I’ve been on a booking frenzy and hit upon a nice 5 day summer trip for Katy and I using miles and points. We are flying SAV to DFW to Calgary, Canada and ultimately Banff National Park and Lake Louise.
We again used American Airlines miles at 25K round-trip each and a total of $128 taxes and fees. The hotel stays are at the Fairmont properties we got with our Fairmont credit card approvals. We are using Katy’s two free nights at the Banff Springs property and my two nights at the Lake Louise property. We have been upgraded at both properties based on the upgrades we were given with the card approvals. We also each got credits for meals and free internet. Some of the documents say the upgrades expire after one year but others have no expiration date. The rooms were upgraded at time of reservation and as we are going prior to peak season, I think we will keep the upgrades. Our last night will be spent in Calgary as we have a 7 AM flight back to Dallas then on to Savannah. We’ll need to pick up a rental car as well but the costs versus the scenery seems like a great trade off and a chance to see another new spot at prices we can afford. IIRC the Fairmont card had a $75 application fee.
We considered Maui for the Fairmont stays, but I’m so fond of Kauai it is hard for me to switch islands and try a new property in Hawaii. Koloa and the Hyatt are becoming kind of a second home. We enjoyed the Southampton Fairmont on Bermuda, but not enough to pass up the chance to see Banff and Lake Louise.
Our vacations are becoming shorter in duration and Katy is on this kick to see stuff close to home so we’ll be exploring more of the Northern Hemisphere. We still have plenty to see and the wanderlust is not going away with age. As long as we can spend our retirement seeing the world and the prices stay so reasonable with all the tricks we have learned, why not.
I can’t wait to see what Katybug comes up with next.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49