How We’re Saving $6,500+ on a Trip to the UK and Ireland

Well, we finally did it.  After a little bit of heartbreak, and a little bit of confusion, we finally booked a trip for early next year with all those points we’d transferred over to Singapore Airlines a couple months back.

To recap: after earning more than 200,000 points across our Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards accounts, largely thanks in part to credit card bonuses and strategic bonus-category spending, we’d earned enough transferrable points to book a first class trip on Singapore Airlines Houston – Moscow route. Unfortunately, just as we were ready to book, Singapore Airlines discontinued the route, leaving us scrambling to find an alternative destination for a similar amount of points.

In the end, we’ve booked a trip to Manchester, England, which will be our jumping off point for a trip across central England and Ireland. We’ve had to settle for business class instead of First (at least, for now) but Singapore’s business class still comes with lie-flat seats, their famous “Book the Cook” feature, and all the champagne we can drink both pre- and mid-flight.

So what will this fancy trip set us back, you might ask? If we’d been paying out of pocket, quite a bit:

singaporeair

But luckily, thanks to our points, we ONLY paid the taxes and fees – in other words, the two of us will get a full trip to Europe, in business class on the world’s top-rated airline, for only about $1,200.

We didn’t stop there, though. We put the taxes & fees on our brand new Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which gives us a $300 statement credit each year for travel-related purchases. So the total cost of the flights out of pocket was just $941, or ~$235 per person, per flight. That’s less than many domestic economy flights!

Putting the purchase on that card will also help us earn more points — namely  the 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards we can use towards hotels, positioning flights or activities, by meeting our spending requirement for the bonus offer on that card. And since this was a travel purchase, we’ll earn 3 points per dollar on the spend, or an additional 3,600 UR points, worth roughly $54 in future trips, as well.

As we continue planning, I’ll post about how we’re also saving money on our positioning flights, hotels, and activities as well, so stay tuned. And in the meantime, if you have any recommendations, especially in Manchester, Liverpool or Dublin, let us know in the comments!

Header image by Flickr user autumnal_fires under a Creative Commons license. Image has been cropped.

Whitney