Above image courtesy of Nick Ares
You might think this travel hack is a no brainer, but you’ll be surprised how many of us don’t take advantage of rebate sites and get cash back on travel related purchases like cheap flight tickets, or even hotel reservations. Most of us are familiar with collecting points and miles simply by using our credit card and are even aware of the travel insurance that’s included, but we overlook the cash back that we can get just by purchasing our travel arrangements as we normally would.
The savings are not massive, nor is it akin to winning the lottery, but if you like to travel, enjoy eating and love entertainment, you’ll find that the cash back rewards add up pretty quick, and you’ll be redeeming a free ticket or depositing a nice fat check in no time.
If you happen to be one of the savvy few who already use, or are aware of how to get cash back on travel purchases, this article may still hold interest for you, as I’m about to introduce an easy way to find and index a whole bunch of them.
Ok, Sounds Good, Now How Do I Get Cash Back on Travel Purchases?
Getting cash back rewards on travel related bookings is easy. You’re able to reserve hotels, flight tickets, car rentals, entertainment, dining and sometimes even tour packages. Cheap airfare isn’t always easy to find, but fortunately, most of the cash back sites are connected to third party booking companies like Orbitz or Priceline. Of course, you could always find cheap airfare by trying some of the tips in this article: How to Find Cheap Airfare Tickets
The cash back sites basically act as an intermediary between you and the company. You need to first login to the cash back website, click on the deal, which then takes you to the company page, and complete the purchase as you normally would. The cash back rewards will then automatically be credited to your account for either redemption or payout.
So lets say you wanted to reserve a hotel trough Priceline.com. You would first login to a site like Fatwallet (one of the larger cash back sites), locate the Priceline offering, click and wait for Priceline’s web page to open up, and then continue making your purchase through Priceline. Just like that, 6% of whatever you spent has been returned back to you.
Which Cash Back Site is the Best?
The most familiar of the sites are probably fatwallet.com, but there are others. Use them all. Each one has their own offerings and possibly different cash back deals at any given time. Start an account with each one and bookmark the suckers…
What if I Don’t Have The Time to Track All The Sites and Discounts?
I don’t blame you, neither do I. With the number of cash back sites, and more cropping up daily, it can become overwhelming knowing which is the best or if the company you’re looking for is even listed.
Fortunately, to alleviate the burden of having to check each site independently, search engines for the specific purpose of indexing cash back sites do exist. Not all cash back sites are listed on each one, so use a few of them.
Some Final Things to be Aware of
Sometimes, using a coupon on the cash back sites will disqualify you from discounts or rewards program offered directly by the company. For instance, if you book through Hotels.com using a Fatwallet coupon, you would not receive credit towards their “10 nights get 1 free” rewards program. However, cash back on travel purchases are not affected and can still be accumulated.
You can also stack your discounts and the benefits you get by purchasing a Groupon travel coupon through a cash back offer on Fatwallet using your credit card. You’ll get the deep discounts of Groupon, the cash back from Fatwallet, and the miles or points from your credit card.
The only hesitation I have with Groupon is the limited selection and specificity of the items you may purchase. But if you do find something of interest, then you’re golden.
Lastly, unless the discounts are enormous by purchasing directly on the Airlines or hotel sites, use third party booking sites, like Orbitz or Priceline to maximize the cash back on travel purchases. The travel booking sites have a greater range of options, especially when it comes to international travel deals.
It’s only a few extra clicks to get some additional savings and ultimately more cash back in your pocket. Travel can be expensive, so any savings is worth the extra few steps.
Special thanks to The Unsettled Meliorist for putting together some of the above resources!
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