Today, my husband told me that a friend wanted to know how he could earn a FREE vacation for his family.  So I thought I’d write a special post for him which could also apply to many of my family readers.  If you are single, this post would help you earn the most luxurious extended vacation you can imagine or a splendid European trip with your significant other.
So this miles & points thing intrigues you.  You see all these blogs and deals but how do you really make a free vacation happen for your family.  Is it just a pipe dream or is it as easy as you’ve heard and read. It  is easy and I’ll show you how easy. I know many ways to earn a free vacation but by far the easiest way I know is with credit card bonus offers.  Some of these offers are what I call the “pack of gum” offer.  An offer qualifies as a “pack of gum” offer if it has no minimum spend and no annual fee.  Miles & points don’t come easier than that!  I will highlight a couple of these offers in my plans.  I’ll walk you through your free vacation master guide plan, step by step.  Here we go!

 – within the U.S., Canada or Alaska.
Model is based on a Family Size of 5 – 2 adults & 3 kiddos over the age of 2.
Note: All children under the age of 2 fly free domestically until the day they turn 2. So if you are flying and their birthday happens while you are going, you may have to pay some cost on your return flight. Keep this in mind. International flights for children under the age of 2 will usually charge you the taxes on the full fare ticket price)
5 tickets = 125,000 miles needed (standard with most all domestic airlines)
STEP #1:  Husband & wife apply for United Mileage Plus Explorer Card
“Pack of gum” offer
Total Earnings: 60,000 United miles

STEP #2:
Husband & wife must both buy a pack of gum with each card and add each other to your new card for the 5,000 miles bonus.  This credit card offers give you 25,000 bonus miles upon first use and a additional 5,000 miles when you add another authorized user.

STEP #3:  Husband & wife both apply for the Chase Sapphire Ultimate Rewards card – 50,000 points
Total Earnings: 106,000 Ultimate Rewards points (including min. spend)

STEP #4:
  Both now must meet the minimum spend requirement of $3,000 within 3 months on their respective cards to receive the 50,000 bonus points. Your points will post the closing statement you meet this spend requirement.  Read here for many fast & easy ways to meet minimum spends.  Once you both receive your 50,000 Ultimate Reward Points, you will have a total of $1,000 dollars cash back or $1,250 towards travel redemption should you choose to use it that way.  There are so many ways to use Ultimate Rewards points.  They are highly valued in the points world right now.  To get an idea of what you can do with your Ultimate Rewards points, visit Chase’s Ultimate Rewards demo site.  You don’t have to be a member but you can explore all the benefits of how your points can work for you.  Here is the link

STEP #5:  You have earned:

60,000 Continental/United miles
106,000 Ultimate Rewards Points

Transfer your miles
Now that husband and wife both have 53,000 Ultimate Rewards points in your accounts, you should transfer 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points to one United Plus account and 45,000 Ultimate Rewards Points to the other respective account.  Now your two United Mileage Plus account balance should be 50,000 & 75,000.  You can now redeem 2 free domestic award tickets from one account and 3 free domestic award tickets from the other account.  You also have a remaining 3,000 Ultimate Rewards Points in one account and 5,000 Ultimate Rewards Points in the other account.

STEP #6:  Book your free airfare on United or Continental flights.


STEP #7:
 Husband & wife apply for Marriott Premier Rewards
“Pack of gum” offer –50,000 points

Total Earnings: 100,000

Marriott Rewards night start at 7,500 per night for Category 1 (13 nights + 1 free night w/gift certificate), 10,000 points per night for Category 2 (10 nights + 1 free night w/gift certificate). Obviously, the high category you go the less nights but honestly there a ton of really nice hotels in the Category 1 & 2.  You can go up to Category 3 and it’s only 15,000 points per night.  Remember that you also still have the remaining 30,000 Ultimate Rewards Points in one account and 5,000 Ultimate Reward points in another account.  You could use these for accommodations reservations or ch
oose to have a Cash Back check sent to you for $350.  This might be a great option depending upon what accommodations you prefer for your family.  For example staying at bed and breakfasts can be a great budget saving accommodations.  Some offer large rooms set up for a family and the breakfast every morning saves even more money.  Also you don’t have to find a restaurant every morning when you children are starving.  A second recommendation for accommodations would be a vacation rental.  Perfect for the family vacation.  A great site for vacation rentals is HomeAway

Now that you have your airfare & hotel covered FREE thanks to your credit card bonuses.  How about some spending money for food, entertainment, etc.
Here are a couple options to put cash in your pocket:

Citi Thank You Premier –50,000 points

The Chase Bold Ink would give you $500 cash or you could redeem for gift cards or other travel related needs.  If you need help with ways to meet the minimum spend on ANY of these offers read here

So there you go! This is a very detailed post and might seem overwhelming but it really is simple. I’ve just tried to cover each step to make the process smooth and easy for you. Oh, just as a reminder these cards all waived their first year’s annual fee so be sure to cancel before the year is up. I don’t recommend canceling before 8 or 9 months though and the 12 month marker is even better. Just put them away in the drawer after you’ve meet the requirements to earn your miles/points. As always, if you have any questions or need any help don’t hesitate to email me. I’m always available to help.
This is a supplement plan if you are not able to achieve receiving 3 credit cards from Chase.  I would suggest some of these offers to fill in the gaps where you are missing flight miles or need hotel nights.


STEP #1: Husband & wife apply for Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card
30,000 bonus points after $500 minimum spend
Total Earnings: 61,000 Delta miles (including min. spend)

STEP #2: Husband & wife apply for Gold Delta Skymiles Business Credit Card
30,000 bonus points after $500 minimum spend
Total Earnings: 61,000 Delta miles (including min. spend)
You will now have 122,000  Delta miles which includes you 1,000 miles earned from your minimum spend on your cards.  So to achieve you 5th ticket you will need an additional 3,000 Delta miles.  This can be done using your credit card for bills and other spending.  To find other ways to meet minimum spends click here.  Also remember you don’t have need to actually own a business, just have expenses related to business.  For example, do you sell your crafts on Ebay, or make something you sell or market online?  There’s your business.  Do you or your husband travel on occasion for work related things?  You will use your own social security as you are a sole proprietor.  I often sell thing on Ebay and can always justify a business card for any expenses (craft supplies, shipping, etc.)


STEP #1: Husband & wife apply for Citibank Hilton Honors Card
40,000 Hilton Honors points after meeting a $1,000 minimum spend in 4 months
Total Earnings: 82,000
These Hilton Honors cards can be stretched but I would recommend the higher minimum spend option if it is possible for your family as 100,000 Starwood points would afford you more nights and luxury too.  Hilton Honors free nights start at 7,500 points but you will need to do you homework to find rooms that will accommodation a family of 5 for that amount of points.  In most cases you will have to use more points.  Really you must do you homework and find out where you want to stay and how many points it will cost you.

– More points though and luxury accommodations.

STEP #1:
  Husband & wife apply for Starwood Preferred Guest Card
25,000 points after meeting a $5000 minimum spend
Total Earnings: 60,000

STEP #2: Husband & wife apply for Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card
25,000 points after meeting a $5000 minimum spend
Total Ear
nings: 60,000
Total earnings: 120,000 with both cards
This should be enough for some very nice accommodations for your family.  Starwood Resorts are luxury resort all over the world.  Starwood free nights start at 3,000 points per night for weekdays and 2,000 points per night for weekends.  Here is there reward chart



  1. Hi Great tips, thank you,Just minor on edits on the points math:add points/miles that are earned through the minimum spend as you did at one point.So we have: 122K delta miles (+2)82K hilton points (+2)120K starwood points (+20)Thank you again!

  2. You are very welcome and that's for the edits. It was very late when I finished this post and was editing it. Totally appreciate your comment. I'm going through now to be sure all numbers include minimum spend, can't forget those miles & points.

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