One of the biggest obstacles to traveling as a family is cost of airfare. When you go from 2 roundtrip tickets as a couple (or even 1 as a solo traveler) to 4, I don’t have to tell you that your transit costs just doubled!
Well, in early 2015 we knew we had a handful of trips we wanted to take as a family and were concerned about the financial impact to our #FIRE plans. This is really when we started learning more about Travel Hacking (read “A Better Way to Think About Traveling for Nearly Free”).
One way to make your money work for you is by taking advantage of the best credit card deals available. If you have great credit and pay off your credit card bills monthly like many of us seeking an early retirement, these great deals for free airfare and hotel stays start popping up everywhere!
Last year Mrs. HackNow and I both signed up for the 50,000 point bonus offer from the Southwest Chase Visa Premier card. This is significant because this is DOUBLE the typical offer and was only available for a limited time. For the reward you get, this is the best credit card deal out there. Well, guess what? It’s back!
With each of us earning 2 bonus offers on the Premier card, that was enough for 2 round trip tickets and we were thrilled with that. We then learned that if we also signed up for the Plus card offer, that would give us another 50,000 points each and get us that much closer to earning Southwest Companion passes.
By applying for both cards and earning both bonuses (earned after spending $2,000 in your first 3 months for each card) you earn 104,000 points! Yes, you get credit for your $2000 in spend on each card.
Not only can 104,000 points buy you at least 4 round-trip tickets but it puts you a mere 6,000 points away from earning a FREE Companion Pass from Southwest and this is really the ultimate goal. We achieved this milestone mid last year and have been flying our kids for free ever since! The Companion Pass is good for the remainder of the year you earn it and the following year, so we’re still good through the end of this year.
Whether you are only comfortable getting one card and earning the 50,000 points, or you want to try for a free companion pass by signing up for two cards, this is a bonus deal you won’t want to miss out on.
Since earning these bonus points and companion passes, we have gone to San Diego, Orlando, New York, Colorado Springs, South Beach, and soon back to New York and Cancun! Where do you want to go?
Take 5 minutes to apply for each card here: