Author Topic: Step by Step Travel Hacking??  (Read 2718 times)

Unique User

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Step by Step Travel Hacking??
« on: June 22, 2017, 11:26:30 AM »
I have never churned credit cards before, is there a step by step guide somewhere?  We have a trip planned for 3 over Christmas at a resort in Cabo (paid with hotel points, yay!) and I'd love to figure out a way to get some or all of the plane tickets covered.  I read a few things on the Root of Good blog, but I just get more confused if opening a few credit cards for the miles will actually cover our plane tickets on specific days.  Thanks for any advice, thoughts, points in the right direction!

missundecided

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Re: Step by Step Travel Hacking??
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2017, 11:36:59 AM »
This might be helpful, put together by fellow forum members I believe:

http://www.travelmiles101.com/travel-rewards-course-registration

nexus

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Re: Step by Step Travel Hacking??
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2017, 11:51:54 AM »
1. Go to the Mad Fientist's rewards summary page http://madfientist.cardratings.com/
2. Choose a card(s) that suits your spending habits (ie don't spend more just to get the reward)
3. Apply for card
4. Once you get card, make all your transactions with the card until you reach the bonus. I tracked mine via spreadsheet
    4a. I recommend Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. 1st annual fee waived. Spend $3k in 3 months, get $500 cash or $750 travel credit when you book through chase.
    4b. You can get additional points for adding your SO/kid/parent as an authorized user on your account. You never even have to give them the card. I had my girlfriend as an AU on mine. I think I made one online purchase using her card just to get the extra bonus points & she never knew. I forget the details if you have to make them an AU, then use the card or not. Totally worth the extra $20 in points.
5. Pay the card off IN FULL every month, payday, etc.

Right now I have almost $950 in travel credit through my Chase Card. I'll downgrade it or cancel it before I hit my 1 year mark with it. I also just received a $110 check from Capital One for using their Venture Rewards Card. I just had to spend $1k in 3 months, which was super easy. I opted for cash in that case instead of miles.
The next one(s) on my radar are the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard (probably around xmas when my spending will increase. It wants $3k in 3 months), or the Hilton HH Honors card.

Hope this helps!

Oh, and how to redeem:
1. Go to credit card website.
2. Go to rewards/points section
3. It'll give you options to receive statement credit, a check in the mail, or link you to a website where you can book flights, hotels, etc. The rates are usually the same/really similar to what you'd see on Expedia or other travel websites.

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Step by Step Travel Hacking??
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2017, 12:19:03 PM »
I've been looking into this too lately.  My average credit card-spend rate is only around $400-$800/month and there isn't much else I can put on it.  So something like $3000 in 3 months is difficult for me to reach typically.  Any other folks experience this issue or do they still recommend any travel cards?  I'm surprised I don't see more people talking about not reaching those limits.

FYI, the Capital One Venture Reward Card is 3k in 3 months, not 1k. The VentureOne card says 1k in 3 months to get 20,000 miles, but at that point, is it that much better than just using my regular card that gives me 1.5% cash back. It's a little better, but meh?

Catbert

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Re: Step by Step Travel Hacking??
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 12:38:57 PM »
www.frugaltravelguy.com
www.thepointsguy.com

These websites both have "beginners guides" so reading them is a good start.

For relatively low spend bonus cards, you generally won't find that in flexible points cards.  There are lower spend specific airline or hotel cards.  Examples of lower spend cards I've gotten in the past 2 years (not necessarily available now):  Southwest Airlines (2k/3 months= 50,000 miles); IHG (1k/3 months = 70,000 points; Delta 1k/3 months = 50,000 miles;  United Airlines (2k/3 mos = 50,000 miles).

If you're close but aren't sure you'll make a spend requierment you can always get a few gift cards at your grocery store for that store of other you regularly shop at.

lbmustache

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Re: Step by Step Travel Hacking??
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 01:34:14 PM »
I've been looking into this too lately.  My average credit card-spend rate is only around $400-$800/month and there isn't much else I can put on it.  So something like $3000 in 3 months is difficult for me to reach typically. Any other folks experience this issue or do they still recommend any travel cards?  I'm surprised I don't see more people talking about not reaching those limits.


Either you open up the CC before a big purchase, or you "manufacture" spending (google it, or search these forums).

Fire2025

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Re: Step by Step Travel Hacking??
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 01:53:17 PM »
This might be helpful, put together by fellow forum members I believe:

http://www.travelmiles101.com/travel-rewards-course-registration

Agree.  This is a great tutorial/introduction.