Last week I told you about my five days in Scotland and challenged you to come up with a plan to get your own Scottish adventure. Here were the rules:
“You and a golfing buddy need to get five nights in Scotland – separate rooms if you’d like or together if you must. Coach travel from the 48 US. Plus you have to cover the cost of the three round package at Carnoustie (165 GBP each), a round at St Andrews Links, and a rental car for the five days. And pick up another round of golf somewhere as well. We’ll make this easy with a 750 credit score, you can have a business card if you need one or two. All in one shot.”
Thanks for the entries and congratulations to Jarred Lobo for coming up with a solution. Jarred figured it out using the Delta Gold 70k link that was floating around late last week and is now dead – which just goes to show that it pays to keep up with these tips and deals. Let’s see how Jarred got two golfing buddies to Carnoustie and St. Andrews for only $1121.80 including the golf package.
ITINERARY OVERVIEW: Fly from New York (other US cities available) on KLM to Amsterdam, and connect to Glasgow, Scotland. Stay five nights at the Hilton Dundee and visit two of the most famous golf courses in the area: Carnoustie and St. Andrew’s Links.
TOTAL TRIP VALUE: $4,980
HERE’S HOW YOU DO IT:
Round-Trip: New York – Glasgow
Cost: $2,500 ($1,250 per person)
Method: 120,000 Delta Sky miles
- Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express– 150,000 SkyMiles
- 25,000 points awarded after first purchase for Golfing Buddy #1
- 25,000 points awarded after first purchase for Golfing Buddy #2
- 45,000 points awarded after spending $5,000 within 6 months for Golfing Buddy #1
- 45,000 points awarded after spending $5,000 within 6 months for Golfing Buddy #2
- 5,000 points awarded after regular spending at one dollar per point for Golfing Buddy #1
- 5,000 points awarded after regular spending at one dollar per point for Golfing Buddy #2
Explanation: 60,000 Delta Sky miles are required for low redemptions to Europe. With last week’s Delta 70,000 point offer, both buddies can easily get there. Taxes and fees for flights to Europe are expensive, however Delta doesn’t charge fuel surcharges. And even after the trip to Scotland, there are still 30,000 Sky miles left over!
Out of Pocket Cost: $361.80 ($180.90 each)
Car Rental 5 Days
Method: 12,000 Capital One Venture Rewards points
- Capital One Venture Rewards – 12,000 Venture Rewards points
- 10,000 Venture Rewards awarded after $1,000 spending.
- 2,000 Venture Rewards points awarded after $1,000 spending at 2 points per dollar.
Explanation: Capital One Venture Rewards points are great for other travel expenses. 12,000 points will be earned for this sign-up bonus which will be just enough to cover a five day car rental from Glasgow.
Out of Pocket Cost: $0
Hilton Dundee/St Andrews Coast Hotel
Cost: $1,600 ($160 per night per room in a Deluxe Twin room including taxes)
Method: 120,000 Hilton HHonors points
- Hilton HHonors American Express – 122,500 HHonors points
- 50,000 points awarded after spending $750 in three months
- 4,500 points for the $750 spent on gas, groceries, drugstore, cable, internet, and phone at six points per dollar spent.
- Upgrade to the Hilton American Express Surpass, in my experience a couple months after obtaining the basic Hilton Card you should be targeted for this offer.
- 50,000 points awarded after spending $3,000 in three months
- 18,000 points awarded for the $3,000 spent on gas, groceries, drugstore, cable, internet, and phone at six points per dollar.
Explanation: A couple of notes: each golfing buddy needs to do the above and each received 122,500 HHonors points; the above link provides you with a 50,000 point award, whereas the typical one gives you only 40,000.
And this is where the travel challenge starts to get more creative. This method only uses a single credit card pull to obtain more than 120,000 HHonors points each. With your new Hilton AmEx Card you’ll receive HHonors Silver Status. This is extremely important because it gives you access to Hilton GLON Awards. A category 4 GLON award redemption for five nights entitles you to 20% off the regular award level. At the Hilton Dundee, a Category 4 hotel, a rewards night is now only 24,000 points, down from 30k. Therefore a five night stay comes to only 120,000 points. To sweeten the deal further, this property allows HHonors members to book directly into a Twin Deluxe Room for the regular amount of points! The Deluxe room has stunning views of the River Tay.
Out of Pocket Cost: $0 (all taxes and fees are included).
Carnoustie – 3 round pack
Cost: $260 + $260 = $520
Method: Out of pocket
Out of Pocket Cost: $520
St. Andrew’s Links – single round
Cost: $120 + $120 = $240
Method: Out of pocket
Out of Pocket Cost: $240
Next week we’ll take a spooky couple to Salem, Mass., for All Hallow’s Eve.