Treats: Our Favorite Tricks for Big Travel With Small Money!
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
So this Halloween, the Million Mile Secrets team put together some of our favorite tricks, including ways to score free treats, like hotel room upgrades!
We’d love to hear your favorite tricks for Big Travel treats in the comments too!
5 Travel & Money Saving Tricks From the Million Mile Secrets Team!
1. Don’t Get Spooked by Minimum Spending Requirements
The quickest way to get Big Travel with Small Money is to earn lucrative credit card sign-up bonuses. Most offers require you to spend a certain amount in a set timeframe. If you don’t have lots of monthly bills, the requirements can seem overwhelming if you’re new to miles & points.
Million Mile Secrets team member Harlan has a trick for meeting minimum spending requirements in ~1 minute. Just use Plastiq to pay monthly bills which don’t normally accept credit cards, like rent, utilities, mortgages, and HOA fees.
You’ll pay a 2.5% convenience fee to use Plastiq. But Harlan thinks its totally worth it because you can unlock valuable sign-up bonus much quicker!
And Harlan tries to time his card applications so the new card arrives a few days before monthly bills are due. Then, he sets up payments on Plastiq and earns the new card sign-up bonus right after the 1st billing cycle closes!
For even more ideas on unlocking big sign-up bonuses, check out our post with 40+ ways to meet minimum spending requirements.
2. Sweeten Your Everyday Purchases With Extra Rewards
Emily and team members Keith, Jason, and Meghan love to shop online through a cash back or miles & points portal.
This one extra step can make internet purchases much more rewarding…even when you’re booking travel! And you can check Cashback Monitor and Evreward to quickly find the best shopping portal for your purchase.
3. Make the Most of FREE Hotel Treats!
Team member Scott says “Boooooo!” (sorry, had to do it!) to hotels that require Triple Red Diamond Rhodium Globetrotterist Status just for a bottle of water when you check-in.
He prefers to book hotel chains with free treats like breakfast, Wi-Fi, and a fitness center. He’s enjoyed pleasant experiences at IHG’s Staybridge Suites, which include free hot breakfast and free happy hour food and drinks. Scott also likes Hampton Inn by Hilton because they offer similar perks.
4. Beware of Scary Fees and Familiarize Yourself With Workarounds
No one likes to pay pesky fees for award booking changes or cancellations. That’s one reason I love Southwest. Because you’ll never pay fees to change or cancel ANY flight!
While the American Airlines award booking cancellation policy isn’t as generous as Southwest, there’s a trick that might be helpful for some folks.
If you use miles to book award flights for multiple passengers, you’ll pay a $150 fee to cancel the 1st award ticket. But you’ll pay just $25 per ticket (instead of $150) to cancel award flights for additional passengers on your reservation.
5. Hocus-Pocus Strategy for Hotel Room Upgrades
Ever wonder what magic is required to get a hotel room upgrade?
Simply calling the hotel before your arrival and politely requesting an upgrade is contributor’s Chris’s trick.
It might not work every time, but it helped get Chris a Junior Suite at the highly-rated Park Hyatt Washington D.C.
Don’t forget, certain credit cards get you automatic hotel elite status. This is another way to increase your chances of securing a room upgrade!
You’re never too old to trick-or-treat for some travel or money saving secrets! So the Million Mile Secrets team put together a few our favorite tricks!
It’s easier to unlock valuable credit card sign-up bonuses using Plastiq to pay monthly bills which don’t normally accept credit cards, like rent, utilities, and mortgages. Or you can earn rewards on purchases you’re making anyways by shopping through a shopping portal, like TopCashback!
Team member Scott prefers tasty treats! That’s why he books hotel chains with free breakfast, like Hampton Inn by Hilton.
Happy Halloween from the Million Mile Secrets team! 🎃
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)