4 Travel Hacks to Travel for Free
When you travel a lot, there’s nothing sweeter than an upgrade to business or free travel for your family vacation, but around the Holidays, rates are higher for every flight it seems, including surcharges when you’re trying to use free miles.
I just decided to book my flights from Australia home to see my Mom and family for Christmas and I was shocked at the rates using frequent flier miles, so what to do?
Here are a couple of quick travel hacks:
#1 Make sure you’re getting miles for every flight you book and concentrate your flights with one primary airline that flies the route you take most often. That low cost airline that makes you pay a when you even look at an agent and has no frequent flyer program may not be your best buy in the long run.
#2. Make sure you’re getting points for every purchase you make for business or personal use by using a credit card that earns miles that can convert to the airline you use most. OR make sure you have a way to buy flights with points easily.
#3 Start by checking out all the deals on google.com/flights. They are the most reliable source of flights and prices I’ve seen. Totally beats every other travel site. For example, when I was booking NY/LAX for one leg of my trip, I had done an original booking on a site called cheapoair.com. Sounds like it should be cheap right? But I inadvertently clicked book on a ticket that left from JFK instead of Newark. A costly mistake in terms of time and coordinating dropping off my rental car! When I tried to change the booking they told that there were no flights from Newark to LAX on United at the $229 price I saw on google flights – only a $280 price. When I spoke with their customer service rep he said the price didn’t exist. I then checked out the United.com website and that showed the lowest price of $229 as well and it was definitely available. So long story short, don’t trust any single site. Check around and confirm everything BEFORE you hit “book” button.
#4. Get an Amex card – Get a new one for business or personal use with free miles included then check out https://travel.americanexpress.com/home to pay for flight using amex miles – You should already have lots of points if you signed up for a new amex card or you’re getting double or triple miles every time you spend money with your card, depending on the type of AMEX card you’re using. And you can combine business and consumer points into the same mileage account, which means #’s can add up pretty quickly if you pay attention. Amextravel.com found my low price United ticket and I was able to book that flight using AMEX points, I was able to pay for multiple segments using 1 point for $1 which is great! This is the workaround to be able to use amex points to pay for United flights since points don’t transfer from American Express to United. This allows you to use miles as if they were cash. Only condition you have to pay in full with miles for each flight. If you don’t have a lot of miles, try booking your flights by segment.
So if I you’re on a multiple stop trip you can book and pay for each segment separately so that you have enough miles to cover the flight. The added bonus of paying using the amex travel link is that you still collect mileage points on your original airline and it costs you nothing in cash!