Have you ever heard of travel hacking? Aka travel rewards? We hadn’t either until very recently when we heard it on a podcast channel we listen to. Chaz told me what it was about, and me being the travel junky I am, dove straight down into the depths of learning everything I could to get free travel. Let me just say it has now changed my life forrreeevverrr AND it’s the funnest hobby ever. Here’s a simple breakdown of it:
- You apply for a credit card that has a large “points” or “miles” bonus attached to it. 99% of the time these cards require you to meet a “minimum spend” requirement, i.e. spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and receive 50,000 bonus miles/points.
- Once you get your card, you put your regular, everyday spending on the card. You don’t go out and get into a bunch of credit card debt. You just put your monthly utility bills and grocery bills, your date nights and mini shopping sprees, ALL go onto this ONE card until you meet the minimum spend.
- Once you’ve met your spend and get your bonus, you use that bonus to purchase your flights or hotels.
When I was trying to search flights to get to Thailand, it seemed impossible to just use one airline. I’ve heard of many people who have figured it out using Chase cards and points from their Ultimate Rewards portal, but it just seemed so much easier to go a different route. So instead of just getting a card for a specific airline, we decided to get the Capital One Venture card. This card allows you to make any travel purchase, then apply your points to that purchase to basically erase the purchase from your card. Confused? Here’s another breakdown:
By hitting the minimum spend on our cards we each got 50,000 bonus points. Those points translate to $500 in travel costs. (The purchase MUST be travel related or the point to dollar ratio is much less.) Because we had to spend $3,000 each to hit our minimum spends and spent a little extra over the next couple months, and each dollar equals two points with the Venture card, we had about 59,000 points each when it came time to buy our flights. (My card had 59,400 so that’s the example we will show) Soooo….
Roundtrip flight to Thailand: $669 – $594 in travel rewards = $75
PLUS, when I book our hotels, Venture card has a deal running with hotels.com where you get 10x the points per dollar. So we will book through there and end up getting at least one of our nights erased by even more points.
This is our first travel hack we have ever done and it is SO basic and easy for any first timer. I have some future travel plans that will require a little more thought when it comes to how we use and spend our points and which cards we apply for, but for our first hack? I’m super stoked about it! We paid $150 for both our flights that can be closer to $1,500 each to Thailand, plus we are going to get one night free of our hotel stay. A win? I’d say so!
Thanks for being here,