Lonely Planet Writer

This couple travelled the world by paying less than $2200 for flights worth 25 times that

There are few things that feel better than scoring an incredible flight deal – but one couple took things to the next level by spending less than US$2200 for flights worth $55,000.

Erin and Alex Miller in Singapore Suites. Image by Erin and Alex Miller in Singapore Suites.

Alex and Erin Miller used reward points and miles to get an incredible trip for incredibly cheap. However, the pair has a bit of a leg up on your average point-savvy traveller – they actually run Upgraded Points, a website that helps people leverage their reward miles.

The pair took a trip around the world, flying in business and first class on carriers like Emirates and Singapore Airlines – even staying in the ultimate airplane luxury of an Etihad first class apartment. Alex and Erin say they spend only $2173 on tickets they value at more than $55,000. The three-week trip took place in October 2017, starting in Austin, Texas before heading off to places like Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Melbourne and Dubai. They used six different credit cards, collectively giving them 311,000 reward miles that were used to cut down the cost of flights by 95%.

Alex Miller in Etihad’s first class apartment. Image by PRNewsfoto/UpgradedPoints.com

Alex explains just how he did it on the website, but notes that while you can save a lot of money using points, it also requires a lot of forward planning. He started putting the trip together in September 2016 and had the flights booked nine months in advance. Alex told Lonely Planet that he recommends using cards that allow for collecting transferable points, instead of earning miles directly with airlines or hotels. Those cards will allow the points to be used for a large number of different companies “This opens up a considerable number of options for you to use your points and that’s when you can really get a lot of value”. Find out all the details of how he booked the trip here.

Erin and Alex aren’t the only savvy travellers who have taken dream trips around the world for cheap. Travel hacker Daniel Gillaspia went on a trip worth $52,000 for only $400 and shared some of his top money-saving tips with Lonely Planet. Samuel Huang, a writer for the website TopMiles, also shared his advice on using points to take a $16,000 luxury flight for only $480.