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Welcome to the next installment of our Reader Success Series where Million Mile Secrets Readers share how they booked a trip with miles & points to get Big Travel with Small Money!
Ramy is our newest reader success story to show folks it’s possible to travel without spending a lot of money.
A big thank you to Ramy for sharing his story!
Please introduce yourself to everyone and tell us how long you’ve been involved in the miles & points hobby.
My name is Ramy Wahby. I’ve been involved in the miles and points hobby since the summer of 2014.
What was the goal of your trip?
To send my parents on an epic adventure in Asia.
My parents instilled the love of travel in me since I was a baby. They took me on my first international trip at only 3 months old when we went to Kenya and Burundi.
I wanted my parents to experience the luxuries of flying in international long-haul First and Business Class. I also wanted them to stay at fancy hotels like the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and the Park Hyatt Beijing.
The biggest goal was to get them to enjoy all this with minimum cash out of pocket. 😉
How long did you collect miles and points for your trip?
It took ~6 months to collect all the necessary points for this trip.
Which points did you save to take your trip?
- British Airways Avios points transferred from AMEX Membership Rewards
- Singapore Airlines miles transferred from Citi ThankYou points
- Hyatt points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards points
What cards would you recommend to someone starting out with miles & points?
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Chase Hyatt card
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
- Citi Prestige® Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
How did you search for and find the award flights?
I searched for the Etihad flights out of Cairo to Singapore, and from Beijing back to Cairo on Etihad.com.
From Singapore to Hong Kong, I used Singapore Airlines miles and searched for seats on Singapore Airlines website.
From Hong Kong to Beijing, I booked on Cathay Pacific using British Airways Avios points, and searched for seats on BA.com.
How did you find your hotel accommodations?
For Hong Kong and Beijing, I searched on Hyatt’s website to book rooms with points and cash – and also used the 2 free nights from the Chase Hyatt card. Both of my parents applied for that card to earn a total of 4 free nights.
What was the most challenging part about planning your trip? How did you solve it?
This trip was fairly easy to book because I searched for award seats and rooms online on the airline or the hotel websites. Also, since this trip originated outside the US, airline award seats were easier to find than trying to do the same trip from the US.
Give us a few recommendations or tips for what to do at your destination. Parks, restaurants, hidden gems, etc.
One of my favorite meals in Hong Kong was at Peking Garden restaurant. Their Peking duck and dim sum is very very delicious.
In Singapore and Beijing, all the major touristy places are a must visit. The Marina Bay Sands hotel rooftop pool, the Gardens by the Bay and Sentosa Island. In Beijing, the Great Wall of China is a sight to see. Also, the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace are nice to visit.
What did you learn about yourself on the trip?
I learned that making my parents happy and experience new things makes me extremely happy – it’s such a rewarding feeling. My parents learned they wish they knew about the miles and points hobby when they were much younger. 🙂
What would you say to folks looking to plan a similar trip? Or to those who haven’t taken a miles & points trip yet!
I say don’t get overwhelmed by the number of miles required for your trip. It’s actually very easy to accrue hundreds of thousands of miles.
Start your planning one card at a time and you’ll reach your goal very quickly. Also, if you want to apply for more than one card at a time, Plastiq is a very useful to help you reach the minimum spend on several cards since you can pay rent, mortgage, utilities, student loans and more using your credit cards.
Want to Share Your Story?
If you’d like to be considered for our reader success story series, please send me a note! Emily and I would love to hear about how you travel with miles and points!