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This entry was first written in July 2018, but since then, we’ve already taken the trip back from Los Angeles to Japan (here are the many links about 2019 trip for our entire family of 19). Since coming back from our trip to Japan, my wife and I decided to book a return trip in 2020…this time, we fly first class roundtrip – worth $35,000 BUT all we used were our points and our only out of pocket cash for this booking was a total of $500.

Ok back to our 2019 trip – 12 FREE tickets to Japan!!!!

You will also see the details how we booked this trip and managed to get 12 FREE tickets – scroll down below:

The Backstory – how we booked 12 FREE tickets to Japan

That’s right. My family just booked twelve (12) free tickets to Japan. We are flying from Los Angeles to Tokyo round trip.  All we used were points we earned from our credit cards. How exactly?

First of all, I’m in the habit of publishing our outrageous deals and share them on the day that we travel. This trip to Japan is not scheduled until 2019, but it was too good not to share. Why?

  • No taxes and fees were used – all points
  • No cash out of pocket, all included with the points we used
  • No need to transfer to airline transfer partners

So, what happened

I just got back from a father/daughter trip to Europe (from NYC to Portugal, Italy, and the United Kingdom). Most of you know that we have four kids, but it has been a challenge to get all of us to be in one trip due to our conflicting schedule. I knew that a summer vacation with all six of us was probably not going to happen so I took the bull by the horn and took one of our four kids with me to Europe for two weeks. I haven’t even finished blogging about the whole thing yet, but in a nutshell:

After coming back from this trip in late June, I had this bug to want to do something with our whole family. But, it was just impossible to plan something this summer because of previous commitments.

How we booked 12 Free Tickets Japan

I came across a deal with Singapore Airlines from LA to Tokyo for 2019. The dates, however, weren’t going to work for us. So I slept on it. When I woke up the next morning, I searched for the deals again to Japan, and was faced with a predicament. I could fly my family to Japan during Spring Break and use approximately 43,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points via Singapore Airlines or 37,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points via ANA. I opted for the one that would charge me fewer points. It was at least a difference of 30,000 Ultimate Rewards Points, and I value those points quite heavily. I checked the ANA website and if we booked this directly with ANA, it was going to cost $8,933 for the six members of my family. Ouch!!! No, thanks!

free tickets to Japan
Our flights if we booked directly with ANA

Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal

I knew there was a better way of booking this flight. I had seen this fare go on special with Singapore Air and ANA, but I knew better not to pay cash for this airfare. I mean, I have the points, and whenever possible, I’d rather use points than paying cash. It was a toss up between ANA and Singapore. I couldn’t go wrong. In 2017, Singapore was ranked # 2 and ANA was ranked #3 in the world’s best airlines.

free tickets to Japan
Image courtesy of All Nippon Airways

I also chose to use the Chase Portal because with the points earned with my Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve, I get a 1.5x when I book from my CSR account. We ended up using a total of 224,136 points or roughly, 37, 356 points per person and zero fees out of pocket.


free tickets to Japan
Image courtesy of Chase This shows booking six roundtrip tickets from LA to Tokyo

That’s it. I checked the dates that I wanted for all of us to travel, and it just happened to have worked out. I ended up calling Chase and booked our trip, other than that, it was easy peasy.

After booking this around noon, five hours later, my sister-in-law called me and inquired about our booking. An hour after that, bam! They booked the same flights. They booked three additional tickets and will be joining us to Japan in the Spring of 2019.

A few weeks later, my nieces and nephews also booked their free tickets to Japan using rewards earned with Chase. News spread and next thing you know, 19 members of our family were all headed for Japan and  12 of those were booked using points with Chase!

free tickets to Japan
Image courtesy of Pixabay (Samueles)

How was this possible

For those who are just starting or who are not aware of the points earned with credit cards, that’s truly what made this possible. As you can see with this example, each traveler needed approximately 37,000 points. There are quite a few credit cards that are perfect for beginners that could get you to travel for nearly free. Two of the ones that come to mind:

Chase Sapphire Preferred(click here), Chase Freedom, Chase Ink Business Preferred, and Chase Sapphire Reserve – each of those cards could get you bonus points (as of May 2021 – that bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred increased to 60,000 to 100,000 points). You have to meet a minimum spend of $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening the account, once you do so, you will be awarded your 60,000 bonus points. For more details, click here for a list of my favorite travel credit cards.

This is the perfect starter credit card

Spring 2019 can’t wait

That’s right. This will be a long waiting period and I’m hoping that we prepare well enough for this big family vacation. For now, this is DaddyTravels saying Sayonara!

free tickets to Japan
Image courtesy of DeltaWorks (Pixabay)

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Editorial Disclosure – The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

By Jason

7 thoughts on “How we booked 12 FREE tickets to Japan”
    1. Hello Jo Ann….thank you! Thelma and I go waaaaayyyy back. Any questions? Are you also traveling for nearly free using points earned with credit cards?

  1. Hi Jason my name is geramie i love your page by the way i ve always been using the portal for getting free flights. Ive always been intimidated of transferring points to partners. I can’t quite figure out how I’m saving more because everytime i look for a flight in united they requre more miles than the points i can get from portal. do you have a link on how to understand transferring ponts to transfer partners whether it’s MR or UR

    1. Hi Geramie. I wrote an entry about us getting tickets to Bali, and in that entry, I wrote my steps how I search for flight deals and my way of deciding which points to use (i.e. UR or MR). Check it out. As far transferring points to travel partners, I’ve only transferred to British Airways, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic, I just learned as I go. I just googled “How to transfer to xxxxxx” and just went from there. Here’s the Bali entry that I wrote.

  2. I wish I could find that low of miles. Lowest I’m seeing is 75k and up for dates from Charlotte:( any tips ? It would be me and my 2 sons. My oldest wants going to Tokyo as his se Senior trip/ present. He’s never been out of the country. We may go with friends – mom and 2 teenagers same age as my boys. Best friends.
    We have to go during school breaks during summer or Christmas or 2020 or 2021 . We could also go during spring break which would be Easter break but limited on time since they are only out 6 days of school plus weekends 10 days total .

    1. Do you mind posting your question over on my Facebook page. I’ll give you my feedback and at the same time, other followers could learn as well. Also, please let me know of other major airports closest to you. Please feel free to join

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