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We asked TPG readers how they're saving for travel in 2022 — here's what they said

February 10 2022
5 min read
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As experts in points and miles, we spend a lot of time educating readers about earning and redeeming rewards for free — or nearly free — travel. But there are some expenses that aren’t easily covered by points and miles and instead have to be paid for the old fashioned way: with cash.

We were curious to know how TPG readers are saving money in the new year for travel expenses that can’t be covered with points and miles — such as dining out, taxes and fees on award tickets, cash-only market stalls or when they simply don’t have enough rewards to cover their entire trip.

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Here’s what they had to say — and how you can save cash for your next trip too.

Redeem credit card offers

In our TPG Lounge Facebook poll, most TPG readers indicated that they’re saving money for travel through credit card offers. Automatic discounts and bonuses from credit cards are a great way to save money throughout the year on more than just travel-specific expenses. Eligible categories can include clothing, select streaming services and even car maintenance. Offers to save money on dining can come in especially handy when traveling.

Related: Your ultimate guide to saving money with Amex offers

Be on the lookout for credit card offers by checking your mobile apps and email announcements as well as frequent updates to TPG articles — like this one.

Make savings automatic

Another popular answer to our question about how readers are saving for future trips? Automatic savings from each paycheck. By systematically setting aside a portion of their income (while leaving enough to cover their monthly expenses), these readers are budgeting for the one-time costs of future trips — ensuring they’re not caught by surprise.

In fact, some readers are even looking into opening a new account in which to hold these contributions — like a high-yield savings account from American Express. With no minimum balance, no fees, FDIC insurance and a higher Annual Percentage Yield (APY) than typical brick-and-mortar banks, opening a new American Express® Savings account could help boost your travel fund in 2022.

(Photo by Marko Geber/Getty Images)

And with single-sign-on functionality, you can see all of your American Express accounts in one place — including savings, Membership Rewards points and card balances — making a savings account with American Express an efficient way to track your balances.

Click here to open a new American Express Savings account with 0.50% APY (as of Feb. 8, 2022 — see disclaimer below).

Utilize shopping portals

We think that online shopping portals are a great way to save money and earn points toward future travel — and TPG readers agree.

In fact, one popular shopping portal — Rakuten — even gives you the option to earn cash back or Amex Membership Rewards points when shopping online. If you’re not already doing so, start every online purchase at a portal, as the rewards you earn can go directly into your travel savings — and be used to pay for anything that can’t be covered by points and miles.

(Photo by Oscar Wong/Getty Images)

Related: Your guide to maximizing shopping portals for your online purchases

Airline and hotel shopping portals also allow you to earn rewards when shopping online — though you’ll earn points or miles in a specific program this way.

Change spending habits

One final way that TPG readers said they were saving for future travel this year was by cutting excessive spending, especially around grocery and retail spending. When it comes to saving for something you want, it makes sense to spend less in less important areas of your life.

To find ways to save, consider downloading your credit card activity into an Excel spreadsheet, and organize your purchases into categories. This can show you just how much you’re spending in certain areas — and some of it may surprise you.

Once you’ve found an area to cut, develop a plan for lowering your spend — and consider funneling those savings into an account earmarked for future trips.

Bottom line

There are a myriad of ways to save for future travel plans, and TPG readers utilize a variety of them to make their travel goals a reality.

Automatic discounts from credit card offers allows some cardmembers to save money on more than just travel-related expenses. Shopping portals are also a great way to earn cash back savings — and even Membership Reward points that you can redeem for travel — when shopping online.

In addition to savings through credit cards and shopping portals, automatic debits from each paycheck into a high-yield savings account like American Express Savings also helps TPG readers save for upcoming travel plans.

And lastly, changing spending habits to ensure that you have money for the things that matter most was another way that TPG readers are saving for their 2022 travels.

**The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as advertised is accurate as of Feb. 8, 2022. Interest rate and APY are subject to change at any time without notice before and after a high-yield savings account is opened.

Featured photo 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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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
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  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
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  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees