Why am I the only fool paying for vacations?
Ok, that may be a little too harsh. But the bottom line is that many people can take free trips and don’t even realize this. Follow these tips and when you are on your amazing vacation, smile, take a picture, and pat yourself on the back for taking advantage of your new mindset.
Where do I start?
The secret to free travel is putting your trusty debit card away and instead signing up for a card that earns points every time you buy gas, groceries, or pay car insurance. You will treat this card just as you would your debit card. You must sign up for autopay so that the card gets paid off in FULL every month!
Dave Ramsey told me all credit cards are bad.
Ignore Dave Ramsey! He also says people who get accepted into med school should only go if they have hundreds of thousands of dollars saved up. If you don’t carry a balance every month, why would you not take an interest free loan from VISA while earning free points? They still make money when you shop at Target and then Target has to pass along a small fee to Visa.
What card do you recommend I get?
You have to figure out what is best for your family based on your travel goals. In my opinion the Chase Sapphire is the best card to start with because it has 14 travel partners and comes with a lot of perks (ex: free travel insurance).
Do I put my spouse on the card?
NO!!!!!! Sign up for the card in your name only. After you spend 4k in 3 months (remember, you are using this card for everything) you will earn 60K miles. Then give your significant other your referral code so that when they sign up for their own card, you receive 10K miles. A good rule of thumb for miles is that it takes roughly 60K miles for a round trip ticket to Europe. You get one travel point for every dollar you spend plus there are ways to earn extra points.
Aren’t cash back cards the best?
Some people prefer cash back, but we have found our points end up being double or triple the cash value. If your card gives you 1 percent cash back, if you spend $24,000 on purchases over several months, you will get $240 back in cash. When we went to Banff, we used points for our plane tickets. Tickets to Calgary from Houston were about $700 round trip. It was only 24,000 points so it was much more advantageous to use points instead of getting cash back ($240.00).
Don’t credit cards charge an annual fee?
Yes, but often the fees pay for themselves. The Chase United is worth the free checked bags you receive. The Chase Hyatt gives you a free night (which covers the fee).
What if I want to sign up for store credit cards such as Home Goods or the Gap?
Don't waste your money on these cards. You are giving up the chance to have the good cards that can earn good money. Close down these accounts and just stick with one or two travel cards.
It’s almost impossible to travel hack Disney. You can use points for flights and offsite hotels.
Follow The Points Guy for tons of tricks!
Zacharyburrabel has a great Tik Tok that explains how to upgrade to first class for little points.
I stopped using Marriott because it took too many points for a decent hotel.
In conclusion, if I only took out one card, it would be the Chase Sapphire. If I wanted to have 2, I would add the Chase Hyatt.
Our Travel Hack Points:
This summer we are going to Europe with the Wilcox and Wilson families. All 12 round trip tickets were paid with credit card points. The round trip tickets are about $1500 each.
Last Spring Break Dave and I took the kids to Beavercreek, Colorado to ski. We stayed in the Hyatt with points. Had we paid for the hotel, it would have cost us $5000. We used our Hyatt credit card points to pay for the entire lodging.
Dave and I have stayed six nights at the Hyatt Zalara in Cancun (all inclusive resort) for free for six nights. This was about a $5000 redemption.
My question for you, who is ready to travel on someone else’s dime? Also, please share any amazing point redemptions you have received. I'm going to shameless plug Christa's Saphire Referral code and Corrin's Hyatt referral code.