Testimonial: A couple’s trip to Greece with points

To the point Find out how Kim saved $4,728 on her trip to Greece with credit card rewards points and loyalty programs.

Through a series of testimonials from our readers, Milesopedia presents what you can achieve with credit cards and loyalty programs.

Here’s Kim and her partner’s (now fiancé!) plan for a trip to Greece, and the savings they’ve made thanks to their points.


Kim's testimonial - Who are you?

I’m 43 and have been a Milesopedia reader for about a year and a half.

I’m a pretty versatile traveler. I’ve walked the Camino de Compostela with a backpack, slept in 100-person dormitories, stayed in a 5-star hotel in Abu Dhabi, visited all-inclusives in the South… I don’t have a specific style, as long as I travel!


Kim's testimonial - Your travel project with points : Greece

I took this trip to Greece with my partner, who proposed to me on the island of Naxos!

Our 10-day trip to Greece took place in the spring of 2023. Among others, we visited :

  • The island of Paros
  • The island of Naxos
  • Delphi
  • Meteora
  • Athens


With three different types of points, we saved on flights, car rental and ferries in Greece. In summary, we used :

Transportation savings

In total, points saved us $1,070 on transportation.


We made our biggest savings on accommodation. We booked our hotels with a combination of 69,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and 11,930 Dream AIR MILES. Here are the details of our bookings:

Accomodation name Number of nights Number and type of points used Money saved
Moxy Athens City 1 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points 269$
Paros Bay Hotel 2 2,850 AIR MILES 388$
Naxos Island Escape 3 6,290 AIR MILES 858$
Hotel Amalia 1 1,420 AIR MILES 140$
Guesthouse Monastiri 1 1,370 AIR MILES 173$
New Hotel Athens 1 39,000 Marriott Bonvoy points 600$

Savings on accommodation

The money saved on lodging totalled $2,200 for nine nights.

Activities and other

As for activities and meals, we paid these expenses in cash.

Testimonial - Credit cards used

I was the only one earning points for this trip. I made 4 card rounds in one year. In the end, I took out a total of 6 different credit cards during this period.

Credit card Accumulation period Number of points used Points redemption method
National Bank World Elite Mastercard 1 year 74,000 NBC Rewards points Flight booked on À la carte travel
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® 6 months 45,000 HSBC Rewards points Statement credit
CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card 4 months 11,840 CIBC Aventura points Statement credit
Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card and Marriott Bonvoy® Business American Express®* Card. 6 months 69,000 Marriott Bonvoy points Hotel reservations
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card 1 year 70,000 BMO Rewards points Statement credit
BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* 4 years old 11,930 AIR MILES Booking hotels with Dreams miles

The benefits

With our credit cards, we have obtained some additional travel benefits such as:

We were also entitled to checked baggage with Air Canada with our TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, but since we were traveling in a carry-on suitcase we didn’t take advantage of it. We also had a 25% discount on meals purchased on board, as well as the new free Wi-Fi service!

Tips to help you save more

To save even more on my trip,I’ve been tracking airfares in Google Flights for 2-3 weeks. I love this tool for finding the cheapest options and was flexible on dates and duration (between 8 and 11 days).


All in all, our $8,635 trip to Greece only cost us $3,908, a savings of $4,727! Here’s a breakdown of the amounts saved in each category:

Grand total $4,727
Type of expense Savings
Transportation $1,070
Accommodation $2,200
Other (baggage, parking at YUL, choice of seats, lounges, miscellaneous) $1,457

Diversifying the type of reward points is the key to spend less on travel. In all, we used 6 different programs:

The final word

For this trip, the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard® was the most lucrative. Although my AIR MILES saved me a lot, I’ve pretty much given up on this rewards program now.

Since my return, I’ve moved on to another stage: I FINALLY applied for the American Express Cobalt® Card. It’s as if I didn’t believe it… my only regret is that I didn’t take it before!

After a year, I’m at the stage of closing cards and ordering new ones. I’m beginning to understand the principle more and more. My next goal is to learn the Aeroplan program and start using my points.

Finally, my next trip will be my honeymoon in Western Canada in the summer of 2024. Thanks Milesopedia!


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