Saving money on flights is a major flex because this economy is making travelling unaffordable. But, what would you do if you knew that there is a travel hack out there that could save you hundreds dollars on some flights?
This might not be new to anyone already on this money-saving train, but it is pretty shocking for others who find it hard to commit to new credit cards.
"A lot of people need to hear this if you travel at least one to two times a year, if not more and your credit card is not a travel credit card, you're literally wasting your money," Marina said.
The content creator told Narcity, in 2022 she accumulated $500 worth of points and used it to book a one-way ticket to Europe — "So that flight alone made it worth it for me."
Marina used to work with TD Bank, which is when she learned about all of these cool things. She said sometimes all the information can be "overwhelming," but "big banks and credit card companies competing to get your business."
As a result, the point systems and benefit plans are "amazing" and a "waste" not to have.
Should you use your debit or credit card?
It's worth noting, "The only reason any travel credit card or points card, in general, is worth it is because you're doing your transactions on the card and not on your debit card," the TikToker said.
In other words, you solely use your credit card to do all your daily spending rather than a debit card.
More simply put, using a debit card can't get you much but paying with your credit card can get you points.
"Toronto is one of the most expensive cities in the world for young people; between groceries, gas, bills, having a social life, and all the other expenses that come with existing in this city, I feel like I unwillingly spend more than I would like to by circumstance of where I live," Marina told Narcity.
What is the best credit card for travel points?
Marina shared a few things to look out for when researching these programs because they differ from country to country.
The travel credit card she uses is TD Bank because "it was voted like the best travel credit card in Canada," she said.
It costs around $120 to $130 a year for "any decent Travel Card or points card." But it's not a problem because "that doesn't actually end up costing you anything because the amount of money you make off of this card is going to be more than what you paid."
Another tip is to get a card with a "welcome bonus."
In Marina's case, her travel card has no annual fees for the first year and includes points that are around $300, which could pay for a short-haul flight or part of a more expensive trip.
Make sure to check where you can actually redeem your points. Some cards give you minimal options to websites they work with and "you don't want that."
"I love the TD first class travel because they're partnered with Expedia. So you redeem all your points at Expedia, which is such a massive website that has every hotel, every car rental, every airline, everything," the content creator said.
Also, if you don't want to use your points to travel, she shared that a good card would allow you to redeem points elsewhere.
What benefits do travel credit cards have?
Marina said, "every good travel credit card should have the basic insurance, like the flight cancellation, flight delay, travel medical, they need to have that."
But other things that would be cool perks include delayed or lost baggage insurance. This basically means if it's delayed for more than 6 hours, you can get "$1,000 to go shopping and get whatever you need."
The TikToker mentions other insurances which could come in clutch in worst-case scenarios like if your phone home screen breaks or your hotel room gets robbed that you should look out for.
"I do think travel cards are absolutely worth it if you travel 1-2 times a year, from getting money off your trip to the insurances, I don't really see a downside to it," she told Narcity.
Other travel card options include AMEX and RBC, she suggested.
So, if you were looking into ways to save money on travel costs, maybe this is your solution.