Bangkok and back for 600 bucks – our #weekendwarrior adventure

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You can do anything if you put your mind to it.

Exactly two weeks ago I randomly woke up at 5:45 am – I am not a morning person. Instead of tossing and turning, as I normally would, I rolled out of bed, fired up the laptop and thought I’d get a jump on the day. Then I saw it.

Hong Kong Airlines had published insanely cheap, $600, roundtrip business class flights to Asia.

What had started as a normal Thursday morning turned into a whirlwind, nail biting, OMG are we going to Asia next week, adrenaline fueled, booking session.

As luck would have it, my girlfriend was also awake at the time, and within 15 minutes, we had flights booked to Shanghai the following Wednesday. Yes, less than a week later we would be taking off. As she was getting a rushed visa application ready, news began to trickle out that not just Shanghai was part of the sale, but other Asian cities were included. EVEN. BETTER.

We booked a second set of tickets to Bangkok via Expedia, on the same days ( I know – tres risky ), and proceeded to cancel our original tickets to Shanghai. By noon everything was ticketed and we began to plan our trip, fingers crossed everything would be honored.

Within 24 hours – Hong Kong Airlines honored the tickets.

Excluding food and tours, we were able to fly to Bangkok in business class, stay 4 nights in 5 star hotels, one night in a 4 star hotel, all for roughly $1000 a person.

While it may seem crazy to a lot of people to fly that far for such a short amount of time, life doesn’t always give you weeks at a time.  And in all honesty, after 4 nights in Bangkok, we were ready to leave…it just happened to be to go home. This is the magic of using points, strategizing, and booking the deal. We just went to Bangkok, for the weekend, and made memories that will last us a lifetime.

Here’s an overview of our last minute long #weekendwarrior trip – reviews to come

  • Los Angeles International Lounge
  • Hong Kong Airlines Business Class A350 Los Angeles to Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Airlines business class lounge – Club Autus
  • American Express Centurion Lounge – Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Airlines A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
  • Waldorf Astoria Bangkok during its soft opening
  • What it’s like eating in Asia’s #1 Restaurant – Gaggan
  • Bangkok’s floating markets – Dumnoen
  • Diora Spa – Thai massage and Ayurvedic treatments
  • Peninsula Bangkok – Grand Deluxe Suite with River View
  • Smalls Bar – the hidden Sathorn IT bar
  • Miracle Lounge Bangkok BKK
  • Sky City Marriott Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Airlines Business Class A350 Hong Kong to Los Angeles

I’ve never been to hotel during a soft opening…checked that off the list. The Waldorf Astoria is nothing short of drop dead gorgeous.

We booked for just 56k points a night. An exceptional value, and we utilized our Hilton Gold status, acquired via our Amex Platinum, to get an amazing buffet breakfast each morning.


If you’re a fan of Netflix’s Chef’s Table then you’re familiar with Gaggan.  If not, it’s one of the most inspirational stories you’ll ever see.  Truly an experience of a lifetime and worth traveling to Bangkok just to experience it. Yes…Michelin – give him that 3rd star immediately.

Inventive. Passionate. Technical. Hilarious. Tongue in Cheek.


2 down – 8 to go…

Since we were able to nab the flights so cheaply, and staying at every Peninsula hotel in the world is on our bucket list, we decided to splurge and use Josh King to book us into the Peninsula Bangkok for roughly $250 a night with some insane Virtuoso perks.

and of course we hit the highlights…

What had started as a just any other Thursday, two weeks ago, ended up being the catalyst for creating experiences that will last my lifetime.

If you’re reading this and you’re down or discouraged, I hope you can use this as inspiration for your own passion.  I’ve had many a setback, the creation of this blog was from pain, but the gift of travel has educated and informed my life in a way I could have never imagined.

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

Super solid welcome offer.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 


  • […] were part of the lucky lot that snagged $600 roundtrip business class tickets to Asia on August 16, and by August 22nd we were Bangkok bound.  Personally, I’m one to think that it was a genius […]

  • Kevin P Edwards August 30, 2018

    Basically this article feels like a haha brag fest. Was hoping to see the flight. What a waste

  • Rob August 30, 2018

    So cool you could throw that together so quick. I’m jealous!

    • Miles August 30, 2018

      We got really lucky!

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