Best Ways to Fly to Orlando With Miles & Points (or Small Money)!

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Now that summer is here, many folks are starting to think about vacations.

A perennial favorite are the theme parks in Orlando, Florida.  And it’s within reach if you want to use your miles and points!

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

Considering a Trip to Orlando? Use Your Points or Find Low Fares to Get There!

I’ve written about how to save money at Disney World.  Now I’ll show you the best ways to use your points.

I’ll also give you tips about budget airlines.  And offsetting the cost of your flights!

Use Miles & Points to Get to Orlando

It’s easy to use miles and points for an Orlando vacation.  Read my post about how to get 5 nights at a hotel and 2 flights to Disney World from opening 2 credit cards.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

Visit Sea World and Disney with Small Money!

Southwest

Link:   Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card

Link:   Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card

Link:   Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

One of my favorite ways to fly is with my Southwest Companion Pass.  That’s because you can bring a companion with you for nearly free on both paid and award tickets.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

With the Southwest Companion Pass, Bring Along Someone Special for Nearly Free!

Southwest has low fares to Orlando this summer.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

Fly From Indianapolis to Orlando Nonstop for $122…

Or you can use Southwest points for the flights.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

…or 7,026 Southwest points!

With either option, you can bring your designated companion using your Southwest Companion Pass.  This is a great deal!  Read my step-by-step guide about how to get the Southwest Companion Pass.

Remember you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio.

British Airways

Link:   Chase British Airways Visa

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   AMEX EveryDay Preferred

Link:   AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest Card

One of the best uses of British Airways Avios points is for short flights on American and US Airways.

That’s because a 1-way coach award ticket is only 4,500 British Airways Avios points for flights under 650 miles.  And 7,500 British Airways Avios points for flights between 650 and 1,150 miles.

A 1-way flight from Charlotte to Orlando in August is $489.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

This $489 Flight Is Only 4,500 British Airways Avios Points!

But Million Mile Secrets readers know they can get the same flight for 4,500 British Airways Avios points!

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

Using British Airways Avios Points for Short Flights Can Get You Huge Value

You can use 4,500 British Airways Avios points to fly to Orlando from:

  • Charlotte
  • Miami

Or you can use 7,500 British Airways Avios points to fly to Orlando from:

  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • New York – JFK
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington, DC
Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

It’s Easy to Get British Airways Avios Points!

British Airways Avios points are easy to earn.  You can transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, or the Starwood Preferred Guest program.

American Airlines

Link:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®

American Airlines charges 12,500 American Airlines miles for a 1-way award flight from anywhere in the continental US or Alaska, or 25,000 American Airlines miles round-trip.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

A Trip for 2 People on American Airlines in August Would Cost ~$700 If You Pay Cash

You can earn American Airlines miles by signing up for the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage MasterCard.  Right now, you’ll earn 50,000 American Airlines miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of opening your account.

That’s enough for 2 round-trip tickets!

And see my post about all the ways to earn American Airlines miles!

United Airlines

Link:   United Explorer Card

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

United Airlines charges 12,500 United Airline miles for a 1-way award flight from the mainland US or Alaska.  And 25,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip flight. 

Earning United Airlines miles is easy.  And United Airlines is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

Orlando Is Within Reach When You Redeem Miles With United Airlines

Right now, you can get 30,000 United Airlines miles and a $50 statement credit when you sign-up for the Chase United Explorer card and spend $1,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

This isn’t our link, but Emily and I will always share the best deals!

Delta

Link:   Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Even though Delta no longer has an award chart, I was still able to find lots of round-trip flights to Orlando for 25,000 Delta miles.

One example is nonstop from Minneapolis to Orlando.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

Fly With Delta from Minneapolis to Orlando Round-Trip for 25,000 Delta Miles

With 50,000 Delta miles you’d have enough for 2 round-trip flights to Orlando!

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

Fares Weren’t So Bad Either! It Costs $332 to Visit Orlando for a Weekend Right Before Labor Day

Buy Cheap Flights to Get to Orlando

If you’re low on miles, or want to save them for an international trip, another option is to travel with a budget airline.

Allegiant Air

Orlando is a focus city for Allegiant Air.  They operate a limited schedule.  But if they fit your travel plans, you could get a good deal!

Round-trip fares from Green Bay to Orlando in August are ~$216 per person.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

Fly on Allegiant Air from Green Bay to Orlando for Only ~$216 Per Person Round-Trip!

Note:  Allegiant Air flies into Orlando – Sanford Airport (SFB), NOT Orlando – International Airport (MCO). 

Sanford Airport is ~60 minutes from Orlando (depending on traffic), so you’ll need to arrange a shuttle or car service.  Or pick up a rental car when you land.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

LEGOLAND Is ~45 Minutes From Orlando. And You Can Save 20% When You Use Your Visa Card!

If you rent a car, consider visting LEGOLAND.  It’s in Winter Haven, Florida, which is ~45 minutes from Orlando.  And you can save 20% with your Visa card.

Be aware of extra fees with Allegiant Air though.  They charge for your carry-on bag, snacks, and even to use a credit card to book your flight!

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines often has sales on select routes.  You can get a good deal!

For example, you can fly from Philadelphia to Orlando for only $118 per person round-trip.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

Deal Alert! Round-Trip Fares From Philadelphia to Orlando Start at $118 in September

The savings add up fast if you want to fly your family to Orlando for a summer getaway.

As with other budget airlines, be on the lookout for extra fees.

Budget Airlines Versus Other Airlines

Budget airlines offer low fares.  Compared to other airlines, they have limited services and tighter seats.  But it’s worth it if saves you a lot of money!

I checked weekend fares in September to see how the budget airlines stacked up against other airlines.

Dates:   September 13, 2015, to September 17, 2015

Route:   Austin to Orlando 

Here’s how they ranked:

  • Allegiant Air: $129
  • American Airlines:  $226
  • Delta:  $222
  • Frontier Airlines: Route not available
  • JetBlue:  $276
  • Southwest:  $235
  • United Airlines:  $243

In this example, the budget airlines were comparable to other airlines.  But it depends how you fly.

If you have the Southwest Companion Pass, your partner flies nearly free, so it’s like 2 for one!  Also, on Southwest you get 2 free checked bags per person.  And JetBlue still gives you 1 free checked bag.  Although that policy is supposed to be changing.

It’s also important to consider direct routes versus connecting flights.  If you find it a hassle to connect, you might want to pay more for a nonstop flight.

Dates:  September 13, 2015, to September 17, 2015

Route:  Denver to Orlando 

Here’s how they ranked:

  • Allegiant Air: Route not available
  • American Airlines:  $282
  • Delta:  $428
  • Frontier Airlines:  $314
  • JetBlue:  Route not available
  • Southwest:  $346
  • United Airlines:  $345

In this example, American Airlines has the cheapest flight to Orlando.  But it connects in Dallas.  The 2 budget airlines with routes on these dates, Frontier Airlines and Southwest, both have nonstop options.

So it is up to you to decide whether or not you’re willing to connect.  Or if you want to start your vacation sooner and pay more.

Read my post about how to find low fares.  And remember that the only place you can book Southwest flights is on their website.

Use Citi ThankYou Points with Citi Prestige

Update:   Beginning July 23, 2017, Citi ThankYou points with the Citi Prestige card will be worth 1.25 cents each toward flights. 

Link:   Citi Prestige Card

Link:   Citi ThankYou Premier Card

Another helpful trick is to redeem Citi ThankYou points on American Airlines flights.  If you have the Citi Prestige card, you’ll get 1.6 cents per Citi ThankYou point when you book American Airlines flights through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center through July 23, 2017.

That means a $300 flight on American Airlines is 18,750 Citi ThankYou points.  So a family of 4 could fly to Orlando for 75,000 Citi ThankYou points.

Best Ways To Fly To Orlando With Miles Points Or Small Money

Use Citi ThankYou Points to Visit Universal Studios in Orlando on American Airlines With NO Blackout Dates!

Right now, the sign-up bonuses for both the Citi Prestige card and Citi ThankYou Premier card are 50,000 Citi ThankYou points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  (BOTH EXPIRED.)

To get the 1.6 cents of value per Citi ThankYou point, 1st transfer your points from the Citi ThankYou Premier over to the Citi Prestige card through July 23, 2017.

Redeem Flights for Statement Credits

Link:   Barclaycard Arrival Plus

Link:   Citi Prestige Card

If you have the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, you can redeem Barclaycard miles for statement credits towards flights (and other travel expenses).  Right now, the sign-up bonus is 40,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles after completing minimum spending requirements.  That’s worth ~$400 in credits for flights, baggage, and booking fees.

Note:  The Arrival Plus is temporarily not open to new applicants.

The Citi Prestige card gives you $250 in airline credits per calendar year.  You can use the credit for baggage or change fees.  Or even airfare!

Bottom Line

To fly to Orlando, you can redeem miles with American Airlines, United Airlines, or Delta.  Also remember you can take a friend or loved one for nearly free when you have the Southwest Companion Pass.

British Airways Avios points can save you a lot of money when you use them for short flights on American Airlines and US Airways.

If you don’t want to redeem miles, consider flying on a budget airline such as Allegiant Air or Frontier Airlines.

You can redeem Barclaycard Arrival miles or Citi ThankYou points for paid flights.  And the Citi Prestige card gives you $250 in airline credit per calendar year.

If you’re heading to Orlando to visit the amusement parks, read how to get easy discounts at LEGOLAND and Universal Studios Orlando.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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2 responses to “Best Ways to Fly to Orlando With Miles & Points (or Small Money)!

  1. BA doesn’t let you select flights from NY (JFK) to Orlando. They say BA doesn’t have the traffic rights to operate flights that way.

  2. I can no longer book AA flights from BA site. How can you book flights Now?
    Please help, It is very frustrating to see you mention you can still book, and I have
    not been able to for a few weeks now. PS- I do appeciate your site and advise!