School’s almost out, and summer vacation season is right around the corner. If you are looking to boost the frugality of your summer vacation, and earn more rewards at the same time, look no further than your travel rewards card. You don’t even have to use an airplane to get good deals. During the summer, they are all around you.
Join a Hotel Rewards Program
There are a number of hotel rewards programs. If you like the idea of staying in the same chain, you can find rewards programs that can really help you boost your frugality. Some rewards programs run stay two, get one free promotions during the summer. After you stay two nights (it often doesn’t even have to be consecutive), you can get any third night free. Keep an eye out for these promotions.
Related: Best Western Rewards Program
You can, of course, boost your hotel rewards with the help of a credit card. The Marriott Rewards card is a great choice, since you can stay at worldwide Marriott properties, and earn points quickly. Hilton and other hotel chains also have great rewards programs that you really take advantage of with the help of credit cards.
Check for Quarterly Rewards
Many rewards credit cards now have rotating categories that offer higher rewards. Check to see what kind of categories are available during the summer months. You might be able to get more cash back on gas, groceries, restaurants, and even hotels. That way you maximize your rewards, and they can be used later – or you can get cash back now, basically receiving some cash to offset the cost of your summer vacation.
With a little planning, you can boost rewards in certain categories, while you earn free stays at your favorite hotel properties.
Don’t Get Too Carried Away
As with any rewards program, it’s important not to get too carried away. Don’t choose hotels just because you can rack up stays, and try to avoid making purchases without a plan to repay balances on credit cards. When you start falling into the trap of overspending, and justifying it because of the rewards, you are on track for indebtedness. Be sure to integrate your credit card use with your planned budget for your summer vacation.
One way you can maximize your rewards is to save up the money you plan to spend, and keep it in a high yield savings account. Then, while you are on your trip, use your credit card for everything. When you get back, you can simply pay off the balance with the money you had saved up. You don’t pay interest – and you boost your rewards. A successful summer vacation, indeed!