In recent years, I have had to catch a quick flight to be with my dying dad and to attend a close friend’s funeral. Both flights would have cost $1,000 each – even IF I qualified for the bereavement fare. That’s the way it is. Period.
Bereavement fares are for close family who must be there – not friends. Basically, if you aren’t mentioned in the obituary or married to someone who is, don’t expect to get the small discount. Airlines have requirements that must be met.
Don’t compound a huge personal loss with an expensive financial one. Just like how you (hopefully) keep some money stashed away for emergencies, you should have frequent flyer miles for emergencies.
What’s The Solution?
Here’s a list of airline credit cards that have large sign up bonuses – enough for free round trip flights. There are also two cards that earn points that can be redeemed on many different airlines.
Under “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website, click on “Travel Rewards Credit Cards” for these cards. Or click on the Apply Now thing at the bottom of this post. Email me if you have any questions.
Airline Specific Cards
Alaska Airlines: 30,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 on the card in the first 3 months the card is open. $75 annual fee.
American Airlines: 60,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months the card is open. $95 annual fee waived the first year.
Delta Airlines: 60,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on the card in the first 4 months the card is open. $95 annual fee waived the first year.
JetBlue Airlines: 30,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 on the card in the first 3 months the card is open. $99 annual fee.
United Airlines: 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months the card is open. $95 annual fee.
Cards That Earn Points That Convert to Airline Miles
Chase Sapphire Preferred card: 50,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you spend $4,000 on the card in the first 3 months the card is open. $95 annual fee waived the first year. These Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed (1 points = 1 airline mile) on Southwest, United, British Airways, Flying Blue, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic.
Starwood Preferred Guest card: 25,000 bonus StarPoints if you spend $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months the card is open. $95 annual fee waived the first year. StarPoints can be redeemed (1 point = 1 airline mile) on most of their 36 airline partners. If you transfer 20,000 StarPoints to an airline in a single transaction, Starwood will add an extra 5,000 StarPoints. Therefore your 20,000 StarPoints will be 25,000 StarPoints – which will be 25,000 airline miles (in most cases). See the airline exchange ratios here.
If you don’t know which airline one to pick, I like Delta.
- Delta is the world’s largest airline
- You can use Delta SkyMiles anywhere they fly, as well as on their worldwide partner airlines
- Delta SkyMiles NEVER EXPIRE (unlike other airlines) – even if you cancel cards
- You can redeem Delta SkyMiles for a ticket in someone else’s name
- The small spending requirement and ability to try out the card is hard to resist
Whether you keep the cards or not, the Delta SkyMiles you earned are yours to keep – and they never expire. That’s huge to know the miles will always be there for an emergency!
I suggest that all adults have frequent flyer miles in reserve for such emergencies.
Thank you for clicking on the referral links in this post. I appreciate it! Not only will that ensure you get the correct offer, but we may get a referral credit from approvals. That support helps keep the 1s and 0s spinning around cyberspace bringing great Chip’s Money Tips to you!! Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.