Flying isn’t cheap. Furthermore, if you’re taking a considerably long trip and want the luxury and comfort of flying first class, you can expect to pay even more. In fact, a first-class ticket can quickly become one of the biggest chunks of your overall travel budget. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are some easy ways to reduce the cost of a first-class ticket considerably. All it takes is a little planning and using a credit card to make some wise purchases.
The key lies in the mileage points you can earn with your particular credit card. If done right, you’ll know how many points you need to have in order to meet your travel goals. Then it’s a matter of making purchases with your card to meet those goals. If you have a regular set of expenses, it’s even easier. Here are some ways you can make it happen.
First off, if you’re going to get a credit card with the intention of using for travel rewards, make sure you select one that offers mileage points as opposed to cash rewards. When it comes to travel-related purchases, you can get a lot more “bang for your buck” using frequent flier points or miles than you can by using cash. Here’s an example. Say a coach ticket to London costs $700. The same flight in first-class costs $2,400. If you use mileage points to upgrade to first class you can double the value as opposed to using them to buy a coach ticket. Cash doesn’t have that option.
Second, use rewards cash on your credit cards to buy plane tickets and you can also rack up some additional mileage. Using your statement rewards to book a ticket is virtually the same as using cash, but you can easily earn an additional 5,000 miles on a cross-country flight. Two or three of those flights will get you enough miles that you can easily upgrade to first-class on a third or fourth flight.
Finally, if you get rewards coupons for being an elite member of an airline, join! Those coupons can add up quickly if you’re a frequent flier, and many times those coupons can be used for first-class upgrades. They can quickly knock the price down.