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  1. #1
    Registered User Semi Pro Member

    My Card Hacking Plan To Pay for a Trip to Paris

    Inspired by lathinker and some recent threads on card hacking, I have come up with a plan to use credit card points to pay for a trip to Paris for me and my wife. This includes two business class plane tickets and 6 to 7 nights at a hotel.

    Plane Tickets

    My plan to pay for the plane tickets is to take out the new Sapphire Reserve card in my wife's name and the new Ink Business Preferred in my name. Both cards are offered by Chase and both cards allow you to transfer points to United for miles on a 1:1 basis.

    Checking out United, we will need 280,000 miles for two business class tickets to Paris. Currently we have zero.

    But earning the bonus offers from the CSR and Ink Business Preferred gets just to 180,000 miles. Plus the spending to get those points and other planned spending with the cards brings us to a total of approx. 230,000 miles. (Based on our historical spending and what we can earn in bonus categories for these cards.)

    Yes, this leaves us about 50,000 miles short. But we are planning a trip to NYC this spring. And United has direct flights. Taking out two new United credit cards gets us 60,000 more miles (plus the miles for the flights).

    So it looks like we will be able to get those 280,000 miles.

    Hotel Rooms

    We happen to already have Marriott and Starwood accounts, but without many points available. But if we take out the Marriott and Starwood credit cards and earn those sign up bonus offers, and add our existing points, that now brings us to about 240,000 points we can bring over to Marriott.

    And that should be enough points for 6 nights at a Marriott Class 7 hotel in Paris. (Which will be much nicer than the hotel I stayed in the last time I was in Paris.)

    When Will We Travel

    I suspect it will take us at least 9 or 10 months to run through all the necessary spending to get these cards. And that may not allow us to take the trip until spring 2018.

    Why so long a wait? Well, I know we'll need to book a bit in advance. And we will not want to go during the winter.

    Wish me luck.

    PS - Started on this today by applying to the Ink Business Preferred card. Glad I have a small business.

  2. My Card Hacking Plan To Pay for a Trip to Paris
  3. #2
    Registered User Enthusiast
    This is fantastic! Good luck.

    I had similar ideas. But the 5/24 rule got in the way. I will not be able to take out a new Chase card until late 2017.

    And you might want to watch out, as you are taking out five Chase cards: CSR, Ink Pf, Marriott Rewards and two United Explorer cards. Hope you don't get hit by the rule too.

  4. #3
    Registered User Enthusiast
    Wow! That sure is taking out a lot of new credit. Watch your scores to make sure you don't end up killing them.

    And I wish you luck. If you pull this off, it will be so money.

  5. #4
    Registered User Semi Pro Member
    You guys may be right. I may be pushing to hard on the number of cards we take out in such a short period of time.

    I could always scale back and fly coach. Or take two years to accumulate the necessary points, instead of nine months.

    I'll think about it. And post updates. Because where else can I share this sort of fun?

  6. #5
    Registered User Semi Pro Member
    I'm with the others ... you are pushing the bounds of credit. But I'd love to see you succeed! So good luck. And keep us posted.

  7. #6
    Registered User Pro Member
    Oh, to have these credit worries.

  8. #7
    Registered User Semi Pro Member
    Update #1:

    I now have the Chase Business Preferred card, and am working on the first bonus level. That will be 80,000 points once I spend $5,000 on the card. Luckily, have a ton of year end and year beginning expenses coming up.

    Also, I'm getting 3x points on telephone and internet services. So racking up some nice points there as well.

  9. #8
    Registered User Semi Pro Member
    Update #2 ...

    Due to the numbers of cards involved earlier in my plan, I was hoping to take out a CSR card and have my wife take out one as well.

    Now Chase is saying that the 100,000 welcome offer will be reduced to 50,000 for online applicants next week, and to in-branch applicants in March.

    Not sure that I want to incur two $450 fees ($900 total!!!) and be required to spend $8,000 over the two cards in such a short period of time.

    I'm mulling this plan over. So look for an update in the next few days.

  10. #9
    Registered User Enthusiast
    Don't give up so quickly.

    I know you are working on the Biz Pf carried now. But if your wife grabs the CSR by the 11th and then you grab the Sapphire Pf. (which has no annual fee).

    That bring you to 230,000 points. Which is almost all the way to 280,000.

    And it sounds like with your regular spending you can make up the remaining points.

  11. #10
    Registered User New Member
    If you don't have your joint checking account at Chase, think about moving the account there. Then you and your wife can each apply for a CSR card at that time. I bet you get both approved. And that gives you till mid-March to make it all happen.

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