Well guys, you may remember a little while ago I did my first finance-focused post, and you all let me know that you were in fact interested in a dedicated post on tips to accumulate travel points!! To that I say, ask and ye shall receive 🙂 I may not be an expert, but I think I do pretty well considering I literally can’t remember the last time I paid for a flight —
I hope this helps all of you meet your 2018 travel goals a little more quickly & I’ve also included some of my fave travel essentials for you to shop! Please do let me know if any questions! xx
(image source: @homeyohmy)
TIP #1 – Set yourself up with a travel rewards credit card
This may seem obvious, but if not, it’s the MAIN way that I accumulate travel points. I personally use this Aeroplan Rewards card (#notsponsored), because I find the Aeroplan system to work well for me. However, all the major banks have some sort of affiliate or in-house travel card option so I would recommend looking into what your home bank offers (if you’re indifferent to bank and looking for a card, also consider which has the best welcome offer & get a free flight right off the bat!). It’s important to note that I use my credit card for ALL my purchases. A $2 coffee, yeup, credit card. In my mind, why would I use debit and get nothing in return? The trick here is that you have to be disciplined and not use both your credit and debit cards, so this method is not for everyone. BUT, if you can be strict to pay off your balance in full each month, it’s the easiest and smartest way to accumulate travel points fast.
TIP #2 – Be selective with the retailers you frequent
This is another simple way to accumulate travel points fast. I’ll use Aeroplan as the example again, but for instance I only get gas at Esso. That’s because I can use my travel rewards card to pay AND swipe the separate Aeroplan card itself and get double the points on transactions! Most travel reward programs have partner gas stations, grocery store chains and even insurance companies that you are spending money at regularly regardless and should be capitalizing on.
TIP #3 – Be a smart shopper
This is one that is simple also, but I’m actually pretty guilty of forgetting! Check out your travel reward provider’s website for a list of retailers that if you click through to to do your online shopping, you are credited with travel points. For example, if you go directly to the Apple website let’s say, and make an online purchase, you are still getting some points (assuming you’re following tip #1), but had you clicked through from your reward provider’s page to direct you to Apple, you could have gotten bonus ones.
TIP #4 – Check your emails
In my opinion, e-marketing has gotten out of hand. I appreciate a sweet sale as much as the next girl, but no Bath & Body Works I don’t need to know about your hand soap sale at 3AM!! However, keep an eye on emails from your travel rewards program because they can have some good insight about limited-time promos to stack up significant points. They tend to be less frequent too so you won’t be (as) annoyed to open them up and skim.
TIP #5 – Take credit for past flights
I cannot stress this enough, especially for those who perhaps travel for work or have someone else book their flights that don’t know their travel rewards account number. Most rewards companies allow you to submit flight info to receive credit/travel points for flights you took within a certain amount of time that didn’t have a rewards account attached to them at booking. For example, if one of my friends books flights for a group of us travelling together that didn’t have my Aeroplan number, I can go online after the fact (need to wait 14 days past the flight date) and enter some information from my ticket and get my points. Most companies have a deadline as to how old the flights can be (usually within the last 6 months) so log on and get your retroactive points!
TIP #6 – Book flights with affiliate airlines
This should have been mentioned earlier, but obviously look to book flights that are partners of your rewards program or you can’t get anything. Make sure you reference the list too, because for example we took some short flights around when we were in Greece (unplanned, but this girl could not deal with the ferries lol), and I happened to check and realized they were eligible for points after the fact!
TIP #7 – Tell a friend!
Getting all your friends in sync with a points provider is a great way to ensure that when you travel you can all reap the same rewards (literally). It makes group trips more affordable all around, PLUS, if anyone is short on points and you’re super nice, you can ‘transfer’ points to other collectors. Ryan started collecting when we started dating (peer pressure), and now he kills me in the points game and has to lend me the difference all the time, haha!