Miles Needed - 80,000 per person
Traveling to New Zealand from the states is no cheap endeavor. The flights alone cost well over $1,000 per person, and that’s just for coach! Fortunately, using airline miles can be an incredibly helpful way to make this trip affordable. Earning enough miles to do so can also be much more realistic than you may think. So before writing off the trip, here are some tips on getting to New Zealand with miles and still having some to spare!
Sign up for MileagePlus
If you don’t already have a MileagePlus number sign up now! In addition to operating nonstop flights to New Zealand from the west coast, United is codeshare partners with Air New Zealand, which offers its own flights from cities such as Houston and LA. Not only are United miles valuable, there are many easy ways to earn (see more below).
Apply for a Rewards Credit Card
A great way to accrue points and miles quickly is by applying for a credit card, and the new Chase Sapphire Reserve is the best in the business. You can currently earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. These points can then be immediately transferred to United and redeemed for award travel! In addition, the Sapphire Reserve will earn you 3X Miles on any travel and dining purchases, as well as 1 mile/dollar spent on anything else. It also credits you for purchasing global entry or precheck. While the card has an annual fee of $450, Chase automatically applies a $300 credit on any travel purchases, effectively bringing this down to $150.
If you are looking for a lower fee card the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is also a great option. The annual fee is $95 per year and the mileage bonus is 50,000 miles.
Register for MileagePlus Shopping & Dining
Want to earn points for things you do everyday? United has portals for both dining and shopping. Register your credit cards with MileagePlus Dining, and whenever you dine at participating restaurants and use your registered cards you’ll earn bonus miles from United.
MileagePlus Shopping requires only slightly more effort. Hundreds of retailers offer bonus miles through United. All you have to do is initially go to the website you are shopping at using the MileagePlus Shopping Portal, and then just shop as you normally would. Once you make a purchase you’ll earn miles in the amount of the purchase times the stores multiplier (for example, Sephora offers 3/miles per dollar). Don’t forget to make your purchase using a rewards credit card to earn even more!