I love traveling and I love to travel for free. My secret weapon is credit card points, airline miles, and hotel points. But how much do you need to fly? Is it possible to fly for free?
Well it’s definitely possible to fly for free but you need to collect enough points or miles to get a free flight. How many miles or points you need depends on the airline, where and when you are planning on flying. In this blog, I will go over how many points or miles you need as well as other information that you should know before getting into credit cards.
Everyone has a different travel style and credit card strategy. Some prefer to fly in luxury on the airlines they like, while others are willing to fly whatever airline they can get a good deal on. Some people like to use their credit card points for hotels only, while others like to use them for flights. Whatever your preference is there is a credit card out there that will fit your needs. Here are some of the best credit cards for free airfare.
Chase Sapphire Preferred: This card is great for those who want flexibility with how they use their points. With this card you earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases worldwide. You can also transfer your points 1:1 to frequent flyer partners including United Airlines MileagePlus, British Airways Executive Club, Southwest Rapid Rewards®, Marriott Rewards®, IHG® Rewards Club and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at full value – that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equals 1,000 partner miles/points. There is a $95 annual fee but it’s waived the first year so it’s great for beginners looking to get into the points game without paying any fees.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™: The Barclay
The amount of value you can get from a credit card will depend on your travel goals. If you want to fly business class to Europe, one credit card will be better than another. On the other hand, if you are trying to pick an airline for a trip, one credit card might be a better fit than another.
The best cards for domestic travel are the ones that give you the most points per dollar spent on airfare. The best cards for international travel are the ones that allow you to transfer points to partner airlines and don’t charge any extra fees.
This is a list of cards with the most value per dollar spent on airfare:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Capital One Venture
American Express Premier Rewards Gold
Chase Freedom or Sapphire Reserve**
I’m a big fan of travel hacking, and I’ve been writing about the subject for almost ten years now. It all started with a post on my personal blog, My Flights, which detailed how I used credit cards to fly from Washington DC to Barcelona for $22 in November of 2005. Ten years later, I’m still traveling the world free (or nearly free) and helping others do the same at My Flights.
In addition to providing tips on how to travel hack, My Flights also provides advice on where to go and what to do once you get there. Each month, I try to highlight one destination that is particularly interesting or that I have personal experience with. From the best places to eat and drink in Barcelona, Spain to shopping in Tuscany and Florence Italy, My Flights has got you covered.
Credit card companies are still offering frequent flyer miles, but it’s getting harder to earn them. There is a simple explanation for why airlines are making it harder for travelers to get free airfare: to make more money.
Airlines are making less money from ticket sales, so they are determined to make up the difference from ancillary fees and other sources of revenue. Airlines started charging bag fees because the price of oil was too high and they had to find a way to stay in business. Those same factors have pushed airlines toward capacity discipline, which means they have too much supply and not enough demand, so they are cutting back on offerings like free food and free magazines.
Airline credit cards offer extra benefits like free checked bags, priority boarding and a concierge service that can help you with reservations. These perks will cost you a few hundred dollars extra each year, but if you spend thousands of dollars on the card, those benefits will save you time and money in the long run.
If you’re a frequent traveler who spends thousands of dollars each year on your credit cards, airline credit cards can help you rack up points faster than other cards. But before you sign up for one, ask yourself these questions:
1) Are you loyal to an
It’s a good feeling to find a low price on an airline ticket. You may have found a bargain, or you may have stumbled into a fare that is so low it will never be offered again. Travelers who get lucky with fares often tell stories of nonrefundable tickets that they were unable to use and had to throw away.
But what if you could redeem your ticket for frequent-flier miles? If you could at least recoup some of your money, the loss might not be so bad.
The answer: Maybe not.
If you are considering buying a really cheap ticket in hopes of turning it into miles, check out the airline’s policy first. Some airlines do not allow travelers to earn frequent-flier miles on deeply discounted fares. Others require them to pay extra to earn credit on their trips.
A review of the policies at six major carriers in the United States showed that five of them imposed restrictions on mileage accrual for some or all discount tickets: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Only Frontier Airlines does not have any restrictions on earning credit on its cheapest tickets.
Some of the rules can be so complex that even travel agents have trouble explaining them. Here are some
With a new year comes new credit card offers. I have been getting lots of them in my e-mail and through snail mail. It seems like each day I get another offer from a newly issued credit card.
It is kind of confusing when you start looking at all the different cards and their offers. Some offer miles, others offer points, or cash back. How do you decide which one to choose?
I usually start by looking at how much I spend on different categories and what cards would give me the most value for those purchases. I then look at the annual fees for each card and how much points/miles are offered with each sign up bonus.
After looking at several cards, it seems like the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is the best card for me personally. This may not be true for everyone but here is why I chose this card: