Many frequent flyers their airline miles for dream trips. Do you want to visit The pyramids of Egypt? Maybe you want to just chill on the beaches of Hawaii or Tahiti. If so, you’ll need to plan on how to most effectively use your flyer points. Here are a few of the most popular dream vacation locations and some thoughts on how to get there.
Every major airline partnership will get you to Egypt for 40,000 miles. Still, once you get there you can score some great bargains if you choose the right hotels. Located next to the famous pyramids, Starwood’s Le Meridien, will provide you a room for only 3,000 points each night.
Hilton’s Golf Resort also offers a deal for as low as 10,000 points nightly. You can even earn 3,000 Starwood points by spending $1,500 at one of their hotels. If you use your Starwood American Express you only have to spend $750.
American Airlines offers noteworthy mileage discounts to Europe if you are willing to fly between the middle of January and the middle of March or from November through the middle of December. An economy class ticket will run you 22,500 miles each direction. The rest of the year it will cost you 30,000.
Air France has a quarterly promotion with FlyingBlue, their miles program. Rates can be as low as 20,000 miles per direction flying either KLM or Air France if you travel between specific pairs of North America-Europe cities. You need to book your award seats as soon as possible. But by the same token, don’t forget that airlines could release seats the closer the date gets if your flight is not yet full.
Plan to book award seats as early as possible, but just remember that airlines might release seats as the date approaches if the flight is not yet full. This especially applies to premium cabins (which will actually cost you more miles per flight.) United and American Airlines will charge you 57,500 miles for business class seats each way. Delta will charge you more.
You will need to be flexible to get free ticket dates to Hawaii. You should start looking 11 months prior to your travels. That is when airlines generally begin taking reservations for flights--award seats included.
Still, if you cannot find what you’re searching for at that time, keep checking. Airlines release seats at various times prior to the flight. While the majority of the major airlines charge 22,500 per direction, American Airlines offers deals to Hawaii between the middle of January and the middle of March as well as between the middle of August and the middle of December for 2,500 miles less each way.f you don’t have elite status, you will have to spend $8,000 to earn enough miles for a round trip with American Airlines. Mind you, with some credit cards you can get enough miles simply by signing up. If you fly out of Los Angeles, California you can get a better deal from American Airlines. Non-stop tickets from L.A. to Hawaii will cost you only 12,500 Avios points each direction.)
A lot of people--even a few airline phone agents--do not know that you can actually redeem Alaska or American Airlines miles using Air Tahiti Nui. Unlike Air France or Delta Airlines which charge 50,000 miles, Air Tahiti Hui will get you to French Polynesia for only 40,000 miles. In order to get this price, you have to call Alaska or American Airlines--whichever one you have the most miles with. Just be aware that Air Tahiti Nui is stingy release award spaces so you will have to start shopping 11 months before your desired date to have the best chance at scoring a seat. As always, in order to ensure that you get the most out of your point and miles, you should always contact one of the airline alliances’ special agents who can do a professional job of organizing your routes and itinerary.