20 Tips to earn a plane ticket to Costa Rica with frequent flyer miles (part 2)…plus the craziest way to accrue miles you’ll ever hear!
Are you wishing you could escape for a perfect tropical vacation in Costa Rica right now? We don’t blame you! In fact, we want you to come visit the paradise of Pura Vida so much that we’ll even show you how to get the airline ticket for free by using frequent flyer miles.
In part one of this blog, we covered 10 tips how to earn and accrue frequent flyer so liberally that you’ll soon be able to get a free (or seriously discounted) ticket south very soon. In this blog, we’ll cover ten more great tips including one you won’t want to miss – the craziest way I’ve ever heard to (legally) accrue airline miles!
Happy flying, and let us know when we should pick you up at the airport down here in sunny Costa Rica!
1. Free flights are just one of the perks.Costa Rica Vacation, Costa Rica Airport, Travel Costa Rica, Jaco Vacation, SJO Costa Rica, SJO AIrport, Costa Rica Gurus, Jaco VIP
It’s not just about free flights — the perks of airline rewards membership include getting elite status, business and first upgrades, early check in, use of the lounge, seat preference, and early boarding.
2. Timing is everything.
When is it the best time to try and book your awards travel? The answer is, “surprisingly early or quite late.” In fact, it’s best to try and cash in your airline miles 330 days before the date of travel, which is when airlines first post seats on their reservation computers. If you miss that date and can’t find a seat earlier, many airlines start opening up blocks of unsold seats within 14 days of travel, just to fill flights.
3. Concentrate on one airline.
Join as many airlines miles clubs as you’d like but all things being equal, try to use the same airline to accrue miles and earn awards more rapidly. Maybe your local airport is a hub for a certain airline, which will make it easy.
4. Volunteer to get bumped.
Quite often, the airlines overbook and ask for volunteers to get shuffled to a later flight. Take them up on this but negotiate a huge chunk of airline miles to go along with whatever voucher they’re offering.
5. Travel for work.
Be the guy or gal who volunteers to fly for any business trip that’s far away, but make sure you get credit for the miles. Many businesses also have corporate travel agents that negotiate special terms, deals, and upgrades for frequent business travel, so don’t be afraid to ask them about the best way to rack up your miles on work trips.
Costa Rica Vacation, Costa Rica Airport, Travel Costa Rica, Jaco Vacation, SJO Costa Rica, SJO AIrport, Costa Rica Gurus, Jaco VIP6. Find free offers.
Check the airlines’ websites and sign up for their email list and Like their social media pages. They’ll offer ways to earn free miles like asking you to take surveys, review products, and offer partner subscriptions such as with Netflix.
There are also plenty of good websites to guide you through the best and worst offers from airlines, and also keep track of your miles in one easy place.
FrequentFlier.com, MilePort.com, Award.com, GoMiles.com, MileageManager.com, Milewise.com, Points.com, Traxo.com, TripIt.com, UsingMiles.com and Yodlee.com are all great.
7. Use them or lose them.
Airlines systematically devalue their airline miles, so what 50,000 miles gets you today won’t be the same as what it will get you next year — or next month. So don’t be a hoarder and amass frequent flyer miles for a big vacation when you retire — use them as soon as you have enough for a free ticket.
8. Take mileage runs.
“Professional” frequent flyers scour the newspapers and Internet for really cheap flights to destinations far away. They’ll take these flights just for the sole purpose of accruing huge amounts of miles. So you see a trip to Hong Kong for only $385 that will get you 40,000 miles? Pack your bags and get ready for a three-day adventure, and know that your next flight to Costa Rica will be free. There are also ways to request far off connecting cities when booking your flight just to get more miles. Again, this is probably only for serious frequent flyers!
9. Get on their email lists.
Airlines, travel agencies, and Internet booking sites offer discount codes on flights, hotels, and packages all the time. The savings can really add up,Costa Rica Vacation, Costa Rica Airport, Travel Costa Rica, Jaco Vacation, SJO Costa Rica, SJO AIrport, Costa Rica Gurus, Jaco VIP but the problem is that most of us don’t know about them or where to find the discount codes. By signing up for the airline or travel site’s email list, you’ll get those discounts and offers right in your inbox.
10. Valuing your frequent flyer miles.
How do you know if it makes sense to cash in your frequent flyer miles instead of buying a ticket? According to Consumer Reports, the value of a frequent flyer mile is $.012. Since most airlines charge 25,000 miles for a round-trip domestic ticket, the value of a ticket is around $300. So if the ticket is on sale for less than $.012 per mile, don’t cash them in!
Bonus: What’s the craziest way to accrue miles?
When you have a credit card that gives you reward miles towards free tickets, it creates the urge to spend more on the card (that’s the whole point) in order to rack up free trips. I’ve seen people pay all of their bills and even their mortgage payment with travel rewards credit cards just to earn points. But no one was more innovative than a guy I knew who devised a system that allowed him and his wife to travel all over the world for almost two years straight– without costing him a dime!
This is how he did it: Every month, he would purchase commemorative U.S. coins via the Internet. He had to pay a small amount for shipping but it wasn’t much since he bought them in bulk– sometimes up to $10,000 at a time!
The very day he got his coins in the mail, he’d bring them down to the local bank and deposit them in his bank account for the same amount, and then immediately pay off his credit card balance before any interest accrued. He started out small and kept increasing the monthly amount purchases when he saw it was working, until he was buying up to $20,000 worth of coins every month, getting him more miles and points for flights and hotels than he could use up!
While this isn’t illegal, I know the credit cards and airlines don’t condone it and might find a way to stop the practice. But there’s nothing wrong with putting as many big purchases on your rewards credit card as possible and then paying it off immediately!