After a pretty long hiatus from blogging and traveling, it’s good to be back with a blog post about some personal travel I just booked! I enjoy taking Mrs. RevDan on trips for our anniversary. Fortunately, our work schedules allow us some time off every year on or around our anniversary. The perks of being a campus minister and teacher and getting a spring break!
We enjoy going to beach destinations where we can unplug and veg out with nothing to do. We also enjoy all inclusive resorts. After doing a lot of research I discovered that Hilton has an all inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta! If you’re not familiar with how an all inclusive resort works, you basically pay one price and EVERYTHING is included. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Check. Mid morning snack? Check. Beer, liquor, or wine? Check. A mini fridge in your room that is stocked every day? Check. Feel like a mid afternoon cheeseburger? Check.
Last year I signed up for the Citi Hilton Visa Card, which is no longer offered, but at that time was giving away 75,000 points for signing up. Both Mrs. RevDan and I signed up for the American Express Hilton Surpass card in the last year, which was offering 100,000 points for signing up. It too is no longer offered, but check out this link for some great Hilton Card Offers. Unlike many rewards programs, Hilton allows you to transfer points to anyone at no charge! After transferring some of Mrs. RevDan’s points to my account, I now had more then enough to book our stay at the Hilton Puerto Vallarta.
Hilton allows HHonors members to book five nights for the cost of four when booking with points. That meant we needed 256,000 points to book five nights. There are no taxes or fees involved when booking with HHonors points, so our out of pocket cost for five nights at a luxurious all inclusive beach resort is ZERO! Retail cost after taxes would be $2,000 when booking through Hilton.
Although we had our hotel booked, we still needed airfare. It was time to cash in some of my American Airline miles I have been hoarding. Over a year ago I took advantage of a 60,000 mile sign-up bonus from the Citi American Airlines Card. Typically this offer is 40,000-50,000, but currently they are once again offering 60,000 points!
American rewards vary depending on where and when you are flying and they also have limited availability for reward fares. Fortunately I was able to find direct flights from DFW to Puerto Vallarta for only 15,000 points per ticket and 15,000 points for the return flight. Total cost of two roundtrip tickets came out to 60,000 points. That 60,000 point sign-up bonus I had received, which also waived the $95 annual fee in year one, ended up being an $1,100 value for me (the cost I would have incurred if purchasing the same ticket with cash). When you book international airfare on points there are some taxes and fees involved. Those came out to $165.
Although we used up most of our Hilton points for this upcoming trip, Mrs. RevDan and I both recently signed up for the new American Express Small Business Card offering 100,000 points for signing up and meeting the minimum spending. In just a few short months we will have well over 200,000 Hilton points and will be thinking about where to go on our next destination. Perhaps we might even take the kids!
Recap: Thanks to the help of four credit cards, three Hilton cards and one American Airlines card, Mrs. RevDan and I will be taking a $3100 trip for $165.