We bought the house we're currently living in in June 2016. We knew we needed to remodel the kitchen and made plans to do that as soon as possible.
In March of 2017, we set about to do so! Knowing the hefty expenses that were coming our way, we applied for a few credit cards for the sign up bonuses. From the basics- we don't see credit cards as free money- we knew we could meet the minimum spend that was required on these cards to earn the points.
The cards we went for were specifically targeted for 2 trips that we wanted to take. Firstly, the Starwood Preferred Personal and business credit cards. Each earned 35,000 points after meeting the minimum spend so we got 70,000 points from these two cards. Starwood points are seen as very valuable (see The Value of a Point for more details). The 3rd card we applied for was the Chase Ink Business Preferred card which came with 80,000 points after meeting the minimum spend.
Kitchen remodeled, an expense that we already had, and a stash of points to boot.
Now for the fun part- in August, we booked 3 nights at the Marriott Grand Cayman Hotel. This hotel was retailing for around $450 a night! We booked it for 16,667 SPG points per night (50,000 total).
The second trip that we got out of it was Costa Rica at Christmas. We booked the Andaz Hyatt Papagayo hotel for 5 nights. This hotel was retailing for over $1,000 a night plus taxes and a 10% resort fee each night!!! We booked this for 15,000 points per night, or 75,000 points total for the 5 nights.
We love our new kitchen, and we loved our two trips to Grand Cayman and Costa Rica.