Best strategy to get to Hawaii~free!

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by wanderlust74, Aug 15, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    My husband and I would like to celebrate our 20th anniversary next August in Hawaii (specific island tbd). We'll consider going in September for off peak advantages. I'm needing help strategizing my next round of cc apps to collect miles/points for free flights and hotels.

    Current Cards and Programs :
    1) BA Avios~127K (don't want to use these for this trip b/c I no longer have means to collect avios; wanna use these for family vacay)
    2) CSP~8K (recently used 83K for cruise flight to SJU)
    3) Citi Hilton Visa~89K

    First to consider: flights. 70,000 AA miles or 80,000 +$20 UA miles to get us there. The Citi AA cards or Chase United don't seem to have stellar sign up bonuses right now (wasn't in this game when the 50K AA was available). Should I wait for a better offer to come along?
    OR
    Southwest is another airline nearby. I've read of one strategy of applying for that card (would wait til first of yr), and also apply for Hawaiian Airlines card. Take SW flight to West coast, the HA to HI. I haven't run the number of miles this would require.

    Second: hotels. Definitely applying for Starwood card, either for hotel or transfer to AA. But, since we have so many Hhonors points, should i try and stock up on these points with another Hilton card (Reserve for 2 free wknd nights)? Or should I consider Hyatt? I am leaning toward the Big Island, but not impressed with the Hilton options there.

    I would love to replenish my UR account so I could transfer to UA or Hyatt. I would love to apply for the Ink Bold or Plus, but I feel I would be stretching the truth to apply as a business (I would NEVER lie on an app), since the only thing I do is sell on eBay occasionally. Just doesn't seem legitimate. Other Chase options? I tried applying for my own CSP using my individual income back in March and was denied. Could I try again using our household income for better success?

    So many options, so many decisions.....it's driving me crazy! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If you're not comfortable doing it then don't, but this definitely qualifies.
     
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  3. iamapirate

    iamapirate Active Member

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    The 50,000 Citi AA card links are still alive. I helped my dad with the applications last week for both the Visa and Amex and instant approval with both.
     
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  4. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    Still searching for that link....would you mind telling me where you found it? Only ones I've come across are 30K
     
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  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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  6. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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  7. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    thanks for the links!

    So, now I face a decision. Which would be more valuable....Citi AA x2 (Visa only) OR Starwood Amex x2?
     
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  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    100k AA or 60k SPG (which is 75k AA miles if you transfer. )

    But it depends what you're going to use them for.
     
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  9. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    I figured I'd use the SPG points toward hotel, since our flights would be covered by Citi AA. I'm just trying to decide whether to go for 2 Citi cards and one Starwood or vice versa.
     
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  10. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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    For what it's worth September is in my opinion the best time of year to go to Hawaii.
     
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  11. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    if its for you + 1; wouldn't you need both citi to get the 100k for the flights? then each get 30k spg ... if you meet the spend req that is
     
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  12. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    From what I've read, I think so too!

    No way I can meet minimum spend if we each got both cards. Technically, I could go with 1 Citi card @ 50K, then get 2 Starwood for 60K and convert to AA for 75K. Flights would then be covered. But I think I've just answered my own question, because with this plan I only have flights covered with no hotel. So, I'll go with 2 Citi and one Starwood. Ok, I guess I just needed someone to hear me out and help me think this through! Thanks, edekba! ;)
     
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  13. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    np.

    DId you read FTG link i posted above?
     
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  14. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    yes, edekba, I read that link~thanks! However, I can actually get a better redemption with AA than USAir.

    I was about to apply for the Citi AA when I ran into yet another decision: apply for Companion Certificate or Admiral Club passes? I don't have any idea how to go about using companion certificates. Our 2013 travel will be done after our cruise and Hawaii trips.
     
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  15. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    I would get the fee free amex hilton for 40k bonus, i can email you a referal if you want, then add the 40k to thre 89k you already have and you will almost have 4 free nights at a hitlon, you can get 4 nights for 145k instead of 50k each night if you have the amex card.
     
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  16. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I believe Amex 40k is now 50k till end of August...

    In that case maybe AC better? least you can relax @ the airport in case there are delays or etc. CC is basically buy one far get the other free ... or the way AA calculates it 50% off each. If you say your travel is finished after the two trips and you're using points for them, the value of the CC is $0.00
     
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  17. IDGflygirl
    Original Member

    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    Do you have status w/SPG? I stayed on cash+pts (Kona) & as a Plat, opted for the free breakfast (breakfast buffet is $19/pp/day) as my Plat amenity (as opposed to pts, etc.)! (If you are in need of an SPG card referral, feel free to PM me w/your e-mail address)!

    ETA: here is a link to a very informative Mommypoints blog on SPG redemptions!
     
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  18. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    thanks for the offer, but I actually like my options of Starwood Hotels than Hilton, and with 60K Starwood points, I can get 6 nights free! I crunched the numbers and have decided to go for 2 Citi AA and 2 Starwood Amex. So excited about the prospect of flying and staying in Hawaii free!:)

    Just getting started with the SPG program, so no status with them. Free breakfast sure would be nice! Maybe one of these days....
     
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  19. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    quick tip; try to hit the Citi cards first, then once September/oct rolls around ... start looking for availability for flights. =)

    I've learned that afterall the number crunchiing on costs and days I can take off; looking for flight/C&P availability throws all of it off. Then I had to work backwards, find space first, then work around getting time off etc.
     
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  20. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    Yes, but there is a nice bonus 'addition', temporarily, for SPG AmEx card applications!;)
     
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  21. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    Can my husband and I share the same AAdvantage account? I was in the process of applying for the Citi card when I realized we wouldn't be able to share miles. He has an existing account, I have yet to sign up. When applying for the cc, can I put his membership number on both of our applications? Or do these have to be separate?
     
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  22. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    I will defer to the AA pros here, but AFAIK, the name has to match on both accounts (FF & cc).
     
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  23. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    can your husband apply for the Citi Visa & the Citi Amex
     
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  24. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    he could, but the plan is for him to apply for Citi AA and Starwood Amex. I just applied for these and was instantly approved. Yay! With this plan, we can get our flights and hotel to Hawaii completely covered.
     
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  25. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    You can not, according to the T&Cs, use your husbands AA account. If you do the "2 browser" trick with the AA application, you can each potentially get over 100K miles each with one churn (assuming of course that you can make the minimum spend).
     

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