I’ve been traveling for about 15 years now and since I’ve been in Sicily, my vacation frequency has only increased.  I learned early on that in order to be able to afford the luxuries I desire, I would need to be smart with my vacation planning and my spending budget.  In order to do this, I researched for credit cards and memberships that would give me points to cash in for travel.

Two credit cards that we use for our travel pleasures are the American Express Platinum and the Marriott Visa credit card.  The American Express Platinum gives us one point for every dollar we spend.  You better believe, I try to use this card EVERYWHERE.  I pay bills, buy groceries, put gas, etc.  At the end of the billing cycle, we pay the balance due and we continue using it.  We can use those points in exchange for flights, hotels and rentals.  There is an annual fee to have this card, however since Herbie is active duty, we get the fee waived.

There are a lot of perks to being an American Express Platinum cardholder.  Some of the perks include access to VIP airport lounges, Starwood membership and Hilton Honors membership.  The Starwood and Hilton Honors provides you with more hotel options for your travel.  You can check out the card benefits here.

Wherever Amex is not accepted, we use the Marriott Visa.  The Marriott also gives us points, we can link our timeshare account with it and we can get free hotel rooms in exchange for the points.  Not a bad deal.

There are thousands of cards to choose from, so do your research and pick one that works for you.

Aside from this, Herbie decided (before we were married) to purchase a Marriott Timeshare in Las Vegas.  He did this against my will, but we weren’t married so there was not much I could do to change his mind.  I’m glad he bought it because owning the timeshare has given us the opportunity to travel even more.  In 2008, we were able to visit Paris for a week for $80 and the Marriott property we stayed in was a two story villa that fit 8 people!  Eight people, 7 nights, $80!  And you can never go wrong with Marriott so you know the property was up to par.  Thanks, Babe, for not listening to me lol