Tag Archives: Miles

Snagging a Luxury Hotel In Dublin For Free – Thanks To Club Carlson

By Lakshmi and Siddhi:

Travel a lot, but travel smart.  That’s been our adage forever.  On this trip across the UK and Ireland, a “deal” that we snagged was a four-day, three night stay at the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s for ZERO dollars!  How did we manage to get a property that currently retails for 300 Euros per night for free?  Not for just one night, but for  three nights – saving us 900 Euros or 1200 dollars.

Here’s how we did it.  Last year, my husband applied for the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa credit card.  The primary reason for applying for this card was to get  85,000 Bonus Gold Points – 50,000 Gold Points after our first purchase plus 35,000 points once we spent $2,500 on our card within the first 90 days (we simply put our routine expenses for 3 months on the card and for every dollar we spent outside of the Carlson branded properties, we gained 5 points).  We now had 97,500 points to spend on our hotel in Dublin.

The Radisson Blu St. Helen’s is a spectacular property located a short 15 minute bus ride from the city center.  The massive property is showcased with beautifully manicured gardens.  A room at the hotel for a party of three would cost us 300 Euros a night. We could also get the room for 44,000 points a night.

With our accumulated points, we got two nights for free.  An added benefit of the Club Carlson Visa Card is that each time you book a reward stay, your last night is free.  Since we were card holders booking three nights, the third night was free.

Ok, this is not all we got.  With our card, we were upgraded to a better room, got a beautiful basket of fruits upon arrival, and realized that our room service breakfast cost us nothing as well!

This gets better.  We got a lovely room overlooking the gardens where there were celebrations happening each night.  From a Brazilian Samba themed party to a family themed reception, we got people watching opportunities galore.

Last, but not the least, the staff was friendly and efficient, providing us just the right amount of support to make our stay memorable.

Take a look at these pictures and you’ll see why this was just an amazing part of our journey.

IMG_0263 IMG_0264

To learn more about the beautiful Radisson Blu St. Helen’s, click here: http://www.radissonblu.ie/sthelenshotel-dublin

If you’d like to learn more about the Club Carlson Visa Card, click here:  http://www.clubcarlsonvisa.com/credit/visaPremierCard.do



My Gurus in Earning Miles and Points – Thank You For Enabling Us Everyday

By Lakshmi:

Our blog followers know by now that the way we fund our travels is mostly through accumulating miles and points by traveling and of course earning the same without flying via credit card purchases, promotions, etc.

For many years, we have done just fine with earning points and bonuses by flying with the same airline/staying with the same hotel chains, using credit cards/online portals for purchases, etc. and funded many trips to exotic locales around the world.  But these five “Gurus/Sites” have taken our awareness state to an “enlightened” level.

These experts are so passionate about traveling for free, that they leave no trick unturned to uncover ways to travel for little to no money.

So, without further elaboration, here are the five individuals/sites that I read each day to ensure that I am not missing out on any good deals out there.

www.frugaltravelguy.com:  Rick Ingersoll aka the frugaltravel guy features all the latest news on the way to earn points and miles.  As a former banker, Rick has loads of advice on credit card churning, optimizing returns on credit cards, stories on how people including him and his family have traveled for free and of course tips on making the most out of each opportunity.

www.millionmilesecrets.com: Daraius and his wife Emily have accumulated and redeemed millions of miles and his stories always make me feel a little bit stupider for not taking advantage of opportunities that could be staring at me in the face.  I mean that as a sincere compliment.

www.boardingarea.com:  This website is a compilation of frequent travelers who not only bring us deals, but also blog about their airline/hotel/car rental experiences.  Amusing reading and lots of tips.

– www.thepointsguy.com:  I read this site with a mix of awe, envy and respect.  Can anyone take points earning to a state of art and science at the same time?  Sure, if you are thepointsguy.  The posts are so detailed and so well articulated, that it is almost a primer come guidebook for both the novice and experienced mile collector.

travelbypoints.com:  I just recently started reading this site and I have to say that this site comes closest to a management consulting firm in terms of detailing how you can travel for less.  The writer has a ton of personal stories that span the gamut from how he traveled to Machu Picchu for a fraction of what it would cost (his notes are on my to do list!) to how routine gift card purchases can add rewards to your kitty.

Thanks to each of these individuals/sites, we have been educated to be even savvier to enable us to continue to do what we love to do – travel!

Earn Bonus Points/Miles/Cash Back with a Little Homework when Shopping Online


By Lakshmi and Siddhi:

Just recently I discovered what mile and point junkies have known for a long time.  That shopping online at your favorite sites with just a bit of planning can add a lot of bonus points to your frequent flyer/hotel/cash back accounts.

So, last night as my daughter had to get a couple of dresses for formal events at school, off I went to evreward.com to check the deals they had.  Evreward is a shopping portal where you can go to a single site and look at all the deals available for your favorite store.  It lists coupon codes, special offers from Visa/Mastercard and most importantly the loyalty program rewards you can get for your purchase with that merchant.  Here’s how my much-needed purchase translated into over a 1000 points gained.

  • Since I have a Chase Sapphire card, it showed me that if I went to Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, I would get 10 points per dollar if I shopped through that link.

  • So using my credit card’s user id and password, I got to the site and went to the Kohl’s site from there.

  • Once we had selected the dresses, I used the 20% off plus free shipping coupon code listed on evreward and got the discount off my purchase.

  • When I checked out, I used my Chase Sapphire card to charge my purchases.

So, while it might seem like a lot of work to get a few points, it took exactly 5 extra minutes for me to do the research, get the codes and be on my way.

In those 5 extra minutes, instead of getting 100 points for charging $100 on my credit card, now I will be 1000 points richer and have saved 20% off my purchase and got free shipping as well.

Going forward, I plan to do a check at evreward prior to any online purchase. While I do not plan to shop more because of the points, I certainly hope to make every dollar spent on every day purchases count towards our ultimate goal – to travel for less.

To learn more about the evreward, click here.