Jordan and I wanted to get away for a couple of days, so we decided we should go visit my aunt in San Diego. We haven’t seen her in a couple of years, and she’s a blast to hang out with, so it was a no-brainer. Plus, Jordan thought that as long as we were going to be in San Diego, we might as well rent a car and drive up the coast to L.A. for a couple of days. Done.
This was good timing for a quick trip because I had two expiring Hyatt Suite upgrades with no confirmed future Hyatt stays. That’s all the reasoning I needed for a week-long getaway with the wifey.
Getting to San Diego
Whenever flying domestically, I always check Southwest Airlines first and British Airways second. Jordan and I have the Companion Pass, which means I fly free on all Southwest flights. Yay.
Also, American Airlines is a partner of British Airways, so using Avios for short haul domestic flights can be very affordable.
I know that Southwest flies direct to San Diego, so I instantly went to book our flights with our Companion Pass. I was able to book a flight for 10,800 Southwest Rapid Rewards and $2.50. I’ll take that since I’ll only be paying the taxes to fly!
There’s currently Southwest Airlines Credit Card offers for the personal and business “premier” cards (after spending $2,000 in 3 months) – I could see the Plus & Business offers when I scrolled down. You can sign up for both on the same day and only be 10k Rapid Rewards short of the Companion Pass. It’s the best domestic travel value out there.
And if you’re like me, and have the Companion Pass, then you’re cool. But besides that, I’m always looking for ways to top off my Southwest loyalty program. That’s easy since it’s a transfer partner of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Bold®, or Ink Bold® cards.
The Companion Pass is also good for revenue tickets, so always make sure you’re checking the cash price of a ticket too to see if it makes more sense to burn money than points.
Getting from LAX to AUS
Southwest wasn’t working out for us when searching for ways we were going to get home, so I turned to my trusty British Airways Avios.
I was able to find a one way, direct flight for 10,000 Avios and $2.50 a person. Not the greatest redemption, but certainly not the worst. Accuring Avios is very easy since the British Airways Visa Signature® Card
comes with a nice sign up bonus.
You can also transfer Ultimate Rewards points into British Airways AND Membership Rewards points. In the last year there has even been 3 different transfer bonus opportunities with Membership Rewards points. I transferred over some MR points during a 30% promotion. American Express has some exclusive card offers too, so check out this post to see if you’re eligible.
I also love how I can pool my and Jordan’s Avios together through our household account. Perkilicious.
I love being able to travel with my wife. Miles & points have greatly helped us get away more. Not only do they help us travel more internationally, but domestically to see family – which is awesome. I hadn’t seen my aunt in 3 years, so thank you Companion Pass!
Stay tuned. I’ll be reviewing the Hyatt Andaz in San Diego and W Hollywood from this trip as well.
[Disclousre: I receive a referral for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus/Bold, Southwest, but not Membership Rewards cards.]
— Geoff Whitmore