Travel for Free?
I think everyone wants to take a vacation once or twice a year but sometimes the cost might be prohibitive, so in this post, I am going to show how you can do for free if you have good to excellent credit. A good to excellent credit score for the purpose of this blog is in the range 710 – 850. This will demonstrate that it pays to have good credit because it comes with perks if you know what to do. I will have a series of these post for different places around the US initially and then perhaps some for more international travel. One thing in common you will see on a lot of the domestic travel is me suggesting you use the Chase Sapphire credit card. I mentioned in my blog, How To Improve My Credit Score, if you have good credit and you are not using award travel, you are leaving money on the table. Below will demonstrate that fact. I also want to dispel any myth you have about the strategy I am going to tell you ruining your credit score, because last year I signed up for 18 credit cards, both business and personal, and my credit score is still 800+ as of January 29th. So, just do it, no more excuses!
|My Credit Score
DC Here We Come
I chose DC to start with because my wife and I had great time all the times we went to DC and there are a lot of attractions, nightlife, and some pretty nice places to eat. There will be more for cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, etc. that I will show how to achieve for free in later post. The timeframe I used for this example is July 21st – 25th, for 4 nights.
So, I am looking from Houston for this example to DCA and this can vary for you, but this just gives you a rough idea of the cost. This is also flight wise geared for one person (if a couple both apply for the Chase Sapphire, but get points on one before doing for other). If you get started right away, then this should give ample time for you the accumulate the points needed. I will show you the retail cost of the trip as well, if you hadn’t used award travel points/miles, and this will be your savings by leveraging that good credit. The trip is leaving out on Southwest and for accommodations rooms at the Hyatt for 4 nights.
Retail cost for the flight and hotel for this trip is below:
6:00am – 11:25 am – $214
1:35 pm – 3:45 pm – $200
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
July 21st – 25th – $256 per night
Total retail cost – $1438
You see that price and probably be like yeah it would be nice but I might not be able to do that there! Nope, let me show you.
I am not going to re-write here the steps on how to meet minimum spend so see this article below and follow instructions:
We are going to apply for 2 credit cards at the same time preferably but not entirely necessary. They are:
- Chase Sapphire – 50,000 Ultimate Rewards after $4,000 spent in 3 months $95 annual fee waived the first year
- Chase Hyatt Visa Signature – 2 free nights + 5,000 points for adding authorized user after $2,000 spend in 3 months $75 annual fee not waived the first year
These are the two cards that are going to pay for the entire cost of the trip and you can apply using links on the card name above.
If you get started before the end of this month you can have the points by April and be setup for fabulous trip to DC. You can follow the same system for meeting the minimum spend on Chase Sapphire Preferred for the Chase Hyatt card.
Below I show the cost in points/miles for the same itinerary:
Southwest – 25,857 Rapid Rewards
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
July 21st – 25th – 12,000 points per night
We have followed the instructions in How to Meet Credit Card Minimum Spend on Chase Sapphire Preferred and actually applied the same principal for the Chase Hyatt Visa Signature as well. Once we have achieved the points/miles from both signup bonus, we are going to transfer 26,000 points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to our Southwest Rapid Rewards account(open an account if you don’t have one) to pay for the flight. We are also going to transfer 24,000 points from Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt(open an account if you don’t have one) to pay for 2 of the nights. That is the 50,000 bonus from Chase Sapphire Preferred, but what about the other 2 nights? That is where the Hyatt 2 night reward kicks in to cover the other two nights. So, there you have it, $1400 saved, 4 nights in DC.
What are you waiting for?
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