I'm back with another soapbox on how to travel on the cheap!
On of the most frequent comments I receive is "how do you afford to go on so many trips?!"
I've got a few different ways to share, but in this post I'm telling you to let someone else pay the tab.
That's right... why pay for your own trips when someone else will!?
I talked briefly about how I used to put all my living expenses on my TJMaxx Mastercard, simply because it racked up points towards gift certificates to there, and I'd turn around and pay the card off out of my bank account every month.
Shortly after returning from Australia and realizing how much more of the world I still needed (not wanted, NEEDED) to see, I realized there were better ways to accumulate "rewards" for these daily things I'll always be buying regardless.
Nowadays my gas, my groceries, my shopping habits, all go towards funding travel.
After a few weeks of reading up on the various 'rewards' credit cards, I decided that the Barclay Arrival+ was the best option for me.
I NEVER use my debit card. But I am also VERY aware of any money I spend and any money I earn, I am not sure I would recommend this if you are one of those people who never has any clue how much is in their bank account or are constantly overdrawing. I would imagine you could end up in deep credit card debt pretty quickly.
So, why did I choose the Arrival Plus? They go on a 'pay yourself back' system, versus some of the other cards I looked into where you have to book your travel THROUGH them (Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Quiksilver, etc, etc.) I choose this based on my own travel preferences. I cannot preach enough how important it is to research the cards first (a simple Google search for travel reward credit cards will yield a ton of breakdowns). I can log into my account and am easily given the option to pay myself back for any travel related expense.
There was a 40,000 pt bonus (equivalent to $400) if I put $3000 on my card within the first 90 days. So after receiving my card in March, I had recently racked up enough points to "pay myself back" for roughly $500 worth of airline flights I had booked. By doing nothing but going about my daily life, with my regular spending habits.
Granted, there is an $89 yearly fee on my card. If you consider the perks, it weighs itself out in my opinion. $500 worth of free airfare is the equivalent of 5 years of paying the annual fee.
There are a TON of options. However, a LOT of rewards cards carry obnoxiously high % rates. I am very meticulous about paying off any balance I carry religiously, but apparently I'm a freak of nature, so... just a heads up HA!
If you always fly Southwest, look into the Southwest card (I think they're offering 2 RT flights if you sign up and spend x amount in the first few months... not a bad deal!). Same with Delta, or any other airline. If you are loyal to a certain hotel chain, they probably offer a credit card specifically catering to their perks. Just be responsibly and make sure you know what you're getting into, but all in all I think it's a great option to rack up a few travel perks while living your normal life!
(Note: This is not a sponsored post, nor am I affiliated with Barclay or any other credit company, I am simply sharing my own experiences. Credit cards can be a slippery slope though, tread with caution and make sure you're aware of all terms and conditions before signing up!)
To read up on my other Traveling on the Cheap tips, click here!