Questions from a GS Virgin...

Old Sep 2, 11, 1:40 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Auburn, AL
Programs: DL
Posts: 361
Questions from a GS Virgin...

This will be my first year doing the GS promotion. I am based near ATL if that matters. I was wondering if someone could estimate what the average amount spent last year was to obtain the maximum number of hits. All of my travel is leisure so no expense accounts to write off hotel stays/car rentals etc...any help for the newbie is very much appreciated.

PS: I have been spending lots and lots of time reading through all the threads in the forum and am learning a ton so far.
zitozac is offline  
Old Sep 2, 11, 1:47 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: SLC
Posts: 392
zitozac,

This is also my first year doing the GS, but from what I gather, you should probably expect to pay about 0.5 cents for each mile. So if you hit 110,000, it may cost about $550. However, this is based on previous programs. The program this year is quite different.

Nobody will really be able to say how much it will cost until it has been completed. Good deals are likely to pop up as the contest is played.
TheManofaThousandPlaces is offline  
Old Sep 2, 11, 4:33 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: BOS
Programs: US, AA, Delta, BA, Hilton, Marriot, HYATT
Posts: 430
same here. I am hoping to get to 16 hits spending $100 - $125. Above that the value goes down drastically. GS is good for people who have tons points accumulated in different programs and don't need more points in them.
virtuo0 is offline  
Old Sep 2, 11, 7:29 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MSP
Programs: IHG Plat, HH Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,336
I got 32 hits and 80,000 bonus and ~15,000 incidental miles for about $450, excluding a single hotel stay I was going to incur regardless. It could have been, and was, done for less.
Exiled in Express is offline  
Old Sep 3, 11, 4:53 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Auburn, AL
Programs: DL
Posts: 361
Originally Posted by virtuo0 View Post
same here. I am hoping to get to 16 hits spending $100 - $125. Above that the value goes down drastically. GS is good for people who have tons points accumulated in different programs and don't need more points in them.
I noticed that, and unfortunately I have almost zero points in any other programs because all of my stays are leisure and I use priceline almost all of the time. I guess I will just spend the extra money/stay in not as nice a hotel for the next 2 months to get 6 hits that way and try to use some of the other merchants to gain some more. I'll just keep reading and learning in the next 2 weeks as much as I can! Thanks
zitozac is offline  
Old Sep 3, 11, 3:57 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 749
Originally Posted by zitozac View Post
I noticed that, and unfortunately I have almost zero points in any other programs because all of my stays are leisure and I use priceline almost all of the time. I guess I will just spend the extra money/stay in not as nice a hotel for the next 2 months to get 6 hits that way and try to use some of the other merchants to gain some more. I'll just keep reading and learning in the next 2 weeks as much as I can! Thanks
Be careful! Make sure you aren't paying more for those 6 hits than the miles are worth.

the most that 6 hits could do is bump you 2 steps in the Grand Slam. Staying 6 nights for the sake of making hits isn't always going to benefit you. Also those stays wouldn't earn you enough points to then transfer points via the hotel reward programs, so you couldn't do 3 stays and then transfer points for 3 more hits.

For a casual traveler, you could probably take the 6 nights stays * minimum $70 a night and just buy 40,000 miles or so!

Be sure to always calculate out the costs, and try to not get caught up in the numbers of miles without doing so.
Stubtify is offline  
Old Sep 8, 11, 9:26 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: PHL
Programs: US Gold; SPG Gold; Hilton Gold
Posts: 65
Originally Posted by virtuo0 View Post
same here. I am hoping to get to 16 hits spending $100 - $125. Above that the value goes down drastically. GS is good for people who have tons points accumulated in different programs and don't need more points in them.
I would not give up so quickly. Last year was my first year and I only thought I was going to get 16 hits, however, I ended up with 36 without spending a lot of money. Keep following along and think of creative ways to get hits and you will be surprised how quickly that goal of 16 begins to climb. Now this year I'm taking on multiple accounts for others.
reggae is offline  
Old Sep 8, 11, 9:30 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: PHL
Programs: US Gold; SPG Gold; Hilton Gold
Posts: 65
Originally Posted by zitozac View Post
I noticed that, and unfortunately I have almost zero points in any other programs because all of my stays are leisure and I use priceline almost all of the time. I guess I will just spend the extra money/stay in not as nice a hotel for the next 2 months to get 6 hits that way and try to use some of the other merchants to gain some more. I'll just keep reading and learning in the next 2 weeks as much as I can! Thanks
I would spend some time reading through last year's massive thread. Although all of the tricks and cheap hits may not work this year it really frames your thought process on how to come up with your own ways of getting cheap hits. Already this year I have a couple flights during GS and instead of taking a cab or driving to the airport I have one way car rentals booked that come out to be about the same price as parking or a cab. I view this as a free hit as there is no incremental cash just a couple of extra minutes spending at my local Hertz.
reggae is offline  
Old Sep 9, 11, 9:47 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: ATL/LAX
Posts: 4,867
I'm looking at about $175-200 incremental spend for 24 hits. Since I signed up for the US Airways MC for this deal, I'm looking at about 90K miles total. Not bad, but I'm hoping I get some travel plans for hotel stays/car rentals soon so I can knock out 8-12 hits for 35K-55K more miles.

Also, while the GS2010 thread is extensive (500+ pages), it doesn't really help for this year since many of the cheap loopholes have been closed.
amolkold is offline  
Old Sep 12, 11, 11:27 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Home Airports: CAE/CLT
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, National Executive
Posts: 5,437
When doing the math, don't forget to be smart about money you will spend anyway. I see the dollars spent on ink for my printer not counting towards the overall cost. Coupons spent for a restaurant that I will be eating anyway cost zero dollars. I'm thinking about switching to satellite TV, if my research shows DISH TV as a good value, no cost there.

Those who see the sport in maximizing hits at the lowest absolute cost won't agree, but that's how I'm seeing it.
Gamecock is offline  
Old Sep 12, 11, 2:13 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Finally back in Boston after escaping from New York
Posts: 13,511
I ended up paying about a penny per mile last year and consider that to be subpar performance.

Don't forget to calculate not only your cash costs but also your "alternate" costs, i.e., if you transfer points, what could they be used for instead.

Mike
mikeef is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread