How to Find Points and Miles Flights to Portugal from NYC

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How to Find Points and Miles Flights to Portugal from NYC


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What are travel credit cards, and how do they work?

Travel credit cards are financial products that offer various rewards and benefits geared towards frequent travelers. They typically earn you points or miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. These rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses. Travel credit cards may also include perks like travel insurance, airport lounge access, and no foreign transaction fees.

How do I choose the best travel credit card for my needs?

Choosing the best travel credit card depends on your travel habits, spending patterns, and preferences. Consider factors like the type of rewards offered (points, miles, or cash back), the card’s annual fee, sign-up bonuses, earning rates, redemption options, and additional travel perks. Analyzing these features will help you find a card that aligns with your lifestyle and offers the most value.

What are the benefits of using a travel credit card over other types of credit cards?

Travel credit cards provide unique advantages for travelers, such as earning rewards specifically tailored to travel expenses. Additionally, many travel credit cards offer travel-related perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and travel insurance. Some cards also waive foreign transaction fees, making them ideal for international travelers.

What is a sign-up bonus, and how can I qualify for it?

A sign-up bonus is a promotional offer provided by the credit card issuer to entice new cardholders. To qualify for a sign-up bonus, you usually need to meet specific spending requirements within a certain timeframe after opening the account. The bonus can be in the form of points, miles, or cash back, and it’s a great way to jump-start your rewards earning.

Do travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees?

Not all travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees. Many of the top-tier travel cards waive these fees, making them ideal for international travel. However, it’s essential to read the card’s terms and conditions to confirm this before using it abroad.

How can I maximize the rewards earned with my travel credit card?

To maximize rewards, use your travel credit card for everyday expenses and large purchases. Take advantage of bonus categories and special promotions to earn more points or miles. Consider combining your travel credit card with loyalty programs to stack rewards and get even more value out of your purchases.

Portugal is something of a traveler’s dream. Glittering beaches rub shoulders with pulsating cities, while medieval castles and cobbled towns frame the impossibly beautiful vineyards. And, of course, you can drink a lot of port. That’s reason enough.

But even with its growing popularity, flights to Portugal from NYC and beyond can still be pricey. Thankfully, points and miles can remove some of the financial burden, or at least let you shift it to copious volumes of wine.

Read also: How to Use Points and Miles to Get Flights to Australia

 The country’s main gateway is Lisbon, so we’ve worked the bulk of our research with that hub in mind. While we’ve opted for flights to Portugal from NYC, many of these sweet spots will work regardless of where you are in the country.

Let’s take a lot of some of the best ways to find points and miles flights to Portugal from NYC.

Finding the best airlines for points and miles flights to Portugal from NYC

Before any search, it’s important to understand the routes you’re searching. There are usually five direct flights to Portugal from NYC every day, mainly coming from JFK and Newark airports. Delta, United, TAP Air Portugal, and Swiss Air are among the carriers with direct flights, so those airlines and their partners are a great place to start.

Using United MileagePlus to find flights to Portugal from NYC

United is a great place to start your search for flights to Portugal from NYC. As it’s one of the airlines utilizing nonstop flights, it’s a straightforward option with no fuss or long travel days. It’s a dynamic system, which means rates can fluctuate depending on a number of factors, but rates as low as 38,000 miles plus $5.60 in taxes and fees are readily available depending on your dates.

While you could find lower, it’s a simple redemption with strong value.

How to earn enough MileagePlus miles

United’s MileagePlus miles are a breeze to earn. While they don’t have as many transfer options, opening one of the excellent Chase cards can give you an easy boost. Outside of transferring, you can earn miles by flying with the airline or its partners or opening a co-branded credit card.

Check out these Chase cards with bonuses big enough to get you flights to Portugal from NYC for just $5.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the most approachable option. Its 60,000-point intro bonus, also earned by spending $4,000 within three months, is enough to grab flights to Portugal from NYC and beyond. You’ll need to find some for the flight home, though.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

60,000 Bonus Points

after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening

Annual Fee: $95  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Preferred’s older and more premium sibling offers a similar intro bonus but comes loaded with luxury perks like lounge access and travel statement credits, as well as higher earning opportunities on daily spending. If you’re in the market for a new premium card, opt for this instead of the Preferred.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

60,000 Bonus Points

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee: $550  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Using Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca is an airline you may not default to when searching for award flights. It’s understandable—why would you reach for a Colombian airline you may never have heard of? But in this case, Avianca might be one of your best bets for cheap flights to Portugal from NYC.

As the airline partners with TAP Portugal and Swiss Air—two of the airlines with direct flights to Portugal from NYC—you can grab an easy itinerary for as low as $12 and 30,000 LifeMiles. Not too shabby at all.

How to earn enough United MileagePlus miles

Avianca’s greatest strength is the ease with which you can earn its miles. American Express, Capital One, Chase, and Citi all transfer to the South American carrier’s loyalty program, so even if you’ve spread your points a little thin across multiple accounts, you could still pull off a redemption.

Here are some of the best credit cards to use for Avianca.

The American Express® Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card is one of the best cards for redeeming flights to Portugal from NYC with Avianca. The card currently comes with an impressive 60,000-point intro bonus, earned by spending $6,000 within six months of opening an account. That’s enough to get you there and back! 

American Express® Gold Card

60,000 Membership Rewards® Points

after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 6 months of card membership

Annual Fee: $250  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card​

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card’s 75,000-mile intro bonus is a stellar choice. Earned after spending $4,000 within three months of opening the card, you’ll have 15,000 miles left to play with, even after your roundtrip flight to Portugal. Better yet, you’ll have access to some fancy lounges thanks to the card’s Priority Pass membership.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee: $395  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier® Card is criminally overlooked in comparison to the other cards mentioned on the list. Its brilliant 60,000-point intro bonus can get you to Portugal with ease after you’ve spent $4,000 within three months of opening. It’s worth keeping in your wallet long after you get back, too, thanks to its strong bonus-earning categories.

Citi Premier® Card

60,000 Bonus Points

after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Using Iberia Avios for flights to Portugal from NYC

This one is more complex but could save you more points than any other method. Instead of flights to Portugal from NYC, we’re going to look for flights to Madrid, and then book a separate flight from there to Lisbon.

Using Iberia Avios, we can grab a flight to Madrid for as little as 17,000 points. This is where it gets weird. If you booked a flight with Iberia all the way to Lisbon, it would cost 28,000 Avios.

But if you split the flights, you’ll pay that 17,000 Avios rate to Madrid then just 4,500 to Lisbon, you’ll only pay 21,500 Avios for the whole trip. 6,500 Avios might not seem like a big deal to save, but remember, if you’re paying that for a roundtrip, you’ve saved enough points to cover a domestic flight in the US or a Caribbean flight from the Southern US.

How to earn Iberia Avios points

Iberia is an incredibly easy loyalty program to transfer points to. The reason for this is twofold: first, you can transfer points from credit card accounts with American Express, Chase, and Bilt; second, you can move Avios between any other airline that uses Avios, like British Airways, Qatar, and Aer Lingus.

Using this method, even if you don’t have an Amex, Chase, or Bilt card, you could still move points to your Iberia account using a Citi card by moving them to Qatar and then Iberia. Easy. But for simplicity, here are some excellent cards you can use.

Bilt Mastercard®

While the Bilt Mastercard doesn’t have an intro bonus, it is the only card designed to let you earn points on your rent (up to 100,000 a year). It might not get you flights to Portugal from NYC right away, but it could help you bridge the gap if you’re a little low on other points.  

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card is American Express’ most premium product. While it does have a hefty annual fee, it’s nullified by a mega 80,000-point intro bonus. You’ll need to spend $8,000 within six months of opening the card to earn those points, but that’ll leave you with 45,000 points including your spending earnings. You could do the trip twice or treat that special someone.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

80,000 Membership Rewards® Points

after you spend $8,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of card membership

Annual Fee: $695  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

The point

While flights to Portugal from NYC might not be quite as high value as some of Europe’s other major destinations, there are still a ton of ways to get there for almost nothing. As shown in the third option, getting creative with other hubs can be a great way to save points and money!

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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