We’re planning a big family vacation for next summer. Scott, me, the kids, and my parents are all headed to Seattle for a friend’s wedding. We decided to make a week out of it and make it a vacation.
Gone are the days when Scott and I could book 2 tickets on Northwest with our miles in under 10 minutes. Have you ever tried to coordinate booking 7 plane tickets using frequent flier miles from 2 different accounts for 4 tickets, getting reasonable prices for the remaining tickets, getting good flight times for traveling with 3 kids ages 3 and under, and getting decent seating for traveling with a lap baby? Don’t forget to throw in the Delta/Northwest merger of our frequent flier miles, and all of a sudden, booking the flight got really complicated.
Pay with Miles
Luckily, I discovered Delta’s “Pay with Miles” program. While the conversion ratio isn’t that great, it looks like a cheaper option than using miles outright for the dates we need. You need to have one of the American Express Delta cards to use the Pay with Miles program:
We each applied for a card, since you get 25,000 bonus SkyMiles after the first purchase (good for $500 off with the Pay with Miles program for 2 cards). After we get our new cards, even after paying the annual fee, it should make booking our trip much easier… and cheaper!
By the Numbers
You can get my latest articles full of valuable tips
and other information delivered directly to your email for free
simply by entering your email address below. Your address will never be sold or used for spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Do I have to fly 25,000 paid miles on Spirit and pay annual fee to get a “free” ticket on Spirit?
There are definitely a lot of really nice airlines credit cards out there but I personally prefer to just use my cash back credit card because it sometimes just makes things so much simpler and I can use the cash for whatever I want.
It’s worth ALWAYS spending your miles within a year. Don’t let them expire. It’s like the time value of money. Use it, or watch hit’s value disappear.
Last year my sister and I pooled our miles and a friend of our brother donated miles and we were able to bring my niece and her family for a visit from CA. My niece was in a serious car accident and was very depressed so we thought a visit would cheer her up.
I was on the phone with USAIR for almost 90 minutes, but the woman I was working with was on the ball and anticipated our every need. It was a very difficult task to source non-stop or only one-stop flights where we could make seating arrangements and have my niece’s special needs handled. I had no idea that I would be so emotional planning a trip, but I was in tears at the end of the phone call.
I hope everyone gets a chance to USE their miles, but if you don’t need them, consider donating them to your favorite charity. It did us ALL a world of good to have the whole family together. Instead of making trips to see her, we’d been sending money for her multitude of expenses.