Are you getting married soon? Here’s why you should consider getting a rewards credit card to pay for some of those expenses. As I mentioned in my initial post, I would spend a post talking about my experience applying for my first credit card with a substantial bonus.
I was planning a honeymoon and knew that we needed flights from SEA to NYC. I started to research credit cards that would give me airline miles and eventually settled for the Chase British Airways Visa card. It offered 50,000 Avios miles for $2,000 of spending within the first three months. I didn’t really know how many points I would need for our honeymoon flight, but I figured 50,000 Avios couldn’t hurt. So I applied and got approved right away. It might be worth noting that I already banked with Chase and the Freedom card at this point. As soon as I got the card, I put a little bit of normal spending on it to make sure the card worked. Shortly after that, I paid for the remainder of our honeymoon cruise (roughly $1,800). That put me within $150 of the minimum spending. I completed this by using this card for groceries and other everyday expenses. As I waited for the bonus Avios to post, I decided to start searching for flights.
Searching for Reward Flights
To search for domestic award flights on British Airways (BA) it is easiest to search on American Airlines (AA) website. I searched and searched for award flights from SEA to any of the NY area airports. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any direct flights to NY. I did however find an American Airlines flight from JFK to SEA for the day after our cruise got back into port. I made note of the flight number to book later. As the month progressed, there were still no direct award flights to NY so I figured it was time for Plan B.
I decided it would be worth it to fly to Washington D.C. and then either take the train or bus to NYC. Using the AA website, I found an Alaska Airlines (AS) flight from SEA to DCA that arrived a few days before our cruise. I figured we could spend a night in D.C. before heading to NYC. I then searched for flights from DCA to NYC for the following day. Sure enough. There were tons of flights, which now that I look back on it makes sense since this is a common business route. The main trick I learned is that you have to look for Economy MilesAAver flights and when booking with avios you want them to be direct flights.
Booking the Flights
As soon as the Avios posted to my account, I got on BA’s website and was able to book the American Airlines flight that I had previously found from JFK to SEA as well as the US Airways flight from DCA to LGA. US Airways and American Airlines flights are bookable via BA’s Website. However, Alaska flights are not bookable through the website. Kind of annoying. For this flight, you have to call BA. The BA hold times tend to be 20-30 minutes, but there are tricks to getting around these wait times (such as calling a different country’s customer center). I called and spoke with the customer representative (CR) and she was able to find the Alaska flight. She booked the tickets for me and asked if I tried booking it online. I told her that I tried and she waived the $25 fee for phone bookings, which was nice.
So what did it cost…
SEA to DCA = 12.5k Avios per person x 2 people = 25k Avios
DCA to LGA = 4.5k Avios per person x 2 people = 9k Avios
JFK to SEA = 12.5k Avios per person x 2 people = 25k Avios
For a total of 59,000 Avios plus taxes and fees, which I can’t remember right now how much they were, but I want to say it was around $33 total ($11/flight). In order to get to 59,000 Avios, I put some additional wedding venue expenses (~$3.5k) on the card.
Our honeymoon is about a month away. I can’t wait and I can sleep better knowing that I paid near to nothing on our airfare to/from NYC. I was able to do all of this before I even knew about Manufactured Spending (MS) or other methods of earning points. In future blog posts, I will highlight my introduction into MSing.