One of the questions we get asked the most, is about how we book so many ‘big ticket trips’, like going to Europe so often, or Hawaii, economically. The answer is simple – we have a private jet, huge trust funds, and crazy expense accounts from all the music videos we’ve been background dancers in. JUST KIDDING – DON’T SEND US EMAILS TELLING US WE’RE BRATS. We’re normal people who try to save money just like you! I promise. We do fly for free a lot though. SO HOW DO WE DO IT?! Is it sorcery?! Did we moonlight at Hogwarts? Are we just stowaways on international flights?! No – to all of this. In fact, you can replicate our methods, and YOU TOO, can fly for free, and go galavanting across Paris like a young Olsen twin.
1. Choose an Airline Credit Card to be loyal to.
If you have a bunch of different credit cards (points, airlines, hotels, etc), it’ll be hard to be rich in anything. We’re rich in airline miles because we chose one airline (in our case its American Airlines) to be loyal to, and those are the only credit cards we use. If you split your credit spending between a lot of different things, it’s hard to accumulate anything.
2. If you’re a couple, have more than one card.
David and I both have American Airlines credit cards, as well as having a business credit card – we mainly made this decision, because of the bonus sign-up incentives. One of the easiest ways to built mile-wealth is to utilize the sign-up bonus that airline credit cards have. For American Airlines, it’s 50,000 miles. For the three credit cards we have, that’s been 150,000 miles, or roughly translated, one Hawaii trip, and two Europe trips. 3. Hook your bills up to the cards.
We have all of our bills (and I mean ALL OF THEM), hooked up to automatically pay on our airline credit cards. Important note -we never spend more on credit cards than we have money to pay. We don’t believe in credit card debt. However – we’re going to pay our bills anyways – so we might as well earn miles while we do it.
4. Fly during the off-season.
One of the best ways to make your miles stretch further, is by visiting popular destinations in the off-season. We keep using Hawaii and Europe as examples, because these are tickets that normally cost 65K miles, that we get for around 20K per flight. The main way we do this, is flying off season. For example, Europe flights are far more expensive June- through August, than any other time of year. Same with Hawaii. If you can travel during a different time, you won’t just avoid the high costs, but the crowds.
5. Be willing to have layovers.
You’ll get the most mileage out of your miles if you’re willing to not fly direct. Being a little inconvenience is worth it though, in our opinion, if we can use our miles wisely, and travel for free more frequently.
These are our top tips for flying for free – because free is our favorite number (I mean, who doesn’t love free?).