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One of the main
advantages arguments about using a credit card is, many of them offer rewards and points for traveling. I don’t like using credit cards, mostly because unsecured debt is really dangerous for me. Other people can use them responsibly but most of the time, I can’t.
Still, I love to travel and sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on all the great points and programs available. I found 3 ways to earn points without using a credit card.
Use discount travel sites
There are lots of travel discount sites available for travelers on a budget. I have used Expedia for 5 years now and I love it. The company recently launched a rewards program for account holders that purchase reservations through the website.
Expedia rewards details:
- It’s completely free – no fees
- Earn points on flights, hotels, cruises and activities
- No blackout dates
- Earn double points if you book with a Mastercard
- Get 2 Expedia Rewards for every $1 spent
- There’s no limit on the amount of rewards
One of the main things I really like, is that I can book any type of activity for ANY family member or friend, and I’ll still earn points.
Sign-up for airline frequent flyer accounts
Each major airport is a primary hub for a specific airline. For instance, Dallas (where I live) is the home base for American Airlines.
Other airlines come in and out of DFW but the majority of them are American Airlines. Since I fly with them almost exclusively, I get points through the AAdvantage frequent flyer program.
I can book flights (even on Expedia) and type in my Rewards number to get credit. I cashed in 3 FREE round trip flights within the past couple years, all without a credit card!
AAdvantage program details:
- Earn 1 point for every mile flown
- Redeem points for flights starting at 12,500
- No fees or monthly charges
- Earn bonus points when shopping online or dining out
I recently traveled with Alaska Airlines and found out they offer a rewards program as well (although they will offer a credit card application in mid-air).
Take advantage of hotel rewards programs
In case you don’t like using a discount travel site or airlines program, hotel companies offer rewards for booking with them directly.
I like the Hilton Honors program which applies to all the Hilton brand hotels (DoubleTree, Hampton Inn, Embassy and etc).
- Earn 10 HH points plus 1 airline mile for each $1 spent
- Expedited check-in and check-out services
- Spouses stay free
- Book online or over the phone
- No additional fees
Marriott Hotels also has a rewards program, and awesome customer service.
Avoid the credit card trap
While many credit cards offer excellent travel rewards and points programs, it’s still a slippery slope if you don’t handle them wisely.
I’m not opposed to using them, and in the past I have used the offers to my advantage. These are just a few options I use to bypass using credit while still earning points for traveling.
Do you enjoy traveling? How do you earn rewards?