I Scored a Cheap Flight from my Union Bank Credit Card
It was August 2016 when my friends and I passed by a Union Bank booth offering “free” roundtrip flights for their new credit card applicants during a certain time period who are subsequently approved. The new cardholder is then required to reach a certain spend requirement within a specified period to qualify for the “free” flight. It was kinda hard to pass on a chance for a cheap flight and we still had some time to kill so we decided to apply and fill up the forms.
The new cardholder had a choice between domestic, short haul, or long haul Cebu Pacific Air flights. Once the spend requirement is met within the cut-off periods provided by the bank, a roundtrip ticket voucher will be sent via mail to his/her billing address. The ticket voucher is valid for exchange within six months from issue date and another six months for itinerary.
The voucher I received had an issue date of October 21, 2016. Thus, I can have it exchanged until April 21, 2017 for an itinerary that is within six months from the date of exchange.
I’ve been a planning a trip that will fall on September and October of 2017, so I decided to keep the voucher in my drawer and exchange it sometime in April 2017. I don’t know why I ended up with this thought but when April 2017 came around, I truly believed that I had until April 26 to exchange the voucher. Thankfully, there was this discount promo on a ride sharing app which was being offered only until April 21. So, I decided to take a promo ride to a Cebu Pacific Ticketing office to avail my promo ticket voucher on April 21. While waiting for the ride, I took the voucher out of the envelope and saw the issue date. I was so dumbfounded with my almost missed opportunity! Anyway, I luckily was able to book a round trip flight to Bangkok using the travel voucher and only paid a small amount for it as compared to the rates I got for all the times I checked on my target travel dates.
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I haven’t included any bags yet as I’m still not sure about the weight that I’ll need. It’s not much of a big deal now since I can add it online up to 4 hours before the flight and BEFORE doing a web check-in. The cost per way of check-in baggage is Php 600 for 15kg and Php 850 for 20kg. Note that these are online rates and are valid as add-on only up to 4 hours before the flight using Cebu Pacific’s manage booking tab. Rates go higher once the baggage allowance is purchased in the airport.
To validate what some people are probably thinking – Yes, there’s a catch. There are black-out dates and the cardholder is required to maintain the card active and in good standing for at least 24 months from the date of booking. I’m hoping that I can ask for annual fee waiver from Union Bank. If not, the annual fee is Php 3000. I think I can handle paying that amount twice. But a waiver is much preferable 🙂