Hawaii Planning Help

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Mikus33, Nov 15, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Mikus33

    Mikus33 Silver Member

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    A friend of mine is wanting to plan a trip for him and his wife to go to Hawaii for 7-10 10-14 days sometime this spring. He wants to visit Oahu, the big island, and possibly Maui.

    I wanted to see what cards and properties you guys would suggest him checking out. Since the trip is coming up so soon, I thought maybe he should focus on hotel credit cards, but let me know if you think he has enough time to get an airline card and book a reward flight. He's new to this and doesn't want a high spend requirement so I'd venture to say the SPG card is out, and probably the Ink cards. Thanks in advance for your help.
     
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  2. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

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    I am nearly finished with my churn that is enabling my wife and I to fly and stay 7 nights on Kauai (July 2013). We did it with two Chase Sapphire Cards, two SPG cards and two Chase Hyatt cards. We are in Seattle and the UR points makes sense for us utilizing either United or as someone recommended to me earlier, Avios which would enable us to fly Alaskan.

    The Hyatt's (2) are giving us four nights and with the newly increased spending limits, they equal $1000 in 3 months each. Pretty easy in my opinion to meet those requirements. As you noted, the SPG is high but to stay at the St. Regis on Kauai we were willing to take the plunge. The Sapphires aren't too bad with with $3000 spent in 3 months each which gives you 40K points and equals one round trip ticket to Hawaii. I recently found that United doesn't fly direct to Kauai and charges an extra 5000 points to use Hawaiin from Honolulu to Kauai which equals 45,000 points.

    Good luck.
     
  3. HiIslands
    Original Member

    HiIslands Silver Member

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    Before you completely rule out the SPG-Amex card, consider that there are a lot of Starwood properties in the Islands and with Wandering Aramean's SPG Cash and Points Finder tool, your friends could pick up some pretty good deals.

    The specific properties to choose on each island should also depend, in part, on what your friends like to do. For example, do they want to spend all their time on a beach, or shopping and dining, or playing golf, or exploring Hawaiian culture, etc.
     
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  4. Mikus33

    Mikus33 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the help. I'm impressed you got 2 chase cards at once. For his first time, I probably won't be that bold as I don't want him to get shot down, and have to call in, etc. I'll look at some availability for flights through United via UR points, but I'm thinking the Hyatt cards might be a good call. Maybe I can even get him on a Diamond status challenge to get the suite certs.

    Thanks for the help. The SPGs may be the right way to go with C&P. I'll have to take a look at the properties available. His dates are pretty open, so I should be able to find something decent. Thanks for the WA link. I didn't know he had that, but it looks quite useful.

    I had also considered the 2 Citi Hilton cards, but I haven't looked into that too much. Combine that with the BOH and BOA Hawaiin cards, and there's a great amount of HHonors points to start off.

    If you've got properties to suggest using SPG points, Hyatt certs or Hilton points, let me know. Thanks!
     
  5. HiIslands
    Original Member

    HiIslands Silver Member

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    Both the Hilton Hawaiian Village (Waikiki) and the Hilton Waikoloa Village (Kohala Coast of the Big Island) are great properties, if your friends are interested in a resort. Actually, I prefer them both to the Starwood properties. The Hilton Hawaiian Village is centrally located to all the Waikiki attractions and also Ala Moana Center.

    If you want to stick to Starwood, the Royal Hawaiian (Waikiki) is a luxurious step back to old Hawaii. It has charm, class and style, but it's expensive.
     
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  6. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

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    Two clarify, my wife got one Chase Sapphire and I also got one. That being said, I had an "App Party / Churn" a few days ago and got two more Chase cards. The Chase Hyatt (for our Hawaii trip) and the Ink Bold. It did take a call into the reconsideration line but the Hyatt was easy. The Ink Bold I went in unprepared and struggled with the questions but that was my own fault.

    Regarding SPG properties, I have only researched the Kauai properties and they have a really nice one on the north end called St. Regis. I have heard wonderful things about it and between our two SPG cards, we will qualify for three nights.

    I have tried a few dry runs booking a United award flight to Kauai in July and the pickings are slim for the saver award.
     
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  7. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

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    I have never heard of that tool. Thanks for the tip!!
     
  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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  9. Mikus33

    Mikus33 Silver Member

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    All of those properties look great. I think he is looking for a resort on the beach, so all of those properties are perfect. I assume the hilton resorts qualify for the AXON awards, right? Are there typically extra resort fees added onto the points for those properties? If you don't know off the top of your head, don't worry about it, and I'll look into it when I help him start to plan it.
     
  10. Mikus33

    Mikus33 Silver Member

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    How long was it in between your Chase CSP and Hyatt apps? I read about your Ink Bold experience, and I'm about to apply for that so I will be prepared. I've have the SW Biz card, and I think I kind of stumbled through the questioning that time, but I did get approved.

    I did a little bit of searching on United and there seems to be some decent saver award availability in March - May to HNL (since his dates seem to be pretty wide open). I'm thinking I'll have him go with the US airways card as that'll get him 40k after 1st purchase. RT to Hawaii using US Airways miles via United flights is only 35k (40k if no credit card) on the saver level.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  11. Mikus33

    Mikus33 Silver Member

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    He's flying from MCI, so Avios is probably not best for him. Thanks for the link, that's a great one - super basic and super useful.

    Thanks for the input, I really appreciate reading all of your posts throughout the forums.
     
  12. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

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  13. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

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    I applied for the Chase SP on 09/26 and then the Hyatt and Bold on 11/10. So about six weeks. I called Chase on the Hyatt first and they said I was automatically denied due to SP app. But after a few seconds the csr instantly approved it.

    Only reason I didn't wait 90+ days between apps is my Chase SP was my first and only card in 5+ years so I didn't think the drawback would be much. Moving forward I will wait 90+ between all "app parties / churns".
     
  14. Jg3

    Jg3 Silver Member

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    No resort fee at the HHV. That is my normal hotel when I am in Oahu for work. It is 100% a resort, so things are expensive, but if you never wanted to leave the grounds you could get away with staying there. Great beach location though. And if they can get HH Diamond status the free breakfast, danish and fruit, helps to defray costs.
     
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