A few years ago I got hip to the credit card miles and points game and now can use my points for at least 2 round- trip flights per year. For a family of 4 this is a big deal! Typically, we use our miles for our bigger vacations (spring and Christmas) to cover the cost of at least one of our round-trip flights. However, in this time I flew solo to catch Anita Baker on her Farewell tour.
So how do we accumulate points?
We use our credit card for all our travel and miscellaneous purchases. My Southwest card gives you 2 points for every travel related purchase and 1 point for all others. Southwest also adds points to your account on every anniversary.
Now, I will say that we fly Frontier Airlines a lot! From our city we can get to the Orlando area, Vegas, Los Angeles for less than $400 for all 4 of us. We still earn points on those flights on our southwest rapid rewards account. Which we use for destinations that Frontier doesn’t serve.
We also have a Capital One credit card that gives you points that you can redeem for gift cards, flights, hotels or cash back in the form of a check or bill credit. This card we typically use while on vacation and apply the points to our statement credit to offset some of our spending.
We could earn a lot more rapid reward points if we switched and began to pay all our monthly bills using the card. However, that is still just outside of my comfort level. Maybe one day!
As someone who once struggled to the point of bankruptcy with poor spending habits, I advise you to monitor your credit card spending carefully. It doesn’t take long to rack up debt, which defeats the purpose of points and credit card rewards. With that said, monitor your spending. Don’t buy more than you can pay off in a billing cycle. If you do have to carry a balance on your credit card, try to keep it under 30%. Let me add — I am only sharing what has worked for me.