I’d like to continue with the idea of getting us “Average Joes” to exotic destinations on a budget using a combination of techniques.
You may remember that Joe always wanted to play golf in Ireland and/or Scotland, but just could not swing it. Using a few card signups (three) and moving a few points around, we made that dream happen for $575 out of pocket including four rounds of golf total in both countries.
My next task is getting Joe’s wife Claire to Italy on the cheap. My restrictions are credit card sign-ups that don’t require big minimum spends. We now know Joe and Claire’s credit scores will support making Claire’s dream come true.
Joe and Claire live in Albany and could easily drive to New York / JFK to take a flight to Europe, but for reasons you’ll soon see, I want them to depart from Boston and fly on their new British Airways miles to Dublin at 50,000 miles round trip each. From New York a coach ticket is 80K round trip. We only get 50K per sign up with first purchase. Let’s have them leave from Boston (driving time is about the same) so they don’t need to generate more BA miles. Cost and spend is our main issue here.
The flight from Boston arrives early so they have the whole day to explore the city or countryside. The buses run readily into Dublin. For hotel I chose the Hilton Airport hotel at 55 euro or about $70. The next morning they can catch an early flight to Rome Ciampino for $67 each way if they don’t check bags. The hotel I chose in Rome is the Holiday Inn Express Rome San Giovanni which is easily accessible by bus or subway. Located halfway between the airport and downtown Rome it offers complimentary breakfast and has a rate of 25K priority club points per night or 20K and $40 US per night. With each Joe and Claire applying for the 60K no annual fee first year and no minimum spend required card they can pick up four nights in Rome for free or six nights for $240. I think four nights is plenty, but that is up to them.
The flight back to Dublin is the same $67 and hotel (if needed) is the same $70 with shuttle service to the airport included.
Here is our cost breakdown:
$95 each annual fee for the British Airways Visa Signature Card® card + $160 in taxes per ticket (thanks Lucky for the breakdown).
$135 round trip on Ryanair from Dublin to Rome each.
Four nights in Rome for Free at the Holiday Inn Express San Giovanni (breakfast included) (thanks to the Priority Club Visa)
One or two nights at the Hilton Dublin Airport $140 for two.
Total cost for for a week in Dublin and Rome for two is about $920 plus taxis, trains, buses, food, and entertainment.
Some of you may want to chip in and revise or improve this opportunity for other readers. Please feel free to do so. I just want Joe and Claire to see that dreams can come true and we can see the world at prices we can afford.
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