Surf, Scuba & Volcanoes in Nicaragua — Reader Success Story
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
One of the things I love most about being The Points Guy is getting to hear stories from readers about how award travel has affected their lives — the exotic vacations they’ve planned, the trips they’ve made to be with family and friends, the premium seats and suites they’ve experienced and so much more, all made possible by points and miles. I love to travel and explore, and it’s an honor to be able to help so many of you get where you want to go.
I like to share these success stories to help inspire you the way you inspire me! From time to time I pick one that catches my eye and post it for everybody to enjoy. If you’re interested in sharing your own story, email it to email@example.com; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. If we publish it, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure!
Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Kal, who used points and miles to pay for ten days in Nicaragua with his girlfriend. Here’s what he had to say:
My girlfriend and I just got back from an amazing ten-day trip to Nicaragua. Using strategies we learned from TPG, we were able to pay for 100% of our travel costs!
We saved roughly $5,000 using your strategies, which made it much easier to afford food and activities. None of this would have been possible without TPG, so thank you for everything you do. We had an unforgettable trip, and already have our eyes set on the next one!
Kal’s story is a good example of why it’s important to diversify your travel rewards. His itinerary involved redemptions through five different loyalty programs, and he wouldn’t have been able to book those awards so efficiently if his points were concentrated in just one. On the other hand, you won’t get far by having only a small number of points in lots of different programs, so you shouldn’t spread your points and miles too thin. I recommend focusing on transferable points like Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards, since they give you access to multiple airline and hotel programs from a single source.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard and others like it are great for covering miscellaneous travel expenses that you’d otherwise pay for out of pocket, but there are other factors to consider when paying for a rental car. I recommend using a card that offers a primary collision damage waiver, since that protection from loss and damage trumps the opportunity to pay with miles. That said, you can get the best of both worlds by presenting a card with primary coverage when you pick up your rental, and then completing the transaction with your card of choice after returning the car in pristine condition.
I love this story and I want to hear more like it! To thank Kal for sharing his experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending him a $200 Visa gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you.
Again, if the strategies you’ve learned here have helped you fly in first class, score an amazing suite, reach a far-flung destination or even just save a few dollars, please indulge me and the whole TPG team by emailing us with your own success stories (see instructions above). Feel free to also submit stories of your most egregious travel mistakes. In either case, you’ll have our utmost appreciation, along with some extra spending money for your next trip.
Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Featured image courtesy of John Coletti via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.