best hotel credit cards

Are you looking for a hotel credit card to take advantage or reward nights instead of paying money? If you like saving money on hotels, our list of the best hotel credit cards is going to be of interest to you. We’ve gone through all available hotel rewards credit cards and found the 5 best.

 

Credit Card Introductory OfferAnnual FeeOur Thoughts 
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 1 75,000 Points$95With an intro offer worth 2 good free nights, plus the annual free night award, it's the best hotel card.LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>
World of Hyatt Credit Card The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 2 up to 50,000 Points$95Like the Marriott Bonvoy cards, this comes with an annual free night award. Hyatt points are the most valuable of any hotel chain. If you can meet the second tier of the intro offer, it might as well be the best hotel card.LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>
Hilton Honors Ascend The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 3 125,000 Points$95While Hilton points aren't worth very much, this card is good because it gives you a special Priority Pass membership with 10 free visits.LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>
IHG Rewards Club Premier The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 4 140,000 Miles$89While IHG hotels aren't always the best option, these intro offer points are valuable. Plus with the 4th reward night free, you can extend those points. The card also allows you to get Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for 5 years.LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>
Marriott Bonvoy Business The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 5 75,000 Points$125Similar to the personal card, it's intro offer and yearly free night award make it valuable.LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

 

These hotel credit cards are the best because of a few different factors. All of them come with introductory offers of points that can be used for free hotel stays. Most of them even come with a free night award each calendar year that counteracts the annual fees of the cards. All of the best hotel credit cards also come with elite status at their related hotel chain, which can often get you perks and upgrades during hotel stays. On top of the benefits I’ve mentioned, a couple of these cards offer even more.

 

Here are the main features we looked at when comparing the best hotel credit cards:

 

This list was actually much harder to nail down than I originally thought it would be. Due to the vast differences in benefits as well as the values of the points associated with each card, I kept swaying back and forth on which cards are better. Like all credit cards, it really depends on the person as to which is better. Be sure to check out all five cards to see which fits you best before applying for one.

 

Let’s go ahead and get into the list of the 5 best hotel credit cards.

 

1. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

marriott bonvoy card art

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

100,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

 

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card comes in at the top spot of our best hotel credit cards list. Why? Well, it comes with a lot of value in its introductory offer and annual free night. Marriott is also one of the easiest programs to use points due to the fact that they have so many hotels worldwide.

Marriott hotels

 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the offerings of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card, our #1 option for best hotel credit cards.

 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 6
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 100,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 6X points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels, and 2X points on all other purchases.
BENEFITS
One free night award (up to category 5) every account anniversary.
Automatic silver elite status with Marriott Bonvoy
Gold status after spending $35k
15 elite night credits each calendar year.
FEES
$95 annual fee.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The introductory offer is just ok, as it will earn you enough points for two free nights at a category 5 hotel. The free night award each year for $95 is well worth it if you can use it on an otherwise expensive night.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

The Pros

    • Large introductory offer
    • Free night award each year (valid at Marriott category 5 and below)
    • Silver elite status

Earn at least 2X points

    on purchases

 

The Potential Cons

  • Has an annual fee

 

Our Overall Thoughts on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is the overall best hotel credit card in our eyes. You get an abundance of points that can easily be redeemed at hotels around the world. There are options in pretty much every city. The free night award you’ll get each year essentially gives you a hotel stay for the price of the annual fee. Considering most hotels will cost over $100, you can come out on top as long as you take advantage each year.

 

At Travel Freedom, we value this cards introductory offer at around $675 towards travel. For more information on this card, you can read our full Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card review.

 

2. World of Hyatt Credit Card

chase world of hyatt credit card art

World of Hyatt Credit Card

up to 50,000 points after completing spending tiers

$95 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

 

The World of Hyatt credit card is very similar to Marriott’s Bonvoy Boundless card. It offers an introductory offer of points and also an annual free night award. The difference between the two programs is that Hyatt points are worth far more. Unfortunately, they have a tiered introductory offer which makes it less lucrative.

Hyatt hotels

 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the offerings of the World of Hyatt credit card, our #2 option for best hotel credit cards.

 

World of Hyatt Credit Card

The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 7
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
Earn up to 50,000 points. You'll earn 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and an additional 25,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 9X points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels, and 2X points on restaurants, airline tickets, local transit, and fitness clubs.
BENEFITS
One free night award (up to category 4) every account anniversary.
Another free night award when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year.
Automatic Discoverist elite status with World of Hyatt
5 qualifying night credits each calendar year, plus 2 more bonus night credits each $5,000 in spend.
FEES
$95 annual fee.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The introductory offer is decent, but has a high spending limit to earn both tiers. If both tiers are met, it will earn you enough points for up to 10 free nights (category 1). The free night award each year for $95 is well worth it, if you can use it on an otherwise expensive night.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

The Pros

 

The Potential Cons

  • Tiered introductory offer
  • Has an annual fee

 

Our Overall Thoughts on the World of Hyatt Credit Card

We value this card highly due to the high value of the Hyatt points in general. If you’re able to meet both tiers of the introductory offer, it’s a great deal. If not, it’s not nearly as good. The annual free night award is also a very good perk. There are many very nice category 4 Hyatts around the US. I enjoy staying at Hyatt Place properties when traveling.

 

At Travel Freedom, we value the points from this cards introductory offer at around $425-850 for travel (depending on which spending tier you meet). For more information on this card, you can read our full World of Hyatt credit card review.

 

3. Hilton Honors Ascend Credit Card

 

Now here’s where things get interesting. The Hilton Honors Ascend card has a benefit that’s usually exclusive to premier travel credit cards with high annual fees. It offers a version of Priority Pass that allows you to gain entry to their airport lounges 10 times per year for free. That alone makes it one of the best hotel credit cards, even though it’s not actually a hotel benefit. The card also comes with a large introductory offer. When looking at the number of points you receive, it looks huge, but Hilton points are far less valuable than other hotel programs.

hilton hotels

 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the offerings of the Hilton Honors Ascend credit card, our #3 option for best hotel credit cards.

 

Hilton Honors Surpass

The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 8
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $4,000 in the first 4 months.
Earn a free weekend night rewards after spending $15,000 in a calendar year.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 12X points Hilton properties. You'll also earn 6X at US supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations. 3X on all other purchases.
BENEFITS
Earn diamond status when you spend $40,000 in a calendar year.
Get Priority Pass with 10 free visits per calendar year.
FEES
$95 annual fee.
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
If you regularly stay at Hilton properties this card could be right for you. If you don't stay at Hilton often, it's probably not the best option.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

The Pros

  • Large introductory offer
  • Priority Pass membership (10 free visits)

 

The Potential Cons

  • Has an annual fee
  • Annual free night is only awarded after meeting a high spend
  • Hilton points are not very valuable.

 

Our Overall Thoughts on the Hilton Honors Ascend Card

The Priority Pass benefit of this card, alone, is enough to warrant paying the annual fee. Along with that great travel perk, you’ll also get an introductory offer of points that should be enough for at least a couple free nights at Hilton properties.

 

At Travel Freedom, we value this cards introductory offer at around $750 of travel. For more information on this card, you can read our full Hilton Honors Ascend card review.

 

4. IHG Rewards Club Premier

ihg rewards club premier credit card art

IHG Rewards Club Premier

140,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months

$89 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

In all honesty, before I started the research for this list, I figured the IHG Rewards Club Premier card wouldn’t come into play as a contender for best hotel credit cards. That changed when I realized the value that actually comes with the card. While there aren’t as many high-end properties to choose from in the IHG chain, there are still good award nights to be had.

ihg hotels

 

The card comes with an introductory offer that is worth approximately two free nights at a good hotel. It also comes with elite status at IHG hotels. There are two things that really make this hotel credit card one of the bests. With the card, you’ll receive the 4th night free when redeeming points for a stay. That means that if you have enough points for a 3-night stay, you can add on a night to make it four. That alone is a great benefit, but it’s not the only great benefit of the card. It also comes with a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit. These programs allow you to go in an expedited security line at airports (keep your shoes on, leave laptops and liquids in your bag, etc). The IHG Rewards Club Premier is a sneaky-good hotel credit card.

 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the offerings of the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card, our #4 option for best hotel credit cards.

 

IHG Rewards Club Premier

The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 9
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 140,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 40X points per dollar spent at IHG hotels for first 12 months (25X after), and 4X on everything else for 12 months. After 12 months, earn 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
BENEFITS
One free night award every account anniversary.
4th night free when redeeming points for a stay of 4 nights or more.
Automatic platinum elite status with IHG.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit every four years.
FEES
$89 annual fee.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The introductory offer can be worth up to 12 free nights. The free night award each year for $89 is well worth it if you can use it on an otherwise expensive night.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

The Pros

  • Large introductory offer
  • Elite status
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • 4th night free (on award stays)

 

The Potential Cons

  • Has an annual fee
  • Hotel selection is not the greatest

 

Our Overall Thoughts on the IHG Rewards Club Premier

As a huge underdog, the IHG Rewards Club Premier has secured a spot as one of the best hotel credit cards. Its introductory offer is standard for the best hotel credit cards, but its other travel benefits go above and beyond. Getting TSA PreCheck from a non-premium credit card is rare. The 4th-night free benefit is also huge.

 

At Travel Freedom, we value this cards introductory offer at around $400 for travel. For more information on this card, you can read our full IHG Rewards Club Premier review.

 

5. Marriott Bonvoy Business Card

marriott bonvoy business card art

Marriott Bonvoy Business

75,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months

$125 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

 

The Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card is nearly identical to the Bonvoy Boundless card. The differences are that you’ll have to have a business to be approved, the annual fee is higher, and you’ll earn bonus rewards on certain purchases that the personal card doesn’t offer. The introductory offer and free annual night credit are the exact same as the personal Marriott card.

 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the offerings of the Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card, our #5 option for best hotel credit cards.

 

Marriott Bonvoy Business

The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 10
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 6X points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels.
Earn 4x points at US restaurants, US gas stations, on US cell phone services and US shipping purchases.
Earn 2x points on all other purchases.
BENEFITS
One free night award (up to category 5) every account anniversary.
Earn an additional free night award after spending $60,000 on your card in a calendar year.
Automatic silver elite status with Marriott Bonvoy
Gold status after spending $35k
15 elite night credits each calendar year.
ANNUAL FEE
$125 annual fee.
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The introductory offer is good, as it will earn you approximately enough points for three free nights at a category 5 hotel. The free night award each year for $125 is worth it if you can use the award on an otherwise expensive stay.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

The Pros

    • Large introductory offer
    • Free night award each year (valid at Marriott category 5 and below)
    • Silver elite status

Earn at least 2X points on purchases

 

 

The Potential Cons

  • Has a higher annual fee
  • Must have a business

 

Our Overall Thoughts on the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Business is a very good hotel card if you have a business. It’s very similar to the Bonvoy Boundless personal card. You get an abundance of points that can easily be redeemed at Marriott hotels. There are options in pretty much every city. The free night award you’ll get each year essentially gives you a hotel stay for the price of the annual fee. Considering most hotels will cost over $100, you can come out on top as long as you take advantage each year. The downside is that the annual fee is higher than the personal card for pretty much the same benefits.

 

At Travel Freedom, we value this cards introductory offer at around $675 towards travel. For more information on this card, you can read our full Marriott Bonvoy Business review.

 

(BONUS) Chase Sapphire Preferred: The Best Travel Card of All? !?

chase sapphire preferred credit card art

Chase Sapphire Preferred

60,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

 

If you’re looking for value with a little more flexibility in redemption, you may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred card instead of a branded hotel card. The Sapphire Preferred earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to not only hotels but airlines too. Ultimate Rewards transfer to Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG at a 1:1 ratio. That means that you have way more redemption options for your points when it comes to hotel stays.

 

As mentioned, you can also transfer Ultimate Rewards to airlines at a 1:1 ratio. There are more than a handful of transfer airlines including Southwest, United, and British Airways. If you’d rather just book your travel through the Chase travel portal, your points will be worth 1. 25 cents each toward flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, activities and more.

 

Let’s take a closer look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 11
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

The Pros

  • Large introductory offer
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Transfer points to hotels or airlines
  • Most valuable travel points

 

The Potential Cons

  • Has an annual fee
  • Not many extra travel benefits

 

Our Overall Thoughts on the Chase Sapphire Preferred

As you can see, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best of both worlds. Airlines, hotels, and more can be booked using Ultimate Rewards. Plus, there are other Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards that can be paired with the Sapphire Preferred to earn even more. If you’d like more flexibility than a branded hotel card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the superior choice.

 

At Travel Freedom, we value this cards introductory offer at over $1000 for travel. For more information on this card, you can read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

 

*PS: There’s also a premium travel version of this card. See our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

 

Decision Time: Which is the Best Hotel Credit Card for You?

Well, that’s it. Our best hotel credit cards list has concluded. We’ve gone through the top five hotel credit cards, plus added a potentially better option to consider with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. The offers above are all very similar, so it will depend on your preferences as to which is best for you. Good luck deciding on your best hotel credit card, and happy travels.

 

Credit Card Introductory OfferAnnual FeeOur Thoughts 
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 1 75,000 Points$95With an intro offer worth 2 good free nights, plus the annual free night award, it's the best hotel card.LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>
World of Hyatt Credit Card The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 2 up to 50,000 Points$95Like the Marriott Bonvoy cards, this comes with an annual free night award. Hyatt points are the most valuable of any hotel chain. If you can meet the second tier of the intro offer, it might as well be the best hotel card.LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>
Hilton Honors Ascend The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 3 125,000 Points$95While Hilton points aren't worth very much, this card is good because it gives you a special Priority Pass membership with 10 free visits.LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>
IHG Rewards Club Premier The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 4 140,000 Miles$89While IHG hotels aren't always the best option, these intro offer points are valuable. Plus with the 4th reward night free, you can extend those points. The card also allows you to get Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for 5 years.LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>
Marriott Bonvoy Business The 5 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Travel: Earn Free Reward Nights 5 75,000 Points$125Similar to the personal card, it's intro offer and yearly free night award make it valuable.LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>
best car rental booking sites

When you are booking a rental car, it is imperative to be able to find the best rates. You want to feel like you are getting a good deal, so it makes sense to use a good car rental booking site. The best sites on the Internet are going to be able to offer you many different options while also being cost-effective. Thankfully, there are several good car rental booking sites that fit the bill.

 

We are going to take an in-depth look at the best car rental booking site (top 5). You will be able to really dig into the particulars of each site to see what they can offer you. All of these sites are going to be quite good in their own ways. Which one of them will appeal to you the most may wind up coming down to personal preference.

 

Simply read on to get all of the important information. This is going to make things a lot easier the next time that you need to book a rental car for a trip. Whether you are a businessman or businesswoman who travels a lot or someone who travels for fun, it makes sense to try to get a good deal. You will be much better prepared to book your next rental car when you know all about the best sites around.

 

1. Hotwire

Hotwire Car Rental Rent a car for less. Get 4 star quality at a 2 star price. Hotwire Car Rental

Hotwire is going to be an interesting choice for many people. If you’re not too picky about which car rental service you are using, then this might wind up being the best option. This car rental booking site makes use of opaque rates to give their customers access to great deals. What this means is that customers won’t be told what rental company they are renting the car through until after they pay for the car.

 

This is something that can potentially save you quite a bit of money. The only real downside to it is that this is going to be a nonrefundable charge. If you decide that you do not want to rent the car, then you will be out of luck. As long as you are aware of this ahead of time, it could be a way for you to keep your costs low when renting your next vehicle.

 

In terms of getting the best possible deal, Hotwire ranks very highly. Due to its use of the opaque rate system, it is consistently able to offer prices that are lower than the competition. It comes with a little bit of risk being that you will not know much about what you’re getting into ahead of time. It’s still a desirable option for those who wish to save and people are generally happy with the service due to being able to rent high-quality cars from good companies.

 

You should know that this may not be the best site to turn to if you are planning a trip to Europe. You may not be able to find the usual opaque rates when searching for rental cars in European countries. If you’re looking to rent a car elsewhere, then Hotwire is easy to recommend. This is one car rental booking site that you should definitely try out for yourself.

 

Pros

  • One of the best sites for saving money on car rental
  • A great option for those seeking opaque rates

Cons

  • Opaque rates not found in Europe
  • Opaque rates may come with charges that are not refundable

You can also read our full Hotwire review.

 

2. RentalCars.com

Many people out there are simply trying to get the best possible deal on a rental car. If this sounds like it matches up with what you’re looking for, then you may want to give RentalCars.com a shot. This is a car rental booking site that offers some of the lowest rates possible. Searches on this site seem to consistently find the most affordable car rentals.

 

Even when the results of the searches on this website were not the lowest, they were very close to it. This means that this is a highly recommended website for anyone who is looking for a great deal. If you want to be able to save a bit of cash on your next car rental, then this car booking site just might be able to help you out. It works very well to find you the best possible options and is very easy to use.

 

The metasearch system that this site uses works fantastically. It searches far and wide, making it easy to compare different offers. You’ll be able to do all of your research on prices in a matter of minutes, helping you to find a great deal fast. This has become one of the go-to websites for vacationers looking for an affordable rental car.

 

You will also be interested to hear that there are special deals offered on this site. There are really low prices offered on certain cars. It may not be clear what the car model is when you are booking it, though. Regardless, for those who are flexible when it comes to what type of rental cars will be acceptable, this can be a great way to save some cash.

 

This site is not as large as many of the others on this list. It still manages to match the larger sites in quality and ability to find you a good deal on a rental car. Whether or not this is the best option is up in the air and the answer can depend on many factors. Just know that this is a solid car rental booking site that has earned its place on this list.

 

Pros

  • Helps users to find great prices on car rentals
  • Special deals may allow users to save even more money

Cons

  • Not as large as some other car rental booking sites

 

3. Expedia

Expedia is a big name in the car rental booking world. This is one of the largest websites when it comes to helping people book their travel. This site is used for much more than just booking cars. People use Expedia to find airfare and hotels as well.

 

You may also know that Expedia owns Travelocity and Orbitz, too. They’re a large site that is able to offer their users a really streamlined experience. They have a visually appealing website and the user interface makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. To add to this, the prices for rental cars are really good.

 

Expedia is capable of beating or matching the prices of most car rental booking sites. If you use Expedia to book your other travel needs, then using the site to also book your rental cars will be a sensible choice. You can even wind up saving extra money when you book all of your travel needs together. Booking a hotel, airfare, and a rental car through Expedia may help you to get a very affordable bundle price.

 

Some people may be disappointed by the fact that Expedia does not offer opaque rates. Those will be discussed in more detail later when speaking about some of the other car rental booking sites. This is just a good overall site to make use of. It is not necessarily the one that will give you the best rates, but it can be excellent when you are also booking hotels and airfare through Expedia.  

 

Pros

  • Makes it possible to save by bundling airfare, hotels, and car rentals together
  • Good for finding low prices
  • The site may match the prices of some booking sites

Cons

  • Does not offer opaque rates

 

4. Priceline

Priceline also offers opaque rates, giving their customers access to some of the best prices around. In some cities, Priceline is even able to offer the lowest prices when compared to Hotwire. It depends on the location and results may vary. Even so, this is going to be one of the websites to take a look at when you want to save as much money as possible.

 

You probably also know that Priceline is a site that is famous for more than just rental cars. This is a site where you can book your hotels and airfare, too. If you are using this site for those purposes, then this is going to be a natural fit for you. You will not need to go to another site just to find a rental car to book.

 

The rental car portion of Priceline is very similar to Hotwire. If you are a fan of Priceline for their other services, then you may as well stick with them. They offer very similar prices to Hotwire and may even be better than them sometimes. Hotwire is often lower in price by just a little bit, but the convenience of Priceline can’t be denied.

 

You will want to keep in mind that the similarities to Hotwire extend to not being able to find opaque rates in Europe. This is a bit unfortunate, but it should not hurt your overall opinion of Expedia. This is a car rental booking site that is very user-friendly. It allows you to find great deals and it’s easy to navigate the site, too.

 

Priceline might even be the best looking site on this entire list. It has a design that is very easy on the eyes and the user interface is so simple to use. It is very intuitive and that does count for something. Consider going with Priceline if you like getting good deals and want a site that is convenient to use.

 

Pros

  • Convenient for booking all of your travel in one place
  • Offers low prices
  • Opaque rates
  • Very good looking site

Cons

  • Rates may not be as low as Hotwire in many instances

 

5. Autorentals.com

If you want to find a great place to begin searching for your next auto rental, then Autorentals.com is definitely going to be a good fit. This site allows you to make use of their fantastic metasearch system. It will display up to 25 different model options while also giving you prices from various sources. This is among the best car rental search options when you want to compare prices.

 

You will even be able to compare the results and prices being offered by this site with other car rental booking sites. This is a very transparent site and that level of honesty is always appreciated. It makes things a lot simpler for those who are just looking to find the best possible car at the most affordable price. You won’t have any problem using this car rental booking site’s search options.

 

The prices that are displayed are easy to understand, too. Some car rental booking sites will only display the daily rate and not the total cost of everything. This site shows you both the daily rate and the total cost of the rental that you are looking into. It helps you to prepare for the rental process and you will not be blindsided by any numbers that you didn’t expect.

 

You’ll love the fact that this website covers pretty much all of the major cities around the world, too. You’ll be able to look into rental options no matter where you’re going on vacation. For many people, this is going to be preferable to some of the other car rental booking sites. It makes a lot of things easier while still giving you access to great prices.

 

The only potential negative of this site is that you will, sometimes, get results that will not be able to be canceled. Many people don’t like renting cars that are not able to be canceled without some type of cancellation fee. Just be aware that some of these results will be mixed in.  

 

Pros

  • Prices displayed will be easy to understand
  • Allows you to find good deals
  • Covers most of the major cities around the world

Cons

  • You may encounter results that will not be able to be canceled

 

Our Last Thoughts

Now that you have read all about the best car rental booking sites around, you will be ready to book your next rental car. Simply knowing what the best options are is going to make a huge difference. It should be a lot easier to get the type of rental car that you want while also saving some money. Keep all five of these options in mind when you are planning your next trip.

 

Whichever one you decide to go with should wind up being great. They are all very good for different reasons and some of them excel in particular areas. When making a choice about which one of them to use, you should simply consider what is most important to you. All of the information that you need to know is located above, so make an informed decision before booking your next rental car.

 

Getting the best deal possible on a high-quality rental car is going to make your vacation time that much better. You will be able to keep more of your hard-earned money in your wallet and you can get a great vehicle. Booking a rental car through one of these sites will be very simple, too. You’ll be able to enjoy a streamlined process that simply works to save you money, so make contact today if you’re ready to book a rental car.

costco travel review

You’re probably familiar with the Costco brand due to how prevalent they are in many places. Costco is a membership-only wholesale store that sells things such as electronics, furniture, appliances, and much more. You can buy bulk products at a steep discount and it has become one of the go-to stores for many people. People pay a yearly membership fee in order to enjoy these discounts at the Costco warehouses. Anyway, we’re going to be doing a Costco Travel review. Maybe you’ve heard of their travel program, but maybe you haven’t yet.

 

Costco does allow some non-members to shop at certain locations but that situation varies depending on where you live. What we’re going to be talking about today is the intriguing Costco Travel program. If you haven’t heard of this before, then it may seem a bit unusual that Costco offers a travel program at all. This is usually a wholesale store so travel booking may seem a bit outside of Costco’s wheelhouse.

 

Today we are going to do an in-depth Costco Travel review. You’ll be able to learn about what the program offers as well as whether or not it is worth your time. This is a travel program that has some interesting features and you’ll need to really dig into the particulars to see if it’s going to work well for your situation. Read on and you’ll be able to learn everything about this program.

 

Costco Travel Overview

Those who make use of the Costco Travel program are going to be able to book themselves luxury vacation packages. The idea behind this program is to save money by buying in bulk. That is the general philosophy of just about everything that Costco does. If you’re a Costco member, then you’ll be able to take advantage of this.

 

Costco Travel sells these vacation packages exclusively to Costco members. You also have to be a current member who is residing in the United States. This works a bit differently than a standard vacation package booking agency. Costco is actually going to be using their expertise and position to negotiate the best possible price on the market.

 

Trained travel professionals will be helping you to plan and book your vacation. It will allow you to choose from many of the most sought-after destinations in the world. There are cruises, fabulous hotels, and much more. Costco offers travel packages that will guarantee you a quality vacation experience.

 

More Than Just Travel Packages

With Costco Travel you’re able to book more than just vacation packages. You can also book a few things separately. The two main bookings are for hotels and car rentals. I’ve found that Costco Travel often has very competitive prices.

 

Booking Rental Cars through Costco Travel

At Travel Freedom, one of our favorite places to book car rentals is through Costco Travel. Their selection is great and they often have the most affordable pricing. I typically will check both Hotwire and Costco Travel to get my comparison started.

 

Booking Hotels through Costco Travel

The hotel feature on Costco is lacking a bit. It seems that as of now, they only feature hotels within the Hyatt brand of hotels. It does although have very good prices on those hotels compared to the competition. Another option to compare when booking a hotel is Hotels.com.

costco travel car rental

 

Pros of Costco Travel

There are actually many benefits to making use of the Costco travel program. This is going to allow people to book travel in a very convenient and hassle-free way. If you like being able to take care of things quickly, then this way of booking travel is ideal. You’ll be able to enjoy simple 24/7 booking that is very streamlined.

 

Picking a location is going to be quite simple too. Costco Travel offers many great destinations that are all of the highest quality. For the most part, the offered packages are all going to be at big vacation resorts. The cruise packages are going to be booked with renowned cruise lines as well so you’ll be getting a proven travel experience that should meet your expectations.

 

To add to this, there are many great perks that you’ll be enjoying as part of the overall package. You should be able to receive free breakfasts, various tour credits, and Costco vouchers. This can all help you to stretch your money as far as possible. If you’re looking to book a luxury vacation without having to spend an abundance of money, then this is going to prove to be an ideal option.

 

You may even wind up receiving some nice perks such as convenient theme park tickets. If you’re visiting a location that is near an amusement park of some kind, these packages will often include free tickets to the park. If you were planning on going to the amusement park anyway, then this can save you some cash. It’s a nice little perk that will make the whole family happy.

 

If you pay with your Costco credit card, then things are going to be even better. You’ll be able to receive an additional discount that can help you to lower costs further. If you already have this credit card, then booking your travel through Costco Travel is an even more practical option.

 

One of the biggest positives about using Costco Travel is simply the cost-effective nature of everything. This is a good way to save yourself an ample amount of money. Travel packages such as this would likely be a lot more expensive when they’re booked through a traditional travel agency. Being able to go on a luxurious vacation without having to break the bank is a nice touch.

  • It is a very convenient way to book your travel.
  • Picking a location is easy.
  • All of the vacation packages offered will be with large and proven resorts or cruise lines.
  • You may receive special perks such as amusement park tickets.
  • Paying with Costco credit card allows you to receive a further discount.
  • This is a very cost-effective way to book a vacation.

 

Cons of Costco Travel

There are going to be some people that won’t find Costo Travel to be entirely appealing. One of the problems that you’ll encounter when booking travel through Costco is that the options are a bit limited. There are many good places that you can book vacations at but they’re all going to be large resorts or cruise lines. If you want to vacation at a smaller spot with a different aesthetic, then you may find the options to be lacking.

 

You’ll also be limited to one travel destination for the most part. Cruises may be a somewhat different experience due to the nature of going on a cruise. When you’re booking a vacation at a resort, you won’t have the option to book multiple destinations on the same trip. If you were hoping to see multiple places when visiting a certain country, this travel package plan may not be the best option for you.

 

Some users have also reported some issues with not being able to book certain activities ahead of time. For example, if you want to book a tour of the area, you may wind up having to wait until you’re actually there to do so. This may not be a huge deal but it can still be a bit of an inconvenience. It could be more of an issue if you’re traveling with many companions as you might have a hard time booking a spot on some tours.

 

Also, the fact that the tour packages being offered are so curated does limit the scope of what is available. A traditional travel agency is going to be able to offer you more options for places to visit. The trade-off is that you won’t be saving the same amount of money that you would if you booked a vacation through Costco. This is a good option as long as you go into things with the right expectations.

 

It’s also worth noting that Costco Travel only works with four different car rental companies. If you’re loyal to one of the other car rental companies, then this might not be ideal for you. You may also simply prefer another car rental company.

 

Finally, you should know that these packages do not include many extra expenses. Things such as alcohol purchases and dinners may come out of your own pocket. You need to make sure that you budget enough money to be able to have a good time while you’re at the resort.

  • Vacation packages are limited to large resorts and cruise lines.
  • You’re not able to book multiple destinations for your trip.
  • You might not be able to book certain tours before arriving.
  • The available vacation destinations are somewhat limited when compared to a traditional travel agency.
  • Costco Travel only works with four car rental companies.
  • Not all expenses are included in the vacation package.

 

No Need to Worry About Logistics

When you book your travel through Costco, you’re going to be able to book everything that you need in the same place. You won’t have to worry about renting a car once you get to your destination. Likewise, you won’t be buying your airfare separately. This is going to be a convenient way to buy the entire vacation package so that you won’t have to worry about a thing.

 

If you want to have the most convenient vacation experience, then this is going to be ideal. You won’t have to worry about handling the particulars. All you really need to do is pack for your trip and get ready to enjoy yourself. For vacationers who just want to unwind, this is going to be beneficial. It’s also great when it comes to allowing you to keep your costs low.

costco travel vacation

 

Somewhat Customizable Travel

Once you have booked your travel, you’ll be able to enjoy customizing your trip a little bit. The vacation package that you’ll be purchasing is going to have a basic itinerary that you can follow. It’s also possible to tweak little details to make them more to your liking. For instance, you can upgrade your room or try to change aspects of your flight if you wish to do so.

 

Being able to customize your travel experience a little bit can ensure that you’ll be happy with the vacation. The basic package that is being offered is likely to be sufficient for most people. It is possible to upgrade the flights to first class or to ensure that you’re booking a more luxurious room at the resort that you picked out. This isn’t a simple generic vacation package that has no wriggle room to make changes.

 

Also, once you arrive at your destination, it’ll be up to you to pick out what you want to do. You’ll be the one who is planning your activities. Most of the vacation packages will give you access to many things that you can choose to do. You might be able to take a tour of the area or you might even want to find a very adventurous activity such as a nature hike.

 

What you’ll want to do will depend on your personal tastes. This is your vacation and you’ll be able to determine how best to spend your time. Most large resorts will have plenty of on-site activities for you to participate in but you can also venture out into the nearby towns.

 

Alternatives to Costco Travel

The most logical alternative to Costco Travel is going to be booking a vacation with a traditional travel agency. Doing so is going to make it easier to book vacations just about anywhere in the world. Costco is going to have a somewhat limited scope in comparison to some of the large travel agencies out there. You should know that you’ll be able to customize your experience better at most travel agencies.

 

You’ll also be able to book a vacation that suits your tastes more perfectly. If you’d prefer to stay at smaller bed-and-breakfast accommodations rather than a resort, then you’ll be able to book something such as that at a normal travel agency. You won’t be limited to the resort experience or booking a cruise. If you like the idea of having more options on the table, then a travel agency is the way to go.

 

Our Costco Travel Review Final Thoughts

Depending on what you want, Costco Travel will either be a great experience or a bad one. If you’re looking to book a luxury vacation for a reasonable price, then this is going to be appealing. Costco Travel allows people to book vacation packages at the most competitive prices. It’s always going to give you a good deal and it’ll give you many top-tier vacation options to consider.

 

This isn’t going to be the most flexible experience, though. Sometimes it isn’t going to be the most cost-effective either. You could book a vacation where you stay at a smaller hotel and save yourself some money. It also might be more practical to pay with travel rewards points from your credit card or airline. This can make booking with another service a better way to go.

 

If you’d like to enjoy the most convenient way to book a nice vacation, then Costco Travel is a good bet. It just isn’t perfect for everything. This will give you an overall good experience but it isn’t going to be the only option that you should consider. Think about looking into various travel agencies so that you can weigh your options.

hotwire review

Hotwire is one of the premier travel booking sites on the Internet for a good reason. So many people use this site in order to book their travel. It is useful for booking flights, hotels, and rental cars. It is capable of doing so much that there are many users who simply use the travel booking site for all of their travel needs. When it comes to travel booking, it is one of the best ways to save yourself money when going on a trip. Read on to see our full Hotwire review.

 

Today we are going to be taking an in-depth look at Hotwire and everything that it has to offer. You know that this is a popular website that has a good reputation. Even so, it’s always a good idea to gather some information for yourself so that you can make an informed decision as a consumer. Is Hotwire really worth your time or is it simply one of many similar travel sites on the Internet?

 

Read on to discover all of the important details during our Hotwire review. We’ll be digging into all of the details so that you can see if Hotwire is right for you. Once you’ve examined this site from every different angle, it’ll be much easier to make a final decision. You just might be able to save some money on your travel purchases so keep reading and we’ll come to a conclusion together.

Hotwire - Book Travel Now Book cheaper travel today. Get 4 star travel at 2 star prices. Hotwire - Book Travel Now

 

An Overview of Hotwire

Hotwire is a website that is all about helping people find the cheapest prices on travel. It is used to help people book flights, hotels, and car rentals. In many situations, Hotwire is able to help people find the lowest prices on travel. It has a reputation for being among the best travel booking sites when it comes to helping users get a good deal.

 

This is a pure travel booking site that doesn’t really have an associated rewards program. If you’re looking to accumulate rewards points that can be used toward paying for travel expenses, then you should know that you won’t find that here. This is simply an online tool for finding the best deals on travel and then booking them. If that’s what you’re looking for, then Hotwire is going to prove to be among the best options around.

 

Pros of Using Hotwire.com

Hotwire manages to give users a really fantastic overall experience. If you want to book your travel in the most convenient way possible, then Hotwire is really going to appeal to you. It offers an easy-to-use interface that gives you as much information as possible. Also, it really does help you to find the best deals on airfare, rental cars, and hotels.

 

One of the best reasons to consider using this travel booking site is due to its opaque fares. You’ll be able to book things such as rental cars with opaque rates. This means that you’ll be unaware of certain particulars about the car rental company before booking your car. For some people, this is going to be a bad thing but it does allow you to save a significant amount of money.

 

If you truly want to save the most money possible, then Hotwire is going to rank among the best travel booking sites on the Internet. Those who are looking to find cheap deals on flights, hotels, and car rentals will be able to make great use of opaque rates and fares. Doing so will let you take advantage of the lowest possible prices. Depending on what you want out of your travel experience, this might be the best option.

 

It’s also worth noting that this is a good travel booking site due to being able to serve multiple travel needs. Since you will be able to find flights, hotels, and rental cars all in one place, it’s going to make things easier for you. If you want to have a good experience with booking your travel, then the streamlined nature of Hotwire might be a good fit for you. It’s proven to be a popular option for many people and you may wind up loving it too.

  • Offers ease of use
  • Makes it possible to enjoy the most affordable travel prices
  • Offers opaque rates
  • Books flights, hotels, and car rentals in the same place

 

Cons of Using Hotwire.com

Of course, not everything is going to be perfect when it comes to using Hotwire. One of the biggest issues that people have with this website is its overall lack of filter options. When you compare Hotwire to other websites, it’s likely that you’ll find it to be lacking when it comes to filters. This can make it tougher to narrow down your search.

 

If you’re not looking for the cheapest hotels, then you may not like Hotwire either. This is a site that is primarily meant to help people get the best deals. This is great but it does mean that you’ll be looking at the most affordable hotel options. If you’re looking for high-end vacation spots, then this is not going to be your go-to option.

 

Hotwire is going to be more practical for those who are looking for affordable hotels or hotels that fall somewhere between high-end and cheap. If you’re looking for absolutely top-notch hotels, then that is not what Hotwire specializes in. Of course, most people are using this site in order to save some money. This is likely a moot point but it is important to know what this booking site is meant for.

  • Doesn’t have robust filter options
  • Is not the best site for finding high-end hotels

 

Booking Flights with Hotwire

Hotwire actually works really well for those who are looking to Book flights. It allows you to search for flights in a specific area. You can choose to either search available flights at a specific airport or you can go for a more general search of the surrounding area. You’ll be able to see all of the options available to you in order to track down the best possible deal.

Hotwire Flights Get a cheaper flight. Find special deals on the flight you're looking for. Hotwire Flights

 

When you’re looking at flight information with Hotwire, you’re generally going to see more details when searching for domestic flights. Domestic flights will show you information such as how many stops the flight has as well as baggage information. International flights will have more stops than usual and you’ll have to select your flight itinerary to get more detailed information.

 

Another thing that Hotwire does is it gives your flight an overall score. This takes many factors into account to determine how desirable it is. For instance, the length of the flight, the type of plane you’ll be flying on, and all of the perks of the flight go into determining the overall score. You should also be able to see how many seats are available. Overall, this is a very thorough search that is going to work brilliantly for your needs.

 

Booking Hotels with Hotwire

Booking hotels with Hotwire is going to be a very intuitive experience overall. When you’re starting your search, you’re going to be asked many questions. You’ll have to list how many people are going to be staying in the hotel as well as whether you need more than one room. You’ll then be able to choose whether you want to bundle your hotel with other purchases such as airfare or a car rental.

Hotwire Hotels Get a hotel room for less. 4 star hotels at 2 star prices. Hotwire Hotels

 

The results that you’re going to see pop up first will be what Hotwire refers to as “Hot Rate Hotel Deals.” These are discounted hotels that you’ll be able to book for a very low price. This is also often referred to as an opaque rate. You won’t know all of the details when booking this type of hotel.

 

You’ll only see all of the details once you have moved forward with your purchase. After this, you’ll see where the hotel is located and all of the other pertinent details. This may seem to be a big risk but you’ll typically be getting very good rooms. You’ll see an approval rating of the hotel ahead of booking it so you can make a judgment call on whether or not it looks as if it would be a good fit.

 

Hotwire is good at searching for hotels with a regular rate too. You can still find good deals on hotels even when you aren’t comfortable with being left in the dark on where the hotel is located. In order to search for hotels at the regular rate, you simply need to click the hotels tab in the search results window. You’ll be able to sort your results by price or overall star rating too.

 

You’ll also enjoy making use of the interactive map feature that Hotwire uses. This can show you the most popular places to visit that are in the area where you want to stay. You can then get a look at where all the nearby hotels are located. This makes planning your trip simpler and is likely something that will appeal to you if you’re traveling for vacation purposes.

 

Booking Car Rentals with Hotwire

Booking car rentals with Hotwire is a really great experience if you’re looking to save money. You’re going to be able to book cars using the opaque rates that have been mentioned above. This means that you’ll be able to save a lot of money but you may not know all of the information about which car rental service you’ll be using. For the most part, this is going to be very positive due to most companies offering the same types of cars.

Hotwire Car Rental Rent a car for less. Get 4 star quality at a 2 star price. Hotwire Car Rental

 

You won’t know exactly which type of car you’re going to get but you’ll be guaranteed a compact car or something larger. Some people will consider this a risk but it should work out well for anyone who wants to keep costs low. This is one convenient option that will make your trip more manageable financially. Note that the opaque rates may not be available in places such as Europe.

 

Being able to bundle everything together can also help you to save some money. You can choose to book your airfare, hotels, and car rentals through Hotwire. This will allow you to save the most money that you can. It’s worth your consideration when you need all three.

 

Alternatives to Hotwire

One of the biggest alternatives to Hotwire is Priceline. This is actually going to give you a very similar experience to Hotwire so it’s worth looking into their site as well. Much the same as Hotwire, Priceline also allows you to book travel using opaque rates. This means that sometimes Priceline may wind up having a better deal than Hotwire.

 

Most of the time, Hotwire is going to come out ahead. Even so, it can be smart to search for travel using both Hotwire and Priceline. This will allow you to check to ensure that you’re truly getting the lowest possible price when booking travel. Keep Priceline in mind as they’re the closest competitor to Hotwire among the different travel booking sites.

 

Our Hotwire Review Final Thoughts

Through our Hotwire review, we’ve found that they are a very good travel booking site that is going to help you to save money. If you need to book a car rental, a hotel, or a flight, then this is a good place to start looking. It’s a good resource for finding deals and it’s pretty user-friendly overall. Just understand what the opaque rates mean for your travel situation before booking one of these great deals.

 

Remember that there are other travel booking sites out there that can offer you similar experiences. Some people may prefer Priceline for finding a good deal. Others may like the more straightforward nature of other travel booking sites. The decision is ultimately up to you but Hotwire is certainly a travel booking site that deserves its reputation as a great option for finding a good deal.

 

You can make use of Hotwire today to start booking your next vacation. This is likely going to appeal more to people who are booking travel for vacation purposes than it will to businessmen or businesswomen. If you can make use of the opaque rates and are flexible with your needs, then this site is great. Otherwise, you may want to book something at a standard rate so that the power of choice is placed in your hands.

what is a known traveler number

People who travel frequently want to be able to make their traveling experience as streamlined as possible. There are actually several things that travelers can do to help themselves out. One of the most popular methods is to get a Known Traveler Number (KTN). If you have never heard of this before, then you might be wondering “what is a Known Traveler Number?”

 

In this article, we are going to be explaining what a Known Traveler Number is and what you need to do to obtain one. Once you’ve read through all of the information, it’ll be a lot easier to move forward with this. It isn’t a difficult process, but you do need to know how to go about getting the number. Read on and we will explore everything that you need to know together.

 

What Does a Known Traveler Number Do?

Firstly, you should know that Known Traveler Numbers are also referred to as Trusted Traveler Numbers by some. The terms are interchangeable, so don’t be alarmed if you see this being referred to by its other name. With that out of the way, we can focus on why you will want to get a KTN. KTNs can be issued by the Department of Homeland Security, the US Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of Defense.

 

This number shows that you have gone through a background check process or other screening methods ahead of your flight. You can use your KTN when booking your airfare to increase the chances of using the TSA PreCheck system. This is a streamlined process that lets you pass through security a whole lot faster than usual. For many travelers, this is going to save them countless hours of time every single year.

 

The KTN gives you access to another neat benefit as well. You’ll be able to enjoy streamlined customs processing if you’re a member of the Global Entry program. This is only going to be available at certain airports, but it’s still a nice perk. It’s another great way for you to save yourself some time when you travel a lot.

 

Do You Get TSA PreCheck Status Every Time?

You don’t get TSA PreCheck status every time you fly. Even with your KTN, there are going to be times when you’ll have to go through normal security. The KTN simply increases your odds of being chosen for the TSA PreCheck status. It works a lot of the time, but sometimes you might simply not have good luck.

 

You’re probably wondering what the reasons are for people with Known Traveler Numbers not being chosen. There are a few explanations. The most common explanation is that the TSA tries to randomize the selection process as part of their regular security screening procedures. This can be frustrating for those who went to the effort of obtaining a KTN, but sometimes it does occur.

 

The other reason is that you may not have used your KTN properly. There are many situations where customers find out that they wrote their KTN down wrong on an application or ticket. This can cause wires to get crossed and you’ll wind up not being allowed to go through the TSA PreCheck screening lane. This is why it’s so important to check to ensure that your KTN is written down properly.

 

Also, your KTN might not be saved to your frequent flyer profile properly. You’ll want to log into your frequent flyer account to check things out. If the number isn’t there, then it will be easy enough to remedy the situation. Once you get this fixed, it’ll be less likely to cause you any problems moving forward.

 

Many people choose to book their travel through third-party agencies as well. Sometimes, these agencies do not pass the KTN to the airlines properly. You can fix this by choosing to contact the airline directly. Just give them a call and make sure that your KTN is linked to your reservation.

 

There are some hoops to jump through to make sure that your KTN is being used properly. Even so, it isn’t that difficult once you know what to look out for. If you’re a member of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, then you’ll be able to enjoy a streamlined process. Knowing this, you may want to consider applying for one of these programs to obtain your KTN.

known traveler number

 

Why Do People Sign up for These Programs?

These programs are really going to make your traveling experience that much easier. It costs money to apply for TSA PreCheck status and the same goes for the Global Entry program. The Global Entry program provides the same benefits of TSA PreCheck status while also offering faster US customs screening for international travelers when entering the country. Your KTN is valuable, and you’ll still be using it even when you gain membership into these programs.

 

Whenever you purchase airfare, you’ll need to write down your KTN. You want to make sure that this number is always present so that you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of being a known traveler. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of always looking for your KTN number when purchasing airfare. If it isn’t there, then you should ask questions and make sure that it gets put into the system.

 

How Do You Get a Known Traveler Number?

The simplest way to obtain a known traveler number is to apply for the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs. You can go about this in a couple of different ways. One of the most common ways is to simply apply on your own. As of the time of this writing, the American citizens can pay $85.00 to apply for the TSA PreCheck program and $100.00 to apply for the Global Entry program. If approved, you will get a five-year membership into the program that you applied for.

 

You also receive your KTN upon being accepted into one of these programs. These are the most common programs that people sign up for to expedite their traveling experience. It’s also possible to receive a KTN by signing up for the NEXUS or SENTRI Programs. We are going to go over why you might want to sign up for each of them below to give you a better idea of which programs will appeal to you.

 

TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck is the best option for frequent travelers who only travel within the United States. If you’re a US citizen or a permanent resident of the US, then this is a great program to consider. It makes it a lot faster to get through security while traveling in the United States. Your travel within the United States will always be more pleasant when you’re a member of the TSA PreCheck program.

 

Being able to make use of the TSA PreCheck screening lanes really does save you a lot of time. Most travelers will save themselves many hours by simply being able to cut down on time spent going through security. It also makes it possible to show up to the airport a little closer to your boarding time due to the security process not being so time-consuming.

 

Global Entry

Global Entry offers you all of the same benefits as the TSA PreCheck program. The added benefit is that it makes getting through customs easier when you’re traveling internationally. This is going to be a good fit for anyone who has to travel outside of the country regularly. Business travelers and personal travelers both benefit from this convenient program.

 

It’s actually not much more expensive to get a Global Entry membership than it is to get the TSA PreCheck status. If you’re going to be traveling internationally at all, then this is the one you’ll want to sign up for. You’ll be able to make your travel that much easier, both domestically and internationally.

 

NEXUS

NEXUS is a program that appeals to those who travel to Canada regularly. It makes it simpler to get through customs when you’re traveling in the United States and when you’re passing through the Canadian border. This is a great program for both United States citizens and Canadian citizens. If you want to be able to travel across both countries easier, then this makes a lot of sense.

 

Also, it’s worth noting that becoming a NEXUS member allows you to go to Canada without having a Canadian passport. Many Americans who have family members living in Canada sign up for this program. As of the time of this writing, there is only a $50.00 online fee to become a NEXUS member. You’ll be issued a PASSID when you become a member of the program and this is the same as a KTN.

 

SENTRI

SENTRI is a program that is actually very similar to the NEXUS program. The difference is that this is for people who frequently travel to Mexico. Crossing the United States and Mexican border is going to be streamlined for those who are SENTRI members. If you’re a US citizen who travels to Mexico a lot on business or for personal reasons, then this is an ideal way to obtain a KTN.

 

As of the time of this writing, the SENTRI fee is $122.25. This is substantially more expensive than the NEXUS program. Similarly to the NEXUS program, you’ll be issued a PASSID once you have been approved. This will act the same as a KTN, so you’ll want to enter this whenever you’re traveling.

 

Receive a Known Traveler Number through the US Armed Forces

You should know that all US Armed Forces members will receive a KTN in the form of a DoD identification number. All of the benefits of using a KTN will apply to those who have earned it through their service. Whenever you travel, you should also make sure to enter the DoD identification number to reap the benefits. This will allow you to have a smooth traveling experience.

 

Get a Known Traveler Number for Free with these 3 Credit Cards

You can purchase Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for around $100, which gives you access to a known traveler number for 5 years. Even better yet, you can get either of those programs for FREE, through a few different travel credit cards. All of the following cards offer a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck as a benefit.

 

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve

What Is a Known Traveler Number & How Do You Get One? Find Out Now 17
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
BENEFITS
$300 annual travel credit.
Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
FEES
$550
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

2. Capital One Venture

Capital One Venture

What Is a Known Traveler Number & How Do You Get One? Find Out Now 18
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 2X points on every purchase.
BENEFITS
Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Transfer points to airline and hotel travel partners.
FEES
$95 annual fee. (waived year 1)
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is a great travel credit card. It offers a large introductory offer, free TSA PreCheck for 5 years, plus the annual fee is waived the first year.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

3. American Express Platinum Card

Amex Platinum Card

What Is a Known Traveler Number & How Do You Get One? Find Out Now 19
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
BENEFITS
Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.
$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.
Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.
Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.
FEES
$550 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
With a large introductory offer, statement credits, and airport lounge access, this is an excellent premium travel credit card.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Remember to Book Your Travel with an Airline That Recognizes Your KTN

Not every airline recognizes the KTN system. There are a large number of airlines worldwide that will participate in this program. Many of the common airlines in North America such as United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Southwest Airlines are among those that are participating. Take the time to check and see if your preferred airline participates in this program.

 

Some airlines will even issue their frequent travelers a KTN by giving them access to TSA PreCheck status. There are also many airline-related credit cards that reimburse you for the fees that are associated with the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs. If you’re a regular traveler, then you likely already have a favorite airline that you stick with. Be sure to check what they’re offering to see if you can make obtaining your KTN easier.

 

Our Last Thoughts

Getting your known traveler number is really going to speed things up for you when you’re a frequent traveler. This is worth your while and you’re likely going to want to get one if you travel a lot. There are a large number of different ways that you can obtain a KTN. Which one of them is going to suit you the best is really dependent on your personal circumstances.

 

If you only travel within the United States, then applying for the TSA PreCheck program might be your best bet. Those who travel internationally frequently will be far better off paying the extra money to become a Global Entry member. Both the NEXUS and SENTRI programs are worthwhile for those traveling to Canada and Mexico respectively. You have many choices when you’re interested in obtaining a KTN.

 

Now that you have read all of the information above, you should have a much deeper understanding of what a KTN is and what it can do. You’ll be able to use your KTN to make your traveling experience more enjoyable. Take your time and consider your options before applying. You’ll be enjoying the benefits of having a streamlined traveling experience soon enough.

How is a credit card number selected

A credit card number is a 16-digit string of numbers, separated in 4 groups of 4 numbers each for ease of reading. In some cases, the number can be as long as 19 digits.

 

Have you ever wondered how that number is generated? Well, we’ve got the answer. The numbers are based on the American National Standards Institute ANSI numbering system.

Travel Freedom Credit Card

 

Purpose of the Credit Card Numbers

Credit Card numbers are more than just random digits. Parts of the number are identification markers for the kind of credit card that it is. The first six digits are used to identify the card issuer and the type of card it is. The first digit is called the major industry identifier or MII.

 

  • The numbers 1 and 2 are issued by airlines.
  • The number 3 is issued by the entertainment and travel industry. The MII for American Express card is 3.
  • The numbers 4 and 5 are reserved for banking and financial institutions. Visa Cards begin with the MII 4. Cards from MasterCard start with the MII 5.
  • Number 6 is issued by merchandising and banking industry. For example, cards issued by Discover start with the number 6.
  • The number 7 is reserved for petrol and oil companies.
  • Number 8 is issued by telecommunication companies.
  • Number 9 is reserved for national assignment.

 

The digits from 2 – 6 are reserved for the bank that is issuing the card, the currency information stored on the card or the kind of services that are available on it. Each card issuing authority may use the numbers in a different manner. For example, MasterCard uses the digits two and three or two through six to identify the bank number. On the other hand, American Express uses digits three and four to specify the currency on the card and services it provides.

 

The digits 8 – 15 on the card are used to identify the bank account holder’s information and links the card to the debit or credit account. When you enter the credit card number to an online vendor for purchase, these digits are used to forward the transaction to your bank and ask for verification.

 

The last digit on a credit card is called a checksum. It is a key that is used to identify whether a card is valid. The key is created by a formula known as the Luhn algorithm. The algorithm is used to create this last digit, based on the first 15 digits on the card.

 

The checksum is able to identify errors quickly as there is only a one in ten chance that a randomly generated card number has the correct last checksum. It can detect when a person enters incorrect card information.

best travel credit cards dog

 

Luhn Algorithm Calculation

The Luhn algorithm can be calculated by the ‘modulo arithmetic’ principle of digital roots. The algorithm uses modulo 10 mathematics.

 

This method takes every odd digit on a credit card number from the left and multiplies it by 2. The result of multiplication for all the numbers is added together to give a total. This total is called the ‘digital root’.

 

The next step is to add all the even numbers on the card. The sum of the even numbers is added to the digital root to give the final total. The last digit is calculated as the number that would be needed to make the total a multiple of 10.

 

For example, supposes that the first 15 digits on a Visa card are 4051 2867 9734 524. The sum of odd numbers multiplied by 2 would be:

  • 4 x 2 = 8
  • 5 x 2 = 10 i.e. 1+0
  • 2 x 2 = 4
  • 6 x 2 = 12 i.e. 1+2
  • 9 x 2 = 18 i.e. 1+8
  • 3 x 2 = 6
  • 5 x 2 = 10 i.e. 1+0
  • 4 x 2 = 8

 

Total would be 8 + 1 + 0 + 4 +1 + 2 +1 + 8+ 6 + 1 + 0 + 8 = 40.

 

Then, we add the total of all the even numbers 0 + 1 + 8 + 7 +7 + 4 + 2 = 29.

 

These two numbers would be added to give us a total of 40 + 29 = 69.

 

In order to make the number a multiple of 10 i.e. 70, we would need to add the digit 1. Thus the last checksum for the hypothetical number above would make I 4051 2867 9734 5241.

 

While it is possible to calculate this checksum and hackers can get around the check, it does add a little complexity and security to the number to protect it from poorly educated criminals.

best flight search engine

Trying to get the best possible deal on a flight is important. You want to be able to use your money as effectively as you possibly can when it comes to travel. For this reason, it makes sense to take your time to see all of the available prices. In order to do this, you can make use of the best flight search engine options to get the necessary information and the most beneficial result.

 

There are actually many different flight search engines out there that you can use. If you are new to the idea of searching for flights in this way, then you may be at a loss for where to turn. Where are the best flight search engines and how do you know which ones are worthwhile? Travel Freedom is here to help you out by answering that very question.

 

The 11 Best Flight Search Engine Options

Today we will be taking a look at the best flight search engine options on the Internet. We will be going over several of the options that will give you the best results. This should help to make getting a fantastic deal on your flights easier than ever. You will be able to use these search engines any time that you have a trip coming up and will always be able to compare the various flight options available to you thoroughly.

 

Google Flights

It should come as no surprise that Google Flights is among the most popular options available. People use Google Flights to find the best flights at the lowest prices. It has a very clean interface that looks appealing and will be easy to make use of. You will be able to search using the map and will see which travel dates have the lowest fares right away.

google flights best flight search engine

 

This is one of the best options for people who want to have a simple, streamlined experience while searching for a flight. Simple does not mean that it is lacking in any way, either. You will be able to find the flight dates that will save you the most money in a short amount of time. The search-by-map function is very intuitive and you can enter either firm dates or a flexible period of time.

 

Google Flights even allows you to track fares on dates that you have selected. You can receive updates via email so that you will know if anything has changed. This keeps you in the loop and makes it easy to jump on things if you see that a price has dropped. This is a very user-friendly flight search engine that comes highly recommended.

 

CheapOAir

CheapOAir has been helping people to find flights as conveniently as possible for a long time. This website allows you to look through all of the available options in a very streamlined way. You will be able to find the cheapest options for direct flights and it will also help you find flights by your desired airline. The charts at CheapOAir are very easy to read and you should have no trouble making use of this website.

cheapoair best flight search engine

 

This website is also good at providing you with the necessary information. You will be able to take a look at things such as baggage fees and fare rules. Certain US airlines will also give you access to a seating chart so that you can see the plane layout. A seat-selection map will be available for some US carriers.

 

It mostly prioritizes nonstop prices over the ones that have stops. Even so, it does give you many options to customize how you are searching for flights. The booking fees of this site are fairly low at only $35 per ticket. You should be able to get a very good deal on a flight when you make good use of this search engine.

 

OneTravel

One Travel is a flight search engine that is starting to gain in popularity. It actually has a very similar interface when you compare it to Google Flights and this is not a bad thing at all. This website is very easy to read and you should not have any trouble finding the information that you are looking for. You will be able to search this website to quickly find the least expensive options if that is what you are looking for.

onetravel best flight search engine

 

Interestingly, this site allows you to enter your departure date on a calendar system and will then bring up prices automatically. This allows you to get a quick glance at what to expect in case you want to search for other dates that may provide you with a lower price overall. It allows you to save time by finding the least expensive travel dates more quickly, making the overall experience that much more convenient.

 

You will need to pay a $35 travel service fee per ticket when you use this flight search engine, though. Overall, this is not too unusual for these types of websites. One potential problem is that sometimes this search engine seems to show flights that include at least one stop toward the top of the search results. If you prefer nonstop flights, then this may be a slight annoyance as you will need to scroll and look a little deeper.

 

Kayak

Kayak is one name that you have almost certainly heard of. This website has been helping people save money on their travel expenses since the mid-2000s. It offers users a powerful search engine that will allow you to see all of the available flights and fares. This is still among the most powerful flight search engines available and is made to be as easy to use as possible.

kayak best flight search engine

 

You can have a very convenient experience when using the Kayak search engine. It allows you to program fare alerts so that you can track prices on your desired flights or flight dates over time. It is easy to use this system and it always keeps you in the loop when any changes occur. This is a simple way to get a great deal on a flight and you will always find many options to consider.

 

One potential negative of this site is that it is loaded with various ads. It does not really hinder your experience in any way but it may bother some people. If you prefer a flight search engine with no ads, then Google Flights offers similar functionality. Otherwise, this site has traditionally saved people a lot of money on airfare over the years.

 

It boasts having a “hacker fares” system that can piece together various one-way flight tickets. It can allow you to save money if you are willing to take the extra time to get where you want to be. When you combine unique features such as this with its many filter options and the robust set of tools, you can see how good this search engine is. This is one of the best options for most people who want to save money on airfare.

 

Momondo

Momondo is an interesting flight search engine option that some people are going to be able to use very well. Momondo does a very good job of searching a wide swath of different available flights on a given date. It actually manages to catch various options that certain other flight search engines regularly miss. For this reason, it has been able to save people money on flights quite often.

momondo best flight search engine

 

The problems with Momondo start to pop up due to how it is set up. Using the search engine is easy enough but it does not always give you the most information right away. Whereas some flight search engines such as CheapOAir give you many transparent pieces of information about the flight, Momondo does not do this. Instead, you often have to click through on a flight to see things such as how much it costs, what airline the ticket belongs to, and more. This all probably sounds really bad and it is kind of an annoyance.

 

Regardless, Momondo has a lot of positive things to offer the flight search engine debate. It shows results from Southwest Airlines, which many flight search engines do not do. Southwest Airlines may not always be listed but it seems to search a wider variety of different flights than many of its contemporaries. Momondo also searches various fares from smaller OTAs so you are likely to get a good deal when you use this search engine to its full potential.

 

If this search engine could make a few changes to become more user-friendly, then it would truly stand out as one of the very top options. As it stands, this flight search engine is still good for certain purposes. It deserves a spot on the list because it offers some extra benefits by being able to catch flights that other search engines seem to miss. Depending on how you feel about the lack of transparency, you may be better off seeking out one of the more tried-and-true flight search engines.

 

Travelzoo

Travelzoo is definitely a little bit different from the flight search engines that have been listed so far. What makes this one stand out is that it is more focused on helping you to search for broad timelines rather than specific dates. For example, if you want to travel to Hawaii in the autumn, you will be able to search that period of time to see the available deals. It allows you to search by month and season rather than searching specifically for one date that you had in mind.

travelzoo best flight search engine

 

This could either be a nuisance or a very good thing, depending on your perspective. If you want to be able to save a lot of money, then this could really come in handy. Travelzoo lets you benefit from your ability to be flexible on your dates. It has the potential to help you find very cost-effective business class flights and you can even find deals on multi-city itineraries that can help make your vacation a reality.

 

Of course, this is not going to work out quite so well for those who have very specific plans in mind. If you are trying to travel to a specific place for your mother’s birthday, then you may want to rely on a more traditional flight search engine. This one is worth keeping in mind when you want to reap the rewards of deep discounts and you are capable of adjusting your schedule accordingly. Look into it if you think that you can take advantage of how this search engine works.

 

BookIt

BookIt is another great option to consider when you want to be able to have an easy experience. Unlike some of the other flight search engines on this list, the BookIt interface is very clean and simple to read. This is going to show you results for your searched flight dates on a chart. The chart can be read easily and all of the important information is going to be right there in front of you.

bookit best flight search engine

 

You will be able to see which flight has the best price as it will be very clearly marked with a “best price” logo. Other important information such as how many stops a flight has will also be clearly visible. It makes it very simple to see which options are going to be appealing to you at a glance. Many people are going to prefer this chart to the endless scrolling that some other flight search engines will offer.

 

There are some potential negatives that may make you think twice about using this as your primary flight search engine. It has booking fees and it is not always transparent about how much these fees are going to cost you. Even so, this is among the easiest ways to compare flights. You do not have to keep scrolling and trying to keep track of the best deals and shortest layover times when all of that information is on the chart right in front of you.

 

TripAdvisor Flights

TripAdvisor Flights is an offshoot of the popular TripAdvisor hotel reviews site. They have created a convenient flight search engine tool that works very well to help users find good deals. You will be able to get many results when using this search engine and it even pops up other flight search engines that will allow you to compare things with a simple click. It is a very transparent site that is easy to use.

tripadvisor best flight search engine

 

As an added benefit, you will also be able to easily access reviews of certain airlines and their fares. There are many user reviews of the various airlines that you will be searching. It can give you some information on what to expect if you are thinking of flying with an unfamiliar airline. If you like being able to empower yourself with information ahead of booking a flight, then this should come in handy. It can help you to avoid booking a flight with an airline that will not provide you with an optimal experience.

 

This flight search engine also has the traditional convenient tools that you should expect. You can easily check boxes to make sure that the results will prioritize non-stop flights. It makes it easy to find the information that you need and you should be able to use this search engine to its full potential without any trouble.

 

Expedia

Expedia is a website that is among the most popular options for finding flights. Users can use this search engine to find flights and will be able to also book hotels or rental cars from the same site. Essentially, this is a one-stop solution for everything that you may need for an upcoming trip. Some people may find it annoying that the site pushes hotels when you just want to look for flights, though.

expedia best flight search engine

 

One good benefit of using Expedia is that it does not charge you any booking fees when you book a round-trip flight with the same airline. This helps to keep your costs a little bit lower and will certainly come in handy. It also allows you to easily see plenty of information about your flight before checking out. You will be able to easily gain access to baggage rules, seating charts, information on cancellations, and much more.

 

This flight search engine has a good interface that is simple enough to use. You can use it to help find a good deal on a flight and that is what counts. It is transparent about any fees and allows you to avoid fees on round-trip flights booked with one airline. So long as you use this option properly, it should be easy to find the best deal on your desired flight.

 

Travelocity

Just about everyone is familiar with Travelocity due to their marketing presence. What many people are not aware of is the fact the Travelocity and Expedia are actually the same thing. These two sites are affiliated with Expedia owning Travelocity. The only real difference between the two is that the colors of the websites are different.

travelocity best flight search engine

 

There are some minor differences in how the site is organized too. For instance, Travelocity does not allow users to search for flexible dates. Expedia does have this option. Overall, you will have a very similar experience when using both Travelocity and Expedia.

 

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a lesser-known flight search engine but often has better prices. They’re used by over 80 million travelers monthly to find not only flights, but hotels and rental cars as well. They also have an app for searching for flights on your cell phone. Skyscanner also allows for multi-city searches for those who are looking for a stopover or open jaw flight. You can find any flight you’re looking for on Skyscanner.

skyscanner best flight search engine

 

As a lesser-known entity, Skyscanner is one of the best flight search engines. It’s capable of searching whatever type of flight you’re looking for and comes back with some of the best results.

 

Testing for the Best Flight Search Engine

Each flight search is going to be unique and has differing results as to which is the best flight search engine, but we tested them out with an upcoming trip anyway. We’d like to visit Vancouver Canada during the Memorial Day holiday weekend this year. Let’s do a flight search on each of the best flight search engines to see what the results are. For each, we will check only for the best price available for 2 adults to fly from PDX to YVR on May 25-27. Keep in mind that the best price is not always the best option. The cheapest flight may cost slightly less, but have a much longer trip time.

  • Google Flights: $268
  • CheapOair: $248
  • OneTravel: $240 << WINNER
  • Kayak: $263
  • Momondo: $263
  • Travelzoo: No deals available
  • BookIt: $305
  • TripAdvisor: $308
  • Expedia: $265
  • Travelocity: $265
  • Skyscanner: $286

 

As you can see, the results vary by flight search engine. The best flight search engine, in this instance, is OneTravel. When searching for a flight, I’d suggest comparing multiple flight search engines before buying. A few of the best flight search engines above allow you to compare prices between each other which makes this simple. Another place to search is through Costco Travel if you’re a member.

 

Our Conclusion: Is there Really a “Best Flight Search Engine”?

If you use any of the flight search engines mentioned above, you should be able to have a good experience. They all have their own quirks and benefits. Only Travelocity and Expedia are exceedingly similar (since they have the same ownership). Otherwise, it may be helpful to see what each of these sites has to offer you before pulling the trigger on your purchase.

 

Finding a great deal on your next flight will not be hard at all. Just use these flight search engines properly and you’ll be able to save the most money possible. It will keep more of your hard-earned money in your wallet and you’ll have more money to do things on your vacation.

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 20

Free flights… Upgraded to first class… Free hotel rooms… Upgraded to a suite… Free food and drinks in that fancy airport lounge… Sounds nice, right?!? These are some of the points and miles travel benefits and perks available to anyone who decides to travel using credit cards to earn miles and points.

EXPERIENCES FROM POINTS & MILES TRAVEL

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 21These are all parts of travel that I have experienced over the past few years. I have flown countless flights where I paid nothing but the taxes and fees (as low as $6). I’ve have flown in first class. I have stayed at hotels without paying any money. I’ve been upgraded to suites in some of those free hotel stays. And, I now can’t stand a layover where I don’t have access to an airline lounge where they have free food, drinks, sockets to charge my phone, and comfortable chairs.

BEFORE TRAVELING WITH POINTS AND MILES

It’s hard to think that just a few years ago, I had no idea that these things would ever be possible, let alone that I could afford to travel much at all. Before points and miles travel appeared in my life, I didn’t think much about travel besides dreaming of places that I wanted to visit someday when I was much wealthier and could afford it. Is this you right now? I want you to know how easy and how available travel can be.

TRAVEL CREDIT CARD BENEFITS5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 22

Whether you want to start traveling for the first time and be able to do it for very small amounts of money, or you already travel and want to upgrade how you do it, travel with points and miles can open new doors to either option. The quantity of your travel as well as the quality of your travel can be boosted tenfold by following the simple steps of traveling with points and miles.

FLIGHT BENEFITS

The major flight benefit that comes from travel with points and miles is the airline miles you can acquire without actually traveling to earn them. Through very generous credit card introductory bonuses, you can almost instantly earn multiple free flights. For instance, I just signed up for a Chase Ink Preferred Business card which offered me a introductory bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards. This bonus alone, has the possibility of being used for 3 round trip flights to Hawaii if redeemed how I explained in the blog post “How I Fly Round Trip to Hawaii for $11”. Different credit cards all offer different introductory bonuses that all differ in value, depending how you want to spend the points.

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 23Another benefit from some of these credit cards, is access to lounges which are in all major airports. American, United, Delta, Alaska and many other airlines all have lounges within airports for customers to enter and relax in before and after flights. Normally you would need to be flying first class or pay somewhere around $40 to enter such lounges. Thankfully, there are a handful of credit cards that grant you unlimited access. When you’re traveling often, having access to a lounge is a great benefit. It gives you somewhere to get away from the hustle and bustle of airport terminals, allowing you to also get a snack and charge your phone.  You can see where these lounges exist by visiting LoungeBuddy who has an extensive list (code JnSjMo28aP gives a $10 credit).

If you’re looking to up your quality of travel, you can use miles and points to book first class flights.  You can even upgrade to first class on a flight you’ve already purchased. I mostly use points to upgrade the quantity of my travel, but I’ve upgraded quality a couple times.  It’s quite nice sitting in first class. I definitely suggest trying it out at least once!

HOTEL BENEFITS

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 24Now for the benefits that traveling with points can give you towards hotels… The major benefit, similar to the flight benefits, is the ability to redeem points for free hotel stays. There are credit cards and points systems that can be used at most major hotel chains. Hilton, Hyatt, Intercontinental, and Club Carlson are a few of the main brands. Each of these brands has different chains that are part of their reward system. While I find that points and miles are often more valuable when used towards flights, I do still use them for hotels when it deems advantageous.

Along with point bonuses, some credit cards offer elite status for certain hotel chains. If you had ever heard of elite statuses at hotels, like me, you probably thought that the only way to earn it was by staying at hotels all the time. While that is one way of earning status, you can also earn it simply by having the right credit card. Once you have status at a hotel chain, you are very likely to have your room upgraded. Sometimes, you’ll even be upgraded to a suite if one is available at your check-in time.

GETTING STARTED TRAVELING WITH POINTS5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 25

Now that you see what some of the travel benefits are, I can imagine you may be interested. Remember to keep the following in mind when getting started.  When I first learned how to earn nearly unlimited miles and points through credit cards, I jumped in.  I didn’t have much of a plan. If I could go back, I would make a plan before earning points. As I said earlier, all points and miles are not the same and are valued very differently. Having an idea of where you would like to travel is a good starting point.  That way you can earn the points that will be most efficient and beneficial to your personalized travel.

I hope this has given you an idea of what traveling with points and miles can bring into your life. It has opened the door of travel to me, and I would like to invite you in to join the party.

 

PS: If you’re interested in traveling more often or more luxuriously, check out our FREE 5-DAY MINI COURSE.

stay healthy while traveling

I’m sure you’ve experienced getting sick while on vacation or immediately after traveling.  We’ve all been there and it’s really not very surprising.  It’s hard to stay healthy while traveling.  When we travel we put our bodies through a lot.  We’re around a ton of people, some of which are potentially sick. We eat different foods that our body is used to.  We don’t have access to our normal resources for exercise and even sleep. I’m sure you can think of a few more. There are more than a handful of things we tend to do differently to our bodies when traveling that can send our systems into overdrive.

Fortunately, there are some very simple things you can do to keep your body in check and stay healthy while traveling.  I have seven tips to tell you about, that I live by while traveling and have found to help tremendously to keep me healthy.  Whether you incorporate all of them into your travel regiment or just a few, they will surely help you stay healthy while traveling!

 

Keep Your Hands Clean While Traveling

Like your mom always told you, wash your hands!  While traveling, it’s important to wash or sanitize your hands regularly.  Just think about how many things you touch throughout your day of traveling, that everyone else is touching too.  It’s a lot of touching! First off, trying your best to touch as few things as possible, will cut down your chances of picking up bad germs.

Also, try not to touch your face as that’s a common way people get sick.  The average person touches their face nearly four times per hour, so just try to be aware.  Next time you travel, think about carrying hand sanitizer and maybe even some sanitizing wipes to clean off the tray and armrests in your plane seat.

 

Sit Near the Window With Your Air Vent On

Airborne viruses are transmitted by tiny droplets that can stay in the air for up to five hours.  To combat these possible droplets, you can simply turn on your personal air vent. By aiming your overhead vent in front of your face, it will create an invisible air barrier to protect you from unwanted lingering particles.  Also, sitting by the window will give you the cleanest air.  Most airplanes have vents below the windows that lead to the HEPA ventilation system that cleans the air.

stay healthy while flying

 

Stay Hydrated by Drinking Plenty of Water

During an average five hour flight you can lose a liter of bodily water.  This equates to losing 1-2% of your hydration, which can impact health, mood, fatigue, and irritability.  Instead of getting that Coca-Cola or Coffee, you might want to request water, or at least ask for both.

What my wife and I do is take our Hydro Flasks and fill them up after we get through security.  Most airports now have water bottle filling stations that make it super easy to stay hydrated without spending five dollars for a water bottle.

Hydro Flask 24 oz (710 ml) Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle Price: $34.95 Our favorite water bottle for traveling. It will keep your drink cold, and they don't leak. Most airports even have bottle fill stations now. Hydro Flask 24 oz (710 ml) Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle

 

organifi healthy travelDrink a Green Juice Supplement

The number one thing I do personally to stay healthy while traveling is take my Organifi Green Juice supplement daily.  Most of us (me included) don’t always eat the healthiest while traveling. Hamburgers, pizza, french fries, pasta… vegetables?!?  It’s much harder to eat nutritious meals and to get the vegetables needed by our bodies when we’re not at home. While I do try to be conscious of what I’m eating while on vacation, it’s just easier to take a supplement to make sure I’m getting what I need every single day.

I actually choose to take Organifi Green Juice every day, whether I’m traveling or not.  It’s perfect because it’s easy and it actually tastes surprisingly good. All you do is pour either a scoop or travel packet into a glass of water.  Then mix it up, and drink it down.  It mixes very easily, which is nice while staying in a hotel with limited utensils and containers.  And like I said, it tastes good with a similar taste to green tea.

I’ve personally been taking Organifi for nearly a year now, and have not been sick even once (knock on wood)!  I find that to be pretty incredible since I travel often and my wife is an elementary teacher who brings home all kinds of germs and colds from her students.  All I can say is I’m a big believer in this product as it’s worked wonders for me.  Organifi has been nice enough to give my readers an exclusive 15% off all orders.  Just use code RYANK15 at checkout!

Organifi Green Juice Super Food Supplement Price: 15% off w/ code: RYANK15 Organifi Green Juice Super Food Supplement

 

Wear Compression Socks on Long Flights

While blood clots are not a common problem caused by flying, getting swollen legs, ankles and feet are.  The longer your flight is, the higher your risk of this happening is. While moving your legs, getting up to walk around, and drinking plenty of water can greatly help, many people are turning to compression socks for good reason.

Compression socks fit snuggly, feeling like a light hug around your legs (if they hurt, you have the wrong size).  What they do is squeeze your legs enough to efficiently increase blood circulation, cutting down your risk of swelling and the possibility of DVT or blood clots.  Compression socks are a cheap and now fashionable way to stay healthy while traveling.

exercise while traveling

 

Exercise and Stretch while on Vacation

It doesn’t matter how you do it, but get some kind of physical activity and movement each day while traveling.  It could be at your hotel gym, on a hike, going for a run, stretching at a park, swimming… Anything!  If you aren’t staying at a hotel with a gym, there are a few alternatives to maintain your muscles. You can use stretchy resistance bands or TRX style bands that are easily packable.  Push-ups and sit-ups are also always an option. You may even be able to find a place to be able to do some pull-ups.

It’s easy to skip out on your regular exercise routine while on vacation, but it can be just as easy to get it done.  Don’t let excuses like fatigue, or lack of resources get in your way of staying healthy while traveling. It can be done without much extra effort!

 

Stay Healthy While Traveling

Don’t let travel get the best of your health next time.  Take these tips and keep them in mind while you’re traveling. That way you can stay healthy even when you’re not at home.  I’ve been practicing these tips and find them to be very beneficial. No one likes being sick.  Taking a few precautions and adding a few tasks to your routine can really pay off.  Your body will thank you!

Visit All Hawaiian Islands

To get started on your travel freedom journey, there are a few important things you’ll need to do.  This will involve a bit of research and preparation so that you are confident and efficient in your plan of attack.  Make sure you do these before diving in, so that you do this the right way.  Remember, your credit is important in life, so don’t use it for travel points and miles if you aren’t in the right place to do so.  

 

CHECK YOUR CREDIT SCORE5 Steps to Create Your Own Travel Freedom 26

First of all, You’ll want to go check your credit score if you don’t already know what it is.  Credit Sesame is a good way to check your approximate score for free.  If your score is around 700, you’re in good shape to use your credit to earn thousands or millions of miles.  Also be sure that you are in a good place personally to use your credit for points and miles.  As I’ve said before, if you’re looking to take out a large loan in the near future, it is not a good time to apply for any credit cards.

 

CREATE A POINTS AND MILES WALLET

5 Steps to Create Your Own Travel Freedom 27Through your journey with Travel Freedom, you will be using many different types of miles and points from an array of service providers.  You may have miles with five different airlines, two banks, and 3 hotel groups at any given time.  You’ll want a way to organize these miles and points as well as the usernames and passwords used for each login.  The easiest way I’ve found to keep track of them all is to aggregate them all in one place – Award Wallet.  Here, you will create your own account, where you’ll input all of your account numbers so your logins, balances and expiration dates will be tracked.  

Their FREE version is fine to begin with, but as you have more accounts you may be interested in paying for their upgraded account that has a few more features.  If you will be using points and miles to travel along with your significant other, you will both want to make an account, and then link the two so you can see both while logged in.

 

REVIEW YOUR MONTHLY SPENDING BUDGET

Ok, now that you know your credit is in a good place, and you have a wallet to keep track of all your points and miles you’ll be accumulating, you’ll need to look at your monthly spending.  You’ll want to verify how much you spend that can be put on a new credit card per month.  This is because most credit card introductory bonuses are given to you after you spend a certain amount of money within the first few months of having the card.  You will need to know how much 5 Steps to Create Your Own Travel Freedom 28spend you’re able to put on the card so that you know if you can meet the minimum spend to release your introductory bonus.  

Once you know how much you spend monthly, you can calculate whether or not you can reach the introductory bonus of each card.  There are ways to get extra spend, to up this level if needed, which I will get into in another blog post.  A great resource to learn about meeting minimum spending limits, is at The Frequent Miler, travel blog.  Now you know what credit cards you can afford to meet the minimum spend for your bonus.

 

5 Steps to Create Your Own Travel Freedom 29PLAN WHERE YOU WANT TO VACATION FIRST

At this point, you could jump in and apply for the best credit card offer you can find, but I don’t believe that’s the best option.  I made the mistake of doing this and wish I had started out slightly different.  Before applying for anything, MAKE A PLAN.  Where do you want to travel to?  Do you want to get a flight with miles, or do you want to book a free hotel with points.  

You have some research and decisions ahead of you.  Once you find the location you’d like to travel to, you’ll need to research what airlines fly between your home airport and your destination.  Then which of those airlines has the lowest price in terms of miles to fly between the two.  Or, if you would rather get free hotel rooms during your stay, you’ll need to know what hotels are in the area and of those, which ones have a rewards program (most do!).  

Google will be your friend in this research, but here are a few other resources from our friends over at Million Mile Secrets – another travel blog:

Airline Award Charts

Hotel Award Charts

How to get to _______ – Guides

 

CHOOSE A CREDIT CARD OR CARDS5 Steps to Create Your Own Travel Freedom 30

Ok, final step!  Depending on all the research you’ve done in the above tasks, find a credit card or multiple credit cards that fit your travel plan.  There are credit cards that offer points and miles directly with hotels and airlines, and there are credit cards that offer their own points system.  Some of these bank reward systems such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Member Rewards, offer the ability to transfer to a multitude of airlines and hotels.  These are my favorite types of credit card bonuses because of the versatility of the points.  Remember, not all points are valued equally.  Some may be better for one vacation and another may be better for your next vacation.  

 

You’re so close to your first vacation using points and miles, you can probably smell it!  Let me know how it’s going.  I’m here to help you!

 

PS: If you’re interested in traveling more often or more luxuriously, check out our FREE 5-DAY MINI COURSE.