Beginner's Guide

Intro/Set Your Goals

Welcome to the Award Travel 101 Beginner’s Guide. We’re here to get you ramped up so you can become a points and miles expert!

In this Section:

  • What is Award Travel?
  • Set Your Travel Goals
  • Types of Points and Miles
  • Credit Score Impacts
  • Precautions/Warnings

Credit and Bank Rules

Intro

In this Section:

  • Dos and Don’ts of Credit Cards
  • FICO Score Basics
  • All About Business Cards
  • Meeting Credit Card Minimum Spend
  • 5/24, Application Rules, and Bonus Requalification

Flexible Rewards Points

Flexible rewards points, also known as transferable rewards points, are arguably the most important type of points out there. This is because of their somewhat self-explanatory title; they’re extremely flexible and can be used in a wide variety of ways. You’re not pigeonholed to a single airline or even airline alliance. You can use these points over various airline carriers, hotel partners, even cruise and rail providers! Additionally, if you can’t find the award space you’re looking for at the carrier you want, most also have the option of a fixed-rate redemption through their proprietary travel portals.

These points should be your main focus, especially as you join the hobby. They’re easy to acquire, and easy to use, which allows you to start your award travels quickly and successfully! That said, even seasoned award travelers seek to maximize the earning of these points, since they can be used in so many different ways. In this section of the Beginners’ Guide, we’re going to discuss the major players, and some of the basics on how to utilize these incredible programs.

In this Section:

  • Types of Flexible Rewards
  • Best Uses of Flexible Rewards
  • Booking Travel with Flexible Rewards
  • Transferring to Travel Partners
  • Related Credit Cards

Intro

In this Section:

  • Introduction to Fixed Value Rewards
  • Using Your Points for Travel
  • Best Times to Use Fixed Value Travel Rewards
  • Related Credit Cards

    Fixed Value Travel Rewards


    Airline Miles

    Intro

    In this Section:

    • Introduction to Airline Miles
    • Award Bookings
    • Booking with Partners
    • Booking for Other People
    • Related Credit Cards

    Intro

    In this Section:

    • How to Maximize Hotel Points for Free or Cheap Stays
    • All Points Bookings
    • Cash and Points Bookings
    • Cash or Points Upgrades
    • Free Night Certificates
    • Related Credit Cards

    Hotel Points


    Intro

    In this Section:

    • Strategies for Maximizing Award Travel
    • Hotel and Airline Status
    • Stopovers and Open Jaws

    Maximize Award Travel


    Intro

    In this Section:

    • Decide Which Points and Miles Will Help You Reach Your Goals
    • Sign Up for Award Programs and Them Add to AwardWallet
    • Apply for Credit Cards
    • Track Minimum Spend, Benefits, and Annual Fees
    • Book Award Travel
    • Plan for the Future

    Goal Based Planning