DIFFERENT PEOPLE HARVEST POINTS IN DIFFERENT WAYS
Travel rewards tend to offer, by far, the biggest bang for the buck when using points and miles. But even among those who earn points for travel, there are two very different common motivations: Many want to travel more for less money. Others are more motivated by the opportunity to experience luxury that they never would have been able to otherwise afford, such as flying first class.
“For those looking to travel more for less, the single best opportunity out there is the Southwest companion pass which can be obtained with just two credit card signups,” says Davis-Kean. The pass lets you add a companion for free to all of your flights for the rest of the year in which you got the pass, and all of the next year.
“For those looking for luxury, the best opportunities tend to be international business and first class flights booked with miles, or top-end resorts booked with hotel points,” he says. That’s a little more work, but if you’re the type who wants to pop champagne up front before the flight to your luxury suite, a tiny amount of coordinated effort yields huge increases in the trip experience.
When it comes to building up flyer miles with your credit card, if you’re at all worried about pledging loyalty to one airline or not spending your miles before they expire (typically within a year or two of inactivity on the account), McNutt says that Delta’s Skymiles are the way to go. “Delta’s loyalty program is really customer friendly and the miles never expire, so even if you only fly every couple years you’ll retain those miles,” she says.