All of our Sunday Success Stories serve as a living example that all of us average Americans can, indeed, see the world at prices we all can afford. We can do this by working together and sharing our stories. Send your story to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your first name and last initial, along with your occupation and a photo, if you wish. - Rick
Just wanted to share with you my experience since starting this miles and points earning last July. Last year I read the story on Yahoo about the US mint and decided to get into the game. I picked up your book, started following your site as well as Daraius at MMS, and FlyerTalk. Unfortunately, 2 days after I applied for the cards the mint deal died!
Since July I have accumulated almost 2 million miles and points between my spouse and myself by applying for credit cards and meeting the minimum spend on them. We have always paid our balances monthly and had credit scores above 760. We did not change our spending habits in any way, we had always put all our spending that did not cost an extra fee on our CC’s because we had cash back cards — wish I had known about this ten years ago!!
Anyway, onto the trip we planned — in Sept my wife and I will be taking a 12 day cruise to Hawaii out of Vancouver. We will be flying into Seattle early to spend a day or two there and then a day or 2 in Vancouver before boarding the ship. We are going to use either Marriott or Hilton points for the hotel stay prior to the cruise so that won’t cost us anything.
We will be flying 1st class from JFK to SEA and 1st class back from HNL to LGA for a total of 125k points which will also give us lounge access and free baggage.
The total cost for the trip, cruise included will be $900– and that includes a limo to the airport and back for $300. (would have cost that much if not more to park at the airport for 16 days.)
After taking the usual hit to our credit scores following each batch of applications, our credit scores are now above 770. We are by no means rich, we both work, have 1 child in college and another going next year, and have tuition bills like everyone else. This will allow us to continue to take these type of vacations until the kids are done with school.
As long as you are willing to put some time and effort into this, the rewards can be outstanding, we are now working on our April application day and hope to continue to do this for a long time! Thanks again, Joe.
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