Real Redemptions Part 5: Scoring Sydney on Points, Family of 5 Does LA/Disney, & Beautiful Bali

Family of 5 Does LA/Disney

Eli is sharing a great redemption story that involves his family of 5 traveling on points to LA and of course visiting Disneyland while they were there!
As one of the 4 partners of PEYD, a credit card reward and travel concierge service, Eli knows his way around some points. It’s a good thing too because securing a redemption trip for 5 people can take some serious work!
Since tickets to Disneyland can get quite pricey without many discounts offered, Eli tells us it was even more imperative to find flights and hotels that could be purchased on points.
Eli & Family at Disney
In order to accomplish this, he utilized a number of tactics to accrue points: spending on his Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, transferring points, and opening new airline and hotel credit cards for everyday spending.
Eli says the greatest way to maximize rewards potential using SPG points is to take advantage of points transfers. Certain SPG transfers of 20,000+ points yield an extra 5,000 points when converted to airline miles.
After looking at numerous airlines with direct flights from JFK to LAX, Eli decided Virgin America would be the best bet based on price and their partnership with SPG. This locked in the extra 5,000-point bonus.
Next, Eli opened 2 new Virgin America Visa Signature Cards for himself and his wife to earn 2 sign-up bonuses of 15,000 points after reaching the minimum spend limits.
Let’s recap:

  • 20,000 SPG points
  • 5,000-point transfer bonus
  • 2 x 15,000-point minimum spend bonus

Eli’s grand total was 55,000 Virgin America miles to be used for the family’s flights. Combined with some additional miles he had in his account, Eli was able to book 5 seats in economy for 64,660 round-trip.
One perk of flying Virgin America is that they allow customers to cancel flights free of charge. So when Eli saw airfare rates drop nearer to the trip date, he was able to cancel his initial flights and rebook the tickets for significantly fewer points! His new tickets came in at 53,030 points plus $58 in taxes and fees. That’s a savings of over 10,000 points!
Eli & Family Redemption
When it came to booking accommodations, it was important that Eli find a hotel near a water park for his kiddos. After some research, he was able to find a Howard Johnson in Anaheim, California that not only has a water park on the premise, but is also just minutes from Disneyland!
It’s important to note here that the Howard Johnson chain is connected to the Wyndham Hotel group. This hotel group offers a Wyndham Rewards®Visa® Card with a 30,000-point minimum spend bonus. You can probably guess where Eli was going with this one…
Two new credit card sign-ups later, Eli and his wife had earned 60,000 bonus points from hitting the minimum spend limits. This earned their family a free 4-night stay at this convenient Howard Johnson, with enough points left over to stay at another local hotel over the weekend.
Eli & Family Redemption
All in all, this redemption story proves family travel on points IS possible, though you might have to do a little extra work to get there!
Eli, we’re so glad you chose to share this family redemption with our readers!
Click HERE to see the feature story on!