Below I outline how a couple or a single person can get to Vegas, stay in a decent hotel and not spend a fortune doing it.
You can fly to and stay in Vegas for free. Almost. It will actually cost you about $120-$150 total to fly 2 people and stay for 3 nights.
OK, it seems like I am asked every day about going to Vegas using airline points or credit cards.
Honestly, I have already set up friends co-workers on flights there.
Yes, you can get to Vegas very cheaply if you read this page.
That is why we decided to do a separate Vegas page.
There are 2 components to this – flights and hotels – we won’t cover car rentals, shows, etc.
I myself have been to Vegas 3 times, Big Rick has been many more than that and I know Karen has been as well.
If I knew then what I know now about getting there, I would have saved a few thousand dollars.
Let’s talk flights. 2 options. Detroit – Vegas/ Toronto – Vegas.
Avios (per person)
Detroit – Vegas – 30,000 Avios + $14 – 7 hr flight, 1 stop
Toronto – Vegas – 35,000 Avios + $73 – 8 hr, 1 stop
Detroit – Vegas – 25,000 Aeroplan + $31 – 7hr, 1 stop
Toronto – Vegas – 25,000 Aeroplan + $147 – 8 hr, 1 stop
These can obviously change, but I have checked alot lately and these numbers stay fairly consistent.
So, depending on what you collect, there are your prices.
Notice the taxes from both Toronto departures. ouch. especially on Aeroplan.
There are ways to get both Avios/Aeroplan by Amex, for no fee, and you will just have to pay taxes. Let’s do this for a couple.
Avios – (check our Avios page for more)
1. Get the Amex Gold Rewards Card (25,000 MR = 25,000 Avios) after you spend $500.00 on card in 3 months.
2. Refer you travel partner (10,000 Avios) and they get card (25,000 Avios)
3. Total Avios between you is 60,000 – pool them with a family account.
4. Book it.(check Avios page how)
Still short a bit flying from Toronto, but you get extra points spending on it, so you would probably get those extra Avios in a few months, or you can buy them, it’s not many.
Aeroplan (check out Aeroplan page for more)
1. Get the AMEX Aeroplan Gold Card. (26,000 Aeroplan) after you spend $500.00 on card in 3 months. ($120 fee)
2. Refer your travel partner (10,000 Aeroplan) and they get card (26,000 Aeroplan)
3. You both have enough Aeroplan for flight (25,000 needed)
4. Book it. (check Aeroplan page how)
Let’s Talk Hotels
Ok this is where some people through Total Rewards(Caesar’s and those hotels) may already have enough points in their account for free nights.
If you don’t, here are a few options.
Most of the hotels on the main drag are very nice(Caesars), some are nice enough(Harrahs) and always a few OK ones (Circus Circus) – your opinion may differ from mine, that’s OK.
If you go during the week Sunday – Thursday nights are usually way cheaper than the weekends, by a significant amount.
But I’m talking free here, so what card right?
Starwood Preferred Guest has entered into a relationship with Total Rewards where you can now use (and earn) Starpoints at Total Rewards Hotels (Caesars, Planet Hollywood, Paris, The Cromwell, Rio, Harrahs, Ballys, The LINQ and Nobu).
I have been reading up on this as I was quite excited at first at this, but now my excitement isn’t quite as justified as Starpoints are worth a little over 1 cent each in these bookings when you consider taxes and other charges when booking rooms with cash. But if you do some looking, you can get 1.6 cents or higher on these.
Example – Bally’s for 3 nights in February, 2015.
When booked using cash it is 214.46 – 75 resort fee that applies to all bookings – so to make it even I will take that out of both. So about $140 US funds = about $180 CDN (Jan 28/15)
This hotel can be booked for 15,500 Starpoints total, wnich equals 1.2 cents per point.
1. So, you get the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex and you get 20,500 points after spending $500.00 in 3 months
2. You refer your travel partner and get 10,000 more points, and they get 20,500 points.
3. You both now have a total of 51,000 SPG points, but there is a $120.00 annual fee on both.
4. You can now go to Bally’s (example) for 3 nights during week for 15,500 Starpoints and have plenty leftover for more trips – or go somewhere nicer and use up the points!
You can wait for the MBNA Best Western Card – in the last 2 years they have offered sign up bonuses of 60,000 and 50,000 points for getting their card.
The Casino Royale is right in the middle of the action and is 20,000 Best Western points a night, which if you and your travel partner signed up for this card at say a 50,000 bonus each, that is 5 free nights!
The other bloggers say this is is a no-brainer as it is really free nights at
Best Westerns around the world and never an annual fee – might as well get this one! (when the bonus is good)
You can also use the Amex Gold Rewards card to offset travel costs.
Say you pay cash for your flights, but both of you got the card.
That is 60,000 MR points between you or $600.00 in travel booked.
You can just use that $600.00 to book whatever hotel you want on the card, for however many nights you wish. That way is easy.
So there you have it – Vegas free, or Vegas very cheap – I’ve already got a few people successfully doing it. Why not you?