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When you think of free travel, there’s a good chance you immediately focus on travel rewards-specific credit cards, And while it’s a great strategy for the most part, you might actually be surprised to hear this little secret: cash back credit card You can also earn free travel.
But you have to be strategic about which cash back credit card you consider. By linking credit cards together, you can actually convert your cash back into points and benefits. travel rewards To book you even quicker on that next vacation.
Generally, there are two types of cash back credit cards: those that only earn cash back and those that can earn rewards that are part of a larger travel rewards program. With the aim of maximizing your free travel, we’ll focus on the latter to show you how cards that are marketed as cash back can, in fact, give you a plane ticket or hotel room. can.
Here are the best cash back credit cards that can turn your rewards into travel.
At CNN Underscore, we’ve chosen Citi Double Cash Card as our Best Overall Cash Back Credit Card, But did you know that the points earned with the card can give you more rewards than just cash back? With this card, you’ll earn 2% cash back on every purchase you make – 1% when you buy and 1% when paying your details – with no annual fee.
By March 28, 2022, Citi Double Cash Card Earns cash back as of now thank you pointswhich were usually reserved for premium cards such as City Premier, While this new earning potential with the Citi Double Cash Card allows you to transfer your points to select partner programs, the transfer ratio is less favorable. To maximize your points and open the doors to all partner programs, you’ll still need a premium Citi Thank You card, such as Chieftain,
Let’s say you spend $12,000 per year, this is how you’ll receive 24,000 Citi Thank You Rewards if you spend exclusively on Citi Double Cash Card, If you’re looking for an easy-to-use program for domestic travel, you can transfer those points to JetBlue. with JetBlue’s TrueBlue ProgramThe points are worth about 1.3 cents, which will put you around $312 toward JetBlue flights.
For a limited time, Citi is offering the Double Cash Card Sign-Up Bonus. New card holders will earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening. If you’ve been considering this card, now is a great time to apply to take advantage of this sign-up bonus offer before it expires.
Chase Freedom Flex A great cash back credit card where you’ll get 5% cash back on rotating quarterly bonus categories (up to $1,500 on combined purchases). If you are able to max out the quarterly bonus, this will earn you an additional $75 per quarter.
But, you can earn Chase Ultimate Reward Points instead of cash back. If you have a premium Chase Ultimate rewards-earning card, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card either Chase Sapphire Reserve®You can transfer points from one account to another. That same maximum $75 you can earn cash back each quarter equates to 7,500 points when you choose to use them for travel.
Benefit of using the points you earn Chase Freedom Flex The travel side is that you have more versatility. This opens the door to allowing you to redeem your rewards for travel – either by transferring to multiple partner airlines and hotels or when redeeming directly through Chase’s travel portal (where you receive a 25% bonus on your points). would be if you have Sapphire Favorite or 50% bonus if you have Sapphire Reserve,
Frequent Flyer Website The Points Guy values Chase Ultimate Rewards Points rate 2 cents when transferring to a partner loyalty program, meaning you’re getting twice the value of the cash back you’re getting.
For example, if you max out your rotating quarterly bonus Chase Freedom Flex card, you will earn a total of 30,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points during the calendar year as opposed to earning $300 cash back. You can then transfer Ultimate Rewards points to partner programs like World of Hyatt, Unitedjetblue or British Airways in a one-to-one ratio. Transferring those points to Hyatt, for example, you can get two free nights in San Diego where rates easily exceed $300 per night in the summer. Or, if you’re looking for something more lucrative, you can use those 30,000 points for a free night Maldives,
Transferring your points between accounts is also incredibly easy. with great rewards combine points page, you can select your cash back card in the first column and then select your leading Ultimate Rewards-earnings credit card from the second column. You can then decide exactly how many points you want to move from one account to another. The best part is that point transfers happen instantly.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to worry about rotating quarterly bonuses, you can consider this instead. Chase Freedom Unlimited card. the card works the same way Chase Freedom Flex Where the cash back earned is actually in the form of Chase Ultimate Reward Points, the point-earning structure is quite different – and much simpler.
With this card, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on most purchases. similar to Chase Freedom FlexYou’ll also earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and restaurant dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
Let’s say you spend $3,000 per quarter, but on purchases that don’t fall into any of the bonus categories. You’ll then earn 1.5% cash back, which can be 4,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per quarter, or 18,000 points throughout the calendar year. You can then transfer those points to United, for example, in a one-to-one ratio. With many short-haul flights on United only costing 5,000 miles one way, it’s easy to earn three one-way flights to all points with this card alone.
Now, to really maximize your points earned, you can consider keeping both Chase Freedom Flex And Chase Freedom Unlimited with this Chase Sapphire Favorite for the ultimate chase trifecta, This will allow you to use the card that will earn you the most points on every purchase you make, ultimately helping to boost your Ultimate Rewards account.
With this card, you’ll earn 5% cash back — or 5x points if Thank You Points are used for travel — in an eligible category you spend the most each month, with up to $500 in purchases (again after that). after 1% cash back). Eligible categories include general household expenses such as gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement, fitness clubs and live entertainment.
If you want to maximize your income on this card, the best practice is to dedicate your spending each month to a single category—one that doesn’t fall into the bonus category on any other credit card you have. – Up to $500 max. This will then allow you to earn $25 cash back per month, which is equivalent to $300 cash back or 30,000 Thank You points over the course of a year.
With 30,000 points, you can Transfer Them to Wyndham RewardsFor example, to book a hotel reservation. With Wyndham’s fixed rewards chart, 30,000 points will earn you two nights at multiple properties around the world. Or, you can use your points to book a two-night stay in a one-bedroom condo through Wyndham’s Vacasa Rental Management Program. Based on personal experience, this could easily save you $1,000 on a two night house rental.
for a limited time, Citi Custom Cash Card Offering a $200 cash back sign-up bonus after you spend $750 within the first three months of account opening.
Similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards, one of the best ways to fully maximize your Citi Thank You Points is to have multiple Citi credit cards in your wallet. colloquially known as City QuartetThis will allow you to earn the most points every time you swipe your credit card.
Similar to Chase and Citi, Capital One is another program where you can earn cash back but use rewards for free travel instead. The Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card is an excellent cash back credit card where you’ll earn 3% cash back with no limits on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and grocery stores.
with rewards earned on no-annual-fee cardYou can convert them to a one-to-one ratio Capital One Venture, Capital One VentureOne either Capital One Venture X leaves. These are the more premium cards in the Capital One portfolio, giving you Mile transfer for partner itineraries,
with Capital One miles cost 1.85 centsAccording to frequent flyer website The Points Guy, this means that your purchases in the 3% bonus categories will give you more than a 5% return on travel. A simple and rewarding way to redeem for free travel is to transfer your capital one mile to British Airways Avio, where your Miles can be used on partner American Airlines,
To convert your cash back to Capital One miles, you need to go to the “Share my rewards” feature within the “Rewards” tab on Capital One.
The short answer is yes, as long as you plan to travel in the future. If you’re looking for the best way to maximize your credit card rewards, there’s a good chance that turning your cash into travel rewards can meet those goals. And since these programs have a wide range of airline and hotel transfer partners, you have endless opportunities for your next vacation. Of course, this requires you to have multiple credit cards in your wallet in some cases, but if you’re strategic about the cards you use on every purchase you make, you can be the world’s best in no time. Will be on the way to travel. ,
Looking for a new credit card but don’t need a cash back card? See List of CNN Underscores Best Credit Cards of 2022,