I finished The Starwood Amex bonus for 30,000 points. After that successful bonus, I applied for both the Bank of Hawaii Visa signature and the Bank of America Hawaiian airlines cards. Both cards gave a bonus of 35,000 miles after $1000 spend in 3/months the annual fee isn’t waived first year for either card. I have little intention of going to Hawaii. My main reason for getting those cards was to transfer over to Hilton at a 1:2 ratio creating 140,000 Hilton Honors points. After those two apps my credit was suffering, it was down to 740, so I decided to give the apps a rest for a few months. It recovered handsomely, now back up to a 780 and I re-applied for the Barclay’s visa signature (churnable) up to 60,000 bonus miles and the Chase ink. I’m also beginning to plan a trip somewhere, I haven’t fully decided where but I’m starting to get antsy not traveling.Read More
After four years dating, two years of engagement and months of planning the perfect wedding, my beautiful bride Claudia and I are finally married. Because of Claudia’s school aspirations our honey moon to Peru, Argentina, and Uruguay will be delayed until May. Despite that, I still felt that we needed a couple days to ourselves; a mini-moon if you will. After assessing our stash of hotel points, much research and review reading, I chose the Double Tree Resort in Scottsdale.
Our arrival was rocky. As we pulled up to the valet counter in my father in law’s beautifully restored 1960 AMC Rambler Classic we were eager to be greeted by our complimentary valet service. To our annoyance no one was there. After about 5 minutes of waiting in full view of the front desk, I marched into the lobby and informed the front desk we needed valet service. They promptly radioed the valet and after another 5 minutes he appeared. After that, check in was smooth. We were greeted warmly at the front desk and were given two warm chocolate chip cookies and some coupons which I’ll talk more about later. We were offered to have an attendant take our bag, which I declined since we packed light and were only staying two nights. The grounds are large and well manicured but not very well lit at night. With that said the trek to the room wasn’t bad but since it was night it was a bit disorientating. When we did make it to the room we were happily surprised when we got there.
We loved our room it was nice and spacious! We really liked the charming rustic feeling that the wood planked ceiling gave the room.
Here are the coupons we received, they gave us four Hilton Gold/Diamond member breakfast coupons and two free drink coupons for the Loggia Lounge in house bar.
The breakfast buffet was pretty good. They had crepes, waffles, bacon, sausage, potatoes, eggs, yogurts, oatmeal, an assortment of fruits and baked goods. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of it because I was too busy eating.
On day two they had a complimentary bottle of wine delivered to our door! Sadly, neither of us drink wine so we’ll be saving this bottle indefinitely. It was still a pretty cool thought so I made sure to call the front desk to thank them.
Be forewarned, their valet is severely understaffed. We took the complimentary hotel shuttle heading into oldtown Scottsdale and it turns out the guy they have shuttling people is the same guy they have working the valet and he was the only one working that day. No wonder it took a few minutes for the valet to arrive the first night, he was probably the only one working. With that said, all in all we had an excellent stay and I think we’d come back.
The Rewards Traveler Cost:
60,000 Hilton Points gained through AMEX Hilton Surpass offer: $75 (annual fee)
Room/2 nights King Bed with patio and courtyard view: $250/night x 2 = $500
Four Breakfast coupons at the El Fuego in house restaurant: $17.50 x 4 =$70
Two free drinks: $7.50 x 2 =$15
Total savings: $585-$75=$510
If you’d like to learn how you can get incredible savings like this check out my Beginner’s guide to rewards travel.
FREE 7 Step Beginner’s Guide to Rewards Travel
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Looking to do a mattress run? There may be no need if you follow this strategy and get 170,000 Hilton Points!
*Warning this strategy may result in 3 hard pulls. So if you decide to do this your credit should be pristine.
2. Meet the spending requirements. The spending requirement for the Amex Surpass card is $3,000 in 3 months and has an annual fee of $75, the Citi card is $3,000 in 4 months and has no annual fee. The B of A Hawaiian airlines card doesn’t have a spending requirement and you get your miles after the first purchase. But there is a $79 annual fee.
Or, if the spending requirements seem overwhelming apply for the AMEX Hilton Honors(40,000 points) instead of the AMEX Hilton Surpass. The Amex Hilton Honors has a spend requirement of $1000 in the firs three months and no annual fee. (The final point yield would be 150,00 points with this option.)
3. Transfer your 35,000 Hawaiian miles into Hilton points at 1:2 and get 70,000 Hilton points. After all your miles are combined you should notice that due to the spending requirements you’ll actually have well over 170,000 Hilton points!
So what can you do with over 170,000 Hilton points? I’ve got a couple ideas. How does 3 nights at the Hilton Arc de Triomph in Paris sound? This will set you back 50,000 points/night. Not bad considering it will normally cost around $362/night. Even better, how about 5 nights in Japan at the Hilton Osaka Hotel? This will cost 35,000 points/night. In cash, this hotel would run you about $350/night or $1750 for 5 nights. Talk about a sweet travel hack!