Whether you’re a frequent flier or occasional traveler, after using travel reward credit cards for a while you might suddenly find that you have lots of miles and rewards to redeem. Of course, the first step is to always ensure you sign up to the best credit card for travel, but once you’ve done that, how can you make sure you’re getting the most out of what’s on offer?
Maximising potential savings and benefits can take quite a bit of planning and organization but we’ve put together these top tips to help you get the most value out of your reward miles and points.
Savvy savers will testify that stopovers and open jaws are a great way for organized travelers to save cash.
An open jaw ticket refers to a scenario where you fly from numerous destinations (i.e. point A to point B, then back to point A from point C). What you’ll come to realize is that gaps appear in the middle of the itinerary — which is ideal if you’re planning on a road trip.
If you decided to pay for this journey with cash instead of rewards, it would cost you a significant amount when actually you should be a bit wiser.
For example, a return ticket from New York to London might be approximately 60,000 points. However, an open jaw flight that includes travel from New York to London + Barcelona to New York is also equivalent to 60,000 points- a no-brainer!
A stopover is defined by any stop in a flight itinerary that lasts for a duration of more than 24 hours.
Stopovers give you time to leave the airport and explore your destination and stopovers can last for a week, month, or even a year! For example, let’s assume you plan a holiday to Paris, but you’ve always wanted to see Rome. You can add an additional stopover in Rome to your rewards itinerary and it won’t cost you any extra points.
Rewards for Higher Value Flights
Lots of regular travelers rack up large amounts of rewards miles but then waste them by redeeming them for the wrong purchases. Classically, one of the most common mistakes made is redeeming rewards for short-distance domestic flights.
In most cases, a long-distance international flight will actually cost the same, or just slightly more in points and miles, as a long-haul domestic outing… but the cash value for an international flight is often more than double a domestic one.
Sometimes it’s best to just pay cash for the short trips and save your rewards for the next time you plan to leave the country.
Make Purchases with the Right Cards
With credit cards offering unique rewards, offers, and promotions it pays to do your research to establish the best card for your travel requirements. Each card is its own tool and using them appropriately will allow you to get the most rewards for your purchases.
For example, making purchases via a card that offers bonus rewards at supermarkets can give offer you added value or you may want to apply for a credit card that enables you to maximize rewards on things like gas so you can make the most from that monthly expense.