ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Travel Hacking Our Way to San Francisco!

Updated on August 23, 2016
profile image

Guomeng is a recent doctoral graduate who enjoys traveling through minimizing out of pocket expense while maximizing on the experience.

How we saved over $1,000 for our San Francisco trip!

The Mrs. and I have just booked our flights and made hotel reservations for our 6 days/5 nights trip to San Francisco, CA next month. We planned this trip with the goal of spending minimally on transportation and lodging while maximizing on the actual experience in San Francisco (so maybe splurge on dining?).

We will be flying with Delta (I know, given the very recent power outage that caused massive worldwide delays on Delta flights, you'd think I'd know better than flying with this legacy carrier, right?)

Flight (per person):
CID - MSP - SFO - MSP - CID: redeemed 27,500 Delta Skymiles + $11.20 in tax (I used the Citi Prestige card to pay the taxes for the tickets, why? See below).
Cash value: $383.20 per person

JW Marriott San Francisco: 3 nights. Redeemed 90,000 Marriott points earned from the sign-up bonus of the Chase Marriott Premier card + $480.69.

Grand Hyatt San Francisco: 2 nights. Redeemed a free night certificate from the Chase Hyatt card for the first night, redeemed 10,000 Hyatt points + $146.31 for the 2nd night.

Total cost for flights & lodging if paid with cash:
$1528.94 (3 nts @ JW Marriott SF)
$785.01 (2 nts @ Grand Hyatt SF)
$766.40 (2 pairs of roundtrip tickets)

So the cost for transportation and lodging alone would have cost us ~$3,100. Instead, by leveraging airline miles and hotel loyalty points, we paid $649.40 ($324.70 per person). Now of course, we could have stayed at a cheaper hotel, but paying for the cheapest hotel rate (Hotel Bijou, $190+tax/night, $1,104.37 for 5 nights) will still cost us over $1,000.

Why did I use the Citi Prestige card to pay the taxes for the tickets? That is because the Prestige card, along with a few other credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers complimentary travel insurance (including flight delays). Given that any flight delays can be detrimental to a planned vacation (and you can't predict whether a flight will be delayed or not with much accuracy), the added benefits and compensation provided by cards such as the Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Preferred provides us with a bit more peace of mind.

It will be the Mrs.'s first time to San Francisco and only my second time there since 2009, so we are looking forward to this trip, hoping to visit the redwoods of the Muir Woods National Monument, sampling the wineries of Napa Valley as well as (re)visiting the infamous Alcatraz prison.

San Francisco


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)