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You and your spouse will both sign up for two credit cards, so you’ll have four total between the two of you. (Learn all about these two top credit cards.)
I’m going to walk you through my strategy for getting a free trip for two to Hawaii. Remember, KCL doesn’t get a kickback for this. We genuinely want you to experience free travel!
Step 1: Get 80,000 Hilton Honors points toward your free hotel stay by signing up for the American Express Hilton Honors Credit Card.
With the Hilton Honors card, you’ll receive 80,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first three months.
It’s easy to rack up points on the Hilton Honors American Express Card, because you get five points per dollar on all purchases at restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets.
All other purchases receive three points per dollar. So with the sign-up bonus of 80,000 points and the minimum spend of $2,000 within the first three months (assuming all of your purchases earned three points per dollar instead of five), you’ll already have at least 86,000 Hilton Honors points.
Total points earned toward Hilton hotel stay: 86,000
Step 2: After two months, refer your partner and you’ll get 10,000 points, plus the 80,000 bonus points they’ll get.
Sharing is caring! Especially if you’ll both be lying on the beach in Hawaii afterward.
When your spouse applies, you’ll get 10,000 bonus points for referring them. And after they spend $2,000 in purchases within the first three months, they’ll get the same 80,000 bonus points.
And one of the new and exciting Hilton Honors features is pooling points. So that means you and another person can share your Hilton Honors points.
Total points earned toward Hilton hotel stay: 96,000
Step 3: Book your Hilton hotel stay!
Congrats! Together with your spouse, you’ve earned a total of 182,000 Hilton points! It’s time to book your hotel.
One of the best benefits of Hilton Honors is that when you’re redeeming points, booking five nights at a time means the fifth night is free! That can save you 40,000-60,000 Hilton Honors Points. So with your Hilton Honors Points, you can stay five nights at various Hilton Hotels in Hawaii.
A quick search found a five-night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach for 180,000 points. Or using the flexible date tool on Hilton.com, we found a five-night stay at the Hilton Hotel Waikiki Beach in December for 180,000 points. So you’ll have some options!
Total Hilton hotel points used: 180,000 points for a five-night stay
Step 4: Rack up airline points. Three months later, apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and get 50,000 points.
Once you’re close to meeting your minimum spend on your Hilton Honors American Express Cards, you’ll be ready to start earning points for your flights. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Reward Points after $4,000 dollars are spent in the first three months.
Total points earned toward your flight to Hawaii: 50,000
Step 5: After two or three more months, refer your partner and you’ll get 5,000 points, plus the 50,000 bonus points they’ll get.
Now it’s time for your partner to get points for their flight. You’ll want to refer them so you get the 5,000 points for their referral.
And after they get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card and meet the minimum spend of $4,000 dollars in the first three months, they’ll also get the sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Reward Points.
Total points earned toward your Hawaii Flight: 55,000
Step 6: Book your flight to Hawaii!
This is a bit tricky, because before you book, you’re going to transfer your Ultimate Reward Points to the United Airlines MileagePlus program.
This is one of the best perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card! You can transfer your Ultimate Reward Points to over a dozen airline/hotel partners, and one of those partners is United Airlines.
With United Airlines MileagePlus, you can book a round-trip flight from anywhere in the United States to Hawaii for 45,000 miles round-trip. And how many miles do you have? Plenty for two round-trip tickets to paradise. Cash in 90,000 points for those tickets.
Total Chase Ultimate Reward points used: 90,000 points transferred to United Airlines for two round-trip flights to Hawaii
Step 7: Give yourself about 30 pats on the back and then start shopping for sunglasses and flip-flops.
Thanks to a little travel hacking and patience, you’ve scored yourself a free five-night stay in Hawaii with your spouse!
Most round-trip flights from the United States to Hawaii on United Airlines cost $600 or more, and your hotel stay would have cost you about $150 to $200/night.
That means you’ve saved at least $2,000 dollars (if not more) by using credit card rewards to pay for your Hawaiian vacation!
You will be responsible to pay tax on your free flight.