Most of you might be planning for summer vacations right ahead of time as more of warmer temperatures began this week in the South region from the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast. Even the Northeast saw highs up to 30 degrees warmer than average Sunday. Even many areas from the central and southern plains into the Southeast and mid-Atlantic will see the warmth persisting slowly.
Some of you might plan a woodsy mountain or a beach area or national parks but many of you always dream to travel to Las Vegas as the state of affairs there are more glamorous and enticing.
American Express found that the average amount Americans spent on a week-long summer vacation in 2015 was about $1,000 per person. For a family of five, that’s $5,000. The total projected spend for Americans on summer vacations in 2016 was $89.9 billion, up from $85.5 billion in 2015.
But also the fact that travelling means spending lots of money and you wonder how you will manage your budget. Well, there is one thing in your wallet that can help you score the best Summer Vacation even at your dream land Las Vegas. It is your credit card (if you have one). So find below 10 ways how credit card reward programs can score you the best of summer trips for you to enjoy.
1. Get lots of perks and freebies by using the right credit card
If you are planning to travel then it is now the right time to get a card ahead of time that offers more points for travel related purchases like the Chase Sapphire card. Even when buying mostly gas and groceries you can try to save up for a family vacation, with another card called AmEx Everyday Preferred card.
According to Kevin O’Brien, Chief Client Officer at Aeroplan you need to pay attention and plan to get maximum value. Think about the program and credit card that best complements the type of travel and destinations that fit your goals. While some might save points for a specific destination, others might prefer business or first class flight rewards, partner ticket programs, and complimentary checked bags. Read up on your benefits so you can take advantage of it all. He also advises putting all your regular expenses on one credit card to maximize your earning power.
2. Grab the signing bonuses and get free points up front
If you are willing to manage an additional card, consider a new one each year or every other year as this will allow you to take advantage of introductory offers that provide free points up-front. Online sites like Million Mile Secrets and The Points Guy, will get you to know the best card promotions.
Clem Bason CEO of value hotel search online goseek.com advises that if you do sign up for a new card then make sure to watch out for minimum spending requirements to get your introductory points and annual fees. They’re often waived for the first year but then will get you the second year if you don’t cancel the card first or call to ask them to waive it again. Just don’t overspend to meet the minimum. If you know your credit card bill is at least $1,300 every month, then it should be easy to spend $4,000 in the first three months of having a new rewards card in order to get a bonus 20,000 points. Find here the best sign up bonuses.
3. You can improve your airport experience by getting airline basic co brand card
Obviously travelling involves checking in and out of the airport and Credit cards can really change your airport experience. You can get in front of the check-in line and get access to exclusive clubs and airline lounges. For about $100 annual fee, you can get an airline’s basic, co-brand card like the Chase United Mileage card or the American Express Gold Delta Skymiles card that will get you a free checked bag and priority boarding to go along with a hefty sign-up bonus. Also there is another type that consists of premium travel cards that usually carry a $400 to $500 annual fee but get you travel cost reimbursements and lounge access. You can also other such cards like the Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve, with similar airport perks.
4. Accessorize your trip with room upgrades to delivering your luggage
As said above certain cards, such as American Express, get you into airport lounges at the higher levels but also get you gain admission to VIP spaces with showers, charging stations, complimentary snacks, and soft drinks and hard drinks too. Even Amex has a program that delivers your luggage. What’s more than paying $29.95 to have your luggage delivered.
5. Sail through security at the airport without any hassle
Security screenings at the arirport have led to hour-long lines and even maybe missing your flight. Better is to apply for TSA prescreening—and your credit card might just pick up the tab as some reward programs offer to reimburse those costs so you can even sail through security with an upgraded experience at the airport.
The following credit cards and loyalty programs cover the TSA Pre screening: Chase Sapphire ReserveSM, Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World EliteTM MasterCard®, Citi Prestige® Card, Club Carlson, Diners Club® Carte Blanche® Corporate Card, Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi, Hilton HHonors, United MileagePlus®, Orbitz Rewards®, Certain American Express® Credit Cards, Marriott Rewards®, MasterCard® Black Card™, MasterCard® Gold Card™, SunTrust Travel Rewards World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card and US Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card
6. Take advantage of the hidden discounts
Hotels and rental car companies will offer special discounts on the travel booking portals provided by your credit card company. The discount itself is obscured in that you’re paying for it in points rather than true dollars. So how to find such hidden discounts and this what you’ll need to translate points to dollars and then compare what your credit card company is offering versus other travel sites like Expedia and Priceline. But the extra time can pay off. These discounts can be quite deep, and you won’t find them on other sites.
7. Get the free of charge destinations and upgrade your seats
Lots of credit cards offer experiences and privileges for free. Like Museums On Us offers Bank of America and Merrill Lynch credit and debit card holders the opportunity to visit more than 175 of the most popular cultural institutions in the United States free of charge on the first full weekend of every month.
Also upgrade your seat while travelling. While mile and points aren’t as useful for upgrading an economy ticket anymore, there’s amazing value to be had in booking business or first class awards with your miles. Always calculate how many cents per mile you are getting in value out of your reward points. Some of the best redemptions cost much less than you might think. For instance, if you signed up for the Chase Sapphire reserve when it had the 100,000 point sign-up bonus, you could either spend those points on four round trip domestic economy tickets on United or Southwest, or you could transfer them to Singapore Airlines or Air France/KLM and get a round trip international business class ticket. Thus go with the highest “cents per mile” redemption when considering several options.
8. Get free wine with Visa Signature
Get access to free wine if you’re a Visa Signature or Visa Infinite card holder as you have privileges at a long list of Sonoma and Napa Valley wineries, which means free wine tastings, discounted wines, and discounted transportation. Here is kind of perks you have as a Visa Signature cardholder or a Visa Infinite cardholders.
9. Grab Total Rewards Program from Caesars Entertainment
As one of the few gaming companies with true national scale, Caesars Entertainment is in a position to issue its own card based on its Total Rewards program. You can spend $750 in the first 90 days of being approved and you will receive 10,000 Reward Credits (RC), which is worth up to about $100, valuing the points at a penny per point toward expenses such as your meals or hotel bill. You also get your choice of two tickets for the Higher Roller observation wheel in Las Vegas, two buffet passes or one comped night in Atlantic City, Sunday through Thursday.
While an upgrade in status sounds like a big deal, there are actually only two incremental benefits that you get by going from Gold to Platinum, the ability to gift points and a 15% discount at casino gift shops. The real gain comes from the difference between Platinum and Diamond. Furthermore, you need to spend $5,000 on the card per year to maintain your Platinum status. Spending $10,000 in a calendar year on the card will get you “VIP access” in Las Vegas for the following year.
10. Get M Life rewards at Las Vegas MGM Grand Casinos
The biggest perk here is complimentary Pearl status, the lowest elite level, which would otherwise require 25,000 tier credits to earn. As a Pearl member you’ll get complimentary self-parking at Las Vegas resorts a buffet line pass at Las Vegas resorts and a 10% bonus on Points and Express Comps when you hit the casino. The added benefit of priority hotel check-in at M Life resorts is usually only available to Gold elites and higher, so this is a nice cardholder perk.
•3X Points & Tier Credits per $1 spent at M Life Rewards Destinations
•2X Points & Tier Credits per $1 spent on Gas Stations & Super Market Purchases
•1X Points & Tier Credits per $1 spent Spent Everywhere else
•10,000 Points when you spend $1000 in first 3 billing cycles
For those unfamiliar with the M Life Rewards program, you can use points for FreePlay as credits toward games at casinos and to cover dining, rooms costs and at eligible entertainment venues at a value of 1 cent per point. In addition to earning points with this card — note that 3x and 2x bonus categories you can earn them by playing slots or poker machines.
If not interested in playing then that’s where tier credits come into play. You earn these on pretty much every purchase at M Life resorts; you’ll earn 25x points at properties in Las Vegas (before the card bonus) and fewer points per dollar at other destinations. Tier credits are what qualify you for M Life status (the next-highest level, Gold, requires 75,000), so if you’re more after perks like hotel discounts and buffet line passes than gaming rewards, these will be more important for you — and they’re definitely easier to earn, especially considering that the credit card category bonuses earn you bonus tier credits as well as points.
M Life resorts and signing up for the M Life Rewards MasterCard aren’t the only ways to earn status within this program. Hyatt Gold Passport has partnered with MGM Resorts since mid-2013, offering reciprocal benefits and automatic status depending on your level in either program. You can get complimentary Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum status simply by holding the Hyatt Credit Card (with a $75 annual fee that’s waived the first year), so this could be a better choice if you don’t think you’ll spend enough to get the bump to M Life Rewards Gold with the M Life Rewards MasterCard.
Hope knowing these Credit Card Reward Programs will certainly help you Score the Best Summer Vacation be it Las Vegas or any city of your choice. Remember few online casinos of US also accept credit card deposits and offer you rewards for that and you need to check them here if you are interested to grab some discounts and prizes.