How to Travel for FREE

Updated: Mar 2

Free travel is amazing; but free cash is impossible to ignore. After all, who wouldn’t want to chart the globe, experiencing different cultures and landscapes across the world; and earn money while doing it??

In this post you're going to learn the basics behind earning free cash and free travel by maximizing credit card rewards, including:

  • Which credit cards offer the best rewards

  • Creative ways of acquiring airline miles through loyalty programs

  • How to redeem your credit card points for maximum gain

Table of Contents

Video: How to Travel for Free


What are Reward Points?

Which Credit Cards Offer the Best Rewards?

How Do I Earn Reward Points?

Ways to Exploit Credit Card Rewards

Factors Affecting Reward Points

What to Remember about Reward Points

How Can I Redeem Reward Points?

How to Travel for Free using Rewards

Choosing the Best Reward Cards

Using Online Portals to Get the Best Discount

Transferring Points to Loyalty Program

Bottom Line




‘Travel is expensive,’ you may say. But what if we told you that there’s a way to travel for free and actually earn money while you're on the road?

You might be wondering whether or not this is even possible. However, it might surprise you to learn that you can plan the trip of your dreams by cleverly using of travel credit cards that earn discounts and rewards.

With the right card, you can use the points to travel at a considerable discount. In some instances, it might even be possible to secure free nights at top-rated hotels or free airline tickets. Here’s a look at how to earn free travel.

What are Reward Points?

Banks have initiated the concept of credit card reward points to attract more customers and encourage them to use their credit cards for purchases. While some cards simply charge interest for using their card, others issue incentives in the form of rewards.

These days, some credit cards issued by banks come with reward points, enabling customers to earn discounts on purchases made with these credit cards.

Once a customer accumulates a specified number of points in the reward program, he or she can redeem those points for various benefits, including air miles, hotel vouchers, and cashback on future purchases. Typically, higher-value purchases yield more points than smaller value ones.

For instance, if you buy a new TV on your credit card, you’ll earn more points than if you use the same card for grocery payments. You can redeem the points later or exchange them for rewards.

Credit Card Rewards

Generally, rewards fall into one of three groups: points, cash, or miles. While cash rewards can help decrease your credit card balance, points and miles can earn you free trips.

Point Rewards

Point rewards depend on the amount you spend. For instance, you might earn a point for each dollar spent with that credit card. Some cards offer double or triple points when you use their card to make travel-related purchases like hotels and rental cars. Depending on the card, it might also be possible to redeem your reward points for cash or gift cards.

Redeeming points for gift cards might give you more for your money since numerous merchant partners give between 10% and 20% off the gift card cost. Examples of these reward cards include hotel and auto reward cards.

Cash Rewards

These are the easiest to use and most straightforward. However, they don’t automatically result in cash. Keep in mind that some programs permit you to redeem cash rewards only as a credit to a user’s account. The rewards that are paid out as a statement credit decrease your balance. However, the redemption doesn’t count as an account payment.

Other credit cards give users the option to cash in their rewards for a direct bank deposit or a check. It might also be possible to convert cash rewards to gift cards. Just know that a minimum redemption amount, or a prerequisite to redeem rewards in some increments, may exist.

Travel Rewards

Travel reward cards earn card users miles, which they can transfer into airline tickets. The number of miles users earn differs by credit cards and the number of miles needed to buy a flight differs from airline to airline. It might even be possible to exchange miles between two airline's frequent flyer programs. However, you might lose some points in the process.

When comparing travel reward programs, it's important to take business alliances into account. For example, American Airlines is a member of the OneWorld alliance, which includes other airlines such as Quanta, British Airways, Alaska Airlines, and 10 others. Delta and United also are part of similar alliances.

These alliances allow you to accumulate air miles with one airline and redeem them with another.

Flat versus Tiered Rewards

Generally, the structure of reward programs can be flat or tiered. The former structure means that you’ll earn a flat reward rate on all purchases. For example, your credit card might pay a 3% cashback reward or three points for every dollar spent.

The latter structure implies that you might earn rewards in various amounts depending on different spending categories. For instance, some travel cards earn users greater rewards on travel expenses and smaller rewards on other forms of spending.

Benefits of Credit Card Reward Points

You can redeem credit card points for various things, including: