This is the most exciting part of this hobby for me. I met Joe and Claire here in South Carolina. We’ve got common interests. Joe is a golfer and his “dream come true” is a trip to Ireland and Scotland for golf.
Now Joe is an average guy, almost 70 and retired, and on a fixed income. A trip to play golf in the homeland of the game seemed out of his budget until we had some time to think about it and talk it through.
Both Joe and Claire have good credit. Like most people, they pay their bills on time, don’t owe alot and never really considered their credit rating or credit scores. I had them get free trials and they are both mid 700′s.
Here is what we have worked out to make that dream happen. I used 80,000 United Airlines miles for two sets of one way tickets to Dublin and return from Edinburgh. We are flying over in Business Class on US Airways: Joe from Albany to Philly then on their 9PM flight non-stop to Dublin. My flight is SAV to Philly to meet up with Joe. After the overnight flight we will tour Dublin the next day seeing the sights and play the following morning at St. Anne’s Golf Club which is close by town and only a taxi ride away. After golf we fly to Edinburgh on Aer Lingus and spend the night by the airport. The next day we’ll rent a car and drive up to St Andrews to show Joe the home of golf, stand on the Swilcan Bridge for a photo and head to Dundee for our 4-night stay at the Hilton on points.
We follow that with three rounds at the three courses at Carnoustie which is only 12 miles away from the Hilton. One of those courses is the British Open course that I had the pleasure of playing several years ago. Our last morning we drive back to Edinburgh to return the car and fly back to Newark where we head our separate ways after making a dream come true.
And now the math …
Joe’s ticket was 80,000 miles as part was in business class. He and Claire will each get a US Airways card and have a total of 80k miles for future redemptions should I need them for domestic itineraries.
The Hilton stay was supposed to be 35K per night but their was a special on for premium rooms for 20,981 points per night (round off to 80K) I think a Marriott card for each of them will help me in the future if I should need rooms. Or maybe a Priority Club card. They don’t want annual fees and those two cards will work when needed
The ticket Dublin to Edinburgh was $105 including the golf clubs.
The taxes on the Transatlantic award tickets were $145
Golf was $55 in Ireland and $265 for three rounds in Scotland.
I’ll scratch together an award stay for the night in Dublin and Edinburgh from some account I have somewhere and all we’ll have left is rental car and food. Joe’s out of pocket will be about $600 and each of them will be applying for two credit cards with no first year fee.
Joe’s dream comes true. I get to go back to Carnoustie, and nobody is out of pocket too badly. It is a win-win for us, and for me, a chance to share what I’ve learned and make a dream come true.
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