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.