Miles and points: 4 dream trips that even beginners can book
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Whether you’re new to the world of credit card points and frequent flyer miles or a seasoned veteran, the hardest part of planning an award trip can often be figuring out how to use your rewards right. carefully. For many people, deciding where to go and where to stay is a feat in itself, not to mention what programs to use to book in order to maximize your points.
But one thing is clear: having a pool of points and miles in your name can open up travel opportunities. Whether you are looking to make your way to a new international city or to relax in a tropical location, points and miles can get you there, cover your accommodation and even give you unique experiences (private Hawaiian airplane tour, anybody?).
Below, we’ve outlined four different trips for each type of traveler, and how to use the points to take them in style without breaking the bank.
Beach vacation: Maui
Flight: Looking to get to Hawaii for as few points as possible? Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles might be your best bet. With Turkish, you can book flights on another Star Alliance United member from anywhere in the Americas to Hawaii for just 15,000 miles round trip. That’s a third of what United would charge on a good day for the same round-trip flights. The best part is that you don’t have to travel in Turkish to accumulate the carrier’s miles. The airline is a transfer partner of Citi and Capital One, which means points you earn with credit cards like Citi Premier and Capital One Venture can be used for booking.
Hotel: Whether you are traveling with friends, a partner or the whole family, the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea is a great accommodation option. Located in the southwestern part of the island, Wailea is known for its temperate climate that is neither rainy nor too hot and dry. The hotel itself has beautiful swimming pools, a world-class private art collection, as well as championship golf and tennis courses. It’s bookable with Hilton Honors Points, which you can quickly earn with cards like the Hilton Honors Surpass from American Express.
To improve: Nothing says luxury like your own private plane ride, which can be yours – for free – if you’ve got Chase Points to spare. If you have a card that earns ultimate rewards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or its more expensive sister card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can use the Chase Travel Portal to book activities. Take a one-hour scenic flight for up to three people for just over 25,000 points with Preferred, the equivalent of $ 324 – or for even fewer points if using Reserve, which has a ratio more favorable when booking through the Chase portal.
Romantic getaway: Paris
Flight: If Paris isn’t the ultimate destination for romance, we don’t know what it is. Go there using Etihad Guest Miles to book American Airlines flights; you can travel directly from several AA hubs including New York JFK, Chicago O’Hare, and Dallas-Ft. It’s worth it, and it’ll only cost you 45,000 off-peak miles for a round-trip economy class route. To get the required miles, transfer to Etihad from American Express, Capital One, or Citi.