Steve is planning a 10 day trip to Spain and Italy with his girlfriend this September or October and asked if I could create a Travel Plan from South Flordia. His girlfriend is starting with 20,000 Delta SkyMiles.
This Travel Plan will show how they can spend 4 nights in Milan, Italy during the Milan Expo 2015 and 6 nights in Barcelona, Spain. They will need be approved for 3 cards each and spend $167 for their flights and hotels.
The Expo is the current incarnation of the World’s Fair which is an exposition showcasing countries from all over the world. Condé Nast Traveller has a gallery showing the architecture built for previous World Expos including the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, and Seattle Space Needle.
Now through October 31st you can visit the Milan Expo. This an event you will not want to miss if you are traveling through Italy. The Points Guy contributor Leigh Rowan visited in May and has put together a guide to visiting and tour around the world at the Expo.
Disclaimer: I do not have a financial relationship with any bank. Opinions expressed on this post are my own.
This plan will require Steve and his girlfriend to apply and be approved for three cards each. Steve will need to spend $5,000 in 90 days to meet the spend requirement to earn the bonus for each of his cards and she will need to spend $4,000. Meeting the spend may be a challenge for many people new to credit card churning and manufactured spending. Instead of opening all the cards in one day, they could split the cards into two churns providing more time to meet the spend requirement.
They would stagger the cards by applying for 1 or 2 cards each for a maximum of 3 at once. For example:
Day 1: Steve opens 2 card, she opens 1 card
Day 91: Steve opens 1 card, she opens 2 cards
If you are new to credit card churning to earn signup bonuses, make sure you:
- Wait 90 days before signing up for new credit.
- Can pay your credit cards in full each month.
- Have a credit score above 700.
- Keep track of all cards you apply for, approved or not.
The Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage card will provide Steve with 53,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. He will need to meet the $3,000 spend within 90 days to earn 50,000 miles. The annual fee is waived during the first year, subsequent years the fee will be $95. The card also provides these benefits:
The Gold Delta SkyMiles card will provide her with 52,000 Delta SkyMiles and a $50 statement credit after her first Delta purchase. She will need to meet the $2,000 spend requirement to earn the bonus within 90 days. The annual fee is waived during the first year, subsequent years the fee will be $95. The card also provides the following benefits:
American Express also offers an additional Delta card with a higer signup bonus: the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card. The signup bonus is 60,000 SkyMiles + $100 statement credit after your first Delta purchase. The downside is the annual fee of $195 is not waived the first year but if you are starting with zero Delta SkyMiles it will provide the needed 60,000 for this travel plan.
The Wyndham Rewards Signature card will provide the couple with 92,000 Wyndham Rewards. After being approved for the card each will receive 30,000 points with the first purchase and 15,000 additional after spending $1,000 in 90 days. The annual fee is $69 and is NOT waived the first year. The card also provides the following benefit:
The Chase Hyatt card will provide them four free nights at any Hyatt worldwide. By opening the new card each will receive two free nights after spending $1000 in 90 days, $50 statement credit after their first purchase, and 5,000 bonus points after adding each other as authorized user. The annual fee is waived during the first year, subsequent years the fee will be $75. The card also provides the following benefits:
Fly from Miami (MIA) on October 6, 2015 to Milan (MXP).
Stay 4 nights at The Park Hyatt Millan.
Fly from Milan (MXP) to Barcelona (BCN) on October 11, 2015.
Stay 6 night at the Tryp Barcelona Apolo Hotel.
Fly back to Miami (MIA) from Barcelona (BCN) on October 17, 2015.
Traveling to Europe is difficult and often requires more points than one signup bonus provides. Steve’s girlfriend already has 20,000 Delta SkyMiles and after opening the Gold Delta SkyMiles card she will 70,000 SkyMiles. A one-way flight from Miami to Barcelona is 30,000 SkyMiles each. Since Steve doesn’t have any SkyMiles he will open the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage card. By traveling in October during the AAdvantage miles off-peak season, a one-way flight from Barcelona to Miami will be 20,000 AAdvantage miles instead of 30,000. This allows them to minimize the number of miles and credit cards required for their trip.
If you are starting with zero SkyMiles, you have a few options:
- Open the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card with the $195 annual fee
- Advanced – Manufacture 8,000 in spend on the Gold Delta SkyMiles card.
If you’re new to churning and not certain what manufactured spending means, check out Cash Cow Couple. They cover purchasing and off loading American Express Gift cards, Visa gift cards, and how to load a prepaid Serve card to payoff your credit card. These techniques can also be used to meet the spend requirement for each card.
By opening the Gold Delta SkyMiles, the 20,000 SkyMiles the couple already has, and meeting the spend requirement they use 60,000 SkyMiles to book their flights from Miami (MIA) to Milan (MXP). Their flights from Barcelona (BCN) back to Miami (MIA) will require 40,000 AAdvantage miles earned from the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage card.
The flights from Miami (MIA) to Milan (MXP) requires 30,000 Delta SkyMiles + $5.60 each. The flights from Barcelona (BCNP) back to Miami (MIA) requires 20,000 AAdvantage miles + $49.10 each.
By each opening and meeting the spend requirement for the Chase Hyatt card the couple will earn four free night certificates that can be used at one my my favorite hotel brands, The Park Hyatt Paris Milan.
Each night at The Park Hyatt Paris Milanwill require the use of one certificate + $0 out of pocket.
TOTAL COST: $0 + 4 FREE NIGHT CERTIFICATES
COST WITHOUT CERTIFICATES: $3370.94
The Park Hyatt Paris Milan is centrally located in Milan. Here’s a preview:
Free nights at any Wyndham property are 15,000 points with zero blackout dates! They will use 90,000 points for their 6 nights + $138 from annual fees paid to open the card.
TOTAL COST: $168 + 90,000 Wyndham
Cost without Wyndham Rewards: $1,009.65
The Tryp Barcelona Apolo Hotel is located in the theater district and minutes away from public transit. Here’s a preview:
The couple will open 6 new credit cards:
They will earn:
1. 53,000 AAdvantage Miles
2. 52,000 Delta SkyMiles and a $50 statement credit
3. 92,000 Wyndham Rewards
4. 4 Hyatt Free Night Certificates, 10,000 Hyatt Points, and a $100 statement credit
They will use 60,000 Delta SkyMiles, 40,000 AAdvantage Miles, 90,000 Wyndham Rewards, and 4 Hyatt free night certificates for a 10 day trip to Milan and Barcelona. The total cost will be $247 but they will use the $150 statement credit earned from the Hyatt and Delta cards to offset the total cost of the trip.
Total Out of Pocket Cost: $97 + $70 for flights from Milan to Barcelona
What are your tips for visiting Barcelona or Milan? Share them in the comments below!
Are you planning to attend the Milan Expo?
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