Lounging in a bungalow in Bora Bora or flying first-class to the Maldives may seem out of reach if you’re a budget-conscious traveler, but it’s not! Travel experts and founders of the Million Mile Secrets blog, Emily Jablon and Daraius Dubash, are experts when it comes to utilizing hotel, airline, and credit card rewards. Jablon and Dubash offered these five travel rewards tips that anyone can use to earn what they call “Big Travel with Small Money:”
Set Travel Goals In Advance…Or Be Open To Last Minute Travel
Any big trip requires goals as well as a strategy to reach them. Failing to plan properly can leave a traveler with travel points in different accounts that can’t be used to their full potential. Planning ahead will ensure getting the best deals for your best trip. Another option is waiting until the last minute to travel to destinations on airlines which have flights with unsold seats.
Sign-Up For Major Loyalty Programs For Major Rewards
By applying for hotel and airline loyalty programs you’ll be rewarded for every dollar you spend. There are many different loyalty programs to choose from, so start with the major ones that give you the most for your money. You can always sign-up for more specialized programs later on.
By choosing a credit card that gives you travel points, you will be able to achieve your goals even faster! For anyone new to this, Jablon and Dubash recommend being specific in your research to choose a card that is right for your individual travel goals. For example, if you want to travel to Rome, find out which airline flies there most often for a low amount of miles. Many banks also offer sign-up bonuses of 50,000+ miles, which will give you a head start.
Organization Is Key
Staying organized is crucial if you want to get the most out of your hard earned miles. Pay close attention to spending requirements, payment due dates, and account balances. Keeping your finances organized can help in avoiding lost points, interest, late fees, and accumulating debt.
When The Fee Is Due, Decide Which Credit Card To Keep
Now that you have your best travel cards lined up, met your minimum spending, and earned your sign-up bonus, don’t cancel the card just yet. Not only can this potentially damage your relationship with the bank, but it can also get you blacklisted. If you applied for cards with annual fees, you might want to evaluate whether or not the card is worth keeping after eight to ten months.