Do you realize how many credit card bonuses are out there just waiting to send you on a free vacation?? If you have good credit and pay off your credit card balance in FULL each month, using a travel credit card should be a no brainer. Over the past 10 years, I have redeemed at least 1 flight and 5 hotel stays per year from my credit card rewards -all without being charged a single cent of interest. If you need suggestions on how you can meet the minimum spend for the sign-up bonus on a travel credit card without being irresponsible with your spending, I’m sharing two suggestions below along with my favorite ways to earn miles and lodging!
How To Meet The Minimum Credit Card Spend Responsibly
- Purchase gift cards in large denominations for stores like Walmart or other grocery stores where you know you will be shopping often for necessities. If your bills/expenses typically add up to $3000 over 3 months, and you purchase a total of $1000 in gift cards (can be broken up into multiple gift cards, of course), you will be able to hit the minimum spend for my favorite travel card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa
- Another option is to pay your phone bill ahead by a month or two, as there is usually no surcharge for doing this.
- Also, look into paying utility bills ahead. Sometimes there is a surcharge of a few dollars, but it may be worth it to hit your spend.
- Plastiq – pay off ANY bills (including rent) with a credit card. Use promo code: 1149797 for a sign-up bonus. They do charge a fee for this service but depending on the size of your bill and how much minimum spend you need on the credit card, the rewards you get from the card may outweigh the fee. Just make sure you do the math before using this service to be sure it will benefit you.
My Favorite Travel Cards For Free Flights And Hotels
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months your account is open.
- Points can be redeemed for flights, cash back, hotels, event tickets, and many other items. 50,000 points will typically be enough for a flight to Europe.
- You earn double points on travel purchases – love this!
- Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
- No annual fee for the first year, then $95 after that. I cancel before the annual fee kicks in!
- I’ve gotten 3 free flights by using this card alone! If you don’t have enough miles for a full flight, you can also pay with miles for a portion of the flight too, which is a nice perk.
- Earn 3 FREE nights after spending $3000 in the first 3 months of account opening AND a free night each year on your account anniversary. Gabe and I use our free anniversary night as a romantic getaway each year. It’s definitely been worth the annual fee for us! Now that Marriott has merged with SPG into Bonvoy, there are many more properties to choose from as well.
Note: I have also earned flights from the Alaska Airlines card (LOVED this one but they discontinued the bonus), American Airlines card, and United MileagePlus card. All these cards served their purpose but I prefer flying with Delta and/or having flexible points that I can redeem with ANY airline, which is why they are no longer in my travel arsenal. I’ve also received 2 free hotel stays through the Hilton Honors card. I considered that to be a good value but ended up preferring the Marriott card overall. No hard feelings, Hilton.
We used a combination of our free flights and hotels from our credit card rewards and wedding gifts from our Honeyfund honeymoon registry to pay for our month-long honeymoon in Europe, and it was amazing! Just sharing that as proof that you can easily earn and redeem for free trips, too, whether you want to be gone for a month, a week or just a weekend getaway. Let me know if you have any questions about the process – I’ll be glad to help if I can!
Thanks for reading!
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