Using Points to TRAVEL FREE.
I have said use your points to travel and that is just what my family and I did this summer.
We mostly used our Amex MR points, and we got 6 little trips out of it totaling 14 days.
We have to use our points when we can travel and as teachers the summer is prime time to travel.
Trip 1 – 3 nights camping at Rondeau Provincial Park – cost $150.00
You can use your Amex MR points to offset travel costs – it is not the best use of them – you should probably convert them to airline points, but for this summer we splurged. 1000MR points = $10 in travel.
Total points used 15,000 MR points
Trip 2 – 3 nights at a “fancy” cabin at the KOA – cost $450
Same idea as trip 1 – total points used 45,000 MR points
Trip 3 – 3 nights hotel and flight to Atlantic City (my family went to a nice cottage in Muskoka)
As reported in a previous post it is very cheap to fly to AC from Detroit in the summer and you should be able to find flights for about $100.
My room was comped by my friends for this trip so that helped!
My flight was $110 – total points used 11,000 MR points
Trip 4 – 2 nights at a regular cabin at the KOA – cost $110
Same idea as trip 1 – total points used 11,000 MR points
Trip 5 – 1 night at the Best Western Birch run, MI
I did a post on this trip a couple weeks back and it was a great deal. $90 for the room which included 2000 bonus Aeroplan points, free beer/wine from 5pm – 7pm and free breakfast for the 4 of us.
Total cost $90
Trip 6 – 2 nights at the Cambridge, Ont Best Western
The total cost of this was $330 but I had a $100 Best Western coupon emailed to me which I found on Twitter a month or so ago. I believe I re-tweeted it on this site. You just had to give them your rewards number and email, but I understand not everyone got one.
This got us 2 nights plus 4 tickets to African Lion Safari and free breakfast both mornings.
Total points used 23,000 MR points
So it was a productive summer travel wise and that is 14 days of staying in different types of accomodations. I will sum up.
Total cash spent $90
Total MR points used up 105,000
Side note – we usually use our Best Western points for stays there but we used them all up on our 2 trips to Florida this year – 6 nights for free total. There hasn’t been a good sign up bonus for their Canadian Mastercard since last summer – 60,000 points.
Between my wife and I that is 2 new credit cards each – we got them over the course of about 6 months – nothing crazy and quite lucrative. We actually ended up with 60,000 Amex MR points (25,000 + 25,000 + 10,000) through the Gold Rewards Card and me referring her. Then we got the Amex AeroplanPlus Gold Card and had (30,000 + 30,000 + 10,000) = 70,000 Aeroplan points after I referred her to that.
You can keep the 70,000 Aeroplan or convert them to giftcards or I convert them to Avios points.
Yes, it’s not enough MR points but I already had some from before.
See our pages on Amex about the no-fee credit cards you can get and our pages on Avios and Aeroplan to start to learn about those programs.
Bottom line is we spent a total of $90 and vacationed for 14 nights.
That is why this hobby is fun!