Marty's Points Journey

With high prices dominating the travel industry, many are looking for ways to cut vacation costs.  Before I got into the points and miles game, I would pay cash for every trip.  Granted, on flights, I would go for economy seats and the cheapest hotels (those Howard Johnson's days were rough in hindsight).  But now I know how to pay for vacations with points, miles and less cash than booking an economy ticket or staying at a Howard Johnson's.

This is my friend, Marty.  After seeing all the travel I've done over the past few years, she wants to get into the game.  So we searched for "beginner cards" to slowly dive into it.  Originally, I suggested the American Express Green card.  For $150 annual fee, It offers:

Marty did some research and asked me about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.  For an annual fee of $95, the card offers:

When comparing the two, you would think the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the better card -- and it is.  But my concern was the higher amount of spend in the shortest time period for the welcome bonus -- not everyone can spend $4,000 in three months.  But Marty says she can, so we went for it.  Plus, she already has a Chase banking account, so she can pay it off easily with a few clicks.

Marty has plans to go to Greece and Amsterdam with friends in October.  Her friend had found the following itinerary:

With points, I found her the following deal:

On my itinerary, 

Now, you're probably thinking "even with the spending bonus, she doesn't have enough points".  Well, that's where transfer bonuses come in.  Chase has a 25% bonus transfer to Air France/KLM going on until mid-May.  Let's say she accumulates 65,000 points from spending and the welcome bonus.  A 25% transfer bonus would get her 81,250 points -- and she would only need 3,250 points to make it happen -- and that's achievable if you take advantage of what I called "point accelerators" -- 3X on dining, groceries and streaming services.  Chase also offers bonus categories every month to help you grow your points stash.  So the 3,250 difference is easily achievable.

As we go along. I will update our progress and let you know what Marty does.  It's exciting for me to teach her the points-and-miles game so she can enjoy travel on the cheap. 

If you would like to learn more about the points-and-miles game and save some serious money on that next trip, hit me up at  and I will respond in a few days.

Safe travels!