at least 6 months. Chase will want your Continental Onepass membership #.
7. Apply for the Starwood Preferred Personal credit card from the link I list on my July 14th blog article. Do not use the regular ads on the blog this month. Just use that link. They will want your SPG membership number. Fulfill the minimum spend requirement of $1000 in three months and earn 30,000 SPG points.
8. Apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest Business credit card from the link on the blog article of Wednesday July 14. You may also want to read the blog article in the blog archives dated August 13, 2008 that discusses business credit cards. Fulfill the minimum spend requirement of $1000 in the first three months and earn 30,000 SPG points. Yes you can get both personal and business cards.
Upon finishing these steps you will have earned 25,000 Ultimate reward points from Chase with the Sapphire Preferred card, 50,000 Continental miles from the two debit cards and checking accounts and 60,000 SPG points.
Now to Cash In
1. Convert the 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Sapphire card to Continental Onepass miles. Your Onepass balance wil now be 75,000 miles
2. Convert 10,000 SPG points into 5,000 Continental miles (I know this hurts but you do want Business Class don’t you?)
3. Book your Business Class ticket to Hawaii with the 80,000 CO miles earned.
4. Choose from one of three Category 4 Sheraton properties on the islands ( Honolulu, Kona on the Big Island or Poipu Bay on Kauai) Book 4 nights and get the 5th night free for 40,000 of your 50,000 remaining SPG points and then use your last 10K of SPG points for the 6th night in Hawaii.
Things to Remember:
Save copies of everything.
If you have a current SPG credit card, you can’t get another. If you have an old cancelled SPG credit card, reports are you can earn the bonus again.
We have all been working Chase hard since last November. Be ready to offer to reduce a credit line on an existing card with them, or cancel one of your current cards if they asked and this play makes sense to you.
The big SPG signup bonus ends July 31st so you can’t spend weeks thinking about this one.
Of course you can fly coach for less, or first class for more miles. And there are higher rated hotel categories with Starwood in Hawaii if you want a more upscale experience. I personally liked the Sheraton on Kauai at Poipu Bay. The Honolulu Cat 4 did nothing for me but, it is one block from Waikiki Beach.
If you are travelling as a twosome, each adult can apply separately for their own debit cards, checking accounts and credit cards. You’ll end up with a longer vacation or some remaining SPG points.
This play could effect your credit score by 15 points +-, 5 points for each credit card and maybe even 5 more for the checking account inquiry. Inquiries fall off your credit report in two years but you will have lower scores for that time period. As always be careful with your credit.
The links for the Chase Continental Checking accounts are on the right hand blog column in Rick’s Travel Tips #5.
The link for the SPG credit card applications are located on the July 13th blog article.
I’ll be on an all day and night mileage run today so won’t be able to answer your questions easily. Other readers familiar with the Continental, Chase and SPG programs will step in and answer your questions in the comment section I’m sure.