Yesterday I offered a dramatic example of how the airline you choose to obtain an award ticket can make a big difference in how “free” that ticket is. I priced a late October award ticket between Minneapolis and London on British Airways and American Airlines. While both required about the same number of miles or points, British Air wanted to charge me $700 in fees while American wanted $500 less.
Here are a couple more tips.
If you have an airline-branded credit card, find out if you get a break on award tickets. If you carry a US Airways Premier World Mastercard, you’ll get an award ticket on US Airways for 5,000 miles less than someone who doesn’t.
Citi’s credit cards branded with American offer 5,000 or 7,500 miles off mile redemptions on selected—and always changing–destinations posted at aa.com/rma.
Got a Chase Sapphire credit card? You’ll get 20% off airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises when you redeem your Chase points. So a $500 flight requires 40,000 points instead of 50,000.
Be sure to check with your credit card if it earns mileage of guest points before you book awards.