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
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees, making this the go-to card for travelers.
This card accumulates Ultimate Rewards points, which are very valuable for transfer to United and Hyatt. Overall, this card is a great choice for maximizing earnings on dining, travel, and every day spend.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95