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Maximizing a Home Renovation — Reader Success Story

Jan. 10, 2018
5 min read
Maximizing a Home Renovation — Reader Success Story
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Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Kristina, who took advantage of home expenses to earn rewards for a trip to the South Pacific. Here's what she had to say:

When my husband and I bought our first house — a major renovation project — in 2016, I knew it would be a great opportunity to stockpile rewards and treat ourselves to a more extravagant vacation than usual. With our thirtieth birthdays coming up, I decided we should go to a continent we hadn’t visited yet; we agreed on New Zealand and started applying for credit cards.

As soon as we were out from under Chase’s 5/24 rule, we both got the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card just days before the 100,000-point sign-up bonus ended. I also got a bonus of 50,000 points from the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, and we both had anniversary night credits from our IHG cards. With those rewards we managed to take a two-week trip to Tahiti (Mo’orea) and New Zealand for about $1,500 total!

Our Ultimate Rewards points covered flights to Tahiti and back from New Zealand, plus all of our hotels while in New Zealand. After we met the minimum spend requirements on our new cards, I focused spending for our house renovation on the Arrival Plus card so we could redeem those points to offset assorted travel purchases. They ended up covering our flights between Tahiti and New Zealand, a cave abseiling excursion, and our rental car in New Zealand.

The cherry on top of it all was provided by our IHG Rewards. Thanks to our two anniversary nights and 80,000 IHG points I’d been hoarding, we stayed at the InterContinental Mo'orea for four nights in an upgraded suite that would normally cost $750-800 per night. All we had to cover was about $20 in local taxes.

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Thanks to a wonderful TPG reader (hey Mike!) and the end of year giveaway of spare systemwide upgrades, we were almost moved to first class on our long flight home. We just missed the cut, but still really appreciated the thought and generosity from both this community and Mike specifically.

Kristina
Kristina used points and free night certificates for her stay at the InterContinental Mo'orea.

Before you make a major purchase — whether you're renovating a home, buying a new car or even paying a tax bill — look for ways to use the expense to your advantage. The most lucrative option is to do what Kristina and her husband did: get a credit card with a high-value sign-up bonus and use your purchase to meet the spending requirements. You could also aim for an annual spending bonuses (like elite status or free hotel nights), or simply use a card that yields a good return on each dollar spent. If you're going to spend the money anyway, you might as well get as much as you can for it.

Kristina's story demonstrates why the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card is one worth keeping for the long-term. The relatively low $49 annual fee gets you a free night at any IHG property each year, plus automatic Platinum Elite status and a 10% rebate on award redemptions. You won't always get as much value as Kristina and her husband did at the InterContinental Mo'orea, but it's not hard to put the free night to good use.

I love this story and I want to hear more like it! To thank Kristina for sharing her experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending her a $200 airline gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own award travel success stories to info@thepointsguy.com; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure.

Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Featured image by Getty Images

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023