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2017 was a pretty great year for me, if I do say so myself! I got married (Remember – this is SAM writing, not Dan!), welcomed a new family member in our lives (Hi Colton!), and went on some pretty amazing trips, including my two-week European Honeymoon! I wanted to recap my some of my travels and highlight how points and miles made these trips possible!

(READ MORE: When Life Gets in the Way – Rebooking our entire honeymoon!)

Riding the rails with Amtrak

Living in New York City, Amtrak is usually the easiest way to visit my family! In 2017, I took 17 trips:

Of those 17 trips, I paid for four ($348.70) and then used 35,514 points for the remaining 13 trips, saving me $912.60! Keep in mind that the Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards World card sometimes has a 30,000 mile bonus, which is a great way to save almost $900 in Amtrak travel expenses!

(SEE ALSO: 4 Reasons I love the Amtrak credit card)

Labor Day Trip: 10,400 points and $49.60

One of the best aspects of this hobby is being able to take trips you might not normally do, due to cost. We spend Labor Day in Alexandria Bay, New York (home of the 1,000 Islands). Booking just a month in advance, we were able to score jetBlue tickets from JFK to Syracuse and Delta tickets from Syracuse to LGA for a total of 10,400 points and $49.60! This was due in part to the jetBlue Plus card and the American Express Delta Platinum SkyMiles card: the points came from the jetBlue card and since we both had the Platinum SkyMiles card, we were able to use the travel credit for gift cards, which we then redeemed for travel.

NOTE: If you enjoy this blog, please consider supporting the bloggers! If you’re in the market for a Delta Air Lines card, consider using the links below.

  • American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles: LINK (Sharon)
  • American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles: LINK (Sam) LINK (Ian)
  • American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business: LINK (Sharon)

A Honeymoon to Remember

After getting married in June, we couldn’t wait for our honeymoon in London and Santorini. We couldn’t have made this trip happen without points and miles–one of my surprises for Nick was being able to do all the longhaul flights in business class! The flight we’re sure not to forget was our flight from Istanbul to New York in Turkish Business Class. While the cabin is in a 2-3-2 layout, we were happy as could be in one of the two seat sections. The food was AMAZING — some of the best food I’ve ever eaten on a plane and the service was top notch.

We were able to snag these seats for 57,500 Air Canada Aeroplan miles each, a great use of Aeroplan miles in my opinion! I transferred American Express Membership Rewards points into Aeroplan miles instantly, and then we were booked! Ian wrote a great post about using Aeroplan miles, and spoiler alert, Europe to US is on the list!

(READ MORE: The 4 best uses of Aeroplan miles)


I’ve been very lucky to travel in 2017, and I’m looking forward to even more exciting trips in 2018! Let us know where you’ll be going in 2018 below!

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