I want to fill you in on our recent adventure. This isn’t another adventure crisscrossing the globe, but rather, an adventure that involves dipping our toes into the popular travel rewards pool. This adventure has rewarded us (pun intended) 🙂 with travel perks that have allowed us to continue the
endless pursuit of our Bucket List adventures.
Want to earn a FREE Hotel stay?
How about a $500 account credit? (That’s basically a flight to Hawaii!)
Or would you rather a FREE flight to anywhere in the world?
How about ALL of them? (Go BIG or go home, right?)
I know it sounds like this post is too good to be true, but I promise you, it’s not. 🙂 Consider this to be one of my best travel tips, from one travel-lover to another.
Years ago, I decided to apply for a travel credit card in order to earn the travel rewards. It was simple: instead of paying in cash or with a debit card, I used my credit card; and each time I used that card, I earned reward points. I’ve continued to use this card for our travel purchases over the years, and to date I’ve earned a free flight in Europe, thousands of dollars in account credits, and too many Purchase Erasers to track (used towards vacation expenses like taxis, car rentals, excursions, and more).
Needless to say, redeeming travel rewards has worked very well for us; and the more I earn, the more I find myself researching opportunities to earn even more.
However, before we get too far down this path, I need to share our #1 travel rule: We always pay off our vacation before we ever head for the departure gate. This rule has allowed us to travel the world without racking up one penny in debt. While we use credit cards to make our travel purchases, we always immediately pay off the charges to avoid paying any interest.
Leveling Up with New Card Offers
A few summers ago, I received a new credit card offer in the mail that changed how we viewed travel rewards. The offer stated that I could earn 5 free nights at a hotel of my choosing if I spent $1,000 within the first three months. (Who would ever turn down a free hotel on their next vacation? Nobody. That’s who). I was instantly intrigued, and after thoroughly reviewing the deal, I applied for the card.
At that moment, Cody and I took our rewards to the next level.
To be honest, the timing was perfect. We had just started planning our annual Christmas vacation and I knew that we would be making a decent amount of travel purchases over the next couple of months. So after opening the new account, I made our travel purchases as planned, and then paid off the charges immediately. Simply by using my new card (as opposed to my other travel card) I not only accrued regular reward points but I also qualified for the additional bonus which included the free hotel stay (we ended up using this reward in Maui).
Fast forward to last summer. A few weeks before we left to Mo’orea I received an offer from Delta which included a very generous new card offer with the same kind of terms (open up a credit card, spend a certain amount of money within the first three months, earn your reward. Ba-da-bing, Ba-da-Boom). We had already paid the deposit on our dreamy bungalow months before, however we needed to pay the remaining balance upon our arrival at the Hilton. So, instead of bringing along a giant bag of French Pacific Francs, I opened the new account, put the hotel balance on the new card, and then immediately paid off the credit card. And BOOM. I earned enough bonus miles to fly to our next destination for FREE. All thanks to a simple swipe of my card. Turks & Caicos, here we come! 🙂
Now days, I always review the new credit card offers before throwing them into the shred bin. It’s important to note that if you want to try this for yourself, pay attention to the annual fees, cancellation penalties, and other card details, and then decide whether or not the specific card will work for you. This system may not work for everyone, however, we’ve found it to be a successful way to add even more travel to our lives.
And because we’ve saved so much money on our travels this year we were able to add another Bucket List destination to our 2017 plans: Bonjour Paris! We’ll see you soon!