trips on points

10 Trips You Can Pay for With Points

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If you’re new to collecting miles and points, we’re here for you! Check out our Travel Hacking 101 series, pick your first card, and then dive in to get some ideas for how to use your credit card points.

Remember that there’s no “perfect” redemption — it all depends on where you want to go! 

Not sure what you can do with miles and points? The options are endless! Use these 10 ideas to get some inspiration. Then, set some of your own travel goals. While travel goals aren’t always necessary, they can help you know what cards you need to open to bring your dream vacation to life.

Table of Contents

    Book an award flight to anywhere in the United States

    There are a lot of options for booking award flights within the United States, but 15,000 points round trip to anywhere in the U.S. is hard to beat.

    We did a blog post on this sweet spot and how to use Turkish Airlines miles to book flights on United Airlines to Hawaii, but you can actually use it to book domestic flights anywhere within the U.S.

    This redemption requires flexibility and patience to book, but great value. The sign up bonus on the Venture, Venture X, or Citi Premier would cover 5 flights this way.

    Hawaii for 15k points

    Take your family to an all-inclusive resort

    When you have kids, sometimes you come home needing a “vacation” from your “vacation”. Our favorite way to relax on a trip is to stay at an all-inclusive resort. No cooking, no cleaning, amenities galore, and – often – free babysitting at kids club!

    Read all about how to find and book an all-inclusive resort with points, and use our searchable map that includes more than 100 all-inclusive resorts to find where to take your next vacation!

    A sign up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred could get you 5 nights at the lower category Hyatts if you book off-peak. Or if you and a partner double up on Chase Sapphire Preferred cards, you can get more nights or upgrade to a fancier resort.

    All Inclusive Resorts to Book with Points

    Fly 2 people for the price of 1 ALL YEAR with the Southwest Companion Pass

    We love Southwest for families and think the Southwest Companion Pass is one of the best deals out there. The Southwest Companion Pass allows you to take a named companion on any flight with you for only the cost of taxes. You can use it anywhere that Southwest flies!

    In order to qualify for a Companion Pass, you have to earn 125,000 points in a calendar year. However, if you open the right business card/personal card combination you can earn enough points from the welcome bonuses to get a companion pass for almost 2 years. 

    Southwest Companion Pass Tricks

    Read our article and sign up below to get our Southwest Companion Pass Guide to learn all there is to know about earning and using a Companion Pass.

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    Cover your hotel and tickets for Disneyland or Disney World

    For a lot of families, a Disney vacation is a dream. Staying at Disney Resort Hotels can make that vacation even more magical. If this is something your family is dreaming of, this article will give you lots of ideas for how to stay at Disney Hotels and buy Disney tickets with your points.

    How to Stay at Disney Hotels Using Points

    Vacation in Hawaii

    Fly to Hawaii from the mainland

    There are several great options for flying to Hawaii on points. What option works best for your family will depend on where you’re flying from and when you’re going. You can read about the 4 best options for families flying to Hawaii with points here.

    Fly to Hawaii with Points

    Stay at a Hyatt hotel or resort

    You can stay at a Hyatt in Waikiki for as low as 12,000 points per night, or a beachfront Hyatt resort in Kauai or Maui – complete with cultural classes, multiple pools, and penguins – for as low as 21,000 points per night.

    Read our post on our three favorite Hyatt properties in Hawaii for families, including how to search and book Hyatt properties, and how to get the points you need, here.

    Hawaii Hotels with points

    Sign up below for our Guide to Plan a Hawaiian Vacation With Points. It will walk you through the exact steps to get 143,000+ points to book one of these Hyatt stays!

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    Fly Around the World. Literally.

    There are a number of airlines that still offer around the world tickets, but we think ANA provides the most value. ANA allows you to book with Star Alliance members and allows up to 8 stopovers. A 20,000 mile trip will cost you only 75,000 points per person, plus taxes and fees.

    There are a lot of rules that make this quite a complex redemption. So while booking an ANA Round the World Ticket is possible – you can read more about Katie’s experience here – it’s not for beginners.

    ANA Round the World Ticket

    Explore Europe

    There are lots of ways to get to Europe on points. Check out this post to read about one family’s experience using points to fly, stay, and play in Europe for a month.

    One Month in Europe with Points

    Hotels in Europe can be tricky for families since most European hotels only have a capacity of 2-3. Use our searchable map to find some of the best hotels for families of 4 in Europe. 

    Best family hotels in Europe

    Get your 4th night free at an IHG Hotel

    IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) consists of 17 hotel brands and nearly 6,000 properties worldwide. You’re bound to be able to find a family friendly, boutique, or luxury hotel to stay at for any occasion. And, if you have any of the IHG Rewards cards, your 4th night on points is free!

    IHG Rewards card

    Book a vacation rental home

    When you are traveling as a family, sometimes it’s nice to have more space and a kitchen to accommodate everyone comfortably. Vacation rental homes are a great option, but frequently come with high cleaning charges and fees.

    One sweet spot is using Wyndham rewards points to book Vacasa vacation rentals. Vacasa rentals are a flat 15,000 points per bedroom per night, with no taxes and fees charged! 

    Check out our guide to booking vacation rentals with points – including Vacasa rentals and hotel timeshare properties (such as Marriott and Holiday Inn Vacation Clubs).

    Book Vacation Rental homes with points

    Take a road trip through the U.S.

    In 2021, Katie and her family embarked on a month-long road trip through the U.S. On points, of course! 

    Southwest Road Trip

    There are so many options in the U.S. for family hotels on points. If you’re dreaming up or planning a family road trip, be sure to look into Holiday Inn Vacation Club properties, Marriott family hotels and resorts, and Choice Privileges suites:

    Holiday Inn vacation club villas
    Family Friendly Marriott Hotels and Resorts
    Choice Privileges Hotels

    Recommended card(s)

    Best pointsRecommended card(s)
    Fly within the U.S.Turkish Miles&SmilesCiti Premier
    Capital One Venture/Venture X
    Stay at an all-inclusive resortWorld of HyattChase Sapphire Preferred
    Southwest Companion PassSouthwest Rapid RewardsSouthwest Rapid Rewards personal/business card combo
    Disneyland/Disney World Hotels and ticketsCiti ThankYou points
    Capital One Rewards
    Chase Ultimate Rewards
    Marriott Bonvoy
    Citi Premier
    Capital One Venture/Venture X
    Chase Sapphire Preferred
    Fly to and stay in HawaiiWorld of Hyatt
    Southwest Airlines
    British Airways Avios
    Turkish Airlines
    Chase Sapphire Preferred
    World of Hyatt
    Southwest Rapid Rewards card
    Capital One Venture/Venture X
    Citi Premier
    Go around the worldANA Mileage ClubAmerican Express Platinum or Gold
    Explore EuropeAAdvantage 
    Choice Privileges
    Barclays or Citi AAdvantage card
    Citi Premier
    4th Night Free at an IHG propertyIHG One RewardsIHG Rewards Premier or Premier Business
    Book a vacation rentalWyndham RewardsCapital One Venture/Venture X
    Citi Premier
    Take a U.S. road tripIHG One Rewards
    Marriott Bonvoy
    Choice Privileges 
    IHG Rewards Premier or Premier Business
    Chase Sapphire Preferred
    Citi Premier

    You can see all the best current card offers on our best offers page here.

    Want to make any of these trips even better? Skip the lines by having TSA PreCheck/Global entry, and be sure to have a credit card that gets you and your whole family airport lounge access.

    Editorial Disclosure – The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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