Travel credit cards, better known as travel reward cards, are mediums through which one can make travel and generic purchases. Once a few reward miles or points are collected, they can be redeemed for rewards such as hotel stays and flight tickets. Furthermore, if one travels often, these travel credit cards can be employed as a financial tool and put to great use. Read further to know more about these cards.
What are the different types of credit card travel points?
There are three main types of credit card reward points, and one must know the difference between them and their redemption options to reduce travel costs.
- Airline miles
Airline miles can be redeemed for cabin upgrades and flight tickets. Furthermore, they can also be used for sporting events and concerts. Usually, these airline miles can be earned by getting co-branded airline credit cards specific to one’s favorite airline. Moreover, one can also transfer flexible travel credit card points or hotel points into the airline’s frequent flyer programs. Hence, one must keep in mind that travel credit cards and airline miles are a way to get free flight tickets and cut travel costs.
- Hotel points
Typically hotel points can be redeemed for stays, room upgrades, food and beverage, and even spa services at specific resorts and hotels. In most cases, hotel points are typically offered by co-branded hotel credit cards. These cards are specific to certain hotels or hotel chains; hence the points collected can only be used at a few handpicked hotels or hotel chains.
- Flexible travel points
Most reward redemption options are offered with flexible travel points. These flexible travel points are usually offered by general travel credit cards, whose various programs have a travel portal through which one can easily employ the collected reward points to buy cruise tickets, flight tickets, hotel stays, vacation packages, and car rentals. In addition, most of these cards also allow one to transfer their points to hotel partners and airlines, giving the customers an increased number of options to choose from.
How to redeem travel credit card points and cut travel costs?
Mostly, travel credit cards offer multiple ways to redeem the points acquired for travel. However, the value of the points will be based on how they are redeemed. So, here are some of the redemption options and their advantages.
- Travel statement credit
When one redeems their points as a travel statement credit, they can book and pay for the traveling expenses with the credit card. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to offset the cost of a trip that has been put on the travel credit card. So, the cardholder must log into their account and request to redeem the acquired points as a statement credit, or they can also choose a specific eligible purchase to be deleted from the statement in exchange for a certain amount of reward points. However, one must know that different programs have a different point redeeming rules for a statement credit.
- Reward programs’ travel portal
In most cases, travel credit cards allow the user to earn flexible travel points/credits. Furthermore, they also offer a special travel portal through which the collected points can be redeemed. This can be done by logging into the account online, visiting the travel portal, and shopping for the upcoming trip. While choosing, the user may come across various options followed by the number of points required to book the service – flight tickets, hotel stays, or vacation packages.
- Transfer to an outside loyalty program
While using the travel credit card, one might notice that the cards offer a long list of transfer partners, through which the reward points can be transferred into the loyalty programs of multiple hotels and airlines. Then, the points can then be redeemed as allowed by the chosen program. This option is incredibly popular among rewards experts due to its potential for high-value redemptions.
How to reduce travel costs with travel credit card points?
As travel credit card points can effectively help cut down travel costs, here are some additional ways through which one can increase the number of points. Some of the options include:
- Find the best travel credit card with the highest welcome bonus
Most travel credit cards offer points for every dollar spent, which may add up over time. However, one of the most convenient ways to collect points or miles is by earning the highest welcome bonus. In some cases, these can be as high as 50,000 points, which can easily translate to about $500 that can be availed for free travel.
- Meet the minimum spending requirement
One of the best ways to reduce travel costs is to meet the minimum spending requirement as quickly as possible. This can be done by reviewing one’s monthly spending and moving some of the transactions to the credit card. These can include monthly subscriptions, groceries, gas, online purchases, and gym memberships.
- Choose the redemption option before the points
One must always plan to get maximum value from the rewards. This can begin as early as deciding what to get with the rewards to help choose the right credit card for everyday purchases and reach the goal quickly.
While redeeming points is fun, one must always consider their wants and needs to make an informed decision.