A few months ago we wrote a post about Credit Card Churning as a means of gaining reward points offered by credit cards, hotels, and airlines, that can be used to earn free/reduced cost travel. Mr. Winning Williams took a class on the topic, and after thorough research and interaction with the course instructors, he set out to try his first churn.
*As noted in our previous post, you should only look to do this if you are already out of debt, paying off your credit card in full every month, and have an excellent credit score.*
New York City
This trip was already partially subsidized as Mr. Winning Williams had to go for work. Mrs. Winning Williams booked a flight to accompany him in New York City. Because the required work aspects ended on a Friday morning, we decided to stay through the weekend. This is how much we spent, and saved, on a 3-day weekend in New York City:
Big Savings #1: Hotel
What could have been a trip that cost over $1,600 ended up only costing us $430. The biggest savings was from our two-night hotel stay in the Hyatt Times Square.
Why would we, such frugal awesome savers, elect to stay in such a pricey hotel? We got to stay there for free! The first credit card sign-up that Mr. Winning Williams did was with Chase Hyatt Visa Credit Card. By spending $1000 in the first three months we were able to earn the two free nights in a Hyatt property of our choosing (unfortunately the Grand Hyatt NYC was booked and unavailable). We actually spent this amount in 6 weeks by paying ahead on our electric and water bill, ISBN’s, and other normal expenditures.
Big Savings #2: MoMa Fridays!
The MoMa houses many masterpieces of modern art. We were able to visit on a Friday afternoon without paying for our tickets. The museum offers free entry every Friday afternoon to those willing to brave the crowds and the line. We arrived to find a long line, but were still able to get the tickets and saved $50.
Big Savings #3: Food
While we did enjoy some great food with friends, we continued to opt for less expensive options when we were dining by ourselves. Our first afternoon in the city revealed a long line in front of a small food cart. After a few more blocks of walking we went back to this cart because it was the clear local favorite, and a much less expensive option! We enjoyed great local and non-chain restaurants, we do occasionally spend money on going out to eat, but this usually only happens when we can meet with friends and experience a meal together.
Big Savings #4: Experiencing the City
Since we had both been to New York before we had seen a lot of the great sites that the city has to offer. This trip allowed us to focus on time with friends which included a morning run in Central Park. A friend informed us of a great deal with a local juice company that allowed us to get free delicious pressed juice just by posting our photo to Instagram during the run. We were able to experience Central Park in a new way and had a delicious snack to help us recover from our workout! We also visited and walked the high-line from start to finish. This provided a variety of amazing views of the city from different angles. We were able to use the least costly means of transportation (walking), stretching our legs and avoiding the busy streets of the city!
We are planning a trip in 2016 using more credit card churning and frugal tactics. Our aim is to get a trip for less than $430, we will let you know how that goes!