The most frequently asked question I get, how do you do what you do? How do you fly a family of five all around the world, do all those cool things, see all those amazing places, are you a zillionaire or something?
No, I'm not a zillionaire, but I am something!
My best kept secret, my Delta Amex Card. We put every single expense and pay every single bill we possibly can with our credit card. Now the key here, we pay it off in full every month. So just buy the things you would normally buy and pay the bills you would normally pay and don't go CRAZY to rack up miles otherwise it won't be worth it. When I tell my hubby what a great deal I got on some Skymiles tickets, he'll smirk back, oh I paid for it. And yes he did!
There is nothing in life for free, but if you are going to buy your groceries and fuel up your car with gas anyway, isn't it nice to get SOMETHING for all the money you spend?
And for us, that something is travel!
With two personal cards and a business card for Brian's work, we are able to rack up some serious miles. If you don't have a Delta Amex card, I suggest starting at the bottom. They offer sign on bonuses ranging from 50K-70K miles and more! After you've had the card for a year, you can upgrade to the next level card and score more bonus miles. And once you've had that card for a year, you can upgrade yet again and score the Delta Amex Reserve Card which gave us 70K miles and 10K MQMs and it's a super cool metal card too! With the Reserve card, you also get 3X the miles on Delta purchases and bonus miles at different spending levels. You also get one companion ticket a year and a free checked bag for every person in your party.
Thanks to Skymiles, we have taken the family to Costa Rica twice, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Thailand, and Bali. We were scheduled to go to Europe last year, courtesy of Skymiles too, but thanks to Covid, those have been redeposited and are waiting for the world to get right again!
To put your hard earned miles to the best use, you need to become a stage five, certified, fare stalker. First, familiarize yourself with the average cost of a ticket for where you want to go. I use a combination of Expedia, Skyscanner, and Google Flights. Then, head over to Delta direct and STALK. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the days when fares drop. You'll also notice that the Skymiles fares vary greatly and a little stop here or there could save several thousand miles per person. When you see a fare drop to an all time low, BOOK ON THE SPOT! Don't pass go, don't stop to think it over, don't even ask for permission, BOOK! Sometimes there are glitches in the system, sometimes these fares only last for an hour, that's how I scored Skymile tickets to Rome, Italy for 38K per person which is an extreme deal! When our trip got canceled last year, I was super bummed not only because I wasn't going, but because I knew I would probably never find that fare again!
And lastly, take advantage of the current trends. In November, fares to Mexico over spring break were high so I booked Skymile tickets for 28K per person. With Brian now Diamond status, we can redeposit miles with no penalty so I knew I had tickets worst case scenario but continued to stalk the fares. Shortly after the new laws went into effect requiring a negative Covid test 72 hours before flying back to the United States, I kicked up my stalking game, knowing fares would drop because business would certainly be down!
And BINGO, the fares started dropping and earlier this week, I scored seats for $216 per person RT to Cancun! So instead of using 140K of our hard earned Skymiles, I was able to fly our whole fam to Mexico for barely over $1K! I always weigh Skymiles versus hard cold cash. On our Skymile tickets, there was also a tax and fee of $86 per ticket, so paying cash was certainly the better deal over Skymiles!
So while you're dreaming of your next destination, you might as well get busy and rack up some miles and get something for all your spending! With almost a million miles in "the bank" I'm already dreaming of my next trip when the world re-opens! Forget steerage, maybe Delta One, direct to Rome!