My wife and I try to do one new travel location a year. This year, we picked Denver, Co. We timed the trip around seeing a Detroit Tigers game. We departed on June 30 and returned on July 4th. Here is how it played out.

We flew Southwest non stop for 28,000 Rapid Rewards points. My wife likes to get early boarding so we used 2 upgraded boarding vouchers we had via a Chase southwest card. We also used my companion fare so we both flew for the 28,000 miles. The flight would have cost $425 per person and that was booking way back in February. The month before we left the flight would have been $600 apiece.  Upgraded boarding costs $50 per person. If you get the upgraded boarding you can usually ( but not always) get the exit row seat that has no seat in front of it. I would happily pay $50 for that seat.

We booked 2 night at Hyatt House by the airport and 2 nights at Holiday Inn near Coors Field. We got a great deal on Hyatt, using 8,000 Hyatt points for each night. The rooms go for $450 a night so that is like 5.5 cents per Hyatt point. The Holiday Inn was about $270 a night and we got it for 41,000 and 43,000 IHG points, so about 0.6 cents per point.

We used Autoslash for the car rental and paid $220 for 4 days, which is pretty cheap for Denver. My chase sapphire reserve gives us primary rental car insurance, which is $25 – $30 a day. I won’t count this in the calculation

So, just purchasing the air and hotel, it would have cost about $850 for airfare plus $100 for upgraded boarding. Hotel would have been about $1450 plus tax. We aren’t sure if we have to pay parking ( $30 per night). So, instead of $2400 we just used up some points and miles.

I wanted to give a concrete example of how credit cards can greatly reduce travel costs. There are some annual fees involved so even reducing this by $200 or so, it was a great deal.

If you are interested in splitting a referral bonus for credit cards, please email me at [email protected]


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