Author Topic: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?  (Read 2705 times)

TheAnonOne

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7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« on: April 04, 2015, 09:09:47 AM »
Hello everyone!

I am getting married in June and we are going to Maui in Sept. We already are going to be getting free flights due to the US AIRWAYS Card + AA-Card (100k pts each!!!)

Now I am starting to look into hotels, and they can range from 400 to 1k a night. This still makes for a very expensive get-away even with free flights!

So, here is my current plan:
I stumbled across this article http://www.richmondsavers.com/take-a-free-honeymoon-to-hawaii-step-by-step-instructions/

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So far the setup will be ....

ME: Hyatt Visa Signature credit (1k spend = 2 free nights)
ME: Chase Sapphire Preferred = 49k pts  (4k spend = 40k bonus + 5k bonus*with addition of SO on account* + 4kpts from spend)

SO: Hyatt Visa Signature credit (1k spend = 2 free nights)



This would allow us to stay at the "Andaz" for 4 free nights with the coupons and it is 25k pts per night after that. This gives us 2 nights assuming I simply spend 5k on the Chase card to make up the 1k shortfall.


That's 6 nights free, we will be staying 7-8 so we might have to pay for 1-2 nights. This will probably cost us around 1k dollars, which I don't find too shabby for something that could/would cost 4 to 5 thousand if you just paid cash!


Thoughts? Improvements? My only thought that I had was perhaps opening an additional card of some sort and nabbing a few more free rooms at a different hotel. This could save us that 1k and maybe add a day in paradise.

Note: I would rather not take any more time off of work than 1 full week. I do not get paid for time off unfortunately, so I get to eat that time. Luckily I will be working as much OT as I can get to make it up...




WhatIsFrugalAfterAll

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Re: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2015, 10:47:11 AM »
Can you rent or AirBNB instead of hotel?

I never really got the airline point think.. you spend say $20k on an airline credit cards to get enough points for a flight.. well I get 2% cashback on my credit card, so I could have gotten $400 from spending the same 20k.. and bought the same airline ticket.. without forcing myself to do the airline point thing.

I know sometimes you can game it with new signups and stuff.. but I would just rather have cash than spend my life messing with points...

ClaycordJCA

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Re: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2015, 11:02:00 AM »
In the long run, you may spend less money if you use a cash back card and rent a condo than stay in a resort hotel. Condo lets you eat in (our first stop every trip is Costco).  Resorts also tack on fees (parking, etc.) that may not be covered in your "free" night.  Dining out in Maui - particularly in the resorts - is quite expensive.  Explore Kihei instead of Kannapali for lower rates.  Kihei Surfside and Mana Kai are right on the ocean and will have much better views than the pool or garden view you will get with a reward night stay.

For a fabulous dinner (and very expensive) go to Mama's Fish House. You'll never forget it. And you can justify the cost - it's your honeymoon!!  Congratulations.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2015, 11:14:46 AM »
We rented from VRBO when we went to Maui.  We got a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo (We went with my MIL) for under $130US/night.
A small business-owning SWAMI working herself towards FI.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2015, 11:19:03 AM »
We also stayed in Kihei, and really enjoyed it.
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iamlindoro

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Re: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2015, 11:26:36 AM »
Can you rent or AirBNB instead of hotel?

I never really got the airline point think.. you spend say $20k on an airline credit cards to get enough points for a flight.. well I get 2% cashback on my credit card, so I could have gotten $400 from spending the same 20k.. and bought the same airline ticket.. without forcing myself to do the airline point thing.

I know sometimes you can game it with new signups and stuff.. but I would just rather have cash than spend my life messing with points...

As you mention, most points are earned with signup bonuses, and most people who do travel hacking are repeatedly getting signup bonuses, all year long.  We then close the cards before annual fees hit, or negotiate the waiver of the fees.  This has the added bonus of increasing most people's credit, since the high credit  available to low usage affects most people's credit as a net positive.  People can earn literally millions of points a year while not increasing their expenses at all by being clever and observant with signup bonuses.  This is virtually impossible with your 2% cash back card.

Many people also do what's called manufactured spending, which is essentially arbitrage where spending on the card is moved through cash equivalents, then to cash, and then pays the card off.  The net cost is 0 or close to 0, often earning up to 5-6 points per dollar moved through the process.

Finally, no matter what you do with your cash card, you'll only ever get 2 cents per dollar spent.  With points, you can redeem them at vastly higher values, often up to 6-8 cents of value per point spent.

In your example, you get $400 in value on $20K spent.  Spending $20K, I could easily get signup bonuses on 10-20 cards, and probably 400-600K points on various programs.  I could redeem those points for 15-20K in travel.  Starts to make more sense when you look at it that way. :)

To give an example, with very little work on my part, I earned 750K points across various programs last year.  I did practically no manufactured spend, just paying attention to using the right cards for the right expenses where bonuses were present.  I can basically take me and my SO anywhere in the world, several times over, first class.  I also earned the Southwest Companion Pass, which means my SO flies for free with me on Southwest until the end of 2016.  I fly free because of all the southwest points I accrued.  I spent about $38 on gift card load fees, etc. last year.  Pretty tough to manage that with 2% cash back.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 11:47:35 AM by iamlindoro »
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TheAnonOne

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Re: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2015, 03:51:53 PM »
Can you rent or AirBNB instead of hotel?

I never really got the airline point think.. you spend say $20k on an airline credit cards to get enough points for a flight.. well I get 2% cashback on my credit card, so I could have gotten $400 from spending the same 20k.. and bought the same airline ticket.. without forcing myself to do the airline point thing.

I know sometimes you can game it with new signups and stuff.. but I would just rather have cash than spend my life messing with points...

As you mention, most points are earned with signup bonuses, and most people who do travel hacking are repeatedly getting signup bonuses, all year long.  We then close the cards before annual fees hit, or negotiate the waiver of the fees.  This has the added bonus of increasing most people's credit, since the high credit  available to low usage affects most people's credit as a net positive.  People can earn literally millions of points a year while not increasing their expenses at all by being clever and observant with signup bonuses.  This is virtually impossible with your 2% cash back card.

Many people also do what's called manufactured spending, which is essentially arbitrage where spending on the card is moved through cash equivalents, then to cash, and then pays the card off.  The net cost is 0 or close to 0, often earning up to 5-6 points per dollar moved through the process.

Finally, no matter what you do with your cash card, you'll only ever get 2 cents per dollar spent.  With points, you can redeem them at vastly higher values, often up to 6-8 cents of value per point spent.

In your example, you get $400 in value on $20K spent.  Spending $20K, I could easily get signup bonuses on 10-20 cards, and probably 400-600K points on various programs.  I could redeem those points for 15-20K in travel.  Starts to make more sense when you look at it that way. :)

To give an example, with very little work on my part, I earned 750K points across various programs last year.  I did practically no manufactured spend, just paying attention to using the right cards for the right expenses where bonuses were present.  I can basically take me and my SO anywhere in the world, several times over, first class.  I also earned the Southwest Companion Pass, which means my SO flies for free with me on Southwest until the end of 2016.  I fly free because of all the southwest points I accrued.  I spent about $38 on gift card load fees, etc. last year.  Pretty tough to manage that with 2% cash back.

Indeed, for the flights, it is 17,500 points one way, or 45,000 points one way for first class.

To get this, I opened the US Airway card, and made 1 purchase. I then opened the AAdvantage card and spent 3k on the card.

So in total, we as a couple spent 6k on the cards + two purchases for a total of 200k points, or 5.5 round trip tickets......


In your example, we would have netted a grand total of $120 in cash back. Good luck buying 5-6 round trip tickets to Maui for that...

That being said, we have a 2% cash back card already for times when we don't do this.

TheAnonOne

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Re: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2015, 03:55:37 PM »
In the long run, you may spend less money if you use a cash back card and rent a condo than stay in a resort hotel. Condo lets you eat in (our first stop every trip is Costco).  Resorts also tack on fees (parking, etc.) that may not be covered in your "free" night.  Dining out in Maui - particularly in the resorts - is quite expensive.  Explore Kihei instead of Kannapali for lower rates.  Kihei Surfside and Mana Kai are right on the ocean and will have much better views than the pool or garden view you will get with a reward night stay.

For a fabulous dinner (and very expensive) go to Mama's Fish House. You'll never forget it. And you can justify the cost - it's your honeymoon!!  Congratulations.

Thanks for the dinner tip! We will have to check it out!

I don't think we will be eating in very often. The cost for us is already going to be pretty negligible for a week in Maui considering the free flights and 6/7 free nights! We want to indulge quite a bit! We live pretty low key during the rest of our lives.

kpd905

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Re: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2015, 05:41:46 PM »

I never really got the airline point think.. you spend say $20k on an airline credit cards to get enough points for a flight.. well I get 2% cashback on my credit card, so I could have gotten $400 from spending the same 20k.. and bought the same airline ticket.. without forcing myself to do the airline point thing.


No.  You spend $1000-2000, get the sign up bonus, and get one or two free roundtrip flights.  So you would have gotten $20-40 on your cashback card.
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2Saving4Life

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Re: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2015, 10:15:11 PM »
Add in the Chase Ink card (50k bonus)and you won't pay for any hotel nights.  Maybe add Capital One Venture and/or Barclays Arrival Plus for an additional $460-$500(each card) to pay for anything coded as travel. You have lots of options. Or contact Brad at richmondsavers, Brad and Alexi have a course you can take to learn all about travel hacking.

Richmond Savers

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Re: 7 Nights Free in Maui??? Thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2015, 08:58:18 AM »
Add in the Chase Ink card (50k bonus)and you won't pay for any hotel nights.  Maybe add Capital One Venture and/or Barclays Arrival Plus for an additional $460-$500(each card) to pay for anything coded as travel. You have lots of options. Or contact Brad at richmondsavers, Brad and Alexi have a course you can take to learn all about travel hacking.

I'd love to help -- thanks for mentioning me and the course Alexi and I are running.  My wife and I honeymooned in Maui and Kauai so this is near and dear to my heart.  The Hawaii article linked to in the OP is a bit outdated, so I need to update that as well :)

You can reach out to me via my site or better yet is to sign up for the course we're running and reach out to me that way:

http://www.travelmiles101.com/miles-for-mustachians-registration
Free Travel Hacking Course (by Mustachians for Mustachians): http://www.travelmiles101.com/register