Five Ways to Earn, Rather than Save, for Vacation

Five Ways to Earn, Rather than Save, for Vacation

May 5, 2020 | By Nathan Holman

You’ve read about Iceland for years, and you can see yourself in the midst of hot springs, waterfalls, and the Northern Lights. However, you’re quickly brought back to reality when you look at your bank account.

But this year will be different. You’re determined to make your dreams a reality and are willing to sacrifice to get there. So how do you actually do that?

You can start by saving your own money; however, there are ways you can up your vacation “money” without dipping any further into your income. We’re going to explore ways you may not have considered — ways to add to your vacation budget that don’t involve saving your money!

1. Credit Card Purchases

If you have to cover life’s necessary expenses, why not get rewarded for it? It’s easy to do once you secure the right credit card. The Capital One Venture Card, for example, allows you to earn 2X miles per dollar on every purchase. So if your credit card bill is about $2,200 a month, you’ll earn 52,800 miles a year.

Card companies also offer sign-up bonuses. Staying with the Venture Card as our example, you can earn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 during your first three months of having the card. Those 50,000 miles are worth about $500 in travel. Plan ahead to take full advantage of these bonuses. Getting married soon and know you’ll have a good amount of wedding day expenses? Sign up for a new credit card with your spouse to be. You’ll reach your 3-month minimum faster with two people spending on one card, and can put those bonus miles towards the honeymoon. That’s a smart way to start a marriage!

While miles and signing bonuses are attractive, don’t go crazy signing up for every card you see. Doing so can affect your credit. Make sure you have a clear, thought-out plan that gives you the rewards you want and positively impacts your credit score.

2. Loyalty Programs

Remain loyal to a specific airline, hotel or car rental company, and they’ll reward you with travel points in return. So decide where your allegiances lie and remember to use it every time you travel.

3. Shopping Portals

Rakuten Rewards, formerly Ebates, is a great way to earn cashback on everyday purchases. You can start at their site or install the browser plug-in and never miss an opportunity to earn while you shop. If you have a strong social media presence, you can also sign up for the Rakuten Influencer Program and earn even more rewards.

4. Partnerships

Travel companies are getting pretty innovative with bringing you more ways to get rewarded for things you do every day. Delta, for instance, has partnerships with Airbnb and Lyft, that allow you to earn Delta miles every time you spend with Lyft or Airbnb. It’s as simple as linking your account and using the services as you normally would.

Beyond specific company to company partnerships, whole networks are being set up to help you earn as you spend. National florists — like FTD, Teleflora or 1-800-FLOWERS — reward you with miles for the top US airlines just for sending flowers. Some online wine clubs have also teamed up with airlines and hotels to reward your uhhh…special taste in adult beverages. And lastly, there’s Delta’s Skymiles Dining program, where you can earn miles for having a dinner date, brunch with your friends, or a solo lunch at the new spot in your neighborhood.

5. Earn While You Work

Working can also contribute to your vacation budget. Earning points/rewards/miles from working is pretty much the same as earning from personal purchases. When flying for business, if company policy allows, request to fly the airline that you have a personal loyalty program with, and remember to have your loyalty number added to your reservation if you’re not making the booking yourself. Same goes for hotels and car rentals.

And don’t forget other ways that you earn rewards, like credit card purchases and online shopping portals/programs. If you’re allowed to use your personal credit card and expense work-related items, then it’s basically free rewards. Taking the client out to dinner? Get rewards for using your card to foot the bill and added miles if the restaurant you dine at is part of any partnership program. Ordering ink and paper for the office? Make sure you have the Ebates plugin on your work computer too. Just make sure you’re abiding by company policies with all of these options 😉

With a little research and strategy, the money you put out can come back to you and get you closer to your next vacation. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to take flight for your dream destination.

Need ideas for where to go? Read up on the destinations to add to your 2020 travel list or the top 5 beaches for sun & fun.

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