See The World
Seek Adventure Travel Happy
A while ago I shared a post on some of the best travel credit cards out there. There are different ones for different types of travelers. If you have an airline that you try to fly with exclusively, then I would recommend getting one of their cards.
We currently have a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit card. We got it in the fall of 2012 and since then we have used it for:
-2 nights hotel in Miami
-2 round trip tickets to Florida from Salt Lake City
-2 tickets from Portland to Salt Lake City
And we currently have a balance of around 70,000 miles which is more than enough for round trip flights to everywhere Southwest flies including Costa Rica.
Southwest Airlines has a $69 annual fee which was waived the first year. So, I have paid $207 for 4 round trip flights and 2 nights of hotel = killer deal.
Southwest doesn't fly to very many international destinations. While you can use your rewards for international flights, it's not a good exchange rate for your points. They also have a foreign transaction fee, which means I don't use it when we travel internationally.
If you want to fly to international destinations, some other cards would be better, including:
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, There's no international transaction fee, and the rewards are more usable for international flights. This one has a higher annual fee of $95 (after the first free year) and 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000. You also earn more for every dollar you spend, which is awesome.
2: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
Highlights: 40,000 bonus miles, earn 2X miles on all purchases, no foreign transactions fees, $89
3: Capital One Venture Rewards
Highlights: $59 annual fee, 40,000 bonus miles, no foreign transaction fees, earn 2x miles on all
Each of these cards offer excellent rewards, but they are a bit harder to use. Many reviews you'll find online actually suggest that you need to be a fairly savvy traveler to take advantage of some of these.
So, what are you to do if you're a travel newbie and want international travel?
I would recommend the Capital One Venture Card.
You get 40,000 bonus miles (equal to about $400) once you spend $3,000, there's no foreign transaction fees, the annual fee is waived the first year and then is $59 after that.
And now for my favorite part, you can either use your points to purchase travel through their platform (which also provides a discount) but if you find a better deal through someone else or just prefer something else, you can buy your travel ANYWHERE and use your points to erase the charge on your account for any amount.
So, say you bought a $500 ticket to Paris, and you have $300 worth of credits, use those to erase $300 from your bill and your ticket is now only $200! And you can also use it on hotels and car rentals.
This means you can travel when you want to, with who you want to!
Yeah, I know!
Que me doing a happy dance over here. Because now, I can use my southwest rewards for 2 fights to Costa Rica + use my bonus points and everything I earn from here on for our hotel stay = free awesome vacation!
Like I mentioned in my first post about travel credit cards, earning points can get addicting for some people. Only get one if you feel like you can use it responsibly. We use our card on all of our regular monthly expenses (and we are pretty frugal) so we can pay it off in full at the end of the month. If you start paying interest, then the cost can quickly out weigh the rewards...don't do that! If you know you're going to do that, then either stop yourself right now from getting a credit card or get one without an annual fee. Paying someone so you can have the privilege to pay them interest every month is silly.
What's not silly? Using the money you're going to spend anyways to travel for free!
If that doesn't cause you to have a happy Friday, then I don't know what will. Whatever you do today, don't forget to travel happy!
Hi there! I'm Skeeter. I grew up moving a lot and that makes me a bit restless for travel and exploration. I started this blog with my husband Pat when we decided to backpack New Zealand for a year. We are always looking for the next adventure and are loving life. We're just your average couple with two sassy dogs and a love for travel. We're sharing our travels and the tips we pick up along the way.
Hello! I'm Liz. Blogging is very new to me, but I'm so excited to finally write as much as I talk!
"Don't forget to travel happy"-Skeeter & Liz