Summer, where the birds fill the atmosphere with their sweet melodies and flowers of various colors bloom, their scent is hurdling through the grounds. It is the perfect time to go on vacation. Though most of us love to hop on a flight to our destination, having a road trip planned is something everyone should try instead.
You would say that road trips are hectic; flights would be much easier because we have points and miles, which are best for first-class flight redemptions and high-end hotel stays. But if you do some digging into research and planning, you can use them on your road trips as well. Not just this trip, you can even add up your points using your credit card through this trip, and then you can be ready for a more exotic vacation.
Let us see some ways on how to maximize your points and have fun on a budget.
Save your money on Rentals.
The very first step of planning a road trip is the mode of transportation. If you have your car, then you are good to go. But if you don’t, you need to book a recreational vehicle (RV) rental.
Now it might seem that having to pre-book a car would be expensive. Yet, there are ways to save you a couple of dollars on your vacation.
Having a Corporate, University, or an Alumni Card.
Finding corporate codes is no big deal since you can find them on the internet these days. But we recommend you not to do this as some rentals may ask you for forms of proof. You can always check your student benefits page, your alumni site, or your corporate travel site to find the correct code relevant to you.
The Hertz Free-To-Go Pass.
This is a rental pass that allows you to purchase it for one whole year that comes with a price of $ 99 annually. This offer includes so many great deals within it, like having 2x Gold Plus Points, 10% guaranteed discounts, and home delivery.
Look Out For Credit Card Perks.
If I mention credit cards, you would think they are helpful only on flights, hotels, and shopping sprees. Well, guess what! You can get rental car perks for some selected credit cards. Such credit cards are :
- Chase Sapphire Reserve.
- The Platinum Card for American Express, Where the Platinum American Express card has gained access to a suite of Hertz.
- World Elite Master Cards.
- United Club Infinite Card.
The card you are expecting to use should have the good benefits you need—having primary car rental insurance plus earning bonus points while on the road means that you can decline the rental car company’s insurance and be covered by your credit card if any misfortune event happens.
If you are already a loyal American Express cardholder, you can pay a premium to enroll in Amex’s Premium Car Rental Protection Program.
You can use your vehicle or book and reserve a car beforehand. However, you can still max up your credit card points on gas. Most credit cards come with an offer where you can get your returns. Mostly it’s 3% or more on what you spent on gas. Some of the credit cards are as follows:
- Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card– although it is only available in the gas stations within the US region.
All these cards offer great deals on rentals and are one great way to save your money when enjoying yourselves. However, always make sure to check with your type of card and reject any types of rentals, just like some cards with rental coverage exclude recreational vehicles (RV).
Why Spend Hundreds on Gas?
We might not notice it, but there are a lot of gas stations and third-party loyalty programs that will help you save your money on gas.
Filling up at Shell stations can help you join the Fuel Rewards Program and save around five centers per gallon on day-to-day fill-ups. Additionally, you can save even more per gallon by using a linked credit card when transacting with partners.
This might not make any sense right now, but let me put it in this way. Linking your Dunkin’ Donuts rewards account to your card allows you to earn an additional 10 cents per gallon savings; if you love shopping through online websites, you can make extra 10 cents off per gallon and such.
Not just these cards, there are also programs like GasBuddy, which will help save your dollars on gas. Other national gas station chains offer similar initiatives. They usually provide limited-time discounts or a sign-up incentive. Aside from the highlighted programs, there is no need to pay the total price for petrol no matter where you are. If you don’t utilize Pay with GasBuddy, make sure you use a credit card that gets big rewards at the pump to maximize your savings.
Accommodations on a Budget.
Now you won’t be just traveling the whole day. You are bound to stop for dinner and have a good night’s sleep. You would book your stay prior, or you would check-in while on the road. The most efficient way will be having a reservation beforehand when you hit the road.
Given the decline in demand, if you’re redeeming points and booking through a hotel program that employs dynamic award pricing or peak and off-peak pricing, your stay may cost less than average.
In addition, unlike traditional vacations, you’ll most likely be staying at a variety of hotels throughout a road trip. This is useful if your points are split across many hotel programs, and you only have enough for one or two nights with each.
This might also be the most convenient time to use your reward night certificate. This can be earned within each credit card anniversary with Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers the same opportunity. In addition, the Hilton free weekend night certificate by Hilton Honors American Express Card issued within 2021 can be spent during any night of the week rather than be limited to a particular day.
Listed below are some of the credit cards that you can use :
- The American Express Platinum Card – is worth the annual fee if you are a big fan of lounge access, annual statement credits, and elite hotel status.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – known to be one of the most popular credit cards in business, offers an excellent return on dining and travel purchases.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card – loyal fellows will get a solid return on Marriott stays with high-end perks.
- Com Rewards Visa Credit Card is perfect for deal hunters who stay in multiple hotels while traveling.
- IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card – delivers strong earning rates on IHG purchases, a free anniversary award night, and a generous sign-up bonus.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card – an elite card where after spending $10,000 on purchases within the first six months of the card membership, new cardholders can earn up to 180,000 bonus points.
Depending on how low cash rates can be during the season, booking your stays through your credit card’s travel site may make more sense. It is better than moving them to the hotel program. Do the numbers to see which option makes the most sense for your case.
Kick Off Your Shoes For Some Point Redeeming Activities.
You would not believe it, but you can redeem points. Additionally, you can get good values by booking some activities with your credit card points.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal permits you to redeem your factors for all travel forms. This is including automobile condos and activities. Most credit score card issuers now no longer remember sightseeing sports and vacationer points of interest as travel. If you are no longer redeeming factors make sure to apply for a card.
This card should gives a terrific go back on everyday spending. Just like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, to maximize your go back.
Road trips arn’t just fun with a lot of spending if you figure out the art of points and miles. It is not always about flights with first-class seats and stays at the fanciest of hotels. Be sure to do your side of research on the places you plan to visit. Be ready to use these tips to have a budget vacation this summer.