Booking your dream vacation for free may sound impossible, but with a good financial plan, you can do it for little to no money at all. A traditional savings approach can be very time consuming, but if you choose the best travel credit card Canada has to offer and if you learn how to make the most of your card, you can considerably speed up the process, and you won’t even have to take unnecessary flights.
Keep on reading as we will reveal a step-by-step guide that will help you earn countless reward points with minimum effort.
1. Find the best travel credit card for your needs
If you are a loyal traveler who always travels with the same airline or who always stays at the same hotel chain, you can look for a credit card that offers rewards for your favorite travel provider. You can also do some research and look for affiliates with loyalty programs that allow you to score points or miles with several carriers, not just one particular airline.
The best credit cards for avid travelers are those that offer consistent sign-up bonus points. However, keep in mind that sign-up points, as well as other bonus points, can be conditioned by a minimum spending amount. For example, a credit card provider can give as much as 50,000 sign up points, but only if you spend a few thousands of dollars within the first few months. Sign up bonus points can sum up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but make sure to check in with the bank regularly to make sure that your expenses are qualified for the rewards system.
2. Don’t be fooled by the reward system
Your main goal should always be to get the best possible price for a travel expense, not just to cash in your reward points. As such, make sure you never pay more for a flight or a booking in points than you would pay for it in cash or credit card.
3. Automate your payments on your travel credit card
Most reward credit cards offer an average of two points for each spent dollar, which can amount to almost 10,000 points per year, just from monthly household bills. Automating your bill payment system will not only score you some extra points, but it will also save you a lot of time, and you can spend that extra free time hunting for more travel deals.
4. Start shopping online
If you are not a fan of online shopping, you might want to reconsider as it offers way more benefits than traditional shopping. Since online stores are cheaper to maintain and manage, most retailers offer numerous rewards to convince you to shop online. From affiliate programs to promo codes, there are several benefits that you can score for your travels, and if you make your purchases with your travel card, you will double your benefits. There are also travel websites that offer loyalty discounts for additional expenses like cosmetics, luggage bags or other related travel items.
5. Make the most of gift cards
Most loyalty rewards systems have partnerships with major retail chains, and they offer bonus points if you buy from those retailers. If you frequently shop from a store, use your travel credit card to buy a gift card from that store and get some bonus points for your average expenses.
6. Don’t underestimate the power of big purchases
If you’re planning on buying something expensive like appliances or even a car, you can pay all or part of your purchase with your travel card, so that you can cash in the reward points that are conditioned by a number of expenses. This usually applies to sign-up bonuses. Another important factor to consider is that many credit card providers offer referral reward points. In other words, if you can convince your spouse or a friend to sign-up with your credit card provider, you will get some extra points. When it comes to big family purchases, you can pay the purchase with several travel cards, thus scoring sign-up points on more than one card.
7. Use your reward points wisely
While you may not be able to use your reward points for all your travel expenses, they can help you save a considerable amount of money. You can use them to book flights, hotels, and car rentals. You can also use them to negotiate a seat upgrade on your next flight. While you can use your points for non-travel expenses, this will diminish their value. As such, if you committed to a travel credit card, try as much as you can to only use your reward points for travel expenses. Different redeeming methods will bring different values for your travel points. For specific travel goals, you can earn about 0.01$, while cash backs and transfers can decrease the value of your points to $0.012.