Nothing bugs me more than trying to use my miles for a free flight and finding no award availability. I’ve helped solve the problem by giving myself more options when I need a ticket or two.
Frequent flyer miles are readily available in numerous programs at terrific discounts to their value. Right now, you can garner enough miles for a free ticket on Continental Airlines by opening a new checking account with Chase Bank for an out of pocket cost of $25. Deposit $125 in a new account using a coupon available online. The bank will keep $25 for the debit card and the remaining $100 is yours to spend as you wish. They require 5 debit card transactions per month to avoid fees. I buy my daily paper with my Chase debit card.
Delta Airlines is offering 15,000 miles for a new personal checking account at Suntrust Bank with a $55 debit card, or 25,000 miles for a new business account. The minimum deposit is $155 for the personal account and a larger $1055 for the business account.
I value most frequent flyer miles at around 1 cent each, so these two offers make the grade easily.
When it is time to find an award ticket, the more airline options I have the easier it is to find the seat I need. United Airlines and American make it even easier now by offering one way awards at half the miles of a round trip. So I can fly out on one airline and back on the other, if that is where the availability is.
I try to acquire miles at less than one cent each and redeem them when the value is more than two cents per mile. A domestic round trip award is typically 25,000 miles and it is very common for tickets to cost over $500 for domestic routes.
Rick is an expert on flying free, having been on two “Around the World” itineraries using miles points or vouchers, as well as numerous other trips, always flying upfront for the comfort and convenience. He discusses travel tips like the above mentioned offers on his blog Frugaltravelguy.com.
Chase offer appears to expire 9/30/2010.