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Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips


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I've flown on several cheap Spirit flights the last year to various parks.  No real complaints.  Just like any other airline but cheaper.  I'm also the type that boards, throws on headphones, and tries to sleep the whole way.  They leave me alone.  That's all I ask.  I usually have an Ospry Comet pack (30L) packed full and neither Spirit nor Allegiant has ever said anything.  I never pick seats; don't care where I (or we) sit for a couple of hours.

3 weeks ago flying to Dallas they gave us the big second row seats randomly.  Probably the most comfy flight I've ever done.  Only 2 seats where the other rows had 3.

 

 

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The only suggestion that I would have is to see if they have more flights throughout the day as a backup or check the flight schedule on flight aware to see how insane it is before it gets to you (like 9 straight flights with a 45 minute turnaround each time or something). If it’s the only flight for like 3 days then I’d maybe fly American, otherwise I’d fly Spirit because American is terrible and at least Spirit embraces their terribleness and doesn’t pretend they’re good like American does.

Also if you don’t mind spending the extra money you can just buy both and then abuse the covid waiver to cancel one of them last minute (we do that sometimes now). The only problem is the refund is in flight credit and then you have to fly American...

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I cant bring myself to fly spirit on any long flights, but they are great for BUR-LAS for me.  Its usually sub $100 for the big front seat RT.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you are flying Allegiant or Spirit and can buy at the airport, you'll save money. 

I bought 4 round trip tickets to Orlando on Allegiant today for middle of April.  Was going to be $358.  Decided to drive the 10 minutes over to the airport and try that.   Got the same flights for $214.

Their hours are usually short and sporadic, but it'll save save you some cash.  Chops off the airline fees.

 

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  • 3 months later...

As time has gone on I've started to feel more hesitant to recommend credit cards because obviously they're great for some people and not great for other people and in-general people overspend on them and pay interest which is the entire reason that they exist. I like them though, they work for us and if you like playing the card game too then keep reading, otherwise stop reading right now and pretend this was never posted.

Anyway... right now people are paying down their balances and credit card companies are freaking out (lol let me break out the world's smallest violin) but that's kind of good news since it means the sign-up offers are getting crazy because they want to suck more people in and get them into debt. If you're on top of things though and know you won't over-spend, it's great news.

I expect more crazy offers from other card issuers to follow along so keep an eye on those issuer websites and even your snail mail, the best example right now of a crazy offer is the Chase Sapphire Preferred: 100k points ($1,250 on their Expedia portal) for spending 4k in 3 months offer (or if you want to go nuts they have tons of transfer partners but anyone that wants to deal with that already knew about this anyway, I'm just posting this disclaimer since I know those people are coming to correct me). There is a $95 annual fee, the benefits might make it worth it for you but you have to look into that. If not, cancel after the first year.

I already have this card and have for years and I'm salty as hell because I didn't get 100k points but I got Brit to apply for this today so now I can use Brit's points.

I also expect more crazy offers so you don't have to jump at this one. Chase has no-annual-fee business cards with $750 signup bonuses which is also nuts and you know that Amex, Barclays and Capital One will respond. Just keep an eye on card issuer sites and snail mail card offers, they're getting insane.

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God Dammit.

I picked up the Sapphire in the beginning of May since I was going to purchase new furniture and had the cash on hand to cover it along with some other upcoming travel expenses that would easily cover the $4,000.

 

I got 80K points.    >=(

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  • 2 months later...

The Amtrak Rewards card bonus offer is now 50,000 points if you spend  2,500 in the first 90 days. I couldn't find the Choice Hotels transfer as an option anymore, but I went for it because I take the train quite a bit and can use points for tickets for friends. I signed up for the card today because I am booking a train trip and wanted to start earning points right away. When I clicked through to checkout, there was an additional $100 bonus if I signed up for the card from that screen. Damnit! Shoulda waited, lol.

At the moment it appears to be best for people who take the train regularly. Points are worth 2.5 cents for train travel. I checked a few rates for booking hotels through Amtrak and they were all around 1 cent per point.

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People who never took the train used to get that card all the time for the Choice transfer loophole. It's a shame if they closed that. 🤣

PS: Choice has quietly devalued their points. There's no rhyme or reason to cash vs points rates and amazing finds still exists but from experience, 90% of the time there's been a huge devaluation in the last year-or-so.

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  • 2 months later...

Just got an email from Carowinds that says I am entitled to an upgrade on my Choice Hotels status. The link isn't currently loading for me, but I should be upgraded from Platinum to Diamond if and when it works.

Choice Hotels website has listed reduced prices at Cedar Fair parks on their website under 'Deals'. I never noticed that before.

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Interestingly enough, I also noticed offers from Capital One for SeaWorld parks. I never use my Capital One card anymore but randonly logged in and noticed the other day (I got the Savor when it had an insane sign-up bonus but downgraded after they stopped waiving the annual fee).

On an unrelated note, a Marriot devaluation may be coming per tons of usually-reliable sources. Consider booking now if you have future trips planned and you're using your Bonvoy points.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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