I just booked a trip to Chicago. I don't travel that often, and what I've done in the past 2 years was all booked by the travel agent at work. It's been a long time since I had to think about rewards programs and the benefits they offer. I want to be smart about my travel so that I can do more of it, both solo and with my family, and score the maximum benefit with the least amount of hassle. What do you guys(*) recommend?
In particular, how much travel do you have to do before an airline frequent flyer membership is worthwhile? Are any of the airlines' programs "better" or "worse"?
Ditto about hotel rewards programs. Are there any chains that have particularly good or bad programs? How many hotel stays do you have do per year to make a rewards program worthwhile?
And finally, are there any websites or apps that you use to manage all the rewards stuff?
Thanks in advance for your advice!
(*) By "guys" I mean people of all genders. I grew up in the Northeast and a bit of that is showing this morning, LOL.