Travel Plan: 10 nights in Milan and Barcelona for $167

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.

The Cards

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.
His Cards
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Card

Citi AAdvantage Card

Wyndham Signature Card

Wyndham Rewards Card

Chase Hyatt Card

Chase Hyatt Card

Her Cards
Chase Hyatt Card

Chase Hyatt Card

Wyndham Signature Card

Wyndham Rewards Card

Delta SkyMiles Card

Delta SkyMiles Card


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:

  • First eligible bag checked free for you and up to 4 travel companions.
  • Enjoy boarding privileges and use the extra time to prepare for your flight.

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:

  • First checked bag free on all Delta flights.
  • Priority boarding on Delta flights.

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.

AMEX Delta Card Options

American Express offers 3 varieties of Delta cards. For churners I don’t see much of a value in the Reserve card.

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:

  • 15,000 bonus points after your card member anniversary (1 free night).

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:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Membership.
  • Complimentary Premium In-Room Internet Access.
  • Free night every year after your card member anniversary.

The Itinerary

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:

  1. Open the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card with the $195 annual fee
  2. 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.

An additional cost not included in this plan will be their transportation from Milan (MXP) to Barcelona (BCN). Booking a flight on either Vueling or easyjet will cost around $35 each.

The Flights

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.

TOTAL COST:  $109.40 + 60,000 Deta SkyMiles + 40,000 AAdvantage Miles

Cost without miles:  $5208

The Hotels


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.



The Park Hyatt Paris Milan is centrally located in Milan. Here’s a preview:


By each opening and meeting the spend requirement for the Wyndham Rewards Signature card the couple will be able to use the Wyndham Rewards for six nights at Tryp Barcelona Apolo Hotel.

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:

1. Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage card x1
2. Gold Delta SkyMiles card x1
2. Wyndham Rewards Signature card x2
4. Chase Hyatt card x2

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

Value: $11,425.65

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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You Can Earn 9,500 Free Spirit Miles For Nothing

Spirit Airlines is currently running two promotions where you can earn 9,500 Free Spirit miles in about 15 minutes! I personally have not flown on Spirit, they don’t currently fly from Charlotte, but you can check if they fly from your nearby airport with Aryvl Airline Search.

Aryvl Airline Search for Atlanta

Aryvl Airline Search for Atlanta

Spirit’s frequent flyer program uses a distance based award chart to determine the number of miles needed for an award flight. A standard award flight is 10,000 Free Spirit miles. Card members can take advantage of off-peak award pricing with awards starting at only 2,500!

Free Spirit Award Chart

Spirit Airlines Free Spirit Award Chart

If you are interested in the Spirit Airlines Credit Card by Bank of America, the annual fee is waived for the first year, and you earn 15,000 miles after your first purchase. It’s a great deal if Spirit flies from an airport near you.

How to earn 9,500 miles in 15 minutes

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Discover the 3 Types of Travel Currency: Airline, Hotel, Bank Rewards

In the last Getting Started Collection post I outlined the basics on how to earn travel currency without traveling. In case you missed How to Earn Travel Currency I shared how you can utilize credit cards to earn millions in travel currency without ruining your credit.

It’s necessary to reiterate the importance of your credit and credit score. If you’re not in a place to pay off your credit cards in full each month and be responsible with your credit, this may not be for you. Your credit score needs to be around 700 to take advantage of the advice found on Aryvl to earn millions of airline and hotel points.

If this is your first time reading Aryvl, I recommend to start with these posts:

One Trip, Two Different Methods: Why Travel Currency Matters
It’s Not Always 5-Star and Caviar
Tips to Become a Travel Millionaire
How to Earn Travel Currency

At this point you may have searched for travel currency and be confused. Let’s keep this simple. I use the term travel currency when I am speaking about airline, hotel and bank reward points. This is the currency I use to plan trips instead of cash.

There are three types of travel currency

  • Airline Miles
  • Hotel Points
  • Bank Rewards

Continue reading


Aryvl Travel Plan: 11 Day Trip to London and Paris for Christmas for $106

This Aryvl Travel Plan will show how a couple can spend 6 nights in London and 4 nights in Paris for Christmas by spending only $106 on flights and hotels.

Christmas season in both London and Paris is magical. In London you can discover a traditional German Christmas market in Hyde Park, pet a reindeer at the London Zoo, ice-skate at the London Eye, and take a Christmas lights bike tour. It’s a great time to experience London.

For more information on Christmas in London, check out Timeout.

While in Paris you can ice-skate with a view of the Eiffel Tower, stroll along the avenue Champs-Elysées flooded with Christmas lights, and visit Christmas markets throughout the city. In 2010 Traci and I spent Christmas in Paris with her family and stumbled upon the world-renowned Christmas Village Market on the Champs Elysées. Hot wine, food stalls, decorations, and unique gifts make this a market you will not want to miss while you’re in Paris.

The Paris Insider Guide is a great source for what’s happening this year.

Let’s see how it’s possible to visit both cities for around $100.
Continue reading

New York City

Aryvl Travel Plan: Five Nights in New York City

We are beginning a new series to provide practical guides for using travel currency for your next trip!  Aryvl Travel Plans will outline how to obtain the travel currency needed for a particular destination and how to redeem them for flights and hotels.

This series will be reader suggested and Aryvl Travel Plans will be created on your suggestions!  If you have a trip coming up and want to how to use travel currency, let us know by leaving a comment.

Reader Wesley suggested our first Aryvl Travel Plan should be to New York.  He is planning a 5 night trip and will be flying from Charlotte (CLT) to New York City (NYC).  Today we are going to show you how a couple can go to New York City for five nights and spend only $140.60 out of pocket! Continue reading

Aryvl Airline Search


This tool will help you discover which airlines fly from your closest airport and a link to the airline’s Frequent Flyer Program.  This is Aryvl’s first tool and we are happy to announce it is available for you today.  Click here or follow this link:  www.aryvl.com/airline-search.

Below is an example of what to expect:

Aryvl Airline Search Example

Aryvl Airline Search Example

If you allow us to access your location, we will return your closest airports automatically!  If you would prefer to enter your city, you also have that option.  Currently results are limited to airports in America but results will include global airlines which have a frequent flyer program.


  • Highlight hub airports
  • Recommended the best frequent flyer programs for your personal travel goals
  • Ability to enter a destination to discover the amount of miles required for a reward flight

Until Aryvl Airline Search is updated to include hub airports, Tips to Become a Travel Millionaire includes a Google map displaying hubs in America.

Aryvl Airline Search is a work in progress and may have a few kinks to be worked out.  We are excited to be able to provide this tool to help you reach your travel goals and are excited about releasing future enhancements soon!

Let us what you think by leaving a comment!

Be sure to follow Aryvl on Twitter and Facebook.

Getting Started Collection

How to Earn Travel Currency

Last week I outlined 3 tips to help you start earning travel currency.  In case you missed my last entry, Tips to Become a Travel Millionaire, I shared with you 3 tips to prepare for earning points and miles:  write down your travel goals, how will you get there, and where will you stay.

Do you have a travel goal?

Aryvl’s mission is to help make your travel goal a reality, no matter how ambitious because travel isn’t cheap!  By utilizing travel currency I can travel more and explore more of the world but how can you earn points and miles?

Continue reading


Tips to Become a Travel Millionaire

Many of us have aspirations to become actors, lawyers, musicians, or invent the next big product but my aspiration is to accrue travel currency.  Since 2012 I have earned 4.5 million points and miles!

I am a points and miles millionaire!

With the help of points and miles, or travel currency for short, I have been able to experience unspeakable luxuries.  I can’t cash out my travel currency for cash, but I can use them to travel the world, have new adventures, experience new cultures, and live a lifestyle I only dreamed possible.

I’ve been able to fly first class, eat caviar, drink Krug, and stay at luxurious hotels all around the world.

These were also aspirations I had but never thought in a million years they would become reality.  Now I have the privilege to share my tips to become a travel millionaire with you, but be patient.

It takes time to learn to earn travel currency!

Earning travel currency is simple, but did Steve Jobs one day decide he was going to reinvent the mobile phone?  I’m sure he did, but it didn’t happen overnight.  He took the time need to gain the necessary knowledge and craft his skills to create the iPhone.  The same is true with travel currency.  Start small, take your time, and ask advice from Aryvl experts.

To get started I want to share 3 tips I learned.

Continue reading


Starwood Preferred Guest Card by Amex Decreases Spend Requirement

Disclaimer: I do not have a financial relationship with American Express and opinions expressed on this post are my own. As a card member, I receive 5,000 bonus Starpoints for each approved referral. There are no referral links on this page, please email eric@aryvl.com to receive a referral.

For the longest time I was a holdout for the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Credit Card from American Express. The signup bonus was only 25,000 and I didn’t see value in the small bonus when I could just as easily earn 50,000 American Airline AAdvantage miles. But then things changed!

I discovered the hidden value of SPG points.

Continue reading


It’s Not Always 5-Star and Caviar

I want to take a step back today and provide you with a background of who I am and why I’m writing this blog but first you should know, I’m not the most elegant writer and this is not my career.  I love travel and want to share how it can be upgraded!


I’m addicted to traveling the world, experiencing new culture, and credit.  I’ve been on many adventures all across the world and now want to share my experiences with you so that you can have your own adventures.  More specifically, I want to share how to earn and spend travel currency to maximize your travel experience. Continue reading