Mark wrote to me and shared all of the amazing travel he’s done this past year. He’s only been doing this since May of 2011 and he’s already reaping the rewards including, by my count, 11 round-trip flights, two first class round-trip tickets, two one-way tickets, and 18 nights in a hotel. He used his miles and points to bring his family together – travel isn’t always about getting you somewhere, but rather about getting people to you – while doing it at prices we can all afford!
Check out what Mark did and we’ll tell you how you can do it too!
My traveling for this year has completed and I wanted to write in and tell you how much your information has helped me and what I was able to do with it all. My wife and I have always wanted to take ourselves and our family away to see new places and do fun things. A couple of times we have been able to get on a cheap cruise for an anniversary or take the kids to Disney World. But we normally can find only enough money for Air, Hotel, and Transportation, and don’t have enough left for activities. We always knew that if one of these costs was defrayed then we could do it all.
… And then I learned about Miles, Points, and Credit Cards.
I applied for my first card in May of 2011. That expanded to several cards over the next few months and the cycle continues!
Thanks to the offers we’ve taken advantage of, we’ve been able to do the following this year:
1. Stay in an Extended Stay Hilton in Kansas City for Easter Weekend. We had a two-bedroom suite that had more than enough room for the six of us. (Tip: You can get a free night at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, a Category 3 hotel, for 25,000 points. The AmEx Hilton HHonors card has a 40,000 point sign-up bonus, as does the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa. The Citi Hilton Reserve card offers two free weekend nights.)
2. Fly my family of six to Clearwater, Fla., for five days of Gulf Coast sun and sand. We had two rooms at a mid-level Marriott (we only slept there). And a Caravan for five days. (Tip: You can stay at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Clearwater, a Category 2 hotel, for 10,000 points per night. With the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa, you get a 50,000 point bonus after spending $1,000 – enough to cover five nights. Plus you receive one free night upon approval!)
3. Fly three Grandparents into town for the Baptism of my youngest. (Tip: If two people sign up for the US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard, you can redeem it for four round-trip tickets within the continental U.S.)
4. Fly me and a friend out to his parents’ place so we could drive their motor-home back home with us.
5. Fly one of my wife’s siblings into town to spend some time with us.
6. Fly another of my wife’s siblings into town to visit us and help watch the kids while we went to Hawaii.
And as I just mentioned, my wife and I just returned from a trip we had booked 11 months ago to Hawaii. Two first class tickets to and from Hawaii, three nights at the Hilton Village Waikiki and seven days at the Waiohai Marriott resort on Kauai. Plus rental cars paid for and the first $1,150 of trip expenses paid for with points. Ten days in Hawaii is going to cost us about $800 out of pocket!
I have nearly 400,000 points remaining and adding to that total all the time.
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