Travel Like a 70-Year-Old Grandma On Credit Card Points & Miles


We often hear that people are interested in using credit card points and miles for cheap travel, but worry about the learning curve, the organization, and the time it takes to master everything. If this grandma of 21 can do it, you can, too! Let me take you on a month of my travels and show you how to travel like a 70-year-old grandma on credit card points and miles. Here is what I did for the first month of 2024!


Traveled to Boston for Positioning Flight to London

I traveled to London for my first trip of 2024. Since I live in Denver, I took a positioning flight to Boston for a better award redemption. I like to save my points/miles for business class travel, so I usually pay cash for my domestic flights on United to keep my elite status. I did use a $300 Ritz Carlton airline incidental credit to upgrade to first class, though.

Prior to this flight, I went to the United Club with one of my passes from the United Explorer Card. Denver has amazing airport lounges, so I have many to choose from, and this girl loves her airport lounges.


Food on counters

Free food/beverages at an airport lounge are a great treat as well as a respite from a busy terminal.

Enjoyed the Delta Sky Club in Boston

Before my Virgin Atlantic business class flight to London (using credit card points and miles, of course), I checked out the new Delta Sky Club in Boston. With 21,000 square feet of space, gorgeous architecture, and decor, it was a welcome stop before my flight.


Airport lounge seating area

The Delta Sky Club Boston had so many gorgeous seating areas.


Flew Business Class to/from Boston to London on Virgin Atlantic

I used 140,000 Virgin Atlantic miles to fly to London round-trip in business class. The taxes and fees are higher when flying out of London, so I paid about $700 for this ticket. Basically, I traveled in business class for less than I would pay to travel in economy.  I booked this flight via the Air France site using points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards from a couple of Ink Business cards. (Value: $10,000)

My flight was on the new Airbus 350, which included a privacy door, and the flight was so comfortable. It even included a “sleep suit” (pajamas) on the evening flight to London. I love collecting “free” pajamas on flights!


Business Class airplane seat

Virgin Atlantic business class seat with VA’s distinctive purple lighting.


Flew Etihad Apartments First Class to Abu Dhabi

I loved my prior dream flight in Singapore Suites. This was very similar with amazing food, service, and a room to myself! Etihad Apartments to Abu Dhabi was a steal at 65K Air Canada miles! (Value: $4,000)


Woman sitting in lounge chair on airplane.

My comfortable chair in Etihad Apartments


Hotel-Hopped in Abu Dhabi

I stayed at two luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi and found my favorite Park Hyatt to date! Hotel-hopping is definitely the norm for this grandma! (Value: $3,300)


Woman on lounge chair by pool

The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi may be my favorite!


Enjoyed the Etihad Business Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi

This is a great airport lounge, and it even made my list of the best airport lounges in the world! Relaxing in comfort before a flight and enjoying good food is one of my favorite parts of travel.


airport lounge

The Etihad Airport Lounge in Abu Dhabi is the newest addition to my favorite airport lounges.

Flew Etihad Business Class

This was my second time flying Etihad Business Class, and it is always a great flight. The service and food are always good, and lie-flat seats don’t hurt either! (Value: $3,000)


Woman sitting in business class seat

It’s always a pleasure to have that extra leg room, a lie-flat seat, and premium service in business class.


Stayed at the Hilton Boston Airport Hotel

My flight arrived in Boston too late to get a flight out to Denver that wasn’t a red-eye (and I avoid those like the plague). I used one of my Venture X $300 annual travel credits to book the Hilton Logan Airport hotel, which is walkable from the terminal. It cost about $175, so I still have a $125 credit on that card. Additionally, I have a $300 credit on my Venture X business card left to use this year. I primarily use these credits for hotel airports when I am positioning.


Stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

This was a three-generations trip with my daughter, Kasey, and granddaughter, Sienna. The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal was the epitome of luxury. The ability to stay in a $1,600/night room with points is something I will never take for granted! I then flew to Salt Lake City so Alex and her husband, Mitch, could go while I babysat their four cute boys! (Value: $6,400)


Woman standing on hotel steps

This NEVER gets old!


Bottom Line

You probably won’t travel like a 70-year-old grandma on credit card points and miles yet because you don’t have the flexibility that a retired person (me) has. However, it is fun to see what is possible. Yes, it was a very busy month for even me, but that is the power and beauty of this hobby.

And what is the retail cost of all this travel for one month? Almost a whopping $30,000! I never, ever would have been able to pay for that amount of travel, but points and miles have changed my life! If this 70-year-old can figure out the learning curve, the organization, and the time it takes to learn everything, you can, too!


Woman sitting in airplane suite

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