This past spring I booked a five night getaway to Breckenridge for the whole family, all thanks to points of course! It was our last chance to re-charge before our busy work schedules kicked in. When we got back, both Mrs. RevDan and I got slammed at work, thus I’m about a month behind on this post. Unfortunately I don’t have any full family pictures because Mrs. RevDan and the Brickster got sick and had to fly home early! It was a definite bummer, but the girls and I made the most of it.
I want to give you a breakdown of how we “paid” for our trip, so you can get some ideas of how you might do something similar with your family using credit card points. Outside of entertainment and eating out, there are typically two main expenses to traveling: Cost of transit and cost of lodging. For our family this consisted of five roundtrip airline tickets from OKC to Denver, a rental car for the week, and five nights of lodging. Let’s take a look at how we did this on points:
Thanks to points I had accrued from my Chase Southwest credit card along with some points I transferred to my Rapid Rewards account from Mrs. RevDan’s Sapphire Reserve Card, we were able to purchase four roundtrip airline tickets on Southwest for only $11.20 each (taxes/fees).
Thanks to our Southwest Companion Pass I was able to add Mrs. RevDan to our itinerary for only $11.20 (taxes/fees).
Total cost for five roundtrip tickets from OKC to Denver was $56 for our family of five!
We were able to stay at a very nice Residence Inn just a block off of Main Street in Breckenridge. I love staying at a Residence Inn on longer vacations with the family, because every room has a living area and kitchenette. I used a combination of Marriott points that I had accrued from spending on my Chase Marriott Reward Card along with points from the SPG American Express sign-up bonus. You may remember that for a limited time earlier this summer SPG was offering 35,000 sign-up points for their card. Earlier this year SPG & Marriott joined forces, so points are transferable between programs. SPG points transfer to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio, so the 35,000 points I received for getting the card was worth 105,000 Marriott points!
The hotel we stayed at was a category 7 hotel, which means it’s 35,000 points a night. I ALWAYS recommend staying at least 5 nights when using Marriott points, because of their 5th night free offer. If you pay for four nights with points, the fifth night is always free! This made our five night stay 140,000 points. All taxes and fees are included in your cost when you pay with points, so the only hotel charges we had were the snacks my girls convinced me to buy them every day at the front desk! Total Hotel Cost: $0
I booked a minivan for five days through Hertz with a discount code that I had. I used the few Hertz points I had to get $50 knocked off the price, leaving the final bill at $290. I used my Barclay Card to pay for the rental car. Because of the points I had accrued on my card, the $290 was redeemed back to my card. The Barclay points are redeemed at one penny per point, so I cashed in 29,000 points and within two days I had a $290 credit. You can only redeem points for travel related expenses on the Barclay card. Total Rental Car Cost: $0
Synopsis of Trip
Obviously our trip did NOT turn out how we had hoped with Mrs. RevDan and Brick having to go home early. As it turns out they both had strep (along with fever, nausea, etc), so we made the right decision. In spite of that set back, the girls and I had a great time and I highly recommend the Breckenridge area for families! Like any mountain town, activities and food are expensive, but there are endless amounts of activities and the weather and scenery are top notch!
Not counting the unexpected flights home for Mrs. RevDan & Brick, we spent a total of $56 for five roundtrip tickets from OKC to Denver, five nights in a downtown Breckenridge hotel, and five days of rental car! With a little planning ahead and a few sign-up bonuses your family could do the same, let me know if I can help you make it happen!