One Sunday back in July, I booked two tickets that would have cost more than $20,000 total, but only paid $362.80. I’m also flying first and business class to Sydney and Bali on one of the best airlines in the world, including one flight with our very own suite.
I can’t wait!
You too can be flying for cheap and even in first class if you want. I’ll tell you how in this post.
Booking this ticket was one of the more spontaneous things I’ve done. That morning I had no plans to book a ticket, but by the end of that day, I had two tickets for next February.
However, I had begun preparing for this kinda of opportunity just about a year ago when I found my favorite new hobby.
If you’ve ever thought about taking your dream trip or traveling the world for free and in style, you’re going to love this post.
Cashback = Not the best deal
I knew about earning miles while flying as long as I’ve been flying, but didn’t know too much about earning it from credit cards.
I’ve had credit cards and I thought I was getting a great deal getting 1%-5% cash back. I thought if I spent $1000, getting $10 was awesome!
Better than nothing, but not maximizing the opportunities out there.
Last year, I started reading about people booking free airline tickets, often in first and business class, all over the world with points from huge credit card bonuses. Trips that would have cost thousands of dollars. That’s the type of award I wanted to get. Not cash back.
I love to fly. I like just being in an airport. I get exciting knowing I’m flying somewhere.
However I’m not a millionaire, so I can’t pay full price for first class seats. I had learn more about travel hacking.
I realized I used my credits cards often, but instead of cash back, I could be getting so much more out of them.
That’s when I began to learn the world of collecting points and miles and I’m loving it.
My First Airline Credit Card
Last year in August, I signed up for my first airline credit card, the Alaskan Airlines card that gave me 40,000 points and a certificate for a companion ticket for only $99. I just had to be approved to get the benefits.
That means I could book a ticket anywhere Alaskan Airlines flies and my companion ticket would only be $99! That ticket could even be to Hawaii! Who wouldn’t love to go to Hawaii for $99?
That’s the kind of deals airlines are giving away if you sign up for their credit cards.
Since then I’ve signed up for eight more credit cards, done mattress runs and have earned easily over 500,000 airline and hotel points which I have used to redeem for free hotel night and airline tickets.
In July, Eleanor and I went to California for 10 days and 9 nights. We started in Santa Barbara and drove the Pacific Coast highway to San Francisco. We spent four nights on the road and then five nights in San Francisco.
We only paid for one night in a hotel the whole trip.
The other nights I used hotel points I had earned to redeem free nights in different hotels. We stayed at the Hyatt Santa Barbara, which was right across the street from the beach. In Monterey, we stayed at the Marriott with views of the ocean.
In San Francisco, I used points to stay at the Radisson at Fisherman’s Wharf. When I checked in, they upgraded us to a room with a courtyard view and standing on the balcony, got a view of Alcatraz.
The last two nights, we stayed at the Le Meredien in San Francisco. Since I have gold status with Starwood, I got upgraded to a room with a view of the city and bay. Two nights there would have been $900. I used points from signing up for their credit card. First year no annual free.
I added our hotel stays and we saved at least $2,000.
I’m definitely not an expert in this area. There are many more people out there who know the system better and how to maximize the number of points they can get.
However, I learned enough to be able to get free hotel stays and airline tickets and I know you can too.