January 10, 2023
Family trip to Curaçao for 8 people- Points Breakdown
MIA-CUR One-way for 6 people
June 2022=66,000 Avios and $33.60 (Transfer 51k points with 30% bonus)
Cash price- 6 people one-way = $1241
CUR-MIA One-way for 6 people
June 2022 = 66,000 Avios and $496.86 (Transfer 51k points with 30% bonus)
Cash price- 6 people one-way = $1677.06
Total= 102,000 points transferred x 30% bonus= 132,600
Total points paid= 132,000 points and $530.46 for 6 people ROUND TRIP MIA-CUR
MIA-CUR Roundtrip for 2 people
June 2022= 44,000 Avios and $176.82 (Transfer 34k points with 30%)
Cash price- 2 people R/T = $1149
Total= 34,000 points transferred x 30% bonus= 44,200
Total points paid= 44,000 points and $176.82 for 2 people ROUND TRIP MIA-CUR
Total points paid= 176,000 points and $707.28 ROUND TRIP FOR 8 PEOPLE MIA-CUR
Savings of $3359.78
Eight family members on a vacation we will never forget
Hey, Y’all! For those of you who don’t know me, I am a proud Afro-Latina, born and raised in New Jersey but I grew up in Florida. Does that explain the Y’all, LOL?! My father was born in Puerto Rico and my mother is of Dominican descent, born on the island of Curaçao. Growing up Afro-Latina, my parents instilled the importance of family into my brother and me. From an infant until the age of 9 or 10, we traveled to Curaçao every year. My grandmother would take me as a toddler for 3 months each summer. I am multicultural and speak 4 languages (English, Spanish, Papiamentu- the Portuguese creole dialect of the island and some French).
My heart lives on this island! The food, sights, music, and people…There is no other place on Earth that I love as much as Curaçao. Curaçao is a sister island to Aruba and Bonaire. Many have heard of Aruba because it is a major tourist travel destination but Curaçao is something special. A touch of Dutch colonial life still remains among more modern sites and the island has 37 beaches with the best ones located on the west side of the island. A car rental is a must if you want to venture around the 37-mile-long island. The island also lies outside of the Hurricane Belt which makes it a perfect year-round destination.
I want my children to learn the culture, understand the importance of family, and how much the island means to me. If you start them flying young, they will become pros at flying and worldly-little travelers…the ones that the little old ladies tell me are so well-behaved on the plane 😉 Here is how I hacked my first major family award booking for June 2023.
Here’s the scoop!
All my life, American Airlines has had a monopoly on flights from the U.S. to Curaçao. We used to fly from Newark, NJ (EWR) connecting in Miami, FL (MIA) to Curaçao (CUR). Currently, my closest airport is Tampa, FL (TPA). The flights from Tampa to Miami are ridiculous, both in cash and points pricing. Travel hacking teaches you that positioning flights may be necessary to allow you to achieve the best award hack redemptions! We chose to rent a minivan and drive down to Miami which offered cheaper, non-stop flights to CUR.
Chase has quite a few airline travel partners. One of them is British Airways. I know what you are thinking, what does British Airways have to do with flying to the Caribbean on an American Airlines flight? British Airways and American Airlines are partners as part of the Oneworld alliance. This means you can sign up for a British Airways Executive Club rewards account (totally free), transfer Chase UR to BA, and then use them to book flights on AA metal (meaning an actual AA plane). AA releases a certain number of award tickets to their partners for sale.
I started the search for 6 people (2 adults and 4 kids) one-way to Curaçao in June 2023. We have 2 weeks off of work and I didn’t want to book a round-trip ticket because I initially wanted to fly home from another city. On the BA website, I found an AA flight from MIA-CUR for 66,000 Avios and $33.60 for 6 people! 6 people! That’s 11,000 points and $5.60 per person. I accrued these points just from my daily spending on my CSP and multiple SUBs P1 and P2 (hubby and I) earned from Chase business cards.
When I figured out that P1 and P2 had accrued enough points to include my brother and his girlfriend, I thought it would be an awesome Christmas present. My brother hasn’t been to Curaçao since he was a little boy. We decided to stay a few more days so their round-trip flight from MIA-CUR for 7 days cost 44,000 Avios and $176.82. That’s equivalent to 22,000 points and $88.41 for each person. The fees for the return flight are a little higher from due to departure taxes imposed by the country.
For our return trip, we couldn’t decide on what other country to visit and decided to fly to Sedona, Arizona for a few days and then return home. I’m not going to go into detail about flying from MIA-PHX because we ended up having to pay cash for the last leg to Tampa. We did book our return flight for 6 people from CUR-MIA which cost 66,000 points and $496.86.
Total cash out of pocket for 8 people was only $88.41 per person! This was an unbelievable deal considering round-trip flights from TPA-CUR were around $700/person.
Points transfer bonus
Now, at the same time I booked these flights, Chase was offering a 30%-point bonus when you transfer UR to your Avios account. That meant for every 1 point transferred, you received 3 points in your Avios account. I logged into my Ultimate Rewards portal, inserted my BA account number, and transferred 1,000 points (you have to transfer in 1,000-point increments) as a test. I gave it a few minutes and after refreshing the page a few times, I saw 1,300 points added to my account. I proceeded to transfer the remaining points I needed for my and my brother’s booking. Total points transferred= 136,000 points x 30%= 176,800 points total.
I completed my first family award booking without much trouble. I booked the one-way leg to CUR first. I had to input all of our names, Known traveler numbers, and birthdates. The first booking was a breeze. Then I booked the round-trip tickets for my brother and his girlfriend. I accomplished this by using my points through my BA account but inserted their names and had the confirmation sent to his email address. A few days later, I booked the last leg/return flight to MIA using the same process. All in all, it took me less than 15 minutes to book the flights
Learning to search for award space is worth it! This is how YOU will save the most money on your travel hacking journey. It takes time to learn these tricks but I give you the tools and walk you step-by-step through the process of each award booking my The LifeSavers Crew Travel membership. Get your name on the founding member email list to be one of the first hear when my membership launch date. I am so excited that we are all going and can’t wait to introduce my children to my family and this precious island.