Friday, July 17, 2015

Flight Deal Good Fortune

The Flight Deal is an amazing website/blog that posts great opportunities to travel very cheap. For example, they were the ones that told us about the $400 flights to Buenos Aires that we took in 2013 and the $400 flights to Tel Aviv that we booked (but ultimately had to cancel).

Because their search algorithm finds such amazing fares, my father has it on his Feedly Blog Reader. He's constantly checking for deals on flights that might be of interest to our family because if a deal appears, you have to quickly pull the trigger before the window shuts.

Around 11PM on Thursday night, they posted a deal for cheap flights between NYC and Chicago.

As it turned out, we were planning to visit our friends in Chicago later this fall, so we took the Flight Deal post as an omen. After searching on Google Flights, we found a great weekend fare for just $189/person. While not as amazing as the $166 fares marketed by The Flight Deal, those flights were for mid-week departures which made it tougher for my family due to work/school schedules. Normally, flights between NYC-Chicago usually go for $250-350/person, so this was a steal.

Citi Thank You Points
Plus, we had another opportunity to get these flights for FREE. Because we had about 165,000 Citi Thank You points, we were much better off using these points instead of cash.

Each Citi Thank You point is worth 1.0 cent usually, but since my mother had the mid-level Citi Thank You Premier credit card ($95 annual fee), we could redeem them at 1.25 cents each instead. So for the 3 of us in my family, we had the following payment options:

A. $568 in cash ($189/each)
B. $568 in United credit (which we bought for just $473 thanks to American Express)
C. 56,760 Citi Thank You Points (if we didn't have the Premier card)
D. 45,408 Citi Thank You Points (because we had the Premier card)

Clearly, we went with Option D and saved 11,352 Thank You points and saved the money/credit for another day.

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