Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Airlines have been having all sorts of sales and mistake fares right after the holidays. As if our wallets aren’t already suffering enough. Recently there were major sales to Sydney, Australia, and my wife and I had been waiting for the right moment to book an adventure for her Spring Break.
We were able to jump on these flights for only ~$330 out of pocket for two tickets! And I did it all by using the perks and credit card miles I earned with these AMEX cards:
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- American Express® Gold Card
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express
Flights from Los Angeles to Sydney typically cost $1,000+, so seeing these flights for ~$650 each in coach was a great deal. I was able to get flights for us using a combination of cash, gift cards, and Delta miles.
How I Used Credit Card Miles & Perks to Get Cheap Flights
This year, I’ve been collecting Delta miles with my Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. I applied for the card when the intro bonus was increased (I earned 60,000 Delta miles after meeting the minimum spending requirements) and earned a bunch more miles from flying Delta this year. So I booked the first flight for 70,000 Delta miles + ~$100 in taxes & fees.
It wasn’t the best redemption in the world, but it was nice to keep hundreds of dollars in my pocket.
Booking the second flight was a bit more complicated, but it paid off! My wife and I hold multiple American Express travel credit cards, including the The Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Gold Card, and Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express. These cards come with an airline fee credit for your selected airline. These airline fee credits can be used for things like seat upgrades, checked bag fees, and other incidental fees.
However, we have always used them to purchase Delta gift cards. While this isn’t technically allowed based on AMEX’s terms, there are some airline gift cards, like Delta that might trigger the statement credit. There’s no guarantee it will work for you. But you can read more on which gift cards may trigger the credit here.
Yes, I do understand I paid for these in the annual fees beforehand, but the other perks we get with these cards make it worth the expense.
For her flight, we were able to knock down the price to ~$230 after using our gift cards. And we used our American Express Platinum card to book the flight because it earns 5X AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with the airline or through the AMEX travel site. That earned us 1,150 AMEX Membership Rewards points, worth ~$23.
All in all, it was a great deal to get us to Sydney for 10 full days for only ~$330 out of pocket!
These sales are absolutely worth keeping an eye on. They happen because airlines are trying to fill empty seats to help make some sort of profit. It is an easy way to save on travel if you have to pay cash.
Have you taken advantage of any sales recently? Let’s hear it in the comments!
It’s time to take your travel to the next level, subscribe to our newsletter and get money savings tips delivered to you daily.