Hawaiian Honeymoon

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PhillyPhoto
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Hawaiian Honeymoon

Postby PhillyPhoto » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:14 am

So thanks to this community, I've learned a lot about not just credit cards, but sign-up bonuses and how best to use them. So as me and my fiancé narrowed down our honeymoon plans to island hopping in Hawaii, I decided to use my applications wisely. I got 100k MR points between the Mercedes Benz platinum (75k) and gold cards (25k) at Amex. I got 175k HHonors points between the 2 Amex cards (I was over 6/6 for Citi, and couldn't get that sign-up). Traveling for work got me north of 300k HHonors points total by the beginning of the year. I also recently had my fiancé sign-up for the CSR before the 100k bonus got nerfed.

So, we started booking stuff, the first being the flight out so we knew exactly what days we would be there. I transferred 120k MR points to Flying Blue in hopes of getting 2 business seats. I ended up calling in and found that there were no business class seats available, so we went with economy. We're flying through ATL and LAX, so that will actually help break up the time we're sitting, so we should be fine. I'll probably swap over to the Schwab platinum to get Sky Club access. The taxes came to $22 for the flight, so that saved us around $3k for the same flights. We were excited to have saved so much, but it did come at a cost. Our flight back, we scheduled for HNL-LAX-ATL, and it showed as being HNL-ATL. No worries, but about a week ago, we got an email saying the flight had been changed. I logged in, and it showed the "HNL-ATL" flight being canceled, but it did show the "HNL-LAX-ATL" route there. We're actually staying in Maui the last night, so I used the involuntary flight change as a good reason to switch the return flight to OGG-LAX and get the other flights removed since the flights times were almost identical, and it would give use more time in Maui instead of having to fly back to HNL first. Well, the HNL-ATL one still shows up, but about a day after the change, the OGG-LAX one shows as being canceled. I checked on delta.com directly, and it's still showing the flight. I was hoping the computer problems DL had this week might have been causing the issue, so I wanted to give it a few days before calling back. This is my first time doing reward flights, and it has been a nightmare so far.

With my 300k+ HHonors points, we booked the first 3 nights at the Hilton Waikiki Beach resort for a total of 150k. That process was smooth, and now we're looking at the other islands. We decided we like the Hyatt offerings more, and we're going to use the 100k UR points for 4 of the 5 nights needed there. 20k/night in Kauai and 25k/night in Maui leaves us with 1 night that we'll have to pay for. I just got the Hyatt Chase card and will get the 2 free nights certificates, but I want to go to NYC at some point, and live it up in probably the Park Hyatt. We also plan on using a travel agent, and they get paid through the paid hotel nights, so that's also the other motivator for paying a night. We'd like to use their knowledge and connections to get some of the honeymooner stuff we may not know about or be able to get on our own. We're also using the Hyatt registry website as one of our registries our wedding guests can use, since it doesn't charge them fees.

We initially were looking at a Hawaiian cruise, but heard from multiple people that it's not as good as a Caribbean one, and costs a lot more due to the ship being registered in the US. The cruise we looked at was about $4-5000 by itself, on top of the flights. We went from a potential $8000 honeymoon (before drinks and other incidental expenses) to around $1000 before food and other expenses since we'll also be paying the inter-island flights through the travel agent as well. I saw Hawaiian Airlines is offering 35k for $1k, and that would cover 2 flights for us, but if we want to use the travel agent, we have to pay them something lol.

Again, a big thanks to everyone here for all your insight. The honeymoon isn't until September, and we still have a lot more to plan, but I can't wait!
Main Cards:
Amex: Ameriprise Plat, Surpass
Chase: Hyatt

Sock drawer Cards:
Amex: HHonors
Chase: Amazon Rewards, Freedom
Citi: Macy's Amex, Simplicity, ThankYou
Citizens Bank: Cash Back Plus World
Discover: it
Elan: Bank Rewards
Synchrony: PayPal

755 Eq (12/16)|748 TU (12/16)|726 Ex (1/17)


rockyrock
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Re: Hawaiian Honeymoon

Postby rockyrock » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:01 am

Congratulations, what a truly great points success story!

I hope you have a great time, I lived in Hawaii for 12 years and loved it. My wife is from there and my daughter born there. In fact they are going back in a few weeks to visit her parents.

If you have any questions or would like any info send me a PM and I'd be happy to help if I can.
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Vattené
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Re: Hawaiian Honeymoon

Postby Vattené » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:39 pm

That's awesome, hope you have a great time!
-Vattené
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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Hawaiian Honeymoon

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:18 pm

PhillyPhoto wrote:With my 300k+ HHonors points, we booked the first 3 nights at the Hilton Waikiki Beach resort for a total of 150k. That process was smooth, and now we're looking at the other islands. We decided we like the Hyatt offerings more, and we're going to use the 100k UR points for 4 of the 5 nights needed there. 20k/night in Kauai and 25k/night in Maui leaves us with 1 night that we'll have to pay for. I just got the Hyatt Chase card and will get the 2 free nights certificates, but I want to go to NYC at some point, and live it up in probably the Park Hyatt. We also plan on using a travel agent, and they get paid through the paid hotel nights, so that's also the other motivator for paying a night. We'd like to use their knowledge and connections to get some of the honeymooner stuff we may not know about or be able to get on our own. We're also using the Hyatt registry website as one of our registries our wedding guests can use, since it doesn't charge them fees.

I have a cousin who goes to a Hyatt in Hawaii often for business. He brings his wife and they have a very nice, effectively subsidized little vacation.

I was trying to figure out which Regency they stayed at and if it was one of yours...but then I got puzzled...

Are you sure Kauai is Cat 5? The only Kauai one I see (Grand at 1571 Poipu Road) is Cat 6 (25k per night, not 20k).

It sounds lovely, though!
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PhillyPhoto
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Re: Hawaiian Honeymoon

Postby PhillyPhoto » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:27 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
PhillyPhoto wrote:With my 300k+ HHonors points, we booked the first 3 nights at the Hilton Waikiki Beach resort for a total of 150k. That process was smooth, and now we're looking at the other islands. We decided we like the Hyatt offerings more, and we're going to use the 100k UR points for 4 of the 5 nights needed there. 20k/night in Kauai and 25k/night in Maui leaves us with 1 night that we'll have to pay for. I just got the Hyatt Chase card and will get the 2 free nights certificates, but I want to go to NYC at some point, and live it up in probably the Park Hyatt. We also plan on using a travel agent, and they get paid through the paid hotel nights, so that's also the other motivator for paying a night. We'd like to use their knowledge and connections to get some of the honeymooner stuff we may not know about or be able to get on our own. We're also using the Hyatt registry website as one of our registries our wedding guests can use, since it doesn't charge them fees.

I have a cousin who goes to a Hyatt in Hawaii often for business. He brings his wife and they have a very nice, effectively subsidized little vacation.

I was trying to figure out which Regency they stayed at and if it was one of yours...but then I got puzzled...

Are you sure Kauai is Cat 5? The only Kauai one I see (Grand at 1571 Poipu Road) is Cat 6 (25k per night, not 20k).

It sounds lovely, though!

Yes, I had them reversed. Kauai is 25k, Maui is 20k.
Main Cards:
Amex: Ameriprise Plat, Surpass
Chase: Hyatt

Sock drawer Cards:
Amex: HHonors
Chase: Amazon Rewards, Freedom
Citi: Macy's Amex, Simplicity, ThankYou
Citizens Bank: Cash Back Plus World
Discover: it
Elan: Bank Rewards
Synchrony: PayPal

755 Eq (12/16)|748 TU (12/16)|726 Ex (1/17)

Stros05
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Re: Hawaiian Honeymoon

Postby Stros05 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Have a great trip!



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