Most of our freebies are earned through either our credit card (we charge all purchases, and then pay the bill in full each month), our frequent flier accounts, or through work travel. I am also sitting on a large number of points on United that I've yet to use this year. Here's a post I wrote about our travel plans for 2019, and our inventory of travel points/miles.
Here are the discounts/freebies we used for travel in 2018. We saved the following:
- $295.76 by using points for a flight to Las Vegas
- $20 by buying a discounted Southwest card for another trip to Las Vegas
- $452.41 on three flights to the beach for the summer
- $187.57 on a companion fare for Nick for our flights for the holidays
- $351.20 by using points on Sam's flight for the holidays
- $286.60 by using miles for a flight to Portland for my half marathon
- $37.80 by using a 10% off code for a flight to the relay I run
- $1150 by using a three free night offer in Las Vegas, plus earned a $400 promotional credit
- $1400 by using miles for two flights to Hawaii
- $150.39 for a trip to visit, as a gift to my sister. I used credits on Alaska
- $126.40 for a work trip, by using Alaska credits. I'll get reimbursed by work after the trip is complete
All told, we saved $4,458.13 by utilizing points, credits & promotional offers. Unfortunately, Alaska discontinued their low fare price matching program, which has saved us a significant amount over the past few years. I'll have to stay on top of our organization & planning, as we have had to change our plans more than normal due to work schedule issues, etc. Those change fees add up & can eliminate any price saving advantages. Reducing/eliminating those fees takes quite a bit of up front planning (ensuring the dates are locked for work & most advantageous from a scheduling perspective), but is one of my goals in 2019.
What about you? Do you track travel freebies & savings? How did you do in 2018?