Video: Saving on a spa getaway with credit card points
By Jenny Hoff
Dreaming of slipping into a hot tub, sipping cocktails by a pool, dining on decadent desserts and treating yourself to a relaxing massage – but feel it's out of your budget?
A spa getaway can be hard on your wallet, but by following a few tips you can have your luxury vacation without paying luxury prices.
1. Choose a place within driving distance.
First, look for resorts or luxury spa hotels that you can drive to, eliminating airline fees and cutting down on travel time.
“We’ve even taken staycations at home, just to do something downtown and have a nice weekend together," says Pam Catoe who travels on a budget.
After all, this is supposed to be a weekend of relaxation, not sightseeing. And, as Pam Catoe and her husband will attest to, once you enter your hotel room and slip into your spa robe, you’ll still feel a thousand miles away from everyday life.
2. Become a member of hotel rewards programs.
Second, become a member of the rewards programs at hotel chains you would like to visit. Membership costs nothing and not only allows you to accumulate points, but you’ll often get free Wi-Fi, early check-in or late checkout and even sometimes a special member rate.
3. Accumulate and use points.
- Focus points on one hotel chain or one hotel rewards program affiliated card.
- Sign up for a new credit card with generous bonus.
- Look for points + cash options.
- Redeem points for other services.
Third, never underestimate the value of points. If you’re a frequent traveler, consider sticking with one chain so you can build up enough points for free stays. Or, if you don’t travel much, keep an eye out for generous credit card sign-up bonus offers and apply for one a few months before your anticipated travel date, making sure you hit the minimum spend to receive the sign-up bonus. If you’re still falling short, look for chains such a Hilton or Marriott that allow you to combine cash with points for a discounted stay. If you’re already swimming in points, then put them toward more than just your room.
“You can use services at the spa, services at the golf courses, food and beverage, and we can apply cash credit directly by converting points,” says Jason Klinger of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country.
4. Take advantage of free services.
Finally, find out about all the freebees you’re entitled to if you’re having to pay a resort fee, such as discounted food, free golf or free drinks. Every dime you save is another you can put toward your next spa escape.
Published: May 18, 2016
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