It is possible to travel for free with your credit card rewards. The way to navigating this exciting realm of potentially free travel starts from you having the right information on how you can do just that. Before you rush off dreaming up where you would like to fly to with your free air ticket, make sure to do your homework; compare and maximize your credit card rewards regardless if your rewards are in the form of air miles, rewards points or cash back.
Each rewards credit card is different, as is the rewards program your credit card is participating in. Some rewards credit cards offer lots of flexibility and options so you are free to redeem your rewards for travel through your credit card company's travel portal, merchandise, statement credits, cash back or have your rewards points transferred to participating hotel or airline loyalty programs. Others, on the contrary, may be quite restrictive.
Keypoint: You need to know how much each reward point of yours is worth depending on the way you redeem them. Additionally, keep an eye out on award availability.
In general, redeeming for cash back is not the best thing you can do with your rewards points. Redeeming for travel through your credit card company's travel portal could be an easy way for you to enjoy free travel without having to worry much about blackout dates (usually during and around major holidays as well as heavy travel seasons) and restrictions. Read the terms of your program carefully!
Depending on the credit card you hold, your rewards points could be worth more when you redeem for travel, say, through Chase Ultimate Rewards than if you were to transfer them to the participating airline partners' frequent flyer programs at a 1:1 ratio.
If you hold a rewards credit card that lets you transfer your rewards points or miles to a participating airline frequent flyer program, always make it a point to ask yourself if it's worth it for you to redeem for travel this way or if you're better off redeeming for travel through your credit card company's travel portal.
That said, the cool thing is you could potentially pool your rewards earned across different cards into one single airline frequent flyer program. Check if this is a feasible option for you - if it is, you have more miles to play around with and that could translate into more free flights in coach or even that luxurious First Class seat you've been dreaming of sinking your bottoms into!
While it may seem tedious or troublesome, it pays to do a little homework to see which redemption method gives your points a better run for your money. Keep in mind you still have to fork out money to pay for things like taxes and fees despite redeeming an award ticket.
Also, if you choose to transfer your rewards points or miles to a participating airline frequent flyer program, know that the terms of your frequent flyer program will apply to your air miles sitting in that account. This could mean that your air miles will expire if you don't use them up in time, as opposed to leaving your rewards points or miles as they are in your credit card's rewards program account if they do not have an expiry date to begin with.