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I wanted to share a story from 1TP reader Israel, who sent an awesome and inspiring email last night that I just had to post (with his permission)…
For the sake of the story, you’re going to need a little background. My wife and I have 2 kids (ages 6 and 4). We have been trying to have another child for the last three years. Unfortunately, our efforts have been unsuccessful.
Our doctor recommended in vitro fertilization (IVF) as our best option. After many consultations and doctor appointments, we decided to move forward with the process which is very expensive.
My wife and I had been saving our money for the last two years planning for this procedure, so we had the money in cash.
I had subscribed to your blog about 8 months ago and been reading daily. I love your style of writing. It’s very easy to understand but I had not pulled the trigger on a new card despite your recommendations.
I have credit cards but none that are travel reward cards so I continued to read every day without actually applying for anything.
But it gets better (as you would say). lol I had a lightbulb moment when I read one of your blogs and you said “If you wouldn’t swipe your debit card, don’t swipe your credit card. Use your card to pay for things that you’re going to pay for anyway.”
I realized that I had to pay my doctor approximately $7,000 for this procedure. I called the doctor’s office and they said they accepted credit cards for payment with no additional fees.
So, I applied for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card from your blog and after a little convincing my wife did too. I was able to split the bill – $3000 on my card and $3000 on my wife’s card to meet the minimum spend on each card – and I paid the remaining balance in cash.
I let the charges post to our accounts and I immediately paid them off from the money we had saved up. We received two credit card bonuses. That’s 280,000+ points for having a baby!
This past weekend our family went on a road trip to Disneyland in Anaheim California. We stayed at the Staybridge Suites: Anaheim At The Park.
The hotel is within walking distance to Disneyland, costs 35,000 points per night and we were upgraded to the one-bedroom suite because of our status (Platinum status comes with the credit card). Our suite had a full kitchen and the hotel had free breakfast so I was able to save even more money on meals.
The hotel stay was excellent but one of the best parts about the redemption was the ability to take advantage of the 4th night free benefit.
In total, we stayed 5 days / 4 nights, redeemed 105,000 points, everyone had plenty of room and we saved probably around $1000 on the room alone as the it was $220 (not including tax).
I say all of that to say, the vacation was the quality family time we were looking for, my wife is relaxed, the children are happy, we’re having another child, I saved $1000, and we still have 175,000 points left. This is crazy. I think I may jump on that Chase Sapphire Preferred that you keep writing about.
(and my wife, your newest blog subscriber)
p.s. Keep writing brother. My day is a lot brighter when I see your email hit my box at 8am (EST).
I love when I receive messages from readers and I couldn’t be more happy for you and your family Israel. This is another great example of how the benefits of your credit card can take your experience to the next level.
If you’re in a position to get approved and meet the spending requirements, it’s not hard to earn a lot of points and redeem them for amazing value and there’s also little downside to the points and miles hobby as long as you stay organized and manage your expenses and credit responsibly.
If I could offer my unsolicited advice, you should’ve put that remaining ~$1000 on the credit card too. You missed out on additional points. hahaha It will come with time, don’t worry. 🤣
Additionally, there’s no need to feel intimidated if you’re new to points and miles. Start by checking out our beginner’s guide and learning basic strategies to maximize your rewards. And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to comment on the blog or email me. Most of all, have fun! Award travel can be rewarding far beyond the money saved.
Have you had an experience where points have saved you a lot money?