The Power of Rewards: Travel More – Pay Less

The Power of Rewards: Travel More – Pay Less

November 20, 2019

Everyone loves to travel, but the problem is it costs too much! The good news is that more and more companies are offering loyalty reward programs. Use the tips below on the most popular travel services and watch you free points roll in! :)

Airfare: This one is my absolute favorite! There are so many ways to get rewarded on airfare it’s a bit ridicules. I actually get upset if I hear my peers haven’t utilized any of them.

First is a no brainier, airline mileage programs that reward you per mile traveled. After a few flights using your mileage account, you’ll be able to fly in luxury by booking a coach ticket and then using your reward miles for an upgrade to first class or a free one-way ticket. Pro tip: it costs the same amount of reward miles regardless of distance traveled, so save your upgrades for the long haul.

Next, we have credit card mileage bonuses. You’re not going to pay in cash, so charge your ticket with a credit card that offers rewards with your airfare purchase. Some even offer 2-3 reward miles per $1 spent. Pro tip, if your airline of choice has a credit card, use this to purchase airfare and watch your rewards quadruple.

Lodging: As typically your biggest expenditure, lodging a great way to earn rewards!

    If you are staying at a larger hotel chain, hotel loyalty programs are great. With these programs, you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for free nights. Some are so lucrative you can earn a free night every time you stay a few nights. So, if you know where you will be traveling for the year look for a hotel chain that is in the majority of cities in advance and earn points year round. Pro tip, if you’re traveling for work and your company doesn’t use a corporate loyalty program – use your own!

    For smaller hotels or those without loyalty programs (ex: Airbnb), you can still use credit card transaction rewards to earn points based on the amount of money you spend. Look for a credit card that offers 1 reward mile or 1 point per $1 charged. Credit card reward points can be redeemed for travel vouchers or gift certificates similar to airline mileage programs. Pro tip, if you travel to the same location enough, try to get to know the staff. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get a completely upgrade to a nicer room!

    Car Rental: The last easy way to earn free stuff!

      Just like the others, rental car companies have loyalty programs that will earn you free rental days or car class upgrades. Pro tip, if you see a spot for airline loyalty number on your car reservation form, don’t overlook it! Some rental car companies have partnerships with airlines and you’ll earn reward miles just by adding.

      And if you have nothing else, there are always coupons out there for every rental company so at least you can save a few bucks! :)

      Airport Parking: this one is my little hidden gem.

        The majority of travelers don’t park at the airport, they park at locations near the airport for incredible savings. Make sure to do your research first, because a small handful of lots will offer parking loyalty programs that’ll reward you free days. Pro tip, the number of points needed to redeem for a free day will go up during the holidays, but the actual cost will not. Redeem points during off season to maximize savings.

        General Expenses: this is everything from meals to incidentals.

        Make sure your credit card offers reward points or miles for every dollar you spend. Some credit cards will offer more points based on the expense category (travel, grocery, fuel, etc.) and you can choose the right card based on where you spend the most. It’s best to get more than one credit card if you fund multiple large expense categories so you’ll maximize reward potential.  Pro tip, if you travel for work and have the option between reimbursements vs. having a corporate card, go with reimbursements so you get to keep all of the reward points!

        Have any questions on the ones noted above? Did we miss any of the strategies you use?

        Now get out there and start saving! Make sure you pick up your Airhook beforehand and fly in luxury ;)

        Safe and convenient travels!

        The Airhook Team

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