When I first started traveling for work, for the first couple weeks I honestly didn’t see the point in earning and utilizing hotel, credit card, and airline points. I was under the impression that these companies allowed you to accumulate points but made it nearly impossible to use said points. While this can sometimes be the case, I’ve managed to pay for 6 vacations and saved over $14,000 in the last 2 years!
On my Instagram this week, I mentioned that I was finally ready to start booking our Canada trip for this October and it’s probably one of the most expense trips that we’ve gone on so it’s pretty intimidating. That being said, I’m really excited to finally start using all the points I’ve been accumulating over the past year. Now the, hands-down, best way to earn points is from the start up bonuses and most of our points came from the bonuses provided from the Chase INK and Chase Sapphire Preferred. But, I also earned around 50,000 points from everyday purchases this past year. Don’t be fooled, I definitely did NOT spend $50,000 to earn those points. One HUGE plus to utilizing the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform is the ‘Shop Through Chase’ points that are available. At the end of the day, 1 point for everyday purchases and 2 points on travel and dining are only okay options when trying to earn points. But, in my opinion, you’d have to save up for forever in order to earn enough points for a ‘free’ vacation. If you’ve run out of bonus points to earn then utilizing Shop Through Chase is a great alternative.
I truly wish I was one of those people who lived life with no regrets, but truth be told I have a lot. I worry too much and overthink things and always wish I was more spontaneous. Credit cards are no exception, over the last year that I’ve been researching credit cards and earning points, I’ve grown confident in my understanding of credit cards and their various perks, including the annual fees that come along. Most of my regrets come from just dipping my toes in the water instead of diving in full force. I think all the time about how many points I could have had if I had been accumulating points since my first credit card in 2014, or jumping right in and applying for the Chase Sapphire when it was 100,000 bonus points (still kicking myself over that one). In the end, I’m a person who learns from their mistakes. So I needed to go through them in order to learn on my own. But, if you’re one of those people who can learn from other’s mistakes, here is list of credit cards I wish I had gotten sooner and why:
After months of planning, we’re finally in Jamaica and we couldn’t be more excited!!!! Our last couple vacations have been filled with hiking, waking up early, and little rest, so we’re taking this opportunity to recharge and relax on the beach with frozen drinks. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to go to Jamaica and, even better, use points to do so. Overall, I only spent $260 (on flight taxes and fees), and saved roughly $5,398 on this vacation! Keep reading below to see how.
Hi fellow hackers! We finally made it to Sedona! I’ve been wanting to come here for a while but couldn’t find a good time to take a 3 day weekend to fully experience Sedona. Side note: This is a continuation of my Travel Hacking Blog Series where I talk about how I use reward points to pay for my vacations. I’ll be posting a travel guide to Sedona that’ll detail what we did and more pictures but I wanted to do a separate post about how I used my airline and hotel points to pay for us to come here. We ended up only paying out of pocket for our food and activities!
Hi Friends! Welcome to the first part of this blog series on Travel Hacking ! There are so many great blogs out there for researching Travel Hacking and different techniques to use but this series will focus on my journey, and tricks, from start to finish. Now I’m not one of the pros, with 20+ credit cards, but throughout the last couple years I’ve developed a really good system for earning points and redeeming them for vacations. My goal is to lay out this series as if you were just starting out and had never heard of the term travel hacking. It’s also set up to be a step-by-step guide so let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, I use a lot of math for explaining things and sometimes I forget that not everyone understands math the way I do.