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Give your mom the gift of travel: 3 ideas for Mother’s Day

May 03, 2021
6 min read
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My mom is my best friend and travel buddy. While we put our mother-daughter trips on hold the past year, I’m excited for us to get back out there. As we celebrate a second pandemic Mother’s Day, here are three ideas to inspire your mother with the gift of travel in true TPG fashion.

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My mom and I took a day trip to San Francisco a few summers ago. (Photo by Stella Shon/The Points Guy.)

Book a vacation (or staycation) with the credit card perks you already have

Many of us are sitting on a healthy stash of points and miles, credits and certificates after a year of limited — or no — travel. What better gift to get your mom than a much-needed vacation?

Related: Americans can now visit 90+ countries and territories — here’s the complete list

By playing your cards right, you can score a great deal on your next getaway. If you’re an American Express cardholder, chances are you’re sitting on some pretty sweet Amex hotel offers. By leveraging these deals, you can double-dip on savings and points and miles. If you or your mom aren’t quite ready to travel yet, you can also book a staycation at a hotel near you.

Eligibility for these offers is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)

For example, I found this offer on my Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card for a $100 statement credit when spending $500 or more on a Waldorf Astoria booking. One night at The Waldorf Astoria Orlando comes out to $541 on Mother’s Day weekend.

With the Amex offer, this total price comes down to $441.18. While I’m only getting 541 SkyMiles on this booking, if I pay with my Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card (1x SkyMiles on all purchases), as a Hilton Honors member, I’ll earn 10 points per $1 spent, meaning I’ll earn 5,412 points from this booking.

Related: Save at IHG, Hilton and more with new Amex Offers

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This is just one example of how leveraging your existing credit card perks can help you book a vacation at a discount. Don’t forget that cards such as the Citi Premier® Card come with an annual $100 hotel credit after spending $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) on a single-stay booking when booked through thankyou.com, so use these perks if you haven’t already taken advantage of them.

Related: Can I mix hotel points and free night certificates to get a fourth or fifth night free?

Give her a Global Entry/TSA Precheck application credit

International travel is about to ramp up and having Global Entry is an absolute must as we return to airports. Many premium credit cards come with reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, but did you know that you can give this credit to someone else?

For example, I used my Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to pay for my own Global Entry application last year. But when I recently applied for my Delta Reserve card, it came with another Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit. Instead of letting it go to waste, I’m giving this credit to my mom this year as part of her Mother’s Day travel gift bundle.

She’ll apply for Global Entry since it already includes TSA PreCheck, enhancing her airport experience as we plan some trips together for later this year. All you’ll have to do is pay for her application with your eligible card, and the enrollment fee will be reimbursed in the form of a statement credit.

Related: Why TSA PreCheck is fantastic for families

Add her as an authorized user on your card

Adding your mom as an authorized user is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only will you be much closer to accruing your welcome bonus or earn points and miles much faster, but your mom may be able to enjoy exclusive travel perks that come with your credit card.

Some credit cards let you add authorized users for no additional charge. However, popular luxury travel cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express -- with a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), charge $175 for up to three authorized users (see rates and fees).

Still, this fee is worth paying since it’s cheaper than having your mom open her own Platinum card. And, she’ll enjoy a whole suite of travel benefits, including access to American Express Centurion lounges, Priority Pass lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying on Delta same-day) and elite status at Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Screenshot courtesy of Amex

Even better, select cardholders may be targeted to earn 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points by adding an authorized user to their Platinum Card. Since we value each Amex point at 2 cents each, these points are worth $400 — a win-win for you and your mom.

Related: Best luxury cards based on annual fee and authorized user fees

Bottom line

This Mother’s Day, I’m excited to leverage the credit cards I already have to give my mom some pretty sweet travel-related gifts. This way, I’m stretching even more value out of them beyond earning valuable points and miles on your everyday purchases. It’s easy to forget the offers and credits that come with your credit cards, but they can certainly help you get creative when it’s time to give gifts.

Remember that you also have until Mother’s Day (May 9) to enter TPG’s Prizeo campaign with a grand prize of 1 million United MileagePlus miles and a private points and miles consultation with Brian Kelly, The Points Guy himself. We're raising money for the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GFPA), a cause dedicated to offering qualify education for girls and empowering future female leaders in Liberia. There’s a minimum donation of $10, but you can donate more to increase your chances of winning.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

Fair/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees