I invite you to look at how we managed, for 2 adults, flights, accommodations, rental car, and golf for an 8 night stay in Scottsdale Arizona in a suite at the AAA/CAA Five Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for approx. $891/person ($1,783), saving us $4,957 off the retail price of $6,740. See details and photos below.
How we did it
We wanted to do a summer/fall trip in 2016 and we had our eyes set on Lake Louise and/or Banff, Canada! We knew the dollar was very strong there and summer is a beautiful time to visit Alberta. Fairmont, a Canadian hotel group, has some of the nicest properties in these two towns (see Banff-Springs & Lake Louise). I also had my eye on playing some amazing golf courses using my 3 free rounds each year (and Ali’s 3 free rounds) that are part of our Citi Prestige credit card benefits. I got to planning only to find out that the Fairmont resorts were completely sold out for all of July, August…and September. I’ll have you know, I was researching this is January. Hmm…maybe 2017? So, we turned our attention south, to Scottsdale Arizona.
For our previous 2 trips, we stayed in 3 or 4 different hotels per trip. We’re not complaining, but we thought it might be nice to settle in a bit more on our next adventure. So, with a few goals in mind: great weather, golf, luxury, 1 hotel, relaxing, and fitness & spa – we planned our trip.
See all the photos, highlighted sections, and notes to see exactly how we saved nearly $5,000 between flights, hotel, rental car, and golf!
- Summary: We fly for $0 nonstop on a Sat and Sun with good departure and arrival times on both ends.
- Breakdown: We used 40,000pts from the Frontier Credit card ($69 annual fee) + $92 in checked bag fees and taxes.
- NOTE: I strongly dislike Frontier, don’t recommend them, and will try to avoid their airline at all costs. So, ask me about better options 🙂 Frontier is to airlines as Capital One is to Credit Cards.
- We used the Citi Prestige $250 annual airline credit to cover the $92 in checked bag fees and taxes
- Note – the $69 annual fee is somewhat justifiably cancelled out by the $100 flight discount voucher that accompanies the Frontier CC.
- Summary: We paid $1,050 (+ $272 for 8 days of resort charges) to stay 8 nights in a Casita Suite at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
- Breakdown: We used benefits from both Ben and Ali’s Chase Fairmont credit cards to save $3,498.
- Specifically, we paid for 3 nights at a reduced rate for a standard room and receive 5 nights free and use 2 suite upgrades for a result of all 8 nights in the same suite for $1,050.
- Retail cost for this in Scottsdale Arizona is $499/night or $4,548.
- Summary: Paid $461 for 9 days, saving us $311 off of $772 retail.
- Breakdown: We used the Visa Infinite cardholder 30% off discount code (VINFINITE) + an extra discount that was offered to us (great customer service) based on us having to wait for a mere 15 minutes to book a SilverCar Audi A4 Quattro Sport.
- AMAZING experience overall and great customer service
- When we dropped the car off (off-site from airport) they ordered us an Uber that dropped us at our gate.
- At many airports that SilverCar services – the rental experience is so simple and the car is unlocked by matching the App from your phone to the QR code on the dashboard. OFF YOU GO!
- Summary: I played 6 rounds of golf for FREE between 10/2 -10/8 saving me $806 in greens fees.
- Breakdown: I booked 6 rounds of golf using my 3 complimentary rounds per calendar year that accompany my Citi Prestige credit card membership (and then I did the same for Ali’s and I used them = 6 FREE rounds).
- I played: TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course, We-Ko-Pa Cholla, The Boulders South Course, TPC Scottsdale Champions course, Gold Canyon, and SunRidge Canyon.
- NOTE: Citi has unfortunately taken away this benefit beginning 7/27/17.
- We have $100 in dining certificates. We also have $100 in breakfast certificates to any restaurant at the hotel. These are benefits that accompany Premier status in Fairmont’s President’s club. This status is complimentary with purchase of the Chase Fairmont credit card. We used our certificates to eat at three restaurants that are part of the Fairmont: La Hacienda, Toro, and IronWood American Kitchen. The food was phenomenal and the service just as great.