Start Collecting Miles Now to Never Miss a Friend’s Wedding Again!

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Attending a wedding can be expensive, especially if you have to pay to travel to the event.  But you can save money on flights by earning miles & points with credit card sign-up bonuses!

If you’re new to miles & points, the trick is collect airline miles or credit card points you can use with no blackout dates.  This will help you avoid frustration when you absolutely MUST travel on particular dates – like for a wedding!

Team member Keith and his wife recently got back from a wedding in New York.  Using miles & points (including JetBlue points) for round-trip flights from Los Angeles saved them ~$1,000!

The best miles to collect to save money on flights will depend on your departure city and airline preferences.  I’ll share some of the best card sign-up bonuses that can help you get to a friend’s wedding for nearly free!

Earn Miles & Points You Can Use Without About Blackout Dates!

Link:   Beginner’s Guide to Miles & Points

Link:   11 Credit Card Myths That Could Be Holding You Back From Big Travel

Most folks (including Emily and me) got into the miles & points hobby to save money on travel.  Free travel doesn’t have to be a luxurious vacation overseas.  Sometimes you just want to avoid travel expenses, like paying for a flight to a friend’s wedding.

If you’re new to miles & points, I recommend reading my beginner’s guide.  And if you already have a credit card and don’t know if you should open a new one, check out my post with 11 credit card myths.  Opening new credit cards and using them responsibly can have a positive effect on your credit score and history!

Start Collecting Miles Now To Never Miss A Friends Wedding Again
Opening New Credit Card Accounts and Using Them Responsibly Can Actually Boost Your Credit Score!

The best type of miles or points to collect depends on your situation.  But generally, I recommend collecting flexible points or airline miles you can redeem without having to worry about blackout dates!

Here are the top card offers to consider!

3 Cards to Earn Flexible Miles or Points You Can Use for Nearly ANY Flight!

1.   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite rewards credit card for beginners.

You’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

You can use the sign-up bonus points to get $625 worth of airfare by booking through Chase’s travel portal.  There are no blackout dates when you book this way and you can find flights on just about any airline.  I’ve found prices on the portal are the same as booking directly or through an online travel agency.  

Start Collecting Miles Now To Never Miss A Friends Wedding Again
Heading to a Wedding in Malibu? Get $625 Toward Flights by Redeeming the Chase Sapphire Preferred Sign-Up Bonus Points in the Chase Travel Portal!

With the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll also get:

And the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.  So you can test the card out for nearly a year without paying anything.  Then, decide if you like the benefits enough to pay the annual fee. I recommend folks get this card first.  Because Chase has strict application rules, which can make it difficult to get their cards if you apply for lots of cards with other banks first.

2.   Capital One Venture

Link:   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Link:   My Review of the Capital One Venture Card 

The Capital One Venture is a popular card for folks looking to earn easy to redeem miles.  You just pay for travel expenses (like airfare or hotel stays) with your credit card.  Then, you can “erase” the charge by redeeming your Venture miles.

When you sign-up for the Capital One Venture card, you’ll earn 50,000 Venture miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

Start Collecting Miles Now To Never Miss A Friends Wedding Again
Find a Cheap Virgin America Flight? Pay With the Capital One Venture Card and Later Redeem Miles to Erase the Charge!

With this card, you’ll also get:

  • 2 Venture miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee

3.   Barclaycard Arrival Plus

Link:   Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

Link:   My Review of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus

You can get $400 worth of flights (or any type of travel!) with the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card.

You’ll earn 40,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles (worth $400) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

And when you redeem miles for travel purchases, you’ll receive a 5% rebate.  But you can’t redeem miles unless the purchase is at least $100.  So if you redeem 40,000 miles, you’ll get 2,000 miles back, which you can save up to use for your next redemption!

Start Collecting Miles Now To Never Miss A Friends Wedding Again
With the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, You Can Redeem Your Miles for Travel Purchases of $100+

With this card, you’ll also earn 2 miles per $1 on all purchases.  And the $89 annual fee is waived the first year.

 3 Excellent Cards If You Already Know Which Airline You Want to Fly

1.   Chase Southwest Cards

I like Southwest because:
  • There are no blackout dates on award flights
  • Award flight prices are based on the cash cost of the flight
  • You get 2 free checked bags on every flight
  • You don’t pay change or cancel fees on paid or award flights

They also have the best deal in travel – the Southwest Companion Pass.

To book Southwest flights with points, you’ll pay 70 to 80 points per $1 of the base fare.  So a $100 base fare requires 7,000 to 8,000 Southwest points.  You can stretch your Southwest points if you book during a fare sale.

Start Collecting Miles Now To Never Miss A Friends Wedding Again
No Need to Worry About Overpacking When Flying Southwest to a Friend’s Wedding Because You Get 2 Free Checked Bags!

You can earn Southwest points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.  And here are other ways to earn extra Southwest points!

2.   Barclaycard JetBlue Card

Link:   My Review of The JetBlue Plus Card

With the sign-up bonus on the JetBlue Plus card, you can get $560 worth of flights.  You’ll earn 40,000 JetBlue points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of opening your account.

JetBlue has no blackout dates!  As long as a seat is for sale, you can book using points.  JetBlue points are worth ~1.4 cents each, so 10,000 points can get you ~$140 worth of flights (10,000 points x 1.4 cents).

Start Collecting Miles Now To Never Miss A Friends Wedding Again
JetBlue Points Are Handy for Flights to Destinations Like Orlando. And With the JetBlue Plus Card, You’ll Get a Free Checked Bag for Your Wedding Outfits!

With the JetBlue Plus card, you’ll also get:

  • 5,000 JetBlue points (worth ~$70 in JetBlue flights) each year on your account anniversary
  • 6 JetBlue points per $1 you spend on JetBlue purchases
  • 2 JetBlue points per $1 you spend at restaurants and grocery stores
  • 1 JetBlue point per $1 you spend everywhere else
  • Free 1st checked bag for cardholder and up to 3 companions on the same reservation when you use your card to pay for your ticket
  • 50% discount on eligible in-flight purchases like cocktails, food, and movies
  • 10% of points back when you redeem them
  • Annual $100 statement credit when you purchase a Getaway Vacation Package for $100 or more
  • Earn JetBlue Mosaic elite status each year after spending $50,000 or more on purchases (free 1st and 2nd checked bag, early boarding, free alcoholic beverages)
  • No foreign transaction fees

The $99 annual fee is NOT waived for the first year.

Million Mile Secrets team member Keith keeps the JetBlue Plus card.  Because the 5,000 JetBlue points every card anniversary help to offset the annual fee!

3.   AMEX Delta Cards

Link:   My Review of the Limited-Time AMEX Delta Cards Offers!

Link:   Delta Pay With Miles

Through November 8, 2017, you can take advantage of the best-ever sign-up bonuses on the AMEX Delta cards.

These offers are great if you’re traveling to a friend’s wedding in a Delta hub like Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York (JFK and LaGuardia), Salt Lake City, or Seattle.

Start Collecting Miles Now To Never Miss A Friends Wedding Again
Take Advantage of the Best-Ever AMEX Delta Card Offers to Boost Your Miles Balance, So You’ll Be Prepared If You Have to Book Flights to a Friend’s Wedding in Seattle!

One perk of becoming an AMEX Delta cardholder is getting access to Pay With Miles.  This makes it simple to redeem miles at a rate of 1 cent per mile.  So the 60,000 to 70,000 mile sign-up bonuses with the AMEX Delta cards can quickly save you $600 to $700 off Delta flights!

You can read my full review of the limited-time offers for these AMEX Delta cards:

Sign-Up for Flexible Points Cards If You Have a Small Business!

Link:   How to Qualify for a Small Business Credit Card (And Why You Should Get One!)

If you’re a small business owner, there are many terrific cards that earn flexible miles & points.

Here are a few of the top small business card offers.  The sign-up bonuses can save you lots of money on flights to a wedding!

Card NameSign-Up Bonus
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $1,000 in travel) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Here’s my post about how qualifying for a small business card might be easier than you think.

Bottom Line

Travel expenses don’t have to be a reason to miss a friend’s wedding.  Collecting miles & points can be an easy to way avoid paying for flights!

The trick is to collect flexible points or airline miles you can redeem without having to worry about blackout dates.  To do that, I recommend these cards:

For example, the sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred can get you $625 worth of flights!

Have you used airline miles to save money on flights to a wedding?

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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