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CURewards is a reward program that a lot of credit unions use to power their point earning credit cards.
It lets you book flights using a regional award chart that charges a single price in points depending on which region you’re flying to. There are no blackout dates and you can book a flight of any price, as long as the ‘fare code’ CURewards requires is available and you’re booking 21 days in advance.
The ‘fare codes’ CURewards specifies aren’t the very lowest fare classes, which is good news.
For example, on United you must book in S or W class, Delta you must book in T or U class, and American in O or S class for domestic, and Q or N for international.
They’re actually pretty widely available on all but the most busy flights.
That means you can get a lot of leverage out of the points if you book tickets for flights that are otherwise expensive.
Here is the CURewards award chart for roundtrip flights:
|Hawaii (from CA/NV)||40,500|
|Hawaii (from other States)||59,000|
|Hawaii(Inter-island one way)||8,500|
|Hawaii (inter-island roundtrip)||14,500|
We like to find points that give you 2 cents or more in value, and it’s possible to find some good deals with CURewards like…
San Francisco to London in the Summer: $1,717 cash for 79,000 points (2.2 cents per point in value)
New York to Vail in March: $741 cash for 25,000 points (3.0 cents per point in value)
But for other places it’s hard to find great value.
For example, flights to the Caribbean require 50,000 points, so you’d need to find a $1,000 airfare to get more than 2 cents in value, which is tough to come across.
Asia is prohibitively expensive at 95,000 points (most airline programs let you get there for 80,000 miles or less), while Australia / New Zealand is far-fetched at 125,000 points.
Want to earn CURewards?
If you tend to fly once or twice a year on vacation at the most popular times (like ski towns in the Winter, Europe during the summer) you could get really good value out of CURewards.
Lots of credit unions offer cards that earn CURewards, but one of the best is the Consumers Credit Union Visa Signature Rewards Card*.
It offers unlimited 3x points on Grocery and Convenience store purchases and 2x points on gas.
Anyone can join Consumers Credit Union – you just need to make a one-time Membership fee of $5 to the Consumers Cooperative Association.
So it wouldn’t be impossible to earn 3-5% rewards on your total spending thanks to the category bonuses and leverage to get 2% or better value from your redemptions.
*This offer and/or promotion has since changed, expired, or is no longer available.