We have been flying for free, or close to it since 2013. We use the points earned from our Southwest Premier credit card. We got the card and at that time the bonus points they gave you for opening a card (and spending $3000 in the first few months) was 50,000 points. We flew on those points for about 2 or 3 years and then had to depend on points we earned through using the card to earn points. It's been a pretty handy thing to have. Now we don't use credit cards as much as we used to so the points on that card are lingering. The good news is Southwest offers two different cards that give you bonus points. Just in time for our trip next spring we'll be opening a Southwest Plus credit card. It offers 40,000 bonus points. There's three of us now so the points won't last as long before but we should be able to get a couple trips out it. I'm curious to see how others beat the airlines at their own game?