“If it’s free, it’s for me.”
That’s usually my motto. Quite frankly, it should be everyone’s. Why pay for something when you don’t have to? While some Free Travel items are easy to get with coupons and BOGO offers, others take a little more research.
When we’re talking about things more expensive than a bottle of ketchup, it’s worth putting in the time and effort necessary to save some money. That’s especially true when traveling with the family.
Did you know you could get flights for free? What about a free night at a hotel? Sounds good, right? Many of these deals are linked to your credit cards. If you’re smart about it, you can score free travel without drowning in debt and ruining your credit score.
1. Frequent Flier/Reward Miles:
This is my favorite way to get free flights for my family. Credit cards with reward miles programs, like Delta SkyMiles, allow you to accumulate points for purchases which translate into miles earned. If you know you are going to pay off the balance the next month, use your card for just about anything to rack up points. Simple everyday things like groceries, gas, and coffee can get you well on your way. Once you get enough miles, you can redeem them for money off flights or entirely free flights. It all depends on how many miles you have. Different cards have different rules, so be sure to know what they are before you book. Some cards only allow you to use a certain number of points per ticket. Nevertheless, you can still save a lot of money. My family of four flew to Myrtle Beach last year for $40 each round trip! Not too shabby!
2. Sign Up Bonuses: Many rewards cards offer sign up bonuses to earn extra miles. For example, one offer may be an extra 30,000 miles when you sign up if you spend $1000 on your card during the first month. You don’t have to go out and splurge. Use your card for everyday things. We all know it’s not hard to spend $1000 a month if you’re feeding and transporting a family of four.
3. Get More Miles by Booking the Longest Distance: If you’re using a frequent flier plan, you can earn more free miles by booking trips with longer distances. Although it may be annoying to have a connecting flight, the money you’ll save the next time around should be worth it.
4. Hotel Rewards Credit Cards: If you thought you could redeem rewards just for air travel, think again. If you’re more of a road trip person, then this type of card may be better for you. You can still earn points by making everyday credit card purchases. Instead of redeeming points for miles, you can trade them in for some free lodging. You just need to decide what hotel chain you like best before choosing your credit card.
5. Sign up for multiple cards: While it may sound a bit exhausting, you can usually get some good deals if you’re willing to sign up for more than one rewards card. This way you can take advantage of more than one bonus. For example, you can maybe get 60,000 bonus points, rather than 30,000. Many times you can transfer the miles earned too.
6. Business credit cards: If you have business expenses or travel for business, then you may want to take advantage of these types of cards. You may be able to rack up points by making simple business supply purchases and then use those points when you want to get away.
In the end, you have to keep your eyes open for deals, and always read the fine print.