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Last week I talked about all things related to collecting airline miles. With all of those tools, my fiancé and I have managed to collect over 500,000 miles since February of this year. To put that into perspective, these miles are enough to fly business class to Southeast Asia round-trip as well as to send us to Europe round-trip in economy and even for me to book a flight to Nashville for a weekend trip with friends. So 5 flights, including business class for our honeymoon, is what we have earned just through collecting airline miles like I discussed in that article. Now today, I’m going to talk to you about how we collected miles for our flights to Asia, and how we only needed three cards each to get us the right amount of miles needed.
Thanks to my research via milez.biz, a site that compares miles needed for reward tickets, and knowing which airlines that Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to, we picked United as the airline to collect miles with for this trip. It would cost us each 180,000 airline miles to fly business class.
Seems like a lot, right? To put that into perspective, airline miles converted into dollars are about $0.01 per mile. So 180,000 miles is worth about $1,800 for this flight. Now if we actually booked this flight in business class, it would cost between $5,000-8,000 each. So basically, collecting miles is far more worth it than cashback.
Okay, now time for the cards we used.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Now that we knew which airline to collect miles with, we had to decide on the cards. Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of the best reward programs out there and transfers your points to airline miles with several leading airlines. Therefore, we decided that we needed a card that was under Chase Ultimate Rewards. As that includes the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards, we had to choose between the two.
The Reserve is amazing with three miles per dollar spent on dining and travel along with several other benefits, but as we aren’t constantly traveling, we felt the $450 annual fee wasn’t worth it yet. But Chase Sapphire Preferred offers two miles per dollar spent on travel and dining and only had a $95 annual fee. As we were just starting out the travel hacking thing, we decided to go with this one.
Chase Sapphire Preferred offered 50,000 miles if we spent $4,000 in 3 months. So via normal spending, putting our bills and everything on these cards, and using these cards for big purchases we had saved for easily got us to our minimum spend. We also added each other as authorized users for a 5,000-mile boost each.
Thanks to the double miles and this being my favorite card that I use all the time, I’ve earned 20,000 miles just on this since February. I also referred my fiancé, Chris, to the card when we got these and earned another 10,000 miles. This can be transferred between us since Chase lets you transfer to one other household member.
Chase Sapphire Preferred miles earned each: 85,000 miles.
United Mileage Plus Card
So we were collecting our Chase miles to transfer to United anyway, so three months after opening the Chase Sapphire Preferred, we saw an offer for 70,000 miles for this card for spending $3,000 in 3 months. As sign-up bonuses this high come up maybe once or twice a year, we grabbed this card quickly. With normal purchases, and by then some wedding deposits, we easily earned our 70,000 miles, and with the $3,000 spent, that was an extra 3,000 miles.
Next, we linked that to our United Dining and such and have earned at least 5,000 miles.
United Mileage Plus Card miles earned each: 78,000 miles.
Chase Freedom Card
So you may even have this card in your wallet right now and not even know that you could use this as a miles card. While this card alone is only cash back, when combined with a card on the Chase Ultimate Rewards system, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer your points from the Freedom Card to the Preferred for miles!
So this card runs a promotion of $150 bonus if you spend $500 in 3 months and has no annual fee. They offer one mile per dollar spent on everything and five miles on rotating categories each quarter, making it easy to rack up miles quickly. We got this card in October, and as $150 “cash back” can also be transferred to Chase Ultimate Rewards for 15,000 miles, we hit the minimum spend fairly quickly thanks to cake, lighting, and photographer deposits. And by adding each other as authorized users we gained another 2,500 miles! Since this card offers a mile per dollar spent while hitting the minimum spend of $500, we gained 500 miles too!
Chase Freedom Card miles earned each: 18,000 miles.
Just by starting in February, and opening a new card every three months, we have all the miles we need to fly business class! We’ve each gained 180,000 miles and are ready for our flights next year which will only cost $60 each. And the best part is you can too!
How will you be earning your honeymoon miles? Will you fly business class? Let me know in the comments! Be sure to subscribe to my email for more alerts of deals and other fun facts!