Traveling can be a rewarding experience in many ways. Spending time in new lands, learning new things, trying new foods and gathering new experiences that turn into fond memories. We also travel for business; this is especially true for meeting planners. Some of you travel more days in the year than you spend at home! And yes, you do deserve that first class seat on the plane, hotel upgrades and more. Being a road warrior requires stamina and to make it work, a bit of pampering is definitely in order – as well as a bit of reward.
Get the most from your reward programs by learning the ins and outs. Keep in mind that points are like cash; not using them is akin to throwing money out the window. Know what is what – here are some tips for you:
Make a Call: A call here and there to a rewards program rep is worth the minutes. You can ask direct questions that apply to you and your travel style, as well as learn of any new updates or specials.
Make a Request: They want you to be happy and they want you to stay loyal to their brand. If they do not have something you need, ask. This is how things work in the world, generally speaking, you never know until you ask.
Be “Loyal” to a Favorite Few: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This sage advice applies to loyalty programs as well. You want to spread the wealth a bit; not every hotel chain is in every city and not every airline has direct flights to and from your destinations of choice.
Grumble at the Bundle: Using sites like Travelocity and Expedia may not save you money in the end. If you will not gain loyalty points through using their services, then make sure to put a pencil to paper and work it out. Make sure that you, as a point collector, are really getting a good deal.
Redeem Wisely: Redeeming your points during peak times and holidays will not give you as high a return on investment as using them at other times. Think it through before you cash ‘em in.
Keep an Eye on Taxes and Fees: Sometimes it’s cheaper to just buy a ticket, than cash it in. Especially when you have to pay taxes and fees. This is on a case-by-case basis, again, do your homework before committing.
Make Sure it is Right for You: Learn about the various programs ahead of time and decide which is best for you. Check out this article from US News to learn more.
For those Road Warriors out there, please feel free to share more information with us on my Facebook Page! I am always amazed at the little tidbits that others learn as they go about their travels, share with us your perspective on getting the most from our rewards!
*Thanks to the Red Headed Traveler for the image!
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