Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
Someone in my household who will remain nameless is quickly approaching a BIG birthday. The actual big date isn’t until next year, but we are warming up to it by stepping up the birthday celebrations a notch this year. Though he did dub our small family celebration at a local Hyatt The Best. Birthday. Ever. last year, so I guess the bar was already set kinda high.
Anyway, last week when I saw a chance to get luxury box suites with food and beverage included for two for 7,500 SPG points at a Cubs game, I saw the perfect chance to top last year. My husband drives a truck, often wears jeans and boots, likes to work outside, but also likes to be spoiled. In fact, that is the hook to get him in the miles and points world – luxury experiences that we don’t get at home. So, a luxury way to see a sport on points is kind of perfect (well, perfect would be if it was his favorite NFL team, but this is close enough).
Of course, we don’t live in Chicago, so getting to Wrigley became part of the surprise and the points challenge. I don’t want the stress of spending too much to overtake the fun of the birthday celebration, so on this trip we needed to use some points and keep costs down, so here is how we did it.
Luxury Box Suites to a Cubs Game for Two – 7,500 SPG points:
You can read all about this deal here, and it is still available for many games throughout the baseball season. This is the main attraction of the birthday getaway and it was a heck of a deal for just 7,500 SPG points. I like to use most of my SPG points for SPG hotel stays, but this was a case where an alternate redemption actually made sense. On Star MegaDo 3 I was able to see a Rockies game from a luxury box and it really was a great time. It would also be a great way to see a game with kids since they don’t have to just stay in their seat the whole time!
Points are there to be used, and that’s what we are doing.
One Night at the Park Hyatt Chicago – 22,000 Hyatt or Ultimate Reward points:
We have stayed here before and had a great stay overall, so we are excited to return. We will again be staying on points as rates for the night we are there are in the $400+ range, so it makes sense to spend 22K Hyatt points and keep the cash. Since we are Hyatt Diamonds this will also come with a very nice room service breakfast and we will likely opt for the Diamond amenity to have some drinks and a snack to celebrate his birthday. Thanks to Points, Miles, and Martinis for showing us how delicious the amenities looked! So in our case, 22,000 points gets us a $400 room at a five star hotel, a bottle of wine, a snack, and a full room service breakfast. Not bad.
United Flights – $120 each out of pocket:
Flights from Houston to Chicago on United were very affordable for the date we are going, so it just did not make sense to spend points or miles as the return would have been less than one cent per point, which is just not worth it. Instead I used a $100 United voucher we had and brought the $170 price for each round trip down to basically $120 each out of pocket. We will earn elite qualifying miles on this trip and be upgrade eligible (though that is quite an elite-heavy route between two hubs).
Our evening snack will be provided by the hotel, our breakfast will be provided by the hotel, and we will eat lunch in the luxury box as part of our package. Our only real out-of-pocket meal will be dinner, so even if we decided to have something a bit “fancy”, our meal costs are kept pretty reasonable since there is only one meal to purchase.
If all goes well, we will then be back home in Texas that evening in time to have a piece of cake with our kiddo before we all head to bed. This is why I love points – they make things possible that otherwise just sound insanely crazy. Flying to Chicago for a night to celebrate a birthday, stay at the Park Hyatt Chicago, and see a Cub’s game in a luxury box sounds like a bizarre thing that only the rich and famous would do, but folks with a few points can do it, too.
I’ll report back on how it all went after it’s done, but I wanted to share now as I thought it was a fun way to use points to make someone in the family feel the sting of another birthday a little less. Now just wait until we get plans for the real BIG celebration finalized for next year… 😉
Anyone else have a fun story on how they use points to surprise their loved ones?