|Miami Beach, Florida|
I will try to keep this brief, but each time I start to think about this “success story” it seems to get out of control…
My sister-in-law is a realtor in the Fort Myers area and had shown us several properties there that we just couldn’t resist. We ended up purchasing one in early 2011 as a rental. During our several trips down there to furnish & set up the home for renters (and ourselves of course). we were able to accrue quite a few miles and points and easily meet the minimum spends on several cards with sign-up bonuses. AND this is all able to be written off on our taxes since the rental home is a business.
This past summer my wife suggested a family trip to somewhere tropical for Christmas. Being frugal. it sounded like it was out of my price range until I started to look at using Rick’s methods to parlay small amounts into large travel. This wouldn’t be too bad for most, but I was looking at booking a family of 8!
Using our rental home as a base for our trip, we were able to do the following:
- Fly Delta from near home for 320,000 miles
- Stay at the rental property for free for 5 days
- Stay at Marriott properties in Key West for 2 days, and Miami for 1 day using points
- Stay at Westin property in Tampa Bay for 1 day using SPG points
All I had to use money to pay for was the big juicy rental van, admission to tourist venues, and food.
AND it was a Christmas present that our family will never forget!
Thanks for providing information on your blog that we can all use to see the world at a price we can afford!
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