Make your money work for you. It's an old adage, said by a bunch of wise old dudes with a lot of cash, presumably, and it's essential to remember during wedding and honeymoon planning. Here's how to turn your points into perks. 1 Pick and Choose For couples who take only a few annual trips, put your eggs into a single airline basket. In other words, Stick with the same program, advises Zach Honig, editor in chief of The Points Guy, a website dedicated to maximizing frequent-fl ier miles. If you decide United miles make the most sense for you, you should both sign up for the best credit-card off ers that let you earn United miles. ?
What's a good off er? I wouldn't bother with an airline bonus of less than 25, 000 miles, suggests Honig. He also says to expect extras such as priority boarding and free checked bags. Just be sure to read the fi ne print, including annual fees and spending minimums, typically $2, 000 to $3, 000 in the fi rst three months. With wedding planning, that's a breeze. Tom Marchant, co-founder of luxury honeymoon planner Black Tomato, says to simply place as many wedding expenses as possible on the card to build points.
2 Keep It in the FamilyThe brand family, that is. Most hotel groups off er free nights in return, redeemable at any location. That means your wedding could pay for your honeymoon. Plus, airlines and hotels often let you double up. One of the best hotel programs to earn points with is Starwood Preferred Guest, since you can transfer these points to more than 30 airline programs, says Honig. For multidestination honeymoons, consider booking each leg with the same brand. For instance, Marchant cites safaris as romantic and adventurous, yet costly, honeymoons.
We always look at pairing lodges that are part of the same group so clients can utilize benefi ts such as free nights and charter fl ights between lodges. ? 3 More Ways to Maximize Booking through a travel agent, such as advisers who are part of the Virtuoso network, can also pay dividends. You'll get additional benefi ts with hotels that you wouldn't usually fi nd online, says Marchant. Finally, if you have the miles, use them. If you've accrued enough miles and are traveling long haul to your honeymoon destination, it's worth investing in an upgrade, says Marchant. You'll arrive as well-rested as possible and ready to hit the ground running. ? P