For many — including myself — Egypt is a bucket list destination.
Home of the pharaohs, the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, many will never get the opportunity to set their sights on these natural world wonders. Or at least, so they think.
Thanks to credit card rewards, luxury travel — which had once been a rarity for many people who aren’t living in the “lap of luxury” — is now more accessible than ever. For those new to the points game, it’s an easier concept to understand than you might think. And all you have to do is live your life like normal, maximizing things that you do everyday like shopping for groceries, gas, future trips, as well as through sign-up and referral bonuses.
Seems easy enough, right? Well, TikTok experts and travel points connoisseurs have made the breakdown much simpler, and we’re sharing the wealth of knowledge. Why? Because once you’ve redeemed miles for a flight in Business or First Class, it’s hard to return to Economy seats. The same goes for being pampered at five-star hotels at resort locations around the world.
Have the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card? Here’s how to plan your bucket list trip to Cairo.
Card Members can use their Card benefits in their everyday lifestyle and when they travel, and this is especially important when it comes to the hotel. Once you’ll land into Cairo International Airport, an Uber will be the easiest and most convenient way to ride from the airport to the city center, approximately 40 minutes (16 miles). You’ll check into the 5-star riverfront St. Regis Cairo, which has on-property offerings to tie to the $100 Marriott Bonvoy property. The opportunities are endless — either unwind with spa treatments on-site at the Iridium Spa or enjoy food and drinks from the St. Regis Cairo’s very own La Zisa, J&G Steakhouse, or any of the property’s 5 additional restaurants and bars.
The biggest win in the long run with this card comes if you stay at Marriott properties regularly. The card transfers valuable perks, such as automatic Bonvoy Platinum Elite status and an annual free night award (worth up to 85,000 points). In fact, the luxury travel even starts before arriving at the destination — Brilliant Card Members can also take advantage of a smooth travel experience with no foreign transaction fees, a credit for Global Entry or TSA precheck, and a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership to access Priority Pass lounges.
If you’ve never thought of Cairo as a food metropolis — think again. Whether you’re grabbing a bite to eat from a street vendor or dining at an elegant 5-star restaurant, there’s plenty that will satisfy every taste bud. Not to mention, when dining at some of Cairo’s award-winning restaurants, many which offer authentic Egyptian cuisine and phenomenal views of the city, you’ll be able to tie in the card’s $300 dining statement credit, as well as 3X Marriott Bonvoy Points earned at restaurants worldwide. While you’re there, make sure you set your sights on Egypt’s first fine-dining restaurant, 9 Pyramids Lounge in Giza, which overlooks the Pyramid of Khufu or Sachi Park St. for its internationally acclaimed style of authentic and modern Mediterranean fusion food.
The Pyramids of Giza and the Egyptian Museum top the list for most when it comes to visiting Cairo, but there is a lot more to see and do in this city. First and foremost, you’ll want to get a private tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum (not to be confused with the original Egyptian Museum), just outside of Cairo on the Giza Plateau (and next door to the Pyramids). When it is completed, the Grand Egyptian Museum will not only be the new crown jewel of Egypt, but it will also be one of the largest, most modern, and most renowned museums in the entire world. Exploring Old Cairo down El Moez Street is a must, as well as visiting the souk shops and perfumers at Khan EL Khalili. While you’re there you can even dine at Naguib Mahfouz to tie the 3X Marriott Bonvoy Points earned at restaurants worldwide.
Whatever you decide to do, a trip to Egypt is always going to be special because of its rich cultural history, but the extra money you’ll save with the Brilliant card, makes the trip that much sweeter.