People are always asking me how I can afford to travel so much… Do you want to know how to get cheap flights? Well here are five tips on how I get my cheap holidays.
If you’re on this travel blog then I could hazard a guess that you know of Skyscanner. There’s probably two or three of you out there that don’t so basically it’s a price comparison website for flights (and more). Before I book any flights I always have a quick check on Skyscanner to check for the cheapest flights. It’s really handy if you don’t have any specific dates in mind too because you can search by month. What I then do is couple that quick check with the below tips and then book!
Nectar & Tesco Clubcard Points
This is one for UK readers only but there may be similar programmes in other countries so have a look. For every £1 you spend at Sainsbury’s you get 1 Nectar point. These Nectar points can then be traded for money to spend on EasyJet flights, hotels or Expedia bookings. For every 500 Nectar points you have you get £2.50 off at these various websites. Now that means you have to spend £500 to get £2.50 off, which doesn’t sound that great… However, check back to the Nectar website on a regular basis and they do lots of offers like 10x points deals. You can also earn points on your normal online spend including on eBay if you go via the Nectar website.
Another popular supermarket reward scheme in the UK is the Tesco Clubcard scheme. This scheme is similar to the Nectar scheme whereby you get 1 point for every £1 spend. This scheme is generally only on purchases in Tesco shops and petrols stations though. You can exchange £2.50 worth of points for 625 Virgin Flying Club miles or 600 Avios. You can also spend points on Monarch airline and car hire too. Occasionally Virgin and British Airways carry out offers where you get an increased number of airmiles for your £2.50. It may be worth holding off for these if you’re not in any rush.
I’ve lost count of how much money I’ve saved using Nectar and Clubcard points over the last few years! You don’t even have to go out of your way to use the stores either, just collect points alongside your daily normal spend.! I got cheap flights to Iceland, Italy and France through Nectar points alone!
Travel Related Credit Cards
The two schemes described above actually offer credit cards too. These credit cards give you enhanced points per £1 spend and could be really beneficial if you book any flights on EasyJet or Expedia (Nectar) or British Airways (Tesco). I don’t actually have one of these cards but I’ve heard that they’re really good for picking up points. If you book a lot on British Airways then I recommend the next credit card.
The credit card that I use every day for every single purchase is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card. This card offers 1.5 Avios for each £1 you spend or 3 Avios for each £1 you spend on British Airways. The best bit: if you spend £10,000 each year then you get a British Airways 2 for 1 voucher! This ticket can be used on any British Airways Avios redemption flight (meaning you have to pay in Avios then plus taxes) within the next 2 years. I’ve just used one(!) of my vouchers on a business class trip to New York and coming back via Miami later on this year. (I can’t wait!!). It should be said though that this card charges a fee of £195 a year.
However, there is a free alternative. The BA American Express Credit Card (scroll down the page to the bottom) provides the slightly lower rate of 1 Avios for each £1 spent or 1.5 Avios for each £1 you spend on British Airways. The other downside is you have to spend £20,000 in one year to get the 2 for 1 voucher. I can’t recommend these enough if you book flights via BA.
The links above are referral links so you can get a bonus 26,000 (!!) Avios if you sign up for the Premium Plus card and spend £3,000 in the first three months or 6,000 Avios if you sign up for the regular card and spend £1,000 in the first three months. You can use Avios on British Airways and European return flights can be bought for less than 9,000 Avios plus taxes. Make sure you pay back in full each month to avoid interest though!
You can also get the more expensive American Express Platinum Card, you can read my review here but I definitely recommend that one too.
EasyJet Flight Launch Dates
There are four different times of the year that EasyJet release their next batch of tickets. These tickets are for travel within a period of three months. The next tranche is due to be released in September 2017 for flights between 25 March and 24 June 2018. Keep an eye out in September for the exact date. You can pick up some really cheap flights if you get in quickly before the prices start to rise. The prices of flights can still go down nearer the time but they generally go up so try and book as early as possible. If you use the app in the next tip then coupled with this it can be really useful!
Hopper is an app available now that recommends the best time to book your flights. All you have to do is enter your dates, destination and Hopper will tell you whether to book or wait. You get regular notifications on flight price movements and if they expect the prices to go up or down. You can also book through the app but it is entirely up to you whether you then go through other websites to book or not. It won’t be 100% accurate but it’s a great indicator on when you should be booking up for the best price.
I hope you’re able to save some money using the above tips. Let me know in the comments below if you do or if you have any more tips on how to get cheap flights.
Oh didn’t realise i can use nectar points with flights, i need ti check this out next time i book my flight. Great tips thanks for sharing.
It’s something not many people know about and it’s so useful! I’ve used them quite a lot and it’s great to get money off EasyJet / Expedia!
Credit Cards that offer travel points are deffo the way to go. We have done this for years and has totally paid off. In fact, most of our flights over the last year have been purchased through the use of points accumulated from our cards.
Everyone needs at least one credit card for free flights. Whether it’s introductory offers or ongoing points. Really great tool
Great ways listed to get cheap flights. I got a Tesco clubcard with loads and loads of points on it but never converted them into flights yet. I might need to check my statement out.
Hey, Hopper sounds amazing I will have to try it! In South Africa we dont have all these cards and point systems that you have mentioned but all the infomation here seems really useful.
Nice summary. I started using Momondo instead of Skyscanner recently, as sometimes you can get even better deals. Yet Hopper is definitely an awesome service which I’m using frequently.
Oh I’ve not heard of Momondo! I’ll have to have a look! Thanks
Great tips! I actually haven’t heard about Nectar before but I did about the Tesco points. I even made my account before but somehow I didn’t really used it. Which is a shame as I am sure I would have lots of points right now. I also have BA Amex, its a great way to get points 🙂
I’m always a lover of freebies. Especially when traveling helps you travel. I’ve used Nectar and I’m a product of that. I’d be trying out other freebies avenues you mentioned in the post. There’s a lot on my bucket list for 2018 so these freebies are handy
Never heard of Hopper app and I will definitely use it for my next trip! I’m an avid avios collector though through my AMEX haha, I swear by it!!
Great post, I always do comparison on skyscanner it’s the best website. Even I have taken membership of certain airlines so sometimes I get discount in exchange of those points 🙂
Flight expenses form the major component of travel. Hence it is helpful if one can reduce these expenses. Any ideas to help reduce this are always welcome. We do use skyscanner to check for the cheapest available flights before we finalize. What we have not been doing and need to do is take advantage of frequent flyer programmes.
I should start using sky scanner and need to check out easyjet flight release to save more and travel more. Great tips and will surely check them out.
Being someone who wants to travel all the time, I will definitely start utilizing these resources. Great tips and thanks for informing us.
The credit card hack seems really cool.
Your article is very informative! Thank you for sharing this! Before reading your article, the only thing i knew was cheapflight site haha. Thanks!