I do not think that there are any tricks

They offer it because they make money on it. Most people with rack up interest charges and that is how it is worth it for them. Most people spend more because they justify it in their head and that is why they can afford to do this. They do follow through with giving you the points. I did it and there were no tricks.

Like I said, I do it. The only negative is the annual rate, but I know that I save more than that with our yearly trip to see family. Since all of our extended family is on the other side of the country, we really feel that this is a must expense for us.

I tried using that site when I was going to visit my sister to help her with a new baby

We did not book ahead of time because we did not know when the baby was going to be born. It turned out that I was not able to beat the Southwest price even if I took a flight in the middle of the night.

That was several years ago so I don’t know if it would be the same. Since then, I have only tried looking for hotels and rental cars and I can do better by just going directly to the website and using a AAA discount.