“My spouse and I are presently sitting on 11 million bank card factors.”
It isn’t daily you see that message in your e-mail inbox.
A household from Utah with 4 younger kids just lately contacted TPG, saying they have been unable to journey whereas elevating children after which due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now they’re seeking to get again out into the world.
Due to the enterprise they personal — and utilizing bank cards to maximise each their private and enterprise bills — they’re sitting on a formidable 11 million factors between Chase Final Rewards factors and American Categorical Membership Rewards factors.
What can a household with 4 children do with all these factors? It positively piqued our curiosity. And after receiving extra particulars from the household, we laid out a plan to assist them redeem this haul of factors.
Background and journey plans
This household contains 4 kids below the age of 10. They’d prefer to journey extra when the youngest is sufficiently old to stroll subsequent yr, in 2023.
Their residence airport is Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport (SLC) in Utah.
When contemplating journey plans, we needed to know whether or not they have any elite standing or most well-liked accommodations or airways.
This household has The Enterprise Platinum Card® from American Categorical, which permits them to enroll for complimentary Gold standing with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.
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In addition they have the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Enterprise American Categorical Card, since they typically fly with Delta Air Traces out of Salt Lake Metropolis and use this card for potential upgrades and free checked baggage.
We requested what kinds of journeys they take pleasure in. They like visiting theme parks and exploring nature and would like to introduce their youngest little one to journey slowly. Thus, a home journey and one thing inside North America would doubtless be best.
Moreover, the dad and mom need to take a second honeymoon on the finish of 2023 or early in 2024.
With these items in thoughts, we’ll concentrate on three journeys:
- A theme park trip throughout the U.S.
- A visit inside North America the place they’ll take pleasure in nature.
- Then, a romantic second honeymoon for the dad and mom.
Inside their factors balances, they’ve roughly 8,250,000 American Categorical Membership Rewards factors and a pair of,750,000 Chase Final Rewards factors.
We’ll use these numbers for journey planning.
Journey 1: Common Studios Orlando
With many theme parks, there is not any method to pay with factors upfront when shopping for your tickets. Nonetheless, Common Studios in Orlando is an exception.
You should purchase these tickets within the Chase journey portal utilizing factors. Since this household has the Chase Sapphire Reserve, they’ll redeem their factors at a charge of 1.5 cents every to purchase tickets.
They will solely have to pay for 2 adults and three kids (at Common, kids youthful than 2 do not want a ticket when accompanying a paying grownup).
Associated: Learn how to use factors to economize at Common Orlando
To seek for these tickets throughout the Chase Final Rewards portal, click on on “Actions” on the prime and sort in the place you need to go and the dates of your journey.
Looking for Orlando will yield tons of outcomes. On the left, you should utilize the “Exercise Identify” field to filter for “Common Orlando.”
Since there are two principal theme parks at Common — Common Studios and Islands of Journey — this household can use 100,586 Final Rewards factors to purchase tickets for 2 days to go to these two parks.
The most affordable pricing comes when shopping for tickets for fastened dates, although tickets with versatile dates or the power to hop from one park to a different throughout the identical day can be found at increased costs.
The identical applies to including the third park — Volcano Bay, which is a water park — for a further value.
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It is vital to notice that these tickets are for entry to the parks solely. They do not embody extras like Categorical Go.
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For a resort, an amazing choice is Hyatt Place throughout from Common Orlando Resort.
Rooms value 8,000 factors per evening throughout commonplace pricing, and Hyatt Place areas supply free breakfast to all company. That characteristic alone can save some huge cash earlier than you head to the park every day.
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With two adults and 4 kids, the most suitable choice is to ebook two resort rooms. Assuming this household goes to Orlando for 5 nights, staying to go to extra than simply Common Studios, they’re going to spend 80,000 factors on this reserving.
Chase Final Rewards factors will be transferred freely and immediately to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.
Additionally, since money charges on the Hyatt Place hover at round $190 to $200 per evening, this redemption offers stable worth: over 2 cents per level, which is above our common valuation of Hyatt factors.
When it is time to ebook flights, it is at all times price evaluating choices.
One choice could be transferring American Categorical Membership Rewards factors to Delta SkyMiles. That may value 23,500 factors per individual. Since lap infants can fly without spending a dime, this household can ebook 5 tickets. That is 117,500 miles complete for the round-trip itinerary.
Nonetheless, the money costs on these tickets aren’t unhealthy. You might really spend fewer factors by utilizing your factors as money to purchase these flights within the Chase journey portal.
They will spend 105,730 factors by reserving this manner — a financial savings of 11,770 factors. This pricing takes benefit of utilizing Final Rewards factors at a price of 1.5 cents every, as a consequence of having the Sapphire Reserve.
The flights above are booked in Delta primary financial system, so they will not earn SkyMiles even when reserving by the Chase portal. We advocate the household spends extra factors to ebook an ordinary financial system ticket to allow them to choose seats, earn miles when booked by the Chase portal and board earlier.
Journey abstract and prices
It is doable to stroll from Hyatt Place to Common’s theme parks every day. Nonetheless, going wherever past this could possibly be difficult with 4 kids, so this household would doubtless have to lease a automotive.
For a big SUV or minivan, common prices within the Chase portal are near 58,000 for the pattern dates we used above.
For the resort, flights and park tickets we outlined, the full value is 286,316 factors. Including a rental automotive would deliver that complete to roughly 344,316 factors.
Their out-of-pocket prices will likely be restricted to lunch and dinner daily and any actions exterior of visiting Common’s theme parks.
Journey 2: Baja California
Somewhat than jetting off to a busy metropolis, this household prefers to get away to nature. A direct flight to a location with cheap accommodations, nice native meals, seashores and accompanying marine life seems like a winner.
We’re speaking about San Jose del Cabo in Baja California, Mexico.
Fly with Delta from Salt Lake Metropolis to Los Cabos Worldwide Airport (SJD), immediately or with a cease relying on what’s out there.
Money costs will be excessive, however award costs can present good worth right here. These flights value 30,0000 miles plus $121.48 for every grownup, however money costs are round $600 every. For 5 paid tickets, that is 150,000 SkyMiles.
Nonetheless, if associate award area is offered, it is doable to ebook these similar flights for even cheaper with Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership.
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Whether or not flying immediately between SLC and SJD or including a connection, the flight distance ought to be below 1,500 miles.
Meaning the flights will value 11,500 Flying Membership factors per individual every method. For 5 tickets, that is 115,000 factors round-trip — a financial savings of 35,000 factors. Higher but, the household could be in Most important Cabin financial system when reserving by Virgin Atlantic.
It is also price mentioning that flying on Delta with a lap toddler can value kind of relying on the way you ebook your award ticket.
By reserving with Virgin Atlantic, not solely are the award redemptions for 2 adults and three kids cheaper however so is the worth for the lap toddler.
Reserving immediately with Delta, this household would pay 10% of the grownup value (plus taxes and charges) so as to add a lap toddler to the reservation. That ought to be 3,000 miles plus taxes and charges.
When reserving with Virgin Atlantic, the worth for a lap toddler is 1,000 factors plus taxes and charges. Spherical-trip, this can save one other 1,000 miles just by reserving these Delta flights by Virgin Atlantic. Factors will be transferred freely and immediately from American Categorical to Virgin Atlantic at a 1:1 ratio.
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For many individuals, Los Cabos is understood for its luxurious accommodations and all-inclusive properties just like the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos.
Whereas an all-inclusive property might sound like choice, it is price noting that every room on the Hyatt Ziva will value 25,000 factors per evening throughout commonplace pricing.
Moreover, that solely covers two individuals in every room, and extra company value 12,500 factors. There’s additionally a restrict of 4 company per room on award stays.
Meaning this household would wish to ebook two rooms (50,000 factors per evening) and add an additional visitor to every (25,000 extra factors per evening).
Youngsters below the age of two will be added to the reservation without spending a dime, however this nonetheless provides as much as 125,000 factors per evening, which will be dear throughout a weeklong vacation.
Simply down the road from this property, nonetheless, is a Class 1 property that may cost as few as 3,500 Hyatt factors per evening. It is the Hyatt Place Los Cabos.
I’ve stayed at each of these properties and might promise that you simply get breakfast included at every resort each morning. You’ll be able to even see one resort from the opposite.
Whilst you will not get the all-you-can-eat-and-drink therapy at Hyatt Place, you’ll get each day breakfast and can save a ton of factors. The truth is, this household might save 108,000 factors per evening by reserving this cheaper choice after which spending well on lunch and dinner round city.
They will even have free entry to the native seaside, a pool on the Hyatt Place and a number of native actions like scuba diving, snorkeling, excursions to view sea lions and extra.
Journey abstract and prices
By reserving their flights the suitable method and staying at a reasonable property, it is doable to journey inexpensively to a spot many individuals view as an costly vacation spot. That is due to utilizing factors and miles.
To go to San Jose del Cabo in Baja California for six nights, this household would spend 42,000 Hyatt factors (transferred from Chase) and 117,000 Virgin factors (transferred from American Categorical).
In the event that they need to go for the all-inclusive expertise on the Hyatt Ziva, they’re going to spend a further 648,000 Chase factors when transferring these to Hyatt for the six-night keep we mentioned.
It is also price contemplating a hybrid strategy to see which trip type they like higher, spending just a few nights at every property.
Journey 3: Second honeymoon in Thailand
Generally, dad and mom have to get away from their children to reconnect. That applies right here, as these dad and mom are contemplating a second honeymoon in late 2023 or early 2024.
Given what they’ve advised us about their journey locations, we expect Thailand offers the proper mixture of quite a few issues to do, entry to nature, the power to loosen up and nice cultural components to discover.
Since this journey will happen on the finish of 2023 or the start of 2024, it is not doable to ebook these flights proper now. Nonetheless, the perfect wager will in all probability be reserving with ANA Mileage Membership.
Relying on whether or not you fly within the low (L), common (R) or excessive (H) season, there are totally different award prices for these flights. It is also vital to notice that you need to ebook round-trip itineraries with ANA Mileage Membership when reserving award flights.
Within the chart above, “Y” represents financial system pricing, “PY” is premium financial system, “C” is for enterprise class and “F” is for firstclass.
Assuming this couple flies round-trip in enterprise class between Salt Lake Metropolis and Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok (BKK), they’re going to pay 100,000-115,000 miles per individual for these tickets. That jumps to 195,000-210,000 per individual round-trip in the event that they fly in firstclass.
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ANA is a switch associate of Membership Rewards, and these transfers can take as much as 48 hours.
As soon as you discover the flights you need, it is at all times a good suggestion to place ANA flights on maintain earlier than transferring your factors, which you are able to do with a cellphone name to the reservations heart. On this method, the seats are held for you whereas ready for the factors to point out up, and then you definitely’ll name to finish the reserving as soon as they do.
Since this can be a second honeymoon, we assume this couple want to keep someplace good.
Instantly, the Park Hyatt Bangkok involves thoughts as an amazing use of factors. Throughout commonplace pricing, rooms value 20,000 factors per evening — in comparison with $250 on most nights.
That is not nice worth in comparison with what Hyatt factors are sometimes price, however it additionally beats paying money once you’re sitting on a mountain of factors.
Nonetheless, in the event that they’re on the lookout for one thing distinctive and tranquil, they may contemplate The Sukhothai Bangkok.
The resort is described on its web site as follows: “Whereas situated in bustling Bangkok, the resort is the epitome of serenity, surrounded by lush gardens with a big infinity pool, full-service spa, and award-winning eating.”
This can be a Small Luxurious Motels of the World property, that means it may be booked with Hyatt factors however does not supply Hyatt perks like standing recognition. Nonetheless, there’s free breakfast for 2 each morning and free Wi-Fi on these bookings.
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We advocate three days in Bangkok to regulate to the time zone, discover the tradition and possibly head out to close by websites just like the UNESCO World Heritage web site at Ayutthaya or the Bridge on the River Kwai, a part of the notorious “loss of life railway” throughout World Conflict II.
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Spending three nights at one among these accommodations will value 45,000 factors (Sukhothai Bangkok) or 60,000 (Park Hyatt) factors. These will be transferred from Chase to Hyatt instantly once you’re able to make a redemption.
After these three days, there are just a few choices for different locations to go to in Thailand. In the event that they need to escape to an island for seashores and time within the water, they might head to Koh Samui. Alternatively, they might go to Chiang Mai to see grand temples, elephants and extra.
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In Koh Samui, there’s a Tropical Pool Villa choice on the Cape Fahn Resort, a part of SLH. This may be booked for 17,000 Hyatt factors per evening. Staying for 5 nights would value 85,000 factors, which will be transferred 1:1 from Chase.
This room includes a non-public plunge pool, a front room space and a separate bed room.
Nonetheless, in the event that they actually need luxurious, they need to contemplate the Final Pool Villa at The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui.
This room prices a formidable 166,200 factors on most nights, however it’s no extraordinary resort room.
This one-bedroom villa includes a balcony over the ocean, a non-public pool and a king-size mattress within the separate bed room space.
In the event that they keep for 5 nights or extra utilizing factors, they’ll take pleasure in a fifth evening free due to this perk from Marriott Bonvoy. That will imply staying 4 nights or 5 nights would value the identical 664,800 factors.
You’ll be able to switch American Categorical and Chase factors to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio. With Amex, your factors ought to present up instantly, however the identical does not maintain true with Chase. Transfers from Chase to Marriott sometimes take one or two days.
It is price mentioning that utilizing your Chase Final Rewards or American Categorical Membership Rewards factors with Marriott sometimes is not the most suitable choice, since they have a tendency to lose worth in the course of the switch. Reserving with Marriott, these factors could be price lower than half a cent every on this reservation.
As an alternative, reserving with the American Categorical Tremendous Motels + Resorts program would enable for utilizing Membership Rewards factors at 1 cent apiece (and supply perks like free breakfast and an on-property credit score for meals or spa visits). They would not, nonetheless, earn Marriott factors or elite nights on their keep.
5 nights booked this manner would require 348,210 factors on dates we checked for late 2023. Be aware that entry to the FHR program and its advantages is restricted to these with a Platinum (enterprise or private) or Centurion (enterprise or private) card from American Categorical.
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If this couple heads north to Chiang Mai, as a substitute, choices abound.
Throughout the metropolis, they’ll ebook a Small Luxurious Motels property for 12,000 factors per evening. Bookings at SLH properties embody breakfast for 2 and room upgrades when out there, and these will be booked with Hyatt factors.
Outdoors the town, there’s the luxurious 4 Seasons Resort Chiang Mai. It is positively a dearer choice, however it’s a part of the Tremendous Motels + Resorts program, that means this couple might pay with factors.
Anticipate to pay a median of 57,816 factors per evening — so 289,080 Amex Membership Rewards factors for a five-night keep.
Whereas the 4 Seasons is exterior the town and never essentially the most handy location for actions throughout the metropolis, the service and on-property eating places present a top-notch expertise.
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Journey abstract and prices
Let’s assume this couple flies to Thailand within the business-class choice above (throughout common pricing durations), spends three nights at The Sukhothai Bangkok after which opts to spend 5 nights on the 4 Seasons Resort Chiang Mai.
Stretching over eight nights in Thailand and in a single day flights to get there and get again residence, they’re going to take pleasure in a improbable second honeymoon in Thailand utilizing factors and miles. They will spend 45,000 Final Rewards factors and 509,080 Membership Rewards factors.
To get between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, they’ll additionally use Thailand’s improbable prepare service.
This household would spend 431,316 factors from Chase and 626,080 factors from American Categorical on these pattern journeys. Spending roughly one million factors on these journeys hardly dents their stash of 11 million factors.
Not each household is sitting on 11 million bank card factors, however this household is lucky sufficient to be on this state of affairs.
They will use this mountain of factors for a household journey to Common Studios in Orlando, take pleasure in a while on the seaside in Los Cabos after which take a second honeymoon to Thailand for some tradition and rest.
With their remaining 10 million factors, they might choose to improve their rooms or flights throughout these journeys, add extra journeys and even use their factors to battle inflation by offsetting non-travel bills with packages like Chase’s Pay Your self Again.