I invite you to look at how we managed flights and accommodations in Maui, Hawaii. We took two round-trip flights from Denver, CO, for 8 nights for 2 adults paying just $376, saving $5,275 off the retail price of $5,651.
I invite you to look at how we flew 2 adults for FREE, round-trip to Maui, Hawaii from Denver in February 2016.
*Note – I am doing this retroactively since I didn’t have this idea of explaining all this this past February. For travel dates I took the same dates that we stayed in February 2016 and found the rates for the same days of the week (Tue-Thur) for Feb 2017 so be aware there is potential for minor variations. In both cases I booked 6-7 months out.
How We Did It
We flew American Airlines during off-peak dates and redeemed points from 2 Citi ThankYou Premier cards which each carried a sign-up bonus of 50k points and no annual fee the first year. We booked through www.thankyou.com where American Airlines points are worth 60% more. Ben also has the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card which he used for free bags and group 1 priority boarding – this card also has no annual fee the first year.
I invite you to look at how we stayed 8 nights in Wailea and Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii for approx. $376, saving us $3,649 off the retail price of $4,205. See details and photos below.
*Note – I am doing this retroactively since I didn’t have this idea of explaining all this in Feb 2016. For travel dates I took the same dates that we stayed in February 2016 and found the rates for the same days of the week for each hotel for Feb 2017 so be aware there is potential for minor variations. In both cases I booked 6-7 months out.
How We Did It
This was all about using Credit Card and hotel points and booking at least 6 months in advance in a slow season for Maui. This was accomplished using 4 credit cards: Wyndham Rewards , Hilton Reserve, Chase Hyatt, and AmEx SPG. Total annual fees for these 4 cards in year 1 is $164.
We saved on other things such as rental car for 8 nights, food and drink, excursions, early check-ins and late check-outs, and extra amenities at the resorts using other strategies as well. More on that in our 1-on-1 advising sessions.
- Summary: We paid $226. Extremely hard to book room and saved $576 total
- Retail Cost for cheapest available: $199/night
- Retail cost for what we had: No availability until May 2017 = $249 + $25 in taxes for Oceanfront = $822 for 3 nights
- What we paid: $226 for 3 nights with Ocean Front room and balcony. Used 45k Wyndham Hotel points which cost roughly $20 to get.
- Summary: Our total cost was $60. Only paid the $30 resort fee x2 nights. We received an upgraded room for both nights. Stayed Fri-Sun. We saved $1,412.19 off retail.
- Retail Cost: $619/night + taxes/fees for a total of $1,472.19
- What we paid: approx. $60
- We redeemed 2 free weekend night certificates using the Citi Hilton Reserve card. Annual fee for this card is $95.
- Ben also used a strategy called “Status match” to get Hilton Diamond membership level status which certainly helped us get an upgrade and other perks such as early check-in and late check-out.
- Summary: We paid $60. Only paid the resort fee of $30 x2 nights. Stayed 2 nights here and received an upgraded room for both nights. We saved approx. $1,062
- Retail cost: $468 per night + tax/fees for a total of $1,122
- What we paid: approx. $60.
- We used Ali’s 2 FREE nights at Hyatt properties worldwide voucher from her Chase Hyatt credit card. Annual fee of this card is $0 the first year, then $75 each year after.
- We received an upgrade to a Partial Ocean View King room.
- We used Ali’s Hyatt Platinum Membership which accompanies her Chase Hyatt credit card to receive extra perks, including preferred rooms upon arrival.
- Summary: We paid $30 + late check-out fee. Only paid the resort fee. Stayed 1 night here and received an upgraded room to an ocean view. We saved approx. $579
- Retail cost: $609/night after all fees and taxes
- What we paid: $30 + late check-out fee.
- We used 16,000 SPG points from Ali’s Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express. This card has $0 annual fee the first year and $95 each year after that.
- We paid an extra fee (pretty outrageous) to extend check-out to 4pm. If you are a SPG Gold Preferred Guest (which we are now) this is complimentary.
*Some of the amenities included in these accommodations can be seen in our photos. I could go into detail on those too, but I’ll save that for our 1-on-1 conversations.