In this post I want to cover how it’s possible to use airline awards to get to Turks & Caicos. Through research you probably know that to get to Turks & Caicos is expensive and it starts with the flights. So I want to show how it’s possible to cut down on this cost and how you can get an airline award ticket for little money. (Note: This is for American tourist however it’s also possible to book with points from other countries).
1) Sign up an Airline Awards Program
Sign up for any one of these airline awards programs:
This is basic but I always recommend that you always sign up for any of these airline awards. Surprisingly all of these airlines, except Alaska, will take you to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos. Alaskan points can be transferred to American Airlines! My suggestion is to choose the airline that visits your home airport the most and work with their program.
2) Gain Airline Awards Fast
The fastest way to gain award points is definitely through credit cards. This is dicey for many people and I understand that but if you have good to great credit and can pay off your credit card every month; this option is for you. I check the pages of The Point Guys and NerdWallet to search for airline credit cards. Offers go up and down and come and go so it’s in your best interest to keep checking with whatever airline will suit you. If you can choose between many airlines then go with the airline that is currently offering the most. If you see 25,000 points offering that is on the low end. Something like 75,000 points plus offering is on the high end and should be snatched up.
Cards like Chase Sapphire and Capital One can be transferred to airlines, even if they aren’t directly associated with a certain airlines. In fact they will usually let you transfer to multiple airlines so these are still great credit card choices. All airlines work with a certain bank and have their own set of criteria.
3) Earn Slowly
If you know how to plan really well and far in advance then it’s pretty easy to collect airlines awards slowly. The ways to do this is to spend on a linked credit card monthly, use an airline portal when purchasing everyday items, fill out random surveys, or flying the airline itself. You will slowly gain points and it is my recommendation to always have an award account open to passively gain them.
4) Time to Spend
Turks & Caicos is an exclusive route and not many airlines fly to the airport per day. You’ll need some patience and flexibility when booking with airline awards. My advice is to look well in advance, sometimes 11 months in advance, to find the flights you’ll need. Every airline will require a certain amount of points and yes they do change these prices every so often. Every airline has a chart for reference.
- Delta – Delta does not display their chart!
- JetBlue – JetBlue also does not display their chart!
- Southwest – Southwests award price to the price of the ticket so it does vary
Log into whatever airlines website you’ll be using. You’ll need to book with those airline awards and will probably say something like “Redeem Miles.” Click on that and then start searching for the days you would like to travel. It’s better to be flexible.
There will be a screen that will show what’s available on the days you selected and how much they are charging per one way trip. Remember that you will not always get the lowest award selection and that those will usually go very quickly. If you can’t find anything then it’s probably best to call the award reservations directly and see if they can work with you or change around dates.
In my experience it’s sometimes essential to call and “feed” the agent the flight numbers, and times you’re are considering. Many times there are routes that simply are just booked and there is no getting around it unless someone cancels. You will need patience and to know that you probably won’t get your first choice. Also weekends are usually harder to get than week days on awards.
5) Pay the Taxes and Book
It may take you hours before you finally settle on dates. That’s okay. In my experience it can be difficult but I’ve always been able to eventually book, usually with sacrifice.
I did a dry run and picked a random day this year. I went with October 18th, 2017 because it’s still way in advance from June. That’s in the middle of the week and I stretched it out for a week to October 25th, 2017. I was able to book on those days for as low as 12,5000 points one way from Chicago. That’s amazing! And it’s only $11 at checkout. If I book this flight with cash it would cost around $560, which is admittedly still a good deal for Turks & Caicos. However this selection is in the middle of the hurricane season so that’s why you see such a drop in price.
Also if you look at the dates around those dates you will see that the weekend prices go up to 37,500 and 27,500 points for one way. These days were probably booked well in advance and it’s on the weekend when most people travel.
6) You’re Done!
It really is that simple but that’s if you can find availability. In recent years it’s the availability that has been a major issue. Today airlines are making it hard for award travelers. You really have to be flexible. Also they are cutting those high credit card award points and making it harder to get awards through churning credit cards. This isn’t for everybody but it certainly will save you money on your trip.
Direct flights into Turks & Caicos as of 2017. Check the Providenciales Airport Wikipedia Page for updates.
from Charlotte, Miami, New York, Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia
from Atlanta, Boston, New York
from Fort Lauderdale, New York, Boston
from Fort Lauderdale
from Newark, Chicago, Houston, DC