And now if you’re loyal to a specific airline or hotel chain, then yes, absolutely go after those rewards programs points, especially if you’re looking like Jessica said, to earn elite status and get those travel perks. But I think for the vast majority of people, especially if they’re just getting started or are returning to travel and don’t know what their travel plans are going to be just yet, transferable points are the way to go. Those flexible points that are issued by banks.
JP: Since travel’s getting started again and the world’s reopening, banks are trying to get people back into applying for credit cards and all of that, there are some pretty fantastic welcome offers on credit cards that we’ve been mentioning. A lot of them are into the six figures. If you’ve been on the fence about applying for one of these credit cards, I would say now’s the time to really pull the trigger because I don’t think these offers will last as travel reopens.
MC: Yeah. I feel like Jasmin, you could speak to this too, but Jess and I have been writing so many “best welcome offer ever” headlines because they’re just, there are bold welcome offers right now.
JB: It’s true. And it really has been nonstop. It’s almost like the banks are trying to outdo each other to regain customers and have their cards sort of at the top of people’s wallets again, because there was such a long layoff from travel and people really thinking so much about those rewards. But yeah, we’ve seen Chase, Amex, Capital One, Citi. Some of these offers are unprecedented—the all time high that we’ve seen them. And again, they don’t last forever, as Jessica mentioned, it’s not sustainable. I don’t see this being sustainable for the long term, but right now is truly a great time. A lot of 100,000, 150,000 point offers out there. Again, I keep saying, it was a perfect time to get into it. It really is a perfect time to get into it if you’re new.
LA: We’ve been focusing a lot on the credit cards to get. We mentioned loyalty to certain airlines but I’m interested to know whether there’s anything you think people kind of miss out on? And are there opportunities for points that we don’t think of and don’t pay enough attention to? e it in rail travel with hotels or national parks and so on?
JP: Yeah. I travel Amtrak a lot up to the Northeast corridor. I think that’s a good opportunity if you are kind of a frequent Amtrak or even moderate Amtrak person, just sign up for a Guest Rewards account and put that in when you book. There’s also opportunities for things like rental cars that if you sign up with Hertz or something like that, you can earn one point per dollar toward free rentals—but you also get some minor perks for creating an account. You can skip the counter when you check out, I think you can add an additional driver for free, things like that. And then there are a few passive ways to earn points with some of the bigger programs, you can earn Delta SkyMiles by linking your Lyft account. You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points by linking up with Uber. Kind of looking into those that all add up, I think is a good strategy too.
JB: On the redemption side, there’s so much a focus on airlines and hotels and going back to the flexible rewards, there are some programs, Capital One for example, where you can redeem your miles for a really wide variety of travel purchases. And the definition that they have of travel is actually much more broad than you might imagine, things like campgrounds and Airbnbs and some programs will consider things like tolls and parking garages and those sorts of things that you normally wouldn’t think of as a travel redemption. There are opportunities there to use your rewards to offset those costs.