How We Earned A Free Plane Ticket

 Straight out of college we took a 6 month backpacking trip from Bolivia to Mexico and I have been bitten by the travel-bug ever since.  So expect plenty of travel stories, How-To's, pictures, & More in the future!

Straight out of college we took a 6 month backpacking trip from Bolivia to Mexico and I have been bitten by the travel-bug ever since.  So expect plenty of travel stories, How-To's, pictures, & More in the future!

It is 100% true!  

Benjamin and I were able to get two tickets to Africa for the price of one, because one of our tickets cost us $0.00! Seriously.   

In order to make it happen, it did take almost a year of preparation but when it paid for a very expensive plane ticket to Africa this year, it was all worth the time and effort (which really, truthfully, wasn't much). 

I had listened to a Creative Live post about this particular credit card that was really great for travelers and I was incredibly intrigued because I knew we had a very expensive trip coming up in another year (Africa) and I was open to trying anything in order to save some money.  BUT I was also a little afraid of credit cards that weren't straight from my usual bank.  I would never be the hardcore type that opens up like 10 different credit cards, but opening just the one card, has been SO beneficial and very easy to manage.  So I started researching a few different card options and I ended up falling onto the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. 

This card is AHHmazing if you love to travel!   

You earn points and not miles necessarily, but when you spend those points they are worth 25% MORE when you use them to book travel services like flights/hotels/etc through the Chase rewards site.  You get 1 point for every normal dollar spent and 2 points for every dollar spent on travel or dining!  So if you travel and eat out, you earn double points.  So if that fits your lifestyle, this card will help you earn cheap or free travel pretty quickly.  You can pretty much guarantee that you will at least earn one free domestic flight every year with your normal spending habits. 

It is very important to note that we (me and my husband) don't let our credit cards act like a loan or credit.  We essentially use our credit cards like our debit cards.  Meaning, when we make a purchase on our credit card - we turn right around and pay it off like it was simply a purchase from our debit.  So all I am doing, is spending money like we would usually and earning free points/miles for it!  

We never actually "charge" anything that we don't already have the money for. 

So I put all of our normal purchases, (bills, groceries, gas, etc.) onto the card for a year and it earned us a free international plane ticket this year.   Woohoo!

This card does come with a HUGE sign up bonus, which did help too.  You have to spend a few thousand dollars in the first few months and you automatically get 50,000 points for hitting that mark.  BUT AGAIN - if you just put all of your normal spending onto the card right after you get it, that isn't too hard to hit.  Because add up all of your bills right now for three months (rent/mortgage, car payment, insurance, utilities, student loans, etc.) .... you must be pretty close to that mark already.... Now add in your groceries, gas, dining out, and any other miscellaneous expenditures. You hit that mark, and now you have 50,000 points towards travel or rewards.  SCORE!    That 50,000 points is worth a free domestic flight.  So BAM, in just a couple months of your normal spending - you just got yourself a free flight.  Remember, that is just the sign up bonus and that won't happen every 3 months. ;) 

Now there are 2 downsides to this particular card, but they aren't deal-breakers for us. However, they could be for you, so I want to share them with you.  There is an annual fee after the first year and it is $95.  Not great, but also not a huge con when you travel as much as we do and flights are the most expensive part of traveling.  SO that $95 is an investment into cheap airfare for us.  The 2nd downside is that when you book your flights through the Chase rewards, it doesn't always offer flights from your immediate airport.  So you may need to travel to a larger airport in order to book your flight through chase.  OR alternatively, you could trade your points in for cash back and purchase your flight through your first choice airport. Just remember that you won't be getting that 25% extra bump in worth when you opt for cash back.   :)  

So when I purchased our plane tickets through the Chase card... we then got double points on that purchase, which then leads to more miles/points being built up!  HA!  It is a pretty cool deal!  Since then, we have also earned enough points again to now pay for several of our hotel stays while we are Africa.  I just can't get over how amazing this "reward" or point system is.   We would be seriously struggling to finance this trip otherwise.  It just took a year of spending and prep to make it happen. But now that I have this system in place this card will help us travel every year. 

Anywho, that is how we got one free ticket to Africa this year!

I know credit cards are not for everybody.  So definitely do some research, but you might just find that this card works really well for you too!  We will definitely be using this card from now on to get our flights for our yearly trips and vacations. 

*** If you would like an invitation to sign up for the card from me so that you can earn the 50,000 point sign up bonus, (I get bonus points if you sign up, btw), shoot me an email and I will have Chase send you an invite via e-mail.