Rylie, one of our THM Super Stars, recently returned from the Big Island with points and miles. Here is her reader success story to the Big Island:
This summer, I flew with my husband and two daughters to the Big Island of Hawaii. We stayed 7 days and 6 nights at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. The trip was 350,000 points for 6 nights. With Hilton, the 5th night you stay is free on award stays. I acquired these points by signing up for the Hilton Surpass and the Hilton Honors and then followed it up with the Hilton Business in order to save a 5/24 spot. I then referred my husband to each of the same cards. We combined the points to book our 6 nights. Booking an award stay also waives the resort fees!
These cards were beneficial for our stay, as we were able to receive a room upgrade if available and we also received an $18.00 per day food/beverage credit. This was nice for covering drinks for the kids by the pool.
I signed up for these before I took into consideration my 5/24. Had I been more aware I would have probably steered clear of the Hilton Honors with the $0 annual fee as the benefits weren’t worth a spot of my 5/24.
Between these applications, I began to work on my Southwest Companion Pass. This would take care of our flight! The points for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card and the Southwest Business Performance card gave me enough to fly 3 people plus I was able to earn the Companion pass which allowed me to fly someone for taxes only for almost two years (depending on the time you earn it) I started working to earn mine in December and finished the spend in January so that I would qualify for the almost 2-year usage of it!
We took advantage of the benefit of 4 upgraded boardings on the way home which was a total of $200.00 charged onto my card. It was erased within a couple of days. We also each were able to use the $8.00 internet as the Southwest Business Performance card allows for 365 charges a year to be refunded. This completely took care of the $199.00 annual fee. This may be a card I hold onto for a bit as it does pay for itself.
Something that I did not plan to do but ended up doing due to an unexpected expense while on vacation, was a travel purchase erase. I used my Capital One Venture X card (which also gives us TSA pre-check access) to erase around 1,000 worth of room charges at our resort. This made me feel better about the unexpected expense although I was sad it wasn’t the BEST redemption.
The cash value for our hotel plus airfare would have been $12,085.30. If you add up the annual fees that we paid we would have been out $553.00 BUT the benefits of these cards outweighed the annual fees, so I feel we paid less out of pocket!
A huge shoutout to Pam and Alex with Travel Hacking Mom for the consultation! One 45-minute conversation with them helped me get a solid plan! Hawaii has been nothing short of amazing and staying for free made it EVEN better – thank you ladies for always being available to help answer my questions!
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