Reader Success Story: Maui and Kona

Pam

Our latest reader success story comes from Laura about a trip to Maui and Kona. Here it is in her words:

 

Getting Hooked on Travel Hacking

A few years ago, my husband read a blog about a way to travel for free that didn’t involve being tied to a contract or multi-level marketing program. He signed up for the Chase Sapphire card and met the minimum spend bonus. Then, we used his referral link to sign me up for the same card. Once I met the minimum spend bonus on the card, we booked flights via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Thereafter, we continued accruing points in our Chase Sapphire cards by putting all of our budgeted expenses on the card and paying them off the same month.

Although we were reaping many advantages from travel hacking with one amazing travel rewards credit card, we didn’t realize that we were missing out on so many more opportunities.

One day, a reel from “Travel Hacking Mom” (THM) popped up on my husband’s Instagram feed. He eagerly showed me some of THM’s content and I instantly got hooked. I remember reading through tons of their blogs to learn as much as I could about the hobby. Their resources are full of tips and tools to make this hobby organized and sustainable. I also direct messaged them with the hope they’d see my message. To my surprise, they replied within hours. With the free resources that THM provided, we began our journey to applying for more credit cards with high bonus offers.

We used their referral links to apply for the Chase Bonvoy Boundless, the Chase Southwest Plus Card, the Chase United Quest, and the Barclays Aviator Red Elite credit card. In a matter of 5 months, my husband and I collected enough points to book multiple trips and stays. We still haven’t utilized all of our points. But we were able to take a trip to Hawaii for our baby moon, by using mostly points.

Laura and her husband on their Hawaiian babymoon!

 

Trip to Maui and Kona

Here’s the breakdown of our point usage:

  • Flights from Miami to Maui, Maui to Kona, and Kona to Miami for each of us.
    • Cost: 60,000 AAdvantage miles per person paid with each of our Barclays Aviator Red Elite cards + $15 in taxes and fees + the $95 annual fee for each credit card. (We plan to downgrade to the free version of this card after 12 months)
    • Cost: 180,000 points paid with my husband’s Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card + $200 in taxes and fees + the $95 annual fee from the card. (Note: One night at this hotel runs around $800-$900. So we were more than okay with paying for the resort fee out of pocket)
  • Our stay in Maui had been paid for prior to us discovering the deeper benefits of this incredible hobby, but we had enough points with my sign-up bonus points to book a few nights at a resort in Maui.

In summary, thanks to THM, my husband and I have found a hobby that is allowing us to turn our bucket list travel dreams into a reality.

 

Takeaway Lessons Learned

As the Travel Hacking Moms teach, the process is simple:

1. Decide on a dream destination

2. Look for credit card bonus offers (flight & hotel) that you can use to get to your dream destination

3. Sign up for one card at a time

4. Pay only for budgeted expenses to meet the minimum spend needed to receive the sign-up bonus

5. Pay off the entire card balance before the end of the statement cycle

6. Wait a few weeks after meeting the minimum spend for the bonus points to kick in

7. Repeat steps 2 to 6 until you have enough points to book your flight & stay for free OR at a significantly discounted rate

Thanks, Travel Hacking Mom for your helpful resources, willingness to answer questions, and help in making our travel dreams come true. Follow them to learn how to get started!

 

Bottom Line

Great job Laura! We love hearing readers’ success stories and how you are able to take what we teach and turn it into memory-making trips. Congratulations on that baby-to-come! What a great baby moon! Thanks for sharing your reader’s success story about Maui and Kona.

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