Goal is Hawaii Honeymoon - where to start?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Smores and bonfires, Mar 24, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Smores and bonfires

    Smores and bonfires New Member

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    I'm trying to figure out where to start to get something (flight or hotel) free for our honeymoon next year. I get confused with all of the credit card offers, and need help with the basics. Currently I have only a cash back credit card, nothing fancy. I have a few FF points on delta, AirTran, and united, but not enough to do anything with. I have an SPG card, with only one stay on it. We don't travel much, when we do, we camp.

    We will fly out of JAX (but could do TY'S or MCO) in June of next year. We'd like to stay for 10 days, and probably island hop if possible.

    Thanks for your help!
     
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  2. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    Hello and welcome! Since you sound like you are looking for the one off trip and not becoming like some folks around here who want points for sneezing :D, you could likely knock out the airfare completely. Getting your fiancee involved would really help. Since you have some United points a good card combo could be the Chase Sapphire Preferred (which is an all around nice card to keep, and cool looking too) and the Chase United Mileageplus. These links are not affiliated with any blog as far as I know, and there could be better offers but these are pretty standard from what I know.

    If only one of you got those two cards just from the sign on bonuses alone you could have 70k United miles to add to what you already have. I did a quick search on United's site for awards seats in June and it appears you could be needing around 80k miles per person. So both of you doing both cards plus putting all your spend on whichever card you chose could net you two tickets.

    If you don't know the CSP Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to airlines and hotel programs at 1:1. So you can transfer as many points as you would need to your United account. Any points you didn't use on airfare could be used to then transfer to a hotel program. Currently the hotels include Marriott, IHG group, Hyatt and the Ritz Carlton.

    Now if you wanted to add a third card the Chase Hyatt card which will give you 2 free nights at ANY Hyatt property. Again if you both got the card you would have 4 free nights at any Hyatt property. That could make for a nice stay for the honeymoon.

    This is a very easy, non-convoluted way to work two tickets. There may be others but this has the least amount of steps involved. I will say I have only been doing this less than a year so others may offer some better solutions/options.

    Comfort level is everything so if the idea of getting 3 credit cards each over the next year sounds daunting you could focus on getting miles for the flight and your fiancee could get the Hyatt card for 2 free nights.

    Oof, I think I am starting to ramble.
     
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  3. jwsky
    Original Member

    jwsky Silver Member

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    Congrats on you engagement!
    Travel Bear's idea of getting your fiancee to help is a good one. Some credit card sign ups offer an extra 5000 points if you add a person to your account. After you get the cards, be sure to make all of your regular payments to the account. By this I mean, charge your insurance, utilities, gas,and everything through the new credit cards. Since it is all for a good cause, your wedding, maybe friends and family will help out by letting you run some of their expenses through your cards.

    You say that you do have a few miles allready. Maybe they would be enough for an inter island flight.
     
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  4. Smores and bonfires

    Smores and bonfires New Member

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    Thanks jwsky &Travelbear,

    Awesome posts.

    Great explanations and ideas. I think I'm going to start with the CSP and get the bf to get the Hyatt card. I don't want to go too crazy with new lines of credit, the wedding may be a year away, but we may start looking for houses in that time too. I'm to the point where I need to start making some down payments, so a card with a spending criteria shouldn't be a problem.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. Smores and bonfires

    Smores and bonfires New Member

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    Shoot, I have USAir not United, is the CSP still a good option?
     
  6. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Ultimate Rewards points, which is what you'll earn with the CSP, don't transfer to US Airways. Sorry. There may be a way to convert them, but I guess the obvious question is... do you have enough current miles with US Airways to matter? That isn't clear from your original post.

    If TravelBear is right and you need something like 80,000 points, and you only have a few thousand, it may not matter much. You should check yourself what airlines you can fly out of JAX and into Hawaii, to the island of your choice. I tend to like United as they fly directly into Maui when others don't but that's from my home airport. YMMV.

    If you really want to stick with US Airways, it may be a little stickier. You could get the current Barclay's US Airways card for ~40,000 miles signup. And you could go for something like an SPG Amex Card. SPG points convert 1:1 to US Air miles. However, the current offer is only 25,000 points, so you'd be at 65,000 points and thus 15,000 points short if you really need 80,000. You could do more than just these two cards, or wait for a better offer on the SPG, but ... the problem is that SPG points are kind of hard to come by.

    If you were going to go after hotel stay, the Citi Hilton card with 2 free weekend nights might be a good call if you like the Hilton offerings in Hawaii (figure out where you want to stay first). Say the Grand Wailea in Maui. With Hilton Points it'll run you 95,000 points a night (in a couple of days after the rates go up), making two free nights worth quite a lot of points. The problem with the Hilton card is the free nights are ONLY weekend nights, so unless between the two of you you can use 4 nights on fri, sat, sun (say starting sunday and for returning home on Monday 8 nights later, of which four nights--Sunday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday might be free) you'd be OOL.

    The Hyatt card doesn't have this restriction. But look at the Hyatt's and the Hilton's and the SPG's and see where you might want to stay. The consider your monthly spend, the offers available, and make a call.
     
  7. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    Posting what point amounts you do have can help too.
     
  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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  9. Smores and bonfires

    Smores and bonfires New Member

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    Usairways = 11,500
    Delta = 8000

    Not many, I don't travel for work at all anymore, and rarely by plane these days.
     
  10. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    The strategy I outlined should work for you regardless of the points you currently have. If you wanted to utilize those you already have your best bet would be to go the USAir route possibly applying for the USAir cards and getting the sign on bonuses. The only issue with planning that far in advance with USAir is the pending merger with AA as I am unsure if anyone is aware what exactly will happen with the mile programs. I think the assumption is a 1:1 transfer, but honestly this is not something I am following closely at all. If that's the case then you could get the Citi AA card as well and really stack your points to fly OneWorld Alliance.

    My opinion is to pursue the Chase cards as the UR points will give you flexibility in the end. At a minimum you can straight up use the UR points as money to purchase tickets, though that is generally not the best value.
     
  11. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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