How I Had a 10 Day London Vacation for $700

By Nomadic Matt | Published November 15th, 2011

Vacationing in London, England with Big Ben on the cheapBack in September, I wrote the ultimate guide to travel hacking. It was a way for me to share tips and advice on how to travel cheaply without sacrificing comfort. And as I watched people’s reactions and answered questions about that guide, I hit upon an idea. It’s one thing to say, “Hey, this stuff works,” but it’s another to actually show that this stuff works. I decided that as I hopped, skipped, and jumped around the world, I was going to take what people view as “expensive” places and demonstrate how they can be visited on a budget—without sacrificing comfort.

The first city on my list is London. I came here for a 10-day trip for a travel conference, and it’s the perfect place to start my series with. London is notorious for being one of the most expensive places in the world to visit. No one goes to London under the assumption they aren’t going to spend a lot of money.

And that’s why London is a perfect first place to do this. Because if you can travel hack London, you can travel hack anywhere.

Using my own travel hacking tips, 10 days in London only cost me 481.21 GBP or $710 USD. That works out to be roughly $70 USD per day. And that’s not just my day-to-day expenses. That includes EVERYTHING—my flight to London, my hotel, transportation, food, drinking, and attractions.

Think about that for a second: I had a 10-day vacation in London for $700 USD that included airfare. When was the last time you went to Europe for that little money? When was the last time any big international trip cost that kind of money?

How Did I Do It?

Before I explain how I did it, I want to take a second to explain some of the ground rules I laid out for myself. I didn’t backpack London. My goal was to show the budget travelers of the world—the two-week holiday-makers—that you can do London on the cheap without being a backpacker. That saving money isn’t all dorm rooms, Couchsurfing, and eating pasta.

So, visiting London as a budget traveler, I made three rules:

I wouldn’t stay in hostels. I wanted to stay in nice accommodation to prove that even a hotel stay can be cheap.

I had to eat a few nice meals. When you go on holiday, you want to eat nice food, so I agreed that I would have at least two really nice meals in London.

I couldn’t say “no” because it was expensive. Many backpackers skip sightseeing because of the cost but I wanted to do all the normal sightseeing activities regular tourists do. You don’t go on a short vacation to not sightsee right?

With these ground rules in place, I set off to do London as your average, everyday traveler:

Flight: I used my American Airlines frequent flier miles to pay for my flight. A round-trip ticket from Boston to London cost me 60,000 miles, plus a service charge of $165.10 in taxes and fees.

The miles I used were “anytime miles,” but American Airlines also offers “OffPeak Miles” (off-season really), and you can actually fly to London for as little as 40,000 miles round-trip.

How do I get so many miles?
I’m a frequent flier, so I can generate a lot of miles per year. I normally fly about 40,000 to 50,000 miles per year, which, compared to most travel writers, is pretty low. But I’ve written extensively on how to get miles for free. I sign up for bonus credit cards, sign up for deals, use preferred merchants, and sign up for every contest that gives extra miles. All told, I’ve accumulated over 400,000 frequent flier miles with American Airlines alone through these methods.

While I’ve written many blog posts on how to get free miles, here’s a quick summary of the best methods:

Sign up for a branded airline credit card: Whether you love Delta or fly United and the Star Alliance, all US carriers have a branded travel credit card that gives you 25,000–30,000 points when you sign up and make one purchase. That’s a free economy ticket right there. Airline credit cards are the best way to kick-start your mileage balance. They often offer huge sign-up bonuses. For a while, American Airlines gave you 75,000 miles when you got their branded credit card. Virgin Atlantic has offered 50,000. United has done 40,000. The quickest and best way to gain a lot of free miles is to get one of these travel credit cards.

Watch out for special promotions: I sign up for all airline mailing lists. I always watch out for special two-for-one mile deals. Or when they have special card offers to earn extra miles. American Airlines just gave me 1,000 miles for watching a demo on their new shopping toolbar. I once got 5,000 miles for joining Netflix. Often times you get miles for filling out surveys or they’ll give you a 100% bonus on purchasing miles. Promotions help a bit at a time, and airlines seem to always be offering them. Utilizing promotions over the course of a few months can yield big results.

Sign up for a non-airline credit card: Sign up for a non-airline credit card like a Starwood American Express card, and you can get 25,000 sign-up points. When you convert 20,000 points into miles, you get a 5,000-mile bonus. I highly recommend signing up for this card too but signing up for any “points” card like the AMEX travel card or a Capital One card will do. Afterwards, you can transfer your sign-up bonus points to the airline you use and redeem them for flights.

For all of these methods, the bonus points take about six to eight weeks to post from the time you sign up for a credit card. If you want, sign up for my free newsletter—I always post the best mile bonuses on it. Or read Boarding Area, which features all mileage bonuses big and small.

Note: Readers of my blog know I’ve been in Europe for a long time. However, I also went home to Boston in September on a round-trip flight from London. I’m using that flight as the basis for this article.

Accommodation: I had hoped that by the time I went to London, my Marriott or Starwood points would credit to my account. Marriott is offering a new card with Chase that got me 70,000 points plus one free stay for signing up and after the first use. I jumped on this deal, but the points took too long to place into my account. On the plus side, I now have 70,000 points and a free night at a Marriott for future use.

A few months ago, Starwood hotels offered a 60,000 points bonus. I signed up but forgot to use the card quickly enough, and by the time I remembered, it was too late for this trip.

Since my points didn’t get credited in time, I used more American Airlines miles for this. I used 68,000 points plus $25 USD for five nights of accommodation in a four-star hotel. I stayed in a hotel near Hyde Park, a very well-to-do neighborhood in London.

Now, while you can use airline miles for vacations and hotels, you never get as good of a point conversion as you do with flights. Five nights using hotel points would have cost me just 50,000 points. The point here, though, is that by signing up for a branded hotel card, you can use those points to get free hotel stays for your next vacation. Or you can use the bonuses from an airline. Either way, getting free hotel rooms isn’t that hard.

For the other four nights I was London, I used Wimdu, an apartment rental company. While I normally like hostels, I wanted some peace and quiet as well as a kitchen while in London. The room cost 150 GBP ($238 USD) for four nights.

Regarding all these credit cards: while you may get a small short-term ding opening lots of credit cards in a short time, over the long term your credit will be fine so long as you pay off all your cards at the end of the month. Even after opening all these credit cards, I still have a score of about 800.

Attractions: London is great for sightseeing because so much is free here. It makes sightseeing on a budget really easy. The best museums—British Library, British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Museum of London (just to name a few)—are all free. Hyde Park? Free. Kensington Gardens? Free. It’s easy to fill a few days with sightseeing in London without ever spending a penny.

But sadly, not everything is free. For attractions that weren’t free, I used the London Pass. This tourist card cost me 54 GBP ($86 USD) for two days of sightseeing. It covers over 32 destinations and offers free public transportation. You can get a pass for up to 6 days (87 GBP). There are hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in savings with this pass. However, I didn’t have much time nor the desire to see all 32 spots. I was able to see:

Westminster Abbey
Tower of London
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Ben Franklin House
Britain at War Museum
Shakespeare’s Globe Museum
London Tombs

Without this pass, the same attractions would have cost me 104.55 GBP. I saved 50% by using the London Pass, and I didn’t even use it for everything it offers. This is why in so many of my posts about various cities, I stress getting a city pass if you plan to do a lot of museums and tours. You can save a lot of money by doing so. It’s one of the best budget travel tips out there and is all too often overlooked.

Food: I didn’t want to be the typical backpacker and eat kebabs and pasta for every meal. But at the same time, I know locals don’t eat out 100% of the time, either, and a great way to save money is to cook, which is part of the reason I got a place with a kitchen for my last four nights. I wanted to mix eating out with cooking a few meals. During my 10 days in London, I spent 103.80 GBP ($165 USD) on food, which broke down the following ways:

I spent 9.11 GBP on groceries, including bread, sandwich meat, vegetables, and pasta. This was enough for three dinners and three lunches.

I spent 2.20 on water bottles, which I refilled over the course of my trip.

My hotels and serviced apartment provided breakfast, though I did go out for McDonald’s one morning. I just love those hash browns.

The rest was spent on dining out. I got pizza one day, went out for good Thai food for one dinner, had great Indian one night, ate typical fish and chips the next, had a few Starbucks green teas, and ate tons of kebabs. They’re everywhere in London. According to my friends, you’re a true Londoner if you’re dining on kebabs, especially if it’s after a night out.

As I said, I didn’t want to skimp on meals. I ate how and when I wanted to. I did look for deals, though, as any good budget traveler knows that good food doesn’t have to be expensive. In London, I found the best way to eat out on a budget was to look for lunch specials. Most restaurants I came across had lunch specials, and many pizza places offered a “buy one, get one free” deal on takeaway.

Another great way to save money is to get the Taste Card. This diner’s club card offers 50% discounts on thousands of restaurants as well as two-for-one specials. It can really pay off, especially on those nice meals you’ll want to have. You can only live on fish and chips for so long.

Transportation: My London Pass covered public transportation for the two days it was valid. And since cabs in London are notoriously expensive even by London standards, I refrained from taking them.

For transportation to Heathrow airport, I took the Heathrow express to get into the city (18.50 GBP) and the London Underground to get out (5 GBP). Around the city, I loaded my oyster card (metro card) for unlimited use within Zones 1–3 for seven days at a cost of 32.20 GBP. (Everything you really need to see is mostly in Zone 1, but my conference was in Zone 3, so I had get out there.)

How Much Would This Trip Regularly Cost?

Had I fallen into the trap that most people do of booking a “normal vacation,” this London trip would have cost me three times as much.

A flight to London from Boston right now is currently running around $650 USD.

Currently, the average price of a decently rated three- to four-star hotel in central London is 70 to 100 ($111 to 158 USD) GBP per night. For my nine-night trip, that adds up to around $1,000 USD as I would have gone with the cheapest.

Had I refrained from cooking, I probably would have added about another 70 GBP ($111 USD) on dining out, knowing my eating habits.

If you add up all of that plus my transport and food, I would have spent around $2,000 USD. By traveling hacking and using reward points efficiently, I spent 10 days in London for less than the current price of a flight to London, saving myself $1,300 USD! Think about that. I saved 66% off the cost of a normal vacation, and I didn’t skimp on anything. I just traveled smart, used reward systems, and employed everyday frugality to my advantage. I stayed in nice places, dined out well, and saw all the attractions I wanted. I didn’t sacrifice comfort.

One the most important points I wanted to get across with this trip was to show people that cheap travel doesn’t mean bad travel. I wanted to take a vacation to London that my parents or friends—people who wouldn’t be caught dead sleeping in 15-bed dorms to save money—could take. I wanted to travel cheaply without sacrificing comfort.

And I did just that. “Travel hacking” might not be the best phrase in the world, but the principles behind it are simple and easy. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. Repeat that. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. By investing just a little extra time into planning my trip, I was able to have a wonderful trip for around the cost of the going rate for a flight to London. You don’t need to spend thousands traveling. A vacation doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg, and the next time you’re inclined to think so, just remember that yes, it is possible to travel cheap, and anyone can do it.

Note: One thing missing from this article is my conference costs. Most people don’t visit London for travel conferences, so I didn’t add any costs related to that conference to this post.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through the American Express Affiliate Program.

comments 54 Comments

Vicky

Hey Matt, we briefly met in London @ blog camp and passed in a few conference sessions (I live here!).

I would advise any travellers on a budget not to take the Heathrow Express. Yes, it’s quick, but you can equally take the underground/’tube’ and save yourself an extra £15 or so (OK, it has to be in tube hours, roughly 6am-midnight). Follow the underground signs in the airport and buy your weekly 1-3 zone Oyster there, but also top up with enough ‘pay as you go’ credit to get from Heathrow to zone 3 and back.

Heathrow is on the Picadilly Underground line (dark blue) – drives we mad how Heathrow Express is marketed as if it’s the only option. Time difference to central London just 1/2 hour – and the tube might actually get your nearer to where you want to be, especially if you ended up taking it anyway!

But congrats on your low expenditure – amazing- and couldn’t agree more there’s so many free things in London. Shame you missed Borough Market which is quintesentially London and of course free towander around – although the grocery budget would have gone up a bit!

I need to be more proactive in finding the hotel card offers. I’ve had the delta amex for ages, but have never done anything to beef up hotel rewards. Thanks for the info Matt!

bravo, matt – what a great breakdown – and excellent tips!

The advice about the London Pass is great. But I’d love to see you do one of these city guides without using points. Although the idea of travel hacking is awesome, I assume you still need to have spent a fair bit of money previously to have enough points to claim all those flights and hotels.

NomadicMatt

When I signed up for the Marriott card, I used it to buy dinner. I got my points right there. No extra spending. You get these bonuses for the first use of the card. Use the card once, collect the points.

James

I do appreciate at the end that you broke out how much the costs would have been if you didn’t use the credit card rewards. But it’s not really any different from saying “My wife and I both signed up for Chase Sapphire and each got $500 in rewards. So we took a $1100 vacation and only spent $100!”

Other than your breakout of costs for flight and hotel, i do think that the rest of your expenses are helpful to see how you can participate on a day-to-day inexpensively.

I agree with what one of the other posters has said. The points you got were a result of previous spending, so they aren’t really free. Plus, the average traveller can’t really take into account airline miles, as he doesn’t fly that often.

NomadicMatt

Well, you get the points for signing up for the cards and I never really spent money on the cards I wasn’t going to spend anyways. I didn’t spend any extra money to get the points and I didn’t fly to get them either.

fair enough, but don’t these kinds of cards have high annual fees?

NomadicMatt

Some do. Some waive the first year fee. I usually cancel them right before or simply call and negotiate the fee away.

Vanessa

Wouldn’t canceling the card (especially repeatedly) hurt your credit score over a period of time?

Agreed – this is a bit of a con. I applaud your advice on how to travel hack with credit card and air mile tricks (although it’s pretty limited to the US) and your general advice for visiting London is sound. That said, it’s largely based on previous spend. You should produce a guide for folk starting from scratch to get good deals and to maximise their travel, not just those who are already frequent travellers/spenders.

NomadicMatt

I think the word “con” is pretty harsh. A con denotes a sort of lie. There’s no real lie here. I did go on $700 dollars and to get the price that low, I did use reward miles. You don’t need to be a frequent traveler to get these deals. Just sign up for the cards and you get the bonuses.

I see your (and everyone else’s) point though – yes, this relied heavily on gaining lots of points via credit card bonuses. But, to be honest, they are really the best way to get free travel rewards.

Travel has costs, we can simply hope to minimize it.

draiss

I thought Matt did a great job of explaining it. There are two ways to obtain points. Previous spend is one of them. Getting a new card can get one a lot of points in one shot. There is no previous spending when obtaining a new card Even if you claim this is a con because some points were obtained previously then you are missing the point. Take an overall blended average and you still come out ahead. I have been using Matts techniques for years. I also had an extra benefit from work where I was earning 3-4 round trip tickets per year for work realted travel. I also accrued points quite quickly using Hiltons Honors. The point is always sign up for frequent travel points. The points can add up quickly. Nice article Matt.

Petri

I don’t if the folks reading these are mostly americans, but if not, unfortunately such a generous miles and point offers aren’t usually available outside of the US.

I’m Canadian and there are similar bonus award points for just signing up. Like Matt says, cancel before the fee kicks in after the first year. It does take some legwork, but if you’re willing to do the planning, you can save yourself a bundle.

I really have to get on the credit card train!

NomadicMatt

Jeremy, you do. You really do.

Nice work on cashing in the miles and making the system work in your favor. Solidly executed. I’m still hesitant on the credit card churning aspect of mileage redemption out of fear of credit damage. That said, it does seem to really be beneficial. Especially if you target, pick and choose which ones you go for.

NomadicMatt

I have yet to see a ding in my credit and I have been doing this for years. I’m AMEX keeps trying to shove a platinum card down my throat and those cards aren’t easy to get!

Thanks for the tips! I was about to take a trip to London and changed at the last minute for Barcelona, Spaiin, another place I love, just cause every time I go to London I end up spending so much!! maybe if I would have read this before… but will come back here before my next trip (to London). :-)

Peter

London (and I think many other European cities as well) is really expensive. When we take into account that the most expensive cities in Canada and US are nowhere close to the top twenty and London ranked 18th, one truly needs to think about a budget before you go away. Anyway, thank you for your tips, they are really useful.

andycruse

Thanks for providing such important information

Great post Matt. Inspirational. I’ve always thought that I was going to put London off for a long time because it’s too expensive. I’ll definitely take advantage of some of your advice! Thanks a lot for the post!

Well done. You know after 7.5 years of travel and dozens of flights, i still haven’t gotten my head around points!

Jo

Hey Matt, thanks for the helpful post. Could you tell me how big your apartment was? (Sleeps 2?) And would you venture a guess as to how much an apartment that sleeps 7 would cost?

NomadicMatt

The apartment was fairly big, bedroom, bath, toilet, big kitchen. Queen bed. I don’t know how much an apartment that sleeps 7 would be. You have to look it up.

Sounds like the more you travel the cheaper it gets. I always use ‘excess inventory’ deals with my travel plan. I’ve stayed in condos that are bigger than my house for a whole week for less than $200. Even with travel costs, it’s less than $400 total depending on where I go. Of course, I’m self employed so I can take off work whenever I want!

Daisy

Hmmmmm… I gotta agree with some early posters. As a writer, I understand the need for a POWERFUL headline… and this headline is pretty strong.

I say “pretty” strong because I’m married and travel slow… so $70USD a day for one person didn’t take my breath away. Then again, we usually pay monthly rates for rentals, which is a whole different animal.

Then you dropped the bomb.

That included AIRFARE?! Whoa. This must be some sort of Master Splinter travel hacking. So I kept reading… and when I found out both the flight and hotel were purchased with miles, I kinda felt let down.

It felt like a bait and switch.

And on top of that, this means you – a travel hacking expert – spent $70USD a day without including airfare and hotel costs. Which seems like a lot to me. And if you, who know the ropes of traveling cheap better than I ever will, spent that much…

… what does that mean for the rest of us?

NomadicMatt

Adam,

That does include hotel and airfare as I paid for 4 days accommodation and the airline booking fee when I got my flight (over 100 USD). So that daily average does include more than just sightseeing and eating.

I’m sorry you feel this was sort of a bait and switch but a lot of people don’t know the power of rewards or miles. I always have my mother in mind. She knows nothing about travel so for here, this would be news as would including information on HOW to get more points (i.e. promotions, deals, shopping partners). I often write for the beginner traveler to who this would be new information for.

Fair point on the airline fees and four nights… I kinda glossed over that part.

Ah, who am I kidding? I straight up missed it ;)

But… that’s still only 4 nights out of 9 nights, which means you only paid “out of pocket” for less than half your stay. Plus the “free” flight to London.

I don’t mean to nitpick. Seriously. You hack travel better than anyone I’ve ever met, which is why I’d like to see you demonstrate your knowledge on a level playing field. I understand you’re writing for the beginner travel, and think it’d be awesome for you to show how to travel cheaply without any “veteran” tricks of the trade.

Slight tangent, but as an webpreneur you’ll probably get it: You know those “make money online” guys who say things like “Watch me make $437 in just 15 minutes!”? So you watch them, and they send an email to their list of 35,000 subscribers about an affiliate product and… WHAM… the money just rolls in.

Did they really make $437 in 15 minutes? Yes. But they had an asset the average person doesn’t… and it took them a lot longer than 15 minutes to build up such a sizable list.

It’s the same principle here. When you say you spent only $700USD for ten days in London, people think you showed up in London with $700 in your pocket, had a jolly good time (I’m sure you did) and went on to your next destination.

But that’s not really the case. You had an asset most beginner travelers don’t: a large number of frequent flier miles. And even if they did sign up for all these credit cards, they’d inevitably pay for at least some annual fees on them. Which is an additional (albeit hidden) cost.

Regardless, I applaud your efforts on the whole. Most travelers could learn a thing or three from your frequent flyer deals.

I certainly do.

Love the practicality, Matt.

The money issue is always what holds people back from fulfilling their travel dreams now instead of later (or never). I’m glad you’re breaking down THAT big hairy barrier because it needs to be broken down. Great job.

I have to admit I’m really freakin’ lazy when it comes to participating in all the points programs. I just have a natural aversion to it. Sure it saves a ton of money, but at what cost?

NomadicMatt

There’s really no cost. You’re just missing out on lots of free stuff. For example, now that I finally got my Marriott points, I now have 4 free nights with them and, if I decide to keep the card after the first year, the fee is only $60 dollars. So even if I pay the fee, I got 4 nights at the Marriott for $60 dollars.

Plus, even if you simply only gain points when you use the company, you still can accumulate points for free flights and hotel stays.

Brian

Stellar redemption. As a fellow budget-traveler from the States, there is probably no better way see the world than by using miles. I started collecting miles this past March, and the ride has been one hell of a roller-coaster since then. I’ve traveled throughout eastern Europe for a couple months this past spring, booked a spontaneous same-day flight from the States to Thailand, gave a few flights away to family members, and booked 2 flights to Rome in January. All for $300 and some change. I’m still sitting on a nice stash of 300K+ miles which snowballs at the end of every month, so at least I know my next greatest adventure is always sitting around the corner.

It’s foolish to say the world is small, especially when you’re lost in a third world backcountry, but it’s exhilarating to go almost anywhere you choose on your own terms. (Sans black-out dates, of course.) Better than that? Having extra money to live and enjoy a destination (to a certain extent) rather than penny pinching to survive it.

Andrew

I agree with many of the comments in noting that this $700 trip is mainly paid for by points. The counterargument that one can get ‘free’ points by getting credit cards and cancelling them is unsound for long-term fiscal health, as opening and cancelling credit cards really hits your credit score negatively (the author’s anecdotal evidence aside).

If you actually factor in the value of the points that the author spent (based on a well done analysis by PlasticIQ [http://www.plasticiq.com/blog/value-of-american-airlines-advantage-miles/]), the author spent closer to $2,400. Just because points are not cash, does not mean you’re not spending items of value.

MJC

Any reason you didn’t mention the Club Carlson card? BOGO on nights and either ping-ponging 2 day reservations at a hotel with a travel companion with the card or going between two hotels plus the 5x earning structure and generous signup bonus makes it probably the strongest hotel card for Europe.
Also, @people talking about spend not being free, for anyone who MSes, credit card points are so easy to essentially arbitrage that it’s close to free.

Taylor

Also remember that having an 800 credit score in the USA (that actually maxes out in practice at 820 or so) is not very likely. Only 20% of the population has a credit score over 780 according to Equifax, and most of them are older. Many people in the 18-35 age group will not fit into that distribution, or even qualify for these airline points cards.

Thanks Matt for yet again another helpful blogpost. I was just in London, I spent way too much on topping up my oyster card, I should have bought the weekly pass … lesson learned.

NomadicMatt

You know for next time!

BR

Thanks for the report! Just curious about the 60,000 point Starwood credit card sign up bonus. Is that accurate because I think I would have remembered that?

NomadicMatt

It happens once a year. They just did the bonus again in August. It’s gone now.

Amazing post

coming from a financial background i prefer spread sheets

I will try to put it in a spreadsheet

:P

Thanks for the post. Got to it as was checking means to hack the london trip that I’m going to in a couple of weeks. Just wanted to point out regarding the london pass. I did want to buy it, but the pass is currently being sold for 56 pounds for one day and 145 pounds for 6days with the free travel option that you seem to have bought. So either the prices have really shot up in the last couple of years or you got some figures wrong.

Cheers.

Candice

fantastic post… so much detail and accurate information. One of the best posts ive come across.

Great post – really detailed.

The taste card always comes in handy and the London pass is a good shout out.

If you are staying just out side London and travel by train you can also get 2 for 1 on London attractions :)

Olya

I used the apartment renting place you suggetsed Wimdu, its pretty epic! It allows you find a much cheaper accomodation and stay in a London style house. Helps you feel London culture even more.
I have never heard of Wimdu before I v read your article.
So Thank you , Matt, for introducing it to me!!

Thanks
Olya

Chanel @ La Viajera Morena

Thanks so much! This was helpful for my upcoming London trip :)

Keith

Come on really???? You used air miles which is not that impressive. When you were in London you should have bought an Oyster card from the airport and used that as pre pay to get around. If you’re on a super budget only take London buses as with an Oyster card these are £1 per fare. I travel a lot with my air miles too and back them up with a credit card, I don’t write about it as I don’t think the majority of folks have his opportunity., nor do I think it’s impressive for anyone other than me.

Hi Matt. I want to be a Travel Hacker too! I am moving to Australia soon and just wanted to find out if you know much about Air points credit cards for that part of the world?

NomadicMatt

If you’re an American, you can get a card with no international fees and use that card while you are in Australia. There are only a few cards in Australia that offer points, mostly from American Express. You can look at one of those cards.

Jenny

I have a dumb question.

So, you talk about frequent flyer miles to make trips cheap – what about people who don’t have access to those? Are they basically screwed for cheap trips? I fly, well, never – because I work two jobs and am paying off school loans – so how can I take cheap trips without racking up EVEN MORE debt, which leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

NomadicMatt

Everyone has access to the miles. Put everything on a card and gain miles. Even if it is only a few a month, it is better than none a month.

Dan

Checked out the 2/4/1 50% off UK Diners card and the only offer I can find is a one month trial for a one year subscription. Restaurants usually participate in these programs to get new business that they hope would be repeat business. So how does a 2 week tourist get a card?

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