Less than 2 weeks ago I was contacted by Rocketmiles saying that I had won a ticket to the Star MegaDo 5 that is coming up this week. I had entered their contest a while back and had forgotten about it so this was a pleasant surprise!
So what is the StarMegaDo? Its where a bunch of frequent fliers/miles and points fanatics get together to fly on a catered plane from one city to another as well as go on various tours to satisfy our travel passion. This year, the flight will start in Toronto and end in San Francisco. The only thing is that I would be responsible for my positioning flights to YYZ and back home to Houston from SFO and any hotel stays.
Of course I wouldn’t have entered the contest if I couldn’t have accomplished these positioning flights and hotels using miles and points! So here is what I did. I immediately looked at my award balances on AwardWallet which is where I can keep track of all my airline and hotel balances. I started searching for flight to YYZ to see what would get me the best mileage redemption.
Well I had remembered that YYZ is on the AA Reduced Mileage List. If you hold an AA Citi Card you would be able to get a one way award for 8,750 +$25 booking fee. After the 10% rebate from my card, it would only cost 7,875 miles which was awesome! Luckily there was a MileageSaver award the day I needed it and there is a layover at DFW which would allow me to also try out the new Centurion Lounge. Getting back from SFO I found a flight on Southwest for 6,600 points +$5 so done!
For a hotel in Toronto, I found a Hyatt redemption for 8k/night which was near the Ritz Carlton host hotel. Now in order to get Marriott Platinum offered by SMD5, I needed to book a hotel at one of their host hotels. Well the Marriott in SFO was offered to participants for around $127 so I booked this to get the benefit. Luckily I have the Barclays Arrival card which has a bonus of 40k points which equals $400 in travel benefits. So I will use this card to book the hotel so that I would not be out any cost.
So not only did I win this ticket that costs about $1,000 on the website, I was able to take advantage of this with very little points and only the cost of taxes and fees that amounted to about $30.
It helps to have a diversified portfolio for last minute bookings and to take advantage of some awesome opportunities. Don’t you love miles and points 🙂
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