Flying (Almost) for Free with Credit Card Points

No one would believe how far, literally, $100.80 can take you. In the last two months, that amount of money has taken our entire family of four on roundtrip flights to Houston and the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. (Sure, Knox is a lap-carry since he’s under two but still, that’s amazing!) This is all possible thanks to points/miles from credit cards and a little planning. And the best part is it can be done little-to-no changes from our usual spending. Instead it utilizes promotional sign-up bonuses to accrue the majority of the points.

I took it one step further by using these sign-up bonuses to earn a Southwest Companion Pass. You get the pass by earning 110k points in a calendar year. The catch is that this includes bonus points so the 60k from the SW business card bonus and the 40k from the SW personal card bonus got us up to 100k already. The minimum spends to get the bonuses were $3,000 in 3 months for the business card and $1,000 in 3 months for the personal card. Both awards one point per dollar spend so that brings us up to 104k points. It then took a few more months to cover the remaining 6k points to get the pass. It is good for the year it is earned PLUS the entire calendar year after so we have it until the end of 2020. Keep in mind you still have the 110k points when you get the pass and the pass essentially turns the 110k points into 220k! That’s crazy!!!

Let’s talk savings. When I was looking at flights, a roundtrip flight to Houston was about $180/person. We would’ve had to buy 3 since Nolan is older than two; again Knox would be a lap-carry. Thanks to our travel hacking, our family airfare was a total of $33.60 saving us over $500. For Hawaii, roundtrip flights were about $550/person. Since we broke that trip into two flights, we had to pay two flight fees of $11.20/person totaling $67.20 but that still saved us over $1,580! Again, crazy!!!

For everyone else: Have you ever considered trying to hack your travel expenses with the use of credit card points/miles? Would you consider it if you knew it wasn’t going to require spending more than you usually spend? What if it could save you more than $500 or $1500 on your family trip? Reach out to me if you want to learn more about how you can start travel hacking!

P.S. The photo above was taken at Makapu’u Beach by Desiree. We highly recommend her! Check out her work at Desiree Leilani Photography.

P.S.S.  The photo below was taken at one of the many beautiful murals we visited on the Houston City Tour that Ces & Alex took us on during our visit.  “Zeus-Zeus! LOL”

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