Free flight? Sign me up every time! Luckily this isn’t some type of sweepstakes giveaway that you have zero chance of winning. I flew to Italy for free and you can too.
Here are two ways to get a free flight to a city of your choice.
1. Join a Frequent Flyer Program
Most airlines have a frequent flyer program that awards travel miles when you purchase a flight on their airline. The programs are free to join and all you have to do is enter your member number when booking a flight. If you already travel regularly I’m sure you’re hip to this. If you’re planning a trip soon or looking to travel more in the future, be sure to sign up for a frequent flyer program. It’s one of the easiest ways to earn a free flight.
For example, LA is about 3,000 miles from NYC. If you were to purchase a round trip flight from NYC to LA, you would earn 6,000 miles that could be used toward a future flight with the same airline.
The cost of a flight typically starts around 25,000 miles. You may have to take a few trips before you have enough flight miles to cover the cost of one flight but it will be worth it when you reach that point.
2. Sign Up for a Rewards Credit Card
Wouldn’t it be great to receive a free flight for buying soap or shoes or coffee? Reward cards do just that. They reward points and miles to you for using the card for your everyday purchases like groceries, gas, clothes, etc. The thought here is that you should use the card for things that you would purchase regularly even if you didn’t have the card. So don’t go out a buy a new sofa just because you have a new line of credit. We’re not trying to go into debt over points.
You may even already have a card with awesome perks. Check with your credit card company for the details to make sure you aren’t missing out.
- United Airlines has a Mileage Plus Explorer credit card that offers air miles for every dollar spent on the card.
- 2 miles for every $1 USD spent on airline tickets
- 1 mile for every $1 USD spent on other purchases
- Guess what? If you spend $1,000 USD in the first 3 months you’ll get 30,000 bonus points for signing up! 50,000 bonus specials pop up occasionally so be on the look out.
- The card also has an annual fee of $95 USD after the first year
- More details on United Airlines’ rewards card can be found on their website.
- Chase recently launched a Sapphire Reserve card that offers 100,000 bonus points. This is great for frequent travelers. Read more about it here.
BONUS TIP! Reward points can be converted to miles and combined with frequent flyer miles as long as they have been earned with the same airline.
To put all of this into perspective, my flight to and from Italy was 60,000 miles in total. By using a combination of frequent flyer miles and reward points I was able to score a free flight! Now it’s your turn! You can use this strategy to get flights to cities in the U.S. and around the world.
Do you have any tips for saving money on flights? Please share in the comments below.
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