Reader Success Story: Bali on Points and Miles


Our latest success story is a blast from the past for Alex and I. Shannon sends her reader success story to Bali on points and miles, where she used a mix of points/miles and cash for an unforgettable trip!


Shannon’s Story

I know Pam and Alex from California, and I feel like I know Jess from listening to every single Travel Mom podcast at least once! I want to tell you how proud I am of you three for having such a successful business and sharing your travel knowledge with all of us.


Flights to Bali on Credit Card Points

My husband, Dave, and I recently traveled to Bali on points and miles, and it all started with learning from your blog about the 25% off sale for Singapore Airlines. We already had plans for our Spring Break trip (my husband teaches at a university, so his Spring Break is in early March), but we rescheduled our plans and booked a flight on Singapore Airlines!

Because we didn’t have much flexibility when we flew, we ended up in Economy (yikes!), but it wasn’t horrible. We both got out of our seats often, stretched, and walked back to the galley to grab a snack or drink.

I still don’t understand how all the beautiful Singapore flight attendants look PERFECT all the way through a seventeen-and-a-half-hour flight. We had a 2-hour layover in Singapore, then flew to Bali. It didn’t cost us any more points to continue to Bali, so I believe the total points we used for flights was 126,000 American Express Membership Rewards (31,500 points each way x 2 people). 


Lodging Paid with Credit Card (Benefits Included)

We chose to stay at the Conrad Bali, which was beautiful! I understand entirely why Hyatt is such a great value, and I have heard great things about the Andaz in Bali, but there was a strategy for why I chose the Conrad Bali. I knew there was no way I would make it to Hyatt Globalist before this trip, so I decided to get the Hilton Aspire card, which gives you automatic Diamond status. We were upgraded to a gorgeous suite and had a free breakfast. The breakfast was AMAZING! There was any food you could ever want and plenty of fresh fruits and juices.

We didn’t use points for the resort, but there was a strategic reason for this. First of all, many hotels and resorts in Asia are VERY inexpensive. Plus, with the Hilton Aspire card, you can get a $200 resort fee statement credit twice a year, so our 7-night stay in a suite with free breakfast was less than $1000. Plus, I wanted to save the Hilton points for five nights at the Waldorf Astoria Versailles during the European trip we’re taking this summer.


Hotel lit up at night

Conrad Bali at night


Thoughts on Conrad Bali

The Conrad Bali was a wonderful place to stay. The staff is SO kind and will do anything to make you comfortable. The grounds are meticulously kept, and if you’re awake early enough, you’ll even see staff raking the beach! Admittedly, the rooms are a bit tired and could use some updating and probably a fresh coat of paint, but our suite was very clean and HUGE! There are multiple restaurants, many activities, and gorgeous swimming pools. We loved it!


Man and woman at dinner

Shannon and her husband enjoying dinner in Bali.


Activities in Bali

We booked a private tour of parts of the island with Viator (I booked it through Rakuten, so I got 650 Amex points!). Our driver, Wayhu, was a local with a spacious, comfortable, air-conditioned car. It was only Dave and me, and we told Wayhu about the places we wanted to visit, so he drove us around Bali for 10 HOURS! It was only $65 for the day (plus we tipped him very well), so it was a steal! You really need a driver in Bali because the traffic is CRAZY, and there aren’t many stop signs or driving rules.

We were coincidentally in Bali for Nyepi, which is their New Year. Nyepi is a day of silence where the Balinese people do not use electricity and stay home to enjoy family time. They do not drive their cars, and, amazingly, flights do not come in or out of Bali that day. The resorts are a little different, so you can still use electricity, but they ask you to use minimal lights and close your curtains if you have lights on. They give you a flashlight to use because, after sunset, the lights around the grounds are off. Luckily, food is still available, but a limited menu exists. It was wonderful to experience!


Long Layover In Singapore for Exploring

When we flew back to Singapore, we had a 21-hour layover (which we had booked purposefully), so we spent most of the day exploring the city. Our favorite activity was a 2-hour bike tour where we rode bikes with a tour guide, and he stopped at multiple places and explained the attraction’s history.

For example, we rode by the stadium where Taylor Swift had performed a few nights before. Our guide also showed us an area near the stadium where all the poor Swifties who couldn’t get concert tickets stood to hear as much of the concert as they could…LOL!


Fountain with large building in background

A quick 22 hours in Singapore with a night view of the Marina Bay Sands!


We rode around the Marina Bay area at sunset, so we saw the entire Marina Bay area lit up! We spent the night at the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, which was super cool! It was 63,000 points and well worth it!


Future Plans with Credit Card Points and Miles

There are so many other fun things I could tell you about what we did on our trip, but those are the highlights. Our trip to Bali on points and miles was amazing!

Thank you SO much for helping me learn how to plan an amazing vacation using points and miles! We have a three-week European trip this summer that we have planned using only points and miles. I’m looking forward to our two nights booked at the Park Hyatt Vienna!!

Thanks so much, Shannon for your reader success story to Bali on points and miles- it makes me want to return there! Last time, I went as part of a tour. Next time, I’m doing it on points/miles!


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