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Black Friday: Travel Hacking Flights with Credit Cards, Points, and Sales

Travel hacking flights on Black Friday is my version of the Olympics (lol). Just the thrill of the chase, all of the preparation, and the years of experience that I bring to the sport are just enough to bring a proverbial tear to my eye.

Travel is just THAT MUCH MORE satisfying knowing you got a great deal… because that also means you have budget left over for another flight or two…. or six.

What is Travel Hacking?

Typically, travel hacking is thought of as ‘the art of’ collecting frequent flyer miles and points to travel for free or at a subsidized rate. I consider travel hacking flights as a more advanced form of travel hacking.

If you’re new to travel hacking, I would stick to a combination of cashback, coupons, and seasonal sales. Because travel hacking flights is not for the faint of heart.

However, I’ve put in the work so you don’t have to! Here are my top tips on travel hacking flights during Black Friday 2019!

Travel Hacking Flights Year-Round

Hack Level: EASY

My personal favorite method for travel hacking flights year-round is using the Skyscanner ‘Everywhere’ functionality.

This removes the complexity of having to search by airline for the best deals as Skyscanner will display all of the long-haul deals leaving from your point of interest. The one downside is you don’t typically build loyalty points unless you’re filtering by the carrier.

I use the ‘everywhere’ functionality nearly every time I book flights. This gives me inspiration about where to go beyond what I had originally envisioned.

It expands my horizon to locations that I might not have originally considered!  Travel hacking flights is not only about using points to reduce cost but also savvy searching!

Warning‼️: Do NOT book with poorly rated 3rd party carriers. Always book on the actual carrier’s website to avoid shady T&Cs and poor customer service. If you book these 3rd party services, your airline is actually not REQUIRED to honor most of their normal T&Cs because they are not technically the provider.

If you need to change or alter your booking and you didn’t pay specifically for that service, the 3rd party platform is well within its rights to ignore or deny your request. You have been warned.

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Hacking Travel Credit Cards

Hacking Level: DIFFICULT 

Another option for travel hacking is to go through travel rewards credit cards. Whether you’re using a bank-branded rewards program or an airline loyalty card, both types typically have sign-on bonuses and referral programs you can take advantage of to rack up points quickly.

For example, for my British Airways Credit Card (Avios points):

  • I spent £3000 in 3 months on normal bills to get a bonus of 26,000 points
  • I referred 4 people to get an additional 9,000 per person
  • I fly long-haul and for work on British Airways to get 3x the points
  • I get 1.5 Avios points per £1 spent
  • I reached £10,000 in one year and qualified for a free companion voucher

When I had 120,000 Avios points, I booked TWO FREE round-trip Business Class flights to Mexico City from London. However, I did have to pay taxes and fees, which came out to about £600 pounds per person.

British Airways Reward Program

For the best up-to-date information, you should definitely check out The Points Guy, who goes into detail about which cards are right for you. For Americans, below is a quick comparison.

2019 Travel Credit Card Comparisons
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Black Friday Deals

Hacking Level: MODERATE

Travel hacking flights is probably the most complex way of tackling Black Friday. There are so many carriers, so little time. Not all Black Friday deals have been announced yet, but history shows that we can count on a few. Typically, these special deals are released on Black Friday and not Cyber Monday!

Top Black Friday Carriers

Air New Zealand: In 2018, Air New Zealand offered round-trip flights from London to Los Angeles for just £175!!

British Airways: In 2018, long-haul Business Class flights (for 2 people) started from £1,008. Even without Black Friday, I’ve seen flights from LAX/SF to London for under $600 regularly!!

United AirlinesIn 2018, United’s Black Friday Sale offered European round-trip flights from $312 – $600! Don’t forget to apply points when appropriate.

I hope this article was helpful! Remember, the best travel hackers start months in advance to accumulate points and benefits in time for Black Friday. Let me know in the comments if you want to know anything more about travel hacking flights.

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