The best travel reward credit cards provide, not only, a large amount of bonus miles when you sign up and meet the terms of the bonus offer, but also provide a good deal on rewards for everyday purchases for years to come.
Many experienced travelers know that travel rewards miles (or points) are like a currency all of their own that can buy you airline tickets, hotel reservations and even excursion and travel gear (among other perks) sometimes when you need them the most.
The best part about earning travel rewards miles is that you are getting a little perk (a trip to New York City, .Europe or even Australia anyone?) for spending money that you would otherwise already be spending. On top of that, many travel reward credit cards have an introductory bonus offering when you spend a certain amount of money over a certain period of time.
For example, if you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of receiving your card you can get 30,000 bonus air miles! That means, in 90 days you will have 33,000 air miles that you can most likely use for a round-trip flight anywhere in the continental USA! How sweet is that?!?
Here are the Best Travel Reward Credit Cards Currently Offered
Tips On How To Meet The Minimum Spend Amount In Time
Everyone has a different household budget that they are working with. For most people, if you put all of your bills on your credit card each month, have no troubles meeting the required minimums to receive the bonus miles.
For some people, especially if you don’t have multiple cell phone bills, cable TV subscriptions, monthly auto insurance or home insurance premiums to pay, it can be tough to meet the minimum required amount of money spent in the short period of time to receive the bonus miles. For this reason I have put together this list of suggestions (and some sneaky ways) that can help you hit the minimum spend amount in order to receive your 25,000, 30,000 or maybe even 45,000 bonus air miles!
Change ALL of your bills to be paid by this credit card. Even just temporarily so you can receive the big lump sum air mile bonus. Think of any and all standard monthly (or less frequent) expenses that you have to pay anyway. Some of the usual suspects, and largest expenses, are:
- Mortgage or rent (some places let you use credit cards to pay these)
- Home insurance
- Renters insurance
- Auto insurance
- Boat insurance
- Motorcycle insurance
- RV insurance
- ATV insurance
- Cell phone bills
- Cable TV or satellite bills
- hulu and/or Netflix
- Utilities (water, electricity, gas, etc.)
- Eating out and/or entertainment
- Monthly, quarterly or annual subscriptions to:
- Gym membership
- Online communities
- Club memberships
- Charitable donations
- Property taxes
- Private school
If all of the standard expenses that you will incur anyway are not enough to meet the minimum here are some sneaky ways to help get your spending up without being frivolous.
Sneaky Ways To Spend More Without Being Frivolous
- Buy in bulk – If you know that your family uses 6 boxes of Kraft Dinner each month you can look for when KD goes on sale and buy a year’s supply which will help get your spending up during the bonus months and your family has Kraft Dinner for a year.
- Insurance Payments – If you are currently paying your home, auto, boat, RV, etc. insurance in monthly installments you can always call up your insurance broker and ask them to pay the remaining balance in full on your credit card.
- Rent – If you are able to pay your rent on your credit card you could pay the renaming balance of your lease (or just enough months to hit your minimum spend amount to receive your bonus) on your credit card. Trust me, as a landlord myself, your landlord will LOVE you if you do this. One word of cation though… if you pay months in advance you loose your bargaining chip that is withholding rent until repairs or other issues are resolved. If you are going to pay more than the current month’s rent, I suggest you ask your landlord (unless it’s me ;)) for a reduction on your rent in exchange for a lump sum rental payment. The worse that he/she can do is say no… you might as well ask.
- Flip some product – Do you know of a product that you can buy with wholesale pricing and resell for a profit? If you do and you are confident that you will actually turn a profit, consider buying enough of this certain product to resell on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist or even on your own blog or eCommerce website.
- Home renovation – Have you always wanted to lay new tiles in the master bathroom but have been putting it off? The added bonus of the lump sum air miles might be just enough of a incentive to do the renovation now instead of putting it off for another year. Plus, after you lay the tiles you will likely want to take a free flight somewhere as a reward as laying tiles can be hard on your body!
- Pay yourself – Did you know that you can send yourself money through many different payment processors these days? PayPal is the obvious choice but you could also use Square if you so desire. This will cost you the transaction fee (2.9% plus $0.30 for PayPal and 2.75% for Square) but you will be able to charge a large amount of money on your credit card and recoup it on the other end. For example, if you need to spend $1,000 to hit your spending requirement you could send yourself $1,000 via PayPal which would cost you $29.30. Just remember, that small cost of under $30 could be just the ticket (pun intended) you need to get 25,000 bonus air miles, which is typically enough for a round-trip domestic flight.
- Become a prepper – Okay, I’m not suggesting that you go to the extremes like we all have seen on that reality show that spotlights preppers and what they do to prepare for disasters. I do have to say that it does make sense to have enough water and non-perishable food on hand when a disaster strikes or is just looming as store shelves tend to go bare very quickly when fear sets in. A big supply of bottled water and non-perishable food that you can store in your home can provide peace of mind an potentially a free flight as well.
- Invest in yourself – Have you always wanted to take a course on starting a blog or your own business? This just might be the time to invest in yourself (or a loved one) to help you reach the minimum spend to get those travel rewards bonus miles.
Spending Your Travel Reward Bonus Miles
I have been a long time collector of air miles and, between myself and my family, we have more air miles than we know what to do with. This is a good problem to have in my opinion.
Whenever any of us travel we typically compare the true cash cost to fly vs. the reward travel cost. What I mean by this is we compare the price that we can fly for on expedia.com vs. how many air miles it would cost to fly to the same destination.
One thing you will learn, as you become a savvy credit card rewards miles collector, is that there are times when 25,000 air miles can get you on a flight when the actual cash dollar amount of the flight is over $1,000 where as other times it might only be $300. It’s well wroth it to compare the air miles price to the cash price each time you’re looking to book a rewards flight.
Personally, I won’t spend 25,000 air miles on a flight unless the dollar amount to book the flight is over $600. But, that’s just me. You will have to decide for yourself what your dollar to miles threshold needs to be but having a large air miles “bank account” can provide freedom that you might not otherwise enjoy simply because you know that booking a flight will only cost you the taxes and fees associated with that flight rather than the entire cash amount out of your pocket.