Travel Destination: New Zealand

The other day, I received a question from a person, Jane, asking how would I recommend getting to New Zealand for a honeymoon and ways to save money for 14-16 day trip. I was curious what a plane ticket to New Zealand cost, so I decided to quickly look at Google Flights to see what a ticket cost for early 2016. The cheapest tickets start at $1,807 per ticket on Fiji Airlines! I can’t fathom spending over $3,600 for plane tickets, especially with so many ways to travel for less on your wallet! So, how would I get to New Zealand?

The easiest way to earn free travel is using credit card sign up bonuses. Some of these credit card bonuses can be worth hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars.

Between April to June of this year, all US Airway miles will become American Airline miles. By applying for 2 credit cards, Jane and her fiancé could earn 100,000 American Airline miles from the sign up bonus alone! The US Airways card will be going away at the end of the month and won’t be available to new card holders. I’ll explain the credit cards after the sample itinerary.

They could simply walk into Mordor
They could simply walk into Mordor

I picked random dates in January 2016 for about 2 weeks, this is what it would cost from Boston to Auckland:

Flight times and days I randomly picked
Flight times and days I randomly picked
This seems much better than $1900 a ticket!
This seems much better than $1900 a ticket!

Using American Airline miles, it would cost 150,000 miles and about $130 for taxes and fees to fly from Boston to Auckland round trip. Similar tickets on American Airlines cost about $5,500!

My credit card recommendations:

Easy 50,000 miles, but it will be gone at the end of the month!
Easy 50,000 miles, but it will be gone at the end of the month!
  • Barclay US Airways- 50,000 miles after their first purchase PLUS paying the $89 annual fee. The fee will be charged by the end of your first billing cycle.
50,000 miles after spending $3,000
50,000 miles after spending $3,000
  • Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select- 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year.
  • Free checked bag
  • Rebate of 10% of miles used for award flights (max of 10,000 miles rebate per year)

If both Jane and her fiancé apply for these cards, they would have 200,000 miles and have enough for their trip to New Zealand PLUS enough miles left over a domestic round trip ticket!

Since they each would have 100,000 miles each, I would recommend Jane book one way tickets to New Zealand for her and her fiancé and he could book the trip home. Booking the one way tickets under 1 account will prevent them from possibly being separated on their flights. Small chance of it occurring, but that would not be a great way to start their honeymoon!

If Jane and her fiancé were to both open these cards, their out of pocket cost total $310.40 for her roundtrip tickets from Boston to Auckland. That is much better than $3,613 on Fiji Airlines or $5,500 on American Airlines. That is a minimum savings of 92%!

Since these cards are issued by 2 different banks, there is no reason they can’t apply for both of these cards at the same time. I would consider doing this, only if Jane and her fiancé could spend the $6,000 necessary to reach their spending minimums. If not, they could each open the US Airways card and 1 of them could open the American Airlines credit card for a minimum spend of $3,000. After reaching that spending minimum they could apply for the other card.

With a little planning and a couple of credit cards Jane and her fiancé could save themselves thousands of dollars on their honeymoon.

If you have a Travel Destination question, please feel free to ask and I will answer your questions.

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