TWO ways to get to Hawaii for FREE

There are a couple of great credit card offers out there that you will want to consider.  The first is the US BANK Avianca Airlines LifeMiles Signature VISA Card.  This nets you 40,000 LifeMiles, after spending $3,000 within the first 4 months.  If you are not familiar with Avianca, it is a Colombian based airline, which is part of StarAlliance. This means, the miles can be used to book flights on United Airlines, and the many other StarAlliance carriers.  So what does 40,000 miles on Avianca get you? If you your origin is North America, then you can score

  • Hawaii  (40,000 miles)
  • Mexico  (35,000 miles)
  • Caribbean  (35,000 miles)
  • Domestic U.S. (25,000 miles)

These mileage rates are based on a round-trip award ticket.  The sucky part of LifeMiles, is they charge you $25.00 to book the award ticket, whether you call them, or do it online. They also charge $150 to change an award ticket, so be sure you are set on your dates and plans.  The cool thing about Avianca is they do NOT have fuel surcharges on partners, meaning if you fly United, you won’t get dinged with fuel surcharges on the award ticket  Another plus is the website is pretty easy to navigate, and find flights.  Below is the link for the US Bank application page. No annual fee the first year, $75 thereafter. Be aware, this offer ends April 28th, so apply soon!!

The Avianca LifeMiles Visa Signature Card®

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The second great credit offer on the block is the new Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard from Barclays.  This is nice, because many people who had the previous card, offered from Bank of America , can also get this one, since this is a completely different card.  This card does have an annual fee of $89, but you get some pretty good perks with the card. There are no foreign transactions fees, and if you use the card to buy your tickets on Hawaiian Airlines, your first bag is checked free. Pretty standard these days, but nonetheless, a nice touch.  You also get a 50% coach companion ticket, but not sure if that applies for all fares or just the flex full coach fares.  So what does 35,000 miles get you on Hawaiian Airlines?

  • Hawaii (20,000 – 30,000 miles) or 40,000 miles for first class
  • You can redeem the miles on partner airlines (see list here)

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®

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FREE Baggage Allowance with US Bank FlexPerks Card

in August of 2012, I applied for the US Bank FlexPerks Signature VISA card to get the 33,125 bonus points they were offering. The standard bonus point offer on this card is 17,500 (wtf???), but due to the Summer Olympics, and our glorious defeat of all the other nations, U.S. Bank decided it would be patriotic to offer additional points based on the medal count of the U.S. team.  Well, after receiving the card and meeting the minimum $2,500 spend within 4 months, I finally received my points.  However, one little perk went unnoticed with this card: A $25.00 allowance towards baggage fees, on board food purchases, or other airline incidentals. So the basic premise is pretty simple: Book your flight on their website using your award points (most flights west coast to east coast cost 30,000 or less), and then USE YOUR FLEXPERKS card to PAY FOR THE BAGGAGE Fee, either online when you check in with the airline, or at the airport kiosks/counters, then CALL US Bank and they will reimburse you for it!!

I’m betting that most people will overlook this benefit with the card, as it’s not something that is written in neon anywhere, when you make your airline booking on the FlexPerks website. It does indicate it on the sign-up page as an added benefit of the card, but like I said, not a lot of people will take advantage of it because you are not reminded of it when making a booking.  However, I want you to know about this so you too will be…..A Value Traveler.

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