Repeat after me: “I have so much to offer the world. I’d be doing such a disservice if I didn’t share it.”
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I absolutely love traveling and love learning about culture. Whether it’s international, the other side of the country, or the next town over. Exploring and being worldly has always been a big part of my life. Unfortunately, once I vowed to make student debt payoff a priority, travel and exploration has had to take a back seat to save money. However, that hasn’t stopped me from constantly daydreaming about where my next adventure could be, especially when inspired by points travelers around me who take advantage of credit card rewards. Enter travel blogs and travel rewards .
I’d like to blame some of my favorite travel bloggers for not allowing me to let my travel dreams go. There’s no way I can constantly read about budget trips to Iceland on the Thought Card, amazing vacations to Dubai on Angelina Travels, or exploring Madrid on the Blog Abroad and not have the travel bug gently but persistently whispering in your ear. It’s just not possible. So of course, I’m faced with the issue of how I’m gonna fulfill my worldly travel dreams like these fantastic bloggers all while paying off debt – not to mention taking care of a newborn once he’s born this July. So of course, the question comes in. “How can I afford to travel when I already have so much on my plate?”
What I admire about the travel bloggers listed above as well as many others is they always manage to travel without breaking the bank whether it be via altering lifestyle, saving, or just taking advantage of deals. What I don’t admire is that many of them credit their ability to travel to the use of points and miles earned from credit card usage. Well, I am not a fan of credit cards. While I do have a credit card for use in emergencies, I don’t EVER plan to use it. I’m all about finding my way out of debt, not finding my way into it. Earning travel miles is just not a good enough reason for me to start willingly using a credit card no matter how good the credit card rewards are.
But why should credit card users have all the fun? They shouldn’t! It’s just not fair. So besides signing up for airline newsletters and scouring Groupon getaways, I’ve decided to find a way to become a points traveler too without using a credit card. It took a while, but I think I finally found one.
Here’s where Mypoints enters the scene. Mypoints is a cash back site where you earn points that can be exchanged for gift cards, Paypal payments and more. I believe I mentioned it in a few other posts on this blog. There are several other cash back/points earning sites out there, but I joined Mypoints when I was 16 so I guess I’m just more loyal to this one.
Well, upon poking around Mypoints I discovered that I could redeem points for more than just gift cards to Amazon, restaurants and Macy’s. There were many travel options as well. I found options to redeem points for BP gas stations, Choice Hotels, and Groupon. There was even an option to redeem for Mileage Plus United. Yes, I could exchange Mypoints points for Mileage points on United airlines. (Another favorite, is Swagbucks where you can redeem points for travel related things such as Hotels.com gift cards and points for Southwest airlines.) And just like that, a light bulb went off in my head. There was the answer to my becoming a points traveler without using a rewards credit card.
All I had to do was make all my online purchases through Mypoints or Swagbucks earn lots and lots of points and then redeem to travel. While I haven’t redeemed any points for traveling yet, I fully intend to once I earn a good amount. And of course, I’ll report back when I do. I’m just excited that I found a way to pay off student debt, save, be financially responsible with a newborn on the way and travel without breaking the bank. Wish me luck!
Any other points travelers out there that do so with or without a credit card? Is travel a goal of yours too?
TERRIfic Quip: Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.