We are fortunate enough to be able to earn miles and points quite easily – especially in the US. I cannot tell you how many times people here in Europe ask me how I can get so many miles and they just assume that I must fly A TON! Fortunately, we are able to earn a lot of miles through credit card bonuses and credit card spending. Thanks to the many ways that we can use to generate more credit card spending (with Bluebird and with buying and reselling), the sky is really the limit as far as the amount of points we can earn – actually, our credit line is the limit!
We are able to use our award miles for flights on most airlines. On those we may not have miles for (or we cannot redeem for awards), we have cards such as the Capital One Venture card and the Barclaycard Arrival that allow us to use those points towards any travel. So, between airline miles and credit card award points, we are in a great position to redeem for any flight.
Almost any flight. The one flight I really want to take is one that I cannot use points or miles for. Since I have been a little kid, I have always been fascinated with space travel, space exploration, space communication – anything to do with space. Unfortunately, the closest I came to being in space was talking to an astronaut aboard the Mir Space Station via ham radio when I was a teenager. Of course, ham radio also helped me to bounce my signals off of meteors and the moon to talk to others as well. Those things were cool, but they were still not actual trips into space.
Enter the Virgin Galactic!
The Virgin Galactic is a private space enterprise (of course I have to use the word enterprise in a post about space!) that will take individuals to space. The flight itself will last 2.5 hours and bring 6 passengers 68 miles into the sky. It follows 3 days of training and briefings to help make that small sliver of time in space as enjoyable as possible.
The cost to experience all of that? $250,000. That’s right – one quarter of a million dollars to fly into space and right back. I would absolutely love to take that journey but will obviously never touch it at the prices that it will exist at for the next decades. If only I could use points, right? To give an idea, to use Barclay Arrival points for this (assuming you have a $250,000 credit line!), you would need to spend $12.5 million on your Barclay card to earn the points required for this trip! If you had that kind of spending power, that same amount on something like the the United Club card (which gives 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere) would allow you to earn over 18 million United miles. If you had that, who would care about United devaluations! Just to throw one more figure out there – if you were to pick up all that spend with Vanilla cards, you would have paid almost $100,000 in reload card fees!
But, this is the baby of Richard Branson who has owned the Virgin-line of airlines. Wouldn’t you think he would offer some type of award redemption rate for a ride on Virgin Galactic? What would be even better would be if it was a codeshare that was bookable with Delta Skymiles. That would be one way to pump some serious value back into the Delta Skymiles program! 🙂