travel rewards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12070/all en-US Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards for Families http://www.wisebread.com/best-travel-rewards-credit-cards-for-families <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-travel-rewards-credit-cards-for-families" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-540611636.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Any parent knows that traveling with a family is expensive. The cost of multiple airfares, hotel rooms, and meals can be prohibitive. But a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=5x">good travel rewards card</a> can help. A few cards stand out because their earning policies and benefits are especially family-friendly. Here are the best.</p> <h2>JetBlue Plus Card</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/jetblue-plus-031116.png" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=116&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>JetBlue&rsquo;s frequent flyer program and the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=116&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">JetBlue Plus card </a>have particular benefits for families. JetBlue&rsquo;s Family Pooling policy makes it easy for multiple individuals (whether they&rsquo;re relatives or friends) to combine points. So, if parents and children all have a few miles, they can be pooled to buy an award ticket for anyone. While other airlines allow you to transfer frequent flyer miles to someone else, they usually charge a fee for the transfer. JetBlue&rsquo;s family pooling, on the other hand, is free.</p> <p>The JetBlue Plus card offers new cardholders 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening. You&rsquo;ll also get 10% of your points back every time you redeem, and 5,000 bonus points each year on your account anniversary.</p> <p>Although there is a $99 annual fee for the card, you&rsquo;ll get free checked bags for up to four people whenever you use the card to pay for a JetBlue flight, so the card could pay for itself with one family trip. Plus, you&rsquo;ll save 50% on any in-flight purchases you make with the card.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=116&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the JetBlue Plus card today!</a></strong></p> <!--<h2>Citi ThankYou&reg; Premier Card</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/CitiThankYouPremier.jpg" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=57&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=57&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">Citi ThankYou&reg; Premier Card</a> from our partner Citi&nbsp;is especially good for families that take road trips and other vacations, because it offers 3x points on all travel purchases, including gas. Once you get to your destination, you'll receive 2x points on both dining and entertainment purchases, such as theme park admissions. You earn 1x points on everything else. Plus, the card offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.</p> <p>ThankYou points can be redeemed for travel by transferring them to participating airline and hotel loyalty programs, or by using them to book airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center. When you choose the latter, your points are worth 25% more, so that 50,000-point bonus could be enough for a $625 flight. You can also redeem ThankYou points for merchandise or gift cards. Best of all, you can share your points with family members and others at no additional cost.</p> <p>The ThankYou Premier has a $95 annual fee that's waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees on purchases.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=57&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Citi ThankYou&reg; Premier Card today!</a></strong></p>--><!--<h2>Citi ThankYou&reg; Premier Card</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/CitiThankYouPremier.jpg" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=57&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=57&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">Citi ThankYou&reg; Premier Card</a> from our partner Citi&nbsp;is especially good for families that take road trips and other vacations, because it offers 3x points on all travel purchases, including gas. Once you get to your destination, you'll receive 2x points on both dining and entertainment purchases, such as theme park admissions. You earn 1x points on everything else. Plus, the card offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.</p> <p>ThankYou points can be redeemed for travel by transferring them to participating airline and hotel loyalty programs, or by using them to book airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center. When you choose the latter, your points are worth 25% more, so that 50,000-point bonus could be enough for a $625 flight. You can also redeem ThankYou points for merchandise or gift cards. Best of all, you can share your points with family members and others at no additional cost.</p> <p>The ThankYou Premier has a $95 annual fee that's waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees on purchases.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=57&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Citi ThankYou&reg; Premier Card today!</a></strong></p>--><h2>Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World Elite MasterCard&reg;</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/barclaycard-arrival-plus-081215.png" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=19&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=19&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World Elite MasterCard&reg;</a>&nbsp;awards a flat rate of 2x miles for all your purchases. There is also a bonus offer for new cardholders of 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of card membership. This bonus can be worth $500 in travel credit. You can redeem your miles for cash back, gift cards, or statement credit against nearly any type of travel purchase made in the last 120 days. Plus, you get a 5% redemption bonus each time you redeem. There are no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee of $89 is waived the first year.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=19&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World Elite MasterCard&reg; today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/ba2fd69185e37e845320284e895cb8ab.png" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> awards 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1X point for each dollar you spend on other purchases. New cardholders can earn a bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening the account. This bonus can be worth $625 if you redeem your points through&nbsp;Chase Ultimate Rewards&reg;. Plus, you can earn 5,000 miles if you add an authorized user and make a purchase also within the first 3 months. You can redeem your points in many ways, but you can also transfer them to other loyalty programs at a ratio of 1:1. There is no foreign transaction fee. There is an introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $95.</p> <p><strong style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit;"><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=280&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card from Chase</h2> <p>This card makes perfect sense for families because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=5x" target="_blank">Southwest is an extremely family-friendly airline</a>. One of the biggest benefits is Southwest&rsquo;s open seating policy. While some people consider it a hassle to not have assigned seats, the arrangement is a boon for families, who on other airlines may have to pay extra to get seats assigned next to each other. Southwest even offers priority boarding for families traveling with small children.</p> <p>Southwest&rsquo;s fee policies are also good for families. Since all passengers can check two bags for free, families don't have to choose between paying to check baggage and lugging everything through the airport. And Southwest has no change fees, which comes in handy when the inevitable soccer game or school play is scheduled in conflict with the family vacation.</p> <p>When it comes to Southwest&rsquo;s Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program, families can&rsquo;t beat the Southwest Companion Pass. This perk allows you to add a designated companion to fly with you for free on unlimited paid or award flights. To receive a Companion Pass, you need to earn 110,000 points in a calendar year, and points earned through the credit card count. The pass is then good until December 31 of the following year.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll earn double points for all Southwest purchases, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. There's a $99 annual fee for this card, but that&rsquo;s partially offset by the fact that you&rsquo;ll receive a 6,000 point bonus each year on your account anniversary.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Best%20Travel%20Rewards%20Credit%20Cards%20for%20Families.jpg" alt="Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards for Families" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-travel-rewards-credit-cards-for-families">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">The Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards">The Best Secured Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards best credit cards families travel rewards Tue, 04 Jul 2017 12:57:41 +0000 Jason Steele 1957908 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Low-Cost Travel Items That Can Save You Big On Your Next Trip http://www.wisebread.com/5-low-cost-travel-items-that-can-save-you-big-on-your-next-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-low-cost-travel-items-that-can-save-you-big-on-your-next-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-491647652.jpg" alt="Couple finding low-cost travel gear that can save them big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling can be great fun, but sometimes it requires a bit of creative thinking to figure out how to finance your next trip. Luckily there are some cost-effective purchases that can help you save money in the long run.</p> <h2>1. Tent</h2> <p>Camping can be a great alternative to staying in pricey hotels while you travel, but you will have to pay some one-time costs for a tent, sleeping bag, and a few other camping basics. You can purchase a light, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-tents?ref=internal" target="_blank">quality tent for under $150 on Amazon</a>. When you consider that is less than the cost of one hotel night in many places, you can see how quickly this investment will pay for itself.</p> <p>Having a tent also gives you the freedom to sleep in some of the world's most remote and beautiful places. Laws about where you can camp vary by location. For example, it's legal to camp on beaches in Mexico's Baja California, and it won't cost you anything. In the U.S., if you want to pitch your tent at an established campground, you'll usually have to pay, but you may be able to do primitive camping in some areas for free. Check with the U.S. Forest Service or state authorities in the area where you plan to camp. I've camped in many places in the world, and I've never paid more than $30. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Cool Camping Hacks</a>)</p> <h2>2. Water filter</h2> <p>Bottled water can cost $1 or more. That's not expensive, but it can add up, especially if you're in a place where the tap water is not safe to drink.</p> <p>You can buy an easy-to-use and affordable filter that enables you to drink water anywhere you go. Not only will you save money on bottled water, but you can reduce waste by cutting down your consumption of plastic. It is eco-friendly and budget-friendly.</p> <p>There are a variety of water filters available. &quot;<a href="http://amzn.to/2n0ZTFA" target="_blank">Water straws</a>&quot; are lightweight and portable. This type of filter won't take up much space in your bag, and usually fits into a standard-sized water bottle. You can either bring your own empty bottle or purchase a cheap one at your destination to reuse.</p> <p>On a wilderness canoe trip through the Boundary Waters, Minnesota, I found a water straw indispensable. There were no roads or drinking water in the area, and bringing water along wasn't practical because it's heavy and would have taken up a lot of space in the kayaks. The best option was to filter water from the pristine lakes.</p> <p>Another option for treating water is to use iodine pills, which are cheap and easy to transport. However, the disadvantage of iodine is that you have to wait half an hour for the treatment to become effective, while with a water straw filter system, the water is ready to drink as soon as you've filtered it.</p> <p>There are also <a href="http://amzn.to/2n6RYs8" target="_blank">water bottles that have built-in water filters</a>, which can make filtering water even easier. The filters are only safe for a certain number of uses, but they are still economical compared to buying bottled water. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/packing-light-dont-forget-these-5-must-haves?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Travel Must-Haves</a>)</p> <h2>3. Luggage scale</h2> <p>A <a href="http://amzn.to/2neLJ5P" target="_blank">digital luggage scale</a> costs about $10 and can help you avoid paying costly overweight baggage charges at the airport. I've seen these charges run from $50 into the hundreds.</p> <p>Plus, these scales are light and easy to transport so you can bring them along on your trip. That way, when you're ready to travel home, you won't have to stress about the weight of any souvenirs or other items you accumulated while you were away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save on Travel Gear</a>)</p> <h2>4. Good shoes</h2> <p>Investing in a quality pair of shoes before your trip is a sure way to save money. If you can walk comfortably, you can avoid paying for expensive taxi cabs to get around once you reach your destination.</p> <p>Not only is walking a great way to save money, it will also help you stay active and better see the place you are visiting. When you're buying shoes, try to pick a pair that provides adequate support without being too heavy. You'll also want them in a design you genuinely like and a style that can go with most of your clothes. Buying shoes that are versatile means that you can pack a little lighter.</p> <p>Lems makes comfortable and incredibly portable travel footwear that I use and love.</p> <h2>5. Travel credit card</h2> <p>If you're already planning your next trip, now is a good time to sign up for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit card</a>. A good card will charge you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">no foreign transaction fees</a>. That's the fee that some cards charge you for any purchases you make in another currency. It's usually around 3 percent, which means if you charge $1,000 on your trip, you'd have to pay an additional $30 in foreign transaction fees.</p> <p>By signing up for a travel credit card, you can also earn rewards for your next trip. Some credit cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">bonus points when you sign up</a> that are worth hundreds of dollars in travel. One sign-up bonus I got was so big that I have points left over after using it to purchase a round-trip flight from the United States to Mexico, and a domestic flight in Mexico. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-6-credit-card-sign-up-bonus-mistakes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Make These Credit Card Bonus Mistakes</a>)</p> <p>Many travel cards also come with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=internal" target="_blank">money-saving perks</a> such as free checked bags on flights, free <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">rental car insurance</a>, free trip cancellation insurance and other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=internal" target="_blank">types of travel coverage</a>.</p> <p>The good news with a travel credit card is that you may not even have to &quot;purchase&quot; it at all. Many travel credit cards will waive their annual fee for the first year, as an additional incentive to get you to sign up.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-low-cost-travel-items-that-can-save-you-big-on-your-next-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Low-Cost%20Travel%20Items%20That%20Can%20Save%20You%20Big%20On%20Your%20Next%20Trip.jpg&amp;description=5%20Low-Cost%20Travel%20Items%20That%20Can%20Save%20You%20Big%20On%20Your%20Next%20Trip" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Low-Cost%20Travel%20Items%20That%20Can%20Save%20You%20Big%20On%20Your%20Next%20Trip.jpg" alt="5 Low-Cost Travel Items That Can Save You Big On Your Next Trip" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-low-cost-travel-items-that-can-save-you-big-on-your-next-trip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-get-free-travel-accommodations">13 Ways to Get Free Travel Accommodations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever">14 Things You Can Do Now to Prep for Your Best Summer Ever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel camping filtered water shoes tents travel gear travel rewards Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:31:12 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1913291 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_69540947_LARGE.jpg" alt="travel the world for free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A common misconception is that travel is expensive. But you may be surprised to learn that there are easy, accessible ways to score free travel that don't require you to be an expert travel hacker. In fact, most of them are fairly straightforward.</p> <h2>1. Get a Free Plane Ticket With Your Next Credit Card</h2> <p>If you're serious about getting free travel fast, you can do so in as little as 15 minutes, and it doesn't have to cost you a thing. There are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">travel rewards credit cards</a> that offer a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">large sign-up bonus</a>. This bonus alone can be enough to cover a domestic round-trip ticket. If you wait a little longer, you can earn more points through purchases and get enough for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=internal">free international trip</a>.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso2">5 Steps to Getting a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less with Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>2. Sail for Free</h2> <p>You can score a lot more than free flights. Many people who sail in the Caribbean or between Europe and the Americas are often looking for extra help to crew their vessels.</p> <p>You don't necessarily need to have experience. You just need to be willing to learn and spend a few weeks at sea. You will learn a valuable skill and have an unforgettable experience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats?ref=seealso">How to Score Free Accommodations (and Paid Jobs) on Boats</a>)</p> <h2>3. Sleep for Free</h2> <p>Once you get to your destination (whether by a free flight or a free sail), there are some easy ways to get free accommodations. If you have a home, consider signing up for a home exchange program. This works especially well if you live in a desirable city, such as New York, or San Francisco.</p> <p>Services such as <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10495603-1429299077000">Home Exchange</a> are well-regarded, and although you may have to pay a sign-up fee, you can save more than this initial fee in the free accommodations you will receive after signing up.</p> <p>For those who don't have an apartment or home to list, you can still find free accommodations in the form of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=internal">house or pet sitting</a>. You can find house-sits throughout the world for different dates. If you are looking for a shorter stay, check out <a href="https://www.couchsurfing.com/">Couchsurfing</a>, which is ideal for a few days. You can connect with locals in the city you are traveling to and they will put you up for absolutely free.</p> <p>And finally, another great way to land free accommodation is by volunteering or staying in places such as ashrams and Sikh temples. Especially in India, you can volunteer your time cooking, cleaning, or being a yogi, and in exchange you'll get free room and board, plus an unforgettable experience.</p> <h2>4. Volunteer</h2> <p>Volunteer programs are available both on a short-term and long-term basis. Travel with the Peace Corps, United Nations, and ArtCorps for assignments that can last one or two years. <a href="http://www.wwoof.net/">World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms</a> connects you with farms all over the world that will host and feed you in exchange for a few hours of work on their farm daily. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel?ref=seealso">11 Volunteer Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</a>)</p> <h2>5. Travel by Foot or by Bike</h2> <p>If travel by plane or boat are not your cup of tea, consider walking or biking. You are guaranteed to have a memorable travel experience, while spending $0 on transportation costs. There are some amazing places in the world you can see by foot. You could hike the <a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/spain/travel-tips-and-articles/1467">Camino trail in Spain</a>. You can stay in hostels and refuges along the way, or you can bring your own tent, avoiding all accommodation costs as well.</p> <p>Bike trips are another way to eliminate the cost of transportation entirely. Tom Allen provides great resources for <a href="http://tomsbiketrip.com/planning-a-bike-tour/">planning a bike trip</a>. Usually you can buy a bike for very cheap and it will quickly pay for itself in the savings you'll make on busses, trains, or planes.</p> <h2>6. Start a Travel Blog</h2> <p>Starting a blog is easy, but building it up takes some time. However, if you learn how to start a travel blog and begin building your blog audience now, by this time next year, you could have a following that is actually worth something.</p> <p>Many hotels, tour operators and airlines will be keen to access your hard-earned audience, and they will often offer you free accommodation, trips, and flights in exchange for an honest review on your blog. I know from experience! I haven't had to pay for scuba dives, hotels, or tours in a very long time! This is technically more of an "exchange" than free travel, but it's pretty amazing staying in beautiful hotels and getting to share the experience with your readers.</p> <p>There are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free?ref=internal">ways to travel for free</a>. All it takes is a little bit of thinking outside the box and some time. Remember that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/savor-your-trip-and-save-big-with-these-5-slow-travel-tips?ref=internal">traveling slow</a> is another way to save a lot of money. Consider what skills you have to offer and then remember that you can always barter those skills along the way instead of paying.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Free%20Travel.jpg&amp;description=6%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Free%20Travel" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Free%20Travel.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-free-travel-sooner-with-these-frequent-flyer-mileage-secrets">Earn Free Travel Sooner With These Frequent Flyer Mileage Secrets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps">Get Started With Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/airline-credit-card-or-flexible-rewards-card-whats-the-best-way-to-earn-a-free-flight">Airline Credit Card or Flexible Rewards Card: What&#039;s the Best Way to Earn a Free Flight?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel free flights free travel frequent flyer miles frugal living travel rewards Tue, 30 Aug 2016 10:00:15 +0000 Nick Wharton 1782253 at http://www.wisebread.com Earn Free Travel Sooner With These Frequent Flyer Mileage Secrets http://www.wisebread.com/earn-free-travel-sooner-with-these-frequent-flyer-mileage-secrets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/earn-free-travel-sooner-with-these-frequent-flyer-mileage-secrets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_42077894_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="earning free travel sooner with these frequent flyer mileage secrets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the biggest costs you will encounter when planning for travel is the transportation: airfare to and from your destination. That's where frequent flyer miles come in &mdash; an easy way to travel more and spend less. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-known-trick-to-getting-exclusive-travel-discounts-and-rewards?ref=seealso">Little Known Trick to Getting Exclusive Travel Discounts and Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>An Intro to Frequent Flyer Miles</h2> <p>Frequent flyer programs are nothing new. The <a href="http://www.economist.com/node/5323615">first airline loyalty program</a> of this type debuted in 1981, offered by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">American Airlines</a>. Ever since, these programs have been gaining in popularity. Now nearly every major airline offers a frequent flyer program.</p> <p>Each program has its own set of rules but generally, if you sign up for their loyalty program, you can get points for purchases or other activities that you can then redeem for free flights. However, accruing enough points to get those free flights can take a long time, unless you know some of the secrets to getting more points, faster, so you can be on your way to your next vacation.</p> <h3>1. Loyalty Can Get You More</h3> <p>These programs aren't called loyalty programs for nothing. If you consistently fly with the same airline, you'll earn points and rewards toward a free flight faster than spreading your points across various airline programs. Rather than having 200 points with three different airline programs, you can have 600 with one, which should be enough for a free domestic flight.</p> <h3>2. Use a Co-Branded Credit Card</h3> <p>Once you've decided on your favorite airline, check their credit card options. Getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">co-branded airline credit card</a> will allow you to get points for everyday shopping, not just when you book a flight. These credit cards usually come with great perks, like priority boarding, free checked bags, and discounts on in-flight purchases.</p> <h3>3. Make Your Frequent Flyer Miles Go Farther</h3> <p>Now that you've accumulated enough points, it's time for the fun part: redeeming them for free travel.</p> <p>Pay attention to how you redeem your points, to make them worth as much as possible. This means making a high-value trade-in for your points. Simply put, this means don't waste your points on something that would cost you a small amount in dollars. For example, a $300 round trip economy flight might cost 500 points. That's a $0.60 value you're getting from each point. But a $1,200 international flight might only cost 1,000 points. That would get you a $1.20 value for each point! So it could be worth your while to hold on to those points until you can get a large ticket item.</p> <p><em>What are some other ways to score free travel fast? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-free-travel-sooner-with-these-frequent-flyer-mileage-secrets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel">6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps">Get Started With Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-hate-credit-card-points">Why I Hate Credit Card Points</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel free travel frequent flyer miles saving money travel on a budget travel rewards Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Nick Wharton 1779795 at http://www.wisebread.com Extend Your Vacation for Free With Open Jaws and Stopovers http://www.wisebread.com/extend-your-vacation-for-free-with-open-jaws-and-stopovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/extend-your-vacation-for-free-with-open-jaws-and-stopovers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/map_camera_compass_000074722915.jpg" alt="Learning how to extend a vacation with open jaws and stopovers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If the words &quot;open jaw&quot; and &quot;stopover&quot; are new to you, you're going to want to read through this post when cashing in your miles from your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel rewards cards</a> for your long awaited vacation. If you're planning a vacation in Rome, why not fly to Paris first and stay a week or so? The flight will be <em>free</em>. I&rsquo;m going to break down what open jaw and stopovers are, what their limitations are, and how you can utilize them to enjoy free flights. Let's get started.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=seealso">Which Credit Cards Have the Best Travel Redemption Value?</a></p> <h2>Introducing Open Jaw</h2> <p><a href="http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/air-travel/open-jaw-and-circle-fares">Independent Traveller</a> says &quot;an open jaw flight is one that, in the simplest terms, flies from Point A to Point B, then from Point C back to Point A.&quot;</p> <p>Example: You take a flight from New York to Paris, then you travel overland (or by sea or by air) from Paris to Morocco, and then you return to New York from Morocco to complete the loop on your awards ticket. The ticket you booked is New York to Paris and then Morocco back to New York and booking this way will not cost you any extra points.</p> <p>Open jaw tickets (while not available on all airlines) are only available for those booking flights with their awards, meaning that you can not take advantage of this method of travel if you are paying for your flights with cash, credit, or whatever.</p> <p>If you were to draw this trip on a map, the flight portion of the journey would look like an open jaw and that is where this method of booking gets its name. In the photo below, I added some teeth to better illustrate the analogy.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/map.jpg" width="605" height="396" alt="" /></p> <p>The black lines indicate the flights booked on an &quot;open jaw&quot; ticket. The blue line indicates overland travel.</p> <h3>When Is an Open Jaw Ticket Useful?</h3> <p>This type of ticket can come in very handy when you want to add a long road trip, overland journey, or cruise into the middle of your itinerary. It can also save you a lot of money because in places like Europe and Asia, you can get on a discount carrier flight to fill your open jaw for very little (Ryanair flights in Europe and AirAsia flights in Asia for example). Alternatively, you could fill your open jaw with another awards flight.</p> <p>Return flights are often cheaper than open jaw tickets, but if you're planning to backpack around the region for a while before returning back to your arrival point, you may want to consider open jaw.</p> <p>For example, if you are planning to fly from New York to London, then backpack around Europe for three months before returning to London to fly home to New York, open jaw is probably a better option for you. The money you'll spend backtracking to make your way back to London is likely more than the difference between an open jaw and a return ticket.</p> <p>Instead, book an open jaw flight from New York to London, and then back to New York from Istanbul. This way you can travel overland from London to Istanbul and then fly home from Istanbul to New York.</p> <h2>Introducing Stopovers</h2> <p>According to <a href="http://www.airliners.net/">Airliners.net</a>: &quot;A stopover is loosely defined as a connection time exceeding four hours on a domestic itinerary or 24 hours on an international itinerary.&quot;</p> <p>Example: You fly from New York to Bangkok, but you stop in Hong Kong for three weeks on the way. This is free and doesn't cost you any extra miles, but can sometimes incur fuel surcharges (see more about these and how to avoid them below).</p> <p>If you are flying from New York to Bangkok and your flight stops in Hong Kong for five hours, that's technically called a &quot;layover&quot; or a &quot;connection&quot; not a &quot;stopover.&quot; A stopover exceeds 24 hours and it gives you time to actually leave the airport and explore. The cool thing is that a stopover can be a week, a month, or even up to a year, so basically it can be an extra vacation rolled into your flight itinerary.</p> <p>Let me explain. Let's say you want to fly from New York to Barcelona, but you've always wanted to see Paris. By booking a stopover in your itinerary, you can easily take your flight from New York to Barcelona, but add a one week stopover in Paris... for free.</p> <p>How is it free? If you booked with United Miles, a round trip awards ticket from New York to Barcelona will cost you 60,000 miles. Add in a one week stopover in Paris and it would cost the same, 60,000 miles. You're essentially seeing two destinations for the price of one.</p> <p>This wonderful loophole is only available for those who book their flights with awards and stopovers aren't possible with all rewards programs.</p> <h3>When Is a Stopover Useful?</h3> <p>A stopover is perfect for anyone who wants to add a bonus destination into their itinerary. Surprisingly, you can get very crafty with these as well. The stopover doesn't always have to be &quot;on the way&quot; to your destination.</p> <p>You can sometimes have a stopover in Hong Kong on the way to Sydney, or stopover in Spain on the way to Iceland. Get the words &quot;on the way&quot; out of your mind because a stopover can basically be in any city that a flight can be routed to.</p> <p>The possibilities would be endless... if it weren't for the individual airline reward program&rsquo;s limitation and guidelines.</p> <h3>Limitations of Stopovers</h3> <p>Airlines sometimes limit the stopovers by region. With United, you can always stopover anywhere in Europe on the way to Africa, for example. Their system of stopovers is completely region-based. But other airlines are different (and more complicated).</p> <p>American Airlines routing rules can be a bit tricky to figure out as they include restrictions on mileage and regions. You can use sites like <a href="http://www.expertflyer.com/">ExpertFlyer.com</a> to navigate these confusing routing rules.</p> <p>Delta and American rewards both don't allow stopovers, but you can book a ticket on an American Airlines flight using your Alaska Miles and land yourself a free stopover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=seealso">The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards Through Airline Partners</a>)</p> <p>Each and every airline has its own limitations and guidelines for stopovers. Some of the major ones are:</p> <ul> <li>US Airways = one stopover or one open jaw</li> <li>United = one stopover <em>and </em>two open jaws</li> <li>Air Canada = two stopovers</li> <li>Delta = n/a</li> <li>American = n/a</li> </ul> <p>Check out <a href="http://www.welltraveledmile.com/a-table-comparison-of-award-ticket-stopover-and-open-jaw-rules-for-major-airlines/">this post by welltraveledmile.com</a> for a full list of airline stopover and open jaw limitations.</p> <h2>Extra Fees and Fuel Surcharges</h2> <p>It's important that you watch out for hidden fees and extra charges. There's not much use in landing yourself a &quot;free&quot; flight to Paris if you end up spending more in booking fees and fuel surcharges than you would've spent on a cheap discount carrier flight.</p> <p>Again, every airline rewards program is different, but if you're booking your flights with United Miles, you'll never pay any fuel surcharges. If you pay for the flight with different awards program miles, you may have to pay the fuel surcharge.</p> <p>For example, if you book a flight on an Air Canada plane from New York to London with a stopover in Barcelona and you use your United Miles, you won't pay any fuel surcharges.</p> <p>If you were to book the same awards ticket using your Air Canada Miles, you'd have to spend $320 in fuel surcharges! Travelisfree.com has put together <a href="http://travelisfree.com/2014/04/15/master-charts-to-avoiding-fuel-surcharges-yq/">this incredibly useful list</a> to help you calculate fuel surcharges on different airlines using different rewards programs.</p> <p>There are also some extra charges when trying to book stopovers domestically. United, for example, charges 10,000 extra miles for stopovers on domestic U.S. tickets.</p> <h2>Stopover + Open Jaw = Free Flights</h2> <p>Some airline rewards programs allow for an open jaw and a stopover. What this means is that you can essentially have a holiday in Europe, and then get your next one-way flight paid for to another destination.</p> <p>Example: You book an open jaw ticket for a holiday in Europe. You fly from New York to London, you travel overland from London to Madrid, and then you return to New York after a wonderful three week holiday. But you can actually call your home town (New York in this case) a &quot;stopover&quot; on a flight to, let's say, Los Angeles.</p> <p>Don't worry, you don't have to go to LA right away, you can plan to fly there up to a year later. That's right, you can &quot;stopover&quot; at home for a year, and then a year later fly to LA for free.</p> <h3>When Is a Stopover + Open Jaw Flight Useful?</h3> <p>Anytime you have two trips planned in a year, you can use this handy little hack to enjoy a free one-way flight on your second trip. Go on a vacation in Europe, fly back to your home airport but call it a &quot;stopover&quot; to your next holiday destination (LA?). By doing this, you've essentially landed yourself a free one-way ticket. Now you just have to book a cheap awards flight back from your holiday.</p> <p>This secret method of landing a free one-way flight is great, but it requires some advanced planning because you're essentially booking one and a half holidays at the same time.</p> <h2>How to Book Stopovers and Open Jaws</h2> <p>Booking stopovers and open jaw tickets online can be difficult with some airline websites. Basically you're looking for two things in the flight booking engine that you're using.</p> <ol> <li>The &quot;rewards flight&quot; check box to ensure that you're only viewing flights that are available for awards customers (these are usually more limited than regular paid fares).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Multiple-destination search will allow you to find flights to one destination and then to another before returning home.</li> </ol> <h3>If the Website Is Fussy, Call</h3> <p>Not all websites allow you to search multiple destinations and awards flights only, so the easiest way to book your stopover and open jaw flight is simply by calling an agent. They have a better booking interface to work with and they'll be able to better help you find the right flights for you. The only problem is that you may not have the same flexibility as if you were to piece together the journey yourself.</p> <p>By booking open jaw tickets and adding stopovers to your awards flight itinerary, you can save a lot of money. By combining the two, you can actually piece together an amazing trip and even land yourself a free one-way flight to your next holiday destination. Awards flights may not always have the same availability as regular paid fares, but you can take advantage of lucrative loopholes like the ones listed in this article. Give it a try. Book open jaw and stopovers on your next awards flight and watch the free travel add up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards that Transfer to Airline Miles</a>)</p> <p><em>Have you ever taken advantage of stopover or open jaw flights? Where'd you go?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extend-your-vacation-for-free-with-open-jaws-and-stopovers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel">6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">The Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel award flights awards travel credit card rewards free flights open jaw stopover travel hacking travel rewards Fri, 08 Apr 2016 09:00:13 +0000 Nick Wharton 1686649 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Places to Travel While the Dollar Is Strong http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000070546755_Small_0.jpg" alt="Finding places to travel while the dollar is strong" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel isn't cheap, but when the dollar is 15%&ndash;55% stronger against other currencies than it has been in over a decade, now is the time to travel! Not everywhere is a good value at this time. Some other currencies are flourishing just like the USD, so if you want to find strong-dollar discounts, you have to know where to look. Here are five amazing places to visit that are far less expensive than they have been in a recent five-year history thanks to a strong U.S. dollar.</p> <p><strong>Note</strong>: All currency conversions are based on <a href="http://xe.com/">XE.com</a>'s historical data. The current exchange rates may have changed since this article was published. Daily budgets and average hotel costs were calculated using <a href="http://www.numbeo.com/travel-prices/">numbeo.com</a>'s travel index tool.</p> <h2>1. South Africa ($1 USD = 15 ZAR)</h2> <p>Five years ago, you would have only gotten 6.73 Rand for your dollar, but now you'll feel more than twice as rich in South Africa. There has never been a better time to go on an African safari. In 2010, entrance to South Africa's biggest park (Kruger National Park) would have cost $23.77 (160 ZAR), but now, you can watch lions, zebras and elephants roam free for just $17.50 (264 ZAR)!</p> <p>A four-day luxury lodge safari trip in Kruger National park is around 15,000 ZAR. In 2010, that would have been $2,225 USD, but today it's only around $965 USD!</p> <p>A budget room in a guest house (known as a &quot;backpacker&quot; in South Africa) will cost you about 385 ZAR. In 2010, that equated to $57 a night, but today you'll pay just over $25 for the same room.</p> <h3>The Math</h3> <p><strong>Midrange Daily Budget</strong>: 500 ZAR / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget based on 2010 conversion</strong>: $74 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget thanks to today's dollar</strong>: $33 / Day</p> <p><strong>Savings of</strong>: 55%</p> <p><strong>Current Exchange</strong>: 1 USD = 15 ZAR</p> <p><strong>5 Year High</strong>: 16.00</p> <p><strong>5 Year Low</strong>: 6.56</p> <h2>2. Russia ($1 USD = 70 RUB)</h2> <p>The beautiful city of Moscow, the churches of St.Petersburg, and <a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/trans-siberian-train-journey-irkutsk-to-omsk/">the world's greatest train journey</a> have never been so affordable. The Russian ruble fell drastically at the end of 2014, and while this isn't great for Russians, it is excellent for those of us who have always wanted to visit this vast and beautiful country.</p> <p>The average price of a midrange hotel in Moscow is around 3,500 RUB. In 2010, that would have been $116, but today that is less than $50.</p> <p>One of the most legendary train journeys on the planet, the Trans-Siberian, is now a better value than it has been in the past few decades. The trip from Moscow to Ulan Bator will run you around 35,000 Rubles for a first class ticket. At Christmas time in 2010, that would have been $1,160, but with today's exchange it's just $498! You can buy two tickets today, for the same price as one ticket would have cost you at the end of 2014. Incredible.</p> <h3>The Math</h3> <p><strong>Midrange Daily Budget</strong>: 4000 RUB / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget based on 2010 conversion</strong>: $133 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget thanks to today's dollar</strong>: $57 / Day</p> <p><strong>Savings of</strong>: 57%</p> <p><strong>Current Exchange</strong>: 1 USD = 70 RUB</p> <p><strong>5 Year High</strong>: 71.91</p> <p><strong>5 Year Low</strong>: 27.29</p> <h2>3. Brazil ($1 USD = 3.95 BRL)</h2> <p>Although Brazil was once considered a &quot;BRIC&quot; economy, the collapse of oil prices, the FIFA World Cup, and preparation for the 2016 Olympics has proven pretty rough on Brazil's currency. Today the Brazilian real is suffering a real downturn and the U.S. dollar is getting about 57% more than it did around this time in 2010.</p> <p>If the Brazilian real continues on this downward trend, the Olympics in 2016 might make for a great budget destination. According to <a href="http://olympics.org/">olympics.org</a>, tickets for events will go for around 70 real. That's only $17.70, and by the time the games begin, it might be even less.</p> <p>A three-star hotel in Brazil averages at around R$230 per night. In 2010 that was $138, but today that same room will cost you less than $35.</p> <h2>The Math</h2> <p><strong>Midrange Daily Budget</strong>: R$400 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget based on 2010 conversion</strong>: $240 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget thanks to today's dollar</strong>: $100 / Day</p> <p><strong>Savings of</strong>: 58%</p> <p><strong>Current Exchange</strong>: $1 USD = 3.95 RUB</p> <p><strong>5 Year High</strong>: 4.17</p> <p><strong>5 Year Low</strong>: 1.57</p> <h2>4. Japan ($1 USD = 122 JPY)</h2> <p>I have personally always wanted to visit Japan, but I thought it would be outrageously expensive. This was true back in 2010 when the exchange rate was around 82&yen; to the dollar. At that time, Japan would have been a steep holiday, but today the dollar gets 33% more than it did back then.</p> <p>The average cost of a midrange hotel room in Japan is 10,000&yen;. In 2010 that would have been $122 USD, today that room will run you just $82.</p> <p>A guided hike to the top of Mt.Fuji costs about 47,000&yen;. In 2010 that was $573, but today you'd pay $385.</p> <h3>The Math</h3> <p><strong>Midrange Daily Budget</strong>: 19,000&yen; / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget based on 2010 conversion</strong>: $231 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget thanks to today's dollar</strong>: $155 / Day</p> <p><strong>Savings of</strong>: 33%</p> <p><strong>Current Exchange</strong>: $1 USD = 121.83 JPY</p> <p><strong>5 Year High</strong>: 125.63</p> <p><strong>5 Year Low</strong>: 75.76</p> <h2>5. Any Country Using the Euro ($1 USD = 0.92 EUR)</h2> <p>Head to Europe for huge savings! Explore the whitewashed buildings of Oia, Greece, lay on the soft, sandy beaches of the Mediterranean, explore the beauty of Paris, and the history of Rome, all for a fraction of what it would have cost you just a few years ago.</p> <p>At the end of 2010, the Euro was at 0.76 to the dollar, but today the dollar is 17% stronger and trades almost equally with the Euro. When I was in Greece, I found <a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/santorini-a-vacation-from-backpacking-the-world-nick-may-10th-18th/">a lovely apartment</a> just a few blocks from the sea on Santorini island. At the time (May, 2011), that apartment cost me 34 Euros, which was around $50 USD/night. Today I could get that same apartment for just over $37.</p> <p>There hasn't been a cheaper time for Americans to visit Europe in over a decade. This is the perfect time to explore one of the most fascinating continents on Earth.</p> <h3>The Math</h3> <p><strong>Midrange Daily Budget</strong>: &euro;100 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget based on 2010 conversion</strong>: $131 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget thanks to today's dollar</strong>: $110 / Day</p> <p><strong>Savings of</strong>: 17%</p> <p><strong>Current Exchange</strong>: $1 USD = 0.915 EUR</p> <p><strong>5 Year High</strong>: 0.95</p> <p><strong>5 Year Low</strong>: 0.67</p> <p>Enjoy it while it lasts...</p> <p>Celebrate the strong American dollar by taking a trip to a place you couldn't afford previously. Enjoy the discounts while you can!</p> <p><em>Are you planning international travel while the dollar is so strong?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Places%20to%20Travel%20While%20the%20Dollar%20Is%20Strong%20(1).jpg&amp;description=5%20Places%20to%20Travel%20While%20the%20Dollar%20Is%20Strong" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Places%20to%20Travel%20While%20the%20Dollar%20Is%20Strong%20%281%29.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-international-destinations-anyone-can-afford">5 International Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-using-credit-can-help-you-enjoy-a-cheaper-safer-summer-vacation">7 Ways Using Credit Can Help You Enjoy a Cheaper, Safer Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-due-to-a-strong-us-dollar">5 Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper Due to a Strong U.S. Dollar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-passport">3 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Passport</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel budget travel cheap travel conversion rate international travel travel rewards Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Nick Wharton 1675631 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Steps to Getting a Free (or Close to Free) Vacation in 9 Months or Less with Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_on_vacation_000044982462.jpg" alt="Couple learning to use credit card sign-up spree for a free vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you want a free vacation at the end of the year? Of course you do! Follow these five simple steps and within nine months, you'll have earned enough rewards points from your new credit cards to reward yourself with a little vacation.</p> <p>Before going ahead with this plan, you should know that the higher your credit score and spending habits, the faster and more efficiently you'll be able to collect your rewards. But don't worry! You don't have to be a big spender with an outrageously high credit score to do this. It may just take you slightly longer to execute.</p> <h2>1. Know Your Credit Score and Make Preparations</h2> <p>Signing up for multiple credit cards in a short period can temporarily lower your credit score, so timing is everything. It's important that you only do this when your credit is strong. Otherwise you risk being denied for one or more of the cards and your plan will be ruined.&nbsp;</p> <p>Basically, make sure you haven't applied for any credit for three months <em>before </em>you start and plan to not apply for any credit for three months <em>after </em>you've completed it. This is especially true of big credit applications like mortgages and lines of credit. Don't worry, your score will recover (and likely be even better) after a few months with the new cards.</p> <h2>2. Research and Find the Right Cards</h2> <p>People have been signing up for multiple cards to bundle bonus points since credit card companies started paying people to join their clubs. It's a very simple idea, but takes research, discipline, and commitment to actually pull it off properly.</p> <p>First, figure out where you want to go. Look up the number of points it will take for you to travel to your destination. Which airline has the best deal for award flights? Which hotel?</p> <p>Then find the credit cards that either offer a bonus in the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=internal">loyalty program</a> you want, or points that allow you to transfer to them. Look at the co-branded credit cards available for the airline and hotel you want. Then look at other travel rewards cards to see if that airline and hotel is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=internal">partner program</a> that you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=internal">transfer points to</a>. Add up all the bonuses and find the combination of cards that will get you the number of points and miles you need.</p> <p>For example, this might mean signing up for an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal">co-branded airline credit card</a>, a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=internal">hotel credit card</a>, and one or two additional <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/airline-credit-card-or-flexible-rewards-card-whats-the-best-way-to-earn-a-free-flight?ref=internal">flexible spending travel rewards</a> cards.&nbsp;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso2">Best Credit Cards with Travel Rewards</a></p> <p>The key here is to make sure you know which airlines will take you where you want to go, and then find the corresponding cards that you can use for those airlines. Co-branded airline credit cards are easy &mdash; the miles will already be in the airline program you want. Other travel rewards cards will offer points that you can transfer to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards?ref=internal">partner airline programs</a>, and still others will allow you to apply your points as statement credit (you purchase your travel and then use points to pay for it). All of these options have pros and cons (statement credits allow you to have the most flexibility &mdash; you can book with whatever airline or hotel you want &mdash; but with airline miles you can usually get a higher value ticket than a straight points to dollars conversion).</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=seealso2">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Work</a></p> <h2>3. Calculate the Spending Requirements</h2> <p>Once you've narrowed down the list of cards that will give you the specific miles/points you need, you need to break down each card's spending requirements to find out how much you'll have to spend to get your bonus points. Each card will require a certain amount in purchases within a period of time in order to qualify for the bonus. Calculate the spending requirement over the number of months (usually 3 months) and decide whether you have enough normal expenses you can put on the credit card to cover that amount. Then spread out your applications so you only need to deal with one card's spending requirement at a time. List all those automatic payments and subscriptions and make sure you update those to your new card.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement?ref=seealso2">5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement</a></p> <p>Now I'm not advocating you go on a spending spree to get your free vacation. In order for this to truly be &quot;free&quot; you need to already have that much in monthly expenses that you can charge to a credit card over those months. This is why you shouldn't sign up for all these cards at the same time. You'd be stuck with trying to spend thousands per month in order to get the bonus if you were approved for all the cards at once.</p> <p>If it looks like you can meet the spending requirements without overextending yourself, then you can move on to the next step.</p> <h2>4. Apply for the Cards</h2> <p>As mentioned earlier, the better your credit score, the better your chances of being accepted for all of these cards. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report each year from <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>, so take advantage of it. Once you've confirmed that your credit is strong enough, it's time to start applying.</p> <p>Remember, depending on your monthly expenses, you may need to stagger applying for these cards three months at a time. If you don't meet the spending requirement, you do not get the bonus points!</p> <p>If you get denied, you can still call the provider and plead your case. Usually the rejection letter will include a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-reasons-your-credit-card-application-was-denied-and-what-you-can-do-about-it?ref=internal">reason why you were denied</a>. If you have been told that you have too many credit cards with the same issuer, offer to close one account or lower the credit limit on one of them.</p> <h2>5. Set a Spending Schedule and Book Your Flight</h2> <p>Once you're approved, use the new card for your expenses and monitor it to make sure you are on track to meet the requirements. You can even set alarms for yourself to ensure that you're reaching the spending goals. Once you've met the requirements, it may take one or two billing cycles for the bonus points to appear.&nbsp;</p> <p>Once you have all your points, it's time to plan your trip. To book your flight, you'll need to make the appropriate points transfers to the airline and hotel programs of your choice. Then use the program's system to book with your points.&nbsp;</p> <p>Note that the cards with the biggest bonuses often have annual fees. You'll want to make sure that these are cards you actually want to keep even with the fees &mdash; you can continue to rack up miles and points with these cards for your next free vacation.</p> <h2>Recap</h2> <p>Let's quickly go over the information that we've covered in this article.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=internal">Check your credit score</a> and ensure that you're in a good position to apply for multiple cards.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Plan carefully by choosing the best credit cards based on their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">sign-up bonuses</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Calculate the rewards that you stand to earn.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Apply for the cards.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep organized and set a spending schedule to ensure that you meet the minimum spending requirements on each new credit card.</li> </ul> <p>It's worth noting that when paying for a flight with points, you'll still need to pay <em>some </em>taxes and fees. Which is why your vacation is likely to be &quot;close to free&quot; instead of 100% free. You can also check out these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=internal">10 flight booking hacks</a> to help make up the difference. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel?ref=seealso">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-picking-the-best-airline-credit-card-for-the-most-rewards-value">5 Steps to Picking the Best Airline Credit Card for the Most Rewards Value</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel free vacation rewards credit cards rewards miles sign up bonuses travel rewards Thu, 28 Jan 2016 19:05:27 +0000 Nick Wharton 1586246 at http://www.wisebread.com Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_000048180644_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Should you earn <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">cash back rewards</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">travel rewards</a> from your credit card? Frankly, it is a question that is nearly as old as reward cards themselves, and the answer has always been &quot;it depends.&quot; Here's a breakdown of the ins and outs of the world of rewards credit cards. Now, you can decide which one will get you the biggest bang for your credit card buck. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-7-questions-to-help-choose-the-perfect-credit-card?ref=seealso">Ask These 7 Questions to Choose the Perfect Credit Card</a>)</p> <p>Of course, you need to be aware that rewards are only rewarding if you pay off your balance in full each month. Otherwise, the interest that you accrue on your balance will always be much more than the rewards you're gaining.</p> <p>But if you're itching to get into the credit card rewards game, here's everything you need to know.</p> <h2>When You Should Choose Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Earning and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=internal">redeeming travel rewards</a> can be extremely complicated, so the ideal reward card user should be someone who is willing to put in the time and effort to deciphering their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better">favorite airline</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-hotel-rewards-programs?ref=inarticle">hotel programs</a>. While <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards">earning free travel</a> sounds like an amazing deal, some cardholders may find it frustrating trying to redeem the miles or points they've accumulated.</p> <h3>Earning Travel Rewards</h3> <p>Most travel rewards credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for spending in travel categories, like airfare, car rentals, hotel stays, dining, and entertainment.</p> <h3>Value of Travel Rewards</h3> <p>Travel rewards offer the opportunity to get a higher value for each mile or point earned. Rewards are most valuable when redeemed for international flights in business class, expensive last minute flights, and luxury hotels. These points and miles are less valuable when used for domestic flights in economy class, especially when travelers have the ability to book flights with plenty of advanced notice. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=seealso">These Credit Cards Have the Best Travel Redemption Value</a>)</p> <p>But when points and miles are redeemed strategically for high value award flights and luxury hotel stays, then it is often possible to receive three to five cents in value per point, which is much better than the best cash back reward cards.</p> <h3>Redeeming Travel Rewards</h3> <p>The opportunity to redeem award travel is different depending on the credit card and loyalty program it is connected with. Some credit cards guarantee no blackout dates or restrictions when booking an award flight or stay. Others only offer a limited number of seats or stays for those redeeming rewards. Others, still, will simply allow you to redeem a statement credit for any travel purchase you make. How you prefer to travel will be the determining factor for which program to join.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">Co-branded airline</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">hotel cards</a> will allow you to directly use your miles to redeem award flights or stays through the loyalty program connected to the card. Many times you can book <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">travel with their partner airlines</a> and chains as well. General travel cards might require you to book travel through their portal or allow you to transfer points to the available programs.</p> <p>It can be very hard to redeem airline miles for flights during peak travel seasons, so these programs are not very well suited to those who only travel during the holidays. Furthermore, some avid travelers who have particular travel requirements aren't very well served by traditional airline frequent flyer programs. For example, someone who wants to take shorter flights on routes with healthy competition will never receive much value from 25,000 miles on a flight that might only cost $100-$200. In addition, large families will usually be frustrated in their attempts to find more than two or three award seats available at the lowest mileage levels. Also, those who don't like to stay in large, chain hotels aren't going to have much use for hotel points. Finally, those whose schedules preclude searching for award seats months in advance will also find their miles to be less valuable.</p> <h3>Travel Perks</h3> <p>A big benefit of travel rewards cards are the included <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">travel perks</a>. For frequent travelers (or those who simply hate the discomfort of travel), perks like priority boarding, status upgrades, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access">lounge access</a>, and free checked bags may prove to be valuable on its own.</p> <h2>When You Should Choose Cash Back</h2> <p>For many credit card users, even some who love to travel, cash back credit cards remain their best option. First, you can always use cash back to pay your rent, mortgage, or other bills, something that is impossible to do with airline miles or hotel points. In addition, you can save and invest your cash back, which allows it to grow over time. In contrast, frequent flyer miles and hotel points invariably lose value over time as companies change their award charts. And while some travel rewards cards offer points redeemable for travel purchases, if you don't end making travel purchases, you may not be able to use your hard earned points at all.</p> <h3>Earning Cash Rewards</h3> <p>Many cash back cards offer bonus points in general shopping categories, like groceries, department stores, and gas. They may also have a shopping portal that offers extra points for shopping with their partner merchants.</p> <h3>Value of Points</h3> <p>While the best travel hackers are able to get anywhere from three to five cents per point, cash back points usually have a one cent per point value. While the opportunity for point value is lower, cash back programs are simple and cardholders are guaranteed a predictable rate of return from their credit card rewards, without having to decipher loyalty programs or search for award availability. For those who have trouble redeeming their travel rewards, they run the risk of getting no value from the points they've accumulated.</p> <h3>Redeeming Cash Rewards</h3> <p>Redeeming your cash rewards is usually as simple as getting a statement credit or direct deposit into your account. Some require a minimum amount before redemption. You may also have the opportunity to redeem gift cards or products. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-biggest-mistakes-you-can-make-when-redeeming-credit-card-rewards">7 Biggest Credit Card Redemption Mistakes</a>)</p> <h3>Shopping Perks</h3> <p>Many cards offer invaluable <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">perks for shoppers</a>, like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">extended warranties</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card">purchase and price protection</a>, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores">credit monitoring services</a>.</p> <p>Reward credit cards offer valuable points, miles, and cash back for your spending, but choosing the best reward card is not that easy. By considering the type of travel you prefer, you can decide if travel rewards or cash back card are right for you.</p> <h2>Which Type of Rewards Is Right For You?</h2> <p>Are you the kind of credit card user who wants to sit back and wait for their rewards to accumulate, and then easily redeem them? If so, then you are best off using the most competitive cash back rewards credit card, and then using some of your savings for travel when necessary. But if you are the kind of person who dreams of business and first class travel, or someone who occasionally has to book an expensive flight with little advanced notice, then it might be worth it for you to play the travel rewards game with frequent flyer miles and hotel points.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>See our picks for best credit cards:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">Best Sign-Up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-premium-credit-cards">Best Premium Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards">Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">Best Credit Cards with Annual Fees</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees">Best Credit Cards with No Annual Fees</a></li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fcash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FCash%2520Back%2520vs%2520Travel%2520Rewards-%2520Pick%2520the%2520Right%2520Credit%2520Card%2520for%2520You.jpg&amp;description=Cash%20Back%20vs%20Travel%20Rewards%3A%20Pick%20the%20Right%20Credit%20Card%20for%20You"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Cash%20Back%20vs%20Travel%20Rewards-%20Pick%20the%20Right%20Credit%20Card%20for%20You.jpg" alt="Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards">5 Steps to Getting a Free (or Close to Free) Vacation in 9 Months or Less with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel cash back rewards credit cards travel rewards Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Jason Steele 1351239 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_airport_000026833547_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit card benefits aren't just about redeeming rewards for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">award flights</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash back</a>. This is especially true when you travel. Pick the right card, and it could save you more than a pretty penny on your next trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-ways-a-credit-card-can-save-you-money-on-travel?ref=seealso">8 Unexpected Ways a Credit Card Can Save You Money on&nbsp;Travel</a>)</p> <p>Here are some travel benefits your card may include that you might not be aware of.</p> <h2>Status Upgrades</h2> <p>Many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal">co-branded credit cards</a> for airlines and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal">hotels</a> offer automatic <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades?ref=internal">status upgrades</a> in their respective loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy additional benefits like room upgrades or airport lounge access, usually only reserved for those who have gained status through frequent patronage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-get-elite-status-for-free-hotel-upgrades?ref=seealso">Easy Ways to Get Elite Status for Free Hotel Upgrades</a>)</p> <h2>Priority Boarding</h2> <p>One benefit that's increasingly common for cards geared towards travelers is priority boarding. Usually, airlines only offer early boarding for their first class customers and most frequent flyers. Your credit card can help put you toward the front of the line. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-credit-cards-that-offer-the-best-travel-perks?ref=seealso">Credit Cards with the Best Travel Perks</a>)</p> <h2>Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Rather than forking over cash for your vacation expenses, let all the shopping you do every day rack up points that you can redeem for travel. Increasingly, credit card companies are broadening the number of ways you can redeem points. Use them for airline tickets, car rentals, hotel stays, cruises, and even that special evening out on the town. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Companion Tickets</h2> <p>While increasingly rare, there are some credit cards that still offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones?ref=internal">companion fare deals</a>. Some cards provide a certain number of deeply discounted companion tickets per year. Others give you an opportunity to apply your rewards points toward free or inexpensive companion tickets. Those who travel frequently as a family may find this benefit to be a huge money saver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-airline-companion-tickets-work-and-where-do-you-get-them?ref=seealso">How to Get Airline Companion Tickets</a>)</p> <h2>Zero Foreign Fees</h2> <p>When you use a credit card abroad, you're often charged a 3% foreign transaction fee. However, more and more cards offer a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal">0% foreign transaction fee</a>, and those are the cards you should be using when you're traveling. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad?ref=seealso">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling Abroad</a>)</p> <h2>Travel Insurance</h2> <p>Travel insurance benefits come in all shapes and sizes on different cards. Some protect your entire trip in the event of its cancellation. Others will <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what?ref=internal">protect your luggage</a> should it be lost or stolen while you travel. Some cards provide these benefits (including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=internal">travel accident insurance</a>) free. Before you book your vacation, check which credit card offer the best travel insurance for your needs, and use that card to make the purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">6 Types of Travel Insurance Your Credit Card May Provide</a>)</p> <h2>Car Rental Insurance</h2> <p>This is a benefit that many credit cards carry, but it comes with a catch. Most of the time, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal">credit card rental car insurance</a> does not provide complete bumper-to-bumper coverage. It often excludes collision insurance, and there are usually high deductibles. Check your card's fine print on car rental insurance so you're clear on the terms and what's covered.</p> <h2>Airport Lounge Access</h2> <p>Delays are a commonplace occurrence when you travel. All of us have had that unfortunate experience that leaves us stranded on the floor of a very crowded airport hungrily searching for an outlet to charge our phones and tablets. Some credit cards provide free or discounted access to certain airline lounges complete with comfy seats, snacks, drinks, and plenty of outlets. Sometimes being a little more comfortable is all it takes to prevent a delay from ruining your trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards with Airport Lounge Access</a>)</p> <h2>Fee Credits</h2> <p>Save even more with cards that offer fee credits on travel incidentals like checked bags, in-flight refreshments or even the application fee for Global Entry and TSA Pre Check. There's usually a limit so check your credit card for full details. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-tsa-pre-check-and-global-entry-reimbursement?ref=seealso">Credit Cards That offer Fee Credit for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry</a>)</p> <h2>Concierge Service</h2> <p>Some cards carry <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-the-concierge-services-from-credit-cards-really-provide?ref=internal">concierge services</a>, meaning you can call the number on the back of the card and they can help with tasks such as travel planning, restaurant reservations, and special events tickets. If you need some last minute details taken care of or you need some assistance in an unfamiliar place, this benefit may prove very useful.</p> <h2>Global Assistance Hotline</h2> <p>When traveling, there's a high probability that something somewhere along the way won't go as expected. Given the current state of the world, you never know where or when you might find yourself in trouble. When you book your trip using a credit card that has a global assistance benefit, you'll be able to contact a toll-free number in the event of an emergency whether that involves a medical problem, a lost passport, or the need for an urgent translation.</p> <h2>Special Access</h2> <p>Certain cards provide you with access that may be difficult to come by for non-cardmembers. Heading to New York to take in a Broadway show? Want those hard-to-come-by concert tickets or a table at the hottest new restaurant in town? Many credit cards provide advance purchase opportunities and even reservations that non-credit cardholders won't have access to until later.</p> <p>It's important to note that not all cards carry the same benefits, and benefits change from time to time without notice. The best way to find out what travel benefits your cards carry is to call the number on the back of your card and ask to be connected to a representative who specializes in travel benefits. Enjoy your vacation, and pack the cards that will make your trip cheaper and more enjoyable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-benefits-each-credit-card-bank-offers?ref=seealso">Best Benefits Each Credit Card Issuer Provides</a>)<em><br /> </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ftravel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%20Travel%20Perks%20You%20Didn%26%23x27%3Bt%20Know%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Had_0.jpg&amp;description=12%20Travel%20Perks%20You%20Didn%26%23x27%3Bt%20Know%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Had" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Travel%20Perks%20You%20Didn%27t%20Know%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Had_0.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles">4 Best Tools for Tracking Your Rewards Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles">5 Tricks to Making the Most of Your Reward Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel credit card perks frequent flyer rewards cards travel rewards Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1334945 at http://www.wisebread.com How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-credit-card-Dollarphotoclub_66577242_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are people in this world that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">almost never pay for airfare</a>. Instead, they accumulate and use travel rewards. This is also true for hotels, and even rental cars. If you can work your travel rewards, it's possible to get solid value out of your credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>A credit card that offers travel rewards is different than one that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">earns cash back</a>. Here's how travel rewards credit cards work &mdash; and how best to earn and redeem points for travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=seealso">How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <h2>Earning Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Almost all travel rewards credit cards work on a points-based system. You earn one point (or mile) for each dollar that you spend at the most basic level. However, you can usually earn extra points for certain purchases. How much you earn, and what you earn extra points for, depends on what type of loyalty program you are enrolled in and which credit card you are using.</p> <h3>General Travel Rewards</h3> <p>There are a number of general travel rewards programs that allow you to earn points and then redeem them on any number of items, from airfare to hotel stays to discounts on cruises. Most of these programs have a very straightforward one point for each dollar spent guideline. Some of these cards do offer the chance to earn extra points for certain types of spending, such as on travel or dining out. You might earn three points for each dollar spent on airfare or hotels, and two points for each dollar spent on gas or on dining out, for example.</p> <p>Choose the card that offers extra points for the category you do the most spending on to boost your ability to earn points.</p> <h3>Loyalty Travel Rewards</h3> <p>Most travel brands have loyalty programs connected to credit cards. So, you might be able to combine your usual loyalty points for hotel stays and air travel with credit card rewards. In many cases, you earn extra points or miles when you use your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">loyalty branded credit card</a> at the appropriate brand, allowing you to earn free airfare or stays even faster.</p> <p>Many of these brands also have partners. So, if you use a specific rental car company with your loyalty program card, or if you eat at a partner restaurant, you might get extra points. Some cards also have shopping portals, where you can earn extra points or miles by making purchases through a specific site. I shop for FTD flowers via my credit card's portal for Mother's Day, since I get extra points for the flowers I'd send to my mother and my mother-in-law anyway.</p> <h2>Redeeming Your Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Different credit cards have different policies regarding how you redeem the points into actual travel rewards.</p> <h3>Built-In Loyalty Programs</h3> <p>Co-branded credit cards will usually offer redemption through the loyalty program the credit card is co-branded with. You can go directly to the airline or hotel website and redeem your points or miles for travel, since your loyalty account is connected to your credit card.</p> <h3>Transferring Points</h3> <p>Many general rewards credit cards offer redemption in the form of transferring points or miles to the loyalty program they are partners with. Usually, this is not a 1:1 transfer. For example, 10,000 miles on your credit card may result in 8000 miles once it's been converted to the airline or hotel loyalty program you've selected. This is one of the disadvantages of not using a co-branded credit card, where you would get the full value of your miles. However, it does offer flexibility in which brand you want to purchase travel from.</p> <h3>Travel Portal</h3> <p>Some credit cards offer redemption through their travel shopping portal. You can spend your points by purchasing travel through their site. You may also get special discounts on the travel, which encourages you to use their portal for travel purchases even when you're not spending your rewards points.</p> <h3>Statement Credit</h3> <p>Finally, some credit cards will offer a statement credit on travel purchases as a way to redeem your travel rewards. Just make your travel purchases as usual, and then apply your points to those purchases. You'll see a statement credit within one or two billing cycles. This offers the advantage of being able to receive rewards points or miles on your travel rewards!</p> <h2>Figuring the Value of Rewards</h2> <p>One of the most interesting realities associated with redeeming travel rewards is that you can often get better value when you redeem for luxury travel, especially with international travel.</p> <h3>Fight Upgrades</h3> <p>An economy ticket from JFK airport to London's Heathrow might cost $1,507.80, and the business class might cost $6,589.30. However, you might only have to &quot;spend&quot; double the points to get a business class ticket. You might spend 60,000 miles in economy (plus pay about $210 in taxes and fees), but you could fly business class for 120,000 or 130,000 miles. That's a pretty good value for an upgrade, since if you ended up with a dollar for dollar comparison, you should be &quot;paying&quot; a little more than four times the amount, or about 240,000 miles, for business class.</p> <h3>Hotel Upgrades</h3> <p>The same is true for getting an upgrade at a hotel. I recently enjoyed an upgraded room at a hotel because of the status I earned through my credit card. The room I ended up in had a &quot;market value&quot; of $250 more than I would normally stay in. However, I didn't need to use any extra points, or pay anything extra for an upgrade. So I got a better bang for my rewards because of the program. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-card-perks-beyond-points-and-miles?ref=seealso">The Best Credit Card Perks Beyond Points and Miles</a>)</p> <h3>Discount Travel</h3> <p>However, even if you don't find yourself in those situations, travel reward redemption can still be a bonus. As long as you pay off your credit card balance each month, and you aren't paying interest, then you are basically traveling for free. You earn these points, and then you can use them to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">stay free at hotels</a>, or get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">free boarding pass</a>.</p> <p>Other programs allow you to enjoy discounted travel. You might get a certain number of free checked bags when you fly with a branded airline if you are part of the program. You might also have access to discounted rental cars and other perks. Recently, I saved 40% off the advertised price when I rented a car through a partner of one of my travel rewards cards. Some airlines offer you the chance to purchase a &quot;companion ticket&quot; for $99, or for some other discount as one of the perks. If you would normally have to pay $350 for another ticket, that can be a big savings, and add to the value of the rewards program.</p> <p>It's important to remember that, no matter what you do, you won't see a dollar for point/mile redemption with a travel reward card. The &quot;dollar value&quot; of your travel rewards often fluctuates, depending on how you earned the points or miles (was it a &quot;bonus&quot;?) and what you are redeeming them for. In the international travel example above, redeeming for an economy class ticket means that each mile only had a value of about 0.025 cents. However, redeeming for business class travel (for 130,000 miles), meant a value of about 0.051 cents. Miles redeemed for business class travel have a higher &quot;value&quot; in many cases. Similar calculations can be made when you book a luxury hotel room, as opposed to a standard room. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso">Which Airline Loyalty Program Offers the Highest Value in Miles?</a>)</p> <h3>Watch for Redemption Limits</h3> <p>Realize, too, that there are some limits to redemption. You will get the best value if you use a co-branded credit card with a specific brand. Your loyalty will be rewarded. General travel programs don't offer the same points/miles value, although you do have more flexibility. For example, a general credit card rewards program might charge 80,000 or 90,000 miles for an international economy flight, but you could choose to fly on any airline. You would spend fewer miles if you were using a co-branded credit card, but you'd have to fly with that particular airline (or its partners).</p> <p>Some loyalty programs have blackout dates, so you might not be able to redeem your miles during peak travel times. Other credit cards offer zero blackout dates for travel redemption, but again, the value you receive for your miles or points could be lower. You might also be limited to certain hotel rooms or certain styles of car when you get a rental.</p> <p>Travel rewards can be rewarding indeed &mdash; as long as you pay attention to the terms, and make it a point to get the best bang for your travel rewards buck.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work%3Fref%3Dseealso&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Travel%2520Rewards%2520Credit%2520Cards%2520Really%2520Work.jpg&amp;description=How%20Travel%20Rewards%20Credit%20Cards%20Really%20Work"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Travel%20Rewards%20Credit%20Cards%20Really%20Work.jpg" alt="How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards">5 Steps to Getting a Free (or Close to Free) Vacation in 9 Months or Less with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel travel rewards Wed, 04 Mar 2015 22:00:07 +0000 Miranda Marquit 1317237 at http://www.wisebread.com This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly) http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-168759740.jpg" alt="family on plane" title="family on plane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are so many different types of reward programs that offer miles and points that it can be very difficult for those newer to the world of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">rewards credit cards</a> and (almost) free travel to know where to start. If you're interested in diving in, a very good place to consider starting is with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. These points are flexible, valuable, and easy to earn.</p> <p><span style="color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: georgia; font-size: 1.5em; font-weight: normal;">What Is a Chase Ultimate Rewards Point?</span></p> <p>A Chase Ultimate Rewards point is a credit card rewards point earned via a Chase credit card that falls under the Ultimate Rewards umbrella. Right now that includes the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review?ref=internal">Chase Sapphire Preferred Card</a>&nbsp;and the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-points-for-business-purchases-with-the-chase-ink-plus-business-credit-card?ref=internal">Chase Ink Business Preferred</a>.</p> <h3>Chase Sapphire Preferred</h3> <p>Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants &amp; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. Also, get 20% off travel redeemed via Ultimate Rewards. Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.</p> <h3>Chase Ink Business Preferred</h3> <p>Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in the certain categories each account anniversary year, 1 point per dollar on other purchases. The annual fee is $95.</p> <h3>Ultimate Rewards Mall</h3> <p>Another great way to earn Ultimate Rewards points is via the Ultimate Rewards Mall. This is an online shopping portal that is open only to those with an Ultimate Rewards earning card. In this &quot;online mall&quot; you can earn bonus points for online purchases at retailers such as Home Depot, Sears, Kohl's, Pottery Barn, REI, Apple, and J.Crew. You click via provided links from the Ultimate Rewards Mall to your favorite retailer's site and then make your purchase like normal. For doing so, you earn a bonus number of Ultimate Rewards points that range anywhere from one extra point per dollar to 25 extra points per dollar.</p> <p>At 10 extra points per dollar this means that your $100 online purchase at Kohl's goes from earning 100 points to earning the 100 points it normally would on your card plus 1,000 bonus points for making the purchase at 10x via the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall. This is a great way to earn a ton more Ultimate Rewards points in a hurry!</p> <h2>Redeeming Ultimate Rewards</h2> <p>You can redeem the points at a one point equals one cent value for merchandise such as a digital camera, retailer gift cards to places like Gap, as a direct deposit into a Chase account, at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Amazon.com</a>, or as a statement credit.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px;">But redeeming for travel offer you more value.</span></p> <p>First, you get an additional 20% off travel redemptions through Ultimate Rewards.</p> <p>But the best redemption value comes when you transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to a hotel or airline partner such as United MileagePlus, Hyatt Gold Passport, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Korean Air Skypass, Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Virgin Atlantic.</p> <p>Many people, myself included, get far more than the one cent per point value when you can transfer to some of those programs listed above. For example, via Hyatt Gold Passport you can book a room on the ski slopes at the Hyatt Escala Lodge in Canyons Mountain Resort for just 15,000 points per night. During peak ski season nights, rooms at this hotel can go for $400 - $500 per night, so clearly you get more than one cent per point value when you use your Ultimate Rewards points in this manner.</p> <p>Even better, you can combine points with spouses or domestic partners!</p> <p>Ultimate Rewards points, when used to their maximum potential, can bring otherwise unattainable luxury travel expenses like ocean-front resorts, first or business class flights, and more into the realm of very possible. Now get out there and start turning your everyday purchases into a pile of valuable Ultimate Rewards points!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthis-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThis%20Might%20Be%20the%20Best%20Travel%20Rewards%20Program%20(No%20Matter%20What%20Airline%20You%20Fly).jpg&amp;description=This%20Might%20Be%20the%20Best%20Travel%20Rewards%20Program%20(No%20Matter%20What%20Airline%20You%20Fly)" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/This%20Might%20Be%20the%20Best%20Travel%20Rewards%20Program%20%28No%20Matter%20What%20Airline%20You%20Fly%29.jpg" alt="This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-hull">Summer Hull</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">The Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">The Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles credit card rewards travel travel rewards Tue, 29 Apr 2014 08:00:37 +0000 Summer Hull 1137336 at http://www.wisebread.com Getting Your Travel Rewards on the Ground http://www.wisebread.com/getting-your-travel-rewards-on-the-ground <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/getting-your-travel-rewards-on-the-ground" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-2437079-small.jpg" alt="travel" title="travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Airlines were among the first travel providers to offer loyalty programs for their frequent customers, and when we think of award travel, we usually mean frequent flyer miles. And while air travel is often the most expensive part of our vacations, hotels and rental cars can equal or exceed the cost of airfare in some instances. Besides, once you have earned an award flight, your next priority is to shave as many other expenses from your trip as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Fortunately, hotel loyalty programs can offer outstanding value with few of the hassles of airline frequent flyer programs. In fact, many of the most popular programs offer award nights in any available standard room, with no blackout dates or capacity restrictions.</p> <p>So how do get the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/8-hotel-and-car-rental-tips-for-business-travelers">most value from hotel and other programs</a>?</p> <h2>Hotel Reward Programs</h2> <p>Let's start where the savings are greatest &mdash; your hotel.</p> <p><strong>1. Find the Right Program</strong></p> <p>My favorite hotel programs include Starwood, Hyatt, Wyndham, and Club Carlson, but each has its own unique strengths.</p> <p>Starwood offers award nights at mid-tier properties for as little as 2,000 points a night, while you can book the most expensive Hyatt rooms (that can sell for over $1,000) for no more than 22,000 a night. Clubs Carlson offers its credit card holders one free night with every award stay.</p> <p>It can also be a good idea to consider some budget chains that offer surprisingly upscale accommodations overseas. For example, Choice hotels are often found near highway exits in small towns, but they also offer some remarkable properties in Europe.</p> <p>On the other hand, several hotel programs now require tens of thousands of points for even modest accommodations as a result of recent changes. Hilton is one program that made some of the largest changes, while I have never been able to extract much value from Marriott Rewards and IHG Priority Club.</p> <p><strong>2. Choose the Right Credit Card</strong></p> <p>My <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express">love affair with the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express</a> is well known, but there are several other great hotel credit cards.</p> <p>Look for programs that offer free nights at sign up, bonus points for spending at certain categories of merchants, and elite status that will offer you room upgrades, free Internet, and even free breakfast. For instance, the Hyatt card from Chase offers new cardholders two free nights at any Hyatt property and immediately grants them Platinum status.</p> <p><strong>3. Book the Best Awards</strong></p> <p>Finding a hotel award is incredibly easy compared to searching for airline awards. Nevertheless, travelers should follow many of the same rules they live by when it comes to airline awards, such as looking for awards that offer the most value per point. For example, leverage programs with no blackout dates or capacity controls when you need a room during the peak season or a special event. Also, when traveling overseas to extremely expensive cities like Paris or Milan, hotel awards can offer the most value per points.</p> <h2>Rental Car Awards and Travel Activities</h2> <p>After airfare and hotels, renting a car can be the largest expense of your trip.</p> <p>Although some frequent flyer programs will allow you to use their miles for rental car awards, I have never found more than a puny one cent per mile in value from these offers. So for these expenses, I try to use points from bank rewards programs.</p> <ul> <li>Capital One's Venture Rewards card offers double miles on all purchases that are worth one cent each towards any travel expenses such as rental cars.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Chase's Ultimate Rewards points can be used to book rental cars and activities, and holders of the Sapphire Preferred card receive a reasonable 1.25 cents in value per point.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Likewise, Citi's ThankYou Rewards program also offers points that are worth one cent each towards rental cars and activities. In fact, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and the Citi ThankYou program both use the same travel provider.</li> </ul> <p>Using these programs, I have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-local-discounts-for-a-trip">also found valuable rewards</a> such as airport transfers, adventure sports activities, and scenic tours.</p> <h2>Putting It All Together</h2> <p>On a recent family vacation, we tried to see how far we could go on points and miles alone, spending as little cash as possible. First, we transferred 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points each to United Airlines and booked three first class tickets from Denver to the island of Maui in Hawai'i. Then, we booked seven nights at the fantastic Hyatt Maui, which normally costs 22,000 points per night. Next, I used my Citi ThankYou points to rent a car, visit an aquarium, and even take my daughter on a submarine ride.</p> <p>Of course, we still needed to pay for our gas, food, and some of our activities, which was more expensive than staying home. Yet considering that we made over $10,000 worth of travel reservations, and spent less than $1,000 in cash, there is no denying that getting serious about award travel is seriously rewarding.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fgetting-your-travel-rewards-on-the-ground&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FGetting%20Your%20Travel%20Rewards%20on%20the%20Ground.jpg&amp;description=Getting%20Your%20Travel%20Rewards%20on%20the%20Ground" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Getting%20Your%20Travel%20Rewards%20on%20the%20Ground.jpg" alt="Getting Your Travel Rewards on the Ground" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-your-travel-rewards-on-the-ground">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps">Get Started With Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about">6 Types of Travel Insurance Credit Cards Include That You Didn&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel car rental hotel deal travel rewards Wed, 17 Jul 2013 10:24:30 +0000 Jason Steele 980650 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airplane-5270783-small.jpg" alt="airline" title="airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From choice of program, to accumulation strategies, ongoing management, and eventual redemption, there are many tricks to effectively using frequent flyer miles. Here is everything you need to know to become a frequent flyer superstar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Choosing Your Rewards Program</h2> <p>Before you even choose your weapon (aka mileage programs and strategies), you need to establish the game at hand. Instead of randomly collecting miles for the sake of collecting them, find a reason to earn miles. Is it a business class flight to Europe? A family vacation to Disney? The more focused you are in your intent, the more targeted and effective your accumulation strategies will be. (See also: <u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-the-value-of-your-airline-miles-and-points">Maximize the Value of Your Airline Miles and Points</a></u>)</p> <p><strong>Programs Galore</strong></p> <p>Although generally referred to as &quot;frequent flyer miles,&quot; a more accurate term would be &quot;reward miles&quot; or &quot;reward points,&quot; since not only airlines, but hotels, transportation providers, and even grocery stores provide opportunities for accumulating points that can translate into free or discounted travel.</p> <p><strong>Understand the Alliances</strong></p> <p>Most major airlines belong to an alliance, which allows for accumulation and redemption of miles with different airlines. Thus, you can accumulate miles with US Airways, and redeem them for flights on Swiss Air. Or you can fly with West Jet, but attribute your miles to American Airlines.</p> <p>The three major alliances are <a target="_blank" href="http://www.staralliance.com/en/">Star Alliance</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.oneworld.com/member-airlines/">One World</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.skyteam.com/en/About-us/Our-members/">Sky Team</a>.</p> <p><strong>Diversify Among Alliances</strong></p> <p>To maximize your opportunities (without scattering your efforts too much), choose one airline from each alliance as a focal point for accumulation.</p> <p><strong>Collect Universal Points</strong></p> <p>There are a few reward miles programs (like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan.aspx">Alaska Airlines</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/index.html">SPG</a>) that provide excellent flexibility in allowing you to transfer your points to airlines and hotel programs spread across all the alliances. Look for ways to accumulate miles into one of these types of programs (such as with a credit card &mdash; see below).</p> <h2>Managing Miles</h2> <p>This is where we separate the aces from the also-rans, because managing miles is nor for the faint of heart. But all the effort will pay off, especially if you're enjoying a long-haul business class flight for a fraction of the price of an economy ticket.</p> <p><strong>Organize Yourself</strong></p> <p>Despite choosing focal points for major accumulation within each of the alliances, you're going to end up having lots of accounts. Signing up for a hotel program and liking them on Facebook for 1,000 points could come in handy down the road when you find a bonus transfer deal.</p> <p>But this means you'll also have to organize multiple user names, passwords, membership numbers, and track your earnings. Dust off your spreadsheet skills and don't be wary of joining too many programs; you never know when they'll be useful.</p> <p><strong>Use a Rewards Management Site</strong></p> <p>Though not a full substitute for the trusty spreadsheet, using a rewards management site can help you get an overview your memberships, find deals, and transfer miles between programs. The three main sites are <a target="_blank" href="http://www.awardwallet.com/">Award Wallet</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/frequent-flyer-junkie-manage-your-miles-here">Points</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.usingmiles.com/">Using Miles</a>.</p> <p><strong>Watch for Expiration</strong></p> <p>Many programs revoke your miles if your account is inactive for too long. But you can keep them going with as little as a periodic $1 online purchase earning miles to that program. Rewards management sites like those above help you to track your expiration dates so you can earn accordingly.</p> <p><strong>Beware of Transfers and Trades</strong></p> <p>Although a couple of the programs above allow you to trade miles between users and transfer miles between rewards programs, beware! Most of the time you'll lose too much value per mile for it to be worthwhile. The exception to this rule is with the universal points programs referenced earlier.</p> <p><strong>Track Your Strategies</strong></p> <p>When you complete a transaction that earns you miles (be it online shopping, booking a flight, or participating in a promotion), record your activity in your trusty spreadsheet &mdash; and double-check that the miles are deposited to your account. Sometimes you need to contact the rewards program to ensure the correct amount of miles are attributed. They're usually quite nice when you call, but don't trust all transactions to process correctly; be ready to enforce your rights.</p> <h2>Earning Miles</h2> <p>Here are some ways and means to earn miles. Combine as many strategies as you can to maximize value!</p> <p><strong>Don't Reinvent the Wheel</strong></p> <p>I don't have time to extensively research all programs and opportunities, nor to troll the frequent <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/index.php">flyer talk forums</a> for deals. As an answer to this, you can enroll in various membership programs such as the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">Travel Hacking Cartel</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/06/financial-travel-tip-83-frequent-flyer-mile-accumulation-for-canadians/">Canadian Freeflyers</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.firstclassflyer.com/">First Class Flyer</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/06/financial-travel-tip-85-the-ultimate-guide-to-frequent-flyer-miles/">The Ultimate Guide to Frequent Flyer Miles</a> to provide a knowledge base, and deliver new deals to your inbox.</p> <p><strong>Get a Credit Card (or Two)</strong></p> <p>I've (cautiously) extolled the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">virtues of credit cards</a> for years now; the main reason being that they are excellent tools for accumulating miles on every dollar you spend.</p> <p>Choose a credit card with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">a plush bonus for signing up</a>, and a program that is one of your chosen focal points for accumulation.</p> <p>Some people apply ruthlessly for credit cards offering sign-up bonuses, then cancel the cards accordingly. Use this strategy with caution (don't overextend your credit, don't get yourself into unnecessary debt, and keep an eye on your credit score); but when done successfully you can earn mega-miles.</p> <p><strong>Go Shopping</strong></p> <p>This isn't a carte blanche order. But if you need to buy something (right down to gas and groceries), make sure you're earning for it. Some airline programs have online shopping malls (allowing you to earn various amounts per dollar spent across a huge variety of stores), and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-travel-but-hate-airline-miles-try-amexs-blue-sky-preferred">some credit cards provide bonus miles for purchases</a> in certain retail categories.</p> <p>Look for retailers offering mileage bonus deals, and pay for the item with your reward miles credit card to maximize your earnings.</p> <p><strong>Go Flying</strong></p> <p>Although the end-game is usually to fly for free (or almost free) &mdash; and ideally <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2010/06/my-business-class-travel-adventures-and-using-frequent-flyer-miles/">in business class or higher</a>, sometimes you have to fly somewhere and you don't have the miles to do it.</p> <p>Or, if you're an eager accumulator, maybe you're interested in doing a &quot;mileage run&quot; and flying a route offering a special mileage deal.</p> <p>Choose airlines that help you earn miles in one of your focal programs (remember, sometimes you can fly with one airline and earn with another), and sometimes a marginally more expensive flight with an accumulating airline beats out a slightly cheaper flight with a budget airline that earns you no miles.</p> <p><strong>Remember Hotels</strong></p> <p>Hotel rewards programs not only offer valuable points and bonuses for staying, but regular promotions that earn you miles without needing to book anything. Some hotel points are also transferrable to airline miles at good value.</p> <h2>Redeeming Miles</h2> <p>This is what it's ultimately about. You've earned the miles, and you want to use them for travel.</p> <p><strong>Remember Hotels (Again)</strong></p> <p>Using points towards stays can be quite lucrative. Remember to engineer your accumulation strategy towards your desired travel goals. You can earn miles for redemption towards flights and hotels (and even car rentals) to further cut your travel costs.</p> <p><strong>Don't Get Sidetracked</strong></p> <p>Some rewards programs offer goods, certificates, and services in exchange for your points. Most of the time, the value per mile is atrocious for these items; just buy the blender for cash &mdash; you'll pay exponentially more for it if you use miles.</p> <p><strong>Flying for Miles and Cash</strong></p> <p>If you don't have enough miles for a flight, some airlines allow you to redeem your miles and pay cash to cover the difference. Pay attention to their valuation per mile; sometimes it's worthwhile to pay all cash for this flight and earn miles, using your beefed-up mileage balance for your next flight.</p> <p><strong>Free Flights Aren't Exactly Free</strong></p> <p>Even if miles pay for your &quot;full flight&quot;, you're always on the hook for taxes, fees, and various surcharges. These vary by airline, airport, and route. You can minimize these fees with a little comparative digging.</p> <p><strong>Fly in Style</strong></p> <p>You get much better valuation on your miles when you fly in business class, and on long-haul flights. (And I must say, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2010/06/my-business-class-travel-adventures-and-using-frequent-flyer-miles/">business class is addictive</a>.)</p> <h2>Not in the USA?</h2> <p>There is much griping amongst non-U.S. residents that the best frequent flyer mile deals are exclusive to the United States. And to a point, it's true.</p> <p>But all is not lost for those of us in Canada, Europe, and beyond. Canadians can shorten the learning curve with programs like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.canadianfreeflyers.com/">Canadian Free Flyers</a>, and regardless of where you live, there are deals you can participate in. <a target="_blank" href="http://travelhacking.org/">Travel Hacking Cartel</a> founder Chris Guillebeau surmises that at least 50% of the deals he publishes are applicable internationally, and he extends his free flight guarantee to all his readers &mdash; U.S. residents or not.</p> <p><em>How do navigate the confusing world of airline frequent flyer programs?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Feverything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FEverything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles.jpg&amp;description=Everything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Everything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles.jpg" alt="Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps">Get Started With Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">The Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Deals and Coupons Travel airline miles frequent flyer frequent flyer miles travel travel rewards Mon, 15 Jul 2013 09:48:33 +0000 Nora Dunn 980279 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Started With Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000091889481_Large.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Frugal shoppers often spend a lot of effort looking for discounts worth a few dollars off of the goods they normally purchase. But what I have learned is that far greater bargains are available to those who get serious about earning travel rewards. And while some might consider the world of frequent flyer miles and hotel points to be for those who purchase the most travel, I earn and spend hundreds of thousands of points and miles each year, and I hardly pay anything for my vacations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seeaslo">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>It took me years to learn everything I know about reward travel with points and miles, but my goal is to help you get started today with four simple steps.</p> <h2>Step 1: Organize Your Points and Miles</h2> <p>If you use a reward credit card, or have ever traveled anywhere, you probably have more than a few accounts with points and miles. But do you know how many accounts do you have, what their balances are, and when or if they expire? If this sounds overwhelming to you, don't worry! There are several websites designed to make this task easy. I use <a href="http://www.awardwallet.com/">Award Wallet</a> (free with an optional subscription), but others include <a href="https://www.points.com/">Points.com</a> and <a href="https://www.usingmiles.com/">usingmiles.com</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/perform-a-credit-card-rewards-annual-review?ref=seealso">Perform a Credit Card Rewards Annual Review</a>)</p> <h2>Step 2: Learn More About Your Favorite Program</h2> <p>If you are interested in reward travel, you probably already have a favorite airline, hotel, or credit card program. Rather than trying to learn about the programs of all of their competitors, start by discovering something new about the one program you use the most. Simply visit their website, explore of the program's features, and find out if they are currently offering any promotions. Focus on all of the ways to earn points or miles, as well as the different options for redeeming them. Also, check out what it takes to become an &quot;elite&quot; member in their program and how far away you are from the next level. Finally, if you Google the name of program, you can tap into a wealth of knowledge published in blogs and on message boards.</p> <h2>Step 3: Set Some Reachable Goals</h2> <p>Hold off planning an around-the-world trip in first class and start by focusing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-scoring-a-frequent-flyer-rewards-flight?ref=internal">on a more modest vacation</a>. If you already have some points and miles, you might look at planning a trip later this year, but if you are starting from scratch, think about looking forward to next year.</p> <p>Why should you plan so far ahead? First, you will need to accumulate enough points and miles for the trip, and that can take time. But also, it can be very challenging to find available reward seats on most airlines, and the more time you have to plan your trip, the better. On the other hand, less time is necessary when you can be very flexible with the dates you want to travel and you choice of destination.</p> <h2>Step 4: Start Earning Miles Today</h2> <p>There is no need to pack your bags, as there are plenty of ways to earn points and miles at home. The easiest way to do so is with a credit card, but this may not be the right choice for everyone. Those who are carrying a balance on their credit card should always be focused on finding the card with the lowest possible interest rate, and unfortunately that is not going to be a rewards card. And the last thing you need when you are trying to get out of debt is a product that <em>rewards</em> you for spending <em>more</em>.</p> <p>But those without credit card debt should be earning as many miles as possible from their cards!</p> <h2>Choosing the Right Credit Card</h2> <p>For beginners, the best credit card is going to have a great bonus offer while earning points or miles that are easy to redeem. Check out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal">co-branded cards of your favorite airline</a> and hotel program. Decide if your spending falls into the categories where they offer bonus rewards for. Also check their travel perks and benefits. Those can be even more valuable than travel rewards earned through your purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=seealso">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <p>Cards that offer more flexibility in travel redemption might offer less value and travel perks, but gives you more options for booking travel. See our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=seealso">guide on choosing the perfect travel rewards credit card</a>.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fget-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FGet%20Started%20With%20Travel%20Rewards%20in%204%20Simple%20Steps.jpg&amp;description=Get%20Started%20With%20Travel%20Rewards%20in%204%20Simple%20Steps" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Get%20Started%20With%20Travel%20Rewards%20in%204%20Simple%20Steps.jpg" alt="Get Started With Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards">Using Airline Credit Cards to Score Premium Travel Awards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/advanced-airline-miles-collection-tricks-for-high-flyers">Advanced Airline Miles Collection Tricks for High Flyers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline miles frequent flyer miles travel rewards Tue, 11 Jun 2013 10:24:33 +0000 Jason Steele 977968 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couples-vacation-beach.jpg" alt="Couple on the beach" title="Couple on the beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are few things as alluring as the promise of free travel to exotic destinations. The banks know this, and have long offered travel rewards to customers for using their credit cards. In turn, savvy credit card users maximize their rewards to travel in comfort and style well beyond their means. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=5x">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <p>Recently, I was explaining this to an European executive sitting next to me in Lufthansa's Airbus A380 business class while returning home from a vacation in Italy. I told him that my family and I could not possibly have paid for our three $7,000 tickets for this flight. But thanks to my travel rewards credit cards, my journey was all but free after some taxes and fees. Through careful selection and use of rewards, these kinds of trips have become an annual occurrence for my family. While there are innumerable ideas, tips, and tricks to be gleaned from endless hours of research, my mission is to do the work for you and deliver only the most valuable advice to busy people who lack the time and patience to discover and decipher these deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you?ref=5x">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Card for you</a>)</p> <h2>Choosing The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</h2> <p>It would be nice to pick the best travel reward cards in a purely empirical manner, the way one would choose a card with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=5x">lowest interest rate</a>. Unfortunately, each travel rewards card offers a unique mix of benefits and drawbacks, and rarely is one card ideally suited for everyone's travel aspirations. I have read thousands of blog and forum posts, written hundreds of credit card reviews, and personally held dozens of different travel rewards cards over the last twenty years. In the end, I judge these cards based on three criteria:</p> <ul> <li><b>Value: </b>The return in cents per dollar spent</li> <li><b>Flexibility:</b> Cards that offer the most opportunities for redemptions &mdash; no blackout dates, a variety of partners, etc.</li> <li><b>Costs And Fees:</b> If fees are justified by its rewards and benefits</li> </ul> <p>Of all the travel rewards cards currently offered, these are the ones I find most rewarding.</p> <h2>Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</h2> <p><img src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/chase-sapphire-preferred-card-110716.png" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton" target=" rel=" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>Cardholders of the <a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> are able to transfer their points to Chase travel partners at full value &mdash; 1,000 Chase points equal 1,000 partner miles/points. For most cards, some value gets lost during the transfer. Or get 20% off travel booked through Chase's site. Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants &amp; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. There are no foreign transaction fees. The intro annual fee is $0 the first year, then $95.</p> <p><strong>Bonus offer:</strong> Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That&rsquo;s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards&reg;. Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.</p> <p><strong><a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Bank of America&reg; Travel Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img src="http://www.yceml.net/0832/12994368-1501687527833" alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" alt="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" title="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" target="_blank" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname">Bank of America&reg; Travel Rewards Credit Card</a> offers 1.5 points per $1 spent on every purchase, with no limit to the points you can earn and no expiration date on the points. If you're a Bank of America&reg; customer, you get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active checking or savings account with Bank of America. Points can be redeemed as a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more with no blackout dates and restrictions. This card has <strong>no annual fee</strong> and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong>Online exclusive bonus offer</strong>: Get 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1000 in purchases in the first 90 days &mdash; redeemable for a $200 statement credit that you can put towards travel purchases.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit;"><a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Bank of America&reg; Travel Rewards Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/9cac7606371ffe30a1bd49c860235e9c.png" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton" title="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" alt="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a> is a simple travel rewards card that offers two miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Earn unlimited miles and redeem them for statement credit on travel purchases, allowing you to choose any airline or hotel, <em>and</em> earn miles on your travel rewards. There is no annual fee for the first year. It's $59 thereafter.</p> <p><strong>Bonus offer:</strong> Get a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $400 in travel.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/d7a443fe113188ab241309d0eb0c2e33.png" alt="" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" alt="The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express" title="The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=11&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=11&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</a> is best for the frequent flyer who can appreciate free access to over 1,000 airport lounges in the American Express Global Lounge Collection<sup>SM</sup>. Other benefits of this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-premium-credit-cards?ref=5x">premium card</a> include a $200 annual airline fee credit, $75 hotel credit, fee credit towards an application for the Global Entry program or TSA PreCheck, complimentary Hilton Honors and SPG Gold Status upon enrollment, and up to $200 savings on Uber annually. Cardholders earn points in the American Express Membership Rewards program with their purchases &mdash; 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com, and 1X point on other eligible purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees. There is a $550 annual fee for this charge card. Terms apply. <a href="https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/personal-card-application/terms/platinum-charge-card/26129-10-0/?print#terms-details" target="_blank">See rates and fees.</a></p> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards&reg; points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=11&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/8d827e50e648247b0a6906327928357a.png" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=33&amp;pp=5&amp;uv= xcardbutton" title="Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card" alt="Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=33&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');">Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a> offers unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase. While the rewards are lower, the APR range is also lower than most cards (0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.99% - 22.99% variable APR after that). There are no foreign transaction fees and <strong>no annual fee</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> 20,000 one-time bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening &mdash; equal to $200 in travel!</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=33&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');">Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Conclusions</h2> <p>No discussion of rewards credit cards is complete without the warning that these products are only best for those who always pay their balances in full and never incur interest. Everyone else should use the card with the lowest APR. That said, if you do pay your balance off every month, and you love to travel, then you have much to gain by applying for and using one of these top travel rewards cards. Join me in the exciting world of those who regularly travel for free.</p> <p><em>My wife and daughter on one of our trips earned through travel rewards cards</em>:</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/my-family-on-vacation.jpg" width="605" height="405" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-guide"><strong>Back to the Credit Card Guide</strong></a></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ftop-5-travel-reward-credit-cards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Best%20Travel%20Reward%20Credit%20Cards.jpg&amp;description=5%20Best%20Travel%20Reward%20Credit%20Cards" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Best%20Travel%20Reward%20Credit%20Cards.jpg" alt="5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">The Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">The Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel best credit cards credit card rewards travel rewards Fri, 05 Apr 2013 09:48:24 +0000 Jason Steele 775181 at http://www.wisebread.com