Most people consider their pets part of the family. Before booking a family vacation, pet owners might find themselves looking for ways to bring their furry friends along for the ride. But with the high cost of hotel and airline pet fees, making room for the family pet isn’t always so easy.

Although most hotel and airline loyalty programs don’t give you the option of waiving pet fees with miles and points, there are still ways to approach the extra expense. Here’s how your points and miles can help you save on pet travel fees:

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Join a pet loyalty program

At $100, JetBlue’s pet fee is fairly standard among major air carriers. But by creating one of the first loyalty programs exclusively for pet owners, JetBlue has earned its reputation as one of the most pet-friendly airlines out there. From a helpful list of tips for traveling with pets to 300 TrueBlue points, JetBlue’s JetPaws program offers pet owners plenty of loyalty rewards each time they fly with their furry friend.

Before booking, however, check to make sure the combined weight of your pet and their carrier doesn’t top 20 pounds. Since JetBlue requires all pets to fly with their owner in the passenger cabin, larger animals may not be allowed on board.

Looking for even more ways to rack up loyalty rewards next time you fly with your pet? Check out Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Paws program. Passengers who bring along their pets can earn an extra 1,000 Flying Club miles on most flights as well as 2,000 miles on select flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and Hong Kong. While pet travel fees may still apply to your trip, the miles and points you earn from pet loyalty programs can help offset the cost of such fees in no time.

Sign up for a travel rewards credit card

Booking airfare and hotel stays with travel rewards credit cards can help you earn enough miles and points to wipe out unavoidable pet fees. For example, the Platinum Card from American Express sends cardholders a $200 rebate each year for incidental fees such as checked baggage, phone reservation costs and – you guessed it – pet fees. Take advantage of this offer by logging in to your account and selecting which airline you want the rebate to apply toward. Don’t make your decision too quickly, though. You can only change your airline selection online or by phone once a year in January.

Although the Citi ThankYou Premier Card doesn’t offer a similar rebate for pet travel fees, the extra points it awards for travel costs can make up for any pet fees charged by an airline or hotel. Cardholders receive three ThankYou Points per each dollar they spend on airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals and even gas. Better yet, the ThankYou Points you earn from pet fees are worth 25 percent more when redeemed for airfare or a hotel stay – opening the door for even more savings.

While it can be an extra challenge to travel with a pet, it’s not impossible! Remember that timing is everything. Many airlines limit the number of pets allowed on each flight, so secure your spot sooner rather than later. And if you’re looking for a pet-friendly hotel, check out Kimpton Hotels who are known as the industry-leader in pet-friendly lodging. They’ll provide your furry friend with all the comforts of home like plush pet beds, food, water bowls and mats.

 

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