A Whopping 42% of Americans Didn’t Take a Vacation Last Year
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
In fact, a recent study from Bankrate claims that 42% of Americans decided not to take a vacation in the last year because of cost. What’s more, 28% of adults said they are less able to afford a vacation than they were five years ago. While we never want to encourage anyone from doing things they truly cannot afford, we can offer some tips on how to responsibly use credit cards to go on a well-deserved vacation.
First thing’s first: Read our beginner’s guide to points, miles, airlines and credit cards. This will help you understand the ins and outs of rewards credit cards, and why you should never use a debit card — as long as you pay your bills on time and in full every single month, and never spend more than you can afford. Using a rewards credit card instead of a debit card for necessary everyday purchases is essentially an investment toward your next trip; by earning points and miles on things that you would have to buy anyway, you’ll be on your way to the airport before you can say “award redemption.”
There are also some solid credit card offers out right now that will get you one step closer to a free vacation. Take Hilton, for example. Thanks to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you’ll get 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first four months. That’s worth up to $780 according to TPG’s most recent valuations.
You’ll also get a complimentary Free Weekend Night award as part of that welcome offer and you can use it at just about any hotel in Hilton’s umbrella. Top-tier properties, such as the Conrad Tokyo, will run you 95,000 points per night — so even if you want to go the luxury route for one night, you’ll still have some points left over. On the other hand, you can find more affordable options starting at just 5,000 per night, especially if you’re flexible with your date and destination.
Here’s a look at the best Hilton properties in the US for 20,000 points or less and here are top Hilton properties overseas that cost 10,000 points or less per night.
If you’d rather pay cash for your vacation, keep an eye on our Twitter feed specifically dedicated to great deals on airfare (and occasionally hotel rates). Just this week, we found flights to Italy for just $286 round-trip.
Our goal here at TPG is to not just inspire people travel, but also to help them see the world for free. So, if you’re confident you can pay your bills on time and in full every month, it’s time to use the right rewards credit card to start earning points and miles for your next (free) vacation. Then, you won’t have to be part of that statistic counting the number of Americans who forgo vacations due to cost.
Featured photo of Acapuloco by benedek / Getty Images
This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.
- Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
- Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
- No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
- Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
- Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Low $95 annual fee