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How I Booked a First Class Round Trip to Scotland Using Credit Card Points
Over the past year I have become a “credit card guy,” as I’ve become more into the game of amassing and spending points. This is a bit of a surprise because, like many of my friends, I was afraid of “having too many credit cards,” and the perceived ruin this could bring to my credit score. This fear, like many fears, was borne of ignorance. While the story of how I learned to stop worrying and embrace the credit card is for another piece, I’d like to share the story of one of my first big redemptions.
This spring, I will be traveling to Scotland in first class with tickets paid for completely by credit card points.
Here’s how I did it
Earning the points
I earned most of the needed points from signing up for two credit cards within the same month last year. First the American Express Platinum Card, which, at the time carried a 60,000 point signup bonus (I know, I know…I could have gotten 100k). That gave me at least 65,000 Membership Rewards points (after meeting $5k minimum spend requirement). At the same time, the Delta Platinum American Express card was offering a 70,000 mile signup bonus for $3k spend in the first three months.
After meeting spend requirements, that gave me 138,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. Since these points transfer to Delta at a 1:1 ratio, I now effectively had 138,00 miles. I had a handful of Delta miles from previous travel to put me over 140,000 miles after transferring.
Booking the flight
Why is that threshold important? Because that seems to be the minimum amount of miles needed for a transatlantic round-trip ticket in first class. Delta hasn’t published an award chart since 2015 but these prices seem to have remained steady as the “saver,” first class award.
To find these deals, simply navigate over to Delta.com and proceed to book an award ticket.
Enter your preferred destination and dates and make sure you have selected “Flexible Dates,” and are showing prices in “miles,” as indicated by the green highlights above.
That will take you to a screen that looks like this:
Assuming you have the flexibility, from this screen you can select your preferred dates based on price.
After you’ve selected your preferred dates, transfer over the required points from American Express by clicking on the “Membership,” tab after logging into your account. From there, select “Transfer Points.” Both of these are highlighted in green below.
The transfer happens almost instantaneously, but you may have to logout/refresh your Delta page for the points to show up. From there you can book your trip, and in no time, you’ll be on your way.