We all know about air miles and how they are essentially travel rewards that allow us to move a lot more, and even for free! How? When you buy a flight ticket, book hotel accommodation, or purchase a certain amount with a rewards credit card, you can be rewarded with redeemable points or air miles. Air miles do not necessarily equate to the number of miles or the distance on your destination. Instead, the bank or the credit card issuer, in partnership with select airlines, convert your air miles to flight tickets, hotel accommodation, or even spendable cash for your getaway! Amazing, right?! 

The farther you travel, and the higher you spend, the more points you get. Similarly, the farther and more expensive the reward you’re aiming for, the more points it would cost. It would suffice to say that you’re rewarded according to your expense. This is why most people would only spend air miles on domestic or Asian destinations. They cost less money and miles to redeem. However, it’s a no brainer that when we think of the best destination for fun, learning, and relaxation, the first to come in mind is European travel. For people with a tight budget, this may seem luxurious. 

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Besides, Europe is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. It is a dream come true for most people. Europe has a powerhouse attraction with a wealth of history, culture, nightlife, delicious European dishes, and charming and loving people to celebrate with you. Taking a trip to that side of the world will, therefore, be beneficial and worth a long-planned vacation getaway. We have rounded up the best European destinations for your next travelogue!

PARIS, France

The city of love is not just for Valentine's and couples to enjoy, indeed. Take photos in front of the world-famous Eiffel Tower. After that, you can even climb the tower to snap breathtaking views of France! Besides this, you can visit various highly-appraised museums, churches, and architecture for everyone to enjoy.

ROME, Italy

This historical and cultured destination is listed in many people’s bucket list. You’ll never go wrong with a Rome visit. Catholic devotees in the Philippines can go from Quiapo to the Vatican in Rome. History fanatics will have the time of their life in Rome’s Colosseum and Parthenon. Add this to mouthwatering pasta and/ or caffé, and your vacation is complete!

grand canal

VENICE, Italy

Up your grand-canal game by actually going to Venice for the experience! Take romantic gondola rides and St Mark’s Basilica visits alone or with a loved one. 

LONDON, England

Whether it’s to go to Hogwarts or visit the queen, London allows you to do both. Roam the streets of London like Sherlock and Watson did. Visit the famous Big Ben and the London Eye, and the entrance to Hogwarts Express. You can even get to take photos in front of the Buckingham Palace. Who knows, maybe you could even get a glimpse of the queen there?! Make sure to prepare for humid days!

unionbank

Why is it hard to fly European from the Philippines?

Besides the steeper costs, whether in cash or air miles of a European destination, more factors might discourage you from flying to Europe. However, there are corresponding solutions to the following concerns you might have.

A European vacation is costly. True, traveling to Berlin is much more expensive than Osaka, Japan, or El Nido, Palawan. However, this is what air miles are for. Sometimes, you can redeem your miles, if sufficient, as hotel accommodation and other travel rewards like restaurant reservations and foreign purchases. If the expense is your concern, then wait until you collect enough air miles and rewards before going to Europe. Pile up small transactions and redeem only when the reward is big enough for your dream vacation!

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More than 28million tourists visit Greece each year. 

There are no direct flights from the Philippines to anywhere in Europe. This is why European travel is hard to find in travel catalogs and seat sales. It requires more tedious planning and spending compared to closer destinations. However, there are many ways to go around this problem. So far, there are direct flights to Athens, Greece from Manila through Cebu Pacific, and to London, England from Manila through both Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. You can take a connecting flight to your desired destination through these stops. Another option is to fly closer and use your rewards to travel to Singapore or Malaysia, then fly to Europe from there. 

How much exactly would it cost? 

We keep talking about air miles to travel. But how much precisely is one air mile, how many air miles would you need to go to Europe? Let’s take, for example, a direct flight from Manila to London through Philippine Airlines. Credit cards like Citi Premier Miles Visa give you 1 Mabuhay Mile for every 30 PHP spend on the card. PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles Mastercards do the same for every 33 PHP purchase charged on the card. 

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Given PAL’s Mabuhay miles calculator, you would need 32,000, Mabuhay Miles, to redeem a flight to Heathrow London. This means a Citi Premier Miles Visa credit card needs to be charged 960,000 PHP for a one-way standard economy trip to London. With PAL, it also costs approximately 32,000 PHP to fly straight to Heathrow. The price difference is extreme, to say the least, but considering it’s just a reward for all your previous purchases, then you might as well take it. Believe it or not, this option is cheaper than flying to Singapore first with 12,000 Mabuhay miles times 30 PHP or 360,000 PHP spend reward, then traveling to London with and similar 32,000 PHP cost. However, if you have a different destination in mind, connecting flights maybe your best option. 

Tips to up your air miles game

Who doesn’t like to be rewarded for purchases? And if these rewards are in terms of your dream vacation, then you need to optimize the way you’re being paid! Here are some tips to help you gain more points in less amount of time.

  1. Get a reliable credit card. There are credit cards made specifically for the frequent flyer. Compare your options with GoBear and find the best credit card for your travel needs.
  2. Focus on one air miles card at a time. There’s not much use acquiring few points in multiple cards. You have a higher chance of redeeming a better reward when you accrue a lot of points in one credit card.
  3. Be on the lookout for credit card and the partner airline promos. Promos like multiplying the points you get for purchase are those to look out for. Make sure to sign up for newsletters and promotions from both the bank and your airline of interest in case anything comes up.

Bottom line:

Air miles and purchase rewards allow us to get the most out of our credit card subscription and subsequent purchases. Make the most out of these benefits by planning and spending wisely. Hike up on air miles and consequent rewards with a reliable credit card with comfortable terms and regulations. Pick the best credit card for you through GoBear today!

GoBear team

GoBear team

GoBear Team - Our content creators collaborate to come up with finance articles that will make financial literacy a joy to learn and financial security an attainable goal.

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