How I Traveled for Free: A Free Night in Barbados With a Bonus

Jan 11, 2019

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After attending a destination wedding in Barbados, David Charles was able to stay an extra night for free thanks to a booking bonus.

The cardholder

Name: David Charles Age: 43 Occupation: Strategy director Home: New York Loyalty program: Rewards

The stay

Hotel: Beach View Barbados in Bridgetown, Barbados Dates of stay: Aug. 20 - 22, 2017 (one paid night, one free night) What kind of room? Suite

Q: What amenities did you take advantage of?

A: I used the pool and parking on premises.

Q: Did you travel alone or with someone?

A: I traveled alone but met friends in Barbados staying in the same hotel for a destination wedding.

The loyalty program

Q: What loyalty program did you use to get a free stay?

A: Rewards.

Q: How long were you a member at that time?

A: Three years.

Q: How long were you planning/saving for this stay?

A: A couple of months.

Q: What's your favorite perk of this program?

A: Members get one free night for every 10 stays and it’s not limited to a single hotel chain.

Redemption and booking

Q: Did you take advantage of promotions while earning points for this trip?

A: No.

Q: Where did you book?

A: On the website.

Q: How much did this cost?

A: I stayed 10 nights to collect one free night.

Q: Did you book in conjunction with a promotion or deal?

A: No.

Q: Any surprises or hassles?

A: None.

What's your next travel rewards goal?

A: I have one free night booked at a Lake Placid hotel for an industry conference. I’m not a hotel rewards maximizer mainly because I often stay at Airbnb and HomeAway properties, and don’t want to feel compelled the stay at a particular chain in order to earn stays. I am more loyal to airlines though, always flying Oneworld to maximize miles earned for the American Airlines AAdvantage program.

Photo via David Charles.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

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