At the best of times- points are about fun, and unlocking the experiences that make travel memorable. One great way to do that? By turning those 50,000, 60,000 and even 70,000 point airline credit card bonuses found in the US, into a bed in the sky. Thanks to a few innovative airlines, there’s a very fun strategy to spice up your next international trip, making the absolute most of your airline credit card sign up bonus.
Most airlines charge truly extortionate amounts for a one way international ticket. Thankfully, a few airlines like Norwegian, TAP Portugal, WOW Air and others have dropped the one way restrictions, offering one way tickets at half the price of a round trip, or less. That means it’s not at all unreasonable to grab a $150 one way ticket between the US and Europe, or $300 ticket between the US and Asia. This allows you to then maximize your sign up bonus, using it towards a blissful business class experience going in the other direction, while still minimizing out of pocket costs…
Norwegian Airlines offered $192 round trip flights to Scandinavia this year from US gateways. In the deal, (don’t worry, similar deals happen frequently) you could grab a one way ticket to or from Europe for roughly $100. You could then use your credit card sign up bonus to grab a luxurious one way business class seat, on a top carrier, which partners with your airline credit card. For example, using your United credit card, you could book SAS, Swiss or Lufthansa, which each offer a fantastic experience. Your total out of pocket costs will be less than $250 for an international plane ticket, with one way up front!
People always ask “what’s the quickest way to make 100,000 miles”? Well, if you combined an airline credit card, with either the business version of that same credit card (even running a household is a business), or grabbing another card, which has points that can be transferred to that same airline, you can easily create 100,000 points. Using the United example above, the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve’s points can be transferred instantly to United. Therefore if you grabbed a United card, and a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’d have more than 100,000 United miles in no time. The same would work for the Delta Amex Card, and another Amex card like the Preferred Rewards Gold- which can transfer its points into Delta points.
There are a few innovative airlines competing for business in the Asian airline market, with AirAsia, Hainan and others dropping prices to extreme lows and beginning to reach more US cities. In the next couple years, we’ll see more and more discount airlines offering service from the US to Asia. Using your points for the opportunity to fly Cathay Pacific, Singapore, Japan Airlines and other stunning, award winning carriers is a pretty cool way to turn a single credit card into memorable travel. Enjoy.