Grand Slam Update: Day 13

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We had the great fortune of having our anniversary getaway coincide with the Grand Slam.  Maybe subconsciously that is why we picked that particular wedding date three years ago……well, actually it was picked to coincide with Week 1 of the NFL so we could bet on games while at our wedding in Vegas, but who’s counting.  🙂  Anyway, for our anniversary we had a couple of nights away planned, as well as a rental car.  The rental car already went down as Hit 15, but here is how we racked up hits 18, 19, and 20.  In case you don’t have the US Airways hits to miles chart memorized (gasp), that equals 35,000 miles.  I also have a tentative plan on how I am going to possibly get to 32 hits!

Updated list of all hits to date. 

Hit 18.  Hyatt Hotel Stay – no additional cost

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio (stay tuned for a review very soon) and told them at both check-in and check-out that I wanted to earn US Airways Dividend miles instead of Gold Passport points for the stay.  I provided them my US Airways Dividend miles number and my final receipt shows that “US Airways Dividend miles account will be credited for this stay”.  This stay was already planned, so I am not going to personally count it as costing anything additional out of pocket.  I could calculate the value of the US Airways miles earned and subtract that from the value of the Hyatt Gold Passport points I didn’t earn to come up with a total “cost”, but I am not sure I have the brain capacity or time to do that for each of my stays.  So, I will call the cost $0.  You may wish to calculate it differently in your totals.

Hit 19.  Westin Resort Stay (using a free night!) – no additional cost

I stayed at the Westin La Cantera Resort (again, stay tuned for a review coming soon) using a free resort night earned from a great promotion Westin ran earlier this year.  Normally a free night stay would not result in a hit, but SPG is a bit of a Grand Slam gem in this respect.  We had very nice meals while at this restaurant that totaled about $200 that we charged to the room.  I had already changed my earnings with SPG from Starwood Points to US Airways Dividend Miles, so if everything works as it should, this stay should earn enough miles to count as a hit.  Some of the other hotel partners may work this way, but SPG seems to be the most reliable to function in this manner (thus far).

Doesn’t this look like a tough place to earn a hit?? Oh, the things I do for the Grand Slam.  🙂

Hit 20.  Bank of America US Airways Debit Card – $32.17

I already had a Bank of America account, so I was able to add a US Airways debit card to my account very easily online.  The annual fee is $30, but it not only gives me a hit in the Grand Slam, but it also awards 3,000 Dividend Miles at first use and 1 mile for every $2 charged on the card.  I chose to get this card rather than a US Airways credit card as I did not want a “hard pull” done on my credit report right now.  I used the card to buy $1 worth of gas – something I needed anyway.  No, I don’t normally buy $1 worth of gas at a time, but I have other cards that reward more for those types of purchases – I just needed to use this one once for the hit!

A spot-on reader then pointed out that spending at least $2 using the card is a better idea, since miles are earned at at 2 miles per $1 rate (and you can’t really credit .5 of a mile), so I will count this morning’s kolache purchase instead.  Yum. 

Total Cost for 20 Hits/35,000 Miles

I am admittedly having a hard time keeping an accurate count of what this is actually costing me since I am now into hits that involve car rentals and hotels I would have had anyways.  However, some of the earlier purchases were also purchases I would have made anyways, but I counted them.  So, this is not a scientific count by any means, but I am counting all smaller purchases, one day of all car rentals, but not hotel stays as that amount is just too high and skews the reality of the out-of-pocket cost.  You may choose to count your hits/dollars very differently than me.  At the end of the contest, I will tally my costs in a number of different ways, but for now my out of pocket cost for 20 hits is calculated at $171.60.  To see how I came to that amount, go here to see all my hits and costs.

US Airways Club Membership Discounted Sale Rumor

It looks more and more likely that the US Airways Club Membership sale I talked about in this post is going to happen.  Check out this post for further speculation.  There is a 99% chance I will be jumping on that sale if it comes to fruition.  Perfect timing with American Express no longer offering access to Continental President’s Clubs starting this coming weekend.  Smart move, US Airways!

Future Hit Plans

I spent some time this weekend looking at how many hits I currently think are realistic for me to achieve, and here is what I came up with as likely hits  (though they probably won’t happen in this exact order!).

21.  US Airways Club Membership ($350?) – would have purchased without Grand Slam

22.  e-Miles – free

23. e-Rewards – free

24. Buy Miles ($27)

25. Share Miles ($20) – I think the cost is closer to $40, but I will likely share the hit with my husband and count half on each total.

26. One Day Hertz Car Rental ($20)

27. October Hyatt Stay – no additional expense, already planned

28. October Holiday Inn Stay – no additional expense, already planned

29. November SPG Stay – no additional expense, already planned

30. November SPG Stay – no additional expense, already planned

31. November Hertz Car Rental – no additional expense, already planned

32. FTD Purchase ($40)

Thirty-two hits would net me 80,000 miles for the Grand Slam, plus somewhere between 10,000 – 20,000 additional miles that I earned through the partner activity that resulted in the hits.  Getting close to 100,000 miles from this promotion would be amazing.  Of course, 32 hits is my current target.  I’m pretty excited about that possibility, as I started out just eyeing 24.  If it weren’t for some additional trips that have popped up, I could have never made it past about 24 hits.  Of course, if my earned hits don’t post as they should, I may not make it that high.  On the other hand, if some additional opportunities present themselves, four more hits to get to 36 isn’t out of the realm of possibility.  Stay tuned!

Remember, if you haven’t already, enter to win a free night at the fabulous Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa here – contest ends 9/30/11 at 11:59PM CST!

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Comments

    • @Gary, if most of the planned 32 look like they are posting okay, you are probably right. Who could turn down four more hits for 20,000 more miles?? Not this girl!

  1. The USAirways club card was $249 last year with the $50 renewal/initiation fee waived . . . but you didn’t get any additional USAir points with it other than the hit . . .

    • @Nathan, good point. We actually got some kolaches for breakfast with it this morning, so I will use that transaction. 🙂 Updating accordingly. Thanks!

  2. Regarding your Starwood $200 spend with your free night counting as hit, why can’t i do this with Hyatt? You mentioned that you thought Starwood is the only one that allows this. I have a free night booked next week and thought I would also charge all meals to my room for free hit. Thanks for the help

    • @JRM, you could give it a shot. I read through this entire thread and I couldn’t find any verification that Hyatt would work in this manner. (Though it looks like Holiday Inn might work!) My guess is it has to do with Hyatt givingg an automatic 500 miles per stay as opposed to being tied to the amount spent the way that SPG is. Since I have never personally tried it, I can’t say for sure one way or another.

    • @Deltagoldflyer, I went back and added a section on that (too tired to do it last night!) and it came to $171.60 for 20 hits. Check out the section added to see how I arrived at that number.

    • @Rick, according the Terms and Conditions it should. Earn 1 hit for every mileage-earning stay with a hotel partner (max 6 hits per member). Looks like you should be safe up to six stays with each chain. I know you can only get a maximum of one hit for a points to miles transfer from each partner – maybe that is what you are thinking of. Let me know if I am missing something though! 🙂

  3. HELP!!! The bear I bought from 1-800 Flowers does not count as a hit/. I emailed them but I don’t think they will change their mind. I saw that a lot of people used this as a potential hit. Did it work for anyone?

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