I’m about to embark on a quick two day trip to Las Vegas in the morning. I recently booked my flights and hotels using a combination Avios, BRG rates, and corporate rates.
I used 9,000 British Airways Avios points + $5 cash for a round-trip ticket on American Airlines from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
American Airlines wants $388 for the exact same flight.
I am staying one night at the Westin Las Vegas on a BRG rate of $54.97+ taxes. The tax breakdown includes a $19.95 resort fee, but it is waived for Platinum guests. My total with taxes will be $63.96 and a Best Rate Guarantee reward of 2,000 Starpoints.
As a Platinum guest, I will be earning 2,662 Starpoints (base + Platinum bonus + Platinum Amenity + BRG reward) on a $54.97 rate. I value 2,662 Starpoints (at 3 cents per point) to be $79.86 in value, so I’ll actually be making money on this stay.
I read on Flyertalk that the resort fee is not waived for Gold or Diamond guests, but I won’t hesitate to ask the front desk agent. You never know until you ask. My total comes out to $84.21 with taxes and the resort fee, but I will be earning Hilton HHonors points and will be given stay/night credit. As a Gold member, I will also be given free breakfast at their buffet. I heard it is continental, but there are mixed reviews about it being hot or a $10 upcharge.
Las Vegas can either be really cheap (motel 6, downtown hotels, Travelodge, The Quad, Excalibur) or really expensive (Venetian, MGM SkyLofts, Wynn, Encore, Mandarin Oriental, Cosmopolitan). I am not impressing anyone on this trip so, I will try to maximize my cash by staying at mid-range hotels for cheap and taking public transportation (WAX bus) instead of using taxi’s.
I spent 9,000 Avios + $5 cash, $64.86 at the Westin, and $84.21 at the Tropicana. Leveraging my elite status with American Airlines, I chose exit row seats and will be boarding first as an Executive Platinum member. My Platinum status with Starwood will get me a chance at a suite upgrade and 4pm late checkout. My Hilton HHonors Gold Elite status will provide me with a possible upgrade to their Bungalow Room or Suite and provide free breakfast in the morning.
I spent 9,000 Avios and $154.07 in cash (flight tax+hotels), but I will gain a round-trip flight to Las Vegas, two nights stay at mid-range hotels, 2,662 Starpoints (worth $79.86), and free breakfast ($15-$20). I think I did pretty well leveraging my stash of Avios and knowledge of BRG rates with my airline and hotel loyalty programs. Now it’s off to Las Vegas! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for live updates on my trip.