So you want to rack up enough airline miles, hotel points, and credit card rewards to travel around the world at dramatically reduced prices? And you are thinking this is a treat reserved for full-time road warriors and the wealthy, you are wrong.
Since I have begun to travel the world full-time four years ago, I’ve used travel credit cards to collect points and earn miles. It’s helped me afford round trip flights, upgrades to business class and stays in some of the world’s top luxury hotels.
The world of miles and points can seem a bit overwhelming at first. With so many different travel credit cards out there, it’s a bit overwhelming trying to decide which one is the best option for you. Plus, there are other things to consider like annual membership fees, reward schemes and how to earn points on your purchases. I’ll help you break down a few easy and straightforward steps that can literally put the world at your feet.
ESTABLISH YOUR TRAVEL GOALS
Any good endeavor starts with a good goal, so think about where you would travel if money weren’t holding you back. Do you want to use your miles to fly first class or would you rather take two trips in coach? The good news is that regardless of your travel goals, understanding miles and points can make those goals a reality. Having a goal in mind will help you stay focused on the points and create a strategy that will help you achieve what you set out to do.
SIGN UP FOR AIRLINE LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Every airline that exists, has a rewards program. If you can stick to travel with the same airline, you can rack up points much faster. I struggle with this because often my flights are booked for me, and I tend to forget to register these flights in the associated loyalty program. Additionally, I book many flights last minute, which I am often going for the cheapest price, which can lead to many different airlines of travel.
I’m a big fan of JetBlue, because lets face it they always have the best snacks and free internet!
Another helpful tip: ALWAYS keep your boarding pass! If you ever forget to claim points on a flight, you’ll need your ticket number to claim the points after your flight.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT CREDIT CARD
There are dozens and dozens of rewards credit cards out there, and the best ones for you will depend on your travel goals. For example, if you are going somewhere that is served by United and has a Hyatt hotel that you want to stay at, then it makes sense to focus on getting the cards that will give you those types of points.
Utilize Sign Up Bonuses: The fastest and most efficient way to earn miles and points is by signing up for a travel rewards credit card and using that card for everyday purchases. Credit card companies want to incentivize customers to use their products. For this reason, credit card companies will usually offer a sign-up bonus to a first-time holder of a credit card.
Heres a quick breakdown of some of my favorite travel rewards credit cards:
No more cash! One of the best tips I can give you to earn points is to use your credit card on every single purchase. Grocery Stores, dry cleaning, doctors visits, EVERYTHING!! The more you use your rewards credit cards, the more points you will earn.
REDEEM YOUR POINTS FOR AN AMAZING TRIP
Now you have figured out how to earn points, that’s half the battle, the hard part is over!!! Let’s figure out how to redeem them! The miles and points you earn are only as valuable as what you redeem them for, so when you have enough for your first “dream trip,” use them!
Before redeeming points, learn the ins and outs of the rewards program you’re using. Everyone has different priorities, but we all typically want one thing: getting the most out of our travel points and miles.
Now starting earning points and travel the world!!!!