Set Your Travel 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!

What is Award Travel?

Award Travel is the art of maximizing travel rewards to visit friends and family, explore new destinations, and experience previously unimagined adventures for pennies on the dollar.

Set Your Travel Goals

Before you can plan your award travel strategy, you need to first set your travel goals. They can be anything from visiting your mom for her birthday, to seeing your favorite sports team battle their rival, to eating pizza in Naples.

Once you have an idea of your goals, you can determine your travel logistics and what you need to accrue points for.

  • How many people will be traveling?
  • What time of year?
  • Is it a luxury trip or are you trying to travel as cheap as possible?
  • How are you going to get there?
  • Will you need a place to stay?
  • Will you need a rental car or use public transit?
  • Are there any special activities or excursions that you’d like to do once you’re there?

Types of Points and Miles

Not all points are created equal! We'll dive deeper into each type of points in the following sections, but here's a high level overview.

  • Flexible Rewards Points - points that can be redeemed either directly for travel (like cash) or can be transferred to travel partners; also known as the holy grail of award travel
  • Fixed Rewards Points - points that can be redeemed directly for travel (like cash) and cannot be transferred elsewhere
  • Airline Miles - miles that are affiliated with one airline's award program
  • Hotel Points - points that are affiliated with one hotel chain's award program

Your credit score will take a small dip when you apply for a new credit card, however, by paying your credit card in full each month and your credit utilization low, your credit score will likely increase when you add an award travel credit card to your wallet.

More About Credit Scores:

Credit Score Impacts

Please remember to always pay your credit card bill in full each month! Interest charges negate the value of any points earned.