World on Points: Top 10 Travel Rewards Programs

A CTO's Guide to Maximizing Your Travel Rewards

Posted by Daniel Brody on March 20, 2023 · 8 mins read

A CTOs Guide to Maximizing Your Travel Rewards

As a CTO who travels frequently, I know firsthand the importance of maximizing travel rewards programs to save money and earn perks while traveling. Travel rewards programs like frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty programs, and credit card rewards points can help you save money on flights, hotels, and other travel expenses while earning rewards for your future travels.

If you’re new to the world of travel rewards programs, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to join and how to maximize your rewards. To help you out, I’ve put together a list of the top 10 travel rewards programs available around the world, ranked for their value.

1. Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy is a great program for frequent travelers looking for a range of options for their stays, with over 30 hotel brands to choose from. Their redemption options, including free nights, travel packages, and exclusive experiences, make it a top contender for maximizing your travel rewards.

2. American Express Membership Rewards

With a range of credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points, this program offers flexibility in their points system, which can be used to book travel directly through Amex or transferred to their airline and hotel partners. The program also offers a variety of redemption options, including travel, merchandise, and gift cards.

3. Chase Ultimate Rewards

This flexible program offers a variety of redemption options, including travel, cashback, and merchandise. With credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Freedom Flex, you can earn Ultimate Rewards points on everyday purchases.

4. Delta SkyMiles

For frequent flyers with Delta Airlines, their SkyMiles program is a must. You can earn miles for flights, credit card purchases, and even shopping through their SkyMiles Shopping portal. And their redemption options, including flights, upgrades, and cruises, make it a worthwhile program.

5. Southwest Rapid Rewards

If you’re a fan of budget airlines, Southwest Rapid Rewards is a great program to join. Their easy-to-understand points system and a variety of ways to earn points, such as flights, credit card purchases, and dining out, make it a top contender.

6. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

This program offers great value for its redemption options, including flights on Alaska Airlines and their partners, and even for booking hotels and car rentals. The program also offers unique perks like free checked bags and discounted lounge access.

7. Air Canada Aeroplan

This program has undergone recent changes and now offers a more flexible points system, which can be used for flights on Air Canada and their partners, hotel stays, car rentals, and even experiences. The program also offers exclusive benefits for their elite members.

8. Capital One Venture Rewards

With a flat rate of earning 2x miles on every purchase, this program offers simplicity and flexibility in redeeming rewards for travel-related expenses. The program also offers perks like no foreign transaction fees and travel accident insurance.

9. Hilton Honors

This program offers a range of redemption options, including free nights, merchandise, and even charitable donations. And with over 5,000 hotels in their portfolio, there’s sure to be a property that fits your needs. The program also offers elite status benefits for their loyal members.

10. World of Hyatt

With a range of hotel brands and redemption options, including free nights, upgrades, and even dining and spa experiences, this program offers great value for frequent travelers. The program also offers unique perks like free breakfast and room upgrades for their elite members.

How to Maximize Your Travel Rewards

Consider credit card bonus categories and sign-up bonuses

Another important aspect to consider when maximizing travel rewards is taking advantage of credit card bonus categories and sign-up bonuses. Many credit cards offer bonus points or miles for purchases made in specific categories, such as dining, gas, or travel. By using the right credit card for the right purchase, you can maximize your rewards earnings.

Additionally, many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses for new customers who meet a minimum spending requirement within a certain timeframe. These bonuses can range from a few thousand to over 100,000 points or miles, which can be a significant boost to your travel rewards balance.

Be aware of expiration dates and blackout dates

One potential downside of travel rewards programs is that points or miles may have expiration dates or blackout dates, which can limit your redemption options. It’s important to be aware of these dates and plan accordingly to avoid losing out on your rewards.

Some programs may also have restrictions on award availability or limited seat availability, which can make it difficult to redeem rewards for popular destinations or during peak travel times. Be sure to research these restrictions before choosing a travel rewards program and plan accordingly.

Consider non-travel redemption options

While travel rewards programs are primarily designed for redeeming rewards for travel-related expenses, many programs also offer non-travel redemption options. These may include merchandise, gift cards, and charitable donations.

While these options may not offer the same value as redeeming rewards for travel expenses, they can still be a good option for using up rewards that may be close to expiration or that you don’t plan on using for travel.

Keep track of your rewards and stay organized

With multiple travel rewards programs and credit cards, it can be challenging to keep track of your rewards balances and redemption options. To stay organized and make the most of your rewards, consider using a spreadsheet or app to track your balances and due dates.

Additionally, be sure to keep track of any credit card annual fees and benefits, such as lounge access or travel credits, to ensure you’re getting the most value out of your rewards programs.

Consider FoundersCard for added value

If you’re a CXO looking to maximize your travel rewards and gain access to additional benefits, consider signing up for FoundersCard. This exclusive membership program offers a range of discounts on flights, hotels, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses, as well as access to networking events and other business resources.

Use this referral link to signup for FoundersCard

With partnerships with top travel brands like Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and Marriott, FoundersCard can help you save on your travel expenses while earning rewards for your trips. Additionally, upgrading to ELITE membership will give you access to the FC Concierge for assistance with dinner reservations, gift ideas, coordinating travel, and more.

In conclusion, with some careful planning, savvy use of credit cards, and a bit of knowledge about the best travel rewards programs, you can travel the world without breaking the bank. Remember to research your options, consider your spending habits, and stay organized to make the most of your rewards. And with programs like FoundersCard, you can add even more value to your travels. Happy travels!

I also recommend upgrading to ELITE membership for the FC Concierge for assistance with dinner reservations, gift ideas, coordinating travel, and more

FoundersCard Elite Card

  • A CTO’s Guide to Maximizing Your Travel Rewards
  • March 20, 2023
  • Brody, Daniel
  • COPYRIGHT 2022 Yom Shore Ventures LLC All Rights Reserved