Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Where are my fellow cheap a**es at?
Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest
Discuss theme parks, roller coasters, and mules!
If the donkey is rockin, don't come knockin!
User avatar
 
Posts: 980
Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Location: Ohio
Gender: Male
Age: 31

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby Invertalon » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:59 am

Southwest Airlines Credit Card in the US, for sure. Highly recommended.

Got 50,000 points just for signing up and spending $2,000 in first three months.

Then referrals.. My girlfriend, who then got her 50,000... And a few friends at 10,000 points a pop. Together, the girlfriend and I had a combined 140,000 points or so. In perspective, round trip to Cali is probably around 20K, Orlando around 15K per person. I use that card everywhere as my default now, so the points keep accumulating. Especially with rental cars where you can snag 3000-7500 points or some hotel deals.

For the past two years or so, we have flown free within the US. Still have some 80,000 points between us. This is probably 3 or 4 flights per year since we got the cards. San Diego, San Francisco, Nashville, Orlando a few times...

And you can avoid the ultra-low-cost carriers such as Spirit and Frontier...
-Steve

Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 14508
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Location: The bar
Gender: Male
Age: 31

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:56 am

joelwee wrote:Choice Hotels just temporarily upped their sign-on bonus for their Choice Privileges Rewards Credit Card from 32,000 points to 50,000. If you don't already have this card, I highly recommend signing up.


I agree, this is the highest offer that I've ever seen on that card.

In addition, here's a weird one but if you like Choice Hotels this will net you a TON of points if you use Amtrak (because you need to have status to transfer points). Bank of America has an (I believe) all-time-high offer on their Amtrak Guest Rewards card. These points transfer to Choice at 1:3 so that's 120,000 Choice points for $79. There are also some Amtrak credits and I guess you could use the points for Amtrak too but... lol

Honestly this is a better card for accumulating Choice Points than the actual Choice card (except when you're using it at a Choice Hotel) as it effectively earns 3 points per dollar on everything, 6 on travel and more on Amtrak but who cares? There's an annual fee, but if you don't use it just cancel it after the first year.

PS: BOA is pretty inquiry sensitive so if you're like me and you have a lot of new cards lately, don't bother. Great credit will not help you. They know our game.

Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 14508
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Location: The bar
Gender: Male
Age: 31

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:00 am

Just a quick bump...

First off, Wyndham just upped the bonus on their credit card for people that like Wyndham for some reason.

This card carries an annual fee which is partially offset by the 6,000 anniversary points each year and waived the first year. Personally I'm not getting this but if you like Wyndham it's a good offer. You can always cancel or downgrade to the free Wyndham card in year two. The bonus is good for 5 free nights in one of their lower tier hotels or 3 in a mid tier.

Secondly, The Choice Visa offer is going away at the end of the month (so in a few days). This is the highest I've ever seen it so if you want it, get it now.

In non-hotel news, Chase just added Emirates as a transfer partner. If anyone is eyeing that new Saudi Arabian Six Flags, start saving up now.

================

Finally, I want to talk about something that we haven't really talked about yet and that is that you can directly buy theme park admission tickets with points and sometimes get crazy value. We frequently use Chase Points for theme park admission and I don't think a lot of people know that you can do this (We went to Fantasy Island on points and nobody who worked at the park knew that it was a thing).

The Chase Ink cards, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve all earn Chase Ultimate Reward points. The Chase Freedom card and Chase Freedom Unlimited card can indirectly earn them if you hold one of those other cards and transfer your points (and you should, everyone needs a Chase Freedom card because it has no annual fee and you can absolutely stockpile points with their rotating category bonuses).

These points allow you to transfer to partners, but they also allow you to book through the Chase Portal for a fixed price. The Sapphire Preferred gets 1.25 cents per point, the Reserve gets 1.5 cents.

Anyway, all of this matters because the Chase Portal is powered by Expedia and a lot of theme parks sell tickets on Expedia. With a Sapphire card, you can often not only use points but (because of the multiplier) get great value on them.

For example, Fantasy Island is one of our better redemptions this year. Tickets are $30.65 through Expedia (which is cheaper than they are on the website) and on top of that, our Sapphire gets us a 1.25% multiplier so it's bookable for only 2,452 points (it would be even better with the Sapphire Reserve).

Untitled.jpg


This is not a one-off thing. We also used points to visit Elitch Gardens a few weeks ago. There was no discount here, but remember that you're getting a multiplier with the Sapphire cards (and not using cash) so unless you find an awesome promo code floating around it's still smart to book through Chase.

Untitled2.jpg


Universal Orlando is another awesome use of points depending on your situation. You're buying an "anytime" ticket, so the base price is inflated but it also includes taxes and fees so if you're going on a $180 day you come out ahead even before the multiplier once they tack those on (if you're not, this is a bad deal and you should pay cash).

Untitled3.jpg


If you want to go to Universal and don't want to drop $400 to do it for one day, signing up for a Chase Sapphire Preferred and hitting the bonus is a great alternative as it will pay for a family of 4.

Chase isn't the only game in town when it comes to this, but they're probably the best. I don't want to sound like a commercial here but if you're looking to visit a park that sells tickets on Expedia, we've been getting crazy value with Chase points lately.

Everyone knows that you can use points to save on airfare and hotels, but this is a great feature that's rarely discussed so I figured we should discuss it. ;)

One final PSA: If you have signed up for more than 5 personal credit cards in the last 2 years, do not apply for ANY chase card. You will be immediately denied regardless of credit score and calling will get you nowhere.
Last edited by coasterbill on Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:05 am.

“Fear can make a donkey attack a lion”
User avatar
 
Posts: 337
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Greensboro, NC
Gender: Male
Age: 46

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby hoppedup » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:14 am

I have added Fuel Rewards as my extra on my Choice Privileges membership. For each qualifying stay, I get 20¢ per gallon off gas at Shell stations. The rewards are good for up to 20 gallons per fill up, so I can get at least $5 off per fill-up (you get 5¢ per gallon as a Fuel Rewards member) since I have a 31 gallon tank. I am going to try it tonight and see if it also stacks with the GetUpside app I'm using for gas purchases.

Also, I'm probably going to get the CP Visa card before the 50,000 point offer runs out Saturday. I haven't applied for any new cards in a few years and my credit score is excellent.
Parks: 21 | Coasters: 142 | Wood: 39 | Steel: 102 | Fiberglass: 1

Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 14508
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Location: The bar
Gender: Male
Age: 31

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:19 am

Barclays is weird but you should be fine. They're very inquiry sensitive but that's not an issue for you.

My extra is the 400 Choice points because I drive a Honda Fit and Brit drives a Prius. The coffee thing is objectively the best one for 99% of people but it's not something that I care about. :lol:

Online
Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 7319
Joined: 02 Aug 2012
Location: These Ozarks Hills
Gender: Male
Age: 34

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:54 pm

Thanks Bill for pointing out the Wyndham card. They're the only chain that routinely allows 5 people in one regular room. But I agree that for those who aren't in a situation to care about that, there's not much that would put Wyndham over Choice.
Image

Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 14508
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Location: The bar
Gender: Male
Age: 31

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:59 am

All aboard the points train. :lol:

Stay Twice - Get a Free Night is back with Choice through November 8th.

You probably know the drill by now but if not, here's a post I made on it two years ago. The terms and conditions have not changed. Remember to register for the promotion and remember that you can do this an *infinite* number of times.

*Yes, I realize that technically it's not infinite. Happy now? lol

Previous

Return to Theme Parks, Roller Coasters, & Donkeys!

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest

These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment,
Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.

All onride photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by a professional ride photographer.
For yours  and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at parks without proper permission.

Disclaimer!  You need a sense of humor to view our site, 
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back now!
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER!
There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13."
Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.

cron