Travel Rewards: Free New York to Bermuda Vacation in Style

Bermuda BeachHere’s another post in our travel rewards tips series designed to show you how much value you can get by opening up targeted credit cards to earn luxury travel for free:

Laura and I are very much in travel planning mode for our big trip for the summer of 2014 and one option we’re investigating is Bermuda (Update:  We booked this trip for the summer of 2014!!!).  We have a lot of options since we’re flying out of New York City after we drop the girls off at Laura’s parent’s house on Long Island.  While it is nice to have options, it is definitely overwhelming considering we have enough points to travel anywhere we want for free!

New York City to Bermuda: Free Flights

We have nearly 250,000 British Airways Avios points, and we really want to start using them.  Amazingly, because of their distance-based points system (which is one of the best deals itself in all of the ‘travel rewards’ world), it only costs 15,000 Avios points to fly round-trip from New York’s JFK airport to Bermuda.  This flight often costs over $450 per ticket, so this is a huge value for only 15,000 Avios.

BA JFK to Bermuda Avios

Here are some credit cards you can open to earn Avios:

  • British Airways Visa Signature Card: offers a bonus of 50,000 Avios (when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months the account is open; $95 annual fee applies), which earns you enough points for three of these round-trip flights!
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: offers a bonus of 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (when you spend $3,000 in the first three months the account is open; additional 5,000 UR bonus if you add an authorized user who makes at least one purchase; Annual fee of $95 waived the first year) which you can transfer to British Airways Avios points.
  • American Express Platinum Card: offers a bonus of 40,000 American Express Membership Rewards (when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months the account is open; $450 annual fee applies) which you can transfer to British Airways Avios points.

Four Free Nights at the Fairmont Southampton

Frommer’s gives The Fairmont Southampton its top ‘3-Star’ rating and says, “Sitting atop Bermuda’s highest point, this resort is the largest, most comprehensive, and most luxurious property on the island. It overlooks the ocean, the bay, and its own beach, located in front of the hotel.”

This hotel normally costs around $600 per night and you can easily get four free nights just by each of you opening up the Fairmont Visa Signature Card.  You just have to each put $3,000 on your cards in the first 3 months your account is open ($95 annual fee waived the first year)  and you’ll receive an award for two free nights each at any Fairmont property in the world, including the luxurious Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda! Amazingly, they also offer you free suite upgrades, so if there is suite availability when you book, you get free upgrades for all four nights!  Another perk included with your award nights is that you get free breakfast for two each night you stay at the hotel on the award certificates.

The Fairmont Southampton Rates July 2014

Click here to sign up for the Fairmont Visa Signature Card.

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Comments

  1. Kevin says

    My wife and I spent a labor day weekend in the Fairmont Hamilton in Bermuda. It was truly one of the most relaxing and pampered holidays we ever had.

    For some unknown reason, they upgraded us to the Fairmont Gold wing and we were treated like royals. Tea time every day at 4pm, gorgeous rooms, our own private wing of the hotel.

    Bermuda’s great and the people are very nice. Unlike the Caribbean, where YMMV, Bermuda seems more european.

    The Fairmont Southampton is near the beach and you have your own beach area. It’s great for total relaxing.

    We hired a taxi for about 2-3 hours to take us around the island. It was nice to see different areas.

    Drink a Dark & Stormy and enjoy it.

    Kevin

    • says

      Hi Kevin,
      You just made both Laura and I even more excited about this trip!! As soon as we get approved for the Fairmont cards we’re going to book this.
      I can’t believe how amazing that trip must have been for you with that upgrade…
      We’ve heard you can rent mopeds there; is that something you did?

      • Kevin Nichols says

        We did not rent mopeds, but we did see them. The speed limit across the entire island is only 20 mph and from what I can tell, the locals stick to it.

        So you would definitely be safe on a moped.

        We did take one of the snorkeling tours from Hamilton and that was really nice. The water is nice and clear and the boat takes you out maybe about 10 minutes from shore.

        Kevin

        • says

          Great Kevin — thanks for the info! We just booked our fights this past week and just got approved for our first Fairmont card, so we’re just about finalized with all the details.

  2. says

    Sounds like a great trip. We thought about going to Bermuda as a “baby moon,” unfortunately we didn’t get to go anywhere. Never heard about the Fairmont Visa card…2 nights free…at a luxurious hotel. I think we’ll have to check it out in the future.

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by Pauline! Yes, we are very lucky here in the US, no doubt about that. We’re just trying to maximize this as much as we can :)

  3. says

    Amazing things that you can get out of credit cards. Apparently, it’s not all sorry tales and the trip you have in mind sounds like one to die for. With a carefully laid-out plan, you are sure to have one heck of a great summer next year.

    • says

      Hi Stefanie — glad you enjoyed! You’re so lucky being in the NYC area as you can take advantage of deals like this. Definitely pass it on if you think you know anyone who can make use of this!

      Great question: I can only speak from my own experience and some anecdotal evidence from many of the people I’ve read online who do this, so take this for what it’s worth. I have seen no negative impact at all on my credit score and because of that I personally don’t worry about it. I would advise someone who is buying a house in the next 1-2 years to strongly consider holding off on this strategy though, as you’d hate for it to be a “question” as to why you’re opening up so many cards and then it impact your rate for 30 years. Anyone else with a moderate+ length of credit and no major purchases coming up should have zero problem with this.

  4. says

    I’ve never given much thought to Bermuda, but that might be something to look into. Isn’t that where the sand is supposed to be pink? We’d have to hop a flight on Southwest or American to get to NYC, but that would add to the fun if we stayed there a few days. Thanks for another idea.

    • says

      My coworker has been raving about Bermuda for years, and now that we can go for free it is definitely time to see what it is all about!!

      We grabbed the Frommer’s guide from our library and it just sounds amazing.

      That would be a great trip to wrap NYC and Bermuda into one ‘east coast’ type trip. I think it’s only a 2 hour flight from NYC to Bermuda, so not bad at all.

    • says

      Thanks Laurie! We’re trying to post these ‘travel tips’ just to give people a flavor for some of the amazing trips you can take fairly easily with this concept. Of course many people can’t take these exact trips as they might not live in the area we’re focusing on, but I hope it gives people inspiration that this is real and fairly easy to do.

      Bermuda and Disney in 2014 should be a great year for us :)

    • says

      Nice! We’re all booked for this July and we just can’t wait. There aren’t all that many flights out there, so we were lucky to get a great one from NYC to Bermuda using BA Avios points for only 15,000 points RT. Keep me updated on your travel plans and let me know if we can help…

    • says

      Great Holly — it’s a really good one! I’ve been able to stockpile BA Avios points through the BA Visa and a transfer from the Amex Business Gold (and you can transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards too). Just booked a trip from NY to Richmond round-trip for only 9,000 Avios!

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