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Michael and I are officially heading to Italy next month! We actually booked our flight months ago but because of a few different factors I was 99% sure we were going to cancel/postpone the trip. We ended up shortening the trip by a few days and were able to make it work! You can read all of the nitty gritty details in Michael’s post today!
You should know by now that we most definitely booked these flights with points and miles. 🙂 Today I’m sharing how you too can book a cheap flight to Italy!
How to Book a Cheap Flight to Italy
One of the biggest keys to booking flights for (practically) free with points and miles is to be able to work backwards. What do I mean by that? Michael and I knew we wanted to go to Italy this year. So we first looked up which airlines fly to Italy from the East Coast and which airlines have the lowest award redemption rates. Another thing to keep in mind when booking with points and miles is airline alliances. For example, Delta and Korean Air are both part of the SkyTeam Alliance. With alliances, you can book flights on one airline (for example, book a flight on a Delta plane) by using another airline’s points/miles (for example, use Korean miles to book the Delta flight).
One of the lowest award redemption rates (basically, the cheapest way to fly to Italy on points) we found was with Korean Air, but the catch is that there aren’t any Korean Air flights to Italy from the East Coast… But there are Delta flights!
Do you see where I’m going with this? You can use Korean miles to book Delta flights (because of the alliance)! Once we knew that we wanted to use Korean miles to book the Delta flight, we had to figure out how to amass the miles. This is where it gets fun!
I’ve talked about the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve a lot here lately, but it’s because they’re the BEST cards out there for easy to earn points to use for travel! Check out the perks of those two cards and compare them with other travel credit cards to see for yourself! If you’re looking to up your travel game, I highly recommend considering adding one of these cards to your wallet! How do these cards fit into booking a cheap flight to Italy? Ultimate Rewards.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you earn and accumulate Ultimate Rewards points. The beauty of Ultimate Rewards is that they are transferable to a number of different travel partners (see this post for more information). One of those travel partners is Korean Air. (Note – Ultimate Rewards are not transferable to Delta.)
Once we figured out that we could book a Delta flight from DC to Italy (Venice to be specific) with Korean miles, we started to get our game plan together. Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Korean miles at a 1:1 ratio (5 URS = 5 Korean miles). We were aiming to fly business class to and from Italy so by looking at the Korean Air award chart (check out Michael’s post for super helpful screenshots), we knew we needed 80,000 miles (or 80,000 Ultimate Rewards) to get there.
An easy way to amass a chunk of Ultimate Rewards quickly is to sign up for one of the Chase Sapphire credit cards. Currently the sign up bonus for each card is 50,000 points after meeting the minimum spend within the first three months after being approved. Check out all the details here. Note – You can’t apply for both cards at the same time and receive two sign up bonuses, pick one to start. I’d recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Once you amass the necessary Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer them directly to Korean Air (set up an account first) online through your Chase account (log on to your Chase account, click on Ultimate Rewards, then click Transfer to Travel Partners, then select Korean Air SkyPass). Once the Korean miles are in your account, pull up the Delta flight you’re looking to book. Call Korean Air and tell them you’d like to book an award flight. Feed them the Delta flight information and they should be able to book the flight for you on their end!
Michael provides the nitty gritty on points and miles and how much we paid in taxes and fuel charges in his post today so be sure to check that out!
Questions?! I know that was a lot … feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email at email@example.com!
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