Buenos Aires is a beautiful town and a surprisingly easy trip. It requires only two cards, a credit score of 710, and the ability to spend a minimum of $1,500 per month on credit cards. Here’s how you can spend five nights in Argentina for nothin’.
ITINERARY OVERVIEW: Leave home from anywhere in the continental USA to Buenos Aires on American Airlines on May 20, 2013, arriving the next day. Stay for five nights at the Sheraton Libertador and return home on May 26.
TOTAL TRIP VALUE: $2,002
HERE’S HOW YOU DO IT:
May 20, 2013 – Round-Trip: USA to Buenos Aires
Method: American AAdvantage Miles
- Citi Platinum Select /AAdvantage Visa Signature Card– 43,000 miles
- You receive 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months, which you can accomplish in the first and second months of spend
- You receive 3,000 miles from your $3,000 spend at one AA mile per dollar spent
Explanation: The official offer, which is what we’re using this time, is 40,000 miles after a $3,000 spend and an additional 10,000 miles after an additional $7,000 spend within the first year. There are also unofficial offers for 50,000 miles after spending $2,500 within four months–this doesn’t have an offer page, but has proven successful.
An off-peak round-trip ticket from the continental US to Buenos Aires is 40,000 miles. (Off-peak goes from March 1 to May 31; and from August 16 to November 30.) Even with the official offer, you can still get your 40,000 miles.
Out of Pocket Cost: Taxes
May 21-26, 2013 – Sheraton Libertador Hotel
Cost: $650 ($130 per night)
- Starwood Preferred Guest– 30,000 Starpoints
- You receive 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase
- You received another 15,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 within six months, which you’ll accomplish in your third, fourth, fifth, and sixth months
- You receive 5,000 Starpoints from your $5,000 spend at one point per dollar spent
Explanation: The Sheraton Libertador is a great hotel in the heart of the Microcenter district. Plus it’s only a Category 3, meaning it only costs 7,000 points per night. With the 30,000 Starpoints you’ve got from you SPG card, you can get 4 night. Plus with Starwood’s Fifth Night Free deal, when you book 4 reward nights, you get a fifth for free. So you’ve got five nights in the center of Buenos Aires for only 28,000 Starpoints!
Out of Pocket Cost: $0
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases