Use a travel rewards card
We all have that friend who posts pictures from Jamaica every weekend and brags about paying for it all with “points.” And how does a guy who only flies for free rack up so many frequent flier miles? Travel rewards credit cards, of course! Where for a small annual fee, you'll get frequent flier miles for every dollar you spend, hotel you stay at, and airline ticket you book. And many offer enough bonus miles to get a free ticket as soon as you sign up.
But which one is the best? Well, here is a handy guide to the travel cards with the best perks.
Travel on off-days/seasons
So when are those flights that don't begin with the dreaded “we are completely full” announcement? Typically Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Also, flights that leave at dawn or just after work (5-6pm), and red-eyes.
The best times of year to fly if you want to maximize your chances of an upgrade are:
- The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas
- The week after New Years
- Mid-March to Mid-May
Get to the airport really early, or really late
If you're the kind of person who enjoys a good game of “Race the TSA Line” show up at the airport with just enough time to get to your gate (and check your bag, if you're human). This greatly increases the chance that you'll not have an assigned seat on perpetually overbooked flights. You may then be moved to a later flight, where you can request a first class seat for the inconvenience.
On the other hand, if the stress of an almost-missed flight is just a little too much excitement for you, show up crazy early and chat up the gate agents. The more rapport you have the better chance they'll remember you when there are a couple extra seats in the front of the plane.
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