Holiday Shopping & Travel: Treat Others Now, Treat Yourself Later

The holiday season is a time of giving, but that doesn’t only mean clothes, electronics or home goods. As you probably know, I love travel and I get all warm and fuzzy when I’m gifting those types of experiences to my friends and family during the holidays – whether it’s tickets to a sports event or a trip somewhere new. These types of gifts create memories that can last a lifetime, and that’s why I prefer sharing them with the people I’m closest with.

When I’m purchasing a vacation for a loved one, I try to pick a location that I know they will enjoy, but
may not plan for themselves. Many people I know are a bit apprehensive to purchase trips for
themselves due to cost or planning logistics. In fact, a recent Bank of America survey found 34 percent
of Americans say cost and stress are the main reasons they are not traveling this holiday season.

Since traveling is kind of my jam, in addition to covering the costs, I also try to use my knowledge and
experience to do the flight, hotel and activity planning for my loved ones. This takes away the stress and
allows everyone to enjoy the trip.

Holiday Shopping & Travel: Treat Others Now, Treat Yourself Later

And while it’s better to give than to receive, it doesn’t hurt to earn some rewards for yourself on holiday
gift shopping – whether that’s experiences or just “stuff.” With the average consumer spending $1,143
on retail purchases alone last holiday season, there are many opportunities to earn credit card rewards
and bonuses.

Although I don’t typically buy tangible holiday gifts for friends and family – with the exception of the
occasional nice bottle of wine – I do spoil my dog, Hector. I like to take advantage of Black Friday and
Cyber Monday to save on things like new dog toys and treats and I’ve learned it’s a great way to
accumulate credit card points for a trip in the new year – hopefully for the both of us!

Holiday Shopping & Travel: Treat Others Now, Treat Yourself Later

It seems silly to not earn points for the holiday purchases you know you will make, especially when they
can help earn you a trip to a fun destination. When I am spending during the holiday season, I always
use my Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card. I earn unlimited 2 points for every dollar spent
on travel and dining experiences for my family and friends and 1.5 points on all my other purchases, like
those chew toys Hector loves, all of which I can use toward my 2019 trips.

Additionally, if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client you can earn up to a 75 percent bonus on your credit card rewards, which translates to up to 3.5 points on travel and dining with the Premium Rewards card, and 2.625 points on everything else.

The rewards I earn this holiday season help me ditch the bitter cold in New York this winter and escape
to warmer climates. This year, I’m heading to Australia in January for the Australian Open to enjoy the
tennis competition and to start racking up rewards for the rest of the year.

Holiday Shopping & Travel: Treat Others Now, Treat Yourself Later

This holiday season, consider gifting an experience to the important people in your life. It’s something
you can enjoy with them and as I mentioned it will create memories to last a lifetime.

Bonus Holiday Tips:
Make a New Year’s resolution to talk with your banker about all the rewards products that may be
available to you as a customer. A few ideas using Bank of America as an example include:

  • Enrolling in the Preferred Rewards program for benefits and rewards that grow as your
    qualifying banking and investment account balances grow (including, credit card rewards
    bonuses, Merrill Edge $0 online stock & ETF trades, and home and auto loan discounts).
  • Signing up for BankAmeriDeals offering up to 15% cash back on deals you choose when you pay
    with an eligible debit or credit card.
  • Downloading the Bank of America mobile app for access to the My Rewards tool that organizes
    multiple Bank of America rewards programs into a centralized dashboard.
  • Taking cultural adventures with the Museums on Us program, offering free weekend general
    admission to Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust credit and debit cardholders at top
    cultural attractions throughout the country, during the first full weekend of every month.

Disclaimer: I am a paid spokesman for Bank of America.

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  1. Can you take me to Australia?

  2. Thank you so much for the tips. I am so very excited headed to Australia in just 3 days leaving before Thanksgiving . This will be my 1st International trip and we have been planning for months. Can you share any must not miss points of interest in Sydney or Cairns Australia? Thanks and Happy holidays!

  3. Beautiful Tips for traveler! Just wanted to share with you guys that I went to Australia for about a month. Explored Melbourne, visited Yarra Valley, Adelaide, and Barossa Valley. It was lovely! Coming back to your post – yes, slow travel is always more rewarding, exploring your own backyard is also fun, and getting up early gives you enviable memories and photos!

  4. Such a great post, Lauren. Just returned to the UK after 15 months on the road and your list rings so true. I made the mistake of buying plenty of hideous (and expensive) travel clothes only to replace them with cheap local items which I ended up wearing all the time. Best of luck with the next five years!

  5. Wonderful blog. Thanks for sharing..

  6. Excellent post! I never thought to save rewards, but after reading your post I am going to earn reward points. Hope it will help me to afford my travel allowances.

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