Posts Tagged With: Europe

Fly to South Africa then to Europe for $385

Via you can fly off from several cities in the USA such as Dallas, NYC, Philadelphia and more to Johannesburg, South Africa and later over to Warsaw, Poland for a super cheap fare. Th example here from Google Flightsshows flight out of Dallas to be around $385. Other cities such as NYC and Philadelphia are pricing out ~$550 but play around with the dates and you may be able to get lower fares.

Qatar SA Europe

Availability from November 2016 to January 2017

Categories: cheap travel, Mistake fare, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 5 credit cards for Free Hotel Stays

You can visit to sign up for many of these limited time offers

Best Hotel Credit Cards For Free Stays

If you’re searching for the best hotel credit cards, look no further. I’ve chosen a handful of my favorites that offer high rewards, free lodging and extra perks for loyal cardholders. Hotel-branded cards, unlike most airline cards or retail cards, can actually be worth your while. Frequent guests will discover benefits that both curb costs and add another dimension of luxury to the hotel experience. You can check to sign-up for these cards and more under Travel and Airline.

1. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve 

Citi® Hilton HHonors<sup>TM</sup> Reserve Card
Current Bonus: 
Two weekend night certificates, each good for one weekend night (standard room, double occupancy) at most hotels and resorts within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, after $2,500 spend in 4 months. 
Other Benefits: 
10 points for every $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio. 5 points for every $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases. 3 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Automatic Hilton HHonors Gold status; Diamond status with $40,000 annual spend. No foreign transaction fees. SmartChip technology. Visa Signature benefits. Cardholders who spend $10,000 annually get an anniversary free weekend-night certificate that can be used at any property 
Annual Fee:
Value: The value of the two free weekend nights could easily be worth $800-$1000, plus the free night at $10,000 in spend ($300) plus Gold status (Free-Breakfast, Upgrades etc ~$150) minus the annual fee of $95 = value of about $1,300 to me. I would use them at Conrad Koh Samui for a 2-night stay where a night can easily costs upwards of $500 or the gorgeous Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. Below is a snapshot of how much the rooms cost per night at Conrad Maldives (~$2400 per night …pheww!!)


conrad maldives



2. Starwood Preferred Guest Card

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express Application

Current bonus : Earn 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase on the Card and an additional 15,000 Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.
Other Benefits: 2 Starpoints per dollar spent on Starwood spend, 2 stays/5 nights towards elite status qualification, Gold status after $30,000 in spend per year. 
Annual Fee: 
$65, waived the first year.
Value: I value the Starpoints at about 2.5 cents a piece ($625 for the sign-up bonus) and I leverage the 2 stay/5 nights elite benefits (~$100) to hit Platinum status, so the total value to me is about $725 for this card. I signed up for this card when the offer was increased to 30,000 Starpoints and used it to stay for three nights at Le Meridien, Barcelona. The stay would have costed us upwards of $300 per night for which I used 30,000 Starwood points and $50 out of pocket.

Welcome Le Meredien Barcelona

We were welcomed to our suite in Barcelona with Cold Champagne and yummy chocolate coated strawberries!!


Barcelona suite 1

The view of La Ramblas from the room was breathtaking!










3. IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card Application

Current Bonus: 70,000 points after $1,000 spend in 3 months. 
Other Benefits: 
Earn 5 points per dollar spent at IHG properties, 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Platinum Elite status. 10% points back on all IHG Rewards bookings. Annual free night at any property worldwide upon card anniversary. 
Annual Fee:
$49, waived first year
Value: I value IHG Rewards points at about .7 cents a piece so 70,000 = $490  plus the 10% return on all award bookings would be at a minimum 70,000 from the sign-up bonus, so 7,000 points ($49) and Platinum status ($50) for a total value of about $589. You can maximize the reward stay by reading my article on scoring IHG Hotels worldwide for 5000 points. Via the sign-up bonus you could almost score 14 nights at 5000 points per night via the pointsbreak offer IHG Hotels rolls-out every few months. I would use my anniversary night to stay at IHG Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort

You could use your anniversary night y to enjoy this breathtaking view. Great use of the $49 annual fees to score these bungalows which go for almost $1000 a night


4. Hyatt Visa

The Hyatt Credit Card
Current Bonus: 2 free nights at Hyatt properties worldwide after $1,000 spend in 3 months.
Other Benefits: Receive automatic Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum elite membership . Earn 3 points for every $1 spent at all Hyatt properties. Earn 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, and at car rental agencies. Earn 1 point for every $1 spent elsewhere. No foreign transaction fees. Smart Chip technology and extra protections. Free night at category 1-4 property every year after your card anniversary.
Annual Fee: $75, waived first year
Value: Those two free nights could easily be worth $800 a night considering they’re valid at all Hyatt hotels including swanky Park Hyatt properties around that world, plus $50 for elite membership gives this card an value to me of about $1600. You could use your 2 free nights to stay at Park Maldives Hadahaa, Park Hyatt Tokyo to name a few.


Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa



Best Park Hyatt to Stay 2 Free Nights with the Hyatt Visa

Park Hyatt Tokyo


5. US Bank Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature



Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card






Current Bonus: 85,000 Gold Points – 50,000 after first purchase, 35,000 after $2,500 spend in 90 days
Other Benefits: 
10 points per dollar on eligible purchases at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide, and 5 points per dollar elsewhere. 40,000 bonus points each year after you renew your card and pay the annual fee. Bonus Award Nights –when Gold Points are redeemed for two or more consecutive award nights, the last night is free – exclusively for cardmembers. Automatic Gold Elite Status once the card is used. Existing Gold Elite members receive 15 qualifying nights toward Concierge Elite Status.
Annual Fee: $75
Value: I value Club Carlson points at about 0.6 cents a piece, so the 85,000 = $510 plus the free award night benefit is an easy way to save at least 70,000 points a year ($420) plus $25 in elite status perks – $75 = $880 in value to me. I absolutely love the fact that your last night is always free on stays of 2+ nights. A couple can combine these to easily stay at some top hotels around the world for free!! For example, you can use 50,000 points to stay at Radisson Blu Resort Marina & Spa, St. MartinRadisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape TownRadisson Blu Plaza Hotel SydneyRadisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel, Paris Eiffel and many more!!

Radisson Blu Sydney

Radisson Blu Sydney

Radisson Blu Cape Town

Radisson Blu Cape Town

Radisson Blu Eiffel


I’d love to know which cards you have or plan to sign up for and where would you use your free nights?


You can visit to sign up for many of these limited time offers

Categories: cheap travel, Club Carlson, Conrad, Europe, free travel, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG Hotel, Radisson, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family of 2 can get to Europe for under $500 this winter

US Airways off peak award space to Europe is wide open. For travel between January 15 and February 28, 2015, you can pay as little as 30,000 miles round-trip to tons of top cities like London, Paris, Madrid, and Dublin.

Reminder of US Airways Off Peak Awards

US Airways has incredible discounts on the miles needed for a roundtrip award to Europe and the Caribbean during off peak dates (January 15 – February 28 for Europe and September for Caribbean).

Off peak awards require finding Saver award space on all legs from your home airport to your destination, and flying all US Airways planes. That is, you cannot fly partners, including American Airlines.

The off peak price is 35,000 miles roundtrip to Europe. Folks with the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® get an automatic 5,000 mile discount on all US Airways awards that fly only US Airways planes, which is a requirement of off peak awards.  That means US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® cardholders pay only 30,000 miles roundtrip to Europe during off peak dates.

Right now the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus miles after first purchase and payment of an $89 annual fee.

Where You Can Fly

If your home airport has US Airways flights, you can fly to Europe for as little as 30,000 miles roundtrip. You will need to connect to Philadelphia or Charlotte for the flights to Europe. Here are the flights to Europe from Philadelphia. (I’ve crossed out the seasonal flights because those aren’t options in January or February.)

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.40.48 PM

You’ve got the major tourist cities like London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam. You’ve also got some smaller ones like Munich and Manchester.

From Charlotte in the winter, the only US Airways flights are to London and Frankfurt.

Award Price

Off peak awards from anywhere in the United States to Europe are 35,000 US Airways miles roundtrip or 30,000 miles if you have the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® like me. You can purchase additional 10,000 miles (currently with 3,000 bonus miles) for $295. With the annual fees of $89, additional 10,000 miles to be purchased for $295 and the award processing fee of $100 for two tickets you are looking to spend a total of roughly under $500 for a round -trip ticket to Europe for 2 people this winter.

In addition, you have to pay government taxes and the standard $50 US Airways award processing fee.

There are several destinations that cost ~$100 all in including Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam, Brussels, and the cheapest of all, Dublin at 30,000 miles + $96.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.47.44 PM

The most expensive destination is London because of the UK’s Air Passenger Duty. It costs 30,000 miles + $248.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.49.50 PM

Award Space

To search for award space, go to and search right in the box at the top of the home page (click to enlarge.)

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.44.01 PM

Select your cities, dates, and number of passengers. Check “Book with miles.”

Your results will automatically display in a color-coded month long calendar. The color-coding is a bit annoying because every level of award space is a shade of blue, but the lightest ones are off peak awards. Off peak award space is wide open.


Basically six days a week in both directions.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.42.27 PM


Basically six days a week in both directions.
Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.45.20 PM


Four to six days of award space in both directions each week
Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.46.18 PM


Award space every day in February except for one in both directions.
Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.48.52 PM


Award space the vast majority of days in both directions.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.54.26 PM


Again, broken record, award space almost every day.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.57.49 PM

Bottom Line

Off peak awards are easy to search and easy to book with US Airways miles. If you don’t mind visiting Europe in winter (and missing the crowds), you can book a roundtrip for 35,000 miles or 30,000 miles if you have the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®.

To most cities in Europe, off peak award space is available almost every day from Philadelphia from January 15 to February 28. Find award space from your home airport to Philly at the Saver level and book your vacation today.

The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® with 50,000 bonus miles after first purchase and paying $89 annual fee

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of the $89 annual fee*
  • First checked bag free on eligible bags for you and up to four companions on domestic US Airways operated flights
  • One companion certificate good for up to 2 guests to travel with you on a US Airways operated flight at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
  • Priority boarding Zone 2 on US Airways operated flightsRedeem miles for award travel on US Airways and American Airlines booked through or US Airways Reservations
  • Earn miles on every purchase with 2 miles for every $1 you spend on US Airways and American Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 on purchases everywhere else
  • New! Receive a 25% savings on eligible US Airways and American Airlines in-flight purchases
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete detail

You don’t have to but I am grateful if you plan to  use my referral link to sign up for the card

Application Link: The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®

Categories: Europe, US Airways | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at