How We Got from Chicago to Croatia for less than $300

About 3 weeks ago we spent an amazing couple of weeks in Croatia! We started off in the epic city of Dubrovnik and saw the filming locations for Game of Thrones. We then made our way north and ended up in the picturesque town of Sibenik. While in Sibenik we fell in love with the Croatian culture, and we able to get a real taste of what Croatia is like! We had such an amazing time on this trip, and were able to score an amazing deal to get there! Our flights combined from Chicago to Dubrovnik were right below $300, when we did the math, it turned out we saved almost $1,700 on our flights! How? The United Mileage Plus Explorer Card.

There’s a lot to love about this card, but we’re going to walk you through our 3 favorite benefits you can also enjoy.

1. 50,000 bonus points plus an additional 5,000

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 5.14.24 PM

You can use these bonus points towards flights, car rentals, hotel reservations, cruises or vacation packages. You can even use them forΒ electronics, home goods, accessories, jewelry and other merchandise from your favorite brands.

The way to earn the 50,000 points is by spending $3,000 on the card within 3 months after opening it. What we did was take a look at our upcoming expenses and see how many we could put on the card. It turned out to be easier than we thought to hit that $3,000 mark! The key is shifting over expenses you’re already making, instead of overspending and offsetting the benefit these points could offer.

The way to earn the 50,000 points is by spending $3,000 on the card within 3 months after opening it. What we did was take a look at our upcoming expenses and see how many we could put on the card. It turned out to be easier than we thought to hit that $3,000 mark! TheΒ key is shifting over expenses you’re already making, instead of overspending and offsetting the benefit these points could offer.

If you want to bump your points up to 55,000, you simply need to add a second authorized card user and they need to make a purchase within 3 months after joining. And every year, you’re eligible to receive 10,000 bonus points when you spend $25,000 on the card. All throughout, you would get 1 mile per each dollar spent and double the miles on every dollar spent on United Airlines flights.

2. 40% off on car rentals with Hertz and full collision damage waiver

Throughout our year abroad, we’ve ended up renting cars more than we expected. Whether traveling often or not, having this 40% discount makes it so much easier to rent a car when needed. While in Wales, we ended up renting a car and making use of the 40% discount. Since Wales was pretty spread out and the most convenient way to get there was from Manchester city, we were so glad we were able to rent a car through this offer.

On top of the 40% discount, we didn’t have to pay for the collision coverage. Car rental companies can really scare you into paying that fee. All we had to do was put the car rental on the card and the card would reimburse up to the cash value of the vehicle for any theft and collision damage. This applies to both rentals within the U.S. and abroad.

3. Access to any flight seat, any time

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 5.15.06 PM.png

Having a middle seat versus that aisle or window seat can make a big difference on long flights. Anyone else? For that reason, we love this benefit and always try to make the best of it. Our flight to Croatia was absolutely booked. While checking in, we thankfully had the chance to book any available seat. Otherwise, we would have been left with the crappy ones.

Often times, airlines block off several seats when you’re doing your online check in. With the United Mileage Plus card, we don’t need to worry about that. We also don’ need to worry about blackout dates! All we’ve had to do is provide our MileagePlus number at the time of booking our flights.

Again, there’s a lot we love about the Mileage Plus Explorer card. Here are some other perks that didn’t make it on our top 3 but you should definitely know about:

  1. You and whoever else you’re traveling with can save up to $100 roundtrip by getting your first checked bag free.
  2. You’ll always get access to priority boarding, so no need to wait and hope you’ll get room for your carry-ons in that overhead.
  3. No foreign transaction fees, another less thing to worry about while enjoying your trip overseas

Ready to get free flights and a lot more with the United Mileage Card? Click here to learn more and get started.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply