How to Maximize Your Travel Budget
The great thing about traveling is that it doesn’t always require money! Thanks to credit card companies who have agreements with airlines and hotel chains you can fly to your destination and stay in 5 star accommodations completely for free. Here I’ve made a list of my favorite credit cards & points programs and how to leverage your credit card perks to get to the best destinations.
SPG Credit Card – I use this card more than any other. Earn free nights at any of the SPG properties which include the W, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Westin, Le Meridien plus many more. Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees. They also offer specials such as getting the 5th night free and 3X points for charges spent on their properties using your SPG card. Book your SPG stay anywhere in the world with points.
Chase United Credit Card – Earn points for ever dollar spent plus triple points when using this card to book united flights. Between the points earned from your spending in addition to the miles earned from your frequent flyer account, they start to add up quickly. When you first open your account, you can earn a bonus of up to 30k miles when you spend the required amount within a certain time limit. This card also has no foreign transaction fees, offers free checked bags plus priority boarding.
Southwest Rapid Rewards – I don’t have the Southwest credit card, but I love collecting miles through their Rapid Rewards program. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flown for free between Los Angeles and San Francisco. They add up quickly and are easy to redeem for a free flight. Southwest also offers no change fees and free checked baggage.
I am always sure to sign up for frequent flyer programs with every airline I fly. They are free to sign up for and add up quickly! United’s frequent flyer points can be applied towards flights operated through sister airways such as Lufthansa and Austrian Air. Even if you don’t have enough points for a free flight, you might have enough for an upgrade.
Did you remember to let your banks & credit card companies know that you are going out of the country? A lot of companies have a page you can just submit from your online account so they put a note to allow charges out of the country. If you don’t let them know, it is possible for them to flag the transaction as fraud and freeze your account.