Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

    I save $10,000+ a year on airfare by booking with miles, and I’ve found the best US airport for flights to Israel (and Europe) at rock-bottom prices

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    Israel is a bucket list destination for lots of travelers. What if you could get there for a couple hundred bucks?

    One of my favorite ways to book cheap international travel is with Flying Blue miles.
    If you’re interested in traveling to Europe or Israel, you’ll often get the best price by first flying to Dallas (DFW).
    If you collect credit card rewards for travel, you likely already have a large supply of Flying Blue miles without even realizing it.
    Read Insider’s guide to the best travel rewards credit cards.

    Have you priced international travel lately? Fares are getting out of hand, and you need a plan to combat them.

    I’ve got a few tactics that I use regularly, but one of my favorites of late is simple: Fly to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW). This airport has some of the most suspiciously low award flight prices you’ve ever seen — particularly for anyone interested in visiting Israel. The secret is to redeem Flying Blue miles (the airline loyalty program shared by Air France and KLM). When you combine Flying Blue miles with the Dallas airport, magic happens.

    These miles are incredibly easy to earn. You might even already have a large stash of them if you have a travel rewards credit card — even if you’ve never heard of them.

    We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

    Cheap flights to Europe and Israel: Use Flying Blue Miles from Dallas

    Flying Blue is a godsend for anyone who desires to cross the Atlantic for three reasons:

    It routinely charges far fewer airline miles than nearly any other airline program.Each month it publishes promotional prices that discount popular routes by at least 25%.Its miles are uncommonly easy to earn.

    Look at the below price calendar on the Air France website. During every month, you can find flights from New York (JFK) to many European destinations for just 15,000 miles one-way. For context, flights to Europe generally cost around 30,000 miles from programs such as Delta, United Airlines, and American Airlines (though you can sometimes receive a cheaper price during certain times of the year).

    It’s not difficult to find one-way fares to Europe for 15,000 Flying Blue miles from many US hubs.

    Award prices under 20,000 miles aren’t difficult to locate from most cities that Flying Blue serves (think big airports like Boston, Denver, Houston, and Miami).

    But I’ve found one airport to be inexplicably cheap when it comes to traveling beyond Europe — namely, Israel.

    Prices from Dallas to Tel Aviv (TLV) are just 15,000 miles each way. Regularly. As you can see from the below calendar, you can book this price during any month of the year. This is something no other airport can claim. In fact, prices are usually more than double. For example, you’ll have to pay at least 35,000 miles each way when flying to Tel Aviv from New York (JFK).

    The award flights between Dallas and Israel are less than half the price of competitors.

    For a round-trip coach flight to Israel, you’ll pay just 30,000 miles. To accentuate how great of a deal this is, here’s what you’ll expect to pay from other airlines:

    American Airlines — 80,000 miles round-tripUnited Airlines — 85,000 miles round-tripDelta — 120,000+ miles round-trip

    To save 50,000 miles, I am happy to book an inexpensive flight to Dallas from my home airport in middle Ohio. There are some taxes and fees involved ($244.67 in the below example), but that same seat otherwise costs $1,376.

    Air France charges taxes and fees that can exceed $100 each way.

    Yes, my savings are slightly diminished by the money (or miles) I spend flying to Dallas for this super cheap fare — but I’m still saving over $1,000. If you can hop to Dallas inexpensively, this is an excellent way to reach Israel at an unprecedentedly low price.

    Flying Blue miles are some of the easiest rewards to earn

    As mentioned earlier, you could have a stash of Flying Blue miles without even realizing it. That’s because the  following credit card rewards transfer to Flying Blue:

    Amex Membership Rewards pointsBilt RewardsCapital One milesChase Ultimate Rewards pointsCiti ThankYou points

    Here’s what that means for you: If you use a credit card that earns any of those points, you can convert your rewards into Flying Blue miles with just a few mouse clicks.

    In many circumstances, even some “cash back” credit cards issued by the above banks can transfer to Flying Blue. For example:

    You can transfer the rewards you earn from the Chase Freedom Unlimited® if you’ve also got the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardYou can transfer the rewards you earn from the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card if you’ve also got a Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

    Read our post on how to turn credit card cash back into travel rewards if you want to know exactly how it’s done. You may find that you already have enough cash back for a (nearly) free flight to Europe or Israel.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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