Podcast 69. Maximizing Travel with Co-Branded Cards: Our Complete Guide


In this latest episode, we’re taking a deep dive into the often overlooked yet incredibly rewarding world of co-branded airline and hotel credit cards. Imagine jet-setting in business class to the Maldives or unwinding at a luxury resort in Bora Bora—yes, we’ve done that, and much, much more, all thanks to these specialty cards. We, the Travel Mom Squad (Pam, Jess, and Alex), are here to share the ins and outs of co-branded cards, from the perks that make them invaluable to our personal favorite redemptions.

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While we often sing the praises of flexible points from cards like Chase and Capital One, co-branded cards hold a special place in our wallets and our hearts. Why, you ask? For starters, they’re the gateway to brand loyalty benefits, such as free checked bags, priority boarding, and that all-important annual free night certificate.

Pam kicks things off with her love for the United card, thanks to her proximity to Denver’s hub, illustrating the practical benefits of brand loyalty. Jess dives into the strategy behind selecting the right hotel card, emphasizing the importance of a planned redemption. Alex shares her approach to keeping a balanced portfolio of airline points to capitalize on award sales.

As we dissect the benefits, strategy, and unforgettable trips enabled by our co-branded cards, you’ll see why these often underrated tools are indispensable in our points and miles game. Whether you’re drawn to airline perks, hotel luxury, or simply more travel for less, co-branded cards might just be the missing piece in your points and miles puzzle.

Ready to turn your travel dreams into reality, from the Maldives to Disneyland and beyond, without breaking the bank? Hit play to listen to the full episode and join us, the Travel Mom Squad, on this points-fueled adventure. Discover how co-branded credit cards can unlock a world of travel possibilities, making every trip more affordable and enjoyable. Your next nearly-free vacation awaits! (Follow the links below)


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Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 00:00 Introduction to the benefits of airline and hotel co-branded cards
  • 01:00 Discussion on the value of flexible points vs. fixed points
  • 01:48 Benefits of co-branded cards: Brand loyalty and specific perks
  • 04:27 Real-world examples of co-branded card benefits
  • 05:23 Jess’s strategic approach to hotel and airline co-branded cards
  • 07:06 Alex’s criteria for opening and keeping hotel and airline cards
  • 11:22 Pam’s extensive collection of hotel cards and her rationale
  • 15:53 Keeping vs. closing co-branded cards: When and why
  • 25:18 Favorite redemptions and experiences thanks to co-branded cards
  • 36:04 How co-branded cards fit into our broader points and miles strategy
  • 44:31 Closing thoughts: How co-branded cards can enhance your travel


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