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Wisconsin to Munich to Bangkok to Munich to Wisconsin

Total Cost for Flight Tickets: $250/pp

In  2018, Dave and I toured four different countries on two different continents in 3 1/2 months. Our flight cost was around $250/pp using frequent flyer miles. Since then we flew to the Island of Granada, San Diego, and Mexico using bonus miles. With two vaccines and a booster shot, we are excited to plan for future international travels again and collecting the bonus miles that will get us there - sometimes for just the fees and taxes.

We will record our frequent flyer programs used and flyer miles required, the actual cost of tickets and benefits enjoyed. This will be fun!

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We didn't collect flyer miles while the COVID pandemic restricted travels abroad. That left our cache of flyer miles almost empty. It's a perfect time to record the process of replenishing and using flyer miles for the next planned trip to Mexico in 2022.

 

UPDATE: April 2022 and we are back home. See TIPS we learned on this trip.

The cost of two round trip tickets to Puerto Vallarta using the United Explore MileagePlus Card.

  • 70,000 flight miles for two round trip tickets

  • $216.24 (taxes and fees) for two tickets

  • Two complimentary checked bags (70 lbs./32 kg)

    • TIP #1. Be sure to redeem miles for two separate tickets vs two on one ticket.

    • TIP #2. Be sure to have a printout of each ticket with the complimentary bag benefit highlighted on each ticket and keep them with your passport. This will save confusion at the ticket counter.

    • TIP #3. Be aware that you will need to check your bags at the ticket counter to get the free checked bag offer, not the self-service kiosks.

  • Two complimentary United Club one-time passes each year

    • TIP. If your selected trip has a long connection, make sure there is a Club Lounge at the airport. If not, you may want to compare other connection flights.

  • Check back often to see other destinations we plan for and how we use the frequent flyer miles to get there.

United Explorer MileagePlus: We chose and applied for the United Explorer MileagePlus Card.

  • 70,000 bonus miles (60,000+10,000 see details)

  • 0 annual fee for the first year, then $95/year

  • One complimentary checked bag (70 lbs./32 kg)

  • 2 United Club one-time passes each year

  • No blackout dates

  • No expiration dates

Default all payments: Use this card to pay for all bills and purchases until 70,000 miles is in your account. (Pay off card every two weeks to avoid paying interest fees.)

 

TIP: Each person in the family can have their own card. I applied for the first card. When 70,000 is in my account, Dave can apply for another United Explore card. Be sure to keep a spreadsheet to track when annual fees are scheduled for each card and avoid having all fees due in one month.

TIP: Once you have reached the desired miles, you do not have to use the card further. Put it away until the month  prior to the next annual fee is due. Call and ask for a no-fee card, if available. Avoid closing the card before the one year date. (See link for details. https://thepointsguy.com/news/close-credit-card-one-year/)

United Gateway Card

2 miles for every 1$ spent on Gas Purchases

United Gateway Card: We also applied for the United Gateway Card for collecting extra miles on gas and grocery purchases.

  • 15,000 bonus miles

  • 0 annual f

  • 2 miles for every $1 spent at gas stations

  • No blackout dates

  • No expiration dates

 

Gas: Use this card to pay for all gas purchases as long as it is available. Great for RVing and road trips!

TIP: Each person in the family can have their own card. I applied for the first card. When 15,000 is in my account, Dave can apply for another United Explore card. Be sure to keep a spreadsheet to track when annual fees are scheduled for each card and avoid having all fees due in one month.

TIP: Once you have reached the desired miles, you do not have to use the card further. Put it away until the month  prior to the next annual fee is due. Call and ask for a no-fee card, if available. Avoid closing the card before the one year date. (See link for details. https://thepointsguy.com/news/close-credit-card-one-year/)