We travel a lot, but we rarely end up spending money on flights. How do we do it? We use travel credit cards to our advantage!
We recently flew to Mexico and only paid taxes and fees ($87 per person) on our flights! So how exactly did we do it? We'll share!
Credit card warning
Before discussing the details, we want to say that proper credit card use is essential to getting the most out of the deal. We treat our credit cards like debit cards and never spend money that we don't have. If you don't have $300 in your bank account - don't put $300 on your credit card. It's as simple as that. If you sign up for a travel credit card but end up going into credit card debt and paying interest...you're free trip to Mexico isn't so free anymore!
Southwest Rapid Reward Credit Card
One of our favorite travel credit cards is the Southwest Rapid Rewards card. This is the one that we used to book our free trip to Mexico!
When you sign up for a Rapid Reward Credit card, you will get a bonus 40,000 miles after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months. Don't go out and buy something you wouldn't typically buy just to hit your $1,000 spend, but put all of your regular monthly expenses on the credit card, and you should easily hit the $1,000 mark.
The credit card costs $69 per year as an annual fee. We recommend getting the card, using your bonus, and then canceling the card before your next annual fee is due!
So now you've got the card, spent your $1,000, and received your 40,000 bonus! It's time to take your trip!
You can see the screenshot below shows a roundtrip flight to Chicago to Cancun only costs 16,068 points. We flew from Minneapolis, and it was around 21,000 points. Make sure you check out what the cost would be from the airport near you!
So you have 40,000 points, and it only takes 16,068 to get to Mexico on a round trip! What are you going to do with the rest of your points (23,932)?
Bring someone with you!
That's what we did! 2 people on round trips from Chicago to Mexico is STILL less than 40,000 miles.
How about more trips?
Play around on Southwest.com and find what cities you can fly to cheap! We've flown to Washington DC for 8,000 points round trip, and Denver as low as 5,000 points round trip!