Right now might seem like the worst possible time to even consider travelling; you’d be right to think that. But churning on the other hand, well, we think right now is one of the best times to start.
First of all, if you have no idea what we’re talking about when we say “churning”, we suggest signing up for our ‘Crash Course to Luxury’ which is our 5 day FREE email course that runs you through everything you need to know about credit card, points and miles, churning, and award travel.
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If you’ve already taken the course or you already know what churning is, then this is why it’s one of the best times to start.
Churning Takes Time
Earning points takes time. Most people are at least 3 months out from doing their first “churn” and that’s the bare minimum. Most of us are looking at 6 months. Depending on the trip you desire, who you’re working with, and the program you’re going to use, you need time to build up enough points to book one of those luxurious trips, usually 6-12 months.
Let’s say you want to do a big trip sometime in 2021, next year. That would make right now the perfect time to start churning because, if you’ve taken the ‘Crash Course to Luxury’, you know that you can earn 850,000+ points and miles in one year.
But that is insane because of the amount of annual fees, minimum spending, etc you must do. So, let’s say you don’t go all out and you do half of that. Even if you earn 400,000 points and miles between now and when you want to travel, that’s plenty of points to book a First Class flight somewhere.
Now is one of the best times ever to start churning because earning points takes time; so, if you can start now, then by the time it’s safe to book travel again, your points accounts will be overflowing!
Award Availability Isn’t Like Regular Availability
If you’re a real Type A person who has to have every detail planned out to the T, then now absolutely the best time for you to start because award availability is different than regular flight availability.
Not every airline releases every single seat to be booked with points. Usually it’s only 2-4 seats that are made available to points bookings. And those seats are released usually around 330 days from departure. That means that you need to be booking your flights 11 months ahead of when you want to travel if you want to maximize your chances of getting what you want.
Basically, start now because if you want to earn enough for a First Class flight and book well in advance, then you’re going to need as much time as possible.
To earn 400,000 points will take at least 6 months and then if you want to book as far out as possible that’s another 11 months That means you’re looking at 17 months until you actually are travelling.
We feel confident to say that travel will be mostly back to normal by then so if you want to travel at the end of 2021, Christmas perhaps, then starting your churning journey now is a fantastic idea.
If you like to live a little on the edge, then you can still start now and risk the availability. Airlines release award seats randomly throughout the year and then they pretty consistently release award seats last minute as well, usually within a week or two of departure.
In fact, in the story of Kyle’s Journey, the flight he booked to Bali for him and his wife, he booked that 2 days before departure. And for Adam’s trip to Sri Lanka that he talks about in his journey, one of the flights he had to wait until a few days before departure to upgrade one of his legs from economy to business class. So, booking last minute is a possibility too, but that may not be for those of you who are Type A planners.
That being said, we expect there to be plenty of excellent award availability over the next year or so as many people are hesitant to travel and airlines need butts in seats to recoup their losses from this crisis.
Coronavirus has given most of us a lot of downtime and with very little international travel going on, now is the perfect time to start your churning journey. Churning takes time and booking in advance gives you the best shot at booking the flights you want.
That’s not the only way though, you can start now and book last minute as many do. No matter what type of person you are or how time you need to plan travel, starting now gives you the best chance of getting what you want.
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