Planning a weekend trip to Shanghai

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I’m starting a new #WeekendWarrior Series.

I wrote a post last week about tearing down the preconceived notion that you NEED tons of time to take a trip. I figured I needed to practice not just preach this sentiment so I’m planning at least 2 more short trips to far off destinations. The first of these is looking to be Shanghai. While I’ve been to China, Beijing earlier in the year as part of my Mom’s $125k Surprise 75th Birthday Trip around the World, I’ve never been to Shanghai and I’m dead stoked about it. I’ll also be doing it with one of my best friends in the world, Dave, whom you may have seen in other posts. Are we crazy to take a weekend trip to Shanghai? I think not. It’ll be an adrenaline fueled fun fest filled with lie-flat seats and 5 star suites. Mostly on Points of course 😉

We’re looking to do Thursday – Sunday/Monday. I’m lucky to have 2 System Wide Upgrades left.

  • You don’t want to go that far in coach.

There is a lot of SWU space confirmable at the time of booking. Depending on the day, some direct, some with layovers.

The plan is to buy one way tickets either to Shanghai or back. You’d be shocked at how cheap one ways are selling for in and out of LA, Chicago, or Dallas. We’re talking <$500. You can search Travelocity here if you’d like.

While I haven’t flown AA’s 787 personally, I have flown in the the same seat, which is their first 777-200 retro-fit.

I enjoyed it on my flight from London to Chicago last year and didn’t have any of the complaints that many did with the seat.

We need to find a ride over and back. As well as accomodations.

I’ll be honest. I’d love to fly Korean’s First Class – either of them. Old or New. 80k points to Shanghai via Seoul ( maybe even a night stopover) would be incred. While I may be in the minority of bloggers that may be concerned with flying through Seoul…I am. So we are just waiting and seeing.

I’m also monitoring China Eastern First Class space. The cabin looks AMAZING and I could use Korean Air points for it as well.

We’re thinking of staying at the Grand Hyatt Shanghai ( in the featured image – courtesy of

You remember Dave, right? I mean…we are going to have a killer time.

This picture his first long haul, lie-flat flight. As you can tell – we had an INCREDIBLE flight. Etihad Business Studio. I don’t think anything ever quite compares to your first time, and what a great first! I love the fact that this pictures ranks on Google when you search “business studio.” HAHAHA!

Dave straight PIMPIN

We will be loading up Insta with photos and stories so make sure to follow.

I’ll be launching a new YouTube channel soon, but this is the easiest way to see quick shots of cool products and deals.

Dave has a much more strict work schedule than I do. So it’ll be interesting to see his thoughts on such a far trip. We both earned a ton of points with  Ink Biz Preferred – 80k . If you don’t have one I’d seriously consider it as it will fund at least one way of our trip. I’ll get 20k as a referral which is greatly appreciated.

 Affiliate link via Card Ratings

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


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

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

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

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

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. 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. 


  • […] Planning the Trip […]

  • GC September 21, 2017

    2, 3 days are enough in Shanghai after visiting and living there for a bit. A lot of the popular areas like Xintiandi, Nanjing Road, Yu Garden are near each other in walkable distance. The metro is convenient to a lot of restaurants, bars, etc. I haven’t been back for a few years.

  • Quag September 21, 2017

    Hi Miles. I really enjoy reading about your exciting adventures and travels. You’re quite the lucky monkey! I’m just spitballing here but I’m guessing that Dave will want to open up his calendar for this trip. You’re quite right that nothing compares to your first time in Etihad Business Studio. Some would say it’s better than sex. Others would not. Either way, it’s an experience that I hope everyone can achieve in their lifetime. I remember my first time and it was amazing! I’m sure I didn’t pull it off with the style and grace of your friend tho. I’m excited to read more about your travels! #WeekendWarrior

    • Miles September 21, 2017

      Thanks Quag, and I will pass on your sentiment that Dave should crack open that weekend. I mean…two besties kicking it in Shanghai, maybe even another city, halfway around the world, toasting champagne, cruising club level, high fiving, bridging cultural gaps, and byah, byah, byah-ing. I’m too excited! #weekendwarrior

  • Tuan September 20, 2017

    If you want to stay at a Hyatt, stay at the Andaz. As a then Diamond and with DSU, they upgraded me to a two story loft suite. Breakfast there is decent too, as long as you remember that there two separate buffets (Western in the left room, Chinese in the right)

    It’s way more convinent to get around if you’43 based there. Lots of great food and drink options too. Check out Speak Low, one of the best bars I’ve ever been to. (I attend Tails of the Cocktail, the world’s premiere cocktail convention. It always places high in competitions) Go to its third floor; it only seats 12, but has a better menu.

    I’ve done the whole 36 hours on the ground in Shanghai. Super fun city.

    • Miles September 20, 2017

      Tuan – thanks so much! great tips. Speak Low sounds incred as does Tails of the Cocktail. Hopefully I’ll be able to include these in my vlog!

  • SH September 20, 2017

    If you’ve never been to Shanghai and only have a weekend there, I would really try to stay on the Puxi side of the river.

    • Miles September 20, 2017

      SH – thank you! Am seriously considering the JW Marriott at Tomorrow Square as well. This may just push me over the top.

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