Alaska AirlinesAMEX PlatinumHiltonLoungesTokyo

8 Nights in Tokyo + Airfare for $237

Earlier this year, we enjoyed a trip to Tokyo, Japan for nine days and eight nights. My wife, mother and I flew round-trip with just one connection, and stayed in the heart of Tokyo's business district at a 4.5 star hotel in Shinjuku. We stayed on the executive floor and enjoyed access to the Executive Lounge offering breakfast, snacks and cocktails; and we did it all for less than $237/person. Breakdown Service Value Paid Hotel – 8 nights w/ Exec Lounge $4,861 $95 Round-trip Airfare for 3 $4,129 $615 Sum $8,990 $710 (92% off!) $236.67 / person The $710 paid was a result of taxes incurred, and annual fees associated with credit cards we acquired solely for this trip. Value It pays to use points for airfare and hotel expenses because not only are the exchange rates favorable, yo

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AMEX PlatinumChase Hyatt VisaChase IHG MasterCardDiningFree NightsGasGlobal EntryHiltonInsuranceLoungesMarriottPerksRideshare AppsSheratonTravelTSA PreCheckUpgradesWestin

What’s in my wallet?

If you know me, you know I appreciate The Art And Science Of Rewards Credit Card Churning and the value it produces when done well. But having been asked a few times recently, I wanted to take a brief moment to advocate for the cards I have kept (or plan to keep) despite their annual fees; one of the biggest scare-factors of credit cards for novice users. Today, I’ll tell you about three of the credit cards I keep, how I justify the fees each year, and why you should consider one or more of them. Card The American Express Platinum Card Annual Fee $550 Welcome Offer 60,000 points worth $1,200 in travel Perks 10% back on travel*, $200 airline credit, $200 Uber credit, fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PRE✓, Boingo Internet Preferred Plan, airport lounge access inc

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Alaska AirlinesCancunChase Hyatt VisaCredit CardsHyattHyatt Zilara CancunUpgrades

Enhancing a Trip with Plastic

Next week, we depart for a week-long stay in Cancun, Mexico! In late 2014, Alaska Airlines added nonstop flights to Cancun from Seattle; making it one of the more luxurious itineraries available. We also couldn't pass up the opportunity to stay at one of Hyatt's newer properties in the area which opened around the same time. This trip took some planning, but we were each able to secure our airfare for just the cost of the fees ($75.00) after redeeming 60,000 miles in exchange for roundtrip, nonstop, First Class tickets! These same pair of tickets would have cost us nearly $2,500 otherwise. As for the miles, they're easily attainable through Alaska's 25,000 mile bonus upon approval. For the bold: We had some luck explaining to the bank our desire to separate&n...

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Alaska AirlinesBoA Alaska Air VisaChase Hyatt VisaFree NightsTravelUnited AirlinesUnited Explorer VisaUpgradesWestin

One-Week Honeymoon in Maui for under $175.00

When my wife Brianna married me, she knew about my obsession with points and miles acquisition. My plan to fund the honeymoon trip to Maui became clear when she saw we only had $175 budgeted for the trip’s hotel and airfare. Despite her knowing about the wild world of points, she still asked: How will we stay 6 nights in Maui for only $175?? Generally speaking, I had this strategy: Brianna and I would each acquire two airline credit cards (each with a bonus equivalent to a one-way ticket); and 1-2 hotel cards incentivizing new cardholders with free nights. When deciding which cards to pursue, we considered which airlines best met our needs, and whether there were specific hotels in Maui that we particularly wished to stay at. For us, we were traveling from Seattle and it was important to ...

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