A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Greg’s Prius died and left us stranded on the side of the road. I also mentioned that it was Greg’s birthday and that we were headed out of town for a fun weekend trip. I didn’t go into detail about it at the time, but I’m now ready to share the details of our almost-free weekend getaway. Oh, and aren’t you excited? Of course you are!
It all started when I signed up for the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. The deal went like this: Spend $1,000 in three months and get $400 in travel credit. And, the cool thing about the travel credit is that it didn’t have to be redeemed through some marked-up cheesy travel reward website. No, I could book my travel anywhere I wanted, whether it be Expedia or Travelocity, or whatever.
So, once I signed up for the card, it was super easy to spend $1,000 in three months. I just put my groceries and gas on the card, as usual, and paid it in full every few weeks. Then, BOOM. I totally reached the spending requirement and the travel credit showed up in my account in lightening fast speed. And, I liked it.
How to Earn $440 in Travel Credit
Since Greg was going to turn 34 on a Friday, I started looking for frugal weekend getaway ideas. And, it had to be something kid-friendly since our little monsters would be in tow. So, I had the bright idea that I would look for a waterpark. And, I found one! In Dundee, Michigan, there is this cool place called Splash Universe that has a Holiday Inn next door. Unfortunately, the website said that suites big enough for our family started around $279, which means that I would have to actually pay for part of the trip out of my own bank account. Oh, the horror….
So, I called the hotel and asked for a discount in my nicest phone voice. “It’s my husband’s birthday!” “It’s a special treat for my kids….” Fortunately, the lady who I talked to was in a generous mood. And, after negotiating a little bit, we were able to get a two bedroom suite for $149 per night. They also offered to throw in a free breakfast buffet for both days AND free waterpark passes for four! Of course, I was all over that deal and signed us up. So, when all was said and done, I paid $345 (including taxes and fees) for a two-bedroom suite for two nights, eight breakfasts, and four two-day water park passes. And, I’m left with $100 in additional hotel or flight credit to spend on our next trip.
More Amazing Savings
One of the most amazing things about the room we booked as that it had a small (and ghetto) kitchenette. This meant that we were able to bring drinks, meals, and snacks with us. So, although we ate dinner at Applebee’s on my husband’s birthday and McDonald’s for lunch on Saturday, we ate the rest of our meals in our room. And, having a fridge in the room came in super handy since my kids guzzle milk and yogurt like it’s crack cocaine. But, they’re so adorable. So, it’s fine.
Also, make sure to check out this review of the Discover It Card over at Frugal Rules!
When is the last time you traveled using credit card rewards? Or, if you haven’t done it, are you considering it?