Explore breathtaking destinations and relax in luxurious accommodations while earning benefits along the way. Travel rewards have the potential to turn your biggest travel aspirations into reality with programs and perks fit for all types of adventures. Learn which program is right for you and how to maximize your rewards for free flights, hotel stays and upgrades galore. 

Book direct with a favorite brand

Loyalty to a brand goes beyond just being a satisfied customer; it’s an opportunity to unlock a world of exclusive benefits and rewards. While airline miles have long been a cornerstone of brand loyalty, chances are your favorite travel brands also offer mutually rewarding partnerships where you are not only appreciated but empowered to maximize your experience. The pros are you can earn points more quickly, as some brands offer exclusive bonuses for direct bookings, and have access to superior customer service. At the same time, your options are limited, and you may be subject to sudden changes or disruptions that impact redemption. 

Looking to upgrade from a standard sedan? Rental car rewards programs are an easy way to score car upgrades and points toward free rentals. You also often have access to time-savers like skip-the-counter programs just for signing up. The Points Guy has a breakdown of their top recommendations for rental car rewards programs and what you need to know about each.

Hotel brands also know they are more than just a place to stay. From warm cookies to signature cinnamon rolls and robust rewards programs, major chains offer a range of enticing incentives to encourage customer loyalty. There isn’t one hotel program that’s ideal for every traveler. When selecting a program, consider factors like breadth of hotel options, reward redemption flexibility, membership perks and program terms to find one that fits your travel preferences.

Build rewards for every type of travel

Booking travel with online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia, Travelocity and Booking.com grants you access to competitive prices and exclusive travel packages while accumulating rewards that can be used any way you choose. The streamlined platforms also make it easy to plan and secure your entire vacation in just a few clicks. Keep an eye on special promotions and bonus rewards by signing up for newsletters to score the best deals. The downside to the convenience is that OTA rewards programs often come with limitations compared to direct bookings. Customer service may be lackluster, and you usually won’t earn hotel points and perks when you book through an OTA. Airline loyalty programs, while accepted, can even yield fewer miles with OTAs, as your ticket might be classified as bulk or consolidated.

‘Double dip’ with credit card perks

Credit cards can be a powerful tool for earning additional travel rewards. Used strategically, points and miles can be accumulated quickly from booking flights and hotel stays or everyday purchases. Some credit cards even offer sign-up bonuses, giving you a substantial boost to your rewards balance. Members also enjoy airport lounge access, travel insurance, priority boarding and more. If you’re new to travel cards, start with easy reward redemptions and narrow down your options based on your preferences. Stick to general rewards cards if you desire flexibility and sign up for a hotel or airline card if you’re loyal to certain brands.

There is an art to collecting and redeeming rewards to maximize their value and experience luxuries you never thought possible. Once you decide your goals, you can figure out the cards and programs and that will get you there.

And we can’t forget about Fast Park’s Relax for Rewards program that allows you to earn points by using your Rewards Card each time you park with us (1 day = 1 point). 8 points = 1 Free Day; 20 points = 3 Consecutive Free Days; 40 points = 1 Free Week (up to 7 consecutive days). Members also enjoy free reservations, access to mobile account features and a personal dashboard that tracks your points and parking history with access to eReceipts. Sign Up Today.