Why Now is the Time to Use Your Airline Miles

Why Now is the Time to Use Your Airline Miles

If you have been banking your airline miles to save for a special trip or to use them towards upgrading to first class, this could be a great time to book your award travel. The first reason is availability. The number of award seats has gone up in 2019 across most airlines –especially with United and Alaska Airlines. The second reason is price. The number of miles needed to book a flight has actually decreased over the last five years. The average miles needed for an awards ticket (domestic economy) was 18,243 in 2019, down from 22,002 five years ago. We all want to the best price for a flight, whether redeeming miles or paying cash so it’s important to understand the math. Before you book your tickets consider the amount of the ticket in miles. Simply divide cash price of the ticket by total miles (points) used. This will give you the value per mile. Here are two examples: $400 ticket costs 25,000 in miles equates to 1.6¢ per mile. $300 ticket costs 25,000 in miles equates to 1.2¢ per mile. A good rule of thumb is 1.5¢ per miles for a coach ticket. When is the best month to use your reward miles? Not necessarily summer or Christmas vacation. Reward availability is lowest during July and December holidays, and best in September / October (when the kids are back in school). My personal preferred travel months as the beaches are always less crowded.
Save More with Airfare Price Tracking

Save More with Airfare Price Tracking

There are more options and tools than ever to help you time when to buy your airline tickets at the lowest price (as we have written about before). Now there’s a service that allows travelers to track the price of their booked flights and receive alerts when the price drops, so they can re-book their seat and save.

Yapa, a free service that’s been tracking airfare since 2007, let’s users track airfares on desired flights and sends alerts for the best time to purchase. “Get the best fare, even after you buy,” is the headline that greets you on their website.

If you have already purchased your seat you can also track the flight and receive price drop alerts. Their system takes into account rebooking fee’s prior to issuing an alert preventing any rebooking disappointments. Forward your itinerary confirmation email to trips@yapta.com to begin the price tracking service.

According their website, Alaska Airlines offers refunds for any price drop; Jet Blue and Virgin offer refunds for price drops of $75 or more; Hawaiian Airlines will refund any price drop greater than $100; and United, Delta and American will refund any price drop more than $200. They claim to have saved users over $3.5 million, and an average of $334 per user.

  

5 Travel Apps to Help You Save on Your Next Vacation

5 Travel Apps to Help You Save on Your Next Vacation

Summer and summer vacations are just around the corner. While roughly 50% of us say vacations are ‘extremely important’ over 50% of Americans leave unused vacation time on the table at the end of the year. Don’t be one of them! Taking time to rest and renew is important for our health, so here’s 5 travel apps that can save you money and time when traveling.

HotelTonight

I’ve been using HotelTonight for 5+ years and have saved a ton of money while getting some fantastic rooms from NYC to Laguna Beach. Initially the app only allowed same day bookings at hotels with unsold rooms, but now allows future bookings at great prices. Download the app from your app store, or directly at https://txt.hoteltonight.com/2qpjHQXCEM  

Tip: Use promo code DBAKER89 and you’ll get $25 off your first booking of at least $135 (excluding taxes and fees).

Service

Service not only makes sure you get the lowest hotel rates possible, it also will file a claim on your behalf when you experience a flight delay of 90 minutes or more, or a flight cancellation. Compensation with airlines is usually vouchers or miles, which is fine by us. Simply synch your email with Service and the app will monitor all booked hotel reservations and flights, future and past, to find your savings. They claim their service can save you up to $300 a year, while reducing traveler frustration. 

Tip: Sign up here and get $20 off your first charge

 

GetaRound

The Airbnb for cars (much like Turo and Car2Go) allows you to search for available cars in the area from budget to luxury, starting at $30. Rates are generally 30% less than big name car rental agencies and come with 24 hour roadside assistance and insurance baked into the cost. And since you’re traveling and will not need it, you can rent out your own car on the app. Some users are earning hundreds of dollars per month renting out their car, and covering the car payment this way.

 Tip: Unlock the car right from your phone with the app’s key-less software

Hopper

Clean interface and easy to use, Hopper will watch a trip for you i.e. Seattle to Miami, and send you notifications when  prices drop. Hopper also shows you flight price by day and allows you to book in just a few taps. Hopper also predicts future price movements with 95% accuracy, and will display insightful recommendations such as ‘Wait for a better price, but buy before XX date”, or ‘Buy now, prices are unlikely be any lower.’

Tip: Save your payment and passenger information to make future flight bookings even faster. 

GasBuddy

This free app has been around for years, but did you know you can use it to pay for a fill-up? Get a discount of 10 cents per gallon on your first fill-up, and 5 cents on every gallon after that. Users update gas prices daily which allows you to find the cheapest fuel in the area. There’s also the Trip Cost Calculator if you want to know how much you might spend on gas on a specified trip after entering in details such as car type, tank size, etc.

Have a travel app savings story to share? Let us know, we would love to hear it!

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