$26,936 Worth of Travel | My 2012 Upcoming Trip Report Summary

In 2012, our family will be doing a lot of traveling.

Today I’ll share our upcoming trip plans with you so that, if you’re still sitting on the fence, you can discover the amazing value of redeeming air miles collected by signing up for the best credit card sign up bonuses.

In this report, I’ll be sharing the trips we have booked.

2 Rooms, 7 Nights Hotel in Kula Lampur

In April 2012, our family will be flying from Alotau, Papua New Guinea to Kula Lampur, Malaysia.

We’ll stay there for one week.

The tickets are being purchased by our supporting church as they cover our relocation to the US.

While in KUL, we’ll be staying at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel.

If we paid cash for the two hotel rooms, the total cost would be: $598.68.

Instead, we used 26,000 Starwood points per room for a total of 52,000 Starwood points.

We accumulated those points from both the Starwood credit card (business and personal) as well as opening a TD Ameritrade account for points.

The total cost will be $0.

Phuket, Thailand to Toronto, Ontario: 2 passengers

From KUL, we’ll fly to Phuket where we’ll be meeting my parents.  By the way, they were able to get flights to Queenstown, New Zealand with a stop back in Phuket for 80,000 miles per ticket in economy.

We’ll actually be paying for accommodations there (gasp!) as we were looking for something that had a kitchenette and could accommodate all of us.  A hotel room was not going to cut it.

From there, we’ll be flying to Toronto.  Two of those tickets will be on points.

The reason we only got two was because we would have been over our travel budget if we asked to be reimbursed for five flights.  To keep our trip within budget, we decided to cover two of the tickets with points.

If purchased with cash, tickets cost: $1,000 per adult and $750 per child.

Miles Used: 65,000 United MileagePlus

Taxes and fees paid: $150 for both tickets.

Where the miles came from:  Earlier this year, I signed up for the Continental card when it had a 50,000 sign up bonus.    The other 15,000 was from miles that I’ve actually flown.

 

Savings: $1,600.  Value per mile: 2.46 cents per mile

*  You can get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and get 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred into 40,000 Continental or United miles.

Toronto, Ontario to Budapest, Hungary: 2 tickets

In May, my wife and I will be celebrating our 12 year anniversary by leaving the kids for five nights.  They’ll stay with my parents while we jet off to Budapest.

We’ll travel there in business class and home in economy.

If purchased, tickets cost (on aa.com for one way business and one way economy): $3725.90

Miles Used: 140,000 American AAdvantage

Taxes and fees paid: $250 for both tickets.

Where the miles came from: Back when American was offering 75,000 bonus miles for the personal card and business card, my wife and I each got both.*

Savings: $3,475.90.  Value per mile: 2.48 cents per mile.

* The current best American Airlines credit card offer is for 50,000 miles per card.

Hilton Budapest Hotel:

While in Budapest, we’ll be staying at the Hilton in Budapest.

Those four nights would cost us $612.

Instead, we’re using HHonors points accumulated from the Hilton American Express and some points from our 30 nights in a Homewood Suites earlier this year.

Savings: $612.

New York (JFK) to Buenos Aries and Bariloche : 5 Tickets

At the end of May, our family of five is going to travel to South America to explore a place none of us have been – Argentina.  All tickets are in economy class.

If purchased with cash, tickets cost: $7,052.95.

Miles Used: 100,000 British Airways miles

Taxes and fees paid: $210 for all tickets.

Where the miles came from: I signed up for the British Airways 100,000 miles bonus offer earlier this year.*

* The current best British Airwas credit card offer is for 50,000 miles per card.

 

Savings: $6,842.95.  Value per mile: 6.84 cents per mile.

Bariloche to Cheyenne, Wyoming: 5 Tickets

Cheyenne is our final destination.  We’ll be living there as of June 2012.

If purchased, tickets cost: $14,260.50. I thought the price was so high because we were flying into Cheyenne.  However, when I made Denver the destination, the price jumped to over $20,000.

Miles Used: 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles

Taxes and fees paid: $454.00 for all tickets.  This includes a $25 per person phone booking fee because I couldn’t find the right flights online.

Where the miles came from: Back when American was offering 75,000 bonus miles for the personal card and business card, my wife and I each got both.*

 

Savings: $13,806.50.  Value per mile: 13.8 cents per mile.

* The current best American Airlines credit card offer is for 50,000 miles per card.

We’ve yet to get our hotels in Buenos Airies and Bariloche, but we’ve got a bunch of free hotel points left.

Grand Total Savings: $26,936.03

Number of CC applications to get that value: 12 credit card applications

I conservatively estimated that I earned $7,200 worth of travel this year.  I guess that was really, really conservative!

What mileage trips do you have planned for this year?

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

Comments

    • Craig says

      R,
      It actually depends on the card and the program. I’ll plan on doing a full post next week to answer you question.

  1. says

    I’m jealous of your family! I have to I always have a heart for traveling but last week I had spent more than necessary from my flight to Paris. And I’m with my friends. I wanna have a family real soon too! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Craig says

      Angel,
      Enjoy your time in Paris. Sounds exciting. I guess a lot of people don’t even get to travel out of the US so we’re both blessed.

  2. heather says

    Craig – Do you fly in coach with the family? How do your kids manage the long flights? I’d love to know! I’m dreaming of future family trips to Asia and don’t know if I should save miles for business or if coach would be fine. We’ve always flown coach before, just not such a long distance.

    • Craig says

      Heather,
      We fly coach. All of our kids have flown by the time they were 6 weeks old and they mostly sleep on the flights. Our kids really look forward to flying and enjoy every minute of it. We couldn’t justify business class with the kids because as long as they get an orange juice they feel like they’re in business class.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *