As a graduate student who is solely surviving on scholarships, grants, and financial aid, I don’t have any business traveling as much as I do, at least, that’s what people tell me. Most people go to Cali or Florida, but I would rather be stuck some place where I am completely disoriented, and I can’t understand the local language. Whenever my partner buys plane tickets in Brazil he always uses his miles program, and he suggested that I have nothing to lose by trying it. I conducted some online research and had found that there are some excellent bonus programs out there, so I decided to apply for the British Airways Visa.
The British Airways Visa card is usually offering a 50,000 bonus with a $2000 purchase within the first two months of owning the card. I am not a big spender, so I paid my rent for two months using Plastiq. Plastiq is an excellent service that turns any purchase that otherwise couldn’t be done via credit card into one. They usually charge 2.5% interest, but they sometimes have promotions for 1.5% which seemed to be geared toward MasterCard users. Once you fill out the information and everything is verified, the payee will receive a check in your name. I never had any issues with them, so it is something to consider if you are not a habitual credit card user. The points show up close to two months after you meet your bonus requirements, so please be mindful of that.
Warning: Please be sure to pay the money back to the credit card company before the due date. It defeats the purpose if you don’t pay the credit card on time, and you begin to accrue interest and fees. My rule of thumb is, don’t spend money that you don’t already have. That frame of thought has not only allowed me to travel for the cost of a New York monthly metro card; it has also catapulted my credit from Fair to Excellent.
Now, back to the ticket. It is important to keep your dates and schedule open before calling in to purchase. Yes, you need to call British Airways using the number on the back of the card. The miles vary depending on your departure and destination cities. Below is a chart I snagged from Google that’s current and accurate.
From my research, Boston to Dublin fits just under the 3,000-mile mark, so for a round trip ticket (12,500 x 2) I only used 25,000 miles. This leaves me with 25,000 points left over to use for my next trip to Dublin. Currently, if you leave from any other destination or decide to go further into Europe, you will be spending at least 20,000 points each way. Also, since I am flying Air Lingus (A partner airline), I will be paying much less for the fuel charge than a typical British Airways flight ($132 USD RT). Cheers to that! If you choose to use more than 25,000 miles on your trip, just be sure to consult the chart and calculate accordingly. British Airways customer service is also pretty rad, and they were very accommodating to all of my concerns.