Archive | May 2014

Summer flights to NYC

Ok, so I’m thinking we have done our summer flight series to four places now, I want to find the cheapest way to go to NYC using points OR cash this summer from TORONTO OR DETROIT.

Now there are going to be many different options as far as when to fly, how many days etc, so I’ll try to keep the flight prices at an average that seems to represent the summer prices.

I used Expedia and Google flights and those combined did a great job.

Toronto – NYC – cheapest flights were about $360(US Air) and hard to find a good combo – there are a few cheaper, but hard to find

Detroit – NYC – a few from about $240(Jet Blue, Spirit, Southwest) but most mid-summer flights were around $300+  Start and end of summer were cheaper

Toronto – NYC –  AEROPLAN – 15,000 Aeroplan + $180

Toronto – NYC – AVIOS – 9000 Avios + $97

Detroit – NYC – AEROPLAN – 25,000 Aeroplan + $28

Detroit – NYC – AVIOS – 9000 Avios + $5.00

So, as you can see, if you collect British Airways Avios, you are always going to find great redemptions and great deals!

This is alot like our Vegas page in that the best redemptions when you include taxes are Avios flights out of Detroit.

The Amex Gold Rewards Card gives you 25,000 MR points when you sign up and spend $500 – if you spend about $2000 on it you would have the 27,000 MR points = 27,000 Avios = 3 free flight to NYC from Detroit ($15 in taxes)

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Being a Canadian near a border I get to take advantage of the lower taxes flying out of Detroit – Toronto people should look at flights here or out of Buffalo.

100,000 Aeroplan converted to Avios!

Well, it all went through. In a previous post from April, I showed you how to convert Aeroplan miles to Avios.

Creditwalk.ca in particular had me convinced it was a prudent move, so I did it.

In a nutshell here it is: 100,000 Aeroplan converts to 113850 Esso Extra converts to 68100 RBC converts to 102,150 Avios – DURING THE BONUS PERIOD ONGOING TILL JUNE 30.

It was all the Aeroplan points I had – and yes I’m happy I did it.

People may say in general Aeroplan points might be worth more than Avios, so that was a bad move, but NOT FOR MY SITUATION!

Don’t get me wrong – I love collecting Aeroplan in the many different ways I have been documenting the last few months – renting cars, booking hotels, shopping online – last couple days to get 15x Aeroplan points at shop.ca!

But now that I can convert my points to Avios, Aeroplan collecting means more to me.

Check out our Amex, Avios and Aeroplan pages – there are free flights out there people – just do a little research!

 

 

 

Detroit Summer flights – Boston from $152!

Continuing our series on Detroit summer flights, today is Boston, MA.

UPDATE!!! I found a few combinations of days that has that flight as low as $152. I triple checked that price on Jet Blue, Expedia and Google flights.

One example is July 2 – July 9 – there are more if you look.

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Two people asked me this week, “OK sure we can get there, but what about staying?”

Yes, what about staying? Well we have done many posts on how you should get a hotel branded credit card or two so you always have options when you are out of town.

Starwood Properties, IHG, Choice Hotels, the list goes on.

But we are talking flights here.

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I used Google flights this time and I liked what I saw.

Here is a picture of what they show you – awesome!

 

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That bar chart is very interesting, but the info. to take from it is a 3 day trip from Thur Aug 21 – Sun Aug 24 will cost you $201 in airfare with a stop.

(US Air/American Air)

I checked Spirit and they were way higher, and Southwest was close but they came in at about $244 at lowest.

Just as a side note, September flights are as low as $177 round trip!

That bar chart is great!

So, if you want to see the Jays sweep Boston again at Fenway, there you go!

 

 

 

Detroit Summer Flights – VEGAS – Spirit Air

Continuing on with our series on Detroit summer flights, today we talk Vegas!

Now, we have a whole page devoted to Vegas and how to get there for free, but this post will be on flights from Detroit to Vegas.

Just so you know, you can get the card below and have enough points for a free flight to Vegas! If you ever have any questions on that, send me an email – but if you see our Vegas page, that tells you how.

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Departures

It seems flights on Saturdays in July are $119 if you are in the $9 club (which is worth it if you are paying for more than 1 flight on Spirit in the next year) There are actually a couple of Tuesday in late August that are $109!!! Quite reasonable.

The other days of the week are $15 to $60 more – remember these prices change alot, but for the most part they stay the same.

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Returns

Tuesday and Wednesday July returns are mostly $134. For some reason, a July 16 return is only $109.

Tuesday and Wednesday in August are only $109!!!

So, a cheap flight to Vegas would be Tues Aug 19 to Tues Aug 26 for $109 + $109 = $218.00

That seems to be the cheapest combo – $109 + $109 – if you come close to that you are doing well.

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No kids? You and your partner wanna fly free once a month for the next 10 months?

Today a co-worker came up to me and said, “Well I got that Gold Rewards Card, what’s stopping me from getting more free flights?”

Nothing. He said he read the different pages we have and said it is actually quite easy to get many free flights.  He is married with no kids and is totally taking advantage of these deals while he can. Bravo. Do it too if you can.

In fact, here is a way to get about 10 free flights each.

Well… sorry that’s going to actually cost you $120.00 each. total. for 10 flights each. yes you read that correctly.

I have co-workers always asking me how to do this – “We have no kids, we just want to get away for the weekend”

Now, you don’t have to go once a month for the next 10 months – but I think that would be cool – you just have 10 flights each.

Again, I am just giving you the facts, you don’t need to get referred by us – but we appreciate it.

This is all based on getting about 180,000 Avios between you and flying short haul flights on American Air or US Air through British Airways.

Examples of this from our area:(Detroit)

Detroit – Philadelphia, Washington,DC, New York City, Charlotte, NC and Chicago to name a few.

See our Avios page on how many miles a short haul flight is – but it’s a decent distance!

My co-workers also tell me that I go into too much detail with these explanations, but I’d rather that than too vague.

2 programs to sign up for first – British Airways Executive Club – (Avios) and Aeroplan. (see our pages on that)

Step 1 – you both get the RBC Infinite Avion Card  – that will get you 15,000 RBC points right away – this is the only card with an annual fee.

Step 2 – you get the Amex AeroPlan Plus Goldcard – if you get referred by us or anyone that gets you 30,000 Aeroplan points after spending $500 on it in 3 months.

Step 3 – you refer your partner to that same card. You get another 10,000 Aeroplan for referring, and they get 30,000 Aeroplan after spending the $500.

Now, you should do these steps fairly quickly and the reason is this: there is currently a bonus of 50% more Avios on RBC points converted till the end of June, 2014. Now you may be out of time by the time you read this, or not. But the good thing is they do these bonuses usually twice a calendar year and this is the first one. So if you get all these points and you find yourself in July, don’t fret another bonus will come!

But wait, I have RBC points and Aeroplan! Yes, but you can convert your Aeroplan to Avios in a procedure we outlined previously. So ultimately we are converting our 70,000 total Aeroplan to about 70,000 Avios. (Iittle more actually)

Step 4 – you get the Amex Gold Rewards Card. If you get referred by us or someone else that gets you 25,000 MR points after spending $500 on it in 3 months.

Step 5 – refer your partner to that same card. you get another 10,000 MR points for referring and they get 25,000 MR points after spending the $500.

So, ya…you have to get 3 cards each…for a total of $120 each…and ya, this will get you about 10 flights each.

Your combined 30,000 RBC points will convert to 45,000 Avios when you do it in the bonus period.

Your combined 70,000 Aeroplan will convert to a little more than 70,000 Avios when you do it in the bonus period.

Your combined 60,000 MR points will convert to 60,000 Avios any time you want – not needed to do in bonus period.

Total Avios = 175,000 bonus plus about…say $5000 spent on those cards, which gives you a rough total of about 180,000 Avios.

Again, the last card doesn’t have to be done right away – those points are exchanged straight up.

Those flights I mentioned at the start – 9000 Avios total round trip plus about $5.00 in taxes. seriously. 5 bucks.

180,000 Avios divided by 9000 Avios per trip equals 20 trips.

Yes, I know it’s 3 credit cards, I wrote this thing! Obviously you can get less flights for less cards you can do the math.

But it’s true and can be done!

Google Flights – Awesome!

Today I read a post by millionmilesecrets.com on Google flights. Wow, that is an awesome flight tool.

Again, like I have been saying, try flying for free one time and you will be convinced that is the way to go – read our pages on Amex, Avios and Aeroplan on that.

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Here is the link to the article. He goes into details about all the features it has, and there are many features!

For those that don’t have time to read the whole article, I’ll give you the basics here. But first a picture.

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Basic flight search by map is amazing – put your departure city in and see the flight prices of different cities by specific days. Very cool.

It even tells you how to book the flight through a certain website or the airline itself.

Search for specific destinations – if you know where you are going you can enter destination instead of using the map.

You can customize searches by your own criteria. ie. stops, price, airline, etc.

There is a lowest fare calendar and graph.

 

Some drawbacks include the fact you can’t search Southwest Airlines, and only certain countries (US and Canada few others) are included in this. You also can’t book on Google itself.

So, for our purposes it is good but we find many good fares on Southwest and…it doesn’t include prices reduced on Spirit if you are in the $9 fare club.

So, if you find Spirit is the best price go to their website and see if you can get that flight for a lower price by signing up for the $9 club!

 

 

 

 

 

Detroit to Myrtle Beach – SPIRIT AIR – $114!!!

To continue our series on summer flights out of Detroit, today we are going with Myrtle Beach.

As stated previously, I believe you should be flying free by now, but here are some deals if your not.

Spirit Air – again I will post 9$ fare prices – probably worth it if you are paying for more than 1 person.

Detroit – Myrtle Beach

Tues/Wed in July/August – most departs are $57 – couple are more, but mostly $57

If you depart any other days, it can be $10-$40 more except for some weekends.

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Return

Depending on what day you come back, your return flight can also be as cheap as $57, with many flights at $67 and $97!

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Again as stated previously, checked bags will cost you if you need to check a bag, but another great location to fly to from Detroit that is on the beach and at a very affordable price.

If you know of a deal for summer travel out of Detroit or Toronto, post it please!

Get that Amex below and get a $250 travel credit – that’s 2 of those flights for free!!! No fee first year!

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Detroit Summer Flights – Atlantic City – SPIRIT AIR

Alright, this will kickoff a series on flights out of Detroit this summer to different destinations.

We are in the Detroit area, but if our Toronto area readers want to chip in any deals out of there, please feel free.

Again, I have gone through how you get free flights – see our Avios, Aeroplan and Amex pages on that – and yes you can fly free here in Canada – you just need to do a little research and pick up a new card here and there – but Superstore is giving away $20 in groceries so that’s tempting too. Just kidding, it’s a horrible sign up bonus.

So anyway, back to flight DEALS.

SPIRIT AIRLINES (for these I will put membership in $9 fare club prices – worth it if you are paying for more than 1 person, cost is $60 for a year)

Detroit – Atlantic City

Depart

July 1, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30, all Tues/ Wed in August  – $51

If you depart on any other days it can be $10 – $40 more, but that’s a very good price still.

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We took this flight a couple of summers ago, and it was a nice, quick flight and we got to our hotel by 10:30 am.

 

Return

July 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30, all Tues/Wed in August – $51

Same as above, if you return other days it can be $10-$40 more, except Sunday which are more expensive.

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So, even if you don’t want in the $9 club, the flights are $71 each which is $40 more round trip – so you might as well bite the bullet and get that membership for $60 – if you are paying for a few flights you will save more money. If you are going with friends you can split that $60 charge amongst you as well.

Atlantic City can be called a “mini Vegas”, but it has it’s own appeal as well. It has a beautiful boardwalk you can check out and it is right on the beach. There are plenty of sites out there you can check out for things to do in AC.

For us, getting a round trip flight to a cool city on the beach for around $100 seems like a pretty great deal – especially in the summer!

They do charge for checked bags, but if you are only going for a couple days, maybe you might not need a full suitcase?

Of course, these prices change all the time, but we have found Spirit prices to be fairly consistent on these flights.

Also, the airport is about a 20 minute drive to the main hotels on the boardwalk – we split a cab ride for $30 two years ago to get there.

Please feel free to add any info you find!

 

 

 

 

 

Shop.ca bonus extended till May 31! 15x Aeroplan!!!

That title says it all. I mean, really, do a little online shopping and get a free flight?

I am really starting to love collecting these Aeroplan points.

See our previous post on this.

We have also done a post on why you don’t need 25,000 Aeroplan to get a free flight. In fact, my Aeroplan to Avios bonus via Esso Extra and RBC Rewards has gone through at about 1 Aeroplan to 1 Avios!

Coupled with the fact that US Air is part of OneWorld now, you may want to consider this avenue – if Canadian-  Avios points became more valuable to us to use with AA or US Air.

 

 

 

 

 

Get Some Aeroplan points!!!

With many people going out of town next weekend for the Canadian long weekend, I thought I would put out a reminder that if you are booking hotels, renting cars, test driving Volvo’s ;-), buying something at the UPS store (750 to sign up and buy something), shopping at shop.ca, etc…there are points out there to get you free stuff!!!

See our previous post on this.

A normal long weekend for you out of town, could generate enough Aeroplan points for a free flight!

Check out the post, chances are you may be doing some of that stuff, so you might as well get some Aeroplan when travelling, or shopping.

Remember, Aeroplan is Canadian and is one of our best ways to collect “travel points” here.