Free(ish) flights (hack)

Posted: April 10, 2013 in In My Backpack, TRAVEL
Tags: , , ,

Lifehack/Protip time:

I calculated my trip so far: 9897$ for everything. This includes 4500$ for flights/travel expenses. The rest was living/tours/food/etc. Not too Shabby considering everything I did- but I can do better. Like get more free flights!

So I checked out a bunch of books/resources and one I have successfully done that I’m going to share.

Things you need:
-a credit card that gives you points (whatever points you want to accumulate… I use the chase sapphire card, but I also got a united card (gives me 30,000 miles after I spend 1k in the first 90 days….) the united card is what I did this trick with.

-a bluebird account. Go to Walmart or apply online at

-some flex money on your credit card. (1,000$ is good.)

– a cvs pharmacy store.

– about 5-10 minutes.

“OK. I got all those. Now what?”

Step 1) go to cvs and buy vanilla reload cards. (see pic) I got 2 cards and loaded on 500$.
(note: your credit card may email you saying “wtf? How much Viagra are you buying??!?”)


Step 2) Goto and enter in your bluebird account number and the scratch-off pin number from the vanilla card.

Step 3) goto and enter in your bills/credit card payment info. (your account and whatnot.)

Step 4) pay your credit card off.

-It costs 3.95$ to buy/activate the cards… So it’s not a completely perfect system.
-With this system, you can load 4,000$ per month. With your bluebird account you can pay ANY bill. Including your mortgage/car/cell phone/etc.

Step 5) get your 30,000 miles without having to spend any real money. #winning

For reference:
A 1-way ticket from Sydney to Seattle is 40,000 points. I’m pretty sure domestic flights are half that… I could be wrong.

Chase sapphire rewards will give you cash back/hotel points/frequent fliers/all sorts of things. The United card is (obviously) just for united frequent flier points.

Other hacks:
If you have a chase freedom rewards card- make note of the places that you get 5% off. This quarter is Lowes/restaurants/movies. So I went to Lowes and got 150$ in visa gift cards. (If you have the time and the patience, this is great. Otherwise it’s a pain.)

Another amazing surprise was that I could pay my taxes this year with my credit card! (turbo tax let me… So I’m going with it.) Bonus miles!

What is your favorite mileage/point hack?

  1. […] I was going to surprise my mother for Xmas. She didn’t know I was making the 42-hour trek (for 82$) from Singapore-Tokyo-Chicago-Dayton. All that traveling almost meant that my legs would be […]

  2. […] and are both places where you can figure out how to maximize your credit card points. […]

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