Jetting around the world for free sounds more than enticing. It sounds like a dream come true. But how do the true jet setters do it? That has been a question on my mind for years – ever since I contracted the travel bug.
In the past, I was a complete failure at racking up travel miles. Then I overheard a lady at the fitness center explaining how she booked a trip to Hawaii for free. Yikes, I want a free to trip to Hawaii too!
I knew right away it was was time to do some research and learn how rewards programs work. I needed to learn where I can use these programs to earn free travel.
Contrary to my past beliefs, rewards programs are not that complicated. You just have to understand how they work. Here’s some tips:
- You have to actually enroll in the rewards programs – In the past I have always skipped over those bold flashing “enroll here” signs and went on about my business. Next time you have a chance to sign up, do it! What harm is there in signing up, even if you never use the program?
- Understand how your rewards program works – You could be earning points when you are not traveling. After you have registered with your frequent flyer or rewards program, learn what companies partner with the program. Most rewards programs are partnered with at least one major credit card company and a list of other retailers, each of which offers points. Check the partners’ web site or the “how you can earn more points” link on most rewards program sites.
- Remember to use the rewards program – You have to use the rewards program to actually get rewarded. When asked if you are part of the rewards program, you have two choices – say yes, or ask for information on their program. Take advantage of that person offering to enroll you in the rewards program. They have your information right in front of them and can enroll you easily.
- Look outside of travel companies for rewards programs – Naturally we would all think that travel rewards come travel companies, however, many consumers use their everyday major credit cards to earn free travel. American Express is just one company that offers an extensive rewards program allowing you earn one point for every dollar that you spend. You can then transfer points to airline or hotel frequent guest programs, or convert them into gift cards to help pay for other expenses.