Use Travel Rewards to Stretch Your Honeymoon Budget to Paris and Beyond
October 25, 2017
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If your ideal wedding includes a luxurious honeymoon, it’s smart to start saving for your dream trip right away. According to wedding planning site WeddingWire, the average cost of a honeymoon surged to $4,000 this year. And that’s just the average, as you can obviously spend more if you honeymoon in a luxury destination like Bora Bora, Paris, or the Maldives.
But, what if you could get a luxury honeymoon without spending significantly more than the average married couple? What if you could traverse the globe to the Maldives, Paris, Bali, or even Barcelona, all while sticking to a honeymoon budget you can actually afford?
5 Ways Credit Cards Can Fuel Your Honeymoon Dreams
With the help of certain rewards credit cards, you may be able to travel further, stay longer, and enjoy a heightened level of opulence you couldn’t afford otherwise.
Want to learn more? Here are five strategies to help you stretch your honeymoon fund further than you ever dreamed:
#1: Get a hotel credit card (or two) to rack up free nights.
While hotel cards offer different types of rewards, most offer a basic signup bonus that is good for a few free hotel stays. If both future husband and wife pair up the right combination of cards, they could score huge savings on an array of expensive hotels. Depending on where you want to honeymoon, a hotel credit card (or a few hotel credit cards) could even help you get the hotel component of your honeymoon for free.
Here’s how this might work: Imagine you and your significant other want to honeymoon in Paris and are both willing to sign up for a few rewards credit cards. While there are several card combinations that could make your hotel stay free, one good combo to consider is the Hyatt credit card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Currently, the Hyatt credit card offers 40,000 points after you spend $2,000 on your card within the first three months of account opening. Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on your card in the first 3 months from account opening. The kicker is, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio, meaning both of you getting both cards and earning the signup bonus could leave you with 180,000 Hyatt points at a minimum (50K+50K+40K+40K=180K).
With 180,000 points to burn, you could stay five nights or more absolutely free at several luxury hotels in Paris:
- Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile: 15,000 points per night
- Hotel du Louvre: 20,000 points per night
- Hyatt Paris Madeleine: 25,000 points per night
- Park Hyatt Paris Vendome: 30,000 points per night
#2: Use special status from hotel cards to get room upgrades and more.
While hotel credit cards offer an easy way to earn free hotel nights, many also offer special hotel status that can lead to amazing perks fitting for a honeymoon. However, the type of status you’ll get depends on your card and how many points you earn within a year.
Some hotel cards in particular make earning hotel status easy. Signing up for the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, for example, gives you complimentary Platinum Elite status good for room upgrades and bonus earnings on paid stays. Meanwhile, the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express gives you automatic Gold status – a perk that can lead to room upgrades, free breakfast on certain stays, and free welcome amenities, among other benefits.
#3: Use rewards to book fun excursions.
No matter where you stay, you’ll want to book some fun outings and excursions you can experience together. Fortunately, booking excursions with rewards is easy – especially with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Through the Chase travel portal, you can use rewards from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred credit card to book fun day trips nearly anywhere in the world.
Use your points to snorkel with sharks in Bora Bora, climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or take in an Italian cooking class in Tuscany. Since nearly any day trip offered through Viator.com is also offered through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the sky is the limit.
#4: Get flexible travel credit to pay for all the “extras.”
Perhaps you want to book a cozy rental condo for a few nights, take a train across Europe, or rent a car to explore on your own. These costs – and others like them – can easily be taken care of with a flexible travel credit card.
One of the best flexible cards to take care of added travel expenses is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®. This card offers a huge signup bonus along with flexible points that are worth one cent each. Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. Once you earn the signup bonus and start racking up points, you can charge any travel experience you want to your card the use your points to cover the purchase.
While this card is easy to use, one big caveat to be aware of is the fact you can only redeem points for travel purchases that code as travel and cost $100 (10,000 points) or more.
#5: Use airline miles to fly to your dream destination.
Since airfare is usually one of the most expensive components of any trip, why not eliminate the cost altogether? With the best airline credit cards, you can earn miles and travel the globe while only forking over the cost of airline taxes and fees.
The right airline credit card for your needs depends on where you want to travel and when. If you’re craving a tropical getaway in the Caribbean, for example, earning Southwest Rapid Rewards or miles with JetBlue might be your best bet. If you want to honeymoon in Europe during off-peak season, on the other hand, you’ll probably want to get a co-branded airline credit card that works for the American AAdvantage program.
Before you select an airline credit card, make sure to research which cards can take you around the globe for the lowest number of miles round-trip. From there, you can decide which cards to sign up for and start planning.
The Bottom Line
Don’t let a meager honeymoon budget deter you from chasing the romantic trip of your dreams. With the right cards – and a little bit of planning – the honeymoon you deserve could be yours. And with a ton of wedding expenses likely coming up, you could potentially earn a ton of signup bonuses and rewards within a short span of time. Keep in mind, however, that you should only charge expenses you can afford to pay in cash right away.
The best time to start planning your dream honeymoon is now, so what are you waiting for?