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How TPG staffers are redeeming points for Fourth of July trips this year

June 30, 2021
6 min read
American flag on a lifeguard post at Miami Beach, FL
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Like most people, the TPG team is thrilled to be back on the road, redeeming all of those points and miles we've earned from home over the last year. With Fourth of July right around the corner, we thought we’d share some of our staff’s travel plans for the long weekend.

If you don't have any upcoming travels yet, hopefully, you can use these examples as inspiration when planning your adventures for the rest of the summer. With more Americans on the road again and cash rates on the rise, now could be an especially good time to put your points and other rewards to use.

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All-inclusive retreat in California

(Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Editor-at-Large Zach Honig planned a road trip up the California coast with a stop at several notable hotels, including one of Hyatt's top properties in North America, one of Hyatt's newest properties and a family-friendly Hilton just outside downtown Napa. His points were even able to help him fly there in style.

"I'm not one to plan trips a year in advance, but I knew I'd need to lock in my dates at least that far out to score a redemption at Ventana Big Sur for just 30,000 World of Hyatt points per night. That included a spacious king room with a fireplace, and all of our meals -- even room service and snacks by the pool.
From there, I redeemed another 30,000 points per night for the Alila Napa Valley and two Hilton credit card certificates for a weekend at Napa's Embassy Suites.
My flights were booked with cash, at just under $100 each way, but I did manage to redeem my United PlusPoints to confirm upgrades to Polaris business class." — Zach Honig, Editor-at-Large

Related: 5 easy ways to maximize Hyatt award redemptions

A Florida staycation

Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

You don't need to travel far to get high value from your points or other rewards. Cards Editor Juan Ruiz is saving thousands of dollars by booking a weekend getaway that's about a two-hour drive from home.

"Used two complimentary night certificates from my The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card to stay at the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa. With rates exceeding $700 per night for the holiday weekend, the Aspire continues to deliver incredible value and pays for itself year in and year out." — Juan Ruiz, Credit Cards Editor

The information for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: How to get maximum value from Hilton free night certificates

Cross-country road trip

A suite at the Thompson Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

At the beginning of the year, TPG's Director of Marketing and Communications Becca Manheimer, left New York to spend a couple of months in California. Now, it's time for her to road trip her way back home. Although she already has several Hiltons booked, she's going to try to mostly stay at World of Hyatt properties to take full advantage of her newly-earned Globalist status.

Starting in Los Angeles, Becca plans to spend her first night at the new Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World, booked for 70,000 Hilton Honors points. She'll then head to Zion National Park in Utah to hike up The Narrows and then spend a night at the nearby Cliffrose Springdale, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton (80,000 Hilton Honors points per night).

From there, she'll head to the Hampton Inn Richfield for a night (30,000 Hilton points per night) and then spend a few nights in Denver — likely the Grand Hyatt Denver for 12,000 points per night. The rest of the trip is still in the works but will include two nights at the Thompson Chicago (15,000 points per night) and a night at the Hyatt Place Ann Arbor (12,000 points per night).

"Starting my road trip back to the East Coat -- points hotels all the way back! Earned my Globalist status on my road trip West so staying at mostly Hyatt's but a few Hiltons along the way!" — Becca Manheimer, Director of Marketing and Communications.

Related: Planning your California road trip using Hyatt points

A weekend in the Berkshires

Wyndhurst Manor & Club (Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

The all-inclusive Miraval Berkshires got a lot of attention when it opened last year, but it is quite pricey — both with points and cash. Luckily, that's not the only World of Hyatt property in the area. Reporter Chris Dong plans to spend his weekend at the much cheaper Wyndhurst Manor and Club located next door.

"I booked three nights at the Wyndhurst Manor and Club in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. I redeemed 25,000 Hyatt points per night, a relative steal compared to needing 65,000 points per night at the Miraval next door." — Chris Dong, Reporter

Related: 8 easy New York City escapes you can get to in three hours or less

Bottom line

With over 50% of American adults now fully vaccinated, this holiday weekend is shaping up to be the busiest travel period since the pandemic began. Although cash rates are up, you may still be able to book a last-minute trip using your points and miles without the same price inflation. If nothing else, hopefully, these anecdotes from TPG staffers provide you with a bit of inspiration for planning travels for the rest of the summer.

Featured image by (Photo by Gil.K/Shutterstock)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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670-850
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The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
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

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases