August 16, 2011 - If you don't currently have a credit card with reward benefits, you're missing out on one of the best ways to get five-star vacations at two star prices.
Using a great rewards credit card for every purchase you make is your ticket to great travel perks and in many cases, free vacations with flights and hotels. I'm a member of Delta SkyMiles Frequent Flyer and American Express Membership Rewards and I just got these updates today from them (although the programs have been around for awhile). Delta and American Express are courting me to upgrade.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Card
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Card has many perks including your first checked bag is free on every Delta Flight when you use the card to purchase your ticket. That's up to $50 in savings on a round-trip flight and you can earn reward tickets faster by synergizing your every day purchases with your travel purchase. I prefer to fly Southwest when I can because bags fly free, but Delta is my second choice and when I must pay that added fee, this is a possible solution for when I fly Delta. However, I'm also considering another option....the American Express Platinum Card.
The American Express Platinum Card
If you have an American Express card you may want to consider upgrading to a Platinum Card. Sure it has a $450 annual fee, but it's loaded with amazing travel perks. Perks include Airport Club Access for you and your guests to enjoy elite lounge access all over the world (an approximate $1400 value).
Platinum members also get an $200 Airline Fee Credit to spend on incidental charges annually, including ticket-change fees, in-flight meals, extra baggage, entry into airport lounges and more with the airline that you select.
If you're a frequent flyer and travel on business, the next time you purchase airfare with an OPEN® Card, you could get more Membership Rewards® points with the Business Platinum Card®.
Best of all, you can reinvest the points you get back into your business. Redeem points for airfare, hotels, and even office supplies — and help your bottom line. With the rewards and 30+ premium features of the Business Platinum Card, the $450 annual fee can quickly pay for itself. Plus when members upgrade, check into a current promotion for where you can earn 25,000 bonus points - that's an airline ticket!
The Platinum Card isn't for everyone, but it certainly makes sense if you find yourself flying at least once a month.
Capital One Venture Card
Here's a card that has enlisted the services of Alec Baldwin to get their travel reward message out with a
about how you can't redeem miles with certain credit card programs. The Capital One Venture Card touts no black out dates and is definitely worth checking into especially for the places that don't take American Express, you're still earning travel perks and rewards.
It's no secret that I'm a fan of American Express Rewards. My membership since the late 1990's has allowed me to take some amazing vacations at a fraction of the cost. I hear a lot of people complain about other credit cards and not being able to redeem reward points, but with a little planning, it's never been an issue for me. It's one of my biggest travel secrets to taking five-star vacations at two-star prices.
Marianne Schwab TV Travel Show Producer Best Travel Deals Tips
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Admission fees to theme parks and local tourist attractions can really add up and max out your vacation budget, but you can save up to 55% on theme parks with Go City Cards. I've used these for several vacations and saved hundreds of dollars. Just one of my many best travel deals tips you'll find on this website. ~Marianne Schwab
Avoid Jet Lag
You're packed and ready to go on vacation, so now comes the most important issue at hand: avoiding jet lag when you arrive at your destination. A survey by Conde Naste said that 93% of travelers get jet lag but you don't have to be one of them if you use my tips. ~Marianne Schwab
Book Your Trip
Booking travel online should be quick and easy…not to mention affordable and that's why I like Expedia. Did you know that you can save up to $525 when you book your flight and hotel together at Expedia.com? For the best deals, book 60 days or more before you travel because usually the further out you plan, the better the package rate.
Top Travel Mistakes to Avoid Now
I have put together a list of the top five travel mistakes people make that translate into paying too much for a vacation no matter where you book your trip (through a travel agent, airline or online). ~Marianne Schwab
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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer
For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more