How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Travel points can be used around the holiday to buy gifts for loved ones. To start, assess your rewards points. You may have more rewards points than you think. Also, in addition to travel points, you may have earned rewards points on a credit card. From there, choose items. You can buy many material goods through online retailers using rewards points. You also may be able to do things like donate to charities in someone’s name using your rewards points.

Steps

Part 1 of 3: Assessing Your Points

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Check how many points you have online. Before you begin your holiday shopping, assess where you’re at points-wise. Many people have racked up far more travel points than they realized. Check your profile online to see how many points you’ve gained over the past year. See how much of that can be redeemed for cash or spent shopping online and take this into account when budgeting for the holiday season.

  • How you check your points varies depending on the precise points system you use. If you’re unsure where to look for your points, call a customer service representative and ask.

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Review where your points will be accepted. Travel points can sometimes be used as payment. You do not necessarily need to redeem all your points for cash. Some major online retailers may partner with the company that gives out travel points, for example, and you may be able to cash in points for gift cards to some bigger companies. This can help you quickly redeem a few points for gifts.

  • For example, maybe you can spend your travel points at iTunes. You can cash in some points for an iTunes gift card for a family member this Christmas.

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

See if you can trade points for cash. Travel points can often be redeemed for cash. If you don’t want to use your travel points shopping online, there may be a way to quickly convert them to money. You can use the points when out shopping for presents.

  • You can usually click something that says “redeem for cash” and enter information regarding your bank or checking account. The travel points will then be changed to cash and transferred to your account.
  • Some travel points system may require you to have a specific number of points before you can convert your points to cash.

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Invest in a third party tracker. This is a good idea if you have multiple points system. If you, for example, have credit card points in addition to travel points, try using a tracker such as Evereward. These are third party sites that help alert you to deals and where you can and can’t use your points when shopping online.

  • Third party trackers can show you what rewards and coupons you can use at the check out when doing online shopping. You can cut down on a lot of money using these systems, as you can use multiple different types of rewards points in addition to coupons.
  • If you have more than one rewards points system, using a third party tracker could help you save quite a bit of money on holiday gifts.

Part 2 of 3: Choosing Material Items

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Try buying items through big online retailers with travel points. If you frequently shop online, many online retailers accept rewards points as payment. If you’re using a major online retailer, like Amazon for example, you may be able to use your points at the checkout while ordering gifts for family members and friends. Always check to see if your travel points are accepted when doing online shopping over the Christmas season.

  • Big shopping days such as Cyber Monday may mean more stores than usual are accepting points. You will also save money due to major discounts in addition to using your points to pay for a portion of your gifts.
  • It may be in your best interest to stock up on a lot of items when shopping online. Some stores offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount. If your travel points are already taking care of a chunk of the payment, see if any items you need are cheaper to simply purchase online. If spending an additional $10 will save you $40 on shipping fees, for example, it may be worth it to buy a small item you need as well.

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Opt for gift cards. Many travel rewards points can be cashed in for gift cards. Gift cards can be a great item to get a friend or family member if you’re unsure what they would want but know a store where they frequently shop. Try seeing what big companies allow you to trade travel points for gift cards this holiday season.

  • If you’re traveling this season, gift cards can be an easy gift as they’re easier to transport. Think about opting for gift cards as presents if you have a long way to go to see loved ones.

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Purchase electronics. Many rewards points allow you to buy electronics with your points. As electronics can be pricey, paying for a chunk of the cost with travel points can save you a lot of money. If, for example, your son has really wanted a new game system, see if you can take care of at least part of the cost with your travel points.

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Buy jewelry and other accessories. Many jewelry stores, or stores that sell other fashionable accessories, may accept travel points if you’re shopping online. See if you can pay for, say, a watch or necklace with your travel points. If you want to buy someone a somewhat expensive accessory that’s slightly out of your price range, travel points can help.

  • If you prefer to look at items prior to purchase, try cashing in your points and then spending the money at a store.

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Be on the lookout for holiday sales. If you want to double up on your savings, keep your eyes open for holiday sales. You may be able to, say, pay for a chunk of an item with travel points and then get an additional 10% off on a sale day. If there are online retailers you use frequently, jot down when they’re having sales. Try to use your points these days to increase your overall savings.

Part 3 of 3: Spending in Other Ways

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Buy someone plane tickets. Many travel rewards points systems allow you to transfer your points for free or discounted tickets. If someone does not need anymore physical items, try buying them tickets somewhere. The gift of a vacation may be much appreciated by a family member or friend.

  • Make sure you have an idea of someone’s schedule before buying them tickets. You don’t want to buy them something they can’t use.
  • If there’s a big family event coming up, try buying a family member plane tickets to that event. For example, get your sister who lives in Texas plane tickets for the family reunion in California this year.

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Donate to a charity. Many travel rewards points have a system that allows you to transfer your points to a charity. Points are converted to cash and then donated. If someone does not want anything this year, consider using your points to donate to a charity in their name.

How to Use Travel Points for Holiday Gifts

Pay for an experience. Many points systems can be used to buy passes to places like amusement parks, spas, concerts, and events. These types of gifts can be very much appreciated by someone who does not want anymore material goods. If you have a family member who lives near Orlando, for example, see if you can cash in your points to get them a day pass to Disney World.

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