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Travel Rewards 101: British Edition

Travel Hacking Tool Kit

I covered travel rewards a few weeks ago and commenter Mr. Robot asked:

This sounds pretty awesome but I’m guessing this only applies to US residents and not European?

The answer is yes, though with some caveats:

  • Two of the major flexible rewards providers, Chase and Citi, do not offer credit cards outside the US.
  • The sign-up bonuses are not nearly as good as the American cards.

However, it’s totally possible to travel hack a free trip with cards. I thought I’d take the opportunity to demonstrate one with the same tools I used before in my previous post, though with different cards. This time, we’ll take a trip from London, England to Prague, Czech Republic.

Flights

Award Hacker flights to Prague from London

We can use Awardhacker and see how many miles we’ll need. For short distance trips in Europe, an airline that uses Avios like British Airways will generally always be the best option for your points. You can read more about it here (for fun also check out the Avios calculator to see how much it costs to fly to other destinations). As you can see, it’ll cost about 9000 points for a round trip off peak (in other words, not the busy season).

Hotels

Our possible Hotel in Prague uses SPG.

Looking at Awardomatic, we can find one Sheraton Hotel, which uses Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points. Since SPG is a partner of American Express, that becomes very useful as we can see after this.

Credit Cards

American Express is really your best option for travel rewards in the UK.  Two cards to use would be British Airways card and the Starwood Preferred Guest card there.  Note, however, you are better off not signing up with the links on the American Express site itself, but rather with a referral link as those will give you a better bonus along with the person who referred you.  I’d recommend asking on Head for Points for a referral link if you don’t know anyone who has these cards.

Conclusion

If you want to read more about collecting points in the UK, check out Head for Points, the premier travel hacking blog for the UK.

Got anymore travel hacking tips for Europe and the UK? Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in Credit Cards, Travel

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