Planning the ultimate honeymoon! Part 1: Taking inventory

miles and points, trips

My fiance and I just set the date for our wedding and we’ve talked about some possible ideas for what we would like to do on our honeymoon. I want to be prepared in advance with points and miles to not only defer costs but to maximize value in other areas (such as flying international first class). As it stands the plan would be an adventure around Asia culminating with a few days of relaxation on the beach somewhere.

Taking inventory

The first step is to take inventory of all our points and miles. I decided to separate out our balances because combining them wouldn’t make sense because most programs will not allow you to easily redeem for awards with points spread across two separate accounts.

My Airline Miles
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan – 87,831 miles
American Airlines AAdvantage – 69,513 miles
United Airlines MileagePlus – 74,579 miles

My Hotel Points
Hilton HHonors – 12,434 points
Marriott Rewards – 43,311 points
Starwood Preferred Guest – 244,604 points
Wyndham Rewards – 33,002 points

Tanya’s Airline Miles
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan – 27,663 miles
American Airlines AAdvantage – 14,696 miles
United Airlines MileagePlus – 34,301 miles

Tanya’s Hotel Points
Club Carlson – 100,904 points
Marriott Rewards – 59,842 points
Starwood Preferred Guest – 30,454 points
Wyndham Rewards – 15,035 points

We’ve burned a lot of miles recently with our weekend trips lately so I’ll have to plan accordingly if we’re going to get to Asia. What will really help us put this trip together is my balance of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points. SPG points are extremely valuable in my opinion because not only of their value in redeeming for hotel stays but their ability to convert to airline miles.

I was planning on redeeming 100,000 Alaska Airline miles to get a one way first class ticket on Emirates from New York to Japan (Tokyo or Osaka). SPG points transfer to Alaska Airlines at a rate of 1 to 1 but for every 20,000 points transferred there’s a 5,000 point bonus. This effectively makes 20k SPG points worth 25k Alaska Airline miles. However Alaska in the past few months drastically increased the amount of miles needed for the trip to over 160,000 miles. A great alternative is business class in Hainan Airlines which is 50k miles each way.

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