Sherry asked me on my Facebook page if there is a way to travel free to Australia or New Zealand. Is there a way… of course there are ways. Yes, ways, as in plural!
Here is what you do:
1. Grab 2 Cititbank Visa AA cards right here for 100,000 miles total. I recommend the first two links: one business card and one personal (no, you don’t need to run an official business to qualify for a business card). In order to do so, you need to apply from two different computers or browsers (Chapter 14 of my book explains in details how to do that, and it’s very easy). Apply at the same time.
2. Don’t worry that the application page does not spell out what you’re getting–you will get your miles. If in doubt, go to this thread and read the latest posts.
3. After completing the $5,500 spend requirement and getting your 100,000 miles (plus $150 statement credit and 2 lounge passes) go to American Airlines website. Choose Redeem AAdvantage Miles and search for the flights and dates you need as in the examples below. Remember you’re always looking for the cheapest OffPeak Milesaver redemption rate of 37,500/one-way. Be flexible. My examples are from NYC; it’s easier if you’re flying from the West Coast.
4. You can visit both Australia and New Zealand and/or 2 other Australian cities like Brisbane and Melbourne in one trip. In order to do the proper search choose MULTI-CITY and enter your cities and dates. Your taxes will amount to $130-200 TOTAL! But remember that $150 statement credit? Cool, huh?
5. How many miles will you need?
US-Sydney: 75,000 AA miles
US-Sydney-Auckland: 85,000 AA miles
US-Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane)-Auckland: AA 105,000 miles. You will get the extra 5,500 miles (1 mile per a dollar spent) because you’ll have to spend $5,000 in order to get the miles in the first place.
See what happens when you harvest the power of your good credit combined with the power of a Frequent Flyer program? You’ve just gotten yourself a free vacation saving on average around $2,000! And your credit card company even took care of your taxes. Not too shabby, eh?