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The Problem You Didn't Know You Had!

Updated: May 6

When you have a leaking faucet in the bathroom, you call a plumber to fix the problem. If there is a fire inside your home, you contact the fire department. Some problems are easy to identify—and solve—provided you take the right steps.

There is a problem, however, that some people don't even know they have—leaving money on the table when they travel. It isn't their fault. Oftentimes, no one has ever articulated the problem—and solution—in a way that is easy to digest.

Award travel is a solution many people don't utilize.
Some problems are easy to identify and fix Image courtesy of Wix

All opinions and reviews expressed herein are the author's alone and have not been reviewed or approved by any credit card issuer, airline, bank, hotel chain, or other entity. Some of the credit card offers and links appearing in this article are from companies from which we may receive commission or a referral bonus when you click on the link. You do not need to use our links but we appreciate it when you do—it helps support our website!

What Is Award Travel?

Simply put, award travel is utilizing a different type of currency, commonly known as miles or points, and redeeming those miles or points for an airline ticket or a hotel stay. For example, in the United States, instead of paying USD for your airfare, you would use your existing miles with the airline loyalty program you have those miles with, and then book your award ticket with them.

When booking an award ticket with an airline, there will always be taxes and fees that will need to be paid in addition to the miles used to redeem the ticket. However, depending on the airline loyalty program, the taxes and fees are typically a small amount. When booking an award with a hotel, the miles or points will typically cover the entire cost of the stay—including the taxes!

Why Is It a Problem?

There are a plethora of loyalty programs, each with its own set of stipulations and rules. In addition, loyalty programs change frequently, which results in the devaluation of their miles or points. Also, many credit card issuers that offer miles or points which can be redeemed for award travel will focus on cash-back redemptions instead. To top it off, the navigational procedure to redeem an award ticket is not always straightforward—some award tickets can be redeemed online whereas others will need to be redeemed over the telephone.

Sometimes, trying to learn something new can be overwhelming. Especially as we get older and get set in our ways! We are all too familiar with the saying: "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." Nevertheless, when it comes to award travel, it is possible to change our habits for the better. Oftentimes, we just need someone to guide us through the process.

What Is the Solution?

That is one benefit of seeking out a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant. They will take the time to walk you through the various steps. In fact, it is possible that the knowledge and experience you gain working with a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant will put you on a path where you will be able to redeem your own award ticket the next time!

"Turning a problem into a solution is one less headache in life!"

With just about any problem, time—and sometimes money—is required to find a solution. Award travel is no different. It may take some time to learn the ins and outs—and some extra money. But, the investment is well worth it in the long run.

Is It Safe to Travel?

It is always a good idea to perform a "background check" before you visit another state or country to determine if it is safe to do so. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted travel around the world, and it has left a large footprint that is visible for all to see.

Feel free to visit our COVID-19 Resources page which contains a useful tool that will allow you to do a "background check" on the state—or country— you desire to visit. Simply enter the name of the state or country within the search bar and useful links will automatically populate providing you access to COVID-19 warnings and other travel guidance.

How Will I Benefit?

There is significant value in award travel. The miles & points used to redeem an award ticket typically come from credit card spending. When used strategically, getting a credit card with a large welcome bonus will go a long way in helping you to stockpile miles & points which can be earmarked for future award travel. You will understand the real value when your travel expenses are substantially reduced.

Chase currently has 14 transfer partners and may be the best card issuer in town. Chase recently introduced the BEST welcome bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card since it was introduced to the public in 2009. Although it is no longer at 100,000 points, it currently packs a punch at 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards®! This is a must-have credit card for anyone getting started with Award Travel. Compare and apply for this card here! Feel free to use our Credit Card Selector Calculator for FREE! It uses our proprietary algorithm which determines the best credit card in our database based on your spending habits. You will be able to determine the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in your first year of use.

This opens up the door to travel to destinations you may never have thought possible. For example, have you ever wanted to go to Athens—Antiquity at its Best? Or perhaps Maui, Hawaii—Aloha Everyday? Or what about Thassos—The Hidden Gem of Greece? Where would you like to go? In any event, when you unlock the door to award travel, you will have solved a problem you didn't know you had!


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