A few days ago the girls and I got back from a 2 night mini-vacation in San Antonio. The kids have helped us so much with our Brenham properties, I decided a few days away would be fun. I have stock piled a ton of Hyatt points and so it was no big deal to use a few of them.
Many people ask how I get all of this free travel. It’s been one year since my friend Julie taught me how to travel hack. So far this is the free travel I have used:
- 5 round trip tickets to Amsterdam and Paris – value $7500
- Airbb in Paris- value $1100
- 2 round trip tickets to Calgary Canada- value $1500
- 3 round trip tickets to Toulouse, France and Lisbon, Portugal- value $4500
- 3 one ways tickets from Toulouse to Lisbon- value $300
- 3 one way tickets from Denver to Houston on Southwest Airlines- value $450
- 2 nights at the Renaissance Denver downtown- value $800
- 2 nights at the Breckenridge Residence Inn- value $500
- 2 nights in 2 rooms at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort- value (suite $1400) double room ($600)
Total value = $18,650
Thank you to my friend Julie for teaching me!!! She and her daughter accompanied us to the Hyatt.
The best way to start is to decide what you want to focus on (airline, hotel, or both). Then figure out which airline is best for you depending on where you live.
The best credit cards to earn rewards come from Chase. Chase got smart and now has this rule called the 5/24 rule. They will not approve you for a Chase credit card if you have taken out 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months. So my recommendation is to start with one Chase card.
For airline points I recommend the United and the Chase Sapphire. Here are two blogs that I have written about these cards. The first one is this link. The second one is this link. For this blog, I am going to just talk about why the Hyatt Chase is one to really consider getting.
When I signed up for the card I was given 50,000 free hotel points after spending $3000 in 3 months. The first year was free (they have since changed this) and after having the card for one year, you get a free night at a category 1-4 hotel. After you spend $15,000 you get another free night. I signed up for a card and Dave signed up for his own card. This is important!!! Do not put your spouse on your card as an authorized user so that you can get double the points! I am going to go ahead and keep the card and pay the annual $95 year fee. Because I can get a category 4 hotel room for free (valued up to $400 or $500), it is worth keeping. Plus, when I use it I earn a point for every dollar I spend.
Category 1- 5,000 points (example…Hyatt Place)
Category 2- 8,000 points (Hyatt Regency downtown Houston)
Category 3- 12,000 points (Grand Hyatt on the San Antonio River Walk)
Category 4- 15,000 points (Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa)
Category 5- 20,000 points (Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa)
Category 6- 25,000 points (Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa)
Category 7- 30,000 points (Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort)
For the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, I called and said that we have a few kids and I wanted to use my free night. She called the resort and they agreed to upgrade me to a Suite and only charge me 15,000 points for the second night!!!
So lets say you want to take your family skiing for Spring Break in Colorado. If you and your spouse each take out a card, you will have 100,000 points together. You could stay at the Hyatt Place Keystone (category 4) for 6 nights and have a few miles left over. You could stay at the Beaver Creek Resort (category 7, it costs $980 a night during ski season) for 3 nights and pay for an extra night or try and earn 20,000 points (that is not hard if you put all of your groceries and bills on your card).
So, there you have it! If anyone wants to apply for the Chase Hyatt, I would love for you to use my referral link. I get 5000 free points for every person that signs up under my name. If you sign up, have your spouse refer you so that you can earn the 5000 points. Many travel hackers put this card at the top of their list because you get high quality hotels for low amounts of points.
If you are just getting into earning free travel by having the right card, I highly recommend starting by signing up for the Chase Saphire and then United Chase if United is a hub. Happy FREE traveling!!!