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TPG Readers Reveal Their Best Points-and-Miles Trips of the Summer

Sept. 01, 2019
7 min read
Key West Mallory Square Sunset
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We recently asked our well-traveled TPG Lounge members to share the best trips they'd taken this summer on points and miles. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

Memorable Vacations Around the US

From family trips to Disneyland to affordable vacations in Key West, Baltimore and Orlando, our TPG Lounge members definitely made the most of their points and miles when it came to planning domestic trips this summer.

"Taking my 7-year-old to Los Angeles (LAX). [We scored a] round-trip nonstop flight for two for $305 thanks to an American Express Membership Rewards redemption. Two days at Disneyland, two days at Legoland, three days in San Diego and two days in Hollywood without having to pay for any hotels thanks to Marriott Bonvoy. Only [have to pay for the] car, food and some attractions, and I'm working on those as well." — Patrick C.

"Norfolk to Key West round-trip for 21,000 miles in September. I've never seen it that low." — Cathleen S.

Paradise beach at Fort Zachary Taylor Park, Key West. (Photo by Simon Dannhauer/Getty Images)

"Washington, DC to Bermuda nonstop for 12,000 Avios round-trip." — Ian J.

"Baltimore in two weeks. [Booked the] Hyatt for five nights downtown and two round-trip nonstop Southwest tickets with the Companion Pass from Indianapolis (IND) for a total of 53,000 Chase UR points and $11 in taxes." — Melissa B.H.

"Not going out of the country but scored two round-trip tickets from Charlotte (CLT) to Orlando (MCO) for 30,000 AAdvantage miles, while the other two tickets were free using our Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card sign-up bonus miles. I still have enough Venture miles for a rental car!" — Kristin B.N.

Epic Trips to Europe

Several of our TPG Lounge readers mentioned great deals they'd gotten on flights to Paris, while others cashed in their well-earned miles for memorable trips to Italy, Austria, Norway, the UK and the Greek Islands.

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"I got main cabin tickets on Delta from Newark to Paris for 28,000 SkyMiles per person. Now I just have to get from Nashville to Newark!" — Anna P.D.

"I’m going to Paris solo in August to be immersed in Van Gogh at L’Atelier des Lumières. Flying from Indianapolis (IND) nonstop in economy for 37,000 Delta SkyMiles round-trip. The plane still has many seats available so I’m hoping to score an empty one beside me for poor man's Comfort+." — Ann M.W.

"Flying from Denver (DEN) to Venice (VCE) via Frankfurt (FRA) in Lufthansa business class for 140,000 miles round-trip, then doing a cruise to the Greek Islands from Venice." — Allan V.N.

Isn't it time you visited the Greek Islands? (Photo by Nicholas Pitt/Getty Images)

"Taking my wife and daughter on a European Disney Cruise, which was paid for out of pocket but almost all flights and hotels, including Delta One to London, we got with points and miles." — Justin C.

"Cooking school on the Amalfi Coast [thanks to a] business-class redemption from Salt Lake City (SLC)." — Jeff S.

"I’m headed to Vienna next month and found a $712-a-night hotel for just 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points." — Melinda A.

"I had originally booked a Delta One flight from New York (JFK) to Copenhagen (CPH) with a return flight from Glasgow — for some reason, adding the CPH-GLA leg to that itinerary was an extra $2,000 and I could not find any SkyTeam partner flights on Delta's website (it was over $300 for economy on KLM's website). Then, I searched Delta for the price in SkyMiles instead of cash and was able to book KLM business class from CPH to Amsterdam (AMS) to GLA for 25,000 SkyMiles. I'm sure some of you might have more impressive award redemptions, but I felt like I scored big time on that one!" — Michael G.

Adventures in Asia, Africa, Oceania and Beyond

Whether it's saving on long-haul flights to Australia or splurging on an overwater villa in the Maldives, our TPG Lounge audience never fails to impress us with their well-planned points-and-miles redemptions.

"Singapore to Houston via Frankfurt in first class on Lufthansa’s A380 for 110,000 United MileagePlus miles." — David B.

"Heading to Tanzania; flying business class back home on Ethiopian Airlines using 75,000 miles transferred from American Express Membership Rewards to Aeroplan." — Shoshana S.S.

"I'm currently with my family at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas in Australia, for six nights on Marriott Bonvoy points. We also all flew United Polaris business class in and out of Sydney from Fort Lauderdale, then used leftover British Airways Avios to travel domestically around Australia on Qantas!" — Jennifer K.B.

"Scored the Air New Zealand mistake fare and will be heading in business class to Brisbane, Australia, for a few days in September!" — Nat H.

"Currently at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in an overwater villa, all on points. It really is as amazing as TPG says it is! Plus, I'm taking Qatar QSuites back on miles, too." — Bryan D.

Have you stayed in an overwater bungalow yet? (Photo courtesy of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island)

"Just upgraded [a flight from] Dubai to Los Angeles on Emirates from business class to first on the A380 with 63,000 miles transferred from Capital One. That's the first-class lounge for two, direct access from the lounge to the jetway, 16.5 hours in a private suite, free-flowing Dom Pérignon and a shower at 30,000 feet." — Paul L.

"Our first lie-flat business-class trip on Swiss Air to Zurich, then 10 days in Egypt — Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Abu Simbel and Hughada — before flying home in Royal Jordanian business class and Qatar QSuites. Grand total was $2,200 for two people including 140,000 AAdvantage miles, 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points and 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points." — Loren G.M.

"Our Star Alliance round-the-world trip begins Sept 1. 21 countries in 12 months including Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, (because why not?). And only $25,000 for two business-class tickets, which is a great deal. We decided not to use miles so we could keep our Star Alliance Gold Status, but we have one million Hilton Honors points we are dipping into. We also used Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a ridiculously expensive stay at the Taj Lake Palace hotel in Udaipur." — Nancy D.G.

Featured image by Getty Images
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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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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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