Tuesday 27 February 2018

Flying Business Class For The First Time – Part Two

Hey Guys,

This is part 2 to a post I did last year titled “Flying Business Class For The First Time.” This is probably long overdue, but here we go. In the previous post, I mentioned that I managed to fly business class to Spain for less than half the price of an economy ticket and today I am going to tell you how.

Sometime, in 2016, I came across a process called “credit card churning” and I was intrigued with all of the possibilities it offered. Credit card churning is basically applying for credit cards solely to earn rewards and then maximize their benefits. Those benefits being: traveling first class, business class or completely for free; which all sounded like great things to me!

After doing some research online, I decided to take what knowledge I had acquired and attempt this process for myself. There was no other way I was going to find out the nitty-gritty of the process, as I never found a step-by-step process online. I am going to try my best to give you one in the instructions below.

A few disclaimers before we get started:
1. You will need a good credit score. If you don’t have 740 and over, this is not for you.
2. If you have a tendency to spend money on things you cant afford, this is also not for you.
3. If you do not pay your credit cards in full every month, again, this is not for you.
4. Finally, do not do this before applying for a big loan e.g. a mortgage.

Step 1: Plan your trip.
I started my process with my trip in mind. I was going to Europe.

Step 2: Decide what part of the trip you want your points to cover.
Now, you could want your points to cover hotel, your flight or both. In my case, I wanted to travel in comfort as I suffer from anxiety whenever I fly. As such, my aim was to fly business class.

Step 3: Find out how many points it will require to cover your trip.
I knew my business class ticket was going to cost me approximately $3,000 USD, which was about 200,000 points. I needed two business class tickets (~400,000 points) for both my husband and I.

Step 4: Put together a credit card point strategy.
Closer to the end of 2016, I remember seeing that Chase was offering a 100,000 point sign up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. This caught my eye for two reasons: 1) we were already accruing points via the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and 2) 100,000 points is a large sign up bonus. This bonus would, ultimately, be worth more when redeemed through Chase’s reward portal. At this point, I realized I would need two Chase Sapphire Reserve cards (one for my husband and one for myself).

Step 5: Make sure you can meet minimum-spend on all cards within the required timeframe.
Now that I had figured out that we needed two cards, I needed to make sure that we could meet the minimum-spend on both cards within the timeframe specified. This minimum, I believe, was $4,000 within the first three (3) months. Now, the aim of this is to meet minimum-spend without using the card for anything you wouldn’t normally buy or pay for.

I applied first and we transferred all of our bills, gas, groceries and any other expenses onto my card. When I hit minimum-spend, my husband applied for his card and we repeated the process.

Step 6: Book your trip.
Once you hit minimum-spend, you should get your points on the next billing cycle. I transferred my points to my husband’s card and he bought our tickets so we would be seated together.

Please Note:
Some cards come with a yearly fee. The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a yearly fee of $450, but you are given $300 in travel credit. So, the fee is really $150 provided you do some traveling on a yearly basis.

Churning can get pretty complicated and there is also a lot more to the process that I don’t know, such as transferring points from cards directly to airline reward programs etc. I am still, very much, a novice at this but I thought I would share what I know.

If you have any questions and/or concerns, please leave them in the comments section below and I will be sure to respond.

Until next time guys, thanks for reading

xoxo TianShanae


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