Want to learn to travel for (almost) free? Get inspired by what we did last month to earn and redeem points for free travel!
November Monthly Update tl:dr
We flew home from one big trip in November and got to catch our breath before 25 friends & family came to our house for Thanksgiving! Ross got his 1st new personal credit card of the year and we’re still Points Millionaires!
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Annual Travel Budget Update
With 6 vacations completed and 1 more to go this year, our total out of pocket cost for leisure travel is only $2,940 through 11 months. That includes flights, hotels, taxi/rental cars, food and drinks for the 2 of us for these trips:
- Spring Break All Inclusives in Cancun
- Nassau Bahamas
- Myrtle Beach
- New England & Acadia National Park
- Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks
- Punta Cana All Inclusives
Points Earned & Redeemed in November
In November, we flew home (1st class) from our least expensive foreign vacation of 2023.
Ross signed up for 1 credit card even though it didn’t have a normal Welcome Bonus like most cards we get.
New Credit Card with Interesting Bonus
Once you’re focused on earning points and miles, you can get a big boost from using bonus categories to get more than 1 point per dollar spent.
While Zuzu & I already have cards that earn 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases, there was a limited time offer that effectively gives 3 points per $1 spent for the 1st 12 months. I grabbed the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card in November and am trying to put all of our expenses on it that don’t fall into “normal” bonus categories.
You can check the current offer on that card to see if it makes sense for you.
Punta Cana All Inclusive Trip
I mentioned this trip in our last monthly update but here’s a quick recap since it technically ended in November.
Zuzu & I enjoyed six free nights at spectacular all inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic.
Our first class flights down and back are also completely free. Here’s what credit card points and miles got us for free on this trip:
- $56 free breakfast at BNA thanks to our Chase Sapphire Reserve© card
- 2 free AA flights in First Class, saved $2991
- 2 nights at Secrets Cap Cana All Inclusive Resort, saved $1540
- 4 nights at Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana All Inclusive, saved $2527
In total, Zuzu & I saved $7114 on a trip that we never could have afforded if we didn’t know how to travel for free. Our total out of pocket cost was only $213 for taxis and tips!
Future Travel Already Booked
Turks and Caicos Vacation
Thanks to points and miles, we’ve been able to visit 6 new countries since 2021. Before the end of this year, we’ll visit new country #7: Turks & Caicos!
Zuzu & I used 175k Hyatt points to book 5 free nights at the luxurious Point Grace Resort. While we’ll have some out of pocket expenses, we’re saving over $7000 on hotel and airfare.
Cancun all inclusive
For our fourth trip to Mexico since 2021, we used points to get two free round-trip tickets in First Class and five free nights at the wonderful Hyatt Ziva Cancun.
We even used a free Suite Upgrade Award (SUA’s are a free benefit to Hyatt Globalists) to confirm a huge Ocean-Front corner Suite with Club Lounge access.
World Of Hyatt Status Update
We made it! Earned Hyatt Globalist status through February 2025!
At 60 Qualifying nights, we earned Globalist status for the coming year plus 2 months. For Zuzu and me, some of the biggest perks of Globalist are:
- Free breakfast
- No resort fees
- Room Upgrades
- Suite Upgrade Awards
- Early Checkin & Late Checkout
- Dedicated My Hyatt Concierge Agent
Last year, our biggest Globalist benefit was from 1 specific episode with my concierge. Click here to read how My Hyatt Concierge gave me a $7000 gift!
As of December 1, we had 1,163,637 points and miles in our accounts.
Even though we have to use them for travel, our points and miles balances really are like money in the bank to us. Our current stash is worth about $30,663 in free travel to us.
Our points balance didn’t change much since last month. In October, our balance was worth $31,134 in free travel.
- Chase Points: 522,384 (worth about 3.9 cents each)
- Amex Points: 578,869 (worth about 1.6 cents each)
- Hyatt Points: 235 (worth about 3.9 cents each)
- Southwest Points: 18,381 (worth about 1.5 cents each)
- AA Points: 43,768 (worth about 1.7 cents each)
On this travel hacking blog, SEO traffic was up slightly from 5540 clicks from Google in October to 6120 in November.
In addition to posting how we got $8,096 in free travel last month, we also shared a post about our Las Vegas to Utah road trip where we visited both Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park!
In December, we’re breaking our trend of visiting NYC for the holidays and heading to the tropical paradise of Turks and Caicos!
There’s also a chance that we’ll start trying to earn the Southwest Companion Pass in December. It looks like I’ll have a fair number of work trips in 2024 and Zuzu can come along for FREE if we earn a Companion Pass like we did a couple of years ago.
By the way, if you’d like free help to find the best credit card for you, we’re happy to help. It doesn’t cost you anything and we’ll earn between 15k and 40k points just for referring you!
How Can We Help You Travel?
If you want to start traveling on points and miles, I’d love to help you just like I’ve helped our other friends. I don’t charge to help you.
Now’s a great time to start planning for free travel in 2024. Most people with good credit can earn enough points and miles in 3-6 months to earn a free vacation. If you have alot of expenses or if you have a small business, you can earn free travel much more quickly!
If you decide to apply for a card, I’d appreciate it if you use our referral links.
Just drop us a note on the Contact Us page and we’ll come up with a free custom plan for how You Get To Travel!
Or, you can download our free eBook: Ultimate Guide to Free Luxury Travel!