A reader recently asked me: What’s the best credit card I can get to earn miles for a spring break trip?
Yes, most “normal” people are planning spring break 2023 trips right now. (Miles and points hobbyists are already planning into 2024….)
Unfortunately, the reality is that earning miles from a credit card and using them for award travel takes time. Most credit cards require you to spend a few thousand dollars in the first 3 months. You might not get the bonus miles until 4 months from now. And by that time, spring break has come and gone.
However, there is one credit card I recommend in this particular scenario.
Capital One Venture Rewards Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Card currently has a sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles after spending $4000 in the first 3 months. The card earns 2X miles on all purchases. It also has a Global Entry credit and no foreign transaction fees.
So, why is this card a good fit for an imminent spring break trip? You can erase travel expenses from your credit card statements with your Capital One miles up to 90 days after a trip.
Let’s say you apply for the card today and meet the spending requirement in three months (April). You will get the bonus (75k) + 8k miles (2X for $4000 minimum spending). That’s a total of 83,000 miles, or $830 of travel expenses you can erase.
If you go on spring break in March, you can charge your hotel to your card. Then when you get the bonus miles in April, you can go back and erase your spring break charges with your miles.
The nice thing about using the miles from this card is that you don’t have to look for award space. Anything that is classified as travel works with the miles. For example, you could book a few nights at Kalahari Resort or Great Wolf Lodge, and then use your miles to erase that expense.
Of course, if you have a spouse or travel partner, you can each sign up for this card separately and each get the bonus for double the miles. Score! See my Travel Hacking 101 post for all the details.
For anyone looking to save some money on a trip that is coming up in the next few months, the Capital One Venture Rewards card is an easy choice. It’s one of the top cards I recommend to newbies who are learning how to maximize earning and burning miles and points for free travel.
How does my family travel so much? We use miles and points from credit card bonuses. See my Travel Hacking 101 post as well as current credit card offers here.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.
2808 Heavy says
Venture X is a solid choice. If Cap One is a no-go (they can be quirky with their approvals) I would say the Citi Premier would be a great alternative.
60k TYPs for $4k spend, if one spends most of that $4k in a 3x category that would be an additional 12k TYPs and they can also be cashed out at 1cpp thus acting as a purchase eraser. Still not as good as the Venture X but wouldn’t be a bad alternative if Cap One doesn’t want you to play in their sandbox.
@2808 Heavy Good point about the Citi Premier. I hesitate to recommend the Venture X to newbies because of the high annual fee though. 🙂
2808 Heavy says
Didn’t think about that…but you’re right, the AF on the Venture X is hard to swallow for a newbie. Heck, it’s hard for some of my friends to even consider a $95 annual fee. LOL!
Simple concept but I’ve never thought of that before! I’m going to remember this when people ask me about miles for a trip they want to book soon (It happens all the time). Thanks!
@Jennifer Yes! Most of the time when I’m asked for credit card advice for a trip, the trip is just a short time away unfortunately.