Category Archives: Airline Miles Tips

Tips to Get Bumped Off Your Flight to Receive Airline Vouchers

Getting bumped on an airline isn’t always a bad thing – even though most people don’t look forward to it. However, for people who aren’t in that much of a hurry, it can be a great way to earn some airline vouchers. If you travel on peak travel days (Monday, Friday, Sunday, and holidays), you have more of a chance of getting cut. Some people strategically book those day so they they have a better chance of getting bumped and thus earning those elusive vouchers. What are some other ways to do so?

Check Flight Loads

Flights with solid booking without gaps are much more likely to bump you than those that have open spaces. If you can’t pick your seats, just check to see if you can get a seat through the airline. Sometimes they will tell you whether or not a flight a has been oversold. Even if you can’t get on the flight, this will give you some insight into whether or not it happens.

Arrive Early

On particularly heavy travel days, checking in early may present you with the opportunity to bump. Some airlines will just ask you if you want to be bumped so that they don’t have to scrounge up seats at the last minute.


It may seem simple, but you can volunteer to be bumped. If you notice a gate agent that isn’t busy, simply ask him or her whether the flight is oversold and needs volunteers. Ideally, that person will say yes and you can move to the next step in the process. This doesn’t always work, but it can be a relief for both you and the gate agents.

Get a Cash Voucher

The most important tip is to ensure that you get a cash voucher, not a flight voucher. Flight vouchers are typically very difficult to redeem with any semblance of sanity because of restrictions and blackout dates.

Have an Alternative At the Ready

Other flights are probably oversold if yours is as well. Since gate agents are busy, they probably won’t have time to tell you whether you can get onto another flight. Do your own research to determine whether you can still get to your destination in time.

While these tips won’t work every time, they are pretty great options to really have a chance at getting bumped for another flight.

How to save money on last minute flights

If you are looking to take a flight that is coming up quickly, there are plenty of ways that you can save money and stay within your budget. Here are just a few:

Be careful of fees

Fees can add a significant amount of money onto your ticket price. Sometimes cheap flights are made not so cheap based on the fees that come along with the flights. Always read the fine print and look at the total balance before you hit “accept” for the ticket. Also consider baggage fees if that doesn’t come along with your ticket.

Call the airline

If you are really running last minute because of a death or another serious problem, some airlines will offer bereavement fares. You have to call on the phone to the airline and you need to travel within the next two weeks. Sometimes you will need to provide the name of a relative and the name/phone number of the relative’s doctor and/or funeral home.

Sometimes you’ll get a special rate and sometimes you will just get a discounted coupon code. Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, Alaska Air Group, and Delta Air Lines offer special rates as well.

Use Your Rewards

Rewards, either from the airlines themselves to rewards credit cards, can be used to help make your last minute flight that much cheaper. Make sure to calculate the amount that you would spend in cash and the equal value in points to see if you are really getting a good deal.

Stay flexible

Everybody knows that when trying to find a flight at the last minute, you need to be extremely flexible about what you want. When it comes to choosing those last minute flights, you are likely to be choosing from seats that no one wants. It also means that you might have to choose a different airport than what you are used to. If getting there quickly is of the essence, sometimes renting a car when you get there could save you some precious time.

Book as early as you can

As soon as you know that you need a flight – book. Otherwise, you will start to pay fees and premiums that you probably wouldn’t have had to pay in other positions.

Most importantly, make sure that you are getting to where you need to go on time, spending a little extra money or spending more points could be more important.

Tips for Scoring Holiday Flights with Airline Miles

Redeeming airline miles for holiday flights can sometimes be one of the worst things that you will ever do. Depending on when and how you do it, you will probably end up paying more than you need to, end up compromising on your flight, or just not have a good time. It will almost seem like using your miles is not worth it at all. But do not go home in a bad mood! There are many ways you can make your search for holiday flights easier:

Check Out Partner Airlines

Air travel points can be redeemed on one airline or a few airlines, depending on partners. And w with some airlines, your miles will go a lot further. Make sure to check if you can link up with other airlines to get better seats or better deals. There are plenty of options out there, you just have to see which one works best for you.

Call An Agent

Calling an agent to book your tickets can be the best decision you make during a busy travel season. It will help you to get through the system much more quickly and easily than doing it yourself. However some airlines have phone reservation fees, so be careful of those additional fees. But it can sometimes be worth it, as an agent has more information than you do and can see available sets in real time — sometimes it takes a few minutes for the system consumers use to update. They will also be able to help you with booking on partner airlines.

Pick the Best Seat

A little known fact is that business class seats are better for holiday travel than coach seats because fewer “business” people are traveling. They may cost a bit more, but if you are using your airline miles, it could be a good trade off. It will certainly put you in a better mood when you arrive.

Do Your Research

The most important tip for scoring holiday flights with your airline miles is to do your research. Not all cards will allow you to use your miles on holiday travel, but if you have some flexibility in your schedule, you can work around blackout dates. Some airlines will allow certain tiered reward members to fly, so keep that in mind as well. If you can move up a tier within a few weeks, it might be best putting off your search.

Booking flights for the holiday season does not have to be tough as long as you know what to do!

How to Use Miles to Upgrade Your Seat – And Is It Worth It?

We all dream about traveling in luxury, but we have to ask ourselves if it is worth spending the extra money. Many of us do not think of our frequent flyer miles or reward miles as money, but it is something that we must also consider.

Before paying upfront, find out if you can upgrade your seat using miles. Not all airlines allow you to do this, and sometimes it will depend on how you gained your miles in the first place. Many times, upgrades may only be allowed at the last minute unless you are a VIP.

But remember that upgrading is expensive and can cost you. Throughout the entire process, you also have to remember to be flexible. Sometimes you will be able to upgrade and sometimes you will not. It really just depends on how many people want to go where you are going when you are going, and whether or not they are willing to pay for the upgraded seats.

To upgrade using your miles, you can either go through the online portal or you can talk to a ticketing agent via phone or at the airport.

Is it Worth It?

Determining whether upgrading your seat is worth it will vary by airline. If you have crossed the country multiple times and have so many rewards points that you do not know what to do with them, upgrading might be worth it. For others, who may not be able to afford another ticket, it may not be worth spending miles on an upgrade when you could possibly get another trip out of those miles.

But for longer trips, the added luxury and additional leg and elbow room might be worth it. It could also be worth it if this is a trip you have been planning for a long time. You will also want to consider how you are paying for your ticket — are you using money to purchase it and just upgrading with miles or have you purchased the entire ticket with miles. This will help change the amount of rewards points you spend.

One thing is easy to determine: everyone wants to travel in comfort. But the question becomes then: would you rather have quality or quantity? The answer depends on each person.

Is There a Difference Between Business and First Class?

When traveling, many people think there are only two classes: economy and first class, however this is not  the case. In fact, there is a middle class — business class. These are the seats that are not quite first class but are not nearly as bad and uncomfortable as economy.

Here is how you can break the differences down even more:

Waiting Game

At many airports, first class gets a separate space to wait. This means that they get some perks that most people do not — privacy, quiet, and even a few snacks. Sometimes business class gets included but more often than not, they are left outside with the regular people.

Personal Space

You get more room in both business and first class than you would in economy, but you will certainly get more personal space in first class. On some airlines, you will get a pod like room where you can move around in first class, whereas business might only offer you some extra leg or elbow room. But mostly, people seem to appreciate the privacy one gets with first class: partitions, walls, and even private bathrooms.

Food and Drinks

You will get better quality food in both business and first class than you might in economy (think things that are actually heated), but dining in first class is exactly as you would expect it to be. You get better tasting, better prepared food. Your cocktails and drinks will also taste quite a bit better. Sometimes you will also get more snacks and the staff on board are more likely to hurry your orders than they would for someone in business or economy.


Even more, some people in first class get welcome packs that business class does not. From pajamas to sleeping masks to hand cream, first class can be like going to a hotel, especially on international airlines. What you get is of higher quality than anything else too. Your bedding will not be itchy nor the slippers thin.


Maybe most importantly for some people, the care and consideration you get from the airlines and airport employees will multiply if you have first class seats. You will be amazed at how well you get treated, even if you are only there because of a deal or because you used your airline miles. They have no idea who you are, so they will treat you as well as any other first class passenger just in case you are someone special.

Simple Ways to Avoid Airline Baggage Fees

Airline baggage fees are getting outrageous. So much so that you have to figure them into your budget when you plan a trip. For many of us, we just suck it up and pay the bill. However, it does not have to be that way. There are quite a few different approaches you can take so that you do not have to pay for those airline baggage fees. Here are a few options:

Use a Carry-On

Currently, the most obvious way to avoid baggage fees is to eliminate the need to check your bags at all. If you are only going on a trip for a few days, you can pack everything you will need in your carry-on bag. This will ensure that you have everything with you, your baggage will not be misplaced, and you will never want for anything on the plane ride.  (However, check before you travel as some airlines are starting to charge for carry-on fees. If your airlines is one of them, weigh the pros and cons between checked and carry-on.)

Pack Light

Even if you do have to check your bags, consider going lighter. If your bags are over a certain weight or size, you can expect to pay even more. Sometimes, it might even be smarter to use two bags over one that is severely oversized. Make sure to read up on the rates to determine what is best.

Book First or Business Class

By booking in either first class or business class, you can skip the need to check your baggage. You will be able to use a bigger bag in some cases, and in others you get more freedom with checking your baggage. Sometimes you will get a free bag or specialty boarding so that you can ensure your bags come to you first.

Loyalty Programs

Whether you go through a credit card or other means, many loyalty programs have a perk where you do not have to pay for your checked bag. This is a simple way to save yourself some money. In order to get into the program, you can either sign up for a specific program through the airline, or even better, sign up for a loyalty credit card. This will enable you to earn miles using your card as well as save some time and money with their perks. You can upgrade your seats so that you can get some of the other perks as well.

There are a few different ways to game the system, but you have to be creative. No matter what you choose, it’s a win-win situation. What are some of your favorite tips to avoid airline baggage fees?

Ways to Fly Business Class for Less

Do you hate flying in coach? Want to experience a restful, non-stressful flight wherever you go? Business class is often considered the best way for many people to travel, though it still remains outside of our price ranges. Still, it is something that many people save and nickle-and-dime to do for special trips or even just for those somewhat stressful, harrowing journeys.

If you do not have the budget to fly business class, there are a few things that you can do to get there:

Search Online

There are special websites that will help you to find deals on business class flights. Go to any of your preferred budget websites and you will see that airlines duke it out for the lowest prices, which almost always will work in your favor. Keep an eye on prices, as they jump around a bit. But if you are vigilant, you might be able to find prices on business class flights that are lower than economy. There are many websites out there that can help you, so make sure to keep tabs on a few of them. Some have great deals only to certain locations whereas others are good for any trip.

Mass Shop

When you see a particularly good sale on airline tickets, try to think about what you need and when you need to fly. If you have the means, buying a few tickets off of a great sale can help you to save money — whether you need to fly somewhere a few times a month or you just go somewhere for the big holidays.

Airlines Miles 

Probably the simplest and easiest way to save money on flights is to collect airline miles through programs. Most popular are the credit cards where you can get airline miles for every dollar you spend. There are plenty of programs out there, so you should choose the one that meets your needs the best. Make sure to check out the transferrable point systems as well, because you can find some great value there. Some cards have special sales as well, where you can double up on the rewards that you get.

Find Upgradable Flights

No matter how you get your tickets, make sure that you can upgrade them. Start with economy so that you know you can at least get onto the flight, and then see about upgrading when you are able to scratch together some more money. Even if you book your tickets using airline miles, you should be able to then upgrade your seats to a better one.

No matter what you do, never settle for less when it comes to flying — except when it comes to paying less!

When is a Rewards Credit Card Really Worth It?

A lot of people like credit cards because they get freebies, they can build their credit, and they are promised everything under the sun. You can get free flights, free hotel stays, and discounts at your favorite stores. However, sometimes you have to spend a lot of money just to get these perks. With most credit cards, you have to spend more than just a few dollars to get the rewards or they are meaningless.

When you should sign up for a credit card:

1. When you get a discount on purchases because of cash back.

If you do not want the flights or the hotels, you can still get a lot of value from credit card rewards. Some cards will offer you as much as 2% cash back. Depending on the card, sometimes you can get 5% cash back on a variety of purchases. If these higher cash back amounts are on something that you like to purchase or need to purchase anyway, it is well worth it to get that credit card.

2. When you need airline miles

If you fly often or want to take a specific trip, you should look into the dollar to mile exchange rate. Look for cards that offer one mile for each dollar spent, or credit cards that offer you a huge sign-up bonus that you know you qualify for and  can meet the spending minimum. Note that this only works for a credit card you intend to use and pay off frequently; otherwise you will be spending thousands of dollars on a plane ticket that could have only cost you hundreds. Another great thing about earning miles is that if you don’t get to travel, you can sell your miles for cash or redeem them for other rewards.

3. When You are Smart About Redeeming Rewards

Many people just try to gain rewards as quickly as they can, but that is not always the best approach. The secret is to find the best way to redeem them. Sometimes companies will allow participants to redeem them for a penny or less toward gift certificates or other merchandise. But if you are really looking for deals, sometimes you can find them on last minute travel deals.

4. When You Treat Credit Cards Like Cash

Many people do not really think about their credit card being like cash, but it really is. You should never use a credit card in place of cash, but simply use it because it is convenient. Think about your purchases before you make them, or you could be in for a world of trouble. Many people use their credit cards without keeping track and end up spending more than they can afford to pay off.

When it comes to deciding if a rewards credit is right for you, these are just some things to think about. If you decide to get one, make sure you read the fineprint to make sure the one you decide on is the right fit for your needs.

Flying to Hawaii for Free and Why to Consider Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airline MilesHawaii is a dream trip for so many people. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with fantastic beaches, great culture, and quite a bit of history. However, it is an impossible trip for many people who do not have the money saved up to fly there — unless they can fly for free.

The first thing you need to do is find the airline you want to fly. There are many that fly from the continental United States to Hawaii, including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, United, and US Airways. However, if you are going to do Hawaii, the way to get there is Hawaiian Airlines.

Get Free Flights

The first thing you have to do is join American Express’ Membership Rewards, Chase’s Ultimate Rewards, and/or Starwood Preferred Guest. You will get points that you can then transfer directly to Hawaiian Airlines to make your reservation.

You will need about 40,000 miles to get a single round-trip economy ticket from the United States to Hawaii. If you want to go economy, you will have to use 75,000 miles per ticket. Note that there is a small amount of you will have to pay out of pocket, ranging from $2.50 to $85.

Why Hawaiian Airlines Might be the Best Airline for your Flight to Hawaii

On Time: You want to pick an airlines that will be on time. Being booked on a flight that is delayed will put a serious damper on your vacation from the start. Hawaiian Airlines is on time 93.3% of the time — those are some pretty good odds.

Flexibility: If you want, you can just book a one-way ticket so that you can at least lessen the amount of money you spend. You can even break it up so that you can have a bit of a break, taking Hawaiian Airlines from somewhere closer and giving you some rest time. Remember that Hawaii is one of the most popular redemptions, so you should be flexible.

No matter what, your vacation to Hawaii should be one of the greatest things you ever do. You want to go with an airline that will allow you to save some money, but will still allow you to enjoy yourself, ride in comfort, and lengthen your vacation.

If you are looking to use your Hawaiian Miles for your next trip to paradise but don’t have enough for a free flight, we can help. We make the process of buying Hawaiian Miles simple while offering great rates. Learn more about how the process works.

Transferring Points to Airline Miles, Credit Cards You Might Want to Consider

Airline frequent flier programs have their ups and downs, good and bad. Sometimes one offers great prices and then all of a sudden they are awful again. A great thing to do is get a credit card that will allow you to rack up airline miles without committing to a certain airline — that is, until you are ready to go.

Here are the top credit cards you can do this with:

American Express EveryDay Card

If you are looking for a card without a fee, the Amex EveryDay Credit Card is a great option. It still works with 17 different airline partners with most having a 1:1 transfer ratio. You earn one point per dollar spent and double points at US supermarkets. If you make a minimum of 20 purchases in a statement period, you get an extra 20 percent bonus. If you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of signing up, you get a bonus 10,000 points.

Chase Sapphire

The Chase Ultimate Rewards Card works with airline partners that include Southwest, United, Korean Airways, British Airways, Delta, and American Airlines as well as four hotel programs. With this card there is an annual after the first year.

When traveling, you earn 2x the points as well as when you dine at restaurants and you get 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else. Also when you spend $4,000 during the first three months of signing up, you get an extra 50,000 points.

Hilton Honors Card

Another card without an annual fee is the American Express Hilton Honors Card. They too partner with a majority of the major airlines, though the transfer rate is 10:1. For that high of a ratio, however, you earn 7 times the points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels across the globe; 5 times the points at gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets; and 3 times the points for other purchases. Until the end of next month, if you make $2,000 in purchases in the first three months of signing up for this card, you get 80,000 bonus points.

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

With it partnering with a majority of the major airlines with many of them offering a 1:1 conversion, the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card is a favorite amongst travelers. While for the first year you don’t have to pay an annual fee, for the second you will need to begin paying $95 per year. The card earns 2 points per dollar spent at Marriott Rewards hotels and SPG as well as 1 point on eligible purchases for every dollar spent. After you spend 3,000 in the first 3 months of signing up, you get an extra 25,000 points. Points from this card may be redeemed for flights on more than 150 airlines, and transferred to miles for 35 frequent flyer programs at 1:1 for most airlines.