Recently, my spouse and I could use credit score card rewards to take a week-long excursion to Texas and back (from Florida) for much less than $500 out of pocket. We did this by making plans ahead and commencing three rewards credit cards. Here’s how their signal-up bonuses enabled us to cowl most of our expenses with factors.
We flew at no cost the usage of Southwest Rapid Rewards factors.
We started our credit score playing cards rewards planning for our ride about nine months before we planned to travel. The first card that we signed up for turned into the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card.
At the time, we had been able to land a 50,000-point signal-up bonus (the signal-up bonus has seen that decreased to 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months). We booked round-ride tickets from Orlando to Austin for 28,000 points. Thankfully, our son became nevertheless beneath two years of age on time, so he became able to fly free.
We scored seven free lodge nights the use of credit card signal-up bonuses
After incomes the Southwest sign-up bonus, we moved directly to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Again, we were able to earn a 50,000-factor sign up bonus on that card. Now, the cardboard is imparting a higher signal-up bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points once you spend $four 000 within the first three months so that you should earn 10,000 more points than we did.
Finally, we grabbed the World of Hyatt Credit card. At the time, it became presenting 2 unfastened nights at any class stage as a signal-up bonus (the cutting-edge sign-up bonus is 50,000 points when you spend $6,000 overall in the first six months, which remains a super deal). We have been able to use those two free nights at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas.
But about what the alternative five nights? Well, that’s in which the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes into play. Hyatt occurs to be a Chase Ultimate Rewards travel companion. And one of the tremendous matters approximately the Hyatt loyalty software is that the most effective rate 5,000 points for its lowest-level (Category 1) hotel redemptions. For 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards factors, we have been able to rate 5 loose nights at the Hyatt Place San Antonio Airport/Quarry Market.
We booked our condo car using Southwest Rapid Rewards points.
After booking our flights, we had approximately 22,000 points leftover in our Southwest Rapid Rewards account, and we did not want to permit the ones to go to waste.
After performing some research, we can use Rapid Rewards points to e-book a condominium car. Southwest nearly appears to cover this feature on its website – if you click at the “Car” link at the pinnacle of the Southwest web site, it will simplest permit you to e-book with bucks.
If you want to book a condominium vehicle with factors, you will need to navigate to the Rapid Rewards homepage, click on “More Rewards,” and then at the yellow “Explore Rewards” button. When you click on on that link, you’ll be transferred to a separate companion internet site in which you can redeem your factors in the direction of journey, present playing cards, or products.
At the time, we had been able to discover a killer deal on an economic system automobile for 18,000 factors. But it all relies upon on while you search. If Rapid Rewards is soliciting for way too many points to e-book a car, you may be higher off the usage of a unique journey portal, like Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi ThankYou Rewards.
We transformed Chase Ultimate Rewards points into restaurant gift playing cards.
After transferring 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt, we nevertheless had over 25,000 leftovers. We transformed the one’s points into present playing cards to our favorite eating places.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed toward third-birthday celebration gift cards at a rate of 1 cent in keeping with the factor. So, for 25,000 points, we could get $250 worth of present playing cards to restaurants like Olive Garden, Chili’s, Outback, Carrabba’s, Chipotle, and extra. You can technically get a greater cost for your Chase points (probable more than five cents in step with factor while you ebook a best award flight thru a switch partner). However, this turned into some other manner for us to reduce down out-of-pocket prices.
How we spent our “amusing” cash
By using credit score card rewards, we had been capable of getting all the fundamentals (travel, lodging, meals) included without cost. That allowed us to spend about $450 closer to fun points of interest and some thrilling, local restaurants.
We were able to consume at a cool, proper Mexican eating place proper at the San Antonio Riverwalk in addition to the Hard Rock Cafe. We took the Riverwalk boat tour too.
We love nature, so we loved traveling to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens and had been blown away with the aid of the Japanese Tea Garden (which was loose to go to).
We brought our son to the San Antonio Zoo, and, of the path, we needed to see the Alamo (which also become loose).
All in all, it became an exceptional ride … And it felt even more notable because we knew that it failed to break the bank.