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How I Finessed 10 Vacations in 2019

If you spend a good chunk of your time traveling for pleasure or work, it often assumed that you are accumulating points from hotels and airlines. Saving points for when you travel for work comes in handy when you must travel to see family, friends or when it is time to take a vacation. Believe it or not, so many people book roundtrip flights or weekly stays at some of the best hotels in the world solely on points.

Some of you may not be a globe-trotter for your job, so below are tips on how to rack up points whenever you can so that you can take advantage of any opportunity of travel.

Explore the Southwest Companion Pass

This pass allows you to bring a designated friend or family member for free on any Southwest flight you take - you just need to pay the taxes and fees.

This pass is one of the most rewarding benefits in the travel industry because it is basically a Buy 1 Get 1 for flights. You’ll earn it by taking 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 125,000 companion pass points in a calendar year. If you have a friend or family member that flies Southwest this would be a great time to partner with them as a companion.

Here is a good rule of thumb for Southwest travel:

  • Wanna Get Away fares: 6 TQPs per dollar spent on base fares (excluding taxes and fees)

  • Anytime fares: 10 TQPs per dollar spent

  • Business Select fares: 12 TQPs per dollar spent

Transfer AMEX points to Hotels and Airlines

American Express awards you points for purchasing flights, hotels or pretty much anything whenever you use your card. You can now transfer your AMEX points to hotels like Marriot or Hilton and over 15 airlines. Last year, Marriott offered a 30% point bonus if you transferred your AMEX points to Marriott. Meaning if you had 1000 Amex points and transferred them to Marriot, you then had 1300 Marriott points. You can still do this transfer! If you find yourself needing to use points for a stay or flight check this out on your American Express App - It’s simple!

Marriot and Hilton offer extra points for going green!

Marriot and Hilton offer extra points for skipping a day of housecleaning. Marriot offers 500 and Hilton offers 1000. This will come in handy especially if you are only staying two days somewhere. Those numbers may not seem like much but traveling frequently they will add up and you don’t want to miss out on collecting as much as you can.

Use Shopping portals

At its most basic, this is a site that partners with major online retailers, and when you start at the portal instead of going directly to the retailer’s website, you’ll earn bonus points or miles. You’ll still purchase through the retailer, you’re just earning extra bonus points and miles by doing it through the portal. If you have a Chase card, they have one of the biggest shopping portals right now.

Give a company a full year – see what happens

If you know you have a lot of travel coming up, pick one airline and one hotel company to use for an entire year to earn points. Yeah, it may be annoying that Southwest or United always gives you a layover, but it will be worth it when you can book your dream vacation using points and just paying taxes! My boyfriend and I live in Detroit and we only fly Southwest. We hit layovers everywhere we go, but this is the third year in a row we’ve had a companion pass - I fly for free! A full year is a big commitment, but try it and see how lucky you get. Believe it or not, hotels often reward you with more points for staying loyal to them.

Travel with your man, grab a friend or hit the road alone!

If you need travel tips on places to visit or want to link up with solo travelers, join CondeNast Female only travel group on Facebook. It is a women-only travel group on Facebook with tons of advice, positivity, and travel support!

Women Who Travel