For as long as I can remember, I have always saved my Chase Preferred Sapphire credit card points from the one and only credit card I had. I thought I was so savvy because about every two years I would have enough of these precious hard-earned points to book through Chase’s portal for “free” airline tickets for my family to go on a vacation. Since I had more time on my hands during the beginning of the pandemic, I started a random deep dive into how to earn and redeem points more effectively since I was dreaming of traveling constantly. Boy, do I wish I had learned about this a long time ago!
Last summer I was able to go on vacation with my husband and daughter and stay 7 nights at the Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort for a total of $210 for flight, hotel, and free breakfast every day with my Gold Hilton Credit Card Status! I had opened the Hilton Surpass Card from American Express for both my husband and me. At the time, this card had a 150,000-point sign-up bonus that we both earned. We also each earned one free night certificate from spending $15,000 on each of our cards. I booked 4 nights at 60,000 points each night for a total of 240,000 points. Hilton gives you an additional free night when you book 4 nights with points and we redeemed our 2 free night certificates. This totaled 7 free nights (at normally $450 a night).
The resort was beautiful and has the only swimmable beach resort in Cabo plus multiple infinity pools and hot tubs that we fell in love with! When I got a notification from Scott’s Cheap Flights for a roundtrip deal to Cabo from JFK for $210 from JetBlue, I booked one paid ticket and redeemed my 2 free Healthcare Heroes flight vouchers from JetBlue for being a Healthcare worker during the pandemic. (Thank you JetBlue!) This is a great easy example for a beginner way to redeem points without complicated steps, point transfers, and award flight hunting. (It also works great when you don’t have points at the beginning of your travel hacking journey).
I have not figured out why, but after this vacation, Hilton upgraded us to Diamond status. Our future travel plans for this year include New Orleans and California, where we will be taking advantage of this new upgraded status.
One of the best ways to do a family trip with points/miles is to just concentrate on using them for either your stay or your flights. When you first start out travel hacking, it takes some time to build up points, and using them for part of your travel is a great option. Thanks for sharing your reader success story to Cabo, Kim!
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