HOW TO TRAVEL FOR (..almost) FREE

Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact, it can even be almost free!

Signing up for a frequent flyer account with different airlines and accumulating miles every time you fly is a good idea but it will take forever to earn your free ticket.

Did you know that you can earn miles without stepping foot on an airplane?  And much faster too.

Take advantage of the many credit cards out there that provide excellent bonuses for signing up.

My two favorite credit cards are  Citi Advantage Platinum and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

These two cards do not charge foreign transaction fees, provide you with 10%/20% off when you redeem with your points, and allow you to transfer the points over to participating frequent travel programs -airlines and hotels.

Citi / Advantage Platinum

With the 50,000 sign-up bonus miles after spending $3000 in the first 3 months, you can get one international round-trip ticket or two domestic round-trip tickets!

I love this card because I can use the American Advantage miles to fly with my two favorite airlines, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Not only does this card have a great bonus – 50,000 points (equivalent to$625) after you spend $4000 in the first three months, but it has many perks.

You can use this card for flights and hotels.  I personally like to use it for booking accommodations.  There are many hotels to choose from and you can save 20%. For example, if a room is for $100, you only need 8000 points to book.

I was able to lower accommodation expenses by booking part of my stay with my Chase Rewards when I went to Europe and Japan.  I personally like to pay for less expensive hotels and book nicer ones with my miles.

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Hyatt Hotel, Zurich
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Milan
Lovely hotel in Milan

 

Hotel in London
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View of Nagoya’s sunset from hotel room
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My favorite – Marriott Hotel with a breathtaking view of Nagoya City.  I stayed in the same room on two separate visits.  What are the chances?

If you decide not to use the points for travels, you can even take it out as cash, $625!

With the bonuses of these two cards, your international flight and at least 6 nights of accommodation are covered.  Or you use it for a domestic trip for two people.

Some people worry about applying for too many credit cards or they don’t want to pay for the annual fee ($95,waived the first year).  It is not going to hurt your credit score for having a few credit cards, as long as you pay off your balance every month.  And as for the annual fee, I think the great benefits offset it.
With the money you save on flights and hotels, you can splurge on food and shopping!
Go get your free trip!

Author: Pearl

I have always loved traveling but did not venture out on my own until I was in my mid-20s. After my first solo adventure to Vietnam, I have fallen in love with the freedom and exhilaration of traveling alone. I would like to use this blog to document my travels and record memorable stories I do not want to forget. It will be a platform to share useful information and hear about others' experiences and thoughts, not necessarily about travels but also on life in general. Live a simple and meaningful life, enjoy learning along the way, travel the world and explore the unknown!

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