We are off this morning to the Greek Isle of Kos, our first stop on this frugal adventure. Our flights are on United and Lufthansa as follows: United from Savannah to Washington Dulles then Lufthansa to Frankfurt and and then to Athens. We end the day with a flight on Aegean Airlines to Kos.
The one way ticket is in business class paid for with frequent flyer miles earned while flying United and using their promotions and credit cards. The cost was 50,000 miles for each of us and $60.80 in taxes. Our return in June is from Amsterdam, also in business class and at 50,000 miles as well. It is another one way award using United miles and flying Continental from AMS to Newark then Newark to Savannah. Taxes are about the same on the return.
Our first four nights are at the Doubletree Resort by Hilton on Kos as an award using 50,000 Hilton Honors points. We earned the points when Katy applied for a Hilton Honors Surpass card and made her first purchase. In addition to the points she earned for applying for the card, she also was granted Gold Status with the Hilton Honors program. Gold status usually provides amenities at the hotels like free Internet, maybe a room upgrade and in some cases complimentary breakfast. We got Katy this card ($75 fee) anticipating two to three weeks in Europe in Hilton hotels. The typical cost for breakfast is $20-30 Euros each per day so we will more than recover the $75 fee with two days of breakfasts. We are staying at Hiltons in Kos, Dubrovnik, and Amsterdam.
As the trip progresses I’ll be sending photos, observations and the costs associated with the trip. Most of the flights were free with miles and all the hotels were on points. You have all changed one of my travel behaviors as well. Being on the road and facing foreign transaction fees, I actually changed out a credit card yesterday and put the Chase Sapphire Preferred card in my wallet. Your emails are constant reminders that I was paying those fees when I could have avoided them. No foreign transaction fees for me this time and I’ll be able to add to my points balance on the Chase card. I just got 8500 points for asking based on the new 50K offer being out. When I get to 10K I can redeem for a $100 hotel gift card.
During our stay on Kos we hope to catch the ferry for a day in Bodrum, Turkey. I have no idea what to expect there, but it will be another day and another country visited.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees, making this the go-to card for travelers.
This card accumulates Ultimate Rewards points, which are very valuable for transfer to United and Hyatt. Overall, this card is a great choice for maximizing earnings on dining, travel, and every day spend.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95