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My husband travels for business throughout the year. Sometimes, he travels three out of four weeks a month. Other months, he’s at home all month. It seems like he’s gone a lot, but that’s probably because it’s so hard on me managing everything while he’s traveling. He earns points on a corporate Amex as well as airline and hotel points for his stays.
I manage our family’s travel hacking. What does that mean exactly? In my case, it means strategically signing up for credit cards with big miles and points bonuses. It also involves charging all of our monthly expenses on credit cards that earn 2X, 3X, or more points per dollar.
So, when I tell people that we mostly travel for free using miles and points, they assume it’s driven by all the points my husband racks up while traveling for business. Or, they think I get all this free travel because I’m a blogger. Wrong! My family gets most of our miles and points through travel hacking.
Why Business Travel Isn’t as Lucrative
Of course, the amount of miles and points one will accumulate from business travel depends on a lot of factors. I am only looking at my husband’s business travel. He doesn’t earn as many miles and points as you might think.
His company dictates which airlines and hotels he can book based on price. That means he can’t always book his first choice of hotel or airline and stick within the same brand.
And because airlines award points based on price and not distance, his trips don’t earn a ton of miles. He rarely books expensive, last-minute flights for business, and again, he has to choose flights based on price parameters.
In the past year, he’s accumulated enough miles and points for about one round-trip domestic flight on AA, one free night at Marriott and a handful of points in other programs. And that doesn’t go very far for a family of five. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll take it. But even in a slower travel hacking year, we can earn much more than that.
Last night, I was showing the numbers to my husband. He said that if he traveled enough on business to earn miles and points for all five of us to travel free, he would be so tired of traveling that he wouldn’t feel like traveling for a vacation anyway. Good point.
I’m happy my husband earns miles and points from business travel, but my family is happier when he’s home and not traveling without us. I plan to keep earning miles and points from credit card bonuses while staying out of debt. My husband and I will be out from under 5/24 soon, so it’s almost time to start earning points for our next big trip.
Do you earn a lot of miles and points from your business travel? Or, does your credit card strategy earn the majority of your points stash?
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.