Updated: Jan 18
Hello everyone, today’s post will be the best example I can personally give someone of how to best leverage a credit cards perks and benefits to enhance your travel experience while saving money. I’ll breakdown our spend at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme with the Hilton Aspire card. I’ll walk you through the process so bare with me because there will some math involved. If you make it to the end, I promise it will all be worth the read. Hope you enjoy!
This was a once in a lifetime vacation for most, but paying 6% of the original cost, it can be a normal vacation for everyone! If that isn’t enough to make you excited, I don’t think travel credit cards will be a good idea for you.
During our stay at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme, we used one credit card, the Hilton Aspire by American Express. You’ll be hearing me speak about this card pretty often because it’s truly that great of a travel credit card. I still don’t know how they can afford to have it full of all the perks and benefits it’s loaded with for the annual fee it currently has but I’ll continue to enjoy it while it last.
This trip was my first experience using the Hilton Aspire credit card for a stay at a Hilton property and I’m here to say, it was worth the hype!
We used the Hilton Aspires $250 Hilton credit to help pay the room rate at cash value for one night. The room rate was $515-$550 or 95k Hilton points per night for a standard room reward.
Hilton Honors program has an ongoing promotion of booking 5 nights with points, you get 1 of the 5 nights free. So, for example, 50k per night for 5 nights would be 250k usually but with this promo, it would now be 200k total. With this promotion it was 380k points used instead of 475k points.
I would have gotten this promotion 2 times in hindsight because we changed our plans later on to stay full time. This meant we needed to add an extra 4 nights on top of the 7 nights we already had booked. We chose to book 3 nights at 95k each (285k total) which made the new total points used 665k.
We didn’t have enough points for the last night after spending most of them already, so we chose to buy more points to top up what we had instead of paying $525.
The points cost $250 for 25k points. At the time of buying these points, Hilton had a bonus promotion for a 100% match of the points you buy. That means they give you double the points for what you buy, which for me, was 50k. So by paying $250 for the points to book the room we ended up saving $270 on the original room rate price.
When calling in to redeem the Hilton Aspire’s Free Weekend Night (FWN), I originally asked for it to be used on the first night of our stay. While on the phone, I was checking room rates and saw that the second night cost was $650 instead of the $515-$550 we’ve seen for all the other days. When asked if I’m sure, I said “no I’m sorry, I made a mistake on the date. I didn’t listen to my wife!” She let me switch the day and because of it, we saved over $100!
In total, we used 760k Hilton Honors points for our stay. That’s a lot of points usually, but for 11 nights at a 5 star resort, in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, it was well worth it. We loved the Seychelles and will definitely be back.
Here’s the fun part and a perfect example of why I’m so into travel credit cards. In total, for our whole 11 night stay, we spent a whopping $520 (the equivalent of 1 night stay there)! That’s 8% of the $6,800 it should have cost us.
If you want to dive deeper and include the upgrades ($9,000) into the price, we paid 6% of what the room rates should have cost us!
That ladies and gentlemen, is what you call a steal!
You’ll hear me mention time and time again, travel credit cards are down payments for future travel. You pay the credit cards annual fee and in return, you get the opportunity to take advantage of the perks and benefits that come with that card. In the example today, we’re paying a total of $640 a year for the Hilton credit cards we have. The way we travel and the plan I have with them, that’s a low cost for what we get out of them. I’ll show you the breakdown of why it’s not a lot of money for how we use them and honestly, we’ll be adding another Hilton Aspire to the mix next year.
Here’s the math breakdown of our Hilton stay and the cards we used to accomplish it:
Hilton Seychelles Northolme:
95k Hilton points per night x 7 = $0
Free night promo (5 nights) = $0
$250 for 50k points = $250
$250 Hilton Aspire credit = $270 ($520 rate)
Hilton Aspire FWN = $0
Total = $520 (original price $9,000)
Hilton credits cards:
Hilton Aspire card $450 = $150k (SUB) + FWN+Credits
Hilton Surpass card $95 = 100k (SUB) + 10k (retention)
Hilton Honors card $0 = 80k (SUB)
Hilton Surpass card $95 (P2) 150k + $150 (SUB)
Total = $585 ($640 on going)
As you can see with the Hilton credit cards we hold, in total, we paid 13% of the total cost at a 5 star resort in the Seychelles! We pay a down payment to get once in a lifetime experiences for a fraction of the price.
We travel enough to take full advantage of the perks and benefits that come with these cards and this is something that is very important to remember. Because I explain to you how great certain cards are and how much value they give me, it doesn’t mean that they will give you the same value. Your miles may vary (YMMV), your situation may be different and it is important to evaluate your situation before considering getting any credit card I mention on PYP. I’ll have a follow up post coming soon about why we got Hilton credit cards, their value and my plan with them moving forward. I’ll also have a post about our full Seychelles trip and a review of the Hilton Seychelles Northolme.
Until next time, before you pack your bags, don’t forget to PACK YOUR POINTS!
I am not a financial advisor and highly recommend doing your own homework about the credit card you want to apply for! All of the content on my website, page and channel are for entertainment purposes only.
If you’d like my opinion or help in forming an idea of what works, I’m here to help.
Here are REFERRAL LINKS to the credit cards mentioned in today’s post. By using them to apply, you’ll be supporting the website and channel because when approved, I’ll receive bonus points and miles as well!
Hilton Honors Card by Amex
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you're approved! http://refer.amex.us/KENNEHyfW4?xl=cp105f
Hilton Surpass Card by Amex
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you're approved! http://refer.amex.us/KENNEH60vq?xl=cp105f
Hilton Aspire Card by Amex
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you're approved! http://refer.amex.us/KENNEHMKdm?xl=cp105f