When I started traveling about 15 years ago, I fast became a fan of travel loyalty programs. Airlines, hotels, credit cards, anything and everything.

As I become more versed in their values and advantages, I fine tuned and combined my collection of travel memberships into fewer but more productive batch. They have allowed me to travel more frequently and comfortably by extending my resources. While business travelers have been earning these valuable points for decades and loving them, most of recreational travelers have not really taken advantage of this great and free system of reciprocation. True, you need to pay in order to earn. But unless you plan to mechanically fasten yourself to your neck-of-the-woods and never go anywhere; you are bound to incur this expense. Isn’t it good to earn some of your hard earned money back?

Lets start with credit cards. Almost all of us have them and use them from time-to-time or perhaps, all the time. For those disciplined and financially wise, credit cards are the best of friends. They lend money, give a few weeks to repay and even say thanks for paying them back by giving a bit of cash or credit back. A perfect friend indeed and a win-win situation.

Moving on to airlines’ membership programs. Every person, regardless of how often they fly, should belong to at least one of these. Why not? Super easy to join, Free membership and automatic reward points every time one travels. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Just lovely!

How about hotels’ loyalty programs? They are great, too. Again, free to join and you even get special treatments such as upgrades and dedicated check-in/out lanes.

Thanks to tweeting, I came across this article about how a man is living off his travel points while being unemployed. Click here to read the full story.

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