Here’s a short, simple post to plainly illustrate how valuable travel credit card signup bonuses can be.
Early this year Patty and I each signed up for an IHG Rewards Club credit card. The annual fee was waived for the first year and we received 80,000 IHG points each as a signup bonus. Getting that signup bonus was straightforward also as the minimum spending requirement per card was a reasonable $1,000 in 3 months of account opening.
Fast forward to this month… We decided to book our sort-of-annual trip to Florida for spring training baseball. Spring training is a great, escape-the-cold-of-winter experience.
Our desired lodging location for the March 2016 trip: Sarasota. Some basic online research revealed that the Hotel Indigo in Sarasota, a few minutes from St. Armand’s Circle and Lido Key, continues to get rave reviews.
The Hotel Indigo is in demand at that time of year though, so it’s not cheap – rooms are going for $414 per weekend night and $328 for weekday nights. Our desired 3-night, Friday through Monday stay would cost a total of $1,295. That would be tough to stomach.
Now the good news. The 80k bonus points earned from signing up for the IHG card cover the stay entirely! The same 3-night stay that would cost $1,295 can be booked for 75,000 IHG Rewards Club points. We didn’t mess around. We booked the room and are planning the details of our trip now.
For this booking we used Patty’s IHG’s points. She actually has points from the signup bonus left over and we didn’t even touch the 80k points I earned for signing up for the card!
To minimize costs for this trip further, we booked flights on Southwest. I booked my flights using Southwest Rapid Rewards points and then booked companion flights for Patty, so she’s flying for free.
So other than a few dollars in airport taxes/fees, our four-day, three-night spring training trip will be free of any lodging and airfare costs. You can’t beat that!
Are you getting a great value out of frequent flyer miles or hotel points? Share your success stories (or troubles) in the comments section below!