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How to fly for free – it is so easy!

How to fly for free – it is so easy!

As a family, we decided that we wanted to go to Disney with our two kids before our youngest turns 3 (kids are free at Disney until that age!).  Being a teacher, I only have certain days off, plus we didn’t want to take our daughter out of school.  That left us with our “fall break.”  With a 12 hour drive, it just wasn’t possible to drive and not take time off school, (unless we only wanted 2 days at Disney!).  So, fly it is.  But goodness, flying is expensive with 4 people!!!

Then I discovered the fantastic deals at Southwest with their credit cards through Chase bank.  We earned enough points in just a few months to fly for free!  There are a few fees here and there, but I’ll tell you all about them.  It is going to save us a ton of money and will make it possible for us to make our other trip up the the Visit Blue Mountain rentals. So we can have a relaxing place to stay to finish off our break.

How Did We Do It?

So, here’s what we did.  I first applied for the Southwest Rewards Plus card.  It is just a few easy steps to apply online and I got approved in seconds.  About a week later, we got our cards in the mail.  These deals change frequently, but at the time, if you spent $2000 in the first 3 months that you had the card, you got 50,000 bonus points (other deals I’ve seen are spend $1000 in the first 3 months, get 40,000 bonus points or spend $3000 and get 60,000)!  On your first statement, you will have a $69 annual fee.

When we got close to spending our $2000 on that card, we applied for the Southwest Rewards Premier card.  It works the same way as the plus card – spend $2000 in the first 3 months, get 50,000 bonus points (again, other deals are possible).  The only difference is this one has a $99 annual fee, plus a few more perks when earning points.  With both cards, you also earn 1 point for every dollar spent.

A day after the statement came through when we spent the $2000, we got the 50,000 bonus points (100,000 points total between the two cards).  You can make your points go even farther if you get to 110,000 points (just 10,000 over what you earn from the bonuses).  If you get to 110,000, you get a companion pass.  That means, that for every ticket you purchase as the rapid rewards member, you get one free for the rest of that calendar year, plus the entire next year!  So when my family of 4 will fly, I will only have to pay for 3 tickets!  Or if my husband and I take a trip, it would be a buy one, get one free deal!  This will make it really easy to take two trips.  Since you get 1 point for every dollar spent, you can get it by spending $10,000 in that year.  Or, you can refer someone for one of the cards, and get the 10,000 points that way.  It took no time at all for us to get those because family heard what a great deal it was and wanted one for themselves!

So let me break it down for you a little bit.

What it will cost you:

  • Southwest rapid rewards plus card – $69 annual fee
  • Southwest rapid rewards premiere card – $99 annual fee
  • Fees – $5.60 for each one-way trip per person – $44.80 for my family of 4 round trip

So total of $212.80 for one trip or $257.60 for two trips (which we will easily have enough points for). 

The cheapest trip with points from my city, Louisville, to Orlando, is 17,098 points, but we’ll say 20,000 just to be on the safe side and to get the flights we want later in the day.  So we will spend about 80,000 points for our family of 4 (or 60,000 since we have the companion pass).  To buy those same flights, it would cost us $387 each, or $1548 for our family of 4.  Basically, for just this trip, we are saving $1335.20, ( it will cost us $212.80 with the airline fees and annual fees instead of $1548 to pay for the flights).  Plus, we still have over 65,000 points and that is continuing to go up every time we use the card!  We will take another trip next summer and it will only cost us $44.80 for the fees.  That’s 8 round trip tickets for only $257.60

Just for comparison purposes, I put in a flight from Kansas City (central US) to Orlando, and got very similar results with prices and points that you would use.  If we were to fly all the way to the west coast, it would cost closer to 30,000 points per person flying.  Either way, it is still a significant savings!

Really, the only question you need to ask yourself is, do you spend $2000 (or maybe $1000 if you wait for that deal) in 3 months and do you plan on flying anywhere in the near future?  If the answer is yes to both of these questions, it absolutely makes sense to get at least one of these credit cards.  Even a single person would benefit greatly from getting just the plus card – $69 fee plus $21.20 in airline fees, to get 2 flights and have some leftover!  It is an easy decision!

If you are interested in one or both of the cards, just follow the links below!  It is that easy and so worth it!

Plus Card: https://applynow.chase.com/FlexAppWeb/renderApp.do?SPID=FNTQ&CELL=61T8&MSC=1540502517

Premiere Card:  https://applynow.chase.com/FlexAppWeb/renderApp.do?SPID=FNTD&CELL=61T8&MSC=1541162775

 

 

 

 

 

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