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August 16, 2014

70,000 Marriott Rewards Visa Card!



I haven't seen a deal like this on the Marriott Rewards Visa card in a while.  There are a lot of things that make this Marriott Rewards credit card great!  

- You get 70,000 reward points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening. 
- You also get a 1 free night in a category 1-4 hotel after account approval.
- The annual fee is waived for the first year.

Marriott has 3,400+ hotels in 70 countries.  One of the cool things about Marriott Rewards is that after you book 4 nights using Marriott Rewards you get the 5th night free!

We have used Marriott Rewards multiple times on our Disneyland trips to stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Anaheim Buena Park/Disney North Hotel.  You could stay at this hotel for 5 nights with this card (15,000 pts X 4 nights = 60,000 pts + 1 night free).  We have also used Marriott Rewards at the beautiful Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort in Costa Rica.  

Be sure to sign up for Marriott Rewards before you sign up for the credit card and keep your rewards number and pin in a safe place.

Please remember that if your account is not left open for at least 6 months you may lose your Marriott Rewards points.

WTC Review: Megan and I both have this card and we canceled after the first year so we didn't have to pay the annual fee.  Sometimes they will give you a free nights stay when you renew the card for another year.  It's a great way to stay at nice Marriott hotels for free!

August 7, 2014

7 Day Resort Vouchers!

The resorts above are actual resorts me or my family have stayed at using these resort vouchers.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for even more travel deals!

When I first discovered these vouchers I thought the price was too good to be true, but they are legitimate. These condos are leftover inventory with RCI (the largest timeshare vacation exchange network in the world). The resorts would rather sell these units at a deep discount instead of having them go empty.  


My family has used over a dozen of these vouchers since 2011 and we have saved thousands of dollars!

Benefits:
  • The voucher is for the entire week per unit, not per person!  
  • 7 nights at one of 6,000 resorts worldwide!
  • You have 1 year to book and another year to travel.
  • You can see availability up to 340 days in advance.
  • You can preview resorts here before you buy the resort voucher. 
  • NO presentation is required!
This is an amazing deal because you a week at one of thousands of resorts around the world.   I have personally used them in Spain, Dominican Republic and three times in Cancun.  The great thing about these vouchers is you can preview resorts here before you buy the resort voucher.   

Certificates are redeemed through RCI which is part of Wyndham Worldwide.  You don't have to be a member of RCI or attend a condo presentation to receive this great deal! Availability is usually updated on Wednesdays. 

How it works:
1.  Purchase the resort voucher.
2. Preview resorts before or after you purchase the voucher. You can see inventory up to 340 days in advance.
3. When you are ready to book select your resort and use your voucher code to make your reservation.
Things to remember:
1. Reservations must be made 365 days from the date of purchase. 
2. You have another year after you book to actually travel.  
3. Once vouchers are issued they are non-refundable and reservations cannot be changed. 
4. Read the details about the resort before you book and contact them if you have questions. 
5. If the resort is all-inclusive you may be required to purchase the food option. It's best to call or e-mail the resort. 
6. Some resorts require you pay a nominal local room tax.  Contact the resort for details.

Booking tips:
1. Be sure to check out the reviews of your resort on Google  
or Trip Advisor prior to booking.
2. Call or e-mail the resort if you have questions.



Here are actual where me and my family have stayed over the past three years.







Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for even more travel deals!

Disclaimer: Ideas in this blog post are from my own personal experiences and actual results may vary based on offers available at the time.  This is not professional advice.

March 21, 2014

Free Travel Workshop in SLC on March 27


I've been invited to give my Cheap Travel presentation at the University of Utah this Thursday, March 27 from 12-1:00 pm.  Please feel free to join me if you're interested.

About the Presentation:
Traveling can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be.  Mike Whitesides has cracked the code on creating cheap vacations for he and his family.  He's saved thousands of dollars traveling the world for virtually free!  Here are some examples of recent trips he's taken:

Flight: 25,000 AAdvantage airline miles per person + $75 tax 
Accommodations: $249 resort certificate (included a $300 resort credit)

Flight: 8,000-10,000 miles + $10 tax
Accommodations: 40,000 points + $0

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - Oct. 2014
Flight: 35,000 miles + $110
Accommodations: $249 resort certificate

Flight: 60,000 Delta Airline Skymiles per person + $52 tax
Accommodations: $249 Mediterranean Sea condo & $150 hotel certificate for a hotel

Workshop topics include:
  • How to plan for your next cheap vacation
  • How reward and loyalty programs work
  • How to aquire airline miles and hotel points
  • How to find deals online that will save you money
  • Other money saving travel tips and tricks
See what past attendees and clients have said:
  • Thanks to Mike Whitesides and his blog wetravelcheap.com we are going to California the end if this month and Cancun the end of Sept. for really cheap. Free hotels in California and $249 for 7 nights in Cancun plus a $300 food credit. He is a trusted friend not just a random stranger.
  • We are so happy that you saved us hundreds of dollars! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
    We are looking forward to a fun CHEAP getaway!
  • Well done, with lots of useful information. I appreciated the personal feedback given as well.
  • I loved it! Very insightful! A brilliant way to use credit cards in a responsible way, and benefit you and your family!
  • Thanks for covering so many ideas. I haven't explored many of these in the past but now feel like I have a good idea of where to start.
About the Presenter:

Mike Whitesides has been traveling cheap around the world using miles and points for years.  He's been to over 20 countries and has lived on two islands!  He will share his tips and tricks for finding great deals on vacations that you won’t learn anywhere else!

February 17, 2014

$149 for 4 days/3 nights in Orlando PLUS 2 Disney World Tickets!

Our FREE day at the Magic Kingdom, February 2013.
We go to Disney World almost every year because it can be such a cheap trip!  We're headed there again in April and I just firmed up our hotel reservations.  We have been booking package deals to Orlando since 2008. These packages include three to five days at a hotel or condo AND two Disney World tickets.  We usually find these package deals on eBay. However, I found the best deal I've ever seen to Orlando with Endless Vacation Rentals, it even has a promo code to make it cheaper!

For $199 you get 4 days/3 night at Holiday Inn Maingate East plus two Disney World tickets.  You can save $50 if you use promo code 'deals' or 'travel 50' so the price drops to $149!  The $149 is for the entire package including hotel, tickets and transportation.  The two Disney World tickets are valued at almost $200 alone so you can see what a great value this is!  We love booking these packages when we go to Orlando and we've done it at least five times!  

     
Here are the package details:

  • 2 adult Disney World one day passes  
  • 1 guestroom that sleeps 4  
  • FREE shuttle services to Disney Theme Parks 
  • Use of hotel amenities and services  
  • Additional nights start at $69 per night 
  • $10 off Planet Hollywood, Buca di Beppo & Planet Dailies  
  • 120 minute resort preview (click the link to see the terms and conditions)
  • Tickets included with this promotion will be received after the timeshare presentation is completed
  • Hotel tax of 13% and a resort fee of $5.00 per night paid upon check-in and are not included                        
To get such a great deal you are committed to attend a 120 minute resort presentation.  This does cut into your vacation time, however it's time well spent when you consider the retail price of this package is $611!  You're saving $462!  That makes it well worth it for me.  

Here are some tips about having a positive resort presentation experience:
  • Start your stopwatch. You've committed to 120 minutes of presentation, not a minute more.  
  • Tell them where you have to go in 120 minutes so you can get out of there and on with your vacation (be honest and have a plan).
  • When the sales person asks why are you there tell them you are interested in learning about vacationing.
  • Don’t give in to ‘buying is better than renting’ sales pitch.  Buying isn't always better than renting.
  • I always tell them I'm trying to get out of debt (like paying off my house), not get into more debt .
  • The magic 5 words –“I can’t and I won’t”.  It works every time!
  • Be honest, courteous and grateful!

Disclaimer: Ideas in this blog post are from my own personal experiences and actual results may vary based on offers available at the time.  I don't receive compensation for any of these credit card offers.  This is not professional advice.

January 20, 2014

We Eat Cheap!

This is a sampling of what we take with us when we go to Disneyland.
So we love to travel the world, experience new cultures and try new things, but you might be surprised that we're not huge foodies!  We eat relatively simple at home and on vacation.  If we had to eat peanut butter sandwiches, quesadillas and eggs for the rest of lives we probably wouldn't complain.

Food from our Costa Rica trip | May 2012
When traveling within the US or abroad you can spend a significant amount of money on food.  It can be difficult to know 1) where to eat, 2) what to order and 3) if you'll even like what you ordered.  We don't like to leave restaurants hungry feeling like we overpaid.  

Several years ago we decided to take food with us when we traveled.  This included cookies, crackers, granola bars, peanut butter and my personal favorite, gummies!  We have been known to pack entire suitcases full of food when we've traveled abroad.  We usually stay in nice condos (for cheap) that have kitchens so we are able to make sandwiches and cook if we need to.   

These Nabisco Snack Paks are on sale at Smith's right now for $1 and are the prefect travel food!
When we're on vacation one of the cultural highlights is to go to the grocery store to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, cheese, cold cuts, eggs and bottled water.  For breakfast we'll eat yogurt, fruit and toast, for lunch we'll eat sandwiches and then we'll usually eat a nicer dinner.

Enjoy your vacations, bring food, buy food and always eat dessert first!  




January 9, 2014

50,000 SouthWest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa = My Favorite Credit Card!


This is a great offer on one of my favorite cards!  You get 50,000 points after charging $2,000 in 3 months.  This is a $800 value!  If you and your spouse both get a card that's 100,000 points!  There is a $69 annual fee, but it is well worth it and you can cancel if you want after your points are awarded.  Be sure to sign up for Rapid Rewards before you submit your credit card application.  

WTC Review: Rapid Rewards points by Southwest Airlines has been recognized for being one of the easiest frequent flyer programs to use because you can basically use points on every flight.  This is the offer we used to book our Disneyland trip and to go to Las Vegas.  Points don't expire if you have earning activity every 24 months which you can do by signing up for the Rapid Rewards Dining Program with any credit card.




October 25, 2013

$196 Can Take a Family of Four to Disneyland!




Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for even more travel deals! Scroll to the bottom to see more Disneyland posts.

Can $196 really take a family of four to Disneyland?  You do the math. . .


Here is the perfect formula for a cheap Disneyland vacation . . .
  • Flight:
  • ~10,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards miles per person roundtrip from SLC to LAX plus $5 per person in tax.
  • Hotel:
  • 15,000 IHG (Holiday Inn) reward points per night (60,000 points for 4 nights) + $0.
  • Park Tickets:
  • The Disney Premier Visa Card can get you a $200 Disney gift card that can be used towards park tickets.  Other discount tickets are hard to come by, but check with friends who work on a military base or consider buying an annual pass. 

Here's what you need to do to get 50,000 Southwest Airline Rapid Rewards for your flight.
  1. Sign up for the Southwest Airline Rapid Rewards Visa card.  (It's a good idea for a husband and wife to each sign up for their own card, that way you'll get 50,000 rewards each.  That's 100,000 Rapid Rewards for your family!)
  2. Spend $2,000 on your card in your first 3 months of opening your account. ($69 annual fee not waived.)
  3. After you spend at least $2,000 on your card, your 50,000 Rapid Rewards should be awarded in 6-8 weeks.  
  4. Sign up for the 'Click 'N Save' Southwest Airlines e-mail alerts.
  5. Wait for the lowest fares on Southwest Airlines and then book your flights.
  6. Don't forget about the Hidden City trick when booking your flight. 

Here's what you need to do to get 60,000 IHG Rewards 4 nights at the Holiday Inn for free. 
  1. Sign up for the IHG Rewards Club Visa card.  (It's a good idea for a husband and wife to each sign up for their own card, that way you'll get 60,000 rewards each.  That's 120,000 IHG Rewards for your family!)
  2. Spend only $1,000 on your card in your first 3 months of opening your account.
  3. After you spend at least $1,000 on your card, your 60,000 IHG Rewards should be awarded in 6-8 weeks.  
  4. When you're ready to book your hotel go to the IHG Rewards website and search for the Holiday Inn Buena Park-Near Knott's Hotel. (This hotel is 7 miles north of Disneyland, but includes a free shuttle, wifi and weekday breakfast.  It only takes 10-15 minutes to get to the park.  The hotel is also located near a Target and Stater Bros grocery store.)
  5. You will be able to book this hotel for only 15,000 IHG Reward points per night.  




Here's what you need to do to get the $200 Disney gift card.

  1. Sign up for Disney's Premier Visa. 
  2. Spend only $500 on your card in your first 3 months of opening your account.
  3. After you spend at least $500 on your card, your $200 Disney gift card should be awarded in 6-8 weeks.  
Note: This card has a $49 annual fee that is not waived.

Happy Travels!  


Note: Since all three of the credit cards are offered by Chase you may want to apply for two of the credit cards on the same day.  That will increase the likelihood of being approved for both cards.  Then wait 3-4 months before applying for the third card.

Checkout my other posts about Disneyland:


Disclaimer: Ideas in this blog post are from my own personal experiences and actual results may vary based on offers available at the time.  I don't receive compensation for any of these credit card offers.  This is not professional advice.

October 8, 2013

80,000 IHG (Holiday Inn) Credit Card Offer

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for even more travel deals!

This is an amazing credit card offer with the 'World's Largest Hotel Loyally Program.'  Usually this is a 60,000 point offer, however for a limited time you can use these 80,000 reward points.   You can use these points at over 4,600 hotels worldwide including Holiday Inn's, Crowne Plaza's and other Intercontinental Hotels.  You can book some of their hotels for as little as 5,000 reward points. 

The sign up page doesn't show the offer, however the offer details are below.
  • Earn 80,000 IHG Rewards Club bonus points after spending $1,000 in 3 months.
  • No annual fee for the first year, then just $49 (This is a card I keep and pay the annual fee because of the free night stay at any hotel.)
  • Free night stay every year upon paying the annual fee.
  • Get a 10% point rebate when you use your points.
  • Be sure to verify the 80,000 IHG Rewards Club point bonus when you call to activate your card.

WTC Review:
Megan and I both have this card and we're using the points this week to stay near Disneyland! 80,000 reward points is quite a few and I think the 10% points rebate on any redemptions is really cool.  Before you apply for this card sign up for IHG Rewards Club.  If you don't want to redeem your rewards for hotel stays you can use them on merchandise and gift cards.  Find out more at the IHG website.   

Notice: The 80,000 Priority Club rewards points credit card offer is subject to change at any time and may be different when you apply. 

Disclaimer: Ideas in this blog post are from my own personal experiences and actual results may vary based on offers available at the time.  I don't receive compensation for any of these credit card offers.  This is not professional advice.


October 2, 2013

Updated: Unlock the Magic to Disneyland with Two Credit Cards


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Scroll to the bottom to see more Disneyland posts.

We're headed back to Disneyland for the fourth time this year and we're traveling cheap again!  Fall is a great time to visit Disneyland because the crowded have thinned out and there is a lot of Halloween fun!  This is going to be another cheap vacation because of the the miles and points we've aquired from Southwest Airline Rapid Rewards Visa card and the IHG Rewards Club Visa card.  Both of these cards have great introductory offers right now!  Right now is a great time to sign up for credit cards because with the holidays around the corner it's easy to make those minimum spend requirements.  


Here is the perfect formula for a cheap Disneyland vacation . . .
  • Flight:
  • ~10,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards miles per person roundtrip from SLC to LAX plus $5 per person in tax.
  • Hotel:
  • 15,000 IHG (Holiday Inn) reward points per night (75,000 points for 5 nights) + $0.
  • Car:
  • ~$28 a day for a car rental using Priceline
  • Park Tickets:
  • Discount tickets are hard to come by, but check with friends who work on a military base or consider buying an annual pass. 

Here's what you need to do to get 50,000 Southwest Airline Rapid Rewards for your flight.
  1. Sign up for the Southwest Airline Rapid Rewards Visa card.  (It's a good idea for a husband and wife to each sign up for their own card, that way you'll get 50,000 rewards each.  That's 100,000 Rapid Rewards for your family!)
  2. Spend $2,000 on your card in your first 3 months of opening your account. ($69 annual fee not waived.)
  3. After you spend at least $2,000 on your card, your 50,000 Rapid Rewards should be awarded in 6-8 weeks.  
  4. Sign up for the 'Click 'N Save' Southwest Airlines e-mail alerts.
  5. Wait for the lowest fares on Southwest Airlines and then book your flights.
  6. Don't forget about the Hidden City trick when booking your flight. 

Here's what you need to do to get 80,000 (updated to the 80,000 reward card!) IHG Rewards 4 nights at the Holiday Inn for free. 
  1. Sign up for the IHG Rewards Club Visa card.  (It's a good idea for a husband and wife to each sign up for their own card, that way you'll get 80,000 rewards each.  That's 160,000 IHG Rewards for your family!)
  2. Spend only $1,000 on your card in your first 3 months of opening your account.
  3. After you spend at least $1,000 on your card, your 80,000 IHG Rewards should be awarded in 6-8 weeks.  
  4. When you're ready to book your hotel go to the IHG Rewards website and search for the Holiday Inn Buena Park-Near Knott's Hotel. (This hotel is 7 miles north of Disneyland, but includes a free shuttle, wifi and weekday breakfast.  It only takes 10-15 minutes to get to the park.  The hotel is also located near a Target and Stater Bros grocery store.)
  5. You will be able to book this hotel for only 15,000 IHG Reward points per night.  


Next week will be our first time staying at the Holiday Inn Buena Park-Near Knott's Hotel and we'll let you know how it goes. It's in the parking lot of the Marriott Fairfield Inn we usually stay at so we are familiar with the area and expecting great things.  
Happy Travels!  

Checkout my other posts about Disneyland:


Disclaimer: Ideas in this blog post are from my own personal experiences and actual results may vary based on offers available at the time.  I don't receive compensation for any of these credit card offers.  This is not professional advice.

October 1, 2013

Making My TV Debut!



Studio 5 aired a clip with me and Megan last week about my secret Lego collection in our basement.  It was a fun story we filmed with KSL about three weeks ago.  Check out the clip below!