Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel Review (Trip Report)


This is Part 1 of our Trip Report of Cozumel.
Park 2 will include food, and other budget Cozumel tips. 

For Peter's 30th birthday, we decided to go to Cozumel for a long weekend. Leaving early from the Atlanta airport, we naturally had to visit the Zimbabwe display between Concourse T and Concourse A. 

On to Mexico we went (via American Airlines miles and Miami, FL). 

We used a free night that we get annually from having the Chase IHG card as well as 100,000 points (50,000 points each night) for a 3 night stay. In all our searches prior to going to Cozumel, we really did not find a lot of reviews about the Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel. Sure- Tripadvisor has a lot of great reviews, but there were no blog posts that we could find with Intercontinental Cozumel Reviews. In fact, this hotel was ranked as #3 hotel in Cozumel at the time of writing. As such, we hope anyone who is making plans to go there finds this useful!

We rented a car from the airport for $4 for the long weekend. Yes. You're reading that right. $4. We had read that cars are quite cheap in Mexico due to an overcharging scam in insurance, however, we politely declined the insurance that was offered to us as we have Collision Damage Waiver insurance coverage through the Sapphire Reserve card that we used to pay for the car. 

Beautiful driveway approach to the hotel

Beautiful driveway approach to the hotel

Check in was very easy. Complimentary valet parking and self parking is offered. 

When we had initially searched for availability at the hotel with points, it was not showing any availability for a 3 night stay. However, we checked and booked each night individually and this worked out just fine. There was no problem linking our reservations so we did not have to check out and re-check in each subsequent day. 

Our Room

We were upgraded from a standard, one bedroom room to a one bedroom tower suite. One of the major perks of the IHG Credit Card is that it comes with Platinum Elite status- normally earned by staying 40 nights at IHG properties annually. As a result of this card, we have been upgraded numerous times despite not paying for a superior room. Tower rooms at the Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel have recently been renovated and are 860 square feet. They all face the ocean. 


One downside that we found is that the fridge in the room did not work. We called the front desk to ask them about this and they advised that the fridges "don't actually keep things cold, they just store things". Lost in translation?? 

The Hotel Grounds

This hotel is kept in immaculate shape. Every night we saw an employee raking the beaches, staff are everywhere and so friendly and polite greeting you- and pleasantly doing so, not seeming like they have just been told to say "Hola" to all the guests. 

Check in area at the Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel- a lovely open area that backs up to the beach

Check in area at the Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel- a lovely open area that backs up to the beach

Welcome- The Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel

Welcome- The Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel

The main beach- two restaurants are on either side. Le Cap to the right and Caribeño Restaurant to the left

The main beach- two restaurants are on either side. Le Cap to the right and Caribeño Restaurant to the left

Cabana's are available to use.

Cabana's are available to use.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

One thing we absolutely loved about this hotel was how quiet it was. When we were looking into destinations to go to for this long weekend, we were worried about potentially running into the early Spring Break crowd. There were no issues with getting a cabana/beach loungers unlike other hotels in Cozumel that people told us about. 

Highly recommend bringing snorkeling gear- there is a small shipwreck on the left side of the beach. Swim about 150 feet out in the direction of the roped area. We saw hundreds of fish here of all sorts of colours and varieties. We found it odd that no one told us about this great spot. Unlike some other hotels that we have stayed at in the Caribbean, snorkel gear was not available complimentary but was available to rent- so bring your own!! 

Food and Drink

The hotel has a number of restaurants

Fantastic view to watch Spurs win 2-0!

Fantastic view to watch Spurs win 2-0!

1.- Caribeño restaurant, open from 7am to 11pm and serves international food. This is where breakfast is served. The breakfast buffet is $27 per person (We opted instead for panaderias for fresh, local pastries in the morning). Happy Hour at this restaurant is between 6 and 7pm and they offer 2 for 1 deals on select drinks.

Caribeño also was where Peter enjoyed a G&T and watched Tottenham on Saturday! 

2.- Trattoria Alfredo, open from 6pm to 11pm and serve italian food, reservation required. Because you came all the way to Mexico for Italian food. Fine dining. Needless to say, we didn't eat here. 

3.- Faro Blanco, open from 6pm to 11pm and serve International food and sea food. Reservation required. We walked past this restaurant numerous times- they have an extensive wine selection. 

4. Le Cap restaurant, open from 11am to 11pm and serves mainly seafood dishes. They have a happy hour between 5 and 6pm. Same as the above- 2 for 1 deals on drinks. We had a great Aguacate (avocado) margarita here.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this hotel was fantastic, especially when you consider that the annual fee for the IHG card is $49 and the nightly rate here is over $300 for a standard room. Suites often go for over $400. 

The staff are fantastic and quickly responded to any calls we had. The bar staff in particular were very accommodating and worked with us when we told them we were learning Spanish and wanted to try and order in Spanish as best as we could. (Dos margaritas por favor!)

How to earn the Southwest Companion Pass- The best deal in US travel?

Living in Atlanta, we are fortunate that Southwest has a large presence following their acquisition of Air Tran in 2011. We luv Southwest's generous baggage policy of two free checked bags, their rebooking policy (learn how to save lots by reading this article on how to book Southwest flights as one ways), and their funny flight attendants.

Companion Pass Notification.JPG

However, one more reason to absolutely luv Southwest is their Companion Pass. Whenever the holder of the companion pass flies (whether using points or cash), their designated companion flies free plus the 9/11 fee of $5.60 each leg.

How to earn for the Southwest Companion Pass


Companion Pass is the benefit that allows you to choose one person to fly with you, free of airline charges (does not include taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way) every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight. To qualify, simply fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year, and you’ll earn Companion Pass for the following full calendar year, plus the remainder of the year in which you earned it.

1. You can earn the pass by earning points from credit card sign ups

We love that they say "simply fly 100 qualifying flights". That is a LOT of flying!

There is a much simpler way of earning it, however, through earning 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year because Southwest allows points earned by credit card sign ups to count towards the companion pass. This is HUGE!

Southwest partners with Chase for their credit cards and issues 3 different cards- 1 business, and 2 personal cards. They frequently offer up to 60,000 points as a sign up bonus on these cards, and by applying for 2 cards and meeting the minimum spend in the first 3 months you can earn the majority of the points needed towards this amazing perk!

Currently (February 26, 2018) both personal cards earn 50,000 after spending $3,000 per card within the first 3 months, and the business card earns 60,000 points.

2. You can get almost 2 years out of the companion pass

The latter portion of the qualification description is big too- if you time it right and earn these points at the beginning of the year like we did, then you will earn the companion pass for the remainder of the year in which you earned it (ie. 2018) and the following full calendar year (ie. 2019).


3. You can add your companion when you buy a ticket with cash, or redeem points.

Our friends Benjie and Anna recently applied for 2 Southwest cards, met the minimum spend, and earned the pass. They are now proud holders of the companion pass and anytime Benjie flies, Anna can be added for just a fee of $5.60. That is, if Benjie buys a ticket with cash, Anna flies for $5.60 OR if Benjie uses his recent stash of 110,000 points that he has just earned from the credit card points, Anna can fly for just $5.60.

This past weekend they visited New York for a total flight cost of $23.40 (as they used the points they earned to pay for the flight) and have plans to do a LOT of travel over the next 22 months to take full advantage of their "elite status" with Southwest!

If you would like to support the blog, contact us and request a referral link to the cards. (We would receive referral bonus points if you are approved for the card.)    

Meeting a minimum spend of $3,000 seem daunting? Post to come on best ways to earn points on your everyday expenses!

Book Southwest flights as One-Ways to maximise their generous rebooking policies

Southwest flight attendant delivers hilarious PA

We luv Southwest! 

Their flight attendants have the license to be funny and actually make the safety announcements fresh and worth listening to, even if you have heard them a hundred times.

We love that we can check 2 bags each for free thanks to their generous checked bag policy

On certain days each year (Valentine's Day, Southwest's Anniversary, National Holidays, etc) they offer a free adult beverage. Nice touch if you find yourself flying on one of these days. 

Being based in Atlanta, they have a lot of flights to compete with Delta after their merger with Air Tran who based their primary hub out of Atlanta. 

And probably the best benefit of all... their very generous rebooking policies. 

Southwest has 3 different types of fares- Business Select, Anytime, and Wanna Get Away. From Southwest's fare information page, business select and anytime fares are refundable and changeable. Wanna Get Away fares are non-refundable, but can be used as a credit towards future travel for the ticketed passenger. 

If using points, the ticket is fully refundable too (regardless of what kind of fare you purchase). 

So if they're refundable, why book one ways?

If a Southwest flight drops in price, you can cancel and rebook at the new, lower price. If you have booked a roundtrip flight, it is more complicated to do this because flight A may have decreased in price, but flight B may have increased in price. As such, the savings of the new, lower price would be offset.

Southwest used to allow you to just change your flight online to the lower price. If you had used 10,000 points to book the Atlanta-Milwaukee flight initially, and the new, lower price was 6,000 points, the difference of 4,000 points would be applied to your account after changing your flight. You could do this as many times as you wanted- if the price dropped 10 times you could do this each time. However, whenever you try to change a flight booked with points now, a message pops up advising you that your change will make your fare non-refundable. 

Before you modify.JPG

The workaround

As Southwest advise in this notification, "cancel your existing reservation, request a refund of the refundable balance, and create a new reservation". Our workaround, however, has been to reverse the order of this, as long as you have enough points to do this. 

If you have booked a flight at 10,000 points, and the price has dropped to 6,000 points, first rebook the flight to guarantee that you have got the lower price secured (flight prices can change anytime). Then cancel the first flight you had booked. 

You will now be booked on the flight at a cost of 6,000 points and once you cancel the earlier flight you had booked at 10,000 will be posted back to your account, giving you a 4,000 point net benefit!!

Luv ya Southwest! Really do!

Organization is Vital

Of upmost importance: be in control of what you're doing. 

Traveling for cheap is so worth it, but it requires some extra effort, and that begins with staying organized. 

Here are some examples of how we have achieved organization in order to maintain good credit to keep ourselves traveling!

1. A spreadsheet. Yep, boring old faithful is quite helpful when managing multiple cards with different expiration dates, anniversaries, annual fees and statement dates. We use a credit card tracking sheet designed by Noah and Becky from Money Metagame. (Click the image below to link through to the spreadsheet)

One note on this: on our spreadsheet is EVERY card we've every opened... even cards that have been closed. Certain banks have rules about how many cards you can open in a certain amount of time. For instance, Chase only allow you to open 5 cards from any company every 24 months (commonly known as 5/24). Keeping track of open and close dates is key to staying on top of such rules. 

Starting a spreadsheet such as this early on will help you manage minimum spends, dates annual fees are due and statement dates.

Speaking of statement dates...

2. Having all credit card statement dates on the same day. This has helped us immensely in ensuring cards are always paid on time (essential part of using CCs). Choose a good day of the month based on your preference; whether pay day or just your favorite number. Credit card companies will generally let you change your statement date after 1-2 months of holding the card. 

CC book.jpg

3. A credit card book. We literally have a book of CCs. We found a cheap business card style book (purchased from Staples using a CC that gets 5% back of course), and it's filled with all our cards that are not currently in our wallet, as well as our hotel rewards cards. It helps that we can quickly grab a card when it needs a "hit," and have the card numbers for reference as needed. 

What's in our wallet?

In the interest of full disclosure, we're going to list what cards we carry. Some cards we use on an everyday basis, others we keep in a book at home and use them often enough to keep the cards active. 

Cards below were chosen based on the travel that we had in mind and the rewards they offered for signing up. We specifically target cards that we know we're going to use the rewards for. While it looks like a lot of cards below, we keep track of them and close any cards where the cost of keeping the card outweighs the benefits the card offers. 

One important note- some cards have no annual fees while others have fees associated with them each year. We'll list these below. We try not to pay any annual fees on cards as these are unnecessary expenses. However, some cards have benefits where it is worth paying the annual fee. We'll discuss this below.    

Everyday cards we use:

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (Peter)

In 2016, Chase announced the release of a new, premium card and offered 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points at sign up. Points can be redeemed for travel- 1 point being worth 1.5 cents. However, points can also be transferred to the many partners that they have and this GREATLY increases the value of the points. See this blog post about the value of points- not all points are created equally!

This card comes with a hefty $450 annual fee. However, it is offset with an annual $300 credit towards travel. As such, the annual fee decreases to $150 if you're using all that credit. Further benefits of the card (which more than justify this annual fee in our minds) include:

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

3x points earned at restaurants and travel

A $100 credit every 4 years towards Global Entry

Priority Pass Lounge Access with guest privileges.

Primary collision damage waiver for auto-rentals

No foreign transaction fees


2. Chase Freedom Card (Joint card, Peter)


We applied for a joint credit card shortly before getting married in 2011. Joint cards are no longer available. 

This is a great, no annual fee card that has rotating categories every quarter where you can earn 5x points on those categories. Alone, this card is a cash back card. However, when paired with a card such as the Sapphire Reserve card, the points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners. 

Peter also converted a card that had an annual fee (Chase Sapphire Preferred) to this card. Banks allow you to do that in certain situations when the cards are in the same "family". By doing this, you can keep your history of on-time payments while avoiding paying unnecessary annual fees. 

The hotel left us a lovely note upon our arrival as they knew it was our wedding anniversary

The hotel left us a lovely note upon our arrival as they knew it was our wedding anniversary

3. American Express Starwood Preferred Personal Card (Melissa)

Melissa applied for this card in March 2017 just before we were going to redo our kitchen. We knew that we would have significant expenses to pay for, and as a result applied for this card prior to the work beginning. We were able to meet the minimum spend required to earn the 35,000 points as we would have had these expenses anyway.

This card earns Starwood Preferred points. They have some great hotels in their portfolio including Sheraton, W Hotels, Westin hotels and as they have recently merged with Marriott, points can also be used at Marriott Hotels. In August 2017, we used Starwood points to stay at the Marriott Grand Cayman Resort for our wedding anniversary.  

4. Chase Ink Business Preferred Card (Melissa)

This card was also applied for prior to the March 2017 kitchen remodel. We earned 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after we met the minimum spend required. 

We also attached this card to autopay our cell phone bill as it comes with cell phone insurance ($100 deductible). That way, we do not have to take out the overpriced insurance offered by our cell phone provider. 

5. Citi Costco Card (Melissa)

This card was previously Citi American Airlines Platinum card. We earned American Airlines points after meeting the sign up bonus, and then when we no longer wanted to pay the annual fee on the card, we asked Citi to change the card to the Costco Visa card. This card does not have an annual fee if you are an active Costco member- and since we are, we pulled the trigger and switched this card. We use this card solely for refueling the car as it earns 4X points at gas stations. Since it is a cashback card, we use a card that earns transferable points when we make purchases at Costco. 


Cards we used less frequently. Mostly set to auto-pay

1. Chase IHG Rewards Club Card (Peter, Melissa)

We used our free night to stay at the Intercontinental Times Square on our stopover in New York on our way to Zimbabwe, December 2015

We used our free night to stay at the Intercontinental Times Square on our stopover in New York on our way to Zimbabwe, December 2015

These cards are two that we gladly pay the $49 annual fee on each year as they come with SUCH an amazing perk- an annual free night at any IHG hotel in the world. Take for instance our local Holiday Inn Express around the corner- it runs around $75 per night. If we were to use our annual free night here, we would still be in the black by $26 ($75 value received for a $49 fee). However, we've manages to use this free night at some outrageously priced hotels that we would never in our wildest dreams imagine of staying at!! 

The card also comes with elite status in IHG's rewards program. As a result, this card has made us quite loyal IHG-ers. We frequently look for an IHG hotel in choosing where to travel to next. 

2. Chase Ink Cash Card (Melissa)

This is a no annual fee card from Chase. The card was initially a Chase Ink Business card which came with a $95 annual fee. At the end of the first year, we called Chase and asked to switch to this card as we got to keep all of our points but not have any annual fee now. The card earns 5X points at Office Supply stores and also on cable bills so we set it to auto pay our internet bill each month. 

Taken alone, this cards points can only be redeemed for cashback, however, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card- we can transfer to partners. 

3. American Express Starwood Preferred Business Card (Melissa)

This card was also part of the March 2017 kitchen redo. We have set this card to pay the HOA fee on our condo each month.

One nice thing about American Express cards are that they can be enrolled in American Express Offers. The obvious goal of the bank here is to make you use your card more, but we just check to see if there are ever any offers for places that we already intend to spend money at ie. not falling into the trap that they want you to overspend. 


1. Chase Southwest Plus Card (Peter)

2. Chase Southwest Business Card (Peter)


Thumbnail image from Torro Cases

The basics

We love to travel, but travel can be really expensive! In 2017, we visited Florida to see Melissa's grandparents (twice), England to see Peter's family, Grand Cayman for our wedding anniversary, Boston to see Melissa's parents, Illinois for a wedding, and Costa Rica for Christmas. All of these have been possible by the use of points. 

About to do the Superman zipline at  Diamante Adventure Park  in Costa Rica

About to do the Superman zipline at Diamante Adventure Park in Costa Rica

Earning 110,000 points in a calendar year triggers the Southwest Companion Pass. We've earned these points through credit card sign up bonuses. 

Earning 110,000 points in a calendar year triggers the Southwest Companion Pass. We've earned these points through credit card sign up bonuses. 

Along the way, we've had friends ask us how we have done it and have encouraged us to start a blog to share with others. This year, we've helped a few friends get the Southwest Companion Pass, the greatest travel companion pass in the US- every time you fly on Southwest, your designated companion pays just the government taxes (currently $5.60) to fly with you.

Travel is not free, but it can be greatly reduced by using points. Our main source for points has been credit card rewards. Since February 2013 when we opened our first travel rewards credit card, we have opened many other cards to help "fund" our travel. Oftentimes we'll cheers JP Morgan or American Express when we're lying on the beach or landing in a new country.   

We realize that many people reading this may not be able to open credit cards for one or another reasons. Maybe you live abroad where rewards cards are not that common, maybe you have had a bad experience with credit card debt in the past and don't want to get caught in that again. We respect this and look forward to sharing other tips with you that we have encountered along the way. 

If you are able to sign up for credit cards, first things first.

The basics:

1. Check yourself. Do not apply for any cards if you do not have the funds to pay them off. We use credit cards like we would a debit card. It is not free money!! Make sure you already have the money to pay off the items you are buying BEFORE you purchase it. 
2. Get organized. Make sure you have great credit. If you don't currently have a 700+, seek out help in repairing a damaged credit file before starting to apply for travel rewards card. Rewards cards are approved by the banks to people with great credit scores. 
3. Get disciplined. Make sure that you are well versed in payment due dates, statement close dates. You do not want to ever miss a payment. Tips on how we manage our multiple cards here.

How much are my rewards points worth? ULTIMATE REWARDS EDITION

Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Partners

Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Partners

All points are currency. And just like currency, some are more valuable than others. Further, in the economy of points, valuations can go up and down depending on a number of factors.

For ease of explanation, we'll use our favourite points currency, Chase Ultimate Rewards. 

When we first started collecting points, we had a Chase Freedom card that earned 5% cashback in rotating categories each quarter and 1% cashback on everything else. Taken alone, these points could be redeemed for a statement credit at a value of 1 point = $0.01. They could also be used to purchase gift cards. Chase put on a promotion where you could redeem your points for a Kohl's giftcard at a 20% discount. We took advantage of this and redeemed 15,000 Ultimate Rewards, the currency of Chase points, for a $180 Kohl's gift card for some new bedding that we wanted to purchase. Cashback! Or so we thought!!

With a card that has an annual fee such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, or a business card like the Chase Ink Preferred, Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to one of the many of Chase's partners. Chase currently has 9 airline partners, and 4 hotel partners. 

Hotel Transfer Partners

Hotel Transfer Partners

Transferring points to a partner is often the BEST way to maximise your points, we'll show you how here. 

Let's use the 15,000 Ultimate Rewards that we reference above as an example. 

Had we just decided to take cashback in the form of a statement credit, we would have got back $150. 

We opted for the gift card where we got a 20% discount. We redeemed 15,000 points and received $180 gift card. 

Let's see what we could do if we transferred those points instead through the examples below:. 

1. Transferring to Aer Lingus

Transferring 13,000 of these points to Aer Lingus could result in a one way, economy flight between New York and Dublin in their off peak period (plus fees and taxes). Since these flights are around $550 roundtrip, we are getting more than the $150 or $180 had we redeemed these points for cash or gift cards. Further, we're using 13,000 points instead of 15,000. 

May 2018 is all off peak and as can be seen, roundtrip flights cost about $550 between New York JFK and Dublin. 

May 2018 is all off peak and as can be seen, roundtrip flights cost about $550 between New York JFK and Dublin. 

2. Transferring to Air France

Air France is part of the Skyteam Alliance which includes Delta, Points can be used for travel on Air France, KLM, Delta and Air France's many other partners. Transferring our 15,000 Ultimate Rewards to Flying Blue would result in 15,000 Flying Blue Miles which could then be used for a flight between mainland US and Hawaii which costs 15,000 Flying Blue Miles + tax.

Air France ATL-HNL.JPG

A roundtrip flight between Atlanta and Honolulu in August of 2018 costs approximately $900-$1000. 

To prove that not all points are created equally, see how much that flight would cost in Delta Skymiles, below. 


3. Transferring to Hyatt

This could be the best use of Ultimate Rewards as Hyatt has some very nice hotels and their award chart is very reasonable. In December 2017, we used Hyatt points to book 5 nights at the Andaz Papagayo Resort in Guanacaste Province in Costa Rica. At 15,000 points per night, this hotel provides unbelievable value as the cash rate per night is extremely high. (Of course, everything else at the hotel is priced high- breakfast at about $40-$45 per person including taxes). 

Transferring 15,000 Ultimate Rewards would give you 15,000 Hyatt points and thus allow you to book one night at the Andaz Resort.  

Andaz Points Papagayo.JPG

The cash rate for the hotel on the same date is $425 a night. What's more, is that when points are used no resort fee (10% of the room cost) is required.

Andaz Cash Rate.JPG

Our nights here in December 2017 were over $1,000 a night- but cost the same 15,000 points per night. What value!!!


Now, just like the above you have seen some GOOD use of points, there are some TERRIBLE uses of points. 

1. Transferring to partners whose award charts are very high

IHG and Marriott- looking at you!

While we love the IHG credit card as it gives us a free night at ANY IHG hotel each year, we will never transfer points from Chase to IHG. IHG hotels can be very expensive in points compared to the cash rates. Take for instance the Buckhead Financial district in Atlanta. Hotels at the weekend are much lower than what they are priced at during the week, but the points rates are fixed. 

Buckhead Hotels.JPG


2. Using points when the cash rate is lower.

Virgin Atlantic does have some great redemption's (for example, 12,500 miles + $173 one way in economy class from Atlanta-London).

Take for example the below redemption with Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic is a Delta partner and you can book flights on Delta with Virgin miles. You could transfer points to Virgin Atlantic to book the below.

Virgin Atlantic Delta Flight.JPG

The same flights booked with cash are the below prices


If you were to book the $74 flight and then use your points as a statement credit this would be 7,400 points (less if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card which points are worth 1.5 cents each.... a post for another time and place). 


Not all points are created equally. Just because you are using points doesn't mean it is an overall great redemption. However, great is in the eyes of the holder of the points- maybe that $180 gift card was the greatest use of those 15,000 points at the time. No judgment to you if you have not used your points for the best redemptions. Been there, done that!

How we got 2 trips from remodeling our kitchen

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.