Tammy wrote in this week and told us how she and her family have only been playing the game since August of 2011. But so far she’s accumulated 1,655,000 in bonus points! Here’s her story, plus we’ve got some tips on how you can be on your way to a million points.
Just wanted to thank you for all your tips and links. In April of 2011 I started planning a trip for myself, husband and two adult children. We have always used our American Express Gold and thought we were really racking up the points, but after two years barely had enough to cover airfare and hotel for the four of us.
Then in an effort to find more points for the trip I came across your blog.
Since then (August 2011) we have accumulated:
- 140,000 Marriott points plus two free-night certificates (Tip: Marriott Rewards Premier Visa gives you 50,000 points and a free night after spending $1,000 within three months.)
- 60,000 SPG points (Tip: Starwood Preferred Guest American Express gives you 10,000 points after first spend and another 15,000 after spending $5,000 with six months.)
- 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (Tip: Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 40,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months.)
- 100,000 Continental One Pass points
- 75,000 American Express rewards points (Tip: American Express Premier Rewards Gold gives you 25,000 points after spending $2,000 within three months.)
- 50,000 Delta Sky Mile points (Tip: Gold Delta SkyMiles gives you 30,000 miles after spending $500 within three months.)
- 500,000 Hilton points (Tip: Citi Hilton HHonors Visa gives you 40,000 points after spending $1,000 within four months.)
- 50,000 Southwest (Tip: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards gives you 25,000 miles after spending $1,000 within three months.)
- 80,000 US Air (Tip: US Airways Dividend Miles Premier MasterCardgives you 40,000 miles after first use.)
- 100,000 British Airways Avios
These points are just the sign on bonuses don’t include the spend.
So far in 2012 we have taken two vacations. In February we went on a four day cruise out of Long Beach. I used 50,000 Delta points for two round trip tickets ($1,074.40 value) and 54,000 Ultimate Rewards points for the cruise ($700 value). The cruise was $872 and we could have paid for the whole thing with Ultimate Rewards points but decided just to use the points out of one account. The day before and after the cruise we used our two free night certificates from Marriott ($506 value) so the total spend for this trip is $172.00 plus fees.
In September we went to Maui for six days. I used 150,000 AA points for two first class tickets ($6,500 value) and 120,000 Marriott points to stay at the Wailea Beach Marriott resort ($1,795.06 value). So besides a rental car (which I could probably have used points to pay for) and fees our only out of pocket was food and entertainment.
I’m also planning a trip to Europe in 2013 (nothing booked yet) but would like to go to Paris, stay four nights at the Hyatt Vendome, we plan on getting the Hyatt card for the four free nights, then to Venice and stay at the Westin with SPG points or a Hilton with Hilton points.
Thanks again Rick!
All of our Success Stories serve as a living example that all of us average Americans can indeed see the world at prices we all can afford. 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