Using Airmiles for the honeymoon?

posted 3 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
1397 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I am planning on doing this.  We want to head over to Europe so I have been using a credit card that gets me miles.  So far we have about 1 ticket saved up.  

Post # 4
Member
1441 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I am doing this also. For how many miles, it depends on destination, timing (peak or non peak), and class of service (coach, business, first). For domestic mileage tickets start at 25,000 miles each round trip. For international, depending on destination, it goes up to way more 🙂 I’ve been hoarding miles for years and am planning on using 200k miles for our tickets. You can book award tickets starting at about 11 months before your travel dates, dep on airline (some allow earlier booking).

Post # 5
Member
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

We did! We do airline travel hacking, so this may be more miles than you have. We used miles to go to China and back from New Zealand. We flew business class, so I think it was 55,000 each for that leg (and $5 in taxes each, so $10). I think it was around that much for the New Zealand return tickets (also business class). Taxes were more there, since we were returning to the US. I think it was like $45 a ticket in taxes? There are a lot of great travel hacking websites out there, but this is a great one: http://travelhacking.org/

We love the American program – we’ve never had an issue getting seats if we book ahead, and between credit card bonuses and the aadvantage eshopping mall, it’s suuuuper easy to get 150,000++ miles a year without ever flying them.

I know in Canada you guys have your air mile bonuses linked to your grocery shopping, LCBO, etc, so it may be a little different in that specific program (we don’t have that in the US).

Post # 7
Member
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

@MsGinkgo:  I just realized that website now charges. Don’t pay – there’s so much info out there for free!

I’m not sure how much of this applies in Canada, since i’m in the US and credit cards might be different, but American Airlines (and a lot of other airlines) give bonuses out for opening a new card with them, usually 30,000-50,000 miles. You can have more than one at a time, and you can reapply every 18 months. So, my husband and I typically have a visa gold, mastercard platinum, and business cards at any given time. We spend the minimum requirement to get the bonus (put groceries, transit passes, all shopping, and money transfers from amazon payments on them monthly) and then cancel after the bonus posts. Usually they try to keep you and will give another 5000 mile bonus if you keep the card for 3 more months. So, we each rack up about 150,000 bonus miles each year, plus the miles from the dollars spent, plus bonus miles for doing our online shopping through the aadvantage eshopping mall (same prices/retailers, but you get the bonus for linking to them through the aadvantage site).

We have not seen a hit to our credit for doing this – we bought a home last november and had credit scores over 800. We pay our balances in full each month and do not have any credit card debt.

The hacking sites go even further into the hacking game – it’s like couponing for travel! We only do one of the easier/more basic styles of travel hacking. The more advanced kinds are so complicated! And there’s only so much vacation time to use our miles each year, anyway!

Post # 9
Member
10748 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I booked our Hawaii flights using Aeroplan miles. It was 160,000 miles total for business class. I book quite a few Aeroplan flights because I rack up those miles so easily. Air miles on the other hand… I still don’t think I have enough for a domestic. 

Post # 10
Member
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

We will be booking first class tickets to Paris from Dallas on AA miles for our honeymoon. My fiance travels a lot for work so he has tons of miles and is Executive Platinum status. 

Post # 11
Member
357 posts
Helper bee

We use airline miles all the time! (One of the perks of having a partner who travels for work ALL THE TIME!)  The amount of miles you will need depends on high/low season, class of travel, peak times, ect.  Flight occupany can also have an impact on the amount of miles, so keep checking the routes and see if you notice any changes in the amount of miles required.

 

Also be sure to check if you have any system upgrades as part of your awards program.  (We get these with American all the time.)  Often times we are able to book cheap coach tickets and automatically be upgraded to Business/First as part of the system upgrades in the awards program.

Post # 12
Member
1178 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MsGinkgo:  We did! We have the capital one venture card, it gives you 2 miles for every dollar you spend.

Miles work like so: 10,000 miles = $100

We used 40,000 miles to book our sandal’s honeymoon. We used the “travel purchase eraser” to book it.

We are also using our miles to purchase our flights there.

Post # 13
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi @MsGinkgo:  I see you are Canadian.  Sounds to me from your description that you are a Member of the AirMiles Reward Miles Program (Blue Card = http://www.airmiles.ca ), as I too have the same kind of MC.

This program is only a Canadian thing… and not at all like what others in North America (or worldwide for that matter) refer as an Air Miles (two words) Travel Program.

AirMiles is a shopping loyalty program… that gives rewards back to their loyal members in the form of Cash Off (at a limited number of suppliers) – Gift Rewards – or Travel Rewards

Whereas, Air Miles elsewhere are run by the various Airlines, and are their own personal Loyalty Programs (ie Air Canada Aeroplan – WestJet Rewards – American Airlines AAdvantage etc).  Those are a whole different ball of wax, and often times not transferable to other Airlines, and only redeemable under strict conditions and not others (or what the industry refers to as “blackout” dates)

AirMiles doesn’t have those restrictions.  You can book a flight anytime, on a ton of airlines thru their Travel Booking Website (a tab on http://www.airmiles.ca ), as long as the flight(s) originates or ends in Canada.  OR you can use your points to for other Vacation Products like:

1- Package Vacations (Air Canada Vacations – WestJet Vacations – Sunquest – Transat – Walt Disney World – Trafalgar Tours etc)

2- All Inclusives (Sandals – Beaches – Couples – Club Med etc)

3- Cruises (Carnaval – Celebrity – Holland American – Norwegian – Princess – Royal Caribbean etc)

4- As well as Hotels, and Car Rentals (again a long list for each)

You can use the AirMile Calculator on their Website to see how many AirMiles you need to fly anywhere in the world = https://www.airmiles.ca/arrow/TravelAssistanceHome?selectedCategoryId=cat670036

There will be 2 amounts for each location… one for HIGH Season and one for LOW

You can book direct flights on the Website, for connecting flights, or more complicated travel arrangements (such as 1 to 4 above) you have to call their Travel Agency Desk… and work with an Agent

An Agent will be able to tell you what your AirMiles can do for you.

My Best Recommendations are:

1- Use your points for Airfare first, as that is where you’ll get the best value for your accumulated AirMiles.

2- Be sure and buy BOTH Travel Insurance and Travel Health Insurance for your Trip.

For Travel Insurance you’ll want to buy thru AirMiles so that you insure both your Trip, and those AirMiles you’ve invested, in this way if you have to cancel, you’ll not only get money back, but you’ll also get back the AirMiles that you cashed in for your Holiday.  Don’t buy Travel Insurance to guarantee your Cashed in AirMiles and you will forfeit them.  Ouch !!

Mr TTR & I buy our Travel Health Insurance independently, only because we get a better rate elsewhere.  We have an annual plan from CAA.

— — —

Mr TTR and I put our whole lives now on our Credit Cards (easy for us, as we are older… and so we don’t have a lot of bills anymore… no kids, and no mortgage).  As we do that and FAITHFULLY pay off our CCs each month, we earn a lot of AirMiles annually… miles we see as getting “for FREE”.  A nice perk.

Consequently we are able to cash in our AirMiles pretty regularly.  We earn enough to take at least one “flying” vacation a year.

Two years ago we had a ton of AirMiles (not having cashed them for a few years) so we turned them into a MAJOR HOLIDAY for us… our Winter Getaway !!

They paid for both our Airfares to Florida (we just had to pay the Taxes as per Cdn Law) and we also paid for half of our Caribbean Cruise.

So total value about $ 2500

Since then, we are very conscious about using our AirMiles Program to the best advantage… (this is when we moved to using our CC more extensively for day-to-day purchases)… and of course we make sure to keep track of how many Merchants we visit annually… so we can keep on track for GOLD Perks… which means you get better Travel Offers.  And we also take advantage of all the various times / merchants we can “double-dip” at as well.

Overall we find AirMiles an excellent Loyalty Rewards Program… and an easy way to earn Vacation Rewards… waaaay more so than the standard Air Miles Programs that many of the various Airlines offer.

Hope this helps,

 

Post # 14
Member
518 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@crayfish:  I’m a travel hacker too!!  Awesome stuff.  Currently knee deep in researching what the best business class option to Thailand will be for our honeymoon 🙂  Ahhhh the joys of traveling for ‘free’!!!

Post # 15
Member
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@crayfish:  What an incredibly smart idea. I have never heard of this concept before but it makes a lot of sense. I would be afraid about the hit to my credit score, but it doesn’t sound like that has impacted you at all. I am definitely looking into this.

Post # 16
Member
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@kmb727:  I think it may be different in Canada 🙁

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