Would you pre-pay for flights if they were less than $100 each?
Of course you would. If Groupon or some other discount website offered this you would be all over it.
I hear people all the time saying they can’t afford to fly for March break – too expensive, didn’t budget for it, etc.
You can and you should take this advice if you want to fly for free for a few years.
This example will be – a family of 4 flying to Florida from Detroit on our Canadian March break for the next 3 years.
First, how much would this cost you up front? Since I have been researching this for awhile, I can tell you the average person would probably spend $350-$400 per flight. Now, some people are bargain hunters and spend hours more than the average person looking, but for this example we will use a ballpark figure of $375 per flight.
So, 4 flights a year, for the next 3 years is 12 flights @ $375 per flight = $4500 in flights.
Would you pay, say $3500 for this, or $292 per flight? Would you pay $3000 for this or $250 per flight? Yes, you probably would.
No, I’m not going to tell you that you can get these flights for free…but you can get them very cheaply.
The trick is getting Amex MR points, and referring your partner to the same card – and if your timing is right – getting the periodic bonus AMEX does.
Before I go through the steps, you need to know how many MR points (converted to Avios) you would need for these 12 flights total.
It is important you see our Avios page to sign up with them (British Airways – you will fly American Air or US Air)
This scenario will assume flights are 18,000 Avios each.
Cleveland – Miami – 15,000 Avios
Detroit – Tampa – 18,000 Avios
Detroit – Miami – 20,000 Avios
Let’s go with the middle scenario at 18,000 Avios per flight so we aren’t too little or too many.
12 flights times 18,000 Avios per round trip flight = 216,000 Avios.
Yes, it’s Amex – here are the steps. Side note – you don’t need a huge income for these cards! Most people can get these cards if you have decent credit and a job – says their website.
Step 1 – Get (referred to) the AMEX Platinum Card. You get 60,000 MR points after spending $1000 on card.
Cost is $699. You get a $200 travel credit for each calendar year. Use both travel credits in current year and folowing year for rental cars, hotels, etc. You may then choose to cancel the card before the $699 renewal comes up. or not. Total cost to you ends up 699-200-200 = $299.
Step 2 – Refer your partner to that card – AMEX Platinum Card. You get 15,000 MR points for referring and they get 60,000 MR points and same scenarios hold up for step 1 for spending and using up travel credits.
Step 3 – (maybe 2-3 months later) Get referred by your partner to the AMEX Gold Rewards Card. Since you both have the Platinum Card, your referral will gain your partner 15,000 MR points and you get 25,000 MR points when you sign up and spend $500 on card.
Step 4 – Refer your partner to that card – AMEX Gold Rewards Card. You get 15,000 MR points for referring and they get 25,000 MR points and same scenarios hold up for step 3.
Ok, where do you stand with MR points now?
You – 60,000 + 15,000 + 25,000 + 15,000 = 115,000 points
Partner – 60,000 + 15,000 + 25,000 = 100,000 points
Plus the dollars you spend (minimum) on those 4 cards = 3000 points
You now have a combined total of 218,000 points – Avios between you.
Combine them in a family Avios account so they are all in one place.
How many points did you need again for 12 flights? 216,000!
You made it!
So…you and your partner got 2 new credit cards each, did the minimum spend on them, kept them for a year, and then perhaps decided to go with a new card…or whatever.
Total final cost to you and partner taking the travel credits (2×200 each) into consideration = $598.00
Total flights paid for to Florida (or similar distance) 12
Do you know you just bought 12 flights to Florida for $50.00 each?
Do you know it could actually be better?
Amex periodically does a bonus to Avios with the last one being in March 2013 of 33%, 40% and even 50%. Last March was 50%
If you timed this bonus right, and I am planning to, your 218,000 MR points could be as many as 218,000 x 1.5 = 327,000 Avios, or SIX MORE FREE FLIGHTS!!!
If you did this, your net cost would still be $598.00, but it would be for 18 flights.
$33.22 per flight for 18 flights!!!
People in the know are doing this all the time, you can too.