Travelling is something most of us generally enjoy and it would be a complete joy if sometimes it weren’t so expensive. Learning how to take advantage of free travel via your credit cards and other means is a great way to save money on both national and international journeys.
This article looks at some of the best methods to use in order to receive discounted or at times free travel by using credit cards and other known industry tips and tricks. It wont require a calculator to see how much money you could save by using these ideas the next time you go away.
FAQ’s About Free Travel
Earning free travel from credit cards is legitimate business and if you are well behaved enough to not deviate from the borrowing and repayment limits that are required, you can save quite a bit of money doing it. Firstly, know that by doing this it is profitable for all parties involved, so do not feel like you are cheating someone in the pursuit of saving money.
Frequent Flyer Miles
Do you ever feel like airlines should be paying you after you’ve just done a huge long-haul flight round-trip in economy class? I certainly do, which is why frequent flyer miles can help lessen the blow on travel in general. If you haven’t looked at my infographic on the ‘Best Value for Frequent Flyer Points per $1,000 Spent’, then that is a great starting place.
Furthermore, these points don’t have to be spent only on flights because they can be used on everything from free flights and upgrades to car hire, hotel rooms and online shopping too. Qantas frequent flyers for example can fly between Brisbane and Sydney, or Melbourne and Sydney for 8,000 points. Virgin Australia allows Velocity members to upgrade to business class for as little as 4,900 points when buying a flexi fare to Sydney for example.
Spend Air Miles Creatively
Getting the most value for money from frequent flyer mile programs can be a complicated game and most people will usually focus more on the earning side of the equation. Finding the most valuable awards although more complex, can be summarised in one word, ‘partners’. When I say creative, I have seen stories online of people transferring points from a credit card to miles on an airline, so that they can redeem an award from one of those airlines partners.
Upgrading / Getting Bumped
To upgrade in the fashion of getting ‘bumped’ basically means you earn voluntary denied boarding compensation. At times when an aircraft gets oversold, some travellers will volunteer to take a later flight combined with compensation. This is a great money saving trick and all you need to do is book flights that you know are oversold, only take hand luggage and try to be first on the list of volunteers wishing to accept the change when gate agents arrive at the desk.
We are instinctively good at complaining, so why not use this to save money? When a company lets customers down you can earn valuable compensation if cards are played correctly. Poor customer service is common within the airline industry, but those of you who take the time to write a brief but polite email to the travel provider will increase your chances of receiving travel vouchers or flyer miles. It’s worth giving a shot.
Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses
Credit card companies today try so hard to win our business that they trip over themselves to provide the most valuable sign up bonuses. American Express for example are currently offering:
- 100,000 membership reward bonus points.
- $400 travel credit and two complementary airline lounge passes each year.
- 2 membership points per $1 spent.
- Transfer member points to 8 airlines.
- Smartphone screen insurance up to $500, two claims per year.
Whilst this may sound great, this option is only suitable for those who normally maintain an excellent credit and who don’t see these cards as a way to facilitate more spending.