We cut our RTW trip back to just Europe again as the combination of locations we wanted worldwide did not use our miles to their best ability. Thanks to Gary for helping us square away a nice vacation with limited points outlay. We will catch China, Australia, and Hawaii on our next big adventure later in the year. Here is what we have accomplished so far:
SAV-IAD on a one-way paid or award to attend my son’s graduation from graduate school. We will then depart IAD to Kos, Greece using a business class award one way for 52,500 miles each. Most of it is on Lufthansa with the last segment on Aegean.
We have 4 nights at the Doubletree Resort on Kos at a total of 50K Hilton Honors points and then are paying 118 Euros total for two to fly back to Athens on Aegean Airlines. We are then using a United one way Star Alliance award (12,500 miles each) for the nonstop Croatia Airlines to Dubrovnik. The ticket price was $377 each for the one way so a great use of the UA miles there.
5 nights at the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik a category 7 for 200K HH points as a VIP award. We can explore the islands around Dubrovnik and come home to luxury every evening.
We’ll then drive or take a bus, or fly to Split, Croatia for 4 nights on a cash and points SPG stay at the Le Meridien Split. The cost was $240 and 16,000 SPG points.
It is then a one way American Award Split to Budapest to Amsterdam on Malev at 10,000 points each.
We have three nights at the Hilton (120K HH points) at the Airport as we have an early departure last day. It is only 20 minutes into the city and I believe a train is the best bet there. We get two full days in Amsterdam this way and are right at the airport for that 9 AM Continental business class flight to Newark followed by the puddle jumper back to Savannah.
Gary Leff helped us find the flights and info we needed and made my job, just booking the hotels. I appreciated the service and can recommend him highly.
$240 + 118 Euros and a few taxes. That my friends is frugal travel at its best. Thanks Gary!
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49