Some of us love to come back to certain special places time and again. In some instances it could be going back to our country of origin to see relatives or relax . One of my friends makes a yearly holiday pilgrimage to Colombia. We were talking about her strategy to get cheap tickets during the holidays, which boiled down to buying the tickets as early as possible. I quickly pointed out that getting tickets for $400 was great, but using points she could do even better i.e. traveling in business class after spending on things she would have spent money on anyway.

Let’s start with the points needed to travel to heavenly Cali, Colombia.

For some reason Awardhacker’s information is incomplete when it comes to which transferable points we can use, however the points needed is accurate and thus a great starting point.

If today my friend were to get the Barclaycard Aviator Red Credit Card and its 60,000 bonus AA miles after one purchase she would be able to book her business class to Cali for nearly free since the $95 annual fee is waved during the first year.

Next year, my friend could get the Citi AA card with a 60,000 miles bonus after she spent $3,000. With both cards she can also take advantage of the AA shopping portal and/or the dining program to get even more miles.

Points and miles enthusiasts, might point out that my friend should start with either United or British Airways credit cards due to Chase’s infamous 5/24 Rule, however since I’m thinking about my friend and people who are not interested in collecting dozens of cards, I have prioritized the number of miles needed.

Award availability and airline preference are also very important factors which I’m also downplaying.

The Chase-United Route

My friend’s option for another year after taking advantage of the 2 AA 60K cards would be Getting the United card when it offers 60,000 miles. With a bit of luck my friend could find a saver business award like the one below.

Things to keep in mind

Traveling using points and miles can be as easy as I described it above, but like everything is life, things can and do change. There might be ample award availability today and nothing tomorrow. The miles needed might change when we least expect or the credit card bonus might be lowered to 50,000 miles or less. As you already realized, this approach can be used for any destination.

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