Francesca’s Reader Success Story to Maui


Francesca’s Reader Success story to Maui is our next success story. Have you noticed how Hawaii is, by far, the place that most of our readers travel hack to?

For my first big travel hacking trip, my husband and I went on a Valentine’s Day weekend trip and spent 4 days and 3 nights on the gorgeous island of Maui, Hawaii. Since we live in California, we have been fortunate enough to be able to score some awesome Hawaii flight deals over the past couple of years. On this trip, I opted to book using Marriott and Southwest points.

For airfare, my husband opened a Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card during the companion pass deal (your companion flies for free) with a 35,000 point sign-on bonus when you met the $5000 minimum spend in 3 months. (Southwest periodically has these easy companion pass deals that last for a short time but let you try them out).

For this Maui trip, my husband utilized the Southwest Companion Pass benefit. I redeemed about 16,000 Southwest points for one ticket and then paid the $11.20 round trip for taxes and fees. The second ticket cost $11.20 for taxes and fees. Had we bought the tickets using cash, it would have cost about $200/per person.

Hotel-wise, Maui hotels are super expensive. I had some Marriott points stashed from when I previously opened the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card ($95 annual fee). My sign-up bonus was 150,000 points after spending $3000 in 3 months. I also earned other points from various Marriott stays this past year. Thus, I had enough points to stay at the AC Hotel Wailea for 3 nights. It cost us 160,000 Marriott Points. It would have been over $2000 had we paid cash.

beach and blue waters

Lastly, we paid $155 ($39/day) for our rental car through Hertz, thanks to my husband’s corporate rate. We put this expense on his American Express Platinum Card to earn points for a future trip and have the rental car coverage insurance.

I have always grown up traveling, but in the past couple of years, I started focusing more on points for free travel. Being a teacher, I like to save every bit I can to travel on my breaks for as little as possible. I have taken an interest in travel hacking to try to get more out of what I already spend.

Currently, I am working on a trip to the Maldives using points for air and hotel.  I have a large stash of Hilton Points and Amex Points and just signed up for the Capital One Venture X card.

Thanks, Francesca, for sharing your reader success story to Maui with us! Our readers always enjoy learning how others are using their points and miles.

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