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This is another in our Take Me Away series of articles. We first showed you how to get to Bali for free then tackled Costa Rica, then showed you how to get to the World Cup! I took my own advice and ended up flying to Costa Rica in May for only $45! If you don’t have miles yet, take 30-45 minutes and complete our free Getting Started page so you will be ready next time.
When I dug into how to get to Croatia using miles, I checked the main three alliances of OneWorld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance for routing to Croatia. If you want to know more about alliances and how they work read our ABC’s of Airline Alliances article.
What I found was that to get to Split, Croatia (which is on the coast and where Yacht Week Croatia leaves from ), Star Alliance had the best routes and availability. Skyteam only can route you to Split through Moscow so I eliminated that option. That leaves Star Alliance and OneWorld so today we will show 2 different ways to get to Croatia for free!
Option 1: Use 60,000 or 100,000 United Miles
Star Alliance has the best routing and availability to get to Croatia and you can get there for 60,000 United Miles in coach or 140,000 United Miles in Business Class. We looked for seats in June 2015 and found several options such as Miami to Split via Frankfurt on Lufthansa for 60K + $139.
If you have the miles, Business Class across the pond is always preferred. Although with the extra connection in Lisbon and the miles savings even I might choose coach over 140K + $139.Getting these miles is actually quite easy. I would recommend getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with its 40,000 point sign on bonus then transferring those points to United. For the remaining 20K miles, I would Spend Money Without Spending Money, or Get Frequent Flyer Miles by Paying your Rent or Mortgage.
You could also get the Chase Ink Bold card with its 50K bonus and get the remaining 10K from the same ways listed above, or of course, just normal spending.
You could also get the United Explorer Card which will give you 30K to 50K depending on what your account is targeted for. You may have to be logged into your United account to see the higher bonus.
Option 2: Use 60,000 or 100K American Airlines AAdvantage Miles
For this one award seats aren’t available yet for next summer so I searched for this summer to see what sorts of flights would be available, and it doesn’t look good. 3 connections and two overnights on the way home for 60K miles and $311 in fees and taxes.
To get the miles you could just pick up the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® with it’s 40K bonus after spending $1 or the Citibank AA Platinum Personal MC with its 50K bonus after spending $3000. Make up the different in miles needed by Spending Money Without Spending Money, or Getting Frequent Flyer Miles by Paying your Rent or Mortgage.
Finding Business Class options for 100K was a challenge so if you wanted to fly Biz you would need to be even more flexible with your dates and routing.
As you can see, the Star Alliance / United option is really much better than any of the other ways to get there. That is what I would focus on to get there. Since Croatia and Europe are much more popular in the Summer, now is the perfect time to start getting your miles together for a trip next year.
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