traveler with carry-on holding credit card

How to Use Credit Card Points for Cheaper Travel

There are plenty of credit cards offering travel rewards and benefits. But how do you choose the right one, get the most out of your rewards, and book cheaper travel? Keep reading for tips.

There are plenty of credit cards offering travel rewards and benefits. Two popular options are Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture X. However, it's essential to research and compare different options before choosing the right credit card for you.

Whether you choose one or another, earning and spending points work similarly. Keep reading to learn how to make the most of your travel rewards program and credit card.

Make Sure the Annual Fee Is Worth It

Consider whether the rewards and benefits offset the annual fee when choosing a credit card. Some credit cards offer great rewards and benefits that can offset the yearly fee, while others may need to offer more value to justify it.

Typically, the best credit cards for cheaper travel offer a backend portal that allows you to redeem points for travel expenses like flights, hotels, and car rentals at a discounted rate. You can also view your point balance, track your spending, and manage your account settings.

Booking through this portal can earn you more points or cash back, giving you more value for your money. This alone can justify the annual fee, especially if you're a frequent traveler and tend to spend a significant amount on travel expenses throughout the year.

Alternatively, no-fee cards may be better for you, though they may have fewer rewards or benefits.

Pro Tip | Search Google Flights for Cheapest Fares

If you plan to use credit card points for affordable travel, we suggest opening a tab for Google Flights, especially if you have flexible travel dates. Some credit card portals might not show the fare in their calendar view, making it difficult to compare prices. Using Google Flights, you can easily search for the cheapest flights and redeem your credit card points for those flights on the credit card portal. This way, you can snag the best deal.

How Much to Spend for Generating Thousands of Points?

If you're wondering how much you should spend to earn thousands of points, the answer depends on several factors.

First, you need to determine the types of points you want to accumulate. Are you looking to earn frequent flyer miles, hotel points, credit card rewards, or something else? Each type of point has its own value, and the cost of generating them can vary significantly.

Second, you need to consider your spending habits and creditworthiness. Some rewards programs require spending a certain amount before earning points, while others have no minimum spending requirements. Additionally, some rewards programs may require a high credit score or a certain income level to be eligible.

Finally, you need to look at the cost of earning points. Some rewards programs offer one point for every dollar spent, while others may offer more or less depending on the program. We recommend calculating the cost per point and comparing it across different programs to determine which one offers the best value for your money.

How to Avoid Credit Card Debt While Accumulating Points

Credit card rewards programs are great for earning points, miles, or cashback on purchases. However, if you're not careful, accumulating credit card debt can quickly outweigh any benefits of your rewards program. Here are some tips to help you avoid credit card debt while still earning points:

  1. Use your credit card for necessary purchases only

Avoid using your credit card for impulse buys or unnecessary purchases. Stick to using it for bills or purchases you have already budgeted for.

  1. Pay your balance in full each month

This is one of the most important rules to follow. By paying your balance in full each month, you avoid paying interest and any additional fees that come with carrying a balance.

  1. Set up automatic payments

Setting up automatic payments ensures you will never miss a payment and will help you stay on top of your finances.

  1. Keep track of your spending

Make sure to keep track of your spending so that you stay within your budget. You can use budgeting apps like PocketGuard and EveryDollar or spreadsheets to help you keep track.

  1. Choose a card with a low-interest rate

Choose a card with a low-interest rate and check for balance transfer offers like 0% APR for one year or low transfer fees to save money and pay off your balance faster.

Following these tips can maximize your credit card rewards while avoiding debt. Remember, the key is to use your credit card responsibly and always stay within your means.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Vs. Capital One Venture X

Sapphire Preferred and Venture X are popular credit cards offering great travel rewards. While both cards have similarities, they also have some differences that set them apart.

Here's a side-by-side comparison:

travel credit cards comparison table

Based on the above comparison, it appears that the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card has a slightly lower sign-on bonus compared to the Capital One Venture X card, though both amounts can be redeemed for $750 in travel.

Another difference is that the Chase card offers more rewards for dining and grocery purchases, while the Capital One card offers more rewards for travel-related purchases.

Additionally, both cards offer various benefits such as statement credits for hotel stays and no foreign transaction fees, but the Capital One card also includes access to airport lounges and a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Make Sure the Rewards Match Your Lifestyle

When selecting a credit card, ensure the rewards align with your lifestyle and spending habits. For example, if you're a foodie who prefers unique Airbnb stays over hotels, a card that offers rewards for dining out may be more beneficial to you than one that rewards hotel stays.

Similarly, if you enjoy traveling to cities that are walkable and have good public transportation, a card that provides credit toward rideshares may be more valuable to you than a card that offers discounts or points for car rentals.

There's a lot of fine print to read, but trust us — once you get through it all, you'll be glad you did. Understand all the terms and conditions before agreeing to anything, and take your time to review every detail carefully.

For more travel tips and tricks, check out the rest of our Gravel Travels blog.

Laisser un commentaire

Tous les commentaires sont modérés avant d'être publiés.

Ce site est protégé par reCAPTCHA, et la Politique de confidentialité et les Conditions d'utilisation de Google s'appliquent.