Recently, I wrote about the Starwood Preferred Guest Card and its bangin’ sign-up bonus. Basically, it works like this: you spend $5,000 in 6 months and earn 25,000 bonus starpoints on top of earning 1 point per dollar spent. Pretty good deal, huh? I think so. A few weeks before that, I also wrote about the Barclay Arrival World Mastercard and its sweet 40,000 sign-up bonus. Here’s the basic rundown of how that deal works: you simply spend $3,000 in the first three months of signing up and earn 40,000 bonus points in addition to 2 point per dollar spent. So, after spending a thousand bucks, you’ll have $460 that can be redeemed for travel anywhere.
You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this….and you’re about to find out. Wait for it….wait for it……
Earn a 5 Night Vacation with Flights
By convincing your spouse to join you in your quest for travel rewards and combining these offers, you can travel to dozens of Starwood properties all over the world for free, with options all over the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Asia. Here’s how:
First, two point-earners need to sign up for the Starwood Preferred Guest card and hit the required spending amount. And with 5K needed for each card, hitting the minimum spend can be daunting. But, just remember, you do have six months to do it and that’s a whole lotta gas, groceries, and such that you can put on those cards. The Starwood Preferred American Express also waives its annual fee for the first year, making it that much easier to score the points without spending anything out of pocket. Once those cards and done, you can stash those babies away.
Next, you and your partner in crime can sign up for the Barclay Arrival World Mastercard and work on hitting that minimum spend. And this time it will be easy peasy. Spending $3,000 in three months, even with two cards, should be a breeze if you put your groceries, gas, and monthly bills on the cards. Then, boom. You’re done.
Nights & Flights
At this point, you can start planning your trip using the Starwood Preferred Guest Nights & Flights option. According to the company website, it works like this:
“With Nights & Flights, you can redeem 60,000 Starpoints for 50,000 airline miles and five free nights at a Category 3 hotel or resort.
With Nights & Flights II, you can redeem 70,000 Starpoints and receive 50,000 airline miles and five free nights at a Category 4 hotel or resort.”
At minimum, you should have at least 60,000 starpoints between the two of you due to the 50,000 in bonus points and $10,000 you had to spend to earn them. With at least 60,000 starpoints, you can pick from any level three hotel with options all over the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia.
If you’ve managed to earn 70,000 starpoints with additional spending, you can crank up your hotel options to include category 4 Starwood properties with possibilities all over the world including Aruba, the Bahamas, Mexico, Australia, and Europe.
Click here to browse Category 3 hotels.
Click here to browse Category 4 hotels.
Fly the Friendly Skies for Free
Now it’s time to pick your flights. Starwood’s Nights & Flights program allows you to redeem your starpoints for 50,000 frequent flyer miles with any qualifying airline. Once you’ve decided where you want to travel, investigate which airline will give you the most bang for your buck. From my own hometown (Indianapolis), I found that my husband and I can fly round-trip to Nassau or Aruba for 50,000 American Airlines miles and less than $200 total in additional taxes and fees.
And this is where your Barclay Arrival World Mastercard comes in. Since its reward points are redeemable for any type of travel, you can use your $920 in travel rewards to cover any additional mileage that the 50,000 in frequent flyer miles don’t.
Want to sign up for the Barclay Arrival World MasterCard? You can sign up here.
Have you ever paid for an entire trip with credit card rewards? If not, why not?