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If self-care has become your personal mantra of sorts, you're not alone. Research has shown that millennials are more committed to personal improvement than other generations, even if it means spending a bit more money.
But self-care isn't cheap. From therapy to yoga to personal grooming and even solo trips, it can make a dent in your wallet if you're not careful. Here's how to make self-care a priority by using your travel rewards points.
How to use travel rewards to prioritize self-care
1. Solo travel
Crossing a destination off your solo travel bucket list is one way to practice self-care. And if you can do it on points, even better.
Jet off from New York City to Costa Rica for a long weekend for just 28,000 American Airlines miles, plus $86.75 in taxes and fees.
With its 1,200 miles of white sandy beaches, rainforests, five active volcanoes and seaside towns, you won’t run out of things to explore. Plus, use your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to fund your Costa Rican adventure, earning 3x points on dining, 2x points on travel 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Or if you’re craving a solo getaway with more urban excitement, consider a solo jaunt to London, where there is no shortage of cultural sites, museums and eateries to explore. Fly round-trip from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to London’s Heathrow Airport for just 27,300 United MileagePlus miles, plus $5.60 in taxes and fees.
Once you arrive, don’t miss must-see cultural destinations like the British Museum, the Tate Modern, the National Gallery, Shakespeare’s Globe (where they still perform the iconic playwright’s work) and Buckingham Palace.
While London doesn’t have the best reputation as a foodie destination, the Indian fare on Brick Lane is top-notch, while trendy teahouse Sketch is a great choice for a twist on the classic afternoon tea. And since you’re practicing self-care, do a little shopping at London’s upscale department store Selfridges before you head home.
Make your spending while traveling count with your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. With this card, you’ll earn 2x points on all purchases, which can then be redeemed on any hotel, airline or travel purchase. Bonus? There are no blackout dates.
Another tried-and-true means of practicing self-care? Making personal fitness a priority. Whether you’re continuing your daily gym trips or committing to a new exercise class, exploring a new outdoor fitness hobby or starting your routine from scratch, there are countless ways to fund your fitness endeavor with credit card points and rewards.
In addition to its many benefits for Hyatt loyalists, the World of Hyatt Credit Card offers 2x points for every $1 spent on gym memberships or fitness club memberships.
Another great option? Earn 5% cash back with the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card. The card earns this rate on the first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter in two categories you choose, which includes gyms and fitness centers.
3. Eating right
Sure, many rewards cards offer cash back and bonus points on dining out, but if you’re really looking to up your nutrition, eating in is usually a healthier option.
Good news. Many cards offer rewards for grocery shopping, like the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, which offers 2% cash back at grocery stores and club stores on the first $2,500 each quarter, then 1%.
Another solid rewards card for grocery shopping is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which offers a whopping 6% back on purchases from supermarkets, capped at $6,000 annually.
While cooking up a healthy dinner of grilled fish and veggies may not compare to, say, a fresh sushi feast at your favorite restaurant, earning cash back on those grocery trips makes choosing the healthy option just a little bit easier.
So this year, why not use your favorite rewards card to up the ante on your self-care? Your future self — and your points balance — will thank you.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card