My fiancée Cheryl and I are getting married this July, and I want to treat Cheryl to a fantastic honeymoon after our wedding. Over the past few months I’ve been saving my points and doing plenty of research on potential honeymoon spots. We finally settled on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.
We’ll be staying at the W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island, which is apart of the SPG hotel chain, for 7 days/6 nights. Nightly an entry level room goes for $500 dollars after tax or 20,000 Starpoints which totals to $3,000 or 120,000 Starpoints for 6 nights. Cheryl and I both signed up for the personal SPG American Express card which gave us 63,000 Starpoints (I signed up for the old 25,000 Starpoints offer after $5,000 dollars in spending and Cheryl signed up for the increased 30,000 Starpoints offer after $3,000 dollars spending).
After the credit card bonuses we still needed 57,000 Starpoints (20,000 times 6 nights minus 63,000 points). First, I use the SPG Amex for non bonus spending which earns me about 10,0000-20,000 Starpoints a year. Secondly, I’m an SPG Platinum member which gives me every 5th night free which saves me 20,000 points (all SPG members receive 5th night free). Thirdly, I stayed at a Sheraton (part of SPG hotels) for work for a couple of months which netted me the rest of the points. My suggestion for those who don’t travel for work or are limited in their spending is either sign up for the SPG AMEX business credit cards or stay at another hotel chain (Hilton, Hyatt, etc) and sign up for their co branded credit card to earn a few more nights.
Luckily for us, Southwest flies to our local airport and also flies to San Juan airport. Southwest is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner and I happen to have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Our flights were a total of 37,828 Rapid Rewards points or $652 dollars. The current bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after $4,000 dollars in spending in 3 months which takes care of the cost of our flights and leaves us points left over.
Vieques Island is off the coast of the main island (where San Juan is) and one either need to take a ferry or fly to Vieques Island with small regional carriers. The ferry costs only $2 dollars apiece but the ferry dock is about an $80 dollar taxi ride from San Juan and the ferry is apparently very unreliable. Flying costs around $150-$300 dollars apiece and unfortunately points can’t be used due to only regional carriers servicing this airport. We opted to fly and we bought tickets from Vieques Air Link which cost us $150 dollars a piece. (Remember you could use cutback cards for this. I could sign up for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card which would earn $400 dollars in free travel which is redeemed via statement credit).
While having traveled for work definitely aided in paying for my honeymoon in points, I definitely think it’s doable for someone who doesn’t travel for work. My recommendations would be to figure out first where you want to travel, then take a look at co branded credit cards for hotels and airlines. A couple of sign up bonuses and some spending could definitely earn you a trip like this.
Have any questions or need help with your own honeymoon? Comment below!
-Nick a.k.a. Points Tutor