Dollar Saving Advice for Travel Sports.
Note – for the purpose of this write up, 1 night stays in hotel rooms with 2 Queens or 1 King will be priced at $125. Sometimes they cost more, sometimes less but this number seems like a fair number to use.
In the last 2 days I have had different people ask me what cards are good for staying in hotels for free.
They were parents of kids that are about to travel around Ontario for travel hockey and tournaments.
Now this advice will save you parents a couple thousand dollars over a season in hotel bills.
I did a previous previous post on this in April and the same principles apply.
I know these sports are expensive, so any break you can get with hotel rooms is a bonus.
If all the parents got together and did this strategy they would collectively save many thousands of dollars.
Of course anyone needing hotel rooms can use this strategy – I have been staying for free in hotels for a few years now – but since the “travel hockey” angle came up I thought I would present it like that.
Remember, if you are not good paying bills or with credit cards – DON’T DO THIS STRATEGY!!!
This is for people that are looking at getting more perks out of their credit cards and can manage credit fine.
In the previous post there were bonuses that are now gone, so I will present the current approach.
STEP 1 – Get the Amex Gold Rewards Card.
This is the best card to get first and here is why.
After applying you would get the card about a week later. After spending only $500 on it, you will get 25,000 MR points worth $250 in travel (2 nights) for our example.
There is no fee on this card the first year! So….ya it’s $250 for free. It’s your choice whether you cancel that card before the year is up
You could have those points 2 weeks from the time you apply for the card, so it’s quick and you are good to go sooner.
Now, we have been touting the “refer a friend” option where if you have a partner(spouse) that can get this card and help pay for those travel hotel rooms, you should refer them! Now you get 10,000 more points ($100) and they get 25,000 points ($250)
Between you that’s $600 in travel, or 4-5 free hotel nights. Beautiful.
This one will cost you $120.
After your first purchase you get 60,000 IHG points. (Holiday Inns)
These points are roughly valued at 7 cents each or $420 in hotel rooms.
It takes a billing cycle to get those points so you probably won’t see those points for a month or so after applying for the card.
Looking at IHG properties around Ontario and Michigan, the average hotel goes for 20,000 points so you have just “bought” 3 nights for $120. That’s pretty good!
Again, your partner can do the same, so together you spend $240 for about 6 nights. Very good.
STEP 3 – Get the Amex AeroplanPlus Gold Card.
This is like the other Amex card in that it’s free the first year and you get 30,000 Aeroplan points after spending $500 on it.
Many people use those points for flights, but you can use it for hotel rooms!
For 11,500 Aeroplan you can pick up a $100 Best Western giftcard.
So you have at least $200 in Best Western cards but are closer to $300 – which is 34,500 Aeroplan.
For this example we will say 2 nights at a Best Western
Again, because this is Amex you can refer your partner and pick up 10,000 more Aeroplan.
You now have 40,000 Aeroplan which covers $300 in giftcards and your partner has $200 in giftcards – FOR FREE!
So between you that’s 4 more nights in Best Western hotels.
You can get other cards but for a season, 3 would be enough. Let’s summarize.
Total hotel nights if you and “partner” do this – 14 – or 7 weekends.
Total cost to both of you – $240.
Average cost per room – $17 a night.
Please contact us if you are unsure of this after applying for Amex – we put a referral link there for you, but you can always go to their site and apply directly – we do appreciate the referral business.
If you wanted no cost you could do what a bunch of my co-workers have done – just get the free Amex cards and refer your partner.
Total hotel nights – 8 – or 4 weekends
Total cost to both of you – FREE!!!
That is why we love Amex here.