A couple of months ago Alec posted the message below in our Travel Hacking Mastermind Facebook Group, and it made my entire week! The private Facebook group is a place where members of my travel hacking course can ask questions, share strategies, and celebrate traveling hacking wins like this one!
This one was too good to keep private. So, I asked Alec if he’d be willing to share the exact strategies he used to save over $3,000 on his recent honeymoon!
Hi, I’m Alec. I’m 27 years old from a small town in Indiana (1,200 people). I just got married on November 10th 🙂
I started travel hacking last year before I got engaged. I knew I wanted to plan a great honeymoon for my now wife, and I don’t make that kind of money to afford anything fancy and out of the county. We both love to travel and I wanted to do something special. I emailed Nate about it and told him why I wanted to take the course and if it was right for me. After he assured me that it would help out, I signed up for the class and started studying everything I could about travel hacking. I signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to use to buy the engagement ring.
I was a little hesitant about starting because I didn’t think I would be able to gain enough points to actually do anything meaningful, but Nate made me feel better through his email. The class showed me how to gain points quickly and efficiently.
I am currently on the trip that I booked with miles and points. For our honeymoon, we went to Greece. We flew from a small airport 20 minutes from my house to Athens with American Airlines. American Airlines runs offseason point discounts so it made the most sense to fly with them.
A round-trip ticket from Fort Wayne, IN to Athens, Greece would’ve cost $1,500 each. Each of our tickets cost 45,000 AA points + $150 for ROUNDTRIP!! So it cost me 90,000 AA points and $300 for both tickets instead of $3,000. That alone made the class well worth it.
Nate’s Note: You could easily earn 90,000 American Airline miles by signing up for 2 credit cards. There are currently 2 credit cards offering generous welcome bonuses worth 50,000 and 40,000 points (more details here). Plus, these points could be earned even quicker if both Alec and his wife signed up for the cards separately. Click here to learn how couples can maximize their miles and points.
I also signed up for the IHG card for our time at Athens. I used 75,000 IHG points to get 4 free nights in the Crowne Plaza in Athens, and I have lounge access due to my status from that card. One night in this hotel is about $110 so I saved another $440 using points. In the Philadelphia airport, we got to experience our first ever airport lounge because the United Mileage Plus card gives 2 free one time passes. We have been very spoiled on this trip for sure.
I earned a lot of my American Airlines points between two cards: The Citi American platinum card and the Barclays Red Aviator, and also the IHG card from Chase.
Nate’s Note: Find these cards and others I highly recommend here: Top 10 Personal Travel Rewards Credit Card Offers
I earned most the points just from everyday spending and paying bills. Also, since we were planning a wedding, there were other things to buy for that. I earned most of my IHG points while booking our fancy hotel in Santorini and the flights to Santorini and back to Athens.
I redeemed the points for the flights through the AA website and same with the IHG points. The class showed me how to do it and made it simple.
For anyone looking to take a similar trip, I’d like to think the way I did it was fairly smart and the right way to do it. It was with very little out of pocket. I also have a lot of United/Chase points sitting around so if you were travel hacking just to do one trip, then focus on one airline and get miles for that. I made sure I had enough for the trip and have been saving up for future trips as well.
If you want to follow my travels or just talk you can find me on Instagram @the.alec.betz or in the travel hacking group.
I want to publicly say a huge thank you to Alec for taking the time to write this up and share his exact strategies with you! Hopefully, this has inspired you to start planning a trip of your own! If you need help figuring out which travel credit cards will help you achieve your travel goals, click the button below to request a free personal consultation.