Video: Maximizing points with off-peak travel
Make your credit card rewards go further by booking trip in low season
- Off-peak season changes depending on where you want to travel.
- Hotels can be 50 percent cheaper during low season.
- Avoid snow during winter travel and still save on points.
You’ve signed up for new cards, met your minimum spend, maxed out your category bonuses and are ready to book that international adventure you’ve been dreaming of – only to find out there are no award seats for your summer trip.
Reward travel can be frustrating, which may be part of the reason more 30 percent of credit card holders don’t redeem the rewards they’ve earned.
We’re to help. At CreditCards.com, we believe no point should go unused.
See Related: Video: How your points can pay for experiences
The best way to get the most out of your travel rewards is to travel during off-peak season. When is off-peak season? That depends on where you want to go.
- If you can travel only in the summer, then consider the Caribbean or Southeast Asia, where midsummer is considered off-peak.
- If you want to go to Europe, off-peak is late fall into winter, when the cities are much cooler, but just as magical.
Take Munich, Germany – where in the wintertime you can explore palaces, sit out in the sun and enjoy some hot, mulled wine. Snow won’t deter the locals from the outdoors and it shouldn’t deter you either. With skiing, sledding, mountains, ice games and shopping, this is a great time to use your points for a low-cost trip.
Head over in December, before the holidays, and you can even delight in Germany’s one-of-a-kind Christmas markets.
If snow isn’t for you, let your rewards take you to Barcelona, Spain, or Rome, where winter is no more than a mild chill – but you still get the cheaper prices.
With hotels sometimes half the price in March that rooms cost in July, you can enjoy open air markets, listen to music in the city square and explore ancient monuments without worrying about the cost or the snow boots.
So, if you’re having a tough time finding that free summer trip, start dreaming of autumn, where your points can be a source of adventure instead of frustration.
Charged Up! podcast with more travel tips:
- Video: Maximizing train travel through Europe – Trains are one of the best ways to explore Europe. They’re central, reliable and well-connected. But, before you board, make sure you're getting the best deal and the most points for your journey ...
- How to cut credit card interest costs – Paying just a little more than your credit card's monthly minimum payment makes a big difference ...
- Video: Giving back with your card – Some credit cards let you donate your rewards to the charity of your choice, with no work on your part ...