Is Going’s $199 Elite Membership Worth It for Once-a-Year International Travel?

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Flights are one of the most expensive parts of travel. Getting a good deal on flights, especially for your entire family, can be the difference of hundreds of dollars.

Comparison shopping — looking through every possible option — is a great way to find the best deal. But if the stakes are high enough, and you spend enough money on travel, you may consider spending money to save money.

That could mean selecting one of the best travel rewards credit cards. Or it could mean paying a deal service such as Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights).

The challenging thing? Figuring out whether the fees are worth the savings. There’s some math involved. But that sort of judgment also takes experience.

In this article, we’ll rely on money expert Clark Howard for both.

Should I Pay $199 a Year for Going’s Elite Membership?

Going offers a freemium subscription model. You can try the service for free.

But to get real-time alerts on flight deals, including domestic and international trips, you’ll have to pay $49 for Premium (focused on economy fares) or $199 for Elite (focused on high-class fares).

The site is one of Clark’s favorite ways to find deals on travel. He even calls it his favorite resource to find cheap airfare.

But is it worth shelling out the money for Elite if you take just one international trip per year? That’s what a listener recently asked Clark.

Asked Sanjeev in North Carolina: “We travel overseas once a year. Will you recommend spending the $199 for Elite membership to Going?”

Going’s Elite tier membership focuses on deals for business class or first class passengers. On international flights, those seats can be expensive.


“You don’t need the Elite membership unless you want to sit in that fancy seat with the somewhat fancy service,” Clark says.

“If you like flying front of the plane — if that’s your thing — 100% do the Elite membership for $200 a year.

“They had a deal posted just yesterday for business class to a number of European cities for $2,400 to $2,900 round trip. If you’ve never been in that rarified air at the front of the plane, that’s a real deal.

“So on a single international trip where you get a good deal in business class or first class, it absolutely pays to pay for the $200 membership.”

Final Thoughts

Going is Clark’s favorite resource to find deals on flights. For most people, the Premium membership for $49 a year works great.

But if you’re going to travel in the more expensive seats in the front of the plane, especially for international trips, it’s worth the $199 annually. You can break even on that fee on a single international trip — especially if you’re booking for more than one person.


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