Get to the Points

Archive of columns by Summer Hull, who helps families navigate credit card rewards and points programs to maximize travel and saving.





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 Get to the Points

Using miles to experience an authentic St. Patrick's Day in Ireland -- Rewards redemption tips for a genuine St. Paddy's Day celebration in Ireland. ... (See St. Patrick's Day in Ireland)

Using points to stay at all-inclusive resorts -- Using miles and points for airfare and hotels is great, but the costs on the ground can blow your budget. So why not redeem them for an all-inclusive experience? ... (See All-inclusive resorts)

Redeeming miles, points for a 'free' spring break trip -- Redeeming rewards for a whole family during a peak travel time can present some unique challenges. ... (See Spring break)

Using miles and points for Valentine's Day getaways -- Put together a romantic getaway built for two using miles and points you have on your reward credit cards. ... (See Valentine's Day getaway ideas)

Act fast when bad weather crashes your vacation plans -- Trip-delay protections on your credit card can help when your flight is canceled or delayed. ... (See Trip cancellation)

Using points for a ski resort vacation -- You can get a tremendous return on using points for on-mountain hotels during ski season. ... (See Using rewards for ski vacation)

What is the Chase '5/24 rule' and how it works -- The Chase 5/24 rule can put the brakes on seasoned rewards card holders looking for a new deal. ... (See The Chase 5/24 rule)

Hot, new rewards cards to debut in 2018 -- Which rewards cards will be hot in the coming year, and which ones will be on their way out. ... (See Rewards cards 2018)

Maximize credit card rewards miles redemption with partner airlines -- On most award charts you will find "sweet spots" where a particular award is priced very competitively and offers a better value. ... (See Partner airlines)

How to give the gift of travel -- Giving the gift of trip or getaway takes care and planning so as not to spoil the surprise. If you're not sure the recipient's availability to travel, an airline or hotel gift card offers flexibility. ... (See How to give the gift of travel)

Book a memorable last-minute holiday trip using miles, points -- There are a virtually limitless number of holiday travel dreams that you can still make a reality in the coming weeks. ... (See Last-minute holiday trips)

Don't let your annual rewards card's travel credits expire -- These annual perks are use-them-or-lose-them in nature, so it helps to know exactly when your card's calendar year resets. ... (See Travel credits)

5 fun ways to create holiday memories using miles, points -- The holiday season is not about how much you can buy, it is about memories you can make with your loved ones. These experiences build those memories – and they can be purchased with rewards points. ... (See 5 fun ways to create holiday memories using miles, points )

Credit card perks to consider when holiday shopping -- While racking up miles and points are great, they shouldn't come first when deciding which credit cards to use for holiday shopping purchases. ... (See Credit card perks)

Price protection ensures Black Friday's lowest prices now -- With price protection, you can skip the Black Friday madness. Shop now, and if your purchase gets a bigger discount later, your card will cover the difference. ... (See Price protection)

Earn holiday bonus miles on airline shopping portals -- Ring up bonus miles and points using American, Southwest, United shopping portals for early holiday shopping ... (See Holiday bonus rewards)

How everyday spending can charge up your rewards bank -- The less common or somewhat routine purchases you may not have thought of can make a difference in unlocking even more rewards ... (See Everyday spend)

Why carrying a balance on rewards cards is not a good idea -- Paying interest dilutes your rewards, so if you must carry a balance, find a low- or no-interest card and forgo those points and miles. ... (See Carrying a balance)

Why airline 'mileage millionaires' love gift cards -- Some frequent-flyer-mile fanatics run through more retailer, Visa and MasterCard gift cards than you can imagine using techniques that are totally legal, but probably still eyebrow-raising ... (See Gift cards)

Strategies for spouses doubling up on rewards cards -- There are times when a couple can really rack up the points if both apply for the same card, but it does take some additional strategy to play your collective cards right. ... (See Rewards card strategies for spouses)

Tips for booking holiday flights using airline miles -- The good news is you can easily fly home for the holidays without big out-of-pocket costs if you put your airline miles and credit card points to good use. ... (See Tips for booking holiday flights using airline miles)

Use miles, points for last-minute Northeast fall foliage trip -- If you know how to work your miles and points, you can actually still make a last-minute trip Northeast to check out the fall foliage. ... (See Fall foliage trip)

Scare up rewards miles, cash back on Halloween expenses -- Halloween is a perfect time to hone in on your miles and points-earning strategies ... (See Get to the Points)

Tips for football fans on maximizing hotel rewards points -- Avoid seasonal price hikes by cashing in hotel rewards for free stays ... (See Football and hotel points)

Extend your summer for last-minute beach trip on points -- Now that summer's peak season has passed, hotels and airfare deals abound ... (See Beach)

When it makes sense to charge kids' school, day care costs -- If a fee is assessing for using plastic, it's often better to find another way to pay ... (See Kids)

Ways to rack up points for last-minute, back-to-school shopping -- Offset school supply buys using airline shopping portals and more tips ... (See School)

Learn how to maximize card rewards for family fun, saving -- Family rewards expert Summer Hull recounts her free family summer fun ... (See Family)