Hey lovelies! Today I have a special post for you from a trusted expert when it comes to Travel and hacking the credit card reward system. Jason Steele is the writer behind CompareCards.com which helps people figure out which credit cards are best for rewards and perks. Over the years my husband E and I have gotten into the Credit Card game (in a responsible way, of course) and sites like Jason's have helped us score some major savings on travel and vacations, so I think his info is super valuable. I'll let him take it away — hope you enjoy his insight! xo – Jessica
Have you started thinking about your honeymoon yet? Wedding planning can be so overwhelming, that it's easy to overlook the first exciting adventure of your life together. And unfortunately, some couples feel that they are unable to afford their ideal honeymoon due to their wedding expenses, leaving them feeling forced to postpone their honeymoons or skip them altogether.
But it doesn't have to be this way. There are numerous tricks that so-called travel hackers have discovered that can be used to bring the cost of your dream trip down to earth, and today I'm going to share with you some of those insider tips.
Gather your airline miles
The ultimate way to save money on travel is to use points and miles to book your trip, rather than dollars. However, this strategy is not as simple as it may seem. First, you will want to take inventory of the airline miles that you and your fiancé have available, and see where they will get you on the airline's award chart. Although you can't practically pool your airline miles into a single account, you can always book awards in other people's names for no additional cost. So if mom, dad, or any other supporting friends or family are willing to let you use their miles, it can make a huge difference. And since most programs allow you to book one-way award flights, the two of you could conceivably travel round trip with miles gathered from up to four different sources.
If you are just short of the miles you need, you may consider signing up for a travel rewards credit card, just to receive the sign-up bonus. Travel hackers love this trick since many issuers of airline mileage cards are willing to offer you 50,000 miles or more when you sign up for their card. Most of the cards have a minimum spending requirement, which you may be able to quickly meet when you charge some of your wedding expenses. However, it's important to note that signing up for new credit cards is only a smart move when you plan on avoiding interest by paying each month's statement balance in full.
Finding award seats
The biggest drawback to using airline miles is that these programs will limit the number of award seats offered at the lowest mileage levels. Nevertheless, there are ways that travel hackers have found to uncover the best rewards. First, do your research and find out which partners you can redeem your miles for, and realize that all of these partner award seats will not be visible online. Therefore, you will have to call the airline, and may have to use other resources to find these hidden partner awards. And if finding all of these tricks is a little overwhelming, there are services available that were specifically created to help you book award flights. Think of them as hackers for hire.
Don't forget hotel points
Thankfully, hotel points are much easier to use than airline miles, as many programs offer award nights for any unsold room. And just as with airline miles, most programs allow members to book awards in the name of others, giving you another opportunity to pool your resources. Likewise, there are many hotel rewards credit cards that offer free night stays as a sign-up bonus. So if you have a property in mind that is part of a hotel rewards program, you and your fiancé can use credit card rewards to quickly earn enough points to pay for several nights.
Your honeymoon is not just a fun vacation, but a symbol of your new journey together as a married couple. By thinking like a travel hacker, the two of you can plan the trip of your dreams at an affordable price.