We just received an amazing offer – a timeshare for us to use for free in Oahu this month! This month….Holy Cow! I have to get moving… NOW. So I have lots of questions and dilemmas.
The first dilemma we have is how to get there. Should I use my points to go there in Business/First Class since it is a long flight? Will I have enough for our South Africa trip that we have to book within the next couple of weeks? There are many variables of where we should fly out of as well as where we should fly home from?
After Oahu, we will fly to Kauai and the Big Island – at least that is the plan currently. That doesn’t mean tomorrow it won’t be Maui and Kauai. I have enough hotel points that we can stay for a few nights at each island hopefully. I’m thinking that this is more like an island sampler – visit a few and then see where we want to go back to in the future. The Sheraton is only charging 10,000 – 12,000 SPG points per night and I have about 30,000 points. AmEx co-brands the SPG card and the points are very difficult to come by other. I also have about 300,000 Hilton points from their co-branded American Express card. I like this card because of the bonus – 5 x points at grocery stores. I found a grocery store up here that sells Vanilla Reloads and there doesn’t appear to be any limits as to how many you can buy. I bought 4 of them at $500 each yesterday. That means I spent $2000 and since it is 5 times I just received 10,000 Hilton points! Score one for the home team.
After spending all day on this, I decided to take the United flights and my head was spinning like the girl from Exorcist though no green pea soup. I decided to call in the troops and hire a booking specialist after talking with him through email. My initial thought was to transfer my AmEx Membership reward points over to UAL and book the flights. He told me, to my surprise, that United is not a transfer partner of AmEx. My idea came to a screeching halt. What do I do now? He came up with such a great idea (and worth his money). He said that AmEx was a transfer partner of Singapore Airlines and they are a partner of United.
The interesting thing about Singapore Airline is that their award tickets (even on United) require fewer points than United charges for their award. Instead of paying 80,000 miles per business class ticket, we are paying 60,000 points – a savings of 40,000 miles. What you need to do is to become a loyalty member of Kris Flyer, the program for Singapore Air. Then go to your AmEx , go to membership rewards, click on partners and then link your AmEx account with the loyalty program you are interested in transferring points to. You can either call AmEx or you can do the transfer yourself on AmEx’s site. This is irreversible so be sure before you do it. They told me the point transfer would take 3-5 business days but less than 12 hours later, they were transferred. Next was the telephone call to Singapore Air booking the flight – make sure you have the flight numbers so you can give it to the agent. Next thing we knew we had tickets to Hawaii.
All we have to worry about now is booking the hotel rooms and flying from island to island.
So if you have been to Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island, send me your list of things that we have to do.