When you have minor children who can’t get their own credit cards, planning a family trip on points can be challenging. Thankfully, there are some great credit card bonuses that can make it possible for two people to earn enough points for a family trip, with minimal hassle.
This week we’re showing you how a family of 4 can get 5 nights in Maui for just $381.12.
A couple will need four credit cards and spend $12,000 within 3 months to accomplish this feat. Both individuals should have a credit score above 700, and keep in mind that each hard inquiry will be about a 5 point hit.
Note: The American Express Business Gold links above are for the 50,000 point offer that requires $5,000 spent within 3 months. While there is currently a higher 75,000 point offer available, it requires $10,000 spent within 4 months. To keep the spending requirements manageable, we recommend the lower offer for this challenge.
ITINERARY OVERVIEW: Fly out of Los Angeles on American Airlines (we chose an outbound flight sample date of August 18, 2013). Stay for five nights at the Hyatt Regency Maui. Return on August 23.
TOTAL TRIP VALUE: $4,388.96
(Note: The airline value is based on the cheapest available seats found using ITA Matrix for sample dates in February. Hotel pricing s also from sample dates in February.)
HERE’S HOW THEY DO IT:
Round Trip From Los Angeles to Maui
Cost: $2,483.36 ($620.84 per person)
Method: Membership Rewards
1. American Express Business Gold (x2) – 110,000 Membership Rewards
- He receives 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months of account opening, which he’ll accomplish in the third month of spend.
- He gets another 5,000 Membership Rewards points from his spend at a minimum of one point per dollar spent.
- She receives 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months of account opening, which she’ll accomplish in the third month of spend.
- She gets another 5,000 Membership Rewards points from her spend at a minimum of one point per dollar spent.
Explanation: Since there are minor children traveling who can’t get their own credit cards, we need to focus on high sign-up bonuses and low redemption rates. The 50,000 point American Express Business Gold card solves this problem.
Membership Rewards points can be transferred to British Airways Avios, which in turn can be used to redeem flights on American Airlines. It definitely helps that Avios have such low redemption rates for Hawaii – RT tickets from LAX-OGG are just 25,000 points per person.
Out of Pocket Cost: $20 in taxes for 4 people.
Hyatt Regency Maui
Cost: $1905.60 ($381.12 per night)
Method: 2-night certificates from the Chase Hyatt Visa
1. Chase Hyatt Visa (x2) – 4 Free nights
- He receives 2 free nights after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening, which he’ll accomplish in the first month of spend.
- He gets another 1,000 GoldPassport points from his spend at a minimum of one point per dollar spent
- She receives 2 free nights after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening, which she’ll accomplish in the first month of spend.
- She gets another 1,000 GoldPassport points from her spend at a minimum of one point per dollar spent
Explanation: The Hyatt Regency Maui is a Category 6 property requiring 22,000 points per night for a standard room. 5 nights would require 110,000 points.
A prudent way of accomplishing this is with the Chase Hyatt Visa, which offers 2 free nights after just $1,000 in spending. The two Chase Hyatt Visa cards take care of 4 nights, and the couple can book a 5th night in a Partial Ocean View room for $381.13, including taxes and fees.
With just 4 credit cards, it is entirely possible for a family of 4 to travel to Maui with minimal out-of-pocket cost.
Out of Pocket Cost: $381.12 for 1 night in a Partial Ocean View room. Taxes and fees included.
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