International travel is becoming more accessible as airlines and travel companies cater to different interests, personalities, and budgets. Relying on seasonal airline promotions or special travel packages don’t always enable us to get the best vacation experience or travel as often as we would prefer.
Here are a few ways you can take advantage of travel rewards point and miles to travel in style or simply book your next trip for (practically) free.
Invest in a Rewards Credit Card
Credit card companies offer competitive and wide-ranging travel reward credit cards. Popular travel reward credit companies include American Express, Capital One, Chase, and Citi. Depending on the card, points acquired from valid affiliate purchases can be transferred to airlines or hotel chains. You can also earn points when you gas up your car, get your weekly groceries, or indulge in your favorite restaurants. Airline credit cards often offer perks like priority boarding and booking, free checked baggage, and no foreign transaction fees. There are several websites such as nerdwallet.com, thepointsguy.com, or creditkarma.com that provide reviews and tips on credit cards that fit your needs and lifestyle.
Compare offers meticulously.
Buying and booking in advance is always better than doing it so close to your departure. In fact, frequent flyers know that last minute airfare offered miles spike up. The first offer you see is not usually the best you could find. It pays to exert more effort on comparing prices and points because it could give you an idea on which one best suits your requirements.
Travel to lesser-known destinations and off-peak season
Using travel rewards points or airline miles in the high-traffic destinations can be a bit difficult especially if you have specified travel dates. Whether you’re using travel awards miles or travel points to purchase your flight, it is likely hard to book seats to Hawaii, Bangkok, Cancun, or the Carribean. Instead, explore the lesser known vacation spots. Be on the lookout for airlines that just opened or increase new flights. You will likely get your desired vacation on your preferred dates. You might even get a great deal on upgrades. For instance, many Asian airlines have opened increased flights between the US and Asia. You may opt to avail or ongoing promos or increased airline seats to fly to Manila, Coron, Puerto Princesa (Palawan), or Cebu for that much-deserved tropical island getaway.
Use your miles for other purposes
For long-haul trips to Asian destinations like the Philippines, use your reward points or miles to upgrade your cabin from economy to business class for a more comfortable flight. You can also spend them on booking a hotel room, renting a car, or including a stopover to your flight.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask! Airlines and travel companies don’t always post all their offers and travel perks online. Take time to research in travel forums, call/email customer service, or have a chat with the airport staff and hotel desk agents.
Ready to book your next trip? Check out these amazing Philippine destinations and find out how to get there. You can also check out our Travel Partners’ offers for great deals on Philippine hotel and activities packages!