7 Ways To Save Money On Your Next Airfare Purchase

7 Ways To Save Money On Your Next Airfare Purchase
7 Ways To Save Money On Your Next Airfare Purchase

There’s plenty of advice about how to find cheap flights: from being flexible on your dates to checking nearby airports. However, once you find a great flight deal, the savings don’t have to end.

There are also multiple ways to save on the airfare purchase itself, like utilizing discount programs or using the right credit card. Here are seven of the best ways to reduce your out-of-pocket costs when booking airfare.

Get 60,000 bonus miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

1. American Express International Airline Program

American Express cardmembers can save hundreds—or even thousands—on flights. Those with The Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms apply), The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms apply) or Centurion® Card from American Express* cards can utilize Amex’s International Airlines Program to book premium flights with a discount. See your American Express card for terms and additional details.

Discounts are valid on some participating airlines for tickets in premium economy, business class and first class. Flights must start in the U.S. and Canada, and you’ll typically need to book a round-trip to get a discount.

The discounts may be wide-ranging. For example, you may save about $200 round-trip on some premium economy flights to Europe. Eligible cardholders considering splurging for international first class will want to check prices through the International Airline Program where the savings are even greater.

2. Save On Flights Using Amex Offers

Amex Offers are targeted offers for American Express cardmembers offering cash back or bonus points for making eligible purchases with select merchants.

Most American Express cards have access to Amex Offers, including favorites like the American Express® Gold Card (Terms apply, see rates & fees) and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

At any given time, several Amex Offers may be travel-related. We have seen several lucrative airline offers in the past, including:

  • Alaska: Get $40 cash back for spending $200 or more
  • Delta: Get $120 cash back for spending $600 or more
  • Air France/KLM: Get 20,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 or more
  • Air New Zealand: Get $300 cash back for spending $1,500 or more
  • Qantas: Get $200 cash back for spending $1,000 or more
  • China Eastern Airlines: Get $200 cash back for spending $1,000 or more
  • Aerolineas Argentinas: Get $100 cash back for spending $500 or more

You can check your current travel-related Amex Offers by logging into your Amex account and browsing to this page.

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

3. Up To $200 off British Airways by Using AARP Discount

It’s possible to join the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) earlier than you might think—for example, while fully employed and at the ripe old age of 30. Why might you want to? By paying $16 per year for an AARP membership, you can save on British Airways flights.

AARP members of any age can save up to $65 per person, per round-trip flight, in economy (World Traveller) and premium economy (World Traveller Plus). Or, members can save up to $200 off per person per round-trip in business class (Club World).

There are a lot of terms and conditions to keep in mind about this offer. First, the discount doesn’t apply to British Airways’ ultra-discounted Basic fares. You’ll need to be a U.S. resident, pay in U.S. dollars, start your travel in the U.S. and return to the same airport; no open jaws (stopovers) are allowed. Flights must be operated by British Airways, American Airlines or Iberia. American Airlines and Iberia flights must be booked using a British Airways codeshare flight number.

You must search and book flights through a special British Airways discount page after logging into your AARP account. The discount doesn’t apply to flights booked over the phone.

This version of the AARP discount is currently valid for flights booked by January 31, 2024. However, some version of this discount has been available for years, typically extended for a year as the expiration date nears.

4. 10% Off British Airways Flights by Using a British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Travelers can also save 10% off British Airways flights by using a British Airways Visa Signature® Card and booking a British Airways flight from the US to London through www.ba.com/Chase10 with the promotional code CHASEBA10.

One great aspect of this offer is that it discounts the entire price of the flight—including taxes and airport fees. You can apply the discount to any fare in any class of service. And you can apply the discount toward up to eight travelers in the same booking.

To be eligible for the discount, you’ll need to select an itinerary where all flights are operated by British Airways. That means you won’t be able to connect domestically within the U.S., and you’ll have to transit through London—which charges notoriously high taxes and fees. Then, you’ll need to be logged in to your British Airways Executive Club account to apply this discount code.

5. 10% off Iberia Flights Using the Iberia Visa Signature® Card

One of the perks of being an Iberia Visa Signature® Card cardholder is getting a 10% discount on Iberia flights. To get the discount, all flights must be operated by Iberia, Iberia Express or Iberia Regional Air Nostrum. You must log in to your Iberia Plus account and book a round trip through iberia.com/Chase10. Traveling with a group? You can apply the discount to up to nine passengers booked on the same flights and at the same time.

While it might seem similar to the British Airways discount, the Iberia discount is a lot less lucrative. The 10% discount is only applied to the base fare. Carrier-imposed surcharges, taxes and airport fees aren’t discounted. That can mean discounts of only a few dollars on really cheap fares.

6. Use Points Through a Credit Card Travel Portal

Another way to save on your out-of-pocket costs for a flight is by using credit card points to book through the bank’s travel portal.

Chase offers several travel cards that earn points you can use toward flights. Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards® points toward flights, hotels, car rental and more at a rate of 1.5 cents per point through Chase Travel℠. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card cardholders can redeem points toward travel purchases at a rate of 1.25 cents each when redeemed through Chase.

American Express cardmembers generally receive 1 cent per Membership Rewards point in value toward flights booked through Amex Travel. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms apply) cardmembers get a 35% points rebate—up to 1,000,000 points back per calendar year— on business and first class flights booked through Amex Travel or in any cabin of service on your selected airline. That boosts the effective redemption rate to 1.54 cents per point.

Capital One cardholders can redeem miles toward eligible travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent each. Just charge the flight to your card and then cover it using miles within 90 days of the purchase posting. Capital One cards that earn miles include the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Capital One Spark Miles for Business*.

7. Using a Co-branded Credit Card To Get Free Checked Bags

There’s another important aspect to remember when choosing which credit card to use to purchase flights. Many airline co-branded credit cards offer a free checked bag. However, the terms and conditions on some of these cards require you to use the co-branded credit card when you book your flight in order to get this perk. Other terms and conditions may also apply.

Credit cards that offer a first checked bag free when you fly with the airline partner include:

  • Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®*
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®*
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (Terms apply)
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (Terms apply)
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card (Terms apply)
  • JetBlue Plus Card*
  • United℠ Explorer Card
  • United Club℠ Infinite Card

You may be required to use your card to book your flight to receive the first checked bag free. This won’t necessarily save you any money when purchasing the flight. However, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars on your trip if you’re traveling with a few travel companions.

Bottom Line

When booking flights, finding a good deal is just the start. Make sure you use the discount programs highlighted in this post to save even more when making your airfare purchase. By doing so, you may be able to save hundreds (or even thousands) on the purchase, get hundreds of dollars back from the purchase or save on other fees.

To view rates and fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express please visit this page.
To view rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please visit this page.
To view rates and fees for American Express® Gold Card please visit this page.

To view rates and fees for Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card please visit this page.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please visit this page.
To view rates and fees of the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this page.

All information about Centurion® Card from American Express has been collected independently by Forbes Advisor

Source: forbes.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *