It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with great deals on travel. Unfortunately, great deals take a lot of digging, and usually don’t last long. Even more unfortunate, is that cheap international flights can be tough to find. By far the most often overlooked method of cheap travel is using travel credit cards. I’ve used them to fly thousands of miles around the world for pennies on the dollar. I’ve flown my kids to Hawaii, for free (in First Class), I’ve flown to Paris for free, and I am flying to Italy this summer with my wife for $18 per person, in First Class again.
I know, I know- Credit Cards are Evil, right? Let me make two things clear before I show you how to fly for pennies on the dollar to Rome in October:
First, I get paid nothing if you use any of the credit card promotions on this page. That’s right, I make zero. Many travel experts are members of the card affiliate companies, so they’re incentivized to promote whatever offer they’re given from the credit card companies. Unfortunately, sometimes the offers the bloggers receive is actually worse than the offer on the cards public-facing website! Basically, what I’m saying is: you don’t always get the best deal when you follow a credit card link on a page. This is just a public service announcement.
I’m not hating on the people who do this: they’re just hustling and trying to make money. But it’s the truth. If this isn’t bad enough, credit card companies regularly scan the blog/website where the offers are listed, and require the writer to edit their content appropriately so that the card companies are happy.
Why am I telling you how to fly cheap? Because I love travel, and I want to help you all out.
Second, Credit Cards aren’t evil. They just make it easy to get into trouble. You must be disciplined if you use the methods I’m about to show you. Don’t get these cards and buy things you normally wouldn’t buy, just because you want to meet the minimum spend requirement so you can fly.
All the bad stuff out of the way: this stuff is legit. I’ve used it repeatedly, and have coached many friends on how to fly cheap.
Leg #1: BOS to FCO
These tickets will need to be booked separately, since you’ll be flying there on Delta, but returning on American Airlines. Leg one begins at Boston, and arrives at Rome via Delta. The dates I’ve selected are below, but there’s plenty of availability on other dates. In short, you’re going to need 30k Delta reward miles per person to fly to Rome from Boston.
Cost: 30k miles/per person
Dates: Most days in October. This example uses October 13, 2017.
Leg #2: FCO to BOS (Return Trip)
The return trip is via American Airlines, and will cost 30k miles also, plus taxes/fees.
Airline: American Airlines
Cost: 30k miles/per person
Dates: Most days in October. This example uses October 20, 2017 (one week trip to Rome).
Protip: If you’re more flexible, you can even find some availability from FCO to BOS for only 22,500 miles later in October. Play with the AA.com flight search tool.
How to Get Your Points
So you’ll need 30k Delta miles, and 30k American Airlines miles to fly to Rome, and back to Boston. To achieve this, you’ll need to follow the below instructions per person.
- Apply for the Delta Gold Skymiles Credit Card
- Spend $1,000 on the card within 3 months
- Wait 30-45 days for your points to post.
- Set a reminder to close the card before the one year anniversary to avoid annual fee (waiting to close it minimizes credit score impact, which is shockingly minimal anyways).
- Book your tickets via the Delta site (be sure to select Reward travel)
- Apply for the AAdvantage Credit Card
- Spend $1,000 within 3 months
- Wait 30-45 days for your points to post
- Set a reminder to close the card within a year, just like the Delta card above. I use my iPhone calendar.
- Book your tickets via the Aa.com Portal, also selecting Reward travel.
That’s it. Seriously. Get the two cards, meet the minimum spend through your normal day to day bills, groceries, and gas – wait for your points, and fly.
What do you guys think? Do you find this helpful? Let me know in the comments section!