Hello from the beautiful Waldorf Astoria in Phoenix, Arizona!

This Labor Day weekend I thought it was a good idea to literally bake in Phoenix. (Seriously, the high on Monday is 110.) Even before I started @KendylTravels, my husband and I always planned trips around long weekend holidays to save vacation days. And though Friday evening and Monday afternoon flights can be expensive, if you can flex slightly from those times you'll find some really good deals. Coming home Tuesday, for example, can easily save you hundreds.

For this weekend, we opted for Phoenix largely because we had a lot of travel credits from some of our credit cards we needed to use. Since we're not luxury travelers, I find that sometimes these credits sit around until I realize I need to use them. For our three nights at the Waldorf, we'll only be spending $170 out of pocket and have $700 in hotel credit to use throughout the weekend. Yes, that is not a typo. That's a lot of booze and food.

So, how did I get such a good deal and how can you do it?

The Hilton Aspire card
I love this card for a lot of reasons. The travel credits more than pays the premium annual fee, the Diamond status almost always will reward you with a suite upgrade abroad, and the points earned per dollar spent at Hilton properties have an insanely good ROI. But there are two things that make the card especially great for this weekend: the $250 resort credit and the free night certificate at basically any property worldwide.

I used the free night certificate and points for two of the three nights of the stay. (You have to call to book your free night certificate, but they'll also help you piece together your reservation with points and cash, points and certificates, etc.)

The $250 resort credit can be used in a variety of ways at any Hilton resort property. If you book directly with the hotel you can even use it towards nightly rates on your bill. This is a great option to get a couple nights free at cheaper resort properties in Thailand but can also get you a discount or free night at other locations, too. But if you don't want to use it towards a cash rate you can instead use it on resort food, drink, spa treatments... really anything you can charge directly to your room.

On top of that, the Diamond status from the Hilton Aspire gives you $25 per person per day food and beverage credit. When they changed from free breakfast there were a lot of people upset but if you're like us, this is a great way to get a free poolside cocktail insted of pancakes you didn't want anyways.

If you're interested in the card, here is my referral link.

The American Express Platinum
I originally planned to just book the Waldorf for two nights with some points and a free night certificate from the Hilton Aspire. But then a really great deal came up through the American Express Travel portal.

One benefit of the Platinum card is the $200 Fine Hotels and Resorts credit. You can use this credit by booking directly through the travel portal and paying in advance. For the last night, the portal had the night for $370 but with the $200 credit, I only paid $170. I find that the room rates are usually more expensive in the portal but since I would never stay at these properties with cash, paying the difference was an okay deal especially since the other two nights were free.

The FHR booking with Amex comes with additional benefits, like credits to be used at the property, late check-out, upgrades, etc. What makes our last night unusual is that we earned $100 food and drink credit and an additional $250 property credit with a special promotional deal. You can still get this deal now through the beginning of October, too.

The summary
Three nights at the Waldorf Astoria for $170 with $700 in resort credits ($100 food and drink credit and $250 resort credit under Aspire, $100 food and drink credit and $250 property credit under the Platinum).

1 Hilton free night certificate (Aspire)
80,000 Hilton points (Aspire)
$170 (Platinum)

This is all to say that combining your Aspire and Platinum card credits can reward you with some sweet weekend trips with your food and drink covered. Find a Hilton property included in both the Hilton Resorts porfolio and the FHR to start getting some huge savings for a relaxing long weekend.

Explore on. -K