A Few of My Favorite Things: Travel Credit Cards

Lets be precise

I suppose I should be more specific; travel credit cards are not my favorite thing— my favorite thing ABOUT travel credit cards are the perks and reward travel you get from owning the cards :)

The cards

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

This is hands down my favorite credit card EVER. I’m mostly a huge fan of this card because with it my husband and I got 5 FREE nights at the Hilton Conrad Rangali Island resort in the Maldives for our honeymoon. While we were there, hotel nights in the over water bungalow where we stayed were $1,500 per night! I think we walked out of the resort paying only $50— a delightful amount for such an outrageously expensive island.

Overwater bungalows at the Conrad Rangali Resort in the Maldives

Overwater bungalows at the Conrad Rangali Resort in the Maldives


This card comes with an annual fee of $95. However, if you spend $15,000 on this card annually you will receive a free weekend night at any of the Hilton properties (think Maldives over water bungalow)! Even staying at a basic hilton hotel for a friend’s wedding you’re likely to spend more than $95 a night.

You also receive complimentary gold status with this card. This may not sound like a huge deal but it’s a really nice perk. We typically book the cheapest hotel room we can at any hilton property and to this date almost every single time we have been upgraded to a better room or even a suite. At many international Hilton hotels there are special members-only lounges that you gain access to as a gold member (free food, cocktail hour, etc.).

For every dollar you spend on your hilton card you accrue points which can then be used for hotel nights. For every dollar spent at a Hilton property you earn X12 bonus points. At each restaurant, U.S. supermarket and U.S. gas station you earn X6 bonus points per dollar spent. I have never met a credit card that gives you bonus points for grocery shopping so this is a major win! You earn X3 points for every dollar spent elsewhere. These points rack up quickly!

You can research the other perks of owning this card by clicking this link:

Note: This is not an affiliate link.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve

This credit card is great if you can swallow the price tag up front. At the time of writing, this credit card comes with 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months after opening an account. It sounds like a lot but if you load all your household expenses onto the card for 3 months you may be able to swing it— do your math before taking the plunge!

This card also comes with a $450 annual fee (yikes!) BUT you will get $300 of that back in travel credit. Uber rides, train tickets, and flight tickets all count as travel credit.

If you made it this far you’re probably wondering why you would pay so much for a credit card!

If you travel a lot, the perks this card offers will make it a no-brainer for you. Besides the huge sign-up bonus of 50,000 points (which can cover many flights/hotels) you are also eligible to receive a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. This is what makes this card so valuable for me. Access to 1,000+ airport lounges around the world with free food and drinks (usually including alcohol) is easily worth the remaining $150 you spend for this card. I don’t know about you but I can blow $50 just buying water and a small lunch for two at the airport. Free breakfast/lunch/dinner at the airport? Sign me up!

You can research the other perks of owning this card by clicking this link:

Note: This is not an affiliate link.

Chase Sapphire Reserve


Disclaimer: If you have consumer credit card debt this is not for you! Take care of your debt first and then we can talk ;)

Back to School

Here we go again…

Like it or not, the first day of school is rapidly approaching! A few days ago, @GiftedTeacher305 started a great IGTV series on engaging back to school lessons. I had the opportunity to share two of my favorite first day of school activities. You can find my video on IG @SpaidsInTheClassroom but I thought I would share them here too.

First Day of School Challenge

There is nothing my 4th graders like more than a “challenge”! So we start off right away with this easy-to-print packet. Students work their way through various tasks: a word search, multiplication facts and a writing prompt. Each task leads to a clue that will tell students what to do next.


It takes me about 5 minutes to prepare for our very first lesson in 4th grade (#winning)! I print these packets on colorful Astro Bright paper and hand them out as students walk in the door! This activity takes about an hour— I play music and students leisurely complete the work. The beauty of having this independent challenge at the beginning of the day is that it leaves me free to get to know each student and watch how students interact with each other.

Get to Know Me

After the back to school challenge we play a get to know me game of musical chairs or pass the parcel. I love these two old-fashioned birthday party games and use them a lot throughout the year to make task cards more exciting.


These games are super quick and easy. Either print out these ready-made task cards or jot down a few of your own get-to-know-you questions.

Let me know if you try either of these activities and have a great first week back to school!

A Few of My Favorite Things

Welcome to Lily Spaid!

I am so looking forward to sharing a few of my favorite things with you here on my teacher & travel blog.



I am the 4th grade teacher behind @SpaidsintheClassroom. I have been in the classroom for 6 years and love creating engaging lessons and activities for my students.


When I’m not teaching, I’m traveling and taking photos! I have been to 41 states in the USA and 45 countries around the world. You can follow my travels @lilyspaid.

I’m so glad you’re here! Thanks for following along.