Gift cards can stretch travel funds

Gift cards often come with bonus offers and special deals that bump up the value and make a whole lot of sense for travelers. It’s like cutting expenses by 10% or more when we cash in on some great offers being made for the holidays.

Best Western Hotels has an offer where buying a $100 Best Western Travel Card online gets a $10 bonus gift card free. With this offer, we can get a $10 Best Western Travel Card or choose from a variety of restaurant cards. This one is especially good for international travelers as it can be loaded and reloaded with the currency of the country they will be traveling to.

“Whether gifting a Best Western travel card to friends and family or gifting one to yourself for travel in the new year, this limited-time promotion offers the perfect opportunity to rack-up cash at popular retailers,” said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “With this special holiday deal, it’s more rewarding than ever before to give the gift of travel – and get $10 back in your pocket.”

Another offer that can stretch travel funds is Mastercard’s $20 gift card offer. On this one, Mastercard will send us a $20 gift card with any $200 spent online using a Mastercard. To be eligible to receive the MasterCard gift card, enroll a MasterCard card here. They need a card number to qualify online spending, and an email address to alert buyers when they have earned their gift card.

Looking to make a difference in a really easy way? We can take care of that when we fly with an offer from American Airlines. This one earns travelers a donation of $5 for every $50 travel card purchased to either Susan G. Komen for the Cure® or the USO.

10% might not seem like much but these things can really add up.

Reloadable gift cards often carry bonus offers to encourage their use. Using them on the road eliminates some of the need for cash and often translates to bonus value as well.

Starbucks reloadable gift cards are a good example. Once registered, the holders online account can also be accessed by iPhone or Android app and bonus offers are given as usage increases. Subway Restaurants has a similar program, giving a free sub with every time users add $25 back on the card.

These and many other cards make great gifts for travelers that are easy, safe and fun to use.

Photo: Chris Owen

Raft for the Cure in Moab this June

This June, the Moab Adventure Center, located in Moab, Utah will play host to the fifth annual Raft for the Cure. This fun and unique event that will offer visitors a unique blend of outdoor adventure, live music, and great food, while also raising funds for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

The Raft for the Cure event begins with a full day of rafting along the famous Colorado River, one of the top whitewater destinations in the entire American west. Participants will get the opportunity to experience some of the most well known sections of that iconic waterway, including the popular Onion Creek, Cloudburst, Ida Gulch, and White’s Rapid. This is medium level whitewater (think Class II or III) that wanders through spectacular canyons and scenic bluffs, offering plenty of adrenaline rushes to go along with the natural wonders. The on-the-river activities will run from 8AM to 4PM and are followed by dinner and live music in town that evening.

Organizers for the event have noticed a sharp increase in interest for this year’s Raft for the Cure, which is why they are spreading the word a bit earlier. In 2010, there were 330 participants that helped raise $20,000 for beast cancer research. This year, that number is expected to climb to 500 with six local rafting companies joining forces to help accommodate everyone.
The cost of the event is $100 for adults and $85 for kids 5-15. That includes lunch and dinner, a full day of rafting, commemorative T-shirt, and more. For more details check out the Raft for the Cure website and to register click here.

A hundred bucks for a full day of rafting is an excellent deal to begin with. Throw in some food and a concert and this is a real bargain for a weekend’s worth of entertainment. The fact that the proceeds are going to a great cause is just icing on the cake if you ask me.

[Photo credit: Sascha Grabow via WikiMedia Commons]