The best way to acquire travel points toward your trip to Hawaii is through credit card sign-up bonuses and spending. I’ve shared some tips already about how to do this and the cards that will get you the most travel points toward flights and lodging in Hawaii. In many way I’m just a beginner is this area and there is so much to learn, and many people that have been doing this for years and “churn” many cards each year.
The basic strategy is this, sign-up for credit cards when they offer the most bonus points, typically from 25,000 to 75,000 points. Usually the bonus points come with a requirement to spend on that card, which may be as simple as making at least one transaction on the card or spending a few thousand within 120 days. Once that requirement is made the bonus points show up in your account. Additional travel points can be earned by continuing to spend on that card. You might receive one travel point for every dollar you spend or even more points for each dollar spent on certain items.
The advanced strategy is to take the basic strategy above, do it with many cards, collecting the points, the cancelling the card and repeating the process again. Timing things of course in a way that allows you to do this. There are those who do 20+ credit cards each year earning millions of miles.
Our family is taking it a bit slower, being careful to figure this out and not overdoing it to start with. We each have applied for a few cards, and our older children have done a couple of cards. All of them help us in some way or the other to travel to Hawaii, although we have benefited from the points in many other ways as well. Just as one example, we were able to travel to Los Angeles to support our oldest son at his final MPSF conference swimming championship meet.
In February we were able to fly six of us, round trip, from SLC to LAX for free. We then stayed three nights, two of which were free, at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles. All of this made possible by the wonderful bonus points available though sign-up bonuses for South West credit cards and our regular spending habits and patronage of Marriott.
Yes, you do have to have good credit and yes you do have to keep a careful eye on the due dates and make sure you pay-off all your credit cards on time. That’s why we only actively use a couple of credit cards and we always pay them off in full each month.
This is my new hobby and passion, figuring out how to travel for free or for little money by leveraging bonus points on credit cards and through other methods. We want to make Hawaii an annual trip!