Steven and Helen Schwartz
FFP miles spent: 250,000 miles
Hotel points spent:
40,000 points plus two Hyatt Free Night certificates
$150 per person
Airline(s) / Routing:
SWISS from New York to Venice, returning from Zurich on an open jaw; bmi from Athens to Zurich
Dividend Miles call center
Type of award(s):
Hotel Danieli, Venice; Hotel Grand Bretagne, Athens; Park Hyatt, Zurich
Month/year of trip:
I make a good living, but not nearly good enough to experience the level of luxury that points make possible. US Airways had a 50 percent bonus on mileage transfers and I transferred 140,000 Starpoints for a total of 262,500 Dividend Miles. With much planning, I managed to snag two first class seats on SWISS, outbound to Venice (through Zurich), returning from Athens where our cruise ended.
A few months before the cruise, I realized I had two free Hyatt nights to use by the end of August. My wife and I decided to break up our return trip and stay at the Park Hyatt in Zurich for a few nights. But the rules for US Airways for partner tickets provided for either an open jaw or a stopover but not both.
Someone suggested bmi one-way from Athens to Zurich and the only thing available was business class, but it was only 9,000 miles per person! But bmi is not a transfer partner with either Starwood or AMEX Membership Rewards. Then I found out I could purchase the points and they were having a 20 percent bonus! Two tickets were only $290 with taxes.
So to summarize, we had:
- Two first class tickets on SWISS with miles (absolutely AMAZING).
- Two nights at the Danieli in Venice, points and upgraded to a suite.
- Seven nights on the Silversea Silver Spirit, paid with cash.
- One night at the Hotel Grand Bretagne, Athens, points and suite upgrade.
- Two nights at the Park Hyatt Zurich–free nights from the Big Welcome Back promotion.
I don’t know how much longer we will be able to pull off trips like this, but the last seven years or so have been amazing. I wish you all happy trails!