If you’re planning an upcoming trip, you’ll probably be looking for ways to save money on everything from your flights to your hotel to your car hire. One of the best ways to make big savings when you go away is to sign up to earn travel rewards program. You can quickly save up points that you can then exchange for air miles, hotel stays, upgrades, and car rental.
So how do you get started? Here are some of the best ways to start quickly saving up points for your next trip.
Choose a Credit Card with Great Rewards
When it comes to earning travel rewards, the place to start is with your credit card. Many credit cards now provide points every time you spend money on them. For example, AMEX provides some great rewards, and you can see lots of AMEX airline and hotel transfer partners here.
Some credit cards will earn you particular travel rewards offered by a specific airline or alliance like OneWorld or Star Alliance.
You may find that simply signing up for a credit card can earn you immediate points, but many will provide you with a sign-up bonus, which can sometimes be equal to thousands of reward points. And then every time you spend money on your card you can earn points towards your travels.
Shop via Online Portals
Once you have set yourself up with a credit card—or a few different cards—it’s just a question of shopping in the right places. One good tip to follow is to shop in online portals.
The way this works is that rather than going straight to an online store to do your shopping, check to see whether your credit card or your travel program provides a portal to the store. Visit the store through the portal, and you can earn points when you make a purchase.
You can buy all kinds of things this way, and you’ll be building up your points quickly without losing anything, and it’s a great way to make the most of your points and earn more quickly.
Choose the Right Restaurants to Dine Out
You may find that you are able to earn points even when you go out for a meal. If you enjoy dining out, add this factor into your decision-making process. Rather than just looking for a great restaurant, find one that will help you to earn points when you pay for your meal on your credit card.
There are various programs provided by big airlines in the United States, such as Delta, US Airways, and others. So do some research and find some great options for eating out.
Choose Your Favorite Alliance
It is worth looking at the various alliances that you can choose from. There are a few big alliances that comprise different airlines, and when you earn points with one of these, you can use them with another.
For example, Star Alliance is one of the biggest, and this comprises airlines all over the world. If you are planning to fly in Europe, you can still use points that you earn in the United States.
It’s best to choose one of these to focus on, so choose your preferred alliance by the airlines that are included. If one alliance has better airlines, opt for this. This is better than spreading out your spending among different alliances. You will get better rewards this way, and it’s better to have 3,000 miles with one alliance than 1,000 with three.
Look Out for Services Where You Can Earn Points
Always be on the lookout for services that you can spend money on and earn air miles at the same time. For example, if you want to sign up to satellite television, you may find that you can earn points by choosing the right company.
This is the same with lots of things, so whenever you want to buy something new, find out whether you can earn points for doing so. Not just by spending on your credit card, but also through special bonuses. You may find that you can get an instant bonus 5,000 points by choosing one service over another.
Follow Airlines on Social Media
Keep an eye out for bonuses. Rewards programs will often have special offers that you can take advantage of in a limited timeframe, and the best way to find out about these is to keep a close eye on the rewards program.
Follow the social media accounts and sign up for their newsletters. Then if a special bonus is announced, you can snap it up quickly and earn some serious points for very little effort.
Earn More Points Starting Today
There are many ways to save money when you travel, but reward programs provide some of the best discounts. You may find that you can save up enough for an entire flight or a few nights in a hotel. So start looking into reward programs now, choose one that looks right for you, and save money on your next trip.
Sofia George can currently be found exploring Asia! She’s a digital nomad who took up full-time travel 18months ago. She writes about travel hacking, travel destinations, and shares various travel tips in her articles.