I’ve written about my obsession with credit card rewards several times.  You can read those posts here, here, and here.  If you go back and read the old stuff, you’ll notice a common theme: I’m winning with credit card rewards.  Sure, I’m doing fine without credit card rewards.  However, rewards create the opportunity to get free travel, cash, and gift cards for a minimal amount of effort.  Free stuff makes me happy and finding new ways to get free stuff has become one of my hobbies.  Winning!

How I’m Winning

Winning!

Last month, I wrote about how we’re currently using our Starwood preferred guest card in order to earn free hotel stays.  (If you would like to sign up for the American Express Starwood Preferred card, please do me the honor of signing up here and I receive a small finder’s fee.)  As I reported, Greg and I were both going to use the card in order to earn 25,000 bonus starpoints each.  The bonus points in addition to the regularly earned points (1 point per dollar spent) meant that we would have 60,000 starpoints to use on a vacation nearly anywhere in the world.  From there, we looked at hotels all over the world, even hotels in Sydney, Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand.  Here are the options that we’re considering:

  • Westin Resort & Casino in Aruba  I have been talking about going to Aruba forever! In fact, we had plans to go last year and we decided to go to the Dominican Republic instead.  This is definitely one of the top contenders for our 2014 winter vacation.  Since it’s in category 4, free rooms cost 10,000 points per night.  Another thing to keep in mind is that this program also offers an additional 5th night free if you use your points to book at least 4 consecutive nights at one hotel.  So, I could technically use my 60,000 points to pay for 6 nights and get the 7th night free.  I could also use my points toward 5 free nights in a level 4 hotel and 50,000 airline miles through Starwood’s Nights & Flights program.  The options are unlimited.
  • Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino  I’ve never been to the Bahamas before.  It looks beautiful.  Another great perk about traveling here is that the flights are pretty darn cheap if I choose to pay for them.  It currently only costs about $350 to fly from Indianapolis to Nassau.
  • Park Lane Hotel in London  This bitch is smack dab across the street from Buckingham Palace.  It’s down the street from Hyde Park and near the theatre district that I sooooooooo want to check out.  In fact, it’s within walking distance of Queen’s Theatre where you can see the stage version of Les Miserables.  It also has a vegan menu in the hotel’s restaurant.  It’s like a dream come true!!!  Flights would be pricey ($800-$1100 per person) but I think the trip would be worth it.

Due to the spending requirements, we weren’t supposed to earn this reward until October.  However, we finished early because we decided to take a last minute vacation to Mexico next month and we put ours and our friend’s vacations on one of our cards for convenience.  (Of course, we paid the balance in full immediately and our friends paid us for their half!!!) Winning!

How I’m Churning for Free Flights

The next card we are going to sign up for is the Barclaycard Arrival Card.  I received a direct mailer advertising 40,000 bonus points after spending $1000 in the first three months.  The 40,000 points can then be redeemed for $400 in travel with any airline.  Greg and I can do this easily and earn $400 off of each of our airline tickets to our destination.  If we choose to go to Aruba or Nassau, this is enough to pay for our flights in full!

So, that’s it folks.  That’s how I’m winning at credit card rewards.  So, how about you?  Have you ever signed up for credit cards for rewards?  If so, what card are you working on right now?