So you’ve read Travel hacking 101 Part 1 and your ready for your first travel hack. I can also do free consultation to get you started, should only take 15 minutes to get you sorted. Send us a message on Facebook.com/365traveldates. I recommend starting your hack 4-5 months before you want to actually mainly because you might need time to do your spending, have your. What we do is outlined below.
- Choose a destination and find an airline you want to fly. For the sake of simplicity I will use American Airlines and Europe (Paris) as a destination (I haven’t done this specific hack yet). The search on the screenshot was done randomly. It popped up as 20k plus $5.60 for some taxes.
- Alternatively you can look at airline award charts simply Google, x airlines award chart. This chart gives an outline of the different classes for American Airlines and there partners. The mile usage will depend on whether or not it is high season or low season and whether you want to fly economy, business or first class. For us we tend to choose economy off-peak, not because were cheap but because were frugal!
- Apply for the necessary credit card. Here’s a list of our credit cards we’ve used to hack our travels. You can either call in or apply online for quick approval. For this particular credit card, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum, you get 50,000 miles after spending $3000 dollars in 3 months. We usually get a credit card when we know we’ll be spending a big chunk change like purchasing insurance or airfare.
- If you can get the credit card number over the phone to get your spending started this is better. I would start using it on Amazon.com and any other online shopping you do. If you find you can’t spend everything within the 3 months you can always purchase Amazon gift cards or other consumer gift cards.
- Pay the card off. PAY YOUR BILLS. The advantages to getting the points are only beneficial if you pay your bills and stay out of debt. Travel hacking is not for the financially irresponsible.
- Once you meet the minimum spending and the billing period ends your points should reflect within a few weeks not more than a month, usually. Simply call the airlines for your points or the credit card if you’re getting anxious.
- Book your flight using your miles, pack your bags and live your dream. Paris here you come.
If you decided to buy a one-way ticket for you and your significant other you can get two one-way tickets for 40k points and still have 10k left over assuming you got approved for the credit card. AA also gives back 10% when you use your points (if you have the Citi/AAdvantage card). So you would end up still having 14k points and really only using 36k.
My particular advice right now is to the following:
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum,- first year fee waived, spend $3,000 USD within 3 months of opening the account, receive 50,000 AA points.
US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®– pay $89 annual fee, spend any amount (first purchase gets you your bonus), receive 50,000 US Airway points
These two miles programs are going to be combined into one starting 2nd quarter of 2015. If you get the cards at the same time that would be 100k points right off the bat. Enough for two round trip tickets to Europe, the South Pacific, or South America for two people even when it’s not off peak season. If you and your significant other both do this and get 200k total you can fly anywhere on first class! Too easy.
Keep going!!! Part 3- Our credit cards and recommendations