how to apply for a credit card online

Credit cards are very useful as they can be charged for getting access to different types of funds. Short-term loans and bank credit are effective for funding business or personal expenses. Smart entrepreneurs also use credit cards to fund assets through debt restructuring where the outstanding credit can be apportioned to be paid over one or two years. If you’re nervous about the application process, read on. Here’s everything you need to know about how to apply for a credit card online.

 

Many businesses take loans to finance operations. Loans usually cost businesses less than it costs to raise equity. Corporate credit cards are effective for funding temporary projects. They are also easy to apply and receive through online registration.

 

Personal credit cards can also be acquired through an online application process. If you have a good credit rating, you should be able to get one through relative ease. In this blog post, we describe the process of how to apply for a credit card through an online application.

 

Safety for Online Credit Card Application

The first concern for people looking to apply for an online credit card is identity and information safety. There is some risk of identity theft when trying to apply for a card online. Hackers can steal your information and use your personal information to change the mailing address for the card.

 

However, the risk is very small. Most reputable banks are now using online encryption technology for application submission. To ensure the connection is secure, check the bank’s address at the top in the URL bar. If it says “https” instead of “http” then that means the website is secure.

 

Another thing to make sure for online application is that you are the one who initiates the application process. If you get an email offering you a credit card or a pop-up message on a website that offers a credit card, then be very careful about proceeding. Senders of such unsolicited messages asking for personal information like SSN, home address, or date of birth. Do not share any such information with them.

 

Purpose of Credit Card

Once you have the security sorted, the first step is to identify why you are getting the card. Are you looking to get credit to manage your monthly expenses? Or perhaps you want to get a rewards credit card to get the best sales offers? Most people get a credit card to fund their business expenses.

 

Depending on your needs, you will need to select one of three credit card types.

  1. Standard Credit Card
  2. Rewards or Loyalty Points Card
  3. Corporate Credit Card

 

Compare Rates and Fees

Next, you should research the card charges, rates, and benefits offered by different banks, and card providers. There are five important things that you should consider here.

 

  1. Available Limit – This will depend on your income and existing credit score.
  2. Annual Fee– This is the annual fees charged by the card issuing company. It is usually between $20 and $50. However, some cards can be more expensive.
  3. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – This is the fees and interest you would be paying on the outstanding balance. Your APR can be fixed or floating. Fixed APR is charged at the same rate regardless of national interest rates. Floating charge fluctuates with changes in national interest rates.
  4. Grace Period – This is the time period you are allowed to settle the balance from the date of the transaction without incurring any interest on it.
  5. Late Fee – This is the fees you will be charged if you settle the debt soon after the due date has passed. Most banks charge a late fee for missed payments.

 

Know Your Credit Score

Your credit score is your history of meeting obligations and clearing outstanding balances on time. If you consistently buy on credit and clear the accounts on time, your credit score will go up. If you fail to meet payments on time, your score will go down. Increase in income, paying off debt or mortgage also increases your credit score. Taking on new debts or additional obligatory payments decrease the score.

 

A good score will allow you to get a better card limit and may also affect your fixed APR to give you better rates. Do note that every time you apply for a credit card or a new loan such as a mortgage or mobile plan, it has an effect on your credit score. If your request for credit is rejected for any reason, it further deteriorates your credit score. So, make sure that your application is ready for acceptance before applying.

 

Credit Sesame Price: Free Get your free credit score each month, and monitor your credit report at no cost. We'll also send you monitoring alerts about changes to your credit report. Credit Sesame

 

Decide on a Credit Card

Once you have done the appropriate research on the credit card that you want, go through the company’s terms of services and conditions. Make sure you read and understand the conditions. Getting a credit card is a big commitment and you should never rush into applying for a credit card to meet expenses. Keep your income in mind and have a plan on how you will repay the balance before the due date.

 

If you are not clear on the terms or need help to understand the charges better, do not hesitate to approach the company on call and ask for clarifications.

 

Five of our Favorite Credit Cards

chase sapphire preferred credit card art

Chase Sapphire Preferred

60,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

See our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

 

Capital One Venture Credit Card Review

Capital One Venture

50,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee (waived year 1)

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

See our full review of the Capital One Venture.

 

american express platinum card

Amex Platinum Card

60,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months

$550 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

See our full review of the Amex Platinum.

 

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Chase Ink Business Preferred

80,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

See our full review of the Ink Business Preferred.

 

chase freedom card

Chase Freedom

$150 (15k Ultimate Rewards) after spending $500 in 3 mo.

No Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

See our full review of the Chase Freedom.

 

Fill Out the Online Application Form

Once you are satisfied with the company and credit card terms, visit the application page for your chosen card company. You will be required to fill out an online form which is similar to the form you fill out when applying at the bank in person.

 

Important information will need to be filled out such as full name, cell phone number, home address and date of birth. You will also need to fill in your SSN, your salary income and other relevant information such as existing loans etc.

 

If you are applying for a corporate card on behalf of your company, you may also be asked to submit business documents and information about the company’s directors and managers.

 

Once you have filled out all the information, you will be required to confirm your identity through a pin code that you will receive through an automated call, text message or email. After you have entered the code, you will need to submit the application.

 

Approval and Credit Card Delivery

After the application has been received by your bank or the credit card company, they will take 2 to 5 business days to go over the detail and confirm the accuracy of the details that you have provided. The company may approach your employer to confirm your job status. They may also check your bank account details. You may also receive a call by a company’s representative to confirm that you have applied for the credit card.

 

These steps are meant to improve transparency and ensure that you have indeed applied for the credit card. For instance, once the information is confirmed, you will receive the credit card through the mail on the address you provided during application submission.

 

Post-Delivery Confirmation

Once you have received the credit card, you will need to get it activated online or through call before it can be used. The verification process is quite easy and usually takes less than 2 to 5 minutes.

traveling with points

Welcome to Travel Freedom’s “Traveling With Points” interview series.  We regularly feature travelers who take advantage of points and miles to enjoy adventures all around the world.  You will get a glimpse into the lives of people who are already traveling by using points and miles.  Let’s get it started and jump into our newest interview!

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Hi, I go by WkndMom online, and I’m a Biomedical Engineer by trade, financial and travel blogger by personality, and hopefully, in the next few years, a mother by biology. I’m getting married in January 2019 and we’re taking a lot of pre-honeymoon trips before we take our extra extravagant honeymoon. We love to travel and scuba dive so we try to do

traveling with points wkndmom

Kayaking in Lake Powell, part of Antelope Canyon. The water is so beautiful and perfect to swim in after kayaking and visiting Antelope Canyon.

that as much as possible. I’ve been based out of Texas for the last year but am moving back to New Jersey in the fall– all those trips home really helped with racking up the miles. Aside from traveling, my fiancé and I both have the goal of having children and becoming FIRE (financially independent, retired early), so saving money while traveling is really important to us.

 

How long have you been traveling with points and miles?

It’s been just over 3 years since I started collecting miles and points to travel for less. And, as of August 2018, its been exactly 3 years since I first redeemed my points for free flights.

 

How did you first find out about this somewhat secret world?

I found out about miles and points through a friend of mine who loves Reddit.  After we took a trip together and realized it was much too expensive to sustain. She saw something on Reddit and was telling me about how signing up for credit cards to earn the bonuses, then cancelling later was a way to get free or really discounted travel. Skeptical, I did some of my own research and decided to give it a try. From then on, she and I’ve been hooked on finding the right cards to take all the trips we want!

 

traveling with points wkndmom

Admiring the the sand dunes in Coral Pink Sand Dunes park in Utah.

What was the first trip you took using miles and points?

My first trip was to Germany with my soon to be husband 3 years ago. I did a post on it a while ago and the story was also featured on Million Mile Secrets.

Germany on Points & SO Travel – Go Fire Mama Go

What’s the best credit card introductory bonus you’ve ever received?

My most prized introductory bonus was when I heard the 100k bonus that was originally offered with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. It wasn’t all that much spending to earn it, but I’m still spending that bonus!

 

What do your friends and family think of your points and miles traveling?

Ha. They think I’m ruining my credit score or spending a ton of money I don’t have, to travel. Others don’t understand. They think I waste a lot of my time trying to keep up with the programs and earning bonuses. The funny thing is, I’m on my way to retiring early while traveling multiple times a year and after setting reminders, I don’t spend too much extra time keeping up with it all!

 

traveling with points wkndmom

My favorite photo from our time in Peru, the lama posed perfectly to get the ruins in the background. We also saw a double rainbow over the ruins when we first arrived!

What is the best trip you’ve taken? Tell us a little bit about it.

The best trip I’ve taken was to see Macchu Picchu in Peru. I use Scott’s Cheap Flights to keep an eye out for good deal airfare and saw some great prices to Lima, Peru. When I checked out the Chase Travel Portal, the deal translated to points too! So, we booked our flights with Chase points from my CSR introductory bonus and worried about the rest later. We ended up using more Chase Points to stay in a hotel in Lima, but did AirBnb in Cusco before and after the trek to Macchu Picchu. The trek was beautiful. Plus, since it was the off season, it was a private tour for just the two of us! The landscape and wild life was spectacular, and I won’t soon forget it.

 

traveling with points wkndmom

Mr. WkndMom and our guide during the trek through the mountains to Macchu Picchu. No, that’s nothing funny with the camera, the clouds and mountains actually looked like that!

How often do you travel now, compared to before you knew about traveling with points and miles?

I’m certainly limited to my vacation days, but I definitely travel a lot more than I thought I would. Because I got into this hobby right after I got my first full time job, I never had a chance to not take vacations. My fiancé, though, went from never traveling and losing his vacation days every year, to taking multiple vacations per year and seeing everything with me.

 

What are your upcoming travel plans?

We have three trips coming up: La Jolla, CA, Cancun, MX, and island hopping through Hawaii. Even though La Jolla is a work trip for me, so I’m not paying for any of it, we were able to get Mr. WkndMom there for free because I have the Southwest Companion Pass. We’re also going to Cancun on 2 for 1 flights thanks to the SWCP where we’re planning to stay in an all-inclusive resort for a scuba adventure. Hawaii will be our super extravagant diving liveaboard honeymoon and we found discounted flights that we booked through CSR points for free too!

 

traveling with points wkndmom

A view of the Grand Canyon, North Rim. Some pretty crazy thunder and lightning was happening behind the camera but you couldn’t tell looking out over the canyon.

What is your best tip for people just getting into traveling with points and miles?

Set a single goal and get there with Chase points. They are the easiest to earn and use, and they are very versatile. You can’t go wrong starting with them because they also transfer to many travel partners. At first it may seem weird that you’re getting all of this for free.  Remember, you’re being rewarded for borrowing money and paying it back!

How can people follow you?

People can sign up for my email list on my website at http://gofiremamago.comand follow me on my Instagram: @GoFIREMama

 

Thank you Wkndmom

Thank you for letting us dig deep into your travel experiences.  Your vacations all sound amazing! Macchu Picchu is definitely on my Bucket List.  Also, I’d love to join you in becoming FIRE!!!

 

Would YOU like to share your points & miles journey on Travel Freedom?

We would all love to find out how YOU travel using points and miles!  If you’d like to be considered for a future “Traveling With Points” interview, please EMAIL US.  We’re always happy to hear more success stories in the points and miles community.

Photos courtesy of Wkndmom

marriott category 5

The Marriott Bonvoy rewards program has seen a lot of changes recently. The addition of Starwood and the SPG rewards program is the largest change of all. Along with these changes came alterations to their co-branded credit cards. Now there are multiple credit card options to earn free Marriott stays which can be used to stay at Marriott category 5 hotels. Instead of the old Marriott Rewards Premier and SPG business and personal cards, there are two Marriott Bonvoy cards.

 

One of the options, the newly reconfigured Marriott Bonvoy credit card (Chase personal Visa) offers an introductory offer that will earn you approximately two free nights at Marriott properties that cost 35,000 points or less (Marriott category 5 and below). It also comes with a free night award every calendar year that you keep the card. 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy rewards points are enough to stay at a Marriott category 5 hotel. The other option, the Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card is alternatively from American Express. It also offers points as an introductory offer and also gives a free night award at a Marriott category 5 hotel annually.

 

Get The Most Value with Marriott Category 5 Resorts

Since you can use your free night awards at any Marriott Bonvoy category 1-5 hotels, you’ll usually get the most value if you stay at a Marriott category 5 resort. There are 8 Marriott Rewards categories in all but don’t worry, Marriott category 5 is the most plentiful when it comes to resorts. With the addition of Starwood hotels, there are now 1138 Marriott category 5 hotels worldwide and 695 in the United States alone. We’ll focus on just the Marriott category 5 resort properties. There are 162 Marriott category 5 resorts worldwide and 56 in the United States.

 

If you’re wondering how much a free night award at a category 1-5 Marriott is worth, it depends on where you stay. Some Marriott category 5 resorts can cost upwards of $700 for a single night. But, by having one or both of the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards you’ll earn at least one free night award automatically on every cardmember anniversary.

 

Is the Free Night Award Worth Paying the Annual Fee?

Earning the free night award does come with a fee. The annual fee for the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards starts at $95. Every year, if you use your free night award for a hotel stay that would normally cost more than the annual fee, it’s worth keeping the credit card and paying it. If you keep this card in your wallet and pay the annual fee, you can easily find a redemption that is worth a few hundred dollars. If you stay at a resort that is $400 using your free night award, it’s like paying $95 for a $400 room. Plus, you’ll get the other benefits of the credit card all year.

 

A great way to earn a lot of Marriott points as well as a free night award every anniversary is by getting one of the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards. Here is a little more information on what each of the credit cards offers…

 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Marriott Category 5 Resorts: The Best Way to Use Your Bonvoy Free Night Awards 1
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 100,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 6X points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels, and 2X points on all other purchases.
BENEFITS
One free night award (up to category 5) every account anniversary.
Automatic silver elite status with Marriott Bonvoy
Gold status after spending $35k
15 elite night credits each calendar year.
FEES
$95 annual fee.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The introductory offer is just ok, as it will earn you enough points for two free nights at a category 5 hotel. The free night award each year for $95 is well worth it if you can use it on an otherwise expensive night.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Marriott Bonvoy Business

Marriott Category 5 Resorts: The Best Way to Use Your Bonvoy Free Night Awards 2
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 6X points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels.
Earn 4x points at US restaurants, US gas stations, on US cell phone services and US shipping purchases.
Earn 2x points on all other purchases.
BENEFITS
One free night award (up to category 5) every account anniversary.
Earn an additional free night award after spending $60,000 on your card in a calendar year.
Automatic silver elite status with Marriott Bonvoy
Gold status after spending $35k
15 elite night credits each calendar year.
ANNUAL FEE
$125 annual fee.
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The introductory offer is good, as it will earn you approximately enough points for three free nights at a category 5 hotel. The free night award each year for $125 is worth it if you can use the award on an otherwise expensive stay.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

*TRAVEL FREEDOM HINT

You can also earn Marriott Rewards points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards. Ultimate Rewards transfer to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. Two great options are the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business cards from Chase. A great thing about earning Chase Ultimate Rewards is that you can use them on any of the Chase travel transfer partner programs. This gives you much more versatility in your travel.

Compare Chase Credit Cards

 

Best Marriott Category 5 Resorts in the United States (56 Total)

Listed below are the top-rated Marriott category 5 resorts in the United States. There are a total of 56 resorts in the US and we’ve hand-selected the best properties for you to use your free night awards at. Our selections were made by looking at value, location, guest ratings, and our opinion. After looking at Marriott resorts all over the world, it was apparent that the best value to be saved is in the United States. Other countries and regions have some very nice category 5 hotels, but they tend to cost much less per night if paying for cash. Here is what we came up with during our search to find the best of the best.

 

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, Autograph Collection

 

  • Location: Holmes Beach, Florida
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.8/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $466 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: A-

 

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

 

  • Location: Big Island, Hawaii
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.2/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $765 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: A+

 

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

 

  • Location: Marana, Arizona
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.7/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $587 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: A

 

The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection

 

  • Location: Point Clear, Alabama
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.7/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $278 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: B-

 

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa

 

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $271 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: B-

 

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

 

  • Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $424 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: B+

 

JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa

 

  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.4/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $554 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: A

 

Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa

 

  • Location: Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.2/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $300 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: B

 

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

 

  • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.1/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $519 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: A

 

How to Book Your Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Award

When booking a free night using your award, you have over 6,000 available options of Marriott category 1-5 properties to choose from. With so many options, we chose to cut it down to only resorts because they typically cost more to stay at. By booking a Marriott category 5 resort with your award you will get more value out of it.

 

A big part of the decision on where to stay depends on where you will be needing a hotel room. It’s pretty hard to take advantage of the newly remodeled Westin Hapuna Beach Resort if you won’t be on the Big Island of Hawaii this year. I look forward to staying at this hotel next summer when we (hopefully) use our Southwest Companion Pass on a Hawaii trip for the first time. When booking a Marriott category 5 award night, you’ll want to find a hotel or resort that gives you a great value in an area that you plan on traveling to.

 

Find Your Free Night Award in your Marriott Account

After your cardmember anniversary of either Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, a free night award will appear in your Marriott Bonvoy Rewards account on the activity page. To use your free night award, log in to your account and search for your desired hotel and date. To book your free night using the free night award, you will select “Use reward points”. On the reservation details page, you will see the option to use your free night award. Continue your booking as you normally would. Your award will be applied to the reservation giving you a free night.

 

Be aware that only hotels with standard or off-peak category 5 award rooms available will be bookable. Category 5 peak pricing is unfortunately above the 35,000 point limit to use your free night award. Remember, that you don’t have to book a category 5. You can book anything up to a Marriott category 5 hotel.

 

You can use both points and cash on stays if you don’t have enough points. But, when you’re looking to add your free night to either end of a longer paid stay, be sure to book the more expensive night (between the first and last) with your award if the nightly prices differ. Then book the remaining nights separately using cash. You may need to call to have the reservations linked afterward so that you don’t have to check out and back in. If you have any more questions about booking or Marriott Bonvoy Rewards you can check out their official FAQ page.

 

Using Points to Book Free Nights at Marriott Hotels

If you’re looking to book a Marriott category 5 hotel using points, it will cost you 35,000 points for a standard room. Marriott Bonvoy Rewards has eight redemption categories, ranging from 7,500 to 85,000 points per night for a standard room (not including peak and off-peak dates).

 

Marriott Bonvoy Rewards points can be earned in a few different ways. The easiest way is by applying for either of the credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy Rewards. You’ll earn Marriott BOnvoy Rewards points through the introductory offers and you’ll also earn points by making purchases on the cards. Here is a chart that includes all Marriott Bonvoy Rewards categories and how many points it will take to book a free night in each.

CategoryOff-PeakStandardPeak
15,0007,50010,000
210,00012,50015,000
315,00017,50020,000
420,00025,00030,000
530,00035,00040,000
640,00050,00060,000
750,00060,00070,000
870,00085,000100,000

 

*All photos courtesy of Marriott International

How is a credit card number selected

A credit card number is a 16-digit string of numbers, separated in 4 groups of 4 numbers each for ease of reading. In some cases, the number can be as long as 19 digits.

 

Have you ever wondered how that number is generated? Well, we’ve got the answer. The numbers are based on the American National Standards Institute ANSI numbering system.

Travel Freedom Credit Card

 

Purpose of the Credit Card Numbers

Credit Card numbers are more than just random digits. Parts of the number are identification markers for the kind of credit card that it is. The first six digits are used to identify the card issuer and the type of card it is. The first digit is called the major industry identifier or MII.

 

  • The numbers 1 and 2 are issued by airlines.
  • The number 3 is issued by the entertainment and travel industry. The MII for American Express card is 3.
  • The numbers 4 and 5 are reserved for banking and financial institutions. Visa Cards begin with the MII 4. Cards from MasterCard start with the MII 5.
  • Number 6 is issued by merchandising and banking industry. For example, cards issued by Discover start with the number 6.
  • The number 7 is reserved for petrol and oil companies.
  • Number 8 is issued by telecommunication companies.
  • Number 9 is reserved for national assignment.

 

The digits from 2 – 6 are reserved for the bank that is issuing the card, the currency information stored on the card or the kind of services that are available on it. Each card issuing authority may use the numbers in a different manner. For example, MasterCard uses the digits two and three or two through six to identify the bank number. On the other hand, American Express uses digits three and four to specify the currency on the card and services it provides.

 

The digits 8 – 15 on the card are used to identify the bank account holder’s information and links the card to the debit or credit account. When you enter the credit card number to an online vendor for purchase, these digits are used to forward the transaction to your bank and ask for verification.

 

The last digit on a credit card is called a checksum. It is a key that is used to identify whether a card is valid. The key is created by a formula known as the Luhn algorithm. The algorithm is used to create this last digit, based on the first 15 digits on the card.

 

The checksum is able to identify errors quickly as there is only a one in ten chance that a randomly generated card number has the correct last checksum. It can detect when a person enters incorrect card information.

best travel credit cards dog

 

Luhn Algorithm Calculation

The Luhn algorithm can be calculated by the ‘modulo arithmetic’ principle of digital roots. The algorithm uses modulo 10 mathematics.

 

This method takes every odd digit on a credit card number from the left and multiplies it by 2. The result of multiplication for all the numbers is added together to give a total. This total is called the ‘digital root’.

 

The next step is to add all the even numbers on the card. The sum of the even numbers is added to the digital root to give the final total. The last digit is calculated as the number that would be needed to make the total a multiple of 10.

 

For example, supposes that the first 15 digits on a Visa card are 4051 2867 9734 524. The sum of odd numbers multiplied by 2 would be:

  • 4 x 2 = 8
  • 5 x 2 = 10 i.e. 1+0
  • 2 x 2 = 4
  • 6 x 2 = 12 i.e. 1+2
  • 9 x 2 = 18 i.e. 1+8
  • 3 x 2 = 6
  • 5 x 2 = 10 i.e. 1+0
  • 4 x 2 = 8

 

Total would be 8 + 1 + 0 + 4 +1 + 2 +1 + 8+ 6 + 1 + 0 + 8 = 40.

 

Then, we add the total of all the even numbers 0 + 1 + 8 + 7 +7 + 4 + 2 = 29.

 

These two numbers would be added to give us a total of 40 + 29 = 69.

 

In order to make the number a multiple of 10 i.e. 70, we would need to add the digit 1. Thus the last checksum for the hypothetical number above would make I 4051 2867 9734 5241.

 

While it is possible to calculate this checksum and hackers can get around the check, it does add a little complexity and security to the number to protect it from poorly educated criminals.

travel blog ideas

Every day I personally look through hundreds of travel blog ideas, tips, and success from the best travel blogs on the internet. When I find articles that I feel would be valuable to you, I put them together and post them to this article on Travel Freedom. I also usually input some commentary. Today I found a new travel idea that meets my standards to pass it along. Here’s what I found…

 

Travel Blog Ideas (2018)

 

Airplane Etiquette – Live & Let’s Fly

Always be aware of your surroundings. If you’re thinking about reclining your airplane seat, that’s fine, but make sure to check behind you first. It’s possible that the person sitting behind you has things on their tray table that could be broken with the sudden recline of your seat. This almost happened to Matthew, when his laptop became jammed between the tray table and the back of the reclined seat.


Travel Credit Card Offers

Add Egypt Back to the Bucket List – The Points Guy

Egypt has a lot going for it. The safety concerns stemming from its 2011 revolution have been stabilized, a new sphinx has recently been uncovered, new hotels are being built, and a huge museum focused on the Egyptian civilization is about to open. I have always been fascinated with the Egyptian civilization, but have not yet been able to travel there. I hope to make the trip within the next five years, to see the pyramids, Sphinx’s, the Nile River, and experience the culture first hand.

 

Over the past few years, I haven’t felt comfortable enough to travel there due to safety concerns. This article, along with other news has helped ease my worries about traveling to Egypt. I can’t wait to see it all and check it off my bucket list.

 

Westin Hapuna Beach Hawaii – The Points Guy

Next time I go to Hawaii I think I’ll spend at least some of the time at this hotel. With a decent redemption rate through Marriott, this resort is a good deal if using points. I’ve never stayed at this hotel, but have been to Hapuna Beach and enjoy the area. It’s just North of Kona and very near to some amazing beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii.

 

Hopefully, the redemption rate stays the same at this property so that we can get multiple free nights with the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card, SPG credit card (Read more – terms apply), or the SPG Business credit card (Read more – terms apply). They all earn points and free annual nights in the newly merged SPG/Marriott program.

 

17 Incredible Safari Photos – Million Mile Secrets

Going on an African Safari is one of my top bucket list ideas. They were lucky enough to see a huge assortment of animals on the game reserve in South Africa. When I go on a safari, I’d like it to be in Kenya or Tanzania during the Great Migration. I’d really like to go on a camping safari for a week, even though it’s probably not quite as safe as some other African Safari’s. It would be amazing to be able to see so many exotic animals in their natural habitat.

 

16 Amazing College Towns – Million Mile Secrets

Have you ever visited any of these college towns? Maybe you happen to live in one as I do! I’ve been to three of the cities on the list and live in one of them. I’ve been to Boulder, Charlottesville, and Berkeley. I have lived in Eugene, Oregon for all but one year of my life and will expand on Million Mile Secrets’ explanation. It’s the home of the University of Oregon Ducks, many outdoor activities, breweries, vineyards, running enthusiasts (Track Town USA), and great bike paths. Also, the Oregon Ducks aren’t the only green thing you can legally experience while in the state (if you can read between the lines and you’re into that). Eugene is nestled between the mountains, the Pacific Ocean, rivers, lakes, and the city (Portland). All of which are within a two-hour drive, making this a great place to visit or live!

 

Being Single Makes Travel More Expensive – The Points Guy

While this is up for debate in the comments of the post, I’d have to agree that traveling with a partner is much more frugal. While flights remain the same per person, hotels and such end up costing the same price no matter how many people are staying with you. For a $100 hotel room, it will cost the full amount for a single traveler, while it will cut the price in half if you’re traveling as a pair. Sometimes my wife and I will save on food as well by sharing plates at a restaurant. Especially when we go somewhere with huge portions and we lack the equipment to save or reheat them.

 

Free Messaging on Southwest – The Gate

It’s always nice to be able to communicate with friends and family while in the sky. Southwest is rolling out free messaging on their flights and should be done in October. This means you can message whoever is picking you up with an accurate time of when you should be arriving at the airport. Or you can get in on that group chat that you’d normally come back to with hundreds of unread messages.

 

From experience on Alaska’s free messaging, I noticed that it also allows some other apps to work, whether on purpose or not. While I was flying to and from Washington DC this summer I was able to receive updates on Twitter through the free messaging.

 

Best Hawaii Hotels Using Points – Million Mile Secrets

While we normally stay in a condo in Hawaii, we’ve also stayed in two of these hotels as well as a few others. Hawaii is our favorite destination due to its beauty and ease of travel from the west coast. We typically stay in condos so that we can prepare most of our own meals. But, with these options available using points, we may try booking a hotel for “free” next time. I say “free” with quotations because many of these hotels have resort fees, which you still have to pay on reward stays. I’m not a fan of resort fees. Why should a hotel have a set price for a room and then for no particular reason add another fee to the price?

 

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai using our free nights through the World of Hyatt credit card. The hotel was in a great location in Poipu and was beautiful. The sand bottom pool was great for relaxing if we didn’t want to make the trek another 100 yards to the beach. It had nice white sand beaches just in front of the property. We even made S’mores one night out near the pools!

 

Another of these hotels that we stayed at was the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach, which we did not enjoy. It’s a few blocks from Waikiki Beach and in a great location if you like that area. We found the hotel to be pretty run down and not what you’d typically expect from a Hyatt Place Property (they usually have nice chic rooms with the somewhat separated bed and living space with modern shower). Also, we dislike the Waikiki area. The beaches are not nice and it being overcrowded is an understatement.

 

Alaska Airlines Has VR Headsets on Flights – The Points Guy

Virtual reality has hit the skies. Alaska Airlines has rolled out VR headsets on a few of their flights. You’re only able to watch a few movies in virtual reality 3D. Fortunately, the films that are on the headsets are only forward facing VR. If not you might have passengers moving all over the place on the plane! I’ve never watched a movie with one of these headsets, but it’s supposed to give the feel of being in the theater. It seems like a good touch for Alaska Airlines. I just hope they wipe off the headsets with sanitizer after each use.

 

$169 Flights to Iceland – The Points Guy

If you’re able to travel between September and December you may want to look at going to Iceland. Wow Air currently has tickets on sale for $169 round trip. They fly from quite a few major airports in the US, including a couple on the west coast. The US airports that have this deal available are PIT, EWR, JFK, BWI, BOS, CLE, STL, CVG, DTW, DFW, SFO, & LAX.

 

Alaska Airlines is Giving Away 100,000 Miles – The Gate

Free miles. Yes, please! Alaska Airlines is giving away 100,000 miles plus money to cover the taxes that it may incur. It would be pretty nice to have some extra miles. Where would you go if you were to win? I think I would use my Alaska Miles on short-haul flights along the west coast. Good luck if you enter!

 

How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Airline Partners – Points, Miles & Martinis

Since the most popular card for beginners in the points and miles space is the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this will be pretty useful. The blog post shows how to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Airline partners. This is the way to get the most value out of your points, so take notes. I often transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways to fly to Hawaii, and to Southwest to take advantage of my Companion Pass status.

 

Personally, I dislike the Seahawks… GO RAIDERS!!! But, in this case, Delta is giving away miles to Washington Residents as part of their 12status promotion. You will earn miles without even flying. They’re giving you a mile for every yard the Seahawks throw for, which should be a few thousand. You will also receive priority boarding. Seems like a good deal for those of you who consider yourselves Seahawks fans… EW!

 

Man Lives in Airport – View From The Wing

Could you live in an airport for a day? A week? A month? How about 18 years?!? That’s how long a man once lived in Paris Charles De Gaulle airport (as seen in Tom Hanks’ movie The Terminal). I never realized that the movie was a true story… Now I want to go watch it because I never have. How long do you think you could live in an airport? It might be an interesting journalistic story for a travel blogger to try out. Priority Pass would be a necessity, as well as a boarding pass that you could delay over and over somehow…

 

1 IN 50 PASSENGERS WILL FIND LOVE ON AN AIRPLANE – VIEW FROM THE WING

Oooo la la! Are you the 2% who has already found love on an airplane? Was it love at first site? This article talks about a survey that also says what flyers pet peeves are while aboard an airplane. The survey is actually probably pretty inaccurate because it only surveys 2000 people… but it was a fun read anyway. Did you know the first couple found joining the mile high club was found naked and dead, because they crashed the plane they were in?!? At least they died having fun…

 

I’M GIVING AWAY 1,000,000 MILES – THE POINTS GUY

The Points Guy has partnered with United Airlines to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. They’re giving away a whopping one million miles to the winner of their raffle. To enter you can donate at least $10. With some of the larger donation amounts, you will receive some swag along with your entries. The article also shows a few ways you could spend your million United miles if you’re the winner. My favorite on the list is number 1, having first-class going all the way around the world.

 

BEST TRAVEL TOYS FOR KIDS – MILLION MILE SECRETS

Emily from Million Mile Secrets has put together a list of toys that travel well with children of all ages. She compiled a group of toys for babies, toddlers, and young children of age three or higher. A flight of five hours is a long time to keep your child occupied in a confined space. If you have children, let us know what their favorite toys to bring on the plane are in the comments. I’d love to hear, for future reference!

 

AIRLINE GIMMICK TO AVOID COMPENSATION – LIVE & LETS FLY

Have you recently had any flights where the flight time seemed extraordinarily long for the distance you were traveling? I definitely have, but didn’t realize why. This article makes complete sense to why airlines would be fluffing the estimated arrival time of your flight. My wife and I actually experienced this on our recent flight from Washington DC (DCA) to Dallas (DAL). Our flight was delayed nearly an hour, but somehow we actually got there before our expected arrival time. I was confused and didn’t think we could have made up that much time in the air. This gimmick would make sense to why we made it to Dallas on time. Have you experienced this yet?

 

Southwest to Hawaii News – Mile Value

Hawaii is due for some good news, after suffering from earthquakes, heavy rains, volcanic lava, and a hurricane to top it off. Finding out that Southwest will be booking and flying it’s new Hawaii routes starting in September or October is excellent news. My wife and I have earned a Southwest Companion Pass for the rest of 2018 through the end of 2019. We plan to use it for some buy-one-get-one-free Hawaii flights! Now I’m interested to see what the pricing will look like, and when they will add new departure cities from the mainland. I’m really hoping for Portland or Seattle to be added soon after launch.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred card holders are VIP at Popular Events – Million Mile Secrets

Whether you knew about it or not (most don’t), the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a somewhat secret benefit. It’s cardholders have VIP Access privileges at many concerts, sports, and dining events. I have never looked into these in the past, but I’m going to start as some of the events sound pretty amazing. VIP Access at an Ed Sheeran concert in a luxury box for $300 sounds pretty cool… Having a special dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant… Yumm. Did you know about this benefit of having the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card?

ALSO: Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card holders also have access to some of the events.

 

GUIDE TO EATING HEALTHY ON PLANES – THE POINTS GUY

While I’m not a mom, my wife and I do want to have children soon, so this one hits home. Many people with kids claim that it’s impossible to travel once you have kids. I’m sure you’ve heard something to this extent before… Well, whether they mean financially or just the difficulty of added passengers who don’t always obey or even understand, I’m going to boldly say they’re wrong! No, I don’t have children yet to judge how hard it really is, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say we won’t stop traveling when we have kids. This article explains how traveling with her kids actually made her a better mom.

 

HOW AIRLINE MILES MAKE ME A BETTER MOM – MOMMY POINTS

Airplane seats that kill bacteria instantly? Sounds like people will be getting sick less from travel… Oh wait, aren’t some bacteria we carry good for us? I’ll let you decide for yourself whether or not these newly designed airplane seats are a good thing.

 

SELF-CLEANING AIRCRAFT SEATS – THE POINTS GUY

Ok, this isn’t really travel related unless you consider driving to 7-11 travel… But, they’re giving away free 12 oz cans of Redbull at 7-11. All you do is click this link, input your phone number, and you’ll receive a coupon. Make sure not to redeem the digital coupon until you actually are ready to purchase the Redbull, because the coupon will only be valid for 15 minutes from that point.

 

WORST TRAVEL HABITS – THE POINTS GUY

Here’s a list of the worst travel habits out there. Hopefully, you aren’t one of “THOSE” people, when it comes to flying…

 

THINK TWICE BEFORE TURNING OFF THE AIR VENT – TRAVEL & LEISURE

Keep that airplane air vent flowing! It may just prevent you from getting sick… did you know that those vents were originally made to clean the air from cigarette smokers on planes? I still can’t believe that was ever allowed… DISGUSTING!

 

EASY 5X AT OFFICE MAX – FREQUENT MILER & FEE WAIVED VISA GC’S AT STAPLES – DAN’S DEALS

If you’re trying to meet a minimum spend for a credit card, or have a credit card that earns multiple points per dollar you’ll want to know about these two promos going on right now. I’ll be heading to both stores with my Chase Ink Cash credit card that earns 5 points per dollar at both.

 

7 WAYS CREDIT CARDS CAN HELP GROW YOUR BUSINESS – THE POINTS GUY

If you have a small business, or work independently you may find this article interesting. It describes a few ways that credit cards can help your business. As a small business owner, myself, I find this topic interesting and will be writing about it soon as well.

 

Increased Chase Ink Preferred Introductory Bonus – Miles to Memories

The Chase Ink Preferred normally has one of the best introductory bonuses, but if this is true and the bonus is even higher than normal… Oh boy, jump on that if it is indeed true. 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points can go a long way. No joke! I can think of four ways I could spend them… how about 4 round trip flights to Hawaii from the west coast.

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited (double) 3x Points – Mile Value

Let’s keep it going with increased Chase introductory bonuses! This one is for sure… Normally this card will give you 1.5 points on all purchases, but now they’ll give you double that in the first year of having the card. Three Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all types of spend is something to write home about!

 

10 Life Changing Decisions People Make on Vacation – The Points Guy

On to the list articles for the day. This one by The Points Guy and his peeps is a list of 10 things people decide to do while on vacation… Some good, some bad… All life changing.

 

10 of the Worlds Best Hotels that Cost Under $300 – GODSAVETHEPOINTS

Next on the list of 10 articles is one about the best hotels around the world that will cost you less than $300 per night. $300 per night is pretty expensive in my book, so I’d sure hope they’re nice!

 

Have Plane Seats Really Shrunk – The Telegraph

This article shows which airlines have the most and least legroom. It also compares how the sizes of seats in many of the airlines have changed over the past 30 years. It’s kind of funny to me that over that 30 years while people seem to be getting fatter, the seats are getting smaller.

 

Google’s In-flight Wi-fi Play – Paxex.aero

Is Google going to make a run at in-flight wi-fi? Well, it’s uncertain, but this article explains why it may be a potential for the tech giant. I’d have to say, more options for wi-fi on planes would be a good thing. Sometimes in-flight wi-fi is a bit too pricey for my budget and maybe this will help.

 

Travel Contests – Johnny Jet

To end today’s Travel Blog News, I’ll leave you with this weeks travel contests and giveaways. You may think you’ll never win one because the odds are so bad, but it’s not true. Someone’s gotta win… why not you. I used to sign up for every travel giveaway I saw and I surprisingly won 5 or 6 giveaways, including 100,000 Starwood points which ended up giving me about 10 free nights at some great hotels.

 

SW Rapid Rewards Double Points – Frequent Flyer Bonuses

First up, we have a short article from Frequent Flyer Bonuses, that tells you about a Southwest Airlines promotion that you need to sign up for if you’re planning on flying with them before summer. Two words – DOUBLE MILES!

 

Damning Allegiant Air Safety Expose – Live & Let Fly

Here’s one that’s been on just about every travel blog this week. It’s about a 60 Minutes episode that talks about an airline that’s not safe to travel on. Supposedly, many of their pilots don’t let their families fly the airline they work for. Hmmmm… who could it be? Maybe you’ve flown them. It’s US budget airline, Allegiant. Stay safe Travel Tribe.

 

Pay Rent by Credit Card for 1.5% Fee – Frequent Miler

This travel news article shows you how it’s now possible to pay your rent with a credit card for a 1.5% fee. That may sound crazy to pay extra, but it could be useful if you’re trying to meet a minimum spend on a new credit card.

 

How to Save on Car Rentals – Million Mile Secrets

Car rentals are always a difficult one for me. You don’t get a lot of value using your points on them, but it’s also sometimes hard to find a decent deal. I usually check Hotwire and Costco Travel, but will definitely be trying out the tricks I just learned in this article.

 

Top Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them – Travel with Grant

Part 1 | Part 2

Travel with Grant lists out quite a few travel mistakes that are easy to make. I’ve done a few of these, and I’m sure you have too. This will be a good reminder of how to avoid these travel mistakes in the future.

 

Chase Cards You Can Still Apply For Despite the “5/24” Rule – Deals We Like

Chase bank has a rule for many of their credit cards, where you will be declined if you’ve added 5 new credit cards in the past 24 months. This number is easily reachable if you’re a points and miles traveler, trying to rack up miles and points. Luckily this rule does not apply to ALL Chase credit cards. Here is a list of the Chase Credit Cards that DO NOT fall into this rule.

 

The Best Airplane Seat to Avoid Catching a Cold – GODSAVETHEPOINTS

Nothing is worse than getting sick while on vacation. I learned a few things from this blog post and I’m sure you will too. Here’s to never getting sick from being on a plane again!

 

How to Save Money on Food while Traveling – Bald Thoughts

This one’s about saving money on food during your travels. My personal favorite way to save on food, is by staying at condos. With a kitchen, I’m able to pack snacks and lunches while on the go, and make meals for a majority of the trip’s dinners. Most condos also have public barbecues!

 

How to Book the Best Stopover Possible – Travel with Grant

Stopovers are when, instead of flying from point A to point C, you fly from A to B and spend some time visiting, then finish your route to point C. I need to start taking advantage of this more myself.

 

Why to Always Redeem Points When you Can – Point Me to the Plane

Use them, or lose them. Well, sort of… Points and miles occasionally are devalued and end up not being worth as much in travel rewards. Also, if you have inactivity in your accounts, you may lose your points. Don’t let that happen. Trust me, I let some expire on accident recently and I’m still upset about it.

 

Why You Should Always Check Alternative Airports – Frugal Travel Guy

When booking tickets, remember to always check alternative airports for both departure and arrival locations. If you’re having trouble finding a flight, every so often you’ll get lucky and this will save you.

 

Travel blog ideas is an ongoing post that brings the best of the travel blogging world to you. Every day we read hundreds of blog post to look for the best. This Travel Freedom blog post will keep you up to date on all travel blog ideas from around the world.

Traveling with Points and Miles Instead of Dollars 3

I’ve now traveled to Hawaii seven times, flown across the country five times, gone to college football games in new cities, visited friends in other states, stayed in resorts that normally cost more than my weekly salary per night, flown first class, stayed in hotel suites, and relaxed in countless airport lounges where free drinks and food are always available. Whew, I’m out of breath… All of this and much more, I’ve done in just the past five years by traveling with points and miles. Yes, FIVE YEARS! That’s it. No joke. I want you to count up your past vacations really quick in your head, and see if your travel amounts to this much over your lifetime. Does it? Hold on to that thought…

traveling with points

HOW MUCH DID THAT COST?

Looking at all the trips and vacations I’ve taken, you’d think that I must be wealthy and spent a huge amount of money on my travels. I mean, look at the price of an airline ticket. Currently, the average round trip U.S. flight is over $350! That’s crazy! Oh, and Hawaii flights… I don’t even want to look at those prices. Well, to tell you the truth, I didn’t pay very much at all to travel as much as I did. I’ve only paid a tiny fraction of the price anyone else would have paid. I’ve been able to do all that traveling using POINTS and MILES to cover the costs. You may think that you can only earn airline miles and hotel points by flying and staying a ton of nights at hotels, because that’s what you’ve heard. It’s NOT TRUE!!! I’ve earned almost all of mine, NOT by flying or by staying at hotels, but through TRAVEL CREDIT CARD INTRODUCTORY BONUSES.

 

Ok, now back to YOUR travel count… Was it less than mine over your whole life? Close? Either way, would you like your next five years to look like mine, or even better and more filled with travel and adventure? Would you like to start turning those travel dreams into reality? Hawaii, Thailand, Iceland, Europe, maybe Brazil… Do you have a bucket list that seems to be getting deeper and deeper with nothing being checked off? GOOD NEWS! You can start traveling with points and miles just as easily as I did. You too, can earn thousands upon thousands of miles and points to kick start your life filled with travel.

OK, BUT HOW?

traveling with miles and points

I’m sure you’re curious to learn how all this traveling with points and miles business works, and you’re probably thinking “what’s the catch?”. I’ll tell you now, the one thing you’ll have to trade for this life full of travel, is a bit of time. Time up front to learn, and time to put your knowledge to work earning and spending your points and miles. Trust me though, it’s absolutely worth it. If I hadn’t learned how to travel this way, I probably wouldn’t have taken 90% of those vacations. Unfortunately, like most people, I would not have been able to afford it.

WHO IS TRAVELING WITH POINTS & MILES FOR?

You’re in? Where do you sign up? Well, first things first… Travel with points and miles isn’t for everyone. There are a few key prerequisites that you’ll need before you can get started.

  1.  You will need to have a credit score in the range of 700 or greater. Scores go up to a maximum of 850, so this is a very good score. If you’re well below this level, you will first need to work to raise your score. If you don’t know what your score is, you can check for free at creditsesame.com. I’ve found that this site will give you a pretty accurate estimation of your credit score.
  2. You must be someone who pays your credit cards and bills off FULLY and ON-TIME, every month. If you’re running a balance, there is no point in earning points and miles because the interest on credit cards far outweighs the value of points.
  3. You aren’t looking at taking out a major loan such as home mortgage in the next one to two years.

Do you fit the bill? Great! I want to share my knowledge of traveling with points and miles, so that your life can be full of travel and adventure like mine is. For me, travel has improved my life greatly. So much, that I now can’t see my life without it. I hope travel can do the same for you now that you’re on your way to becoming an expert points and miles traveler.

traveling with points and miles credit cards

HOW DOES TRAVELING WITH POINTS AND MILES WORK?

Now that you know you want to travel like I do, by using points and miles, and you’ve met the prerequisites mentioned above, let’s move on to how this process works… The number one way to earn tons and tons of points and miles is through credit card introductory bonuses. This is where that good credit score comes into play. Banks are willing to give you a tremendous amount of value to add you as a customer. This means that they will regularly give introductory bonuses of 50,000 miles or more and occasionally even stretch those up to 100,000 miles. The best bonus I have earned to date, gave me enough miles to purchases five round trip flights to Hawaii using the method explained in my blog post “How I Fly Round Trip to Hawaii for $11”. I’ll say that again… FOUR ROUND TRIP FLIGHTS TO HAWAII. That’s pretty generous of the banks, I’d say! (Thanks Chase – wink).

traveling with points and miles

OTHER WAYS TO EARN POINTS & MILES

Although, credit card introductory bonuses are the best and quickest way to earn points, they’re not the only way. Once you have a credit card that earns points, you can earn through spending. Many cards have category bonuses that earn extra points for certain purchases, so you can earn extra points on things you already buy every day. Some common bonuses are on things like gas, groceries, travel and dining. Another way to earn extra points is through online shopping portals that many airlines and credit cards have available. They will give you extra points to click through their links before purchasing products and services on popular online retailers. One more way to earn points is through promotions that the airlines and hotels have directly. Usually, they are for staying at a particular hotel chain so many stays within a period of time they will give you a bonus, or flying so many flights in a period of time they will also give you a bonus. These are just a few ways to earn enough points and miles to travel very well for the rest of your life.

 

IMPROVE YOUR LIFE BY TRAVELING WITH POINTS AND MILES

traveling with points and miles

I have travel freedom, and I would like to teach you how to have the same. I spent hundreds if not thousands of hours researching and reading to understand how to travel with points and miles instead of money. My goal is to take what I’ve learned and make it much simpler and quicker for you. To continue learning about traveling with points and miles, and how to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity, follow along with Travel Freedom.

 

PS: If you’re interested in traveling more often or more luxuriously, check out our FREE 5-DAY MINI COURSE.

 

best flight search engine

Trying to get the best possible deal on a flight is important. You want to be able to use your money as effectively as you possibly can when it comes to travel. For this reason, it makes sense to take your time to see all of the available prices. In order to do this, you can make use of the best flight search engine options to get the necessary information and the most beneficial result.

 

There are actually many different flight search engines out there that you can use. If you are new to the idea of searching for flights in this way, then you may be at a loss for where to turn. Where are the best flight search engines and how do you know which ones are worthwhile? Travel Freedom is here to help you out by answering that very question.

 

The 11 Best Flight Search Engine Options

Today we will be taking a look at the best flight search engine options on the Internet. We will be going over several of the options that will give you the best results. This should help to make getting a fantastic deal on your flights easier than ever. You will be able to use these search engines any time that you have a trip coming up and will always be able to compare the various flight options available to you thoroughly.

 

Google Flights

It should come as no surprise that Google Flights is among the most popular options available. People use Google Flights to find the best flights at the lowest prices. It has a very clean interface that looks appealing and will be easy to make use of. You will be able to search using the map and will see which travel dates have the lowest fares right away.

google flights best flight search engine

 

This is one of the best options for people who want to have a simple, streamlined experience while searching for a flight. Simple does not mean that it is lacking in any way, either. You will be able to find the flight dates that will save you the most money in a short amount of time. The search-by-map function is very intuitive and you can enter either firm dates or a flexible period of time.

 

Google Flights even allows you to track fares on dates that you have selected. You can receive updates via email so that you will know if anything has changed. This keeps you in the loop and makes it easy to jump on things if you see that a price has dropped. This is a very user-friendly flight search engine that comes highly recommended.

 

CheapOAir

CheapOAir has been helping people to find flights as conveniently as possible for a long time. This website allows you to look through all of the available options in a very streamlined way. You will be able to find the cheapest options for direct flights and it will also help you find flights by your desired airline. The charts at CheapOAir are very easy to read and you should have no trouble making use of this website.

cheapoair best flight search engine

 

This website is also good at providing you with the necessary information. You will be able to take a look at things such as baggage fees and fare rules. Certain US airlines will also give you access to a seating chart so that you can see the plane layout. A seat-selection map will be available for some US carriers.

 

It mostly prioritizes nonstop prices over the ones that have stops. Even so, it does give you many options to customize how you are searching for flights. The booking fees of this site are fairly low at only $35 per ticket. You should be able to get a very good deal on a flight when you make good use of this search engine.

 

OneTravel

One Travel is a flight search engine that is starting to gain in popularity. It actually has a very similar interface when you compare it to Google Flights and this is not a bad thing at all. This website is very easy to read and you should not have any trouble finding the information that you are looking for. You will be able to search this website to quickly find the least expensive options if that is what you are looking for.

onetravel best flight search engine

 

Interestingly, this site allows you to enter your departure date on a calendar system and will then bring up prices automatically. This allows you to get a quick glance at what to expect in case you want to search for other dates that may provide you with a lower price overall. It allows you to save time by finding the least expensive travel dates more quickly, making the overall experience that much more convenient.

 

You will need to pay a $35 travel service fee per ticket when you use this flight search engine, though. Overall, this is not too unusual for these types of websites. One potential problem is that sometimes this search engine seems to show flights that include at least one stop toward the top of the search results. If you prefer nonstop flights, then this may be a slight annoyance as you will need to scroll and look a little deeper.

 

Kayak

Kayak is one name that you have almost certainly heard of. This website has been helping people save money on their travel expenses since the mid-2000s. It offers users a powerful search engine that will allow you to see all of the available flights and fares. This is still among the most powerful flight search engines available and is made to be as easy to use as possible.

kayak best flight search engine

 

You can have a very convenient experience when using the Kayak search engine. It allows you to program fare alerts so that you can track prices on your desired flights or flight dates over time. It is easy to use this system and it always keeps you in the loop when any changes occur. This is a simple way to get a great deal on a flight and you will always find many options to consider.

 

One potential negative of this site is that it is loaded with various ads. It does not really hinder your experience in any way but it may bother some people. If you prefer a flight search engine with no ads, then Google Flights offers similar functionality. Otherwise, this site has traditionally saved people a lot of money on airfare over the years.

 

It boasts having a “hacker fares” system that can piece together various one-way flight tickets. It can allow you to save money if you are willing to take the extra time to get where you want to be. When you combine unique features such as this with its many filter options and the robust set of tools, you can see how good this search engine is. This is one of the best options for most people who want to save money on airfare.

 

Momondo

Momondo is an interesting flight search engine option that some people are going to be able to use very well. Momondo does a very good job of searching a wide swath of different available flights on a given date. It actually manages to catch various options that certain other flight search engines regularly miss. For this reason, it has been able to save people money on flights quite often.

momondo best flight search engine

 

The problems with Momondo start to pop up due to how it is set up. Using the search engine is easy enough but it does not always give you the most information right away. Whereas some flight search engines such as CheapOAir give you many transparent pieces of information about the flight, Momondo does not do this. Instead, you often have to click through on a flight to see things such as how much it costs, what airline the ticket belongs to, and more. This all probably sounds really bad and it is kind of an annoyance.

 

Regardless, Momondo has a lot of positive things to offer the flight search engine debate. It shows results from Southwest Airlines, which many flight search engines do not do. Southwest Airlines may not always be listed but it seems to search a wider variety of different flights than many of its contemporaries. Momondo also searches various fares from smaller OTAs so you are likely to get a good deal when you use this search engine to its full potential.

 

If this search engine could make a few changes to become more user-friendly, then it would truly stand out as one of the very top options. As it stands, this flight search engine is still good for certain purposes. It deserves a spot on the list because it offers some extra benefits by being able to catch flights that other search engines seem to miss. Depending on how you feel about the lack of transparency, you may be better off seeking out one of the more tried-and-true flight search engines.

 

Travelzoo

Travelzoo is definitely a little bit different from the flight search engines that have been listed so far. What makes this one stand out is that it is more focused on helping you to search for broad timelines rather than specific dates. For example, if you want to travel to Hawaii in the autumn, you will be able to search that period of time to see the available deals. It allows you to search by month and season rather than searching specifically for one date that you had in mind.

travelzoo best flight search engine

 

This could either be a nuisance or a very good thing, depending on your perspective. If you want to be able to save a lot of money, then this could really come in handy. Travelzoo lets you benefit from your ability to be flexible on your dates. It has the potential to help you find very cost-effective business class flights and you can even find deals on multi-city itineraries that can help make your vacation a reality.

 

Of course, this is not going to work out quite so well for those who have very specific plans in mind. If you are trying to travel to a specific place for your mother’s birthday, then you may want to rely on a more traditional flight search engine. This one is worth keeping in mind when you want to reap the rewards of deep discounts and you are capable of adjusting your schedule accordingly. Look into it if you think that you can take advantage of how this search engine works.

 

BookIt

BookIt is another great option to consider when you want to be able to have an easy experience. Unlike some of the other flight search engines on this list, the BookIt interface is very clean and simple to read. This is going to show you results for your searched flight dates on a chart. The chart can be read easily and all of the important information is going to be right there in front of you.

bookit best flight search engine

 

You will be able to see which flight has the best price as it will be very clearly marked with a “best price” logo. Other important information such as how many stops a flight has will also be clearly visible. It makes it very simple to see which options are going to be appealing to you at a glance. Many people are going to prefer this chart to the endless scrolling that some other flight search engines will offer.

 

There are some potential negatives that may make you think twice about using this as your primary flight search engine. It has booking fees and it is not always transparent about how much these fees are going to cost you. Even so, this is among the easiest ways to compare flights. You do not have to keep scrolling and trying to keep track of the best deals and shortest layover times when all of that information is on the chart right in front of you.

 

TripAdvisor Flights

TripAdvisor Flights is an offshoot of the popular TripAdvisor hotel reviews site. They have created a convenient flight search engine tool that works very well to help users find good deals. You will be able to get many results when using this search engine and it even pops up other flight search engines that will allow you to compare things with a simple click. It is a very transparent site that is easy to use.

tripadvisor best flight search engine

 

As an added benefit, you will also be able to easily access reviews of certain airlines and their fares. There are many user reviews of the various airlines that you will be searching. It can give you some information on what to expect if you are thinking of flying with an unfamiliar airline. If you like being able to empower yourself with information ahead of booking a flight, then this should come in handy. It can help you to avoid booking a flight with an airline that will not provide you with an optimal experience.

 

This flight search engine also has the traditional convenient tools that you should expect. You can easily check boxes to make sure that the results will prioritize non-stop flights. It makes it easy to find the information that you need and you should be able to use this search engine to its full potential without any trouble.

 

Expedia

Expedia is a website that is among the most popular options for finding flights. Users can use this search engine to find flights and will be able to also book hotels or rental cars from the same site. Essentially, this is a one-stop solution for everything that you may need for an upcoming trip. Some people may find it annoying that the site pushes hotels when you just want to look for flights, though.

expedia best flight search engine

 

One good benefit of using Expedia is that it does not charge you any booking fees when you book a round-trip flight with the same airline. This helps to keep your costs a little bit lower and will certainly come in handy. It also allows you to easily see plenty of information about your flight before checking out. You will be able to easily gain access to baggage rules, seating charts, information on cancellations, and much more.

 

This flight search engine has a good interface that is simple enough to use. You can use it to help find a good deal on a flight and that is what counts. It is transparent about any fees and allows you to avoid fees on round-trip flights booked with one airline. So long as you use this option properly, it should be easy to find the best deal on your desired flight.

 

Travelocity

Just about everyone is familiar with Travelocity due to their marketing presence. What many people are not aware of is the fact the Travelocity and Expedia are actually the same thing. These two sites are affiliated with Expedia owning Travelocity. The only real difference between the two is that the colors of the websites are different.

travelocity best flight search engine

 

There are some minor differences in how the site is organized too. For instance, Travelocity does not allow users to search for flexible dates. Expedia does have this option. Overall, you will have a very similar experience when using both Travelocity and Expedia.

 

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a lesser-known flight search engine but often has better prices. They’re used by over 80 million travelers monthly to find not only flights, but hotels and rental cars as well. They also have an app for searching for flights on your cell phone. Skyscanner also allows for multi-city searches for those who are looking for a stopover or open jaw flight. You can find any flight you’re looking for on Skyscanner.

skyscanner best flight search engine

 

As a lesser-known entity, Skyscanner is one of the best flight search engines. It’s capable of searching whatever type of flight you’re looking for and comes back with some of the best results.

 

Testing for the Best Flight Search Engine

Each flight search is going to be unique and has differing results as to which is the best flight search engine, but we tested them out with an upcoming trip anyway. We’d like to visit Vancouver Canada during the Memorial Day holiday weekend this year. Let’s do a flight search on each of the best flight search engines to see what the results are. For each, we will check only for the best price available for 2 adults to fly from PDX to YVR on May 25-27. Keep in mind that the best price is not always the best option. The cheapest flight may cost slightly less, but have a much longer trip time.

  • Google Flights: $268
  • CheapOair: $248
  • OneTravel: $240 << WINNER
  • Kayak: $263
  • Momondo: $263
  • Travelzoo: No deals available
  • BookIt: $305
  • TripAdvisor: $308
  • Expedia: $265
  • Travelocity: $265
  • Skyscanner: $286

 

As you can see, the results vary by flight search engine. The best flight search engine, in this instance, is OneTravel. When searching for a flight, I’d suggest comparing multiple flight search engines before buying. A few of the best flight search engines above allow you to compare prices between each other which makes this simple. Another place to search is through Costco Travel if you’re a member.

 

Our Conclusion: Is there Really a “Best Flight Search Engine”?

If you use any of the flight search engines mentioned above, you should be able to have a good experience. They all have their own quirks and benefits. Only Travelocity and Expedia are exceedingly similar (since they have the same ownership). Otherwise, it may be helpful to see what each of these sites has to offer you before pulling the trigger on your purchase.

 

Finding a great deal on your next flight will not be hard at all. Just use these flight search engines properly and you’ll be able to save the most money possible. It will keep more of your hard-earned money in your wallet and you’ll have more money to do things on your vacation.

Southwest Hawaii Flights: The Ultimate Information Guide 4

The long-awaited launch of Southwest Airlines flights to Hawaii is ever so close to fruition. Southwest has officially announced that they’ll start flying to Hawaii. They’ve also announced the first Southwest Hawaii destinations and confirmed when they plan to start flying the routes.

 

Southwest customers have been eagerly waiting for the low-cost airline to make their way to Hawaii. It should mean more competition for routes from the west coast to Hawaii and therefore lower prices. That’s the hope anyway. The two main competitors that Southwest will face are Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines who have already begun to lower prices in anticipation of Southwests entry into the Hawaii routes. The biggest question is, when will they actually launch these Southwest Hawaii flights?

 

When will Southwest Start Flying to Hawaii?

UPDATE: Southwest is NOW flying to Hawaii!

 

Southwest has been working non-stop on preparing for their flights to Hawaii. They have their new facilities, equipment, staff and Hawaii flight schedules all ready to go. Southwest has opened a base in Los Angeles to help staff the Hawaii flights, and they have plans to set up a large operation in Honolulu with several gates. Southwest has also been working for over a year with the Federal Aviation Administration to get certification for long, over-water flights.

 

The certification that Southwest is working on getting is called ETOPS (Extended Twin Engine Operating Performance). To get ETOPS certification Southwest must prove that they can safely fly for an extended amount of time in the event of an engine failure.

 

Because Southwest is completely ready for their Hawaii flights, they’ll likely start flying days after receiving their certification from the FAA. The bad news is that certification seems to have been delayed. Even with delays, Southwest should begin flying to Hawaii in early 2019. A January or February launch is expected. Just in time for the end of whale season!

southwest airlines hawaii

 

Southwest Flights to Hawaii Timeline

  • April, 2018 – Southwest announced that it plans to fly to four Hawaiian destinations. Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai will be the first Southwest Hawaii destinations.
  • May, 2018 – They announced that the first four Southwest routes to Hawaii will depart from Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, and San Diego.
  • August, 2018 – Southwest said flights would likely be announced in October and would start flying weeks later.
  • October-December, 2018 – patiently waiting to hear something… but no word

 

Our Future Predictions:

  • December, 2018-January, 2019 – Completion of ETOPS testing of flights across the Pacific Ocean, ETOPS final certification, flight announcements, and ticket sales go live.
  • January-February, 2019 – Direct flights to Honolulu and Kahului begin operating.
  • February-March, 2019 – Flight extensions to Kona and Lihue begin operating (inter-island).
  • March-June, 2019 – Direct flights to Kona and Lihue begin operating, inter-island flights begin operating (including Hilo), and flights from Los Angeles begin operating to all four islands.

 

These are our timeline predictions of how we think it will play out after reading every possible article we could find on the Southwest Hawaii flights situation.

 

In reality:

  • Southwest flights to Hawaii from California started on March 17, 2019.
  • There are now flights from the mainland to Oahu and Maui, and also inter-island flights.

Southwest Routes to Hawaii

Adding Southwest flights to Hawaii is just about as good as it gets for customers looking to travel to the islands. Personally, two of my favorite things in travel are joining forces. Southwest Airlines and Hawaii are finally getting together. Southwest has officially announced that they will soon be offering flights to Kahului, Maui (OGG), Kona-Kailua, Hawaii (KOA), Lihui, Kauai (LIH), and of course Honolulu, Oahu (HNL). By far, these are the most frequently used airports in Hawaii so it makes sense why they chose them. Budget travel to Hawaii just became more competitive.

 

The first four departure airports that will have Southwest Hawaii flights are Sacramento (SMF), San Jose (SJC), Oakland (OAK), and San Diego (SAN). All cities in California, which makes sense because they are the closest distance to Hawaii.

 

We’ve been waiting for this day for years, and absolutely love that there will be Southwest flights to Hawaii. We travel to Hawaii on average, at least once per year since we started traveling with points and miles. It’s our favorite destination and now it will be even easier to travel to. One thing I’m extremely excited about is using a Southwest Companion Pass on Southwest flights to Hawaii. This allows for some extremely good deals and savings to be had! Just think, buy-one-get-one-free flights to Hawaii for two consecutive years using a Companion Pass… That’s absolutely incredible. We might just have to start going to Hawaii every month!

southwest hawaii flights

 

Southwest Will Offer Inter-Island Flights

Southwest plans on flying inter-island routes as well. Currently, there are only a few options to go between the islands. Having another competitor in the space should create some cheaper fares for island hoppers. Sometimes it’s nice to take a longer Hawaiian vacation and split your time between multiple islands. My wife and I did this for our honeymoon and to celebrate our one year anniversary.

 

What Hawaii Routes will Southwest Fly Next?

Obviously, as stated above, it will make sense for Southwest to fly between Los Angeles and Hawaii in the near future. I would expect that to be the first addition to the route list. But, where else might Southwest fly from? Here are some of the possibilities:

  • Los Angeles, Ca (LAX)
  • San Jose, Ca (SJC)
  • Sacramento, Ca (SMF)
  • San Diego, Ca (SAN)
  • Seattle, Wa (SEA)
  • Portland, Or (PDX)
  • San Francisco, Ca (SFO)
  • Las Vegas, Nv (LAS)
  • Denver, Co (DEN)
  • Salt Lake City, Ut (SLC)
  • Phoenix, Az (PHX)

 

Question: Where do you think Southwest will fly to Hawaii from?

Answer: Turns out they started with only California flights. It makes sense due to the populations there.

 

The Experience of Flying Southwest to Hawaii

So, the time has come. I’m about to be on a plane with Southwest Airlines, flying to Hawaii! It’s so exciting, but what should I expect the experience to be like? Will it be any different than other Southwest flights? Normally, Southwest flies shorter routes over land. This is a five-plus hour flight over the Pacific Ocean. Are my bags still free? Are there food and drinks? Do I have an assigned seat? Do they use the same planes without first class? There are so many questions about the new Southwest Hawaii flights. We have the answers you’ve been looking for when it comes to Southwest Airlines flights to Hawaii.

 

Most things will be the same as any other Southwest flight, but there will be a few differences to accommodate the longer flight times.

southwest airlines companion pass

 

Southwest Hawaii Flight Prices

One reason that customers are so excited about Southwest flying to Hawaii is that having another competitor should lower prices. Experts predict a pricing battle on Hawaii flights between Southwest, Alaska, and Hawaiian. Many think that flights will begin at prices from $99-139 each way.

 

Southwest moving in on the Hawaii market is much needed for customers. Prices for Hawaii flights have become outrageous in recent years. A few years ago you could find Hawaii flights for $300-400 round-trip pretty regularly, but now you’re lucky if you find the same flight for under $700.

“We will come in with lower fares, and not introductory fares. We have the structure to offer low fares…. It’s got to be a price that’s competitive and the lowest price in the market.”

– Southwest Airlines president Tom Nealon.

 

Not only will Southwest have low prices, but it should lower its competitors’ pricing as well. A Northeastern University study showed that when Southwest enters a market, it drops the prices of airfare up to 24% for those routes. They called it the “Southwest Effect”. Let’s hope that’s the case with Southwest Hawaii routes.

 

Southwest Boarding Procedure on Hawaii Flights

The Southwest boarding procedure will stay the same for the most part. Having no assigned seats, and rather getting a boarding order at check-in will stay the same. Getting on and off the planes may be slightly different. In Hawaii, Southwest will likely use outdoor boarding ramps and possibly board from both the front and back doors of the planes. They’ve been testing this procedure at a few California airports to see if it speeds up the process. Southwest will use boarding ramps because many of their gates will be on the ground level and weather most often permits it.

 

Seating & Service on Southwest Hawaii Flights

One thing that Southwest doesn’t have, that it’s competitors do, is first-class seating. Southwest has never offered a first-class and they won’t start now. Their Hawaii flights will have the same seating arrangements as its other planes with the one class throughout the plane. Note that Southwest emergency exit row seats usually have more leg room than elsewhere.

  • No seat assignments. There will still be a $15 early boarding option.
  • No in-seat charger ports. You’ll need to bring a charged battery and perhaps a portable battery charger.
  • In-flight entertainment will be available on your own devices only. Wi-fi may be available for a fee.

 

Food on Southwest Hawaii Flights

No meals will be for sale on Southwest flights to Hawaii. There will only be drinks and snacks as is customary for Southwest Airlines. Southwests planes don’t have ovens or coolers in the galley so having meals is not an option. I would, although, imagine that the snack options will be broadened compared to other Southwest flights. Along with the typical pretzels, peanuts and crackers, they’ll likely have larger snacks for purchase. I’m guessing things like nuts, dried fruits, chips, jerky and cookies will be for sale on Southwest Hawaii flights.

 

Bags Fly Free on Southwests Hawaii Flights

Bags always fly free on Southwest. It won’t change for Hawaii flights, as you’ll still be able to check two complimentary bags. Having no fees for checking two bags can save upwards of $50 on each one-way flight per person.

 

What Planes will Southwest Fly to Hawaii?

Southwest currently flies all Boeing 737’s for every single flight, which will be no different for their Hawaii flights. Southwest will eventually upgrade it’s Hawaii flights to use 737 MAX 8 and MAX 7 jets, which have greater range and better fuel efficiency. They also carry more passengers and have an extra restroom. With these new planes, Southwest will have the opportunity to fly directly from the US Mountain West region (Denver and Salt Lake City).

 

Using Southwest Rapid Reward points to Fly to Hawaii

Another great thing about Southwest flying to Hawaii is the ability to use Rapid Rewards points on their flights. On average, Rapid Rewards points are worth 1.6 cents each when used for a “Wanna Get Away” fare. That means if the pricing estimations above are correct, you’ll be able to find one-way Southwest Hawaii flights for 6,000-9,000 points.

 

That is an incredible value of points! If you consider that sometimes the Southwest credit cards offer signup bonuses of 60,000 miles, you could purchase up to five round-trip flights with a single credit card offer. It’s an even better value if you can earn a Southwest Companion Pass for two years, essentially doubling the value of your points.

 

Will Companion Pass Work for Southwest Hawaii Flights?

Yes, a Southwest Companion Pass will be valid to use for Hawaii flights. This means that you can both use Rapid Rewards points and a Companion Pass together, to get a free second ticket while using points. Did I mention, if you earn Companion Pass you’ll have it for up to two years and you’ll also have at least 110,000 miles to use! I almost can’t believe how amazing this opportunity is. You can earn a Southwest Companion Pass by earning 110,000 miles in one calendar year (credit card signup bonuses count). Here are all the available Southwest credit cards that can help you earn your own Southwest Companion Pass to use on Hawaii flights. We already earned ours and are ready to take action in 2019!

how to get southwest companion pass

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

Southwest Hawaii Flights: The Ultimate Information Guide 5
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months. Plus 35,000 more points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
Earn 3000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$69 annual fee.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

Southwest Hawaii Flights: The Ultimate Information Guide 6
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months. Plus 35,000 more points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
Earn 6000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$99 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

Southwest Hawaii Flights: The Ultimate Information Guide 7
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months. Plus 35,000 more points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 2X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
$75 Southwest travel credit each year.
4 Upgraded boardings per year.
20% back on in-flight drinks and wi-fi.
Earn 7500 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$149 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Premier

Southwest Hawaii Flights: The Ultimate Information Guide 8
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 2X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
Earn 6000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$99 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

How to Earn Even More Southwest Miles to Use with Your Companion

Did you know that Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. After you earn your Southwest Companion Pass, you can stack your Southwest miles balance by earning Chase Ultimate Rewards to transfer to your Rapid Rewards account. Below are the best credit card offers to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Southwest Hawaii Flights: The Ultimate Information Guide 9
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Ink Business Preferred

Southwest Hawaii Flights: The Ultimate Information Guide 10
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

If you’re looking to travel a lot in the next year with that Companion Pass, you might also be interested in priority airport security screening and airport lounge access. You can receive those travel benefits and much more with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Southwest Hawaii Flights: The Ultimate Information Guide 11
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
BENEFITS
$300 annual travel credit.
Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
FEES
$550
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

southwest flights to hawaii

 

Southwests Competition for Hawaii Flights

Southwest bringing its service into the Hawaiian market is sure to bring some fierce competition. The main competitors for Southwest Airlines flying to Hawaii, are Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. Airline industry analysts are predicting Southwests entry into the Hawaii market to cause both a pricing war and a “game of one-upmanship unlike any since airline deregulation in the ’70s”.

 

Both Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest pride themselves on their customer service and generousness. It will be interesting to see how far they will go to keep/gain customers. Executives of Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines were recently asked questions about the possible pricing war that Southwest will bring. Both airlines’ executives said that they are positioned well in Hawaii with amenities and features that Southwest does not have. Two things that Hawaiian Airlines has that Southwest doesn’t, are first-class and meals. In fact, Hawaiian has revamped first-class with lie-flat seating in many of their planes.

 

The incoming pricing war for Hawaii flights has even made its way into reward travel. Alaska recently lowered the number of miles needed to fly from the mainland to Hawaii. A round-trip reward flight on Alaska Airlines will now take 25,000-30,000 miles.

 

For customers looking to fly to Hawaii, this competition is great news. It should make prices to fly to Hawaii much more reasonable both in the short term and long term.

 

When will Southwest Start Flying to Hawaii?

So, now that we’ve covered every single angle of the new Southwest Hawaii flights news let’s decide when we think there will officially be Southwest flights to Hawaii. January of 2019 seems very likely. Southwest had planned to roll out their Hawaii flights in 2018, but they had unforeseen roadblocks. The ETOPS certification has taken longer to finalize than they had imagined. The good news is they are completely prepared to launch as soon as they get the go-ahead from the FAA. If Southwest isn’t flying Hawaii routes by the end of January, I’d imagine it won’t be long after that they launch service.

 

Southwest is well prepared for their launch of Hawaii flights. Are you?

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 12

Free flights… Upgraded to first class… Free hotel rooms… Upgraded to a suite… Free food and drinks in that fancy airport lounge… Sounds nice, right?!? These are some of the points and miles travel benefits and perks available to anyone who decides to travel using credit cards to earn miles and points.

EXPERIENCES FROM POINTS & MILES TRAVEL

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 13These are all parts of travel that I have experienced over the past few years. I have flown countless flights where I paid nothing but the taxes and fees (as low as $6). I’ve have flown in first class. I have stayed at hotels without paying any money. I’ve been upgraded to suites in some of those free hotel stays. And, I now can’t stand a layover where I don’t have access to an airline lounge where they have free food, drinks, sockets to charge my phone, and comfortable chairs.

BEFORE TRAVELING WITH POINTS AND MILES

It’s hard to think that just a few years ago, I had no idea that these things would ever be possible, let alone that I could afford to travel much at all. Before points and miles travel appeared in my life, I didn’t think much about travel besides dreaming of places that I wanted to visit someday when I was much wealthier and could afford it. Is this you right now? I want you to know how easy and how available travel can be.

TRAVEL CREDIT CARD BENEFITS5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 14

Whether you want to start traveling for the first time and be able to do it for very small amounts of money, or you already travel and want to upgrade how you do it, travel with points and miles can open new doors to either option. The quantity of your travel as well as the quality of your travel can be boosted tenfold by following the simple steps of traveling with points and miles.

FLIGHT BENEFITS

The major flight benefit that comes from travel with points and miles is the airline miles you can acquire without actually traveling to earn them. Through very generous credit card introductory bonuses, you can almost instantly earn multiple free flights. For instance, I just signed up for a Chase Ink Preferred Business card which offered me a introductory bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards. This bonus alone, has the possibility of being used for 3 round trip flights to Hawaii if redeemed how I explained in the blog post “How I Fly Round Trip to Hawaii for $11”. Different credit cards all offer different introductory bonuses that all differ in value, depending how you want to spend the points.

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 15Another benefit from some of these credit cards, is access to lounges which are in all major airports. American, United, Delta, Alaska and many other airlines all have lounges within airports for customers to enter and relax in before and after flights. Normally you would need to be flying first class or pay somewhere around $40 to enter such lounges. Thankfully, there are a handful of credit cards that grant you unlimited access. When you’re traveling often, having access to a lounge is a great benefit. It gives you somewhere to get away from the hustle and bustle of airport terminals, allowing you to also get a snack and charge your phone.  You can see where these lounges exist by visiting LoungeBuddy who has an extensive list (code JnSjMo28aP gives a $10 credit).

If you’re looking to up your quality of travel, you can use miles and points to book first class flights.  You can even upgrade to first class on a flight you’ve already purchased. I mostly use points to upgrade the quantity of my travel, but I’ve upgraded quality a couple times.  It’s quite nice sitting in first class. I definitely suggest trying it out at least once!

HOTEL BENEFITS

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 16Now for the benefits that traveling with points can give you towards hotels… The major benefit, similar to the flight benefits, is the ability to redeem points for free hotel stays. There are credit cards and points systems that can be used at most major hotel chains. Hilton, Hyatt, Intercontinental, and Club Carlson are a few of the main brands. Each of these brands has different chains that are part of their reward system. While I find that points and miles are often more valuable when used towards flights, I do still use them for hotels when it deems advantageous.

Along with point bonuses, some credit cards offer elite status for certain hotel chains. If you had ever heard of elite statuses at hotels, like me, you probably thought that the only way to earn it was by staying at hotels all the time. While that is one way of earning status, you can also earn it simply by having the right credit card. Once you have status at a hotel chain, you are very likely to have your room upgraded. Sometimes, you’ll even be upgraded to a suite if one is available at your check-in time.

GETTING STARTED TRAVELING WITH POINTS5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 17

Now that you see what some of the travel benefits are, I can imagine you may be interested. Remember to keep the following in mind when getting started.  When I first learned how to earn nearly unlimited miles and points through credit cards, I jumped in.  I didn’t have much of a plan. If I could go back, I would make a plan before earning points. As I said earlier, all points and miles are not the same and are valued very differently. Having an idea of where you would like to travel is a good starting point.  That way you can earn the points that will be most efficient and beneficial to your personalized travel.

I hope this has given you an idea of what traveling with points and miles can bring into your life. It has opened the door of travel to me, and I would like to invite you in to join the party.

 

PS: If you’re interested in traveling more often or more luxuriously, check out our FREE 5-DAY MINI COURSE.