How a laptop paid for my hotel in London.
view of london from hilton doubletree tower of london

I mentioned above that my new laptop paid for a recent London stay, and I wasn’t lying. One of the best ways to kick-start your point-building is using necessary big purchases strategically. Here’s what I did.

I’ve been needing a new laptop for well over a year. I’d decided to splurge and grab the new Dell XPS 15, which costs around $2500. I’m a reluctant spender, but an upcoming London trip meant I could grab serious value from the purchase.

Knowing that London can be brutally expensive, I checked out some hotel credit cards. I’m a Hilton Diamond member, so I looked at those first and found the Hilton Surpass Amex Card. Its intro bonus offered me 130,000 Hilton Honors points if I spent $2000 in the first three months, and it has no fee for the first year. I immediately opened the card and bought my laptop. The points were in my account in a matter of days.

I scanned hotels in London and settled on the Double Tree Tower of London. My points covered all but $50 of the stay. I could have stayed completely free elsewhere, but the location was worth it. It would have cost around $1200 if I had paid cash for the same hotel. My diamond status gave me immediate upgrades to a room worth even more, and my executive lounge access granted me a free full breakfast and even complimentary booze in the afternoon.

Moral of the story: Analyze any necessary big purchases and maximize the return value with intro bonuses.

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