How Credit Card Rewards Made My Luxurious European Honeymoon Possible (Part 1)

Whenever I tell someone that I am getting married they always have the same reply, “You must be so excited!” The Future Bride and I are very excited for what we know will be a wonderful day. That being said, what we are looking forward to even more so is the Honeymoon. No more worries, no more questions, no more forms, no more last minute details to take care of. All of the stresses of wedding planning float away and then it will be just the two of us enjoying the world, 8 days of relaxation. We haven’t taken a vacation in years and we have never taken one by plane ever.

We decided to go big, Europe. We want to see Paris and Venice and Rome, neither of us have ever been. I knew two things going in, it was going to be expensive and I was going to need a plan. We had a budget, $5000.00. At first glance it didn’t seem like it could be done, even the “Future Bride” had her doubts. I had a few aces in the hole, credit card rewards. I began my research and selected four credit cards for the task.

  • hyatt The Chase Hyatt Signature Visa Card – This card offers 2 FREE nights at any Hyatt Property after you spend $1000 in the first three months(in my case it was after the first purchase, the promotion has changed since). The card has an annual $75 fee. Enrollment in this card also makes you a “Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum” member. 
  • marriottThe Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card – This card gives you 50,000 bonus points after you enroll and spend $1000 in the first three months. Depending on the category level of the hotel you are staying at this could offer you multiple free nights of stay at a more modest hotel and a large discount at more luxurious accommodations. The annual fee is waived for the first year and you earn “Silver Elite” status as a card member.
  • hilton cardThe Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature CardVery similar to the Marriott card, this one gives you 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1000 in the first four months. Likewise you can use these point for a multiple day stay at a more modest hotel and less so a higher level hotel in the Hilton chain. This card has no annual fee, which is always welcome.
  • travelocityThe Travelocity American Express CardThis is a great card and perhaps my favorite of the bunch. It gives you points that you can use to reduce the cost of flights and hotels that you book with the Travelocity site. You are awarded 7500 points after you first purchase and 5 points for every dollar spent at Travelocity. It has a $39 annual fee. My strategy is to use this card to book our flights and use the points earned to get a reduced price on a great hotel.

So as the wedding expenses came in I made sure to charge each to a different card to met each of the spending requirements. I called the customer service dept. of each card to make sure that I had met all of the requirements and qualified for each reward. Once I knew I had done so I began to prepare my trip.

I researched my flights and hotels and began to plan my itinerary. In the next post I will share with you the outcome. Stay tuned.

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